The SLM Restaurant Guide: Editors' Picks

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Grilled fillet of halibut.

Restaurants in this listing are chosen by St. Louis Magazine's editorial staff on the basis of food quality, selection, service, atmosphere, and value. The magazine accepts no advertising or other consideration in exchange for listings. Average entrée prices are based on dinner menus. Click here for the comprehensive, searchable SLM Restaurant Guide.


Midtown/Grand Center
Soulard/Benton Park/Lafayette Square
South City
Central West End
Dogtown/The Hill
University City/Delmar Loop
Brentwood/Maplewood/Richmond Heights/Hi-Pointe
Rock Hill/Webster Groves
Kirkwood/Des Peres
Creve Coeur/Olivette
West County
South County
North City & County
St. Charles & Beyond
Metro East
Multiple Locations


$ Entrées $10 or Less
$$ Entrées $11–$17
$$$ Entrées $18–$24
$$$$ Entrées $25 or More


Al’s Restaurant
Steakhouse. This time portal back to the genteel era of dinner-jacketed waiters, swanky cocktails, and stockyards of beef manages to make “dated” a very good (if pricey) thing. Steaks are superb, service is perfectly polished, and the atmosphere’s decidedly formal. Al’s is a memorable experience in elegant dining. Dinner Tue–Sat. 1200 N. First, 314-421-6399, $$$$

Baileys’ Range
Sandwiches. If beef patties aren’t sufficient for your fix at the city’s most extravagant burger bar, consider alternatives like bison,  pork, or lamb. House-made sauces sparkle; toppings are imaginative. Don’t neglect the local brews and booze-infused shakes. The atmosphere mixes industrial chic with country nostalgia. Lunch and dinner daily. 920 Olive, 314-241-8121, $–$$

Blondie’s Coffee and Wine Bar
American. Baked goods, sandwiches, and entrées are served in a comfy space. Breakfast and lunch daily, dinner Thu–Sat. 1301 Washington, 314-241-6100, $–$$

Bridge Tap House and Wine Bar
American. Bridge is all about upscale noshing: cheese and charcuterie platters, along with offbeat but delicious snacks such as duck tacos. If you can’t find one of the 200 beers or 100 wines to like, you’re too fussy. Brick walls and crowded tables make for a handsome but noisy environment. Lunch and dinner daily. 1004 Locust, 314-241-8141, $–$$

Broadway Oyster Bar
Cajun/Creole. Live music nightly makes les bon temps roulent, but those charbroiled oysters, jambalaya, and catfish don’t hurt. It’s not a dive but instead a dip; don’t be put off by the scruffy exterior. Inside, it’s friendly and happily packed, with wonderful beer and drinks. Lunch and dinner daily. 736 S. Broadway, 314-621-8811, $$

Carmine’s Steakhouse
Steakhouse. Beef gets all the attention, though savvy diners at this formal eatery in the shadow of the Arch often opt for specialties such as chicken Gorgonzola and spinaci scallops. A classic steak house with a long history, it’s the perfect destination for a special evening. Dinner daily. 20 S. Fourth, 314-241-1631, $$$$

Charlie Gitto’s Downtown
Italian. Celeb photos lining walls, tile floors… Only a pistol-equipped men’s room could make this “Little Italy” joint more iconic. The menu’s a textbook of Italian-American dishes: pastas, veal, steaks, chicken—and a stupendous seafood risotto. Locals and tourists mix in this delicious institution. Lunch and dinner Mon–Sat. 207 N. Sixth, 314-436-2828, $$$–$$$$

A-List 2014
Contemporary Italian. Few local restaurants can match Cielo for its combination of sleek
sophistication and exquisite dining. Vistas of the riverfront are stunning. The atmosphere is cool, refined. The menu tilts Italian with an upscale twist—veal-and-truffle ravioli—with an excellent wine list. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. 999 N. Second, 314-881-2105, $$$$

Clark Street Grill
American. The Continental menu has Pan-Asian and French influences. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. The Westin St. Louis, 811 Spruce, 314-552-5850, $$$$

Copia Urban Winery & Market
American. Relaxed and comfortable (especially the charming patio), Copia’s the place for an evening spent noshing and sampling wine. Three-course specialties are a great bargain. Smaller offerings—arancini and BBQ pulled-pork sliders—are worthy. The attached retail wine store is impressive. Lunch Mon–Fri, dinner daily. 1122 Washington, 314-241-9463, $$$

Death in the Afternoon
American. Despite the name, this is some of the best chef-driven lunch fare in town, served on the grounds of Citygarden. Lunch Mon–Sat. 808 Chestnut, 314-621-3236, $–$$

The Docket
A-List 2014
American. What? Another restaurant in a law school? Yes, but this one has a wood-fired oven for pizzas. A daily chef’s table buffet is invariably delicious. Sandwiches and pasta dishes and lovely streetside views make this light, airy space a worthwhile spot for lunch or dinner. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner Mon–Fri. 100 N. Tucker, 314-977-4615. $–$$

The Drunken Fish
Japanese/Sushi. See Multiple Locations.

The Dubliner
Irish/Bar & Grill. Order a Black & Tan and a shepherd’s pie, along with a glass of Jameson’s for dessert. Yeats isn’t this Irish. Invariably packed and dark, The Dubliner’s full of nooks for intimate moments between you and your whiskey. Lunch and dinner daily. 1025 Washington, 314-421-4300, $$

Hiro Asian Kitchen
A-List 2014
Asian Fusion. Perhaps the city’s only restaurant to make “Asian fusion” worthwhile, Hiro serves up such imaginative dishes as the crispy pork belly sliders (pictured). Ramen with pork belly is a must-try. The décor is cool, the service is friendly, and the Asian eats are amazingly good (and don’t forget the cocktails). The Sunday brunch is spectacular. Lunch and dinner Mon–Sat. 1405 Washington, 314-241-4476, $$$

India Palace
Northern Indian. See Multiple Locations.

Joe Buck’s
American/Sports Bar. See Multiple Locations.

Joey B’s on the Landing
Bar & Grill. See Multiple Locations.

Kemoll’s Italian Restaurant
Traditional Italian. Kemoll’s is part of St. Louis’ Italian restaurant royalty. Get a seat near windows that offer wonderful views; sunset dinners here are unforgettable. The fare is traditional Italian; the steaks are outstanding. The atmosphere is refreshingly formal, and service is friendly. A $30 “early dinner” menu is a terrific bargain. Lunch Mon–Fri, dinner Mon–Sat. 211 N. Broadway, 314-421-0555, $$$$

Lombardo’s Trattoria
Italian. See Multiple Locations.

Lucas Park Grille & Market
American. One of few downtown eateries open into the wee hours, and many a night’s revelry concludes here. There’s also an unrestrained menu, from smoked wild boar ribs to lobster ravioli. You’ll find plenty of TVs, but they don’t overwhelm the clubby atmosphere. Lunch and dinner daily. 1234 Washington, 314-241-7770, $$–$$$

Peruvian/Ethnic. You don’t always crave Peruvian chow, but when you do, you head for this Loft District eatery. A menu explains the spicy, exotic fare, and servers competently explain the details. Don’t neglect the Pisco Sours. The interior’s chic, beautifully lit, and recommended for a romantic date. Lunch Mon–Sat, dinner daily. 1101 Lucas, 314-621-9993, $$

Mike Shannon’s Steaks and Seafood
Steakhouse. This downtown institution is where you’ll find steaks, burgers, and no shortage of baseball memorabilia. The menu has steakhouse prices, with aged prime beef to match. The ’64 Tower appetizer is an amazing pillar o’ seafood. The house-made desserts are terrific. Lunch Mon–Fri, dinner daily. 620 Market, 314-421-1540, $$$$

Morgan Street Brewery & Restaurant
American/Bar & Grill. It’s fit for business meals, with house microbrews and a beer garden. Lunch and dinner Tue–Sun. 721 N. Second, 314-231-9970, $–$$

Prime 1000
Steakhouse. At one of the city’s premier steakhouses, the salt block–studded aging room is a temple to top-grade protein, dispensing meltingly tender cuts. A notable wine list lubricates the experience. Expect lofty prices and perfect service—and return for the lounge’s exceptional burger. Lunch and dinner Mon–Sat. 1000 Washington, 314-241-1000, $$$–$$$$

American/Small Plates. See Multiple Locations.

Creperie/French. Expect a wait for the cheese-laden crêpes, loaded scrambles, and suitably lavish French toast. Don’t forget the chopped salad (pictured), with smoked salmon, cous cous, and more. The setting’s light and comfy but loud. Locals linger over coffee and segue with cocktails into brunch. Breakfast and lunch daily. 1104 Locust, 314-241-8118, $

Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse
Steakhouse. Views of the Arch, Mississippi River, and downtown are a big part of the attraction for this particular link in a high-end chain. Expect outstanding steaks, sides, and service. The restaurant’s large enough to accommodate bigger parties but also offers curtained spaces for intimate dining. Dinner daily. 315 Chestnut, 314-259-3200, $$$$

Sauce on the Side
Italian/American. See Multiple Locations.

Schlafly Tap Room
Bar & Grill. Enjoy pub fare with 33 craft-brewed Schlafly beers and cask-conditioned ales. Lunch and dinner daily. 2100 Locust, 314-241-2337, $$

Sen Thai Asian Bistro
Asian/Sushi. All of your favorite Thai dishes—noodles, curries, and soups—are served in a beautiful setting. This lunch destination is popular with downtown workers; you’ll get a table faster at dinner. Try the Bamee BBQ pork, a Thai street food classic that’s found in few local Thai places. Lunch Mon–Fri, dinner daily. 1221 Locust, 314-436-3456, $$

Sandwiches/Deli. See Multiple Locations.

Three Sixty
Small Plates. Famous for its wraparound vistas and bird’s-eye view of Busch Stadium, Three Sixty
has fire pits and cocktails that make for convivial gatherings. It’s hip, chic, and often busy. The menu’s a modern take on tapas, with fish tacos and lobster risotto (pictured). Unless you’re fond of massive crowds, avoid weekend visits. Dinner daily. One S. Broadway, 314-421-1776, $$

2014 Restaurant of the Year
Italian. For many St. Louisans, this legendary place defines decorous dining. Nominally, it’s fine Italian specialties; really, it’s a panoply of tableside presentations, genteel service, and a lavish atmosphere that balances just short of ostentatious. Sauces are luxuriant, ingredients are impeccable, and preparations are flawless. It’s expensive but worth it. Dinner Tue–Sat. 410 Market, 314-231-7007, $$$$

Wasabi Sushi Bar
Japanese/Sushi. See Multiple Locations.


Café Ventana
American. Gaslights along three patios, beignets, and a full bar… Are we in the Quarter? Breakfast, lunch, and dinner 365 days a year. 3919 W. Pine, 314-531-7801, $

City Diner
Homestyle American. See Multiple Locations.

The Fountain on Locust
American. It’s a must, from its huge mural to the World’s Smallest Hot Fudge Sundae. Lunch and dinner Tue–Sun. 3037 Locust, 314-535-7800, $–$$

Nadoz Bakery + Café
Bakery/Café. See Multiple Locations

Pappy’s Smokehouse
Barbecue. Sample the ribs or pulled pork, and see what all the fuss is about. Lunch and dinner Mon–Fri, lunch and early dinner weekends. 3106 Olive, 314-535-4340, $–$$

Small Batch
American. A 100 percent vegetarian menu gets paired with dark spirits in a former Ford Model T showroom. Dinner daily. 3001 Locust, 314-380-2040, $$

Triumph Grill
Contemporary American. This motorcycle-themed restaurant has a menu with lots of twists and turns. Lunch Mon–Sat, dinner daily. 3419 Olive, 314-446-1801, $$

Italian/Pizza. Vito’s serves pizza and other family recipes. Lunch Mon–Fri, dinner Mon–Sat. 3515 Lindell, 314-534-8486, $$


Baileys’ Chocolate Bar
Desserts. As the name implies, this place serves desserts—and chocolate martinis. Dinner and desserts daily. 1915 Park, 314-241-8100, $$

Blues City Deli
Sandwiches/Deli. This sandwich shop is as cool as Cool Papa Bell, with live blues every Thu and Sat. Lunch only Mon–Sat, plus Thu evening. 2438 McNair, 314-773-8225, $

Bogart’s Smokehouse
Barbecue. Apricot-glazed ribs are “brûléed” with a roofer’s torch. Lunch Tue–Sat, dinner Fri & Sat. 1627 S. Ninth, 314-621-3107, $–$$

Reviewed January ’14 / A-List 2014
Creative American. This bi-level space offers items like scallops with chorizo and watermelon. Lunch Mon–Fri, dinner Mon–Sat. 1419 Carroll, 314-241-1674, $$–$$$

Eleven Eleven Mississippi
American/Italian. Dishes like braised rabbit with goat-cheese polenta are served in a cozy space. Lunch Mon–Fri, dinner Mon–Sat. 1111 Mississippi, 314-241-9999, $$$

Ernesto’s Wine Bar
American/Small Plates. With as many seats as wines by the glass, Ernesto’s is a neighborhood gem. Dinner Tue–Sat. 2730 McNair, 314-664-4511, $$

Creative American/French. High ceilings and a hip design define this French-inspired bistro. Dinner Mon–Sat. 1535 S. Eighth, 314-436-2500, $$$

Frazer’s Restaurant & Lounge
Creative American. This eclectic Benton Park favorite specializes in fresh seafood. Lunch Mon–Fri, dinner Mon–Sat. 1811 Pestalozzi, 314-773-8646, $$–$$$

Jax Café
A-List 2014
American. Co-owner and chef Brian Hale brings a fine-dining touch to comfort food at this charming, whimsical Benton Park café. Lunch Wed–Sun, dinner Wed–Sat. 2901 Salena, 314-449-1995, $

Llywelyn’s Pub
Welsh/Bar & Grill. See Multiple Locations.

