St. Louis Restaurant Guide

I get asked for my restaurant recommendations All. The. Time. And I love to give recommendations, but I tend to shoot off a text here…a Facebook message there…an email once and awhile. So I didn’t have a comprehensive list that I could send people to whenever they asked. This serves that purpose. I hope you enjoy!

All of these are places I’ve tried myself, usually multiple times. If there is a restaurant you want me to try that isn’t on this list, contact me here:

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Splurge:

  • Tony’s - Warm sports bar & eatery supplying a variety of Italian & American specialties in a sizable space.

  • Sidney Street Cafe - Inventive New American cuisine served in a sophisticated but comfy setting with exposed-brick walls.

  • Stone Soup Cottage - Multicourse French dinners served in a sophisticated farmhouse restaurant with a patio.

  • The Crossing - Imaginative, high-end cuisine combining French & Italian influences in tasting menus or à la carte.

Date Night/Out with Friends:

  • Louie - Neighborhood hangout supplying wood-fired pizzas, pasta & wine.

  • Yellowbelly - a bright, modern bar and restaurant with the feel of a relaxing, seaside getaway.

  • theBao - ''the BAO'' is a steamed bun they craft in house every day. They are a combination of east-west food culture, influenced by international tastes.

  • Vin de Set - Southern French a la carte & set-price menus in a warm bistro setting with a rooftop bar.

  • Vicia - Sleek eatery for local, seasonal cuisine highlighting vegetables & sustainably raised meats.

  • Blood and Sand - Swanky parlor offering craft cocktails & inventive New American plates to members & their guests.

  • Elaia - Mediterranean fine-dining spot, connected to Olio, with à la carte, fixed-price & tasting menus.

  • Nixta - Hip spot for upscale, inventive Mexican dishes & creative cocktails served late-night.

  • Olive and Oak - Creative American classics & cocktails are featured at this intimate joint with a warm ambiance.

  • The Shaved Duck - Brick-walled setting for barbecue & Southern specialties served alongside American craft beers.

  • Farmhaus - Relaxed venue for chef-driven farm-to-table New American eats, plus blue-plate specials at lunch.

  • Eleven Eleven Mississippi - Celebrated bistro for Californian cuisine with a wine emphasis in a stylish renovated-factory space.

  • Bar Les Fares - Restaurant serving traditional French bistro cuisine in a sophisticated, low-lit space with a bar.

  • Peacemaker Lobster and Crab - Rustic-chic eatery offering classic seafood such as lobster, po' boys & shrimp, plus a raw bar.

  • Broadway Oyster Bar - Down-home hangout featuring Cajun classics plus nightly live music & a hopping outdoor patio.

  • Olio - Easygoing wine bar in a stylishly remodeled service station serving Mediterranean small plates.

Budget and Delicious:

  • Gioia’s Deli - Famous for their Hot Salami Sandwich. I order a Hot Salami on white bread with provolone and mustard. Keep it simple, the hot salami is the highlight.

  • Pappy’s BBQ - Order-at-the-counter favorite for wood-smoked Memphis-style barbecue in down-home digs.

  • Hi Pointe Drive- In - Hip, modern spot for burgers & sandwiches highlighting local ingredients in a former 1980s drive-in.

  • Taco Buddha - Counter serve producing unexpected taco fillings inspired by cuisines from around the world.

Gerard Craft Restaurants:

  • Cinder House - Gather around the fire, take in the sights and enjoy James Beard-Award Winning Chef Gerard Craft's wood-fired menu atop the Four Season's Hotel.

  • Sardella - Airy cafe serving Italian-inspired dishes made from local ingredients in Mediterranean-style digs.

  • Taste - Chill tavern serves craft cocktails & New American small plates in a warm space with sleek decor.

  • Brasserie by Niche - French brasserie fare at dinner/weekend brunch in classic digs with a wall of windows to the street.

Best Place to get a Cocktail:

  • Taste - I once sat at the bar and told the bartender what kind of wine I liked to drink and he made me an amazing cocktail. This is the kind of place where you just let the bartender do his/her thing and try not to get in the way with too many opinions.

  • Sanctuaria - They have a cocktail club with members only cocktails. I’m jealous as hell that I’m not a member. But you can still go and order great drinks even if you don’t have a membership!

  • Blood + Sand - They have all of my favorite classics (Aviation and Bees Knees to name just two) but they also have their own unique concoctions, too. It used to be members only but now it is open to the public. I love the speakeasy vibe.

  • Yellowbelly - when I’m “home sick” for Hawaii (I’ve been twice in my life, so don’t be fooled…I’m not a regular) I go to Yellowbelly. I can’t for the life of me make a decent mai tai, but they’ve got on that is spot-on.

For Breakfast:

  • Half & Half - Classic American breakfast & lunch offerings plus gourmet coffee in a relaxed setting.

  • Rooster - Cheerful daytime cafe offers sweet/savory crepes & farm-fresh dishes in a sunlit, colorful interior.

  • The Mud House - Cozy haunt lures locals with coffee drinks, breakfast, pastries, sandwiches & outdoor seating.

  • Cafe Osage - Garden-store cafe featuring patio seating & breakfast/lunch fare made with veggies grown on-site.

  • Winslow’s Home - Part restaurant & part market, serving updated American comfort food, home items & groceries.

St. Charles

  • Prasino - Polished performer executing select, carefully-sourced New American dishes in smart surrounds.

  • Bella Vino Wine Bar - Small plates, global wines & clever cocktails served in a charming, brick-lined house with a patio.

  • Pangea - Refined kitchen serving a diverse menu of internationally inspired comfort fare for brunch & dinner.

  • Sugarfire Smokehouse - Rustic local BBQ chain serving ribs, salmon, brisket cheesesteaks, spiked shakes & more.