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Best places to eat in St. Louis, period.

Hey, guys (and girls). We may go to St. Louis an we don't know where to eat. Some suggestions would be great. Thanks!!!

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  1. Prime Rib-Kreis's on Linbergh in Frontenac

    Steaks (Prime)-Citizen Kane's in Kirkwood

    Italian-Tony's (expensive) or Cafe Napoli in Clayton (not as expensive)

    Burger-O'Connell's on Kingshighway

    Deli-Lester's in Ladue

    Fried Chicken-Frank & Helen's on Olive

    Buffet-Harrahs Casino

    1 Reply
    1. re: highcard

      With all due respect to highcard, if you're from a city that enjoys true Jewish deli food, you can skip Lester's, which pales by comparison to those delis in NYC, Chicago, Philly, etc.

    2. I'll play:

      Best chef-oriented, cutting-edge food, especially the tasting menu: Niche. Honorable mention: Sidney Street Cafe.

      Best value in a high-end place: the four-course $25 menu at The Crossing.

      Best burger, without attitude and smoke in your face: The Fatted Calf.

      Best formal classic dress-up with decades of history: Tony's.

      Best don't-miss local treasure where everyone is smiling: Ted Drewe's for frozen custard.

      Best BBQ and working hardest to please: Pappy's.

      Best St. Louis-style pizza, with ultrathin crust, provel cheese, cut into squares: Cafe Manhattan. Note: beloved by natives, dismissed by most others, should be preceded by their Italian house salad and toasted ravioli.

      Best thing about St. Louis restaurants: Generous servings, friendly service, surprisingly good food. Worst thing: Far too many places still permit smoking, so if you are from California or other enlightened locales, be sure to ask about the policy before reserving.

      4 Replies
      1. Let's keep the focus on the food and not personal attacks.

        Best chocolate (or chocolate banana) malted: Crown Candy Kitchen.
        OP didn't ask necessarily for a "best of" list, and that always tends to deteriorate into a battle of the experts, so here are some other places I like:

        Five, on Manchester, for creative cuisine, great atmosphere, and warm, personal service.
        The Pitted Olive, on Hampton, for reliably tasty food, very reasonable prices, and a great host and hostess in Mike and Melissa Holmes.
        I recently enjoyed some terrific pho at Pho Long on Olive Street.
        Riddles Penultimate is known for its use of local ingredients and its wine list.
        Al-Tarboush on Delmar makes great felafil and hummus.
        Pi on Delmar has a great take on thin crust pizza--not at all like local favorite (and bane to those of us who weren't born here) Imo's.
        I'm sure I'll think of more as this list fills up.

        -----
        Riddle's Penultimate Cafe
        6307 Delmar Blvd, Saint Louis, MO 63130

        Pitted Olive Deli Market & Catering
        5815 Hampton Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63109

        PI
        6144 Delmar Blvd, Saint Louis, MO

        Crown Candy Kitchen
        1401 Saint Louis Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63106

        Pho Long Restaurant
        8613 Olive Blvd, Saint Louis, MO 63132

        Al-Tarboush Deli
        602 Westgate Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63130

        Five
        4317 Manchester Ave, St Louis, MO

        1. re: alan

          Whoops! So the OP did use the title "Best Places..." Well, I still stand by my post.

          1. re: alan

            I second the vote for Five--but note that they're moving to the Hill soon. Very fresh, innovative and nice service. Also "appropriate" portion sizes there--unlike nosh, I'm not a fan of large portions. PI is creative with both thin crust and deep dish (we prefer the thin) and it's also relatively kid-friendly (most friendly is Dewey's). Riddles is wonderful for freshness but not high on the ambiance if that's what you're looking for. Both Riddles and Five cook with Ozark Farm mushrooms---which are OUT of this WORLD!

          2. re: nosh

            Double ditto on Cafe Manhattan (EVERYTHING is good there) and The Fatted Calf!

          3. Best breakfast in a crowded pre-fab 1920's hygenic diner once used as a movie set for Susan Sarandon: the White Knight, corner of 18th and Olive.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Doug

              I thought they used Jessie's Grill (whatta dumb name) on Grand near Peveley Dairy and later the would-be NYC set at that place on Euclid across from Balaban's (I should know the name - I'm gonna be up all night until I remember IMDB)

              1. re: hill food

                There never was a NYC place on Euclid across from Balaban's. You may be thinking of Kopperman's which is farther south on Euclid, or, if you reach back a bunch of years, Herschel's, which was in the Forest Park Hotel building at Euclid and West Pine.

                1. re: alan

                  That was shot at Duff's. And yes, it was what's now called White Palace at Olive and 18th.

                  1. re: lemons

                    Duff's that was it, - def. not a NYC place, just played it in the movie.

                    why? who knows, cheaper union rates and they already had cast and crew in place is my guess.

                  2. re: alan

                    in the late 70's there was a deli in the southern most space in the bldg. directly across the street from Kopperman's. It was open until 2 or 3 in the morning.

                    1. re: robt5265

                      Are you talking about in a building on a street corner? That must have been Harold's, I think it was, in the old Foret Park Hotel. I lived a block away. The intersection was Euclid and West Pine. But we do digress, don't we?

                      Does anyone have any top-line breakfast suggestions?

              2. Atlas in the Central West End is always excellent. 5513 Pershing Ave St. Louis, MO 63112 Phone: (314) 367-6800
                I also like Terrene http://www.terrene-stlouis.com/
                Locally grown mostly organic food, well prepared. Great service, friendly and usually quiet.

                1. Tony's is not as good as Giovanni's or Larusso's or Trattoria Marcella or numerous other places which all cost less. Also Cafe Napoli is overrated. For a city such as STL, which has phenomenal Italian food, it is grossly unfair for you to call those two places the best for Italian. Does Kemoll's ring a bell?

                  Citizen Kane's is good. Annie Gunn's and Ruth's Chris, though...

                  Fatted Calf is phenomenal, so is O'Connell's, so is Llewellyn's, but I think we're forgetting about Carl's.

                  Lester's is really just plain inferior to Adriana's, Mama Toscano's, and Pratzel's.

                  Frank and Helen's broasts their chicken, and it is really really good.