Mission Taco Joint
A-List 2014
Mexican/Taqueria. See Multiple Locations.

Molly’s in Soulard
Creative American/Cajun. The decor says “New Orleans,” and the fare confirms it. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sat & Sun. 816 Geyer, 314-241-6200, $$$

The Peacemaker Lobster & Crab Co.
Seafood. East Coast and Acadian cuisine—lobster rolls, po’ boys, gumbo—meet in a Maine coast–like crab-shack atmosphere, courtesy of chef-owner Kevin Nashan. Dinner daily. 1831 Sidney, 314-772-8858, $$

Planter’s House
American. Famed mixologist Ted Kilgore serves up creative cocktails and accompaniments. Evenings Tue–Sun. 1000 Mississippi, 314-696-2603, $$

PW Pizza
Pizza. This pizza restaurant from the owners of 1111 Mississippi and Vin de Set offers pies with seasonal ingredients. Lunch and dinner daily. 2017 Chouteau, 314-241-7799, $$

Ricardo’s Italian Café
Casual Italian. This intimate spot in Lafayette Square serves fairly priced, classic Italian fare. Lunch Tue–Fri, dinner Mon-Sat. 1931 Park, 314-421-4833, $$$

Sassy Jac’s
American/Southern. This family-owned, Southern-leaning spot serves a delicious muffuletta-inspired salad. Lunch and dinner Tue–Sat. 1730 S. Eighth, 314-932-1280, $–$$

Sidney Street Cafe
American. Many argue that SLM’s 2013 Restaurant of the Year is the most romantic restaurant in the city. Dinner Tue–Sat. 2000 Sidney, 314-771-5777, $$$–$$$$

Soulard Coffee Garden Café
Bakery/Café. Specialties include omelets, sandwiches, beer, wine, and coffee. Breakfast, lunch, and early dinner daily. 910 Geyer, 314-241-1464, $

American. Built in a 100-year-old wire factory, it serves seafood, pasta, and more. Live music on weekends, lunch and dinner daily. 1415 S. 18th, 314-865-3522, $$$

Tucker’s Place
Steakhouse/Bar & Grill. See Multiple Locations.

Vin de Set
American/French. This rooftop bistro puts an American spin on French staples. Lunch Tue–Fri, dinner Tue–Sun. 2017 Chouteau, 314-241-8989, $$$

Yemanja Brasil
Brazilian/Steakhouse. Specialties include feijoada and caipirinhas (Brazil’s national drink). Dinner Tue–Sun. 2900 Missouri, 314-771-7457, $$


Aya Sofia
Turkish/European. Lamb shanks and shrimp kebabs are served in a romantic setting. Lunch Tue–Fri, dinner Tue–Sun. 6671 Chippewa, 314-645-9919, $$$

Banh Mi So #1–Saigon Gourmet
Vietnamese. It has the self-proclaimed “Best Spring Rolls in St. Louis.” No objection here. Lunch and dinner Tue–Sun. 4071 S. Grand, 314-353-0545, $–$$

Brazie’s Ristorante
Italian. It’s a neighborhood favorite. Why? It has gourmet dining at affordable prices. Lunch Tue–Fri, dinner daily. 3073 Watson, 314-481-5464. $$$

The Choice
Soul Food. The food served in this crystal-chandeliered restaurant elicits a smile as wide as that of owner Lillian Cooper. Lunch and dinner Tue–Sun. 3265 S. Jefferson, 314-776-5700. $$

City Diner
Homestyle American. See Multiple Locations.

The Dam
A-List 2014
American. A scratch kitchen kicks out Black Angus burgers and all-beef hot dogs to a 16-stool dining area. Lunch and dinner Mon–Sat. 3173 Morgan Ford, 314-771-3173, $

Mediterranean. Chef Ben Poremba creates elegant cuisine, while somm Andrey Ivanov oversees the wine program and Olio, Poremba’s superhip wine bar. Dinner Wed–Sat. 1634 Tower Grove, 314-932-1088, $$$–$$$$

Everest Café and Bar
Nepalese/Ethnic. Momo dumplings and lentil dal soup are among regional Nepalese faves. Lunch buffet and dinner Mon–Sat. 4145 Manchester, 314-531-4800, $$

Reviewed August ’14
Modern American. Serving locally sourced food, Farmhaus offers one Blue Plate Special per day. Lunch Mon–Fri, dinner Wed–Sat. 3257 Ivanhoe, 314-647-3800, $$

Nicaraguan/Pan-Latin. It has delicate empanadas and plantains aplenty—like the best Nicaraguan street food. Lunch and dinner daily. 2208 S. Jefferson, 314-664-7777, $–$$

Grbic Restaurant
Bosnian/European. Leave room for baklava after enjoying goulash in an Eastern European environment. Lunch and dinner Tue–Sun. 4071 Keokuk, 314-772-3100, $$–$$$

Hartford Coffee Company
Bakery/Café. Hartford has organic and fair-trade coffee, baked goods, and a children’s play area. Lunch and dinner daily. 3974 Hartford, 314-771-5282, $

Hodak’s Restaurant
American. It’s the winner of so many “best fried chicken” awards, regulars rarely open a menu. Lunch and dinner daily. 2100 Gravois, 314-776-7292, $

Iron Barley
Rustic American. Unusual takes on traditional faves are paired with local microbrews in an informal setting. Lunch and dinner Mon–Sat. 5510 Virginia, 314-351-4500, $$

Local Harvest Cafe
American/Vegetarian. Perhaps the city’s best example of “local” and “green,” this is one of the more creative restaurants in town. Brunch Sat & Sun. 3137 Morgan Ford, 314-772-8815, $–$$

Mama Josephine’s
American. Two words: comfort food—from eight-layer lasagna to  chicken-fried steak. Lunch and early dinner Tue–Sun. 4000 Shaw, 314-771-4001, $

Mangia Italiano
Italian. Mangia offers inexpensive pasta, focaccia pizza, and a wide drink selection. Lunch Mon–Sat, dinner daily, brunch Sun. 3145 S. Grand, 314-664-8585, $$

Mathew’s Kitchen
American. Pig wings are among the reasonably priced comfort food produced by affable chef Mathew Unger. Lunch and dinner Tue–Sun. 5625 Hampton, 314-351-1700, $$

The Mud House
Bakery/Café. It’s the only coffee shop in town with full-time chefs. Translation: good eats anytime. Breakfast, lunch, and early dinner daily. 2101 Cherokee, 314-776-6599, $

O’Connell’s Pub
Bar & Grill. A St. Louis tradition, O’Connell’s serves burgers and pints in a relaxed atmosphere. Lunch and dinner daily. 4652 Shaw, 314-773-6600, $

Wine Bar/Small Plates. Housed in a former gas station, Olio exudes cool. Lunch Mon–Sat, dinner daily, brunch Sun. 1634 Tower Grove, 314-932-1088, $–$$

Italian/Pizza. It’s difficult to choose between New York–style pizza and the Italian specialties. Lunch and dinner Wed–Mon. 5401 Finkman, 314-802-8883, $–$$

Pho Grand
Vietnamese. Indulge in cha gion, bun bo xao, or bo luc lac, a few of the many great choices on an extensive menu. Lunch and dinner Wed–Mon. 3195 S. Grand, 314-664-7435, $–$$

Pizzeria Tivoli
Pizza. Sam Racanelli tosses pies into a handmade wood-burning oven at this 10-table sleeper. Dinner Tue–Sun. 5861 S. Kingshighway, 314-832-3222. $$

Quincy Street Bistro
American/Comfort Food. Rick Lewis makes pork pot roast and glazed meatloaf at a hidden gem. Lunch and dinner Mon–Sat. 6931 Gravois, 314-353-1588, $$

Russell’s on Macklind
Café/Bakery. See Multiple Locations.

Salume Beddu
A-List 2014
Sandwiches/Italian. In 2011, Forbes declared that this place had “the best salami in the country.” There are those who’d say the same of its sandwiches. Lunch Tue–Sat. 3467 Hampton, 314-353-3100, $–$$

Small Plates/Pan-Latin. Look for unusual art, unreal cocktails, and an uncommon “wild tapas” menu. Dinner Tue–Sun. 4198 Manchester, 314-535-9700, $–$$

The Shaved Duck
Rustic American. This cozy spot’s become even more so with nightly music. Dinner Tue–Sat, lunch Mon–Fri, brunch Sun. 2900 Virginia, 314-776-1407, $$

Siete Luminarias
Mexican. This addition to Cherokee Street’s “Mexican Row” serves street tacos and unexpected items like the tlacoyo, a stuffed masa cake. Lunch and dinner daily. 2818 Cherokee, 314-932-1333. $

Southwest Diner
American/Diner. Simple, solid Southwestern fare is executed with precision and flair. Breakfast and lunch daily. 6803 Southwest, 314-260-7244, $

Stacked Burger Bar
A-List 2014
American. The burger haven dishes out 10 burger renditions—with 64 patty and topping options. Lunch and dinner daily, breakfast Sat & Sun. 7637 Ivory, 314-544-4900, $

Steve’s Hot Dogs
American. See Multiple Locations.

Bakery/Café. The name’s apt, with visual treats and baked eats. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner Tue–Fri, breakfast, lunch, and early dinner Sat. 2203 S. 39th, 314-771-4278, $

Three Flags Tavern
Reviewed October ’14 / A-List 2014
American. This is chef-owner John O’Brien’s homage to Three Flags Day, held here in 1804. Well-executed American fare nods to the other two flags, Spanish and French. Dinner Tue–Sat. 4940 Southwest, 314-669-9222, $$–$$$

Tree House
A-List 2014
Vegetarian. Tree House offers a modern, refreshing take on vegetarian fare, including vegan iterations of moussaka and beef bourguignon. Dinner Tue–Sun, brunch Sat & Sun. 3177 S. Grand, 314-696-2100, $–$$


Atlas Restaurant
French/Italian. The dishes and atmosphere make this place a destination, but the desserts make it a legend. Dinner Tue–Sat. 5513 Pershing, 314-367-6800, $$$

Bar Italia
Italian. It’s got exceptional food and service, plus a sizable patio that’s perfect for people-watching. Lunch and dinner Tue–Sun. 13 Maryland Plaza, 314-361-7010, $$$

American. Visually stunning plates and a view of Forest Park pair nicely. Lunch Mon–Sat, brunch Sun. Missouri History Museum, 5700 Lindell, 314-361-7313, $

The Block
American. See Multiple Locations.

Boathouse Forest Park
American. Canines are welcome at this lakeside restaurant. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. 6101 Government, Forest Park, 314-367-2224, $–$$

Brasserie By Niche
French. Enjoy affordable French fare and a stellar weekend brunch. Lunch Tue–Fri, dinner Tue–Sun, brunch Sun. 4580 Laclede, 314-454-0600, $$–$$$

Café Osage
Contemporary American. This hideaway inside an urban nursery has been a pioneer in the local food movement. Breakfast and lunch daily. 4605 Olive, 314-454-6868, $–$$

Central Table Food Hall
Modern American. Savor sushi, steak, and more. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner Mon–Fri, dinner only Sat, brunch and dinner Sun. 23 S. Euclid, 314-932-5595, $–$$$

Cucina Pazzo
A-List 2014
Italian. Expect bold flavors and a bit of whimsy from chef Justin Haifley’s small-plates menu. Lunch Mon–Sat, dinner daily, brunch Sun. 392 N. Euclid, 314-696-8400,

Dressel’s Pub
Welsh/Bar & Grill. Try pub faves, or the martini menu in the Pub Above, Thu–Sun evenings. Lunch and dinner daily. 419 N. Euclid, 314-361-1060, $$

The Drunken Fish
Japanese/Sushi. See Multiple Locations.

