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Jun 4, 2011 10:25 PM

One amazing lunch in St. Louis - Help?

Hey fellow chowhounds!

I'm headed across the country for a big move and will be driving through St. Louis around lunch. Since it will be the first time I will be visiting the city, I must know:

What is the number one type of food I must try in St. Louis? I've heard the pizza is incredible. Other suggestions? Specific places to try? The best place in town for lunch?

As far as price range, I am traveling with my mother and she doesn't like spending too much money, so something between 15 and 20 dollars per person would be the ballpark for lunch. Also, my location will be pretty limited and I don't want to venture too far out into the city, and will be sticking near I-64. I will, however, be visiting the Gateway arch, so something around that area would be perfect!


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  1. St. Louis style pizza is easily the most controversial food subject in this town and always will be. And I'm going to stay out of that argument; others will have suggestions. Close to I-64, which in this town will forever be "highway 40" (frequently pronounced "farty" and it's not referring to body function), are several great places. Within walking distance of the Arch if the weather is nice is Anthony's, the less-formal version of Tony's. Small, rather elegant but not expensive, the house's excellent soups, a particularly excellent caesar salad, sandwiches, a pasta of the day, a good hamburger - and a nice cocktail if you like.

    A little farther west is Pappy's for barbecue. You'll see plenty of discussion about it here on CH.It really is that good, and it's only about 3 blocks north of the highway. Google will get you there; use the Jefferson Ave exit northbound and left on Olive.

    I know others will have more to offer.

    Pappy's Smokehouse
    3106 Olive St, St Louis, MO

    3 Replies
    1. re: lemons

      I love St. Louis style pizza, but I had to read that twice to make sure it said "incredible" and not "inedible".

      I totally agree with the Pappy's rec, although it might be fun to venture just south of the arch to the Soulard neighborhood to check out Bogart's BBQ. Soulard will give you a real feel for St. Louis.

      If you are coming through on a weekday, 1111 Mississippi in Lafayette Square might also be a nice stop. It's right off of 64 near Jefferson.

      nnie Gunn's is also great and is off of 64 about 30 minutes west of the city.

      1. re: mtoo

        I too wholeheartedly endorse Bogart's Smokehouse in Soulard...great way to see real St. Louis, also nearby is Franco, a French-American bistro in the Soulard Market Apts. complex. I am a native Chicagoan so, NOT a fan of St. Louis-style pizza. However, if you have a yen for pizza, in Soulard Ferarro's (NJ-style) is very good, and PW Pizza near the intersection of Mississippi and Chouteau (not far from I-64 and Jefferson ) is excellent. Adriana's does some of the best Italian/Sicilian sandwiches I have ever had, it's on Shaw in the Hill neighborhood off Kingshighway and I-44 (which is not far from I-64)

        Pappy's is good, but I like Bogart's better. Beware that the South Grand exit is closed off I-64, you'll need to get off probably on Vandeventer.

      2. re: lemons

        lemons: a wise move.let's ALL back away slowly from the oven. (after 20 years away I'm still sorta flipped when I see packs of provel at the store - and I actually like the stuff)

      3. If you are visiting the Arch, you will probably be parking in the parking garage to the north of the Arch. The garage entrance is on Washington Avenue. Just a short walk up Washington is Tigin's Irish Pub, where you will get a nice lunch that will fit your mother's budget.

        Irish Pub
        PO Box 176, Montrose, SD 57048

        3 Replies
        1. re: Doug

          Please note that, due to CH's less than stellar linking system, Tigin's Irish Pub somehow ended up in Sioux Falls, SD. Fear not; you don't need to travel quite so far afield to get a good lunch. Be aware, however, that Tigin's is a chain, not St. Louis based, and, consequently, would not in any way fill the bill. I'll be so bold as to suggest you avoid the pizza here. It's not by any means what we do best. If you want something you'll never have anywhere else, get a St. Paul sandwich (see multiple prior threads for locations, but Park Chop Suey would be among the most convenient to downtown). Even after you add a half order of pork fried rice, you'll have $15 left over from your starting $20, which you can use to buy a concrete at Ted Drewe's, leaving $10 to spend on gasoline. Lemons is an always reliable reporter and she has not failed you here: Pappy's is great; so is Anthony's.

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

            1. re: lemons

              You don't say what day you will be here, do you? It might matter, since some places are closed on Sundays and Mondays. I haven't actually 'eaten' at Bogarts, but when I was walking by on Saturday a woman at one of the picnic tables caught my eye just as she was taking a bite of her pulled pork. She actually yelped, "OHMYGOD! THIS IS SOOO GOOD!" I kind of laughed a little and she jumped up and ran over and gave me a bit of it. I was carrying a bag or mushrooms and dragging a market cart...I'd been at Soulard Farmer's market next door), and she actually stuck it in my mouth.Oh. My. God. It was soooo good. I'm planning lunch there myself, this week.
              Bogarts for lunch would let you then make a quick trip up to Park Avenue Coffee to try another St. Louis special, gooey butter cake. They run the gamut from powdered-sugar bombs sold in supermarkets to the incredible "chewy' butter version done by Companion bakery (a favorite), but Park Avenue makes a good one, and they sell it by the slice...perfect for a grab-and-go dessert.

              Park Avenue Coffee
              1919 Park Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63104