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Looking for great local food in St Louis

I'm traveling to St Louis for the next several weeks and staying within sight of the Lambert Airport. We work long hours but still need a respite in the evenings. Where can I go to find good local food that's reasonably priced and not too far away? All I have found close by are chains.

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  1. You are not really in a very good area IMO.

    I don't mean it is a "bad" area. Just not alot of great food choices.

    Have you searched the board for past posts? There is tons of info.


    3 Replies
    1. re: FriendOfTheDevil

      I agree about the area, it's sort of a wasteland when it comes to interesting food. How far do I have to drive to find interesting food? I've ventured to Creve Cour and found a couple places there. I really don't think I'll have the energy to go all the way downtown after a 12 hour day. Any ideas?

      1. re: foodie12119

        For quick service BBQ check out the website for Pappy's, and for more fine, sit-down dining, check out Mike Shannon's (right behind Busch Stadium)

        1. re: foodie12119

          There are a couple of places I would recommend in the Dorsett Page Area. One right off Page and Bennington is Balduccis. Excellent Deep Dish pizza. Casual and not expensive.
          One right off Dorsett and 270 is Thai Kitchen. Also good.
          You are pretty close to the Delmar Loop area.
          La Pizza on Delmar has great Pizza. Pi in the loop has awesome Pizza. Blueberry Hill is a casual bar with good burgers. Lots of other places to explore.
          Pappys is good as was suggested but they run our of food before dinner time so if you go, I would go at lunch.
          Down Lindberg past Creve Couer is Kirkwood. There is Deweys pizza there that is really good. ALot of other places to worth checking out.
          There is alot of Mexican places iin the airport area around Woodson Road between the airport and Page I believe. Not sure which to recommend but if that is of interest you may want to check it out. I believe Las Palmas is one I hear good things about.
          If you can venture halfway into the city, at the intersection of Kingshighway and Highway 44 is a saloon called Oconnels. Roast beef sandwiches that will knock your sox off and pretty good burgers also.
          If you go to Delmar off of 170, and instead of heading east towards the loop, go west and in the first shipping strip is a good Chinese Place called Guo Bin I believe it is. I have heard good things about this place.
          If you go east, the first center on your right has a good Vietnamese place. I forget the name but it is right there just off 170.
          If I think of others I will let you know.


      2. There is a Mexican place I just thought of that we like alot that is not that far. You go straight up Lindberg north from the airport. Just past 170 it is on the left in a large strip center called Pueblo Nuevo.
        The outside window special Tacos Al Pastor es excellent. The tortilla soup is very good and the green chili burritos great as well as the chimichongas.
        I specifically like the pork in all these dishes.


        1. you can be in Clayton U City and the Central West End in 15 minutes if the traffic is light (but \watch for speed traps between 70 and Page Avenue.

          that will widen your choices considerably.

          1. I would suggest Las Palmas. Their original location (of 3?) is on Woodson within sight of the airport. I have always had good food (Mexican) there and you will hear more spanish than english.

            Although I haven't been in a long time, there is India Palace at the top of the building on the NE corner of I-70 and Lindbergh. Considered some of the best Indian food in STL. It overlooks the airport and runways.

            1. Hendel's Market in old town Florissant is a short ride from the airport, cool old rehabbed corner market. Nice patio too, although it's getting a little chilly (and damp) for that now.

              Lombardo's Restaurant http://www.lombardosrestaurants.com is in or very near one of the airport hotels. I've never been to that location, but I like their Union Station location. Other than that, the other posters have offered some good options.

              1. Hey foodie12110, I have to agree that you really are in a bit of a wasteland up near the airport...you will find, though, that most of St. Louis is really not more than 20 minutes away; and you will probably find it well worth your while to mosey on down to the University City Loop or the Central West End. The Loop in particular is reasonably close to where you will be staying, just take 70 East to 170 South, exit on Delmar East and it's only a couple miles. The loop has a lot of options, from good burgers & bar food at Blueberry Hill (as well as Joe Edwards' truly jaw-dropping collection of rock 'n roll memorabilia); Pi, the pizza place that Obama ordered 'delivery' from to D.C., and lots of Thai options. The aforementioned Joe Edwards has opened a beautiful new boutique hotel at the far East End of the Loop called the 'Moonrise'...I haven't been but their restaurant & bar look really nice online, and offer a late-night menu.
                If you jump off 170 at Olive, just to the East is high concentration of Chinese and Korean options, most very authentic, kind of out of my stompin' grounds, so I can't recommend any specifics, and I'm not sure how late most of them would be open, but you might search rec's on Olive Street.
                Highway 40/64 is closed for a great long stretch in the city...you can avoid it by taking Forest Park Parkway or Clayton Road, but it'll slow you down a little, but do try to wander around the city a bit. The airport area won't give you much of a sense of the city. If you get a chance (maybe over a weekend?) I love Crown Candy (surrounding areas can be rough, get good directions), Iron Barley (easily accessed by taking 55 South), Niche (upscale, awesome food), and Blues City Deli (wonderful sandwiches and lots of hipsters). I hope you get the time to appreciate our red-brick architecture and diverse neighborhoods. Report back if you get the chance?