Eau Café & Bistro
American. An Asian-inspired menu offers new takes on American favorites. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. 212 N. Kingshighway, Chase Park Plaza, 314-454-9000, café $$$, bistro $$$$

Gamlin Whiskey House
Reviewed April ’14
New American/Steakhouse. Choose from a selection of 275 whiskeys. Lunch and dinner daily. 236 N. Euclid, 314-875-9500, $$–$$$$

Mexican/Taqueria. Bright flavors and colors emanate from this taqueria by Chris Sommers and Frank Uible. Lunch and dinner daily. 398 N. Euclid, 314-449-1212, $–$$

Herbie's Vintage 72
Classic American. This excellent reincarnation of a legendary bistro is parts restaurant, café, and bar. 405 N. Euclid, 314-769-9595, $$$-$$$$ café/dining room

Reviewed March ’14 / A-List 2014
Southern American. Juniper’s the culmination of a food truck and several pop-up restaurants from John Perkins. Dinner Wed–Sat. 360 N. Boyle, 314-329-7696, $$–$$$

The Kitchen Sink
American. It touts the Creole cuisine, but we prefer the served-all-day breakfast items and ample burgers. Lunch and dinner daily. 255 Union, 314-454-1551, $

Little Saigon Café
Vietnamese. Eat healthy cooking, from spring rolls to curry chicken. Lunch Mon–Sat, dinner daily. 10 N. Euclid, 314-361-8881, $$–$$$

Llywelyn’s Pub
Welsh/Bar & Grill. See Multiple Locations.

Pizza. See Multiple Locations.

American. Overlook Farm’s Nathalie Pettus and chef Jimmy Voss team up again to produce farm-to-table fare—in a city setting. Dinner Wed–Mon, brunch Sun. 4356 Lindell, 314-533-1580, $$$–$$$$

Contemporary American. This classy bistro boasts a don’t-miss courtyard. Dinner Tue–Sun. Sunday brunch. 48 Maryland Plaza, 314-361-7227, $$$–$$$$

The Scottish arms
Scottish. Enjoy steak, seafood, and Scottish fare (including, yes, haggis). Lunch Tue–Sat, dinner daily, brunch Sun. 6–10 S. Sarah, 314-535-0551, $$–$$$

Sub Zero Vodka Bar
American/Sushi. The vodka bar also serves sushi and burgers—plus tempura and edamame. Lunch Sat–Sun, dinner nightly. 308 N. Euclid, 314-367-1200, $$

Creative American/Small Plates. Taste offers a creative cocktail menu and an equally creative dining menu. Dinner daily. 4584 Laclede, 314-361-1200, $–$$

The Tenderloin Room
Steakhouse/Seafood. Order the pepperloin à la tenderloin. Thank us later. Lunch Tue–Fri, dinner daily. The Chase Park Plaza, 232 N. Kingshighway, 314-361-0900, $$$$

Mexican. The tacos are two-hands-and-a-fork big; the fish tacos are what’ll get you hooked. Lunch and dinner Mon–Sat. 8 ½ S. Euclid, 314-361-4443, $$

Wild Flower Restaurant & Bar
American. Gourmet food is served in a relaxed setting. Lunch and dinner Wed–Mon, brunch Sat–Sun. 4590 Laclede, 314-367-9888, $$$


Adam’s Smokehouse
A-List 2014
. A descendant of Pappy’s Smokehouse, Adam’s has apple butter-glazed ribs. Lunch Wed–Sun, early dinner Wed–Sat. 2819 Watson, 314-875-9890, $–$$

American/Bar & Grill. This family-owned bastion serves generous portions and drinks. Lunch and dinner Tue–Sun. 3332 Watson, 314-781-0060, $–$$

Charlie Gitto’s
Italian. See Multiple Locations.

Cunetto House of Pasta
Italian. Choose from 30-plus pastas at this local institution. Lunch Mon–Fri, dinner Mon–Sat. 5453 Magnolia, 314-781-1135, $$–$$$

Dominic’s on the Hill
Reviewed July ’14
Traditional Italian. It’s an award-winning, old-world, classy St. Louis landmark. Dinner Mon–Sat. 5101 Wilson, 314-771-1632, $$$$

Five Bistro
Reviewed September ’14
Contemporary American. A revolving selection of entrées appeals to all five senses. Dinner Tue–Sat. 5100 Daggett, 314-773-5553, $$$

Giovanni’s on The Hill
Traditional Italian. A fixture on The Hill, it serves classic Italian dining with nouvelle overtones. Dinner Mon–Sat. 5201 Shaw, 314-772-5958, $$$$

Guido’s Pizzeria & Tapas
Italian/Spanish/Small Plates. Enjoy the casual atmosphere while feasting on paella, pizza, and tapas. Lunch and dinner daily. 5046 Shaw, 314-771-4900, $

Joey B’s on the Hill
Bar & Grill. See Multiple Locations.

LoRenzo’s Trattoria
Italian. This contemporary spot fills the niche between casual and coat-and-tie. Lunch Tue–Fri, dinner Tue–Sun. 1933 Edwards, 314-773-2223, $$$

Lorusso’s Cucina
Italian. This fave features fresh seafood and pastas. Dinner Tue–Sun. 3121 Watson, 314-647-6222, $$–$$$

Spanish/Small Plates. Try a wide selection of excellent tapas and equally good Spanish wines. Dinner Mon–Sat. 5257 Shaw, 314-772-8272, $$

Seamus McDaniel’s
American/Bar & Grill. Enjoy a pork-loin sandwich as big as your face in the Irish bar’s spacious rear garden. Lunch and dinner Mon–Sat. 1208 Tamm, 314-645-6337, $

Greek/American. See Multiple Locations.

Stellina Pasta Café
Italian. Go for lasagnas, fettucine, agnolotti—and a handful of sandwiches. Lunch and dinner Tue–Sat. 3342 Watson, 314-256-1600, $$–$$$

Steve’s Hot Dogs
American. See Multiple Locations.

Trattoria Marcella
Italian. This nationally recognized stalwart is known for its lobster risotto and a romantic but lively vibe. Dinner Tue–Sat. 3600 Watson, 314-352-7706, $$–$$$


Asian Kitchen Korean Cuisine
Korean. One of a handful of 100-percent Korean eateries in town, this one is best known for the 15-plus banchan (side dishes) that come with each entrée. Equally impressive are the varieties of bibimbap, which rival our favorite restaurants in L.A.’s Koreatown. Lunch specials offer a good introduction, most of them under $10. Lunch and dinner Tue–Sun. 8423 Olive, 314-989-9377, $$

Blueberry Hill
Classic American. This Delmar Loop landmark is known for its pop-culture memorabilia and darts tournaments. But it’s also a destination for hearty bar food, including seven burgers, all of your sandwich favorites, breakfast all day, and a late-night menu. Live music is featured several nights a week, including monthly concerts by rock legend Chuck Berry. Lunch and dinner daily. Open until 1:30 a.m. Mon–Sat, midnight Sun. 6504 Delmar, 314-727-4444, $

Bobo Noodle House
Pan-Asian. The simple yet sophisticated 30-seater was conceived and executed by Zoe Robinson and Ny Vongsaly. Lunch and dinner Mon–Sat. 278 N. Skinker, 314-863-7373, $

American. Known for its large portions, inexpensive prices, and the largest beer selection in University City (plus Beer School every Wednesday), this Loop classic doubles as a popular music venue, with bands playing almost every night of the week. Uncle Tupelo was among the many bands that started out by playing at this St. Louis institution. Lunch and dinner daily. 6691 Delmar, 314-862-0009, $–$$

Corner 17
A-List 2014
Chinese. You’ll get dinner and a show at this Loop treasure: Fresh noodles are pulled, twisted, and pared in front of you; they’re available pan-seared (with chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, or vegetables) or in a soup (pork rib soup, beef noodle soup, and more). Also featured are traditional Sichuan dishes, such as cumin lamb and twice-cooked pork, and whole-milk sweet bubble tea. Lunch and dinner daily. 6623 Delmar, 314- 727-2402. $

Dewey’s Pizza
Pizza. See Multiple Locations.

Creative American. Eclipse offers inventive fine dining amid retro lunar-themed decor at the Moonrise Hotel. Two representative menu items are the pumpkin cranberry bread with brie and poached pear and the bacon-wrapped pork loin with a fig-and-port reduction and salted pepita brittle. The restaurant’s LED-lit bar is a colorful setting for a handcrafted cocktail, and the Rooftop Terrace Bar offers incredible views of the city’s skyline. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily; late-night menu till 2 a.m.; bar till 3 a.m. 6177 Delmar, 314-726-2222, $$

Nostalgic American. Known for its root beer and bottling line, Fitz’s offers a full menu of classic American foods. Grab a burger, wings, or nachos with Fitz’s sodas—on tap in ìbottomlessî mugs—or a float, shake, or malt. Get a taste of the classic root beer, cream soda, or black cherry soda. Or try new flavors, such as Kaldi’s Coffee cola, key lime soda, Pi ginger beer, and Hip Hop Pop. Lunch and dinner daily. 6605 Delmar, 314-726-9555, $

Fork & Stix
Thai. This small side-street eatery serves up authentic Northern Thai cuisine, specifically from the Chiang Mai region. The flavors of lemongrass, makrut lime leaves, cilantro, chili paste, lime juice, coconut, fish sauce, tamarind, mint, sweet chili, garlic, basil, and curry reign supreme here. They’re found in traditional soups; salads; spring rolls; and noodle, rice, meat, seafood, and vegetarian entrèes, often using locally sourced meats and produce. Lunch and dinner Tue–Sun. 549 Rosedale, 314-863-5572, $

The Good Pie
Pizza. As pizza aficionados know, there’s an art to the Neapolitan pie. The crust is made from wheat-flour crust and baked in an oak-fired oven (pictured). The Good Pie has this nailed. Everything on the small menu is superb, including the charcuterie and cheese boards. Lunch and dinner Tue–Sun. 6665 Delmar, 314-899-9221, $$

House of India
Indian. Long heralded locally and nationally as one of the best Indian restaurants in St. Louis, House of India offers an extensive menu of authentic dishes. The daily buffet is a popular business-lunch and weekend tradition for many. Takeout is also available for feasting at home. And the restaurant is vegetarian-friendly. Lunch buffet and dinner daily. 8501 Delmar, 314-567-6850, $$

Jilly’s Cupcake Bar & Café
A-List 2014
Bakery/Café. Yes, Jilly’s has some of the best gourmet cupcakes around—and takes the business of sweets seriously. The ìeverydayî cupcake is a full half-pound. But the menu also offers cake; ice cream; and a lunch menu of soups, salads, and sandwiches. Sunday brunch, described as a ìfoodie-fest,î features ìthe most perfect eggs Benedictî and a make-your-own-cupcake bar. 8509 Delmar, 314-993-5455, $

Kayak’s Coffee
Get coffee, smoothies, sandwiches, salads, and do-it-yourself s’mores in an outdoorsy atmosphere. Open daily. 276 N. Skinker, 314-862-4447, $

LuLu Seafood Restaurant
Asian. The restaurant’s four chefs hail from Sichuan, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Beijing. They bring the regions’ best culinary techniques with them. Two chefs are experts in dim sum and pull out all the stops for the weekend carts. 8224 Olive, 314-997-3108, $$

The Melting Pot
Fondue. The franchise famous for a variety of dippable meats, seafood, vegetables, breads, and chocolate also hosts wine, beer, and whiskey-themed events, as well as the popular "Always a Bridesmaid" dinner, where the place fills up with women wearing outdated bridesmaid dresses. Lunch Tue–Fri, dinner daily. 6683 Delmar 314-725-4141, $$$$

Mission Taco Joint
A-List 2014
Mexican/Taqueria. See Multiple Locations.

Momos Ouzaria Taverna
Greek/Tapas. Go for the gyros and tapas (mezes). Stay for the belly dancers and covered patio. Lunch Mon–Sat, dinner daily. 630 North & South, 314-863-3511, $

The Pasta House Co.
Italian. For four decades, this pasta chain has been a go-to for favorite Italian dishes, such as pasta con broccoli, fettuccine alfredo, cannelloni, cheesy garlic bread, and toasted ravioli. Pizza, burgers, and sandwiches are also available. Take note of all-you-can-eat pasta Mondays and kids-eat-free Sundays. Lunch Mon–Fri, dinner daily. 8213 Delmar, 314-991-2022, $–$$

Peacock Loop Diner
Diner/American. Owner Joe Edwards wanted "to create a diner unlike any other in the U.S." Mission accomplished. Anticipate classic diner fare, plus some surprises, like a salmon club and a Finals Breakfast Sandwich (served between two waffles). Look for display cases filled with peacock memorabilia, and notice how the tiered diner counters mimic a peacock’s feathers. The diner never closes, so you can shake your tail feather all night long. Open 24 hours. 6261 Delmar, 314-721-5555, $

Pizza. See Multiple Locations.

