What You Should Eat In St. Louis

March 14, 2012

This is an incomplete primer on a complicated subject. It is by no means definitive. I will make 3 guarantees: First, there are incredible places that aren’t on this list because I have never been to them, forgotten about them, or didn’t feel like writing about them. Second, I have never had a bad meal at any of the places on this list. Finally, this list is useless for vegetarians.


Blues City Deli is my #1 Lunch recommendation in St. Louis right now. They do sandwiches. I normally get the Italian Beef, but everything is incredible. Get Billy Goat chips. They have live music Thursday nights.

Crown Candy Kitchen is a St. Louis classic. It’s in a shit part of the city, but it’s a classic. Expect a wait. I get the chili cheese dog. It’s made with a staple St. Louis product: Edmund’s Chili. They are also known for their BLT which has a mountain of bacon on it. Get a shake. They also make their own chocolate if that’s your thing

Papi’s BBQ is the #1 BBQ place in St. Louis right now. (also good, spinoff Bogarts). Get here early (11:30 or earlier) for lunch. There will be a long line. It moves pretty fast. I only ever get pulled pork at BBQ places, but I’ve heard everything here is good.


Years of consensus say that the best burger in St. Louis can be found at Blueberry Hill. Thick burgers. Get it with scoop cheddar cheese. Grilled onions, bacon, whatever. It’s all good. Next door: my favorite record shop in the midwest, Vintage Vinyl.

For a less touristy experience, and some (though not me) would say a better burger, get O’Connells. Just American cheese. They cook your burger to by-the-book definitions, so medium rare has some red in the middle. I also do grilled onions here.

For a foodie burger, there’s a new place called Bailey’s Range. They also have booze milk shakes and a generally cool atmosphere. Really enjoyed this place the one time I went there.

Carl’s Drive-In. This isn’t in St. Louis proper. It’s probably a 20 minute drive from downtown. They make flat burgers. Also with Edmund’s Chili (see: Crown Candy). Get a large root beer. They are closed on Sundays.


Drink local! Schlafly Brewing Co (2 syllables, first one pronounced last “shaft” with an L in it and no T, 2, “Lee” “Schlaf-lee”) has two locations. Tap Room and Bottle Works. Tap Room is more down-towny. Get any beers there. They are all good. They both have great food too (but different menus at each).

Buffalo Brewing Co., Parrenial Ales, and Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. are also all St. Louis breweries that have their own bars. I’ve never been to these places, but they all make good beer.

For the widest selection in town, hit up iTap in Soulard. 500+ beers or so. Good place to watch sports. (not sure about WiFi situation though).


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