                1 Reply
                1. re: tonifi

                  well there IS a Steak n Shake and a White Castle nearby...

                  the Parkway is much faster than Delmar, it's SO Speed Racer going through central Clayton and then scoot North on Skinker. I was last at Cicero's a few years ago, and snarfed down a lunch I was sure I couldn't finish.

                  downtown seems far, but it really isn't any farther than 20 minutes esp. if they I-70 reversible lanes are open. Is Tony's still as good as it was back in the day?

                  OP: by local do you mean non-chain or locavore? 'cause also in the UC Loop Riddles prides itself on regional sources (but I haven't eaten there in years due to geography/schedule issues)

                2. St. Louis is not a great restaurant city, and the area around Lambert is even worse. I would try going south to Clayton or the U City Loop for variety. Both are about 15 minutes from the Airport. The Central West End (CWE) is a bit further. Here are my picks:

                  Royal Chinese BBQ on Olive, about 1/2 mile East of I-170;
                  PI on Delmar in the Loop;
                  Dewey's Pizza on Delmar and North South Rd;
                  Wasabi Sushi in Clayton;
                  Cafe Napoli (a bit more expensive);
                  Pappy BBQ - Olive near St Louis University. A bit further than the CWE. The only decent BBQ in St. Louis. I agree with the other posting - Go for lunch, because they run out of food early;
                  Annie Gunns - Out West in Chesterfield, about 25 minutes from the airport, and more expensive, but good if you want a bit of a splurge.

                  1. Definitely if you can get away, most of those above I recommend --Pappy's, Niche,Pi,
                    crown candy are all St Louis each in their own way.
                    If you go to Pi the Kirkwood location has Matthew Sweet the pastry chef from Niche making some wonderful chocolate malts

                    There are a few places relatively close and not too expensive. Some are kind of hole in the wall.
                    Erio's-St Louis pizza
                    4434 Woodson Rd(You can see the airport.
                    Next door is a taco place -several kinds of pork tacos, chicken tinga, barbacoa(lamb on the weekends) tacos served with cilantro, onion and a squirt of lime

                    If you go a little further down Woodson then you have Nick and Elena's-very casual pizza- family owned. There are also lots of little Mexican places all a little different-not sure of the name but one is in a old taco bell and very down home.

                    I70 to Lindbergh North

                    India Palace

                    also on Lindbergh but south of 70
                    Massa's old school -kind of dark -but has its own I have always enjoyed the food

                    You might find Italian that is a little more refined at Tratoria Marcella but it is more of a drive.

                    Another place that just opened in St. Charles is Quintessential. You can jump on 70 and go across the bridge to 5th street. It has a large historic area. Most of the food on Main st. is not that great but the Q is pretty good. It has a rooftop bar and tables and the downstairs is beautifully decorated. We had dinner on the rooftop and it was great. I don't know how many more days we will have to do that.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: wekick

                      Wekick. I did not know that about the shakes at Pi. Do they have interesting/unique flavors? Or the normal stuff?


                    2. We ARE a great restaurant town. But the previous posts are correct in that the north county area is a wasteland as far as restaurants go. They're also correct that you're not much more than 20 minutes from anything. Since you'll be here a while, try some of the following - just google them for addresses and hours. Atlas on Pershing, small wonderful food, need a reservation; Brazie's, great Italian-very reasonable-shrimp sambuca and beef mudega great-south near the Hill-need a reservation; Frazer's Brown Bag-funky, great food, salmon Frazer a staple, reasonably priced-near Brewery-need a reservation; O'Connell's for a burger-Irish pub atmosphere pretty authentic-cheap-on S. Kingshighway near the Hill; Michael's on Manchester in Maplewood-really cheap-best fried cod sandwich-good Greek salad and burgers; Citizen Kane's, Kirkwood - worth the trip for a steak - need a reservation, crowded, noisy in a restored victorian house. If you've got an expense account meal - hands down - Sidney Street Cafe in Benton Park.

                      1. Thanks for all the recommendations. I have a lot to work with.

                        I did find a local italian restaurant - Meglio's Bar and Grill on St. Charles Rock Road near the Best Buy. I wandered in late on a rainy Tuesday night and was the only customer in the place. I sat at the bar and had a pizza and chatted with the owner and the wait staff. The pizza was very good, although I'm not a St. Louis pizza expert. The ingredients were very fresh and the Italian sausage excellent. I'll go back to try their pastas. Hopefully I'll have more company next time other than the waitress!

                        Best Buy
                        8301 3rd St N, Saint Paul, MN 55128

                        1. If you ever make it to the landing area, make sure you check out the Drunken Fish, I had the diver scallops that were delicious after the Colts/Rams game last weekend. Wife had the Tempura battered shrimp dinner that was great also.
                          Sushi also available & a vast selection as well.