La Pizza
Pizza. Heralded by many as the best New York–style pizza in town, La Pizza might also be the tiniest pizzeria you’ve ever visited. There are just a few tables, so arrive early or order to go. The dough is hand-tossed, the cheese is 100 percent whole-milk, and everything is made in-house. La Pizza occasionally runs out of dough, so plan ahead on weekend nights. And stromboli, calzones, hero sandwiches, and simple salads are available. 8137 Delmar, 314-725-1230, $$

Salt + Smoke
Barbecue. A singular focus on ìbarbecue, bourbon, and beerî translates to loads of meat (pulled pork, pulled chicken, ribs, brisket, and smoked trout), craft and barrel-aged cocktails, and more than 40 bourbons. Don’t-miss sides include fried house pickles with flaxseed mayo, hush puppies with maple butter, and burnt-end toasted ravioli. Craft beer is plentiful, and meat is available to go by the pound. Lunch and dinner Tue–Sun. 6525 Delmar, 314-727-0200, $–$$

Seoul Taco
Korean. The food truck that The Daily Meal included in its "Top 101 Food Trucks" spawned a small storefront in U. City and eventually a relocation to a larger space. In the same building, owner David Choi’s Korean barbecue concept, Seoul Q, features do-it-yourself tableside cooking stations, each with its own pull-down fume hood. Lunch and dinner daily. Lunch and dinner daily. 6665 Delmar, 314-863-1148, $–$$

Sandwiches/Deli. See Multiple Locations.

Three Kings Public House
A-List 2014
Bar & Grill. See Multiple Locations.

Vernon’s BBQ & Catering
A-List 2014
Barbecue. At Vernon’s, you’ll find a whole lotta barbecue for your dollar: baby back ribs, brisket, pulled pork, chicken wings, and even smoked tofu. You’ll also notice unexpected flavors: tequila-lime green beans, smoked seasonal fruit, and barbecue nachos. Rolling garage doors in the dining room are often open when the weather is nice. Lunch and dinner Tue–Sun. 6707 Vernon, 314-726-1227, $–$$

Winslow’s Home
A-List 2014
American. Winslow’s Home offers locally sourced food and home goods from its kitchen and gourmet food market. Much of the menu features organic fruits, vegetables, flowers, and herbs that are grown on Winslow’s Farm, located 35 miles west of St. Louis. Farm-style dishes for breakfast include the likes of buttermilk pancakes and corned beef hash; for lunch, try dishes like beef brisket (pictured), Rain Crow Ranch steak, and hand pie. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner Tue–Sat, breakfast and lunch Sun. 7213 Delmar, 314-725-7559, $$

Wonton King
Chinese. One of the most authentic Chinese restaurants around, Wonton King offers more than 100 items. Standout entrÈes include Cantonese dim sum, Hong Kong braised noodles, roast duck, congee, Singapore-style fried vermicelli, and cashew chicken. Order online for delivery or pickup. Lunch and dinner daily. 8116 Olive, 314-567-9997, $$


801 Chophouse
Reviewed June ’14
Steakhouse. A splendid bar anchors the fifth location of this regional steakhouse chain. Dinner daily. 137 Carondelet Plaza, 314-875-9900, $$$$

Almonds Restaurant
Southern American. This popular haunt has New Orleans–influenced dishes and killer fried chicken. Lunch Tue–Fri, dinner Tue–Sat. 8127 Maryland, 314-725-1019, $$

BARcelona Tapas Restaurant
Spanish/Small Plates. Enjoy sangria, small plates, and sidewalk tables. Lunch Mon–Sat, dinner daily, bar open till 1 a.m. 34 N. Central, 314-863-9909, $$

Bar Les Frères
A-List 2014
French. With quite possibly the most romantic seats in town, this tiny storefront is prime territory for champagne and a smooch. Dinner Mon–Sat. 7637 Wydown, 314-725-8880. $$

Bocci Wine Bar
Small Plates. Each month, the wines of one country are showcased with its music and cuisine. Several wines are “on tap,” with 35 by the glass and 70 by the bottle. Lunch Mon–Fri, dinner Mon–Sat. 16 N. Central, 314-932-1040, $–$$$

Café Napoli
Southern Italian. A favorite among Clayton power brokers, it serves pasta and Italian standards. Lunch Mon–Fri, dinner Mon–Sat. 7754 Forsyth, 314-863-5731, $$$

Contemporary American. Choose from traditional foods, seasonal specials, and an award-winning wine list in a power-lunch atmosphere. Lunch and dinner Mon–Sat. 8100 Maryland, 314-726-5055, $$$

City Coffee House & Crêperie
Bakery/Café. The European café serves crêpes, sandwiches, salads, soups, and more. Breakfast and lunch daily. 36 N. Brentwood, 314-862-2489, $

Coastal Bistro & Bar
American. Enjoy a variety of oysters and dishes from the U.S. and Mediterranean coasts. Lunch and dinner Mon–Sat. 14 N. Central, 314-932-7377, $$–$$$

Companion Bakehouse
Bakery/Café. See Multiple Locations.

The Crossing
American/French/Italian. The Crossing’s four-course, prix fixe menu for $25 is a steal. Lunch Mon–Fri, dinner Mon–Sat. 7823 Forsyth, 314-721-7375, $$$–$$$$

Crushed Red Urban Bake & Chop Shop
Pizza. See Multiple Locations.

DeMun Oyster Bar
Seafood. Savor the tastiest bivalves in town, expertly paired cocktails, and an überhip bar. Dinner daily, lunch Sat. 740 DeMun, 314-725-0322. $$

Dominic’s Trattoria
Regional Italian. The lobster risotto also made Dominic’s on the Hill famous. Lunch Mon–Fri, dinner Mon–Sat. 200 S. Brentwood, 314-863-4567, $$$–$$$$

Five Star Burgers
American. See Multiple Locations.

The Grill
Classic American. Well-conceived presentations are served in a classically Ritz, yet contemporary atmosphere. Dinner daily. The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis, 100 Carondelet, 314-863-6300, $$$$

Half & Half
Breakfast/Creative American. Try the standard fare—or foie gras French toast. Breakfast and lunch Tue–Fri, brunch Sat & Sun. 8135 Maryland, 314-725-0719, $-$$

I Fratellini
Italian. Zoe Robinson’s cozy but elegant 40-seater is located in a quiet pocket of Clayton. Lunch Mon–Fri, dinner Mon–Sat. 7624 Wydown, 314-727-7901, $$$

American/Sports Bar. See Multiple Locations.

Jimmy’s on the Park
American. Enjoy dinner in the café, in the Bistro Bar, or on the vibrant front patio. Lunch Tue–Sat, dinner daily, brunch Sun. 706 DeMun, 314-725-8585, bistro $$, café $$$

Kaldi’s Coffee Roasting Company
Bakery/Café. See Multiple Locations.

Katie’s Pizzeria Café
Pizza. The Tuscan-style pizza is just-beyond-thin, and the artichoke-Gorgonzola toasted ravioli is out of this world. Lunch and dinner daily. 6611 Clayton, 314-727-8585, $$

The Libertine
Reviewed February ’14 / A-List 2014
Creative American. Chef Josh Galliano’s cooking and Nick Luedde’s hospitality guarantee a good experience. Dinner Tue–Sun. 7927 Forsyth, 314-862-2999, $$

Morton’s The Steakhouse
Steakhouse. This elegant chain offers USDA Prime aged beef, fresh seafood, and value-priced appetizers. Dinner daily. 7822 Bonhomme, 314-725-4008, $$$$

Edgy American. From acclaimed chef Gerard Craft, Niche is essential dining. Reservations are mandatory. Dinner daily. 7734 Forsyth, 314-773-7755, $$$–$$$$

Oceano Bistro
Seafood. Want fresh fish? Oceano flies it in daily. Lunch Mon–Sat, dinner daily, brunch Sun. 44 N. Brentwood, 314-721-9400, $$$–$$$$

Italian. Try handmade pastas, wood-fired pizzas, and superb gelato—for reasonable prices. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. 7734 Forsyth, 314-862-6603, $$

Remy’s Kitchen & Wine Bar
American/European. Remy’s is a frequent winner of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. Lunch Mon–Fri, dinner Mon–Sat. 222 S. Bemiston, 314-726-5757, $$$

The Restaurant
Classic American. It offers fine cuisine—and a fitness menu. Breakfast daily, lunch Mon–Sat, brunch Sun. The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis, 100 Carondelet, 314-863-6300, $$$$

Sauce on the Side
Italian/American. See Multiple Locations.

Wasabi Sushi Bar
Japanese/Sushi. See Multiple Locations.


American. Serving upper–middle class fare, this outpost of the Nashville-based chain feels at home in Frontenac. Lunch and dinner daily. 10342 Clayton, 314-567-6300, $$–$$$

Brio Tuscan Grille
Italian. Consistent food, solid execution, and a large dining room and patio are a few reasons why Brio is one of the most popular restaurants in town. Lunch and dinner daily; a la carte brunch Sat & Sun. 1601 S. Lindbergh, 314-432-4410, $$

Cardwell’s at The Plaza
Creative American. Enjoy an array of dishes at this see-and-be-seen spot. Lunch and dinner daily. Plaza Frontenac, 1701 S. Lindbergh, 314-997-8885, $$$–$$$$

Companion Bakehouse
Bakery/Café. See Multiple Locations.

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
Steakhouse. The list of 100 wines by the glass may be the most extensive in the city. Dinner daily. 1855 S. Lindbergh, 314-567-7610, $$$$

Kreis’ Restaurant
Steakhouse. Kreis’ serves USDA Prime steaks, fresh seafood, and Continental cuisine. Dinner daily. 535 S. Lindbergh, 314-993-0735, $$$$

Lester’s Sports Bar & Grill
American/Sandwiches/Deli. It’s a sports bar on andro, with a 1-pound sandwich and nearly 70 TVs. Lunch and dinner daily. 9906 Clayton, 314-994-0055, $$–$$$

Red-L Pizza
Pizza/American. The smallest pizza joint in town boasts the fanciest toppings, like miche de viande. Lunch Mon–Sat, dinner daily. 9769 Clayton, 314-997-7070, $–$$

The Salted Pig
Southern. Mike Del Pietro gives smoked meats and Southern fare  a go with pitmaster Ken Dennison. Lunch and dinner daily. 731 S. Lindbergh, 314-738-9373, $$–$$$

Sugo’s Spaghetteria
Casual Italian. See Multiple Locations.  

Creative American. Enjoy steaks, seafood, and an award-winning wine. Lunch and dinner Tue–Fri, dinner only Sat. 9202 Clayton, 314-567-9100, $$$–$$$$

Via Vino Enoteca
American/Small Plates. Michael Del Pietro’s wine bar serves small plates and big wines. Dinner only Mon–Sat. 10427 Clayton, 314-569-0405, $$


Acero Italian/Small Plates. Golden yolk spills from ravioli. Roasted porchetta glistens. Ricotta salata is sprinkled atop orechiette. Cucina povera is glorious at this trendsetting place, where
lighter pasta portions and affordable wine quartinos contribute to memorable dinners. The four-course prix fixe is inevitably worthwhile. The place is lively, usually packed, and always rewarding. Dinner Mon–Sat. 7266 Manchester, 314-644-1790, $$

Reviewed December ’14
American/Italian. The draw here, one of the hippest bistro-type eateries in town, is upscale, small-portion Italian fare: roasted Brussels sprouts, seared pork belly, creamy burrata. Pizzas are topped with such ingredients as duck egg and shrimp sausage. The atmosphere is cool and sophisticated, with a classy bar, where happy hour doesn’t cease till 7 p.m., in the center of things. Dinner Mon–Sat. 7036 Clayton, 314-932-7820, $$

Blue Sky Tower Grill
American. Here, you’ll find a predictable menu: burgers, wraps, pizzas, nachos, and daily specials. But the real draw at this quirky, bright eatery: more than 60 martinis. (Insiders also come here for some fine breakfasts.) Breakfast Mon–Fri, lunch and dinner Mon–Sat. 1034 S. Brentwood, 314-726-2583, $–$$

Bonefish Grill
Seafood. It’s like a very nice, very big, very classy bar that also serves great food. Should you want a quiet tête-à-tête, hang in the adjacent bar, with full meal service. Fish and steaks get a wood-grilled treatment that highlights flavor and enhances texture. Lunch and dinner daily. 8780 Eager, 314-918-1649, $$–$$$

Creole/Cuban/Caribbean/Small Plates. The tapas menu boasts several
dishes that you’re not likely to find anywhere else in St. Louis, such as Brazil nut–encrusted manchego cheese and conch fritters. The sandwich menu features one of the best Cuban sandwiches in town, the Cubaniche, along with a vegetarian version. The Cuban Paella brings the flavors of Cuba—shrimp, mussels, clams, market fish, andouille sausage, saffron, coconut milk, Valencia rice—to the heart of Maplewood. Try to finagle a seat at the bar (they’re swings!) or a seat on the hidden patio out back. Lunch Mon–Sat, dinner daily. 7344 Manchester, 314-645-4803, $$

Bud’s Smokehouse & Grill
BBQ/American. Don’t let the tidy interior fool you: This is down-and-dirty BBQ in an oft-overlooked joint. Ribs and burgers get deserved kudos; the secret specialty: pulled chicken, smoky and moist. Weekend dinner specials will surprise and delight. Stop by Starr’s, the next-door wine shop, beforehand. Lunch Tue–Sat, dinner Fri–Sat. 1135 S. Big Bend, 314-781-2345. $–$$

