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Jul 21, 2010 04:29 AM

Must Have Eats in St. Louis

I will be in St. Louis the first week of August for a wedding and am looking for must have eats. I will be staying at the Hilton at the Ballpark. With the wedding I am not sure my schedule will allow for a full dinner; but I should have time to grab lunch and snacks around the city.

So, I am looking for eats that I must try- something like custard at Ted Drewes. I remember Alton Brown doing a piece on the donuts in St. Louis. So, who has the best donuts? Unique hambrgers, pie, cupcakes, etc. I like all kinds of food and will have a car to travel. I don't mind standing in line either!

I would appreciate any and all suggestions for must have eats in St. Louis. Please tell me the restaurant and most importantly, what I should get! Thanks!


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  1. An easy drive north from downtown is the Crown Candy Kitchen. I would do a malt - they push adding a banana to the malt, but I would skip the banana. To go with the malt, an egg salad sandwich if you are a vegetarian and a BLT if you are not.

    An easy drive south from downtown is Iron Barley. Try a Monte Cristo, as featured on Man Vs. Food.

    Iron Barley
    5510 Virginia Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63111

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

    1. If you don't try a St. Paul sandwich, you will not have experienced a great civic treasure. There have been numerous prior posts (including several by me) about this item--an egg foo yung sandwich on white bread with lettuce, pickle, tomato, and mayonnaise. Sounds bizarre, maybe, but you won't regret trying it. Only found at hole-in-the-wall cheap Chinese restaurants, often in low rent neighborhoods.

      2 Replies
      1. re: alan

        Thank you Alan! My sister mentioned this exact sandwich and I forgot to inquire about it.

        Is there a place you would recommend?


        1. re: danagrace

          The first place I ever had one is allegedly the site of its invention: Park Chop Suey.
          It's not far from downtown (no longer on Park Ave., but not far from where it began) so it will be easy to stop by. I noticed that the price is still astoundingly low--pretty typical of these places. You get a pork St. Paul and a half order of fried rice and you're in carb heaven--completely satisfied and bloated. Enjoy!

          Park Chop Suey
          1321 Chouteau Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63103

      2. Steak & Shake is a must. :>)

        1 Reply
        1. re: tusti

          I like S & S but, with all due respect, it's a chain with a wide Midwest presence. I'd focus on those things that are unique to St. Louis.

        2. Food unique to or started in St. Louis-
          St. Louis Italian
          thin crust pizza/provel cheese oft maligned and criticized by outsiders! I would try a family run place. Even more specific is "north county " style which is served in a rectangular pan.
          Nick and Elena's
          Fratelli's also has a creamy salad dressing that is very good, They have the rope style provel cheese on the salad that is unique to St. Louis. There are many others.
          toasted ravioli-I think most places buy it already made, but Tratoria Marcella makes theirs.

          pork steaks-It used to be the only place you could find these was in someone's back yard grill but you will see it sometimes on the menu at local restaurants. Mel's Famous BBQ has had them but I would call to make sure. Also Olive Street Smokehouse has them.

          St. Paul sandwich
 Wong's Inn on Big Bend near Manchester

          Gooey Butter Cake-- McArthur's Bakery

          slingers-Here's a blog about them

          Brain sandwiches-sorry no specific recs

          St Louis has one of the biggest if not the biggest Bosnian communities in the US. You might want to try Bosna Gold, Gribc or Berix coffeehouse

          Other things that are worth a trip-
          Lunch @ Farmhaus M-F only a different plate lunch every day-excellent
          BBQ at Pappy's(ribs are great
          )Brasserie by Niche-
          Chocolate banana malt @ Crown Candy (whether you add the banana or not is a matter of personal taste-I love it)
          Kakao Chocolate-Yum! My favorite in St. Louis.
          Sugaree for pie on Fri and Sat

          Bosna Gold Restaurant
          4601 Gravois Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63116

          Brasserie by Niche
          4580 Laclede Ave, St. Louis, MO 63108

          2 Replies
          1. re: wekick

            I'm so used to St. Paul Sandwiches that I often forget they're a St. Louis those horrible things. :)

            Thank you Wekick for the blog shoutout...slingers are best eaten drunk or hungover. Where you go for that one depends on how adventurous you are. I'd reccomend the Buttery Restaurant on South Grand.

            St. Louis Style Pizza...Try Riley's Pub on Arsenal @ Pestalozzi.

            North County Pizza...Angelo's

            Gooey Butter Cake at Park Coffee.

            Riley's Pub
            3458 Arsenal St, Saint Louis, MO 63118

            1. re: wekick

              Kudos to ekick. This is a first-rate list! Do all of these things and go home 97 lbs. bigger but with a tremendous smile on your face.

            2. If you get a chance, Ted Drewes for frozen custard and Dad's Cookie Company for scotch oatmeal cookies. Just had a St. Paul sandwich tonight from China King. Ask your hotel front desk staff for their chinese delivery menu. It's sure to be on there! I adore Pho Grand for Vietnamese and it's worthwhile if you don't have easy access to It at home. If you go, tell Tammy that Kim and Mike aka Tiny sent you. I also love the strip steak at Seamus McDaniel's in Dogtown. Great pub, great food and conveniently close to the Zoo.

              Seamus McDaniel's
              1208 Tamm Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63139