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Best St. Louis Restaurants

I'm traveling to St. Louis in March and am looking for the following:

1. The best Barbeque
2. The best inventive restaurant with original dishes
3. The best wine list
4. The best lunch/brunch spot

Please suggest. Thanks!

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  1. The best BBQ is a relatively new restaurant called Pappy's, located west of downtown near St. Louis University. Go early -- they sometimes run out of the most popular meats. Excellent ribs, very good pulled pork -- order it with the bark, untrimmed.

    Most notable upscale restaurant with creative dishes is Niche, in Benton Park just southwest of downtown. An up and comer is Monarch, whose chef has come from An American Place.

    It might help if you specified where you are staying or coming to do -- we could point you to places downtown, in Clayton, or out in the county.

    2 Replies
    1. re: nosh

      Nosh nailed it on ##1 and 2, although I'd also put a vote in for Five in the second category. Others will have to weigh in on wine lists, although I've always heard good things about Riddle's Penultimate. Lunch/brunch is such a broad category. Let us know if you're looking for a real Sunday brunch spot, in which case you might check out Nadoz, or if you're seeking a place that serves great sandwiches, or if you have something else in mind for your lunch.

      1. re: alan

        Pappy's is very good (be warned that they run out of things and peak times are often zoo-like). I found a newish place called Smokin' Joes in the loft district, on Washington Ave., and I like it as well or better than Pappy's. Great dry rub, eclectic area, and nicer atmosphere.

        http://www.smokingjoesbbq.com/

        Niche is a winner, as is their tasting room next door. I have heard very good things about Five, but have not been. Monarch is indeed very good, as is Riddles, in the Delmar Loop area, which is both a tourist and a locals hang-out with a diverse collection of shops and eateries. Riddles is more of a bar atmosphere, but a broad menu with many locally sources items. Not especially cheap, though. Have not been to Nadoz for brunch ins everal years, but it was very fine when I went. If you are looking for an a la carte one you might try Molly's in Soulard,

    2. I, too, will be in St Louis in March for a conference. This is my first time to this area and I don't know where to start food-wise. I take it St Louis ribs have a claim to fame but what else is a St Louis specialty not to be missed? I'll be staying at the Renaissance St. Louis Grand Hotel on Washington Ave and would love suggestions for lunches and dinners in that area (anything suitable for solo dining ideally). Also, is this a car-dependent town or can I get good meals traveling by foot?

      6 Replies
      1. re: GSM

        Believe it or not, while there is a cut of ribs named after st. Louis, KC is really the bbq place. I echo my above post about Pappy's (probably about a mile or so from the Renaissance), and Smokin' Joe's. Washington Ave has many choices, Mosiac, Kitchen K, Lucas Park Grill, Bridge and Tunnel Pizza, American Place (in the hotel itself, heard it has gone downhill somewhat but have never been) and many others. Peruse this site for more ideas.
        http://www.saucemagazine.com/

        Washington Ave. is also the loft district nexus, and if you head a few blocks south there are a number of choices, Rooster being a good one for breakfast.

        1. re: GSM

          There are a few foods STL's known for...barbecued pork steaks, gooey butter cake, and the slinger.

          I love, love, love slingers. :)