Carl’s Drive In
Drive-in. Waiting for one of the 16 seats in this closet-size place is a St. Louis tradition. Crispy spatula-thin burgers sizzle, and golden onion rings crackle in hot oil. The aroma conjures pure, delicious nostalgia. Don’t even think about not ordering the root beer float. Lunch and dinner Tue–Sat. 9033 Manchester, 314-961-9652. $

The Crow’s Nest
American.This “gastrodive” offers upscale pub food with a vintage rock vibe. Iconic rock and pop concert posters line the walls, menus are presented in record albums, and old movies are projected onto one wall. Must-try house specialties include the truffle frites and deep-
fried deviled eggs. A Metal Brunch on Sundays brings typical breakfast fare with a soundtrack of classic metal bands. Weekly events include “completely absurd” trivia on Mondays, Taco Tuesdays, and traditional trivia on Thursdays. Lunch and dinner Mon–Sun. 7336 Manchester, 314-781-0989, $

Fox & Hounds Tavern
American. Cozy, retro-romantic, and chock-full of nooks, the Fox & Hounds (pictured) is where you’ll stop for a cocktail and end up staying for more, such as the Liverpool wings, grilled salmon, or lamb sliders. The fireplace is a perfect place to gather and reminisce. Dinner nightly. 6300 Clayton, 314-647-7300, $$

Fozzie’s Sandwich Emporium
Sandwiches/Deli. The sandwiches, burgers, gyros, salads, and shakes here are big, fresh, and creative. A house original, the Big Bend Mafia consists of Italian beef, salsiccia, giardiniera, and provolone on a garlic hoagie. The Cardiac Burger—not for the faint of heart—is a quarter-pound burger dressed with bacon, a hot dog, chili, slaw, tomato, and American cheese. The Richmond Heights location features an outdoor vegetable garden, and lettuce and herbs are grown in an indoor garden at the Des Peres location. Gluten-free bread is available. Lunch and dinner daily. 1170 S. Big Bend, 314-932-5414; 11656 Manchester, 314-909-4755; $

Frank Papa’s Ristorante
Italian. Linen tablecloths, sparkling tableware, and a splendid wall of wine are hints: This is classic—surprisingly affordable—Italian dining. It’s posh. Chocolate ravioli is the best dessert; before getting there, you’ll work your way through superior veal dishes, some grand pastas and risotto, and delightful primi offerings like mussels diavolo. Lunch Wed–Fri, dinner Mon–Sat. 2241 S. Brentwood, 314-961-3344, $$–$$$

Joy Luck Buffet
Chinese. The constantly replenished buffet includes both Americanized items and authentically exotic dishes. Seafood selections are particularly worthwhile. For those with a taste for spicy Szechuan, Joy Luck has a “secret,” 42-page menu. Lunch and dinner daily. 8030 Manchester, 314-645-9982. $–$$

Mai Lee
Vietnamese/Asian. Mai Lee is St. Louis’ go-to for pho. The menu’s big and so is the space, which is always crowded. If you’re adventurous, ask the staff for suggestions, or try the canh chua ca, an addictive fish stew. The beefy, herby pho broth is unforgettable. Make this a Sunday-night dinner stop. Lunch and dinner Tue–Sun. 8396 Musick Memorial, 314-645-2835, $$

Michael’s Bar and Grill
Greek/American. Traditional Greek flavors can be found in this neighborhood sports-bar setting. Toasted ravioli, burgers, gyros, and hot wings are served alongside expertly prepared entrées such as rack of lamb, pastitio, and traditional avgolemono soup. Fried zucchini with horseradish sauce is a refreshing twist on French fries. The 10-ounce Michael Burger is a sight to behold, especially when topped with a bright-orange ball of soft cheddar. Lunch and dinner daily. 7101 Manchester, 314-644-2240.  $–$$

Mike Duffy’s Pub & Grill
Bar & Grill. Fifteen burgers are available on the “Burger Heaven” menu, including the usual suspects and specialty burgers like bison, a Cajun burger with jalapeños and pepper Jack cheese, and a Sunrise burger dressed with bacon and a fried egg. Also on the menu: slow-smoked barbecue, St. Louis–style pizza, wings, and a darn good cup of chili. There are trivia nights and occasional live music, and kids eat free on Monday and Tuesday nights. Lunch and dinner Mon–Sat. 124 W. Jefferson, 314-821-2025; 6662 Clayton, 314-644-3700; 1024 Woods Mill Plaza, 636-394-8855; $

Nadoz Bakery + Café
American. Did you think life couldn’t get any better than sprinkle-topped doughnuts? Try the Nutella-slathered crêpes at this breakfast Mecca. Or, if you’re looking for a healthier option, start the day with the salmon-bagel platter. Oh, and don’t forget about the pretzel rolls. Call for hours. 12 The Boulevard, 314-726-3100; Taubman Prestige Outlets, 17089 N. Outer 40, 636-536-4100; $

The Piccadilly at Manhattan
American. This essential spot serves fried chicken, ribs, and a giant double cheeseburger. Lunch and dinner Tue–Sat. 7201 Piccadilly, 314-646-0016, $–$$

A Pizza Story
Pizza. Neapolitans come here for pizza. Run by a pizza purist who knows his business, the pizzeria serves pies that are magnificently scorched, with the crust crispy, light, and fragrant. It’s a low-key operation that serves surprisingly good sides and local beers. But the emphasis is where it should be: that brick oven. Lunch and dinner Tue–Sun. 7278 Manchester, 314-899-0011, $$

The Post Sports Bar and Grill
Bar & Grill. A haven for fantasy sports fans, The Post has an appetizer menu devoted to classic finger foods: chicken wings, pretzel and beer–coated cheese bites, toasted ravioli… “Post-Its” come in three varieties: garlic cheese-bread bites, bacon chicken ranch, and pepperoni pizza. The rest of the menu includes pub-friendly salads, soups, pizza, sandwiches, and wraps. Lunch and dinner Mon–Sun. 7372 Manchester, 314-645-1109; 763 Old Ballas, 314-736-1205; $

The Restaurant at The Cheshire
American. Tucking into grilled prime rib with puffy Yorkshire pudding alongside is particularly grand in this Tudor-tinted restaurant. A crackling fireplace and lots of dark wood create a clubby, traditional atmosphere. Selections here reflect an emphasis on hearty cuisine, with peppered duck and braised beef ribs. Lunch Mon–Fri, dinner nightly, weekend brunch. 7036 Clayton, 314-932-7818, $$-$$$

Riverbend Restaurant
Cajun/Creole. It’s reminiscent of New Orleans—without the corruption and drunken collegians. Spicy, smoky Cajun-Creole flavors are authentically rendered in a place that has the feel of a relaxed neighborhood eatery. The specials, such as our town’s best turtle soup, are worthwhile. But the oyster bread (pictured), gumbo, po’ boys, and jambalaya are delectably perfect. Lunch and dinner Tue–Sun. 1059 S. Big Bend, 314-664-8443, $$

Schlafly Bottleworks
American/Brewery. One of St. Louis’ oldest craft breweries, Schlafly offers 20 beers on tap and hearty pub food created from local produce and provisions. Made with Schafly beer and served with blue cream cheese and bacon jam, the beer bread is a must. Other dishes of note include the elk chili and the bison chorizo meatloaf with a Fitz’s root beer–tomato glaze. An outdoor farmers’ market runs on Wednesdays, April–October; there’s a winter market from November through March. Lunch and dinner daily. 7260 Southwest, 314-241-2337, $$

Side Project Cellar
Brewery. A former trio of apartments now houses a small-batch brewery offering rotating vintage barrel-aged brews. This year’s offerings include Abricot du Fermier, aged with apricots in French oak wine barrels; Black & Wild, with notes of sour cherries, chocolate, and caramel, aged in used bourbon barrels; and The Origin, the proprietors’ first batch from the first barrel, aged for 20 months in a rye whiskey barrel with vanilla beans. Evenings Mon–Thu, afternoon and evenings Fri & Sat. 7373 Marietta, 314-224-5211,

twinOak BBQ and Pizza
Pizza/BBQ. This Brentwood pizzeria serves up wood-fired pies and barbecue. If it had local beers and good cocktails, it’d be the perfect restaurant. Oh, wait—it does. The relaxed ambience makes for an ideal gathering spot. Don’t overlook the salads. Two musts: the wood-fired wings and the deep-dish chocolate-chip cookie dessert. Lunch Tue–Sun, dinner nightly.  1201 Strassner, 314-644-2772, $–$$

Water Street
American. You’re gonna pass on a place with a Corpse Reviver cocktail? We didn’t think so. Light meals such as a seasonal roasted yellow trout go great with a selection of mixed drinks and wine. The feel here is sleek and stylish. (Oh, and Fridays feature a movie night/happy hour.) Dinner daily. 7268 Manchester, 314-646-8355, $$

Yen Ching
Chinese. A tribute to grand Americanized Chinese food, Yen Ching beautifully strikes every note: sizzling rice soup, pot stickers, Szechuan beef… It’s family-friendly, yet bigger and more formal than most Chinese restaurants. Even when other places are packed, you can almost always get a table. Lunch Mon–Fri, dinner daily. 1012 S. Brentwood, 314-721-7507. $$


Big Sky Café
American/Comfort Food. The award-winning Big Sky specializes in revitalized American favorites. Lunch Tue–Fri, dinner Tue–Sat. 47 S. Old Orchard, 314-962-5757, $$$

The Block
American. See Multiple Locations.

Cravings Restaurant and Bakery
American Bistro/Bakery. Try an eclectic menu and award-winning desserts in a casual space. Lunch Tue–Sat, dinner Fri and Sat. 8149 Big Bend, 314-961-3534, $$$

American/Small Plates/Desserts. The local legend offers bistro-style dining and desserts like the Cleopatra. Lunch and dinner daily. 603 E. Lockwood, 314-963-3232, $–$$

Dewey’s Pizza
Pizza. See Multiple Locations.

Russian/Eastern European. It’s one of the quirkiest, most intimate, and most under-the-radar restaurants in town. Dinner Mon–Sat. 8143 Big Bend, 314-968-4000. $–$$

Farotto’s Pizzeria
Italian/Pizza. The big draws here: thin-crust pizza and homemade pasta sauce. Lunch Mon–Fri, dinner daily, carryout. 9525 Manchester, 314-962-0048, $$

Mexican. It has south-of-the-border cuisine, friendly service, and the most festive patio in town. Lunch and dinner daily. 9748 Manchester, 314-962-7100, $–$$

Katie’s Pizza & Pasta
A-List 2014
Italian/Pizza. Katie Lee’s hip spot serves up pizza, pasta, and burrata. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sat & Sun. 9568 Manchester, 314-942-6555, $$

Llywelyn’s Pub
Welsh/Bar & Grill. See Multiple Locations.

Milagro Modern Mexican
Mexican. Progressive and fresh, it could well be dubbed “Mexican for adults.” Lunch and dinner Tue–Sun. 20 Allen, Ste. 130, 314-962-4300, $$

Mexican. The quirkiest gringo-owned cantina around features fajitas, quesadillas, and tamales. Lunch and dinner Mon–Sat. 9643 Manchester, 314-961-9110, $

American/Small Plates. See Multiple Locations.

St. Louis Wing Co.
American. Go for 12-plus types of chicken wings. Lunch and dinner daily. 9816 Manchester, 314-962-9464, $


Amigos Cantina
Mexican. Don’t miss bar manager Edgar Dominguez’s margaritas—a.k.a. “Edgaritas.” Lunch and dinner Mon–Sat. 120 W. Jefferson, 314-821-0877, $–$$

Billy G’s–Kirkwood
A-List 2014
American. Choose from a far-ranging menu while sitting on one of the region’s best patios. Lunch and dinner daily. 131 W. Argonne, 314-984-8000, $–$$

Café Provencal
French/American. Don’t miss the pommes frites, arguably the best in town. Lunch Mon–Fri, dinner Mon–Sat. 427 S. Kirkwood, 314-822-5440, $$–$$$

Citizen Kane’s Steak House
Steakhouse. Hand-cut prime Midwestern beef is served in a restored Victorian home. Reservations are a must. Dinner Tue–Sat. 133 W. Clinton, 314-965-9005, $$$$

Crushed Red Urban Bake & Chop Shop
Pizza. See Multiple Locations.

The Daily Bread Bakery & Café
Bakery/Café. Get soups, salads, sandwiches, and pizzas, plus 50 types of breads and pastries. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. 11719 Manchester, 314-909-0010, $

Dewey’s Pizza
Pizza. See Multiple Locations.

Five Star Burgers
American. See Multiple Locations.

Fozzie’s Sandwich Emporium
Sandwiches/Deli. See Multiple Locations.

European. Gerard’s has classics from across the continent and a superb wine list. Dinner Mon–Sat. Colonnade Center, 12240 Manchester, 314-821-7977, $$$–$$$$

Kaldi’s Coffee Roasting Company
Bakery/Café. See Multiple Locations.

