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STL: NY/East Coast style pizza

We're moving to STL in June and are about to make our third pre-moving visit and I am beginning to despair of ever finding what I consider "real" pizza there.

I am in no way, shape or form interested in ever again consuming STL style pizza. I don't want any pizza masquerading as NY style that's made with provel or anything but mozzarella. I want an actual pizza crust, hand tossed, soft and chewy. Thin crust is good but no cracker style, no matzo style, none of that.

I'm from Philly. I know pizza. I love pizza. Tomato sauce runs in my veins. Surely there has to be some PIZZA pizza in STL? Any other transplanted Easterners have a tip for me?

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      1. Oh my never fear. Imo's isn't the only thing poor old Lou has to offer.

        To try:

        La Pizza (on Delmar in U City) AWESOME
        Farotto's - Rock Hill (good stuff other than pizza too)
        Black Thorn in the city - a bar but the BEST deep dish pizza to be found in these parts
        Dewey's Pizza - also in U City/Clayton area - near-ish La Pizza - Dewey's is more upscale-ish but good
        Fortel's Pizza Den - various locations. Good thin crust and ALL handmade. Definitely about 200% better than Imo's for thin crust
        Pizza World - a chain but I don't think it is everywhere. They are also upscale-ish, including a white pizza that is out of this world
        Talayna's as lwoerther said is also good - various locations
        Racanelli's - U City and I believe somewhere south
        We also have the Chicago Uno - I can think of two locations - one in Kirkwood one out in Chesterfield. You can also buy smaller Uno pizzas at a few of the stores.

        A really great good research source for you all would be Sauce Magazine which covers not just restaurants but the whole food and wine scene here in St. L.

        Hopefully you won't go running back to Philly in despair. And try Imo's once or so- you might like it. They actually DO offer regular cheese as an option :>

        5 Replies
        1. re: TwoPointers

          Good list, TwoPointers. Add Napoli Pizza in St. Peter and Frank's Jersey style (a slightly thicker crust and slightly sweeter sauce than a typical NY pie.) Dewey's is a small chain out of Cincinnati; actually very good with good beer, too. Racanelli's is pretty good but would be average in NYC; there four of them. La Pizza, along with Napoli, are my two favorites.

          Ooops.. almost forgot Il Vicino in Clayton! Wood oven and excellent! Add them to LaPizza and Napoli!

          As for STL "pizza", I'm a Boston native -- I find that other than the crust, sauce, and cheese STL pizza's not bad...

          1. re: TwoPointers

            As a transplanted Rhode Islander, Imo's will never taste remotely good to me. Ever. Regardless of cheese.

            The one time I went to the Talayna's on DeBallivere, I was not impressed.

            I do enjoy Vito's on Olive, and Ferraro's in Soulard.

            1. re: robotarms

              There are a few locals that can't stand the stuff either, so it's not just a problem for transplants!

            2. re: TwoPointers

              La Pizza is your best option.

              Dough is made fresh daily. Pizzas are tossed to order.

              They're NYC transplants. Father and Son own it. The father used to work for Racanelli's in St. Louis until he felt they stopped caring about quality and had to quit and go off on his own.

              1. re: bobzemuda

                I am glad to hear your affirmation that Racanelli's isn't what it used to be. We haven't been in a year or two because the CWE store's pizza had definitely gone downhill. I'm sad, because it was very good.

                Haven't had a chance to try LaPizza yet. We usually go to Il Vicino in Clayton.
                p.j.

            3. I grew up on Long Island in a town with a large Italian population. Here in St. Louis, the closest I have come to a New York style pizza is the Taylana's on DeBallivere, just north of the History Museum. They give you a choice of St. Louis, Chicago, Boston, or New York style pizzas. I cannot vouch for any of the other Taylana's locations, but this location served a pizza that tasted very close to the pizza I had as a teenager in the 1960's on Long Island.

              Also worth investigating, if you are driving southwest on I-44: Alex's House of Pizza in Rolla, Missouri. It is not New York style, but it is yummy.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Doug

                I also like Ami's in Rock Hill. I can't really vouch for the authenticity of their NY style pizza, but it tastes good to me.

                1. re: shannoninstlouis

                  Ami's used to be a Talayna's. I think it is still owned by the same people.

              2. You're all awesome. Thank you. We'll be back for a week in March (before moving for good in June or July) and we'll definitely try Taylana's and probably somewhere else.