Mike Duffy’s Pub & Grill
Bar & Grill. See Multiple Locations.

One 19 North Tapas & Wine Bar
Small Plates/Wine Bar. Wine grotto + global small plates + bedroom community = popular spot. Make reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. 119 N. Kirkwood, 314-821-4119, $$

Peppe’s Apt. 2
Italian. Longtime restaurateur Peppe Profeta brings Hill-style fare to a quaint home in Kirkwood. Lunch Tue–Fri, dinner Tue–Sat. 800 S. Geyer, 314-909-1375, $$$

Pizza. See Multiple Locations.

American/Small Plates. See Multiple Locations.

Indian. Cognoscenti and the local Indian community appreciate Saffron’s superior dishes, lunch buffet, and service. Lunch and dinner daily. 2137 Barrett Station, 314-965-3822, $$

Sapore Italian Cafe
Italian. Paul Buzzetta’s family recipes include updates on mostaccioli and seafood linguine. Lunch Mon–Fri, dinner Mon–Sat. 451 S. Kirkwood, 314-909-7575, $$–$$$

Sunset 44 Bistro
American. Sunset 44 serves fresh seafood, veal, and Angus steaks in Kirkwood. Lunch Tue–Fri, dinner daily, breakfast buffet Sun. 118 W. Adams, 314-965-6644, $$–$$$


Il Bel lago
Italian. Imaginative Italian fare, like bombolotti pasta, is served in an elegant atmosphere. Lunch Mon–Fri, dinner Mon–Sat. 11631 Olive, 314-994-1080, $$$–$$$$

La Bonne Bouchée
Bakery/Café. It has cakes and pastries, French-themed sandwiches, and light entrées. Breakfast daily, lunch Mon–Sat, dinner Tue–Sat. 12344 Olive, 314-576-6606, $

Bristol Seafood Grill
Seafood. See Multiple Locations.

Cuisine D’Art Café & Catering
American/French. Specialties include grape-and-almond chicken salad and French onion soup. Lunch Mon–Fri, brunch Sat & Sun. 701 N. New Ballas, 314-995-3003, $$

Dave & Tony’s Premium Burger Joint
Sandwiches. Hand-pattied burgers, cooked and topped as you like them, are plated on house-made buns. Lunch and dinner daily. 12766 Olive, 314-439-5100, $

Nobu’s Japanese Restaurant
Japanese/Sushi. This casual dining spot has long been known for its fantastic sushi. Lunch Tue–Fri, dinner Tue–Sun. 8643 Olive, 314-997-2303. $$

Olivette Diner
Home-Style American. Olivette Diner serves up one of the best renditions of a St. Louis staple, the slinger. Breakfast and lunch daily. 9638 Olive, 314-995-9945. $

Sugarfire Smoke House
Barbecue. You can’t go wrong with the ribs, the pulled pork, the sandwiches, or the pies. Lunch and dinner daily. 9200 Olive, 314-997-2301, $–$$


Addie’s Thai House
Asian/Thai. This upscale haven for lovers of authentic Thai food offers beautiful presentation and fiery spiced dishes. The Waterfall Beef dish is unique to Addie’s, and the deep-fried sweet potatoes with coconut and the tom yum gai soup are customer favorites. Servers in Thai attire make a festive addition. Lunch Mon–Sat, dinner daily. 13441 Olive, 341-469-1660, $$

Annie Gunn’s
Hearty American. Annie Gunn’s has earned an esteemed spot in the St. Louis culinary lexicon and beyond. Every dish on its traditional American menu—a robust steak, a signature hamburger, a fluffy potato pancake—is approached with passion, creativity, and an eye toward tasteful composition. Pair that food with a glass of wine from an award-winning list of more than 300 bottles. Lunch and dinner Tue–Sun. 16806 Chesterfield Airport Rd., 636-532-7684, $$$–$$$$

Creative American. An extensive wine list spans more than 860 offerings, including a Library Wine Collection with 250-plus varieties maturing after as long as 25 years. The contemporary American menu’s influenced by French, Spanish, and Italian cuisine, with small plates, flatbreads, and entrée portions. And more vino is available in the wine shop. Lunch and dinner Mon–Sat, brunch Sun. 1772 Clarkson, 636-449-6700, $$

Bishop’s Post
American. The restaurant takes its name from Col. Justus Post, original owner of the land on which it sits. The menu features classic American dishes: chicken, beef, and seafood, plus Maryland crab cakes and a spicy gumbo. Complimentary house-made sweet-potato chips and an onion dip are a nice treat. Lunch and dinner Mon–Sat; dinner Sun. 16125 Chesterfield Pkwy. West, 636-536-9404, $$–$$$

Bistro 1130
French. This romantic restaurant is in a strip mall that’s anything but. Dinner Tue–Sat. 1130 Town & Country Crossing, 636-394-1130, $$$$

Charlie Gitto’s
Italian. See Multiple Locations.

Circle 7 Ranch Taphouse & Grill
Bar & Grill. Circle 7 is a rustic restaurant with a twist, featuring personal table taps—the first in Missouri. The menu offers hearty bar-food favorites, with an extensive burger, wrap, sandwich, and salad selection, as well as mac and cheese 11 ways. Unexpected options—corn fritters, dirty fries, and fried pickles—spice up the menu. Lunch and dinner daily. 14412 Clayton, 636-220-9707, $–$$

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant
American. The chain boasts a tasting room and 45 varietals of the house brand. Lunch and dinner daily. 1146 Town & Country Crossing, 636-489-0059, $$$–$$$$

The Corner Pub & Grill
American. A substantial, chef-driven menu includes a host of items with cutesy names, such as The God of Cod, Hot Lil’ Piggies on a Cruise (house-made chorizo and more in baked-potato boats), and the Texan Style Penthouse (a top-shelf sandwich piled high with shaved prime rib, mushrooms, and red peppers). On game days, crowds gather on the patios to watch the big-screen, awning-covered TVs. Lunch and dinner daily. 13645 Big Bend, 636-225-1300; 15824 Fountains Plaza, 636-230-3400; $

Dewey’s Pizza
Pizza. See Multiple Locations.

East Coast Pizza
Pizza. One of the more underrated pizzerias in the metro region, this sister restaurant to Soulard’s Epic Pizza and Subs features New York-style pies and brick ovens. (The flagship location has a wood-burning oven.) Large sub sandwiches are built on rolls imported from legendary bakery Amoroso’s in Philadelphia. Lunch and dinner daily. 17304 Chesterfield Airport, 636-536-7888, $–$$

EdgeWild Restaurant & Winery
American. Owned by Andy and Dee Dee Kohn, this wine bar/winery/fine-dining restaurant has both a certified sommelier and certified specialist of wine—perhaps no surprise for a place with its own EdgeWild-label wines, private-label Missouri wines, and dishes accompanied by carefully chosen wine pairings. For example, the Pistachio Crusted Herbed Goat Cheese (pictured) goes well with a bottle of Pinot Gris. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. 550 Chesterfield Center, 636-532-0550, $$–$$$

Gianfabio’s Italian Café
Italian. Gianfabio’s offers Italian bliss: eggplant parmigiana, escargot, fried calamari, cannelloni, spaghetti and meatballs, veal piccata, chicken Marsala, linguini tutto mare, filet mignon, rack of lamb… Fresh pizzas come from an open-flame brick oven that separates the dining room from the bar. Lunch Mon–Fri, dinner Mon–Sat. 127 Hilltown Village Center, 636-532-6686, $$$

J. Gilbert’s Wood-Fired Steaks & Seafood
Steakhouse. Don’t let the “mall” address fool you: It has a nice dining room and well-trained staff. Dinner daily. 17-A West County Center, 314-965-4600, $$$$

John Mineo’s Italian Restaurant
Italian/Sicilian. The family’s second generation continues formal but not stuffy service. Lunch Tue–Fri, dinner Mon–Sat. 13490 Clayton, 314-434-5244, $$$$

Kaldi’s Coffee Roasting Company
Bakery/Café. See Multiple Locations.

Llywelyn’s Pub
Welsh/Bar & Grill. See Multiple Locations.

Manee Thai
Thai. Manee serves some of the best Thai in St. Louis. The extensive menu includes such options as northeastern Thai sausage, as well as seasonal dishes like pumpkin red curry, poached pears in red-wine sauce, and homemade pomegranate ice cream. Lunch and dinner daily. 481 Lafayette Center, 636-256-8898, $–$$

Marcella’s Mia Sorella
Italian. Located in Ballwin and co-owned by brothers Jamie and Steve Komorek, this casual sister restaurant to St. Louis favorite Trattoria Marcella offers a contemporary Italian menu centered on house-made fresh pasta, exquisite risotto, hand-tossed pizza, numerous paninis and salads, appetizers—and a great cocktail and beer list. The sauces and dressings are hand-made on a daily basis, and many of the ingredients are from local purveyors.  Lunch Mon–Fri, dinner Mon–Sat. 14426 Clayton, 636-333-1015, $$

Mike Duffy’s Pub & Grill
Bar & Grill. See Multiple Locations.

Monsoon Vietnamese Bistro
Vietnamese. Menu favorites include the “shaking beef,” sizzling Saigon crepe, and Vietnamese coffee. There are also such memorable items as the Vietnamese curry, green papaya salad, and calamari with flash-fried spinach leaves. And top it off with an Asian-inspired cocktail, like the lychee martini. Lunch Tue–Sat, dinner Tue–Sun. 14248 Manchester, 636-256-8838. $$

Nadoz Bakery + Café
Bakery/Café. See Multiple Locations.

Nippon Tei
Pan-Asian/Sushi. Japanese fusion and a full sushi menu are served in an upscale modern atmosphere. Specialties include soft-shell crab, salt-baked shrimp, and spicy bay scallops with eggplant. The house-made miso dressing with the mixed greens house salad is exquisite. Lunch Tue–Fri, dinner Tue–Sun. 14025 Manchester, 636-386-8999, $$$

Paul Manno’s Café
Italian. Effortlessly elegant, this upscale restaurant serves house specialties like pasta della Nonna, cannelloni fritti, and the Sunday gravy pasta special. The romantic, softly lit setting includes classic 1950s jazz and photos of Italian-American celebrities. Tableside service is superb, as is the wine list. Dinner Mon–Sat. 75 Forum Center, 314-878-1274. $$$

Pizza. See Multiple Locations.

Señor Pique
Mexican. The taco menu is accompanied by flavorful tilapia ceviche, enchiladas de mole, and grilled steak. Sopapillas and fried ice cream round out the menu. Stop by during the day for $1.99 margaritas. Lunch and dinner daily. 14870 Manchester, 636-394-3455, $$

Greek/American. See Multiple Locations.

Table Three
Contemporary American. Although Table Three may be best known for its large patio, the interior is equally cozy. Begin in the bar with Parmesan Truffle Frites and Tempura Green Beans ($4 at happy hour), then debate owner Beth Williams’ short but appealing selection of main courses. The private rooms, including the VIP Room (10 guests) and Event Room (50 guests), are some of the best appointed in the metro area. Dinner Mon–Sat. 16765 Main, Wildwood, 636-458-4333, $$$

The Tavern
American. Artful comfort food includes a rich selection of seafood, steaks, and creative tasting boards (pictured), with many of the dishes sourced from local purveyors. Sit at the chef’s counter or inside one of the private dining rooms, and savor exquisite fare. And don’t miss the rave-worthy donuts and house-infused cocktails. There are also vegetarian, gluten-free, and kids’ menus. Lunch and dinner Tue–Sun. 2961 Dougherty Ferry, Ste. 101, 636-825-0600, $$–$$$

Tucker’s Place
Steakhouse/Bar & Grill. See Multiple Locations.

Villa Farotto
Northern Italian/Pizza. The Tuscan-inspired menu is filled with pasta, pizza, chicken, seafood, steaks, and chops, served in an upscale setting. During lunch the café offers speedy counter service. Wine’s available for purchase in the market; the outdoor courtyard boasts a fire pit; and there’s live music and dancing in the cellar Wednesday through Saturday. Lunch and dinner daily. 17417 Chesterfield Airport Rd., 636-519-0048, $–$$$$

Vito’s in the Valley
A-List 2014
Italian/Pizza. Executive chef Gianfranco Munna serves up award-winning hand-tossed Sicilian specialty and build-your-own pizzas, pasta, and calzones—plus steak and seafood selections and a clever spin on spiedini. The stellar wine list is focused on Sicilian wines. Lunch and dinner daily. 138 Chesterfield Towne Centre, 636-536-3788, $$

Wasabi Sushi Bar
Japanese/Sushi. See Multiple Locations.

Walnut Grill
American. Hefty portions, reasonable prices, a lively bar, and a wraparound patio are the hallmarks of the Ellisville outpost of this Pittsburgh-based mini-chain. The main dining room is large yet amazingly quiet. Lunch and dinner daily. 1386 Clarkson–Clayton Center, 636-220-1717, $$

Ya Ya’s Euro Bistro
European. This upscale chain offers house-made pasta, brick-oven pizzas, sustainably sourced seafood, and such global dishes as quinoa, gnocchi, beef carpaccio, and paella. With limestone walls and pillars, a mosaic-tile floor, and sconce lighting, Ya Ya’s is impressive both inside and out. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. 15601 Olive, 636-537-9991, $$$–$$$$


Bartolino’s South
Italian. It makes delish dishes, from lasagna to sautéed artichoke with shrimp and crab. Lunch Mon–Fri, dinner daily. 5914 S. Lindbergh, 314-487-4545, $$$

Las Fuentes
Mexican. It’s family-owned and as authentic as that last trip to Ensenada. Lunch and dinner daily. 6025 Telegraph, 314-846-2041, $–$$

Helen Fitzgerald’s
American/Irish Bar & Grill. Helen Fitzgerald’s has Irish fare, pizzas, steaks, shark chunks, and burgers. Lunch and dinner daily. 3660 S. Lindbergh, 314-984-0026, $$

Joe Boccardi’s Ristorante
Italian/Pizza. See Multiple Locations.

Joey B’s Food & Drink
Bar & Grill. See Multiple Locations.

Roberto’s Trattoria
Italian. This spot serves classic cuisine from Roberto Zanti. Lunch Mon–Fri, dinner Mon–Sat. 145 Concord, 314-842-9998, $$$

Russell’s Cafe & Bakery
Café/Bakery. See Multiple Locations.

Tucker’s Place
Steakhouse/Bar & Grill. See Multiple Locations.


Cathy’s Kitchen
American. The food at this upbeat restaurant ping-pongs across the map. Insider favorites like Memphis-style gumbo, Texas chicken wings, and New Mexican fish tacos keep folks coming back. Save room for Cathy Jenkins’ homemade Dutch apple pie. Motown’s on the airwaves, and you’re with the Jenkins family. Enjoy. Breakfast, lunch & dinner Mon–Sat. 250 S. Florissant, 314-524-9200, $

Celebrity Southern Soul Food
Soul Food. Of the many reasons to visit Ferguson, this place is near the top of the list. Cafeteria-style helpings of cornbread, meatloaf, and caramel cake are served in a pleasant storefront where it always seems like church has just let out and the whole family’s gathered for a great meal. Here you’ll find the best sweet tea in town. Lunch & dinner Tue–Sun. 103 N. Harvey, 314-521-0310, $

Charlie Gitto’s
Italian. See Multiple Locations.

Cork Wine Bar
American. A robust selection of wines are offered by the glass, bottle, and in flights at a variety of price points. Several options are offered at controlled temperatures for optimal tasting. A menu of small plates designed for sharing is organized as “hot,” “cold,” and “snacks.” Sample fondue, veal short ribs, or popcorn. The lobster and grits and bacon hash pair perfectly, no matter the selection. Dinner Tue–Sun. 423 S. Florissant, 314-521-9463, $$

Crown Candy Kitchen
Classic American. This St. Louis institution has been serving up house-made chocolate candy and ice cream in cones, sundaes, malts, and shakes since 1913. Master the Crown Candy Challenge by drinking five malted milkshakes in less than 30 minutes and you’ll have your name ceremoniously added to a plaque bearing just 22 other winners. The signature Heart Stopping BLT features almost a pound of kettle-cooked thick-cut bacon. Lunch and dinner Mon–Sat. 1401 St. Louis, 314-621-9650, $

El Palenque
Authentic Mexican. Maria and José Flores opened El Palenque in 2005 with the simple Mexican foods served at arenas, el palenques. Today their menu includes mole dulce, asado de puerca, fajitas, gorditas, and more. Their children, Ricardo, Sandra, and Ali, work alongside them, and Julia grows tomatoes and jalapeños for fresh Mexican dishes. Lunch & dinner Mon–Sat. 254 S. Florissant, 314-524-6200, $–$$

Ferguson Brewing Company
American. North County’s first brewpub offers beer-friendly foods, such as burgers, brats, barbecue pork, soft pretzels, and a hearty beer-cheese soup. The smoked chicken wings—a full pound of smoked wings with barbecue, buffalo, or sweet habanero sauce—are often touted. You’ll find eight brews on tap, as well as seasonal selections. Lunch & dinner daily. 418 S. Florissant, 314-521-2220, $–$$

Ferguson Burger Bar & More
American. Try the top-selling Garbage Burger, dressed with mayo, lettuce, onions, cheese, bacon, and egg and served on a toasted bun. Order sweet-and-spicy wings. Feeling adventurous? Chow down on tripe, battered and fried and then served on white bread with onion, pickle, hot sauce, and mustard. Breakfast, lunch & dinner Mon–Sat. 9120 W. Florissant, 314-388-0424. $

Goody Goody Diner
Diner. Opened in 1948, this spanking-clean diner delivers with fried chicken and Belgian waffles, eggs cooked to order 12 ways, and such classics as hamburger steak and brown gravy. Named one of “America’s Best Diners” by Travel + Leisure, this local institution sticks to its roots. Breakfast and lunch daily. 5900 Natural Bridge, 314-383-3333, $–$$

Hendel’s Market Café & Wine Bar
American. This casual family-owned restaurant is housed in a historic brick building from the late 1800s complete with original wood floors, covered porch, and ivy-draped brick courtyard. Many come for the steak—USDA Choice beef, aged at least 21 days. The signature dish, the Louisiana-style crab cakes, is served with a tobacco-onion remoulade. If you’re there for brunch, be sure to grab a mimosa for $2.25. Lunch & dinner Tue–Sat, breakfast Sun. 599 St. Denis, 314-837-2304, $$

India Palace
Northern Indian. See Multiple Locations.

Lombardo’s Trattoria
Italian. See Multiple Locations.

Mi Hungry Catering & BBQ
Jamaican. Serving up a Jamaican flavor that’s happily authentic, this spot is tiny, like a cozy, comfortable diner. The three-meat combo is a good way to sample. Note the fried plantains, and don’t miss the peach cobbler. Breakfast, lunch & dinner Tue–Sun. 8660 St. Charles Rock Rd., 314-427-3368, $

Omar’s Italian & Mediterranean Cuisine
Italian/Mediterranean. This St. Ann spot is an exemplar of excellent, affordable Mediterranean fare. Huge bowls of hummus, crispy falafel, and superior pita-stuffed shawarma are served in a converted Taco Bell that quickly fills to capacity on most evenings. The hot rolls that arrive when you’re seated are seriously addicting. Lunch & dinner Tue–Sun. 10111 St. Charles Rock Rd., 314-429-6881, $$

Pearl Café
Asian/Thai. The traditional Thai menu is filled with chicken, beef, pork, and seafood dishes. If you’re feeling adventurous, take the King of Spice Challenge by sampling dishes of increasing hotness, such as the “drunken noodles” dish—wide rice noodles with bell peppers, shrimp, and a single ghost pepper. There are also more than 200 beers and 125 single-malt Scotch options. Lunch and dinner daily. 8416 N. Lindbergh, 314-831-3701, $–$$

Pirrone’s Pizzeria
Pizza. Rectangular thin-crust pies are made fresh, from the dough to the toppings, which include Provel cheese. Check out the pizza buffet, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Monday–Friday. Sandwiches, pastas, salads, and more are available, too. Lunch & dinner daily. 1775 Washington, 314-839-3633; 299 Salt Lick, St. Peters, 636-278-3800, $$

Playboy El Cappuccino
American. In case you are wondering, there is no cappuccino and even fewer playboys. But this wonderfully eccentric dive has a deserved reputation for the best jumbo fried shrimp and fried green beans around. On some Thursdays a band makes for a tight fit, but it’s worth the trip. Lunch & dinner daily. 8500 N. Broadway, 314-869-4098. $$

Pueblo Nuevo
Authentic Mexican. This 30-year-old mainstay delivers such memorable Mexican specialties as birria, a hearty stew made of marinated goat’s meat. Try chilaquiles, a layered tortilla casserole of meat and cheese topped with red or green sauce; the bacon-wrapped jalapeños (pictured); or the classic rojo posole. Negro Modelo is on tap in the cantina. Lunch & dinner Mon–Sat. 7401 N. Lindbergh, 314-831-6885, $–$$

The Rib Shack
Barbecue. Perfectly named, The Rib Shack serves such sides as collards and yams, and they’re just as delicious as the ribs and other slow-smoked meats. Crowds are the norm, so don’t be in a hurry. And though industrial steel tables aren’t exactly homey, it’s a terrific place. Lunch & dinner daily. 8642 Natural Bridge, 314-427-1777; 1300 Cass, 314-241-2223; $–$$

Rib Station
Barbecue. During your next trip to Bridgeton’s Home Depot, stop next door for smoked wings and cheese-gooey macaroni. The wide menu at this pin-neat eatery offers burgers, fried chicken, and fish, along with daily specials, such as some excellent pulled pork. The fast food atmosphere maintains a decidedly personal touch. Lunch & dinner daily. 11249 St. Charles Rock Rd., 314-770-2000, $–$$

Ruiz’ Mexican Restaurant
Authentic Mexican. The fourth-generation owners at this longtime North County establishment serve tacos, burritos, and fajitas, along with Pueblo specialties. The main draw is the cemita de puerco, a hefty sandwich loaded with barbacoa pork, avocadoes, and cheese. Oh, and the margaritas are almost big enough to swim in. Lunch & dinner Tue–Sun. 901 N. Highway 67, Florissant, 314-838-3500, $–$$

Simply Thai
Thai. This little joint has the best Thai in North County and some of the tastiest Thai dishes in the region. The noodles are a favorite, but try the authentic, delicious pla sam rod, with three flavors of catfish. Lunch & dinner Wed–Mon. 2470 N. Highway 67, 314-921-2179, $$

Smoki O’s
Barbecue. It’s a barbecue place run by a couple named Otis and Earline. What else do you need to know? There are Styrofoam “dishes,” snoots slathered in sauce, and pulled-chicken sandwiches. It’s take-out tiny, so plan on taking home some of the better ’cue in St. Lou. Lunch and early dinner Tue–Thu, open until 9 p.m. Fri–Sat. 1545 N. Broadway, 314-621-8180, $-$$

Greek/American. See Multiple Locations.

Taqueria Durango
Mexican. Hidden in a strip mall, this oasis is easy to miss. Stop in for the traditional tacos. Lunch and dinner daily. 10238 Page, 314-429-1113. $

Thai Kitchen
Thai. Try the papaya salad, tom yum kung, and Hainan chicken. Lunch and dinner daily. 2031 Dorsett Village, 314-439-1888. $

Vincenzo’s Italian Restaurant
Italian. Warm and intimate, Vincenzo’s features a classic Italian menu, a full-service bar, great beers, and a manageable wine list. Daily specials and “soups of the moment” provide a lively counterpoint to Italian standards. Seasonal patio dining and a private room for 60 guests are available. Lunch & dinner Mon–Sat, dinner only Sun. 242 S. Florissant, 314-524-7888, $$


BC’s Kitchen
Traditional American. This slightly more folksy version of Bill Cardwell’s take on American cuisine offers nightly specials evocative of his childhood. Lunch and dinner daily. 11 Meadows Circle, Lake Saint Louis, 636-542-9090, $$$

The Blue Owl
American/Desserts. The Caramel Pecan Levee High Apple Pie has been listed among Oprah’s favorites. Lunch Tue–Sun. 6116 Second, Kimmswick, 636-464-3128, $–$$

Bristol Seafood Grill
Seafood. See Multiple Locations.

Fratelli’s Ristorante
Italian. Generations-old family recipes are served in an old-world atmosphere. Lunch Mon–Fri, dinner daily. 2061 Zumbehl, St. Charles, 636-949-9005, $$

Hendricks BBQ
Barbecue. There’s a rustic roadhouse vibe upstairs, a blues bar downstairs, and exceptional ’cue. Lunch and dinner daily. 1200 S. Main, St. Charles, 636-724-8600, $–$$

Lewis and Clark’s
American. It’s a nice place for a meal—even if its namesake explorers didn’t create it. Lunch and dinner daily. 217 S. Main, St. Charles, 636-947-3334, $–$$

Llywelyn’s Pub
Welsh/Bar & Grill. See Multiple Locations.

Miss Aimee B’s
American. It serves soups, unusual salads and sandwiches, and desserts. Breakfast and lunch Tue–Sat. 837 First Capitol, St. Charles, 636-946-4202, $

American/Eclectic. It bills itself as “eco-chic,” but we call prasino St. Charles’ best restaurant. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. 1520 S. Fifth, 636-277-0202, $$–$$$

Greek/American. See Multiple Locations.

Stone Soup Cottage
A-List 2014
Regional American. Carl McConnell offers the area’s only prix fixe, one-seating menu—and a memorable experience. Dinner only Wed–Sat, other evenings by special request. 5809 Highway N, Cottleville, 636-244-2233, $$$$

Trailhead Brewing Co.
American. Trailhead features smoked dishes and a hearty selection of brews. Lunch and dinner daily. 921 S. Riverside, St. Charles, 636-946-2739, $–$$


1818 Chophouse
Steakhouse. Options abound at this upscale eatery. Go all out with a bone-in Delmonico, midrange with the brown sugar-brined chicken, or casual with  the lobster BLT with egg. Tip: The patio has comfy, deeply cushioned chairs. Lunch Tue–Sat, dinner Tue–Sun, brunch Sun. 210 S. Buchanan, Edwardsville, 618-307-9300, $$$–$$$$

4204 Main Street Brewery
American/Microbrewery. Grab a seat by the outdoor fire pit. Order a malty German Alt and a 12-ounce ribeye (pictured) that matches it perfectly. Be sure to add some fried pickles. Lunch and dinner daily. 4204 W. Main, Belleville, 618-416-7261, $$-$$$

Agostino’s Italian Restaurant
Italian. Authentic Italian is located 20 minutes east of The Hill. Lunch Mon–Fri, dinner Mon–Sat. 130 Ludwig, Fairview Heights, 618-394-1800, $$–$$$

Andria’s Countryside
Steakhouse. High-grade steaks meet the grill at this odd but delightful place. Andria’s is odd in that it’s a converted ranch-style house. It’s delightful in that the steaks and sides are extraordinary. The noise level can be high, but the food is terrific and the atmosphere convivial. Check the oft-overlooked lounge menu. Dinner Mon–Sat. 7415 Hwy. 143, Edwardsville, 618-656-0281, $$$–$$$$

Andria’s Restaurant
Steakhouse. Another family-run gem in a beautiful old home, Andria’s Restaurant makes things special with simple touches like hot bread and bacon–and–blue cheese–stuffed turnovers. Though the beef gets top billing, consider the outstanding seafood dishes. Multiple rooms range from spacious to intimate. It’s folksy, bright—and a perfect destination for dinner. Dinner Mon–Sat. 6805 Old Collinsville, O’Fallon, Ill., 618-632-4866, $$$$

American Comfort. Warning: The deviled eggs and the pozole
(pictured) are potentially addicting. Limit yourself, and concentrate on the ever-changing seasonal menu. Housed in a 1930s-era building, Cleveland-Heath is one of the most beautiful restaurants around. It’s folksy, comfortable, lovely. The restaurant doesn’t take reservations, so eat either Midwestern early or big-city late to avoid a long wait. Lunch and dinner Mon–Sat. 106 N Main, Edwardsville, 618-307-4830, $$–$$$

Dewey’s Pizza
Pizza. See Multiple Locations.

Dreamland Palace
German. You probably can’t pronounce half of the items on the menu here, but it’s fun to try. Dreamland Palace is the place for German fare, a tchotchke-laden space where “salad bar” meets hofbrau. The food’s authentic, and the beer is nearly as cold as the frosted mugs. A perfect spot for larger groups, the atmosphere is lively and loud. Vergnügen! Lunch and dinner Wed–Sun. 3043 Hwy. 156, Waterloo, 618-939-9922, $$–$$$

Fletcher’s Kitchen & Tap
American. Pastas, burgers, and sandwiches are served in a loud, friendly atmosphere. You’ll whiff the hickory smoke a block away; the grilled ribs and thick burgers are as good as they smell. Don’t miss the grilled zucchini. Lunch and dinner daily. 6101 W. Main, Belleville, 618-239-3317, $–$$

American. Paying homage to the crispy browned bird, this comfortable Waterloo classic is a repository of local architectural details, with vintage doors, railings, and more. A wide-ranging menu includes a “candied bacon cheeseburger.” Lunch and dinner Tue–Sun. 114 W. Mill, Waterloo, 618-939-9933, $$–$$$

Hick’s BBQ
Barbeque. A vinegary Carolina-type sauce “with a kick” dominates at this small, rustic, inevitably packed joint. The wait is worth it. The ribs are excellent, the brisket is properly moist and tender, and the pork sandwiches are decadently overstuffed. Oh, and don’t miss the homemade potato chips. Though the frills are few, this is serious BBQ. Lunch and dinner Tue–Sun. 609 S. Illinois, Belleville, 618-234-7427, $–$$

J Fires’ Market Bistro
American/Cajun. A beautifully restored Victorian home is transformed into unexpected dining elegance in the fields of Waterloo. The menu tilts toward Cajun—étouffée, gumbo, and boudin. Surprises such as lamb and whole fish keep things interesting. The vine-entwined patio is splendid for warm-weather dining. Dinner Wed–Sun, Sun brunch. 725 N. Market, Waterloo, 618-939-7233, $$–$$$

Lascelles Granite City
American. Renowned chef Eric Brenner’s new restaurant is housed in a century-old bank building. Menu items with simple descriptions (Chicken + Dumplings) give way to thoughtful plate presentations (a smoked half-chicken with potato gnocchi, mushrooms, peas, carrots, and pan jus). In the beer garden out back, pair a fried-chicken waffle sandwich with one of a dozen craft brews. Lunch and dinner Mon–Sat. 1324 Niedringhaus, Granite City, 618-709-7375, $$

Mi Tierra Tienda y Taqueria
Mexican. The taqueria is there—really. A tiny space with a couple of tables in the back of a Mexican grocery, Mi Tierra serves delicious tacos: lengua, juicy al pastor, and carne asada, with just the right prickle of cilantro and chopped onions. Torta buns are stuffed with grilled steak. Don’t forget an order of the best lime-spiked guacamole around. Lunch and dinner daily. 3121 Collinsville, East St. Louis, 618-271-8168. $

Mr. Currys India Restaurant
Indian. Housed in another repurposed house in Illinois, Mr. Currys is a home for northern Indian fare. The food is delicious, with a choice of heat levels, and the Sunday buffet is a bargain. Curries, biryani, and masalas are all glorious—and the southern Indian dosa are fat and flavorful. Dinner Mon–Sat, weekend brunch. 7403 Marine, Edwardsville, 618-692-3892, $–$$

Mike Shannon’s Grill
American. Mike Shannon once played for some local team—there’s a couple (hundred) memorabilia reminders decorating this stylish steakhouse. You can order burgers and fries or excellent steaks and seafood. TV screens show every sporting event in the world. The upside-down apple pie should receive your complete dessert attention. Lunch and dinner daily. 871 S. Arbor Vitae, Edwardsville, 618-655-9911, $$-$$$

Paulo’s at the Mansion
American. An elegant, perfectly restored 1857 Italianate mansion hosts perhaps the most formal dining in the region. Reservations are vital. Everything is perfect and decorous, with effortlessly polished service. Steaks, pasta, seafood, lamb chops, duck—every meal is an artistic statement. Dress up, straighten up, and enjoy what “fine dining” really means. Dinner Tue–Sat. 1680 Mansion Way, O’Fallon, Ill., 618-624-0629, $$$

Peel Wood Fired Pizza
Pizza/Sandwiches. The aroma coming from that oven makes waiting for a table a delicious agony. The pizzas, built on a thinnish crust, are topped with innovative ingredients: BBQ pork, duck sausage, roasted sweet potatoes… Insiders often opt for sandwiches—and spicy mustard sauce–slathered wings. In O’Fallon, Ill., there’s an entire brewpub upstairs (pictured); at the Edwardsville location, the patio is memorable. Lunch and dinner daily. 921 S. Arbor Vitae, Edwardsville, 618-659-8561; 104 S. Cherry, O’Fallon, Ill., 618-726-2244, $–$$

The Pie Pantry
American. The hoi polloi come for lunchtime sandwiches, burgers, and salads. But you know this is a breakfast heaven, with biscuits and gravy and massive fluffy omelets. It’s a longtime Belleville meeting place, and the locals swear by the pies. Breakfast and lunch daily. 310 E. Main, Belleville, 618-277-4140, $

American/Small Plates. See Multiple Locations.

Seven Sushi Bar
Japanese. Simple, nearly austere, and small, this sushi bar excels in its particularly extensive menu of toppings. Prices are reasonable. House-special rolls are inventive. Lunch specials are varied and affordable. Open until 2 a.m., Seven is a late-night favorite. Lunch and dinner Mon–Sat; dinner Sun. 28 E. Main, Belleville, 618-277-6702, $$–$$$

Social Gastropub
Creative American. Oxtail poutine? Ramen? Beef-cheek stroganoff? The menu’s not exactly what you would expect in a space that was the longtime home of Shenanigans. It also includes sandwiches (short-rib grilled cheese, anyone?) and build-your-own mac and cheese, with 20 on-tap craft beers and other beverages to wash it all down. Lunch and dinner daily. 2157 Center, Edwardsville, 618-692-5156, $$

Sugo’s Spaghetteria
Casual Italian. See Multiple Locations.  

Thai House
Thai. When an unassuming Asian joint in a small town in Metro East attracts customers from all around the region (and beyond), it’s noteworthy. When standards like Pad Thai, Tom Yum soup, and even crab rangoon draw near-universal raves, it’s visit-worthy. And when a couple can dine there for less than $30, return trips get planned. Lunch and dinner daily. 109 S. Main, Columbia, Ill., 618-281-2777. $$

Wang Gang Asian Eats
Asian. First-timers should consult the staff here. The menu boasts a tantalizing but bewildering collection of Asian-influenced dishes: stir fries, noodles, and sandwiches. The atmosphere is light, pleasant, and “fast” without being “hurried.” The emphasis is on bold flavors and creative interpretations of foods from all over the East. (Hint: the $2 “mystery” beer is always fun.) Lunch and dinner daily. 1035 Century, Edwardsville, 618-655-0888, $–$$

Wasabi Sushi Bar
Japanese/Sushi. See Multiple Locations.

The Wine Tap
Small Plates/Wine Bar. An impeccable wine menu is the draw here, but a roofed patio for hot days and rainy nights doesn’t hurt, and neither do the 80 craft beers. Sit near the outdoor oven in the garden and order baked Brie with a Rombauer Chardonnay. Dinner Tue–Fri, lunch and dinner Sat. 223 E. Main, Belleville, 618-239-9463, $–$$


The Block
American. After devouring the shrimp with grits, take home a pound of bacon. Lunch Mon–Fri, dinner Mon–Sat in the CWE, dinner daily in Webster Groves. 146 W. Lockwood, 314-918-7900; 33 N. Sarah, 314-535-5100; $$

Bristol Seafood Grill
Seafood. This longtime favorite for fresh seafood lovers is just as well-known for Sunday brunch. Lunch Mon–Fri, dinner daily, brunch Sun. 11801 Olive, 314-567-0272; 2314 Technology, O’Fallon, 636-625-6350; $$–$$$

Charlie Gitto’s
Italian. Casually elegant Sicilian fare is served at three locations of this landmark restaurant, the alleged birthplace of St. Louis’ toasted ravioli. Pasta’s king here, though there are also many beef dishes—all aged a minimum of 28 days—along with pork osso buco veal, and seafood. And a signature meatball sandwich and well-appointed wine list are hard to pass up. Dinner daily. 5226 Shaw, 314-772-8898; Hollywood Casino St. Louis, 777 Casino, 314-770-7663; 15525 Olive, 636-536-2199; $$$–$$$$

City Diner
Homestyle American. “Come as you are” seven days a week; the menu is served all night on Fri and Sat. 3139 S. Grand, 314-772-6100; 541 N. Grand, 314-533-7500; $

Crushed Red Urban Bake & Chop Shop
Pizza. Crushed Red’s pizzas and chopped salads are fresh, affordable—and a hit. Lunch and dinner daily. 8007 Maryland, 314-725-8007; 140 S. Kirkwood, 314-238-0100; $

Companion Bakehouse
Bakery/Café. Buy baked goods here, plus breakfast and lunch and specialty desserts. 8143 Maryland, 314-352-4770; 9781 Clayton, 314-218-2280; $

Dewey’s Pizza
Pizza. This popular chain offers gourmet and create-your-own pizzas, with either olive oil or red sauce, as well as delicious calzones and salads. Seasonal dishes include the porky fig pizza with fig jam, mozzarella, fontina, caramelized red onions, prosciutto, and Gorgonzola and a harvest salad with field greens, figs, apple wood–smoked bacon, roasted pumpkin seeds, Boursin cheese, and apple-cider vinaigrette. Lunch Mon–Sat, dinner daily. 124 N. Kirkwood, 314-821-7474; 559 North & South, 314-726-3434; 1312 Clarkson/Clayton Center, 636-227-3400; 122 E. Lockwood, 314-961-1000; 112 E. Vandalia, Edwardsville, Ill., 618-656-2100; $$–$$$

The Drunken Fish
Japanese/Sushi. It has good sushi and great people-watching. Lunch Mon–Fri, dinner daily. 639 Westport Plaza, 314-275-8300; 1 Maryland Plaza, 314-367-4222; 612 N. Second, 314-241-9595; Ballpark Village, 601 Clark, Ste. 104, 314-899-0500; $$$

Five Star Burgers
American. St. Louis’ first chef-owned and -operated burger joint is a home run. Lunch and dinner daily. 8125 Maryland, 314-720-4350; 312 S. Kirkwood, 314-394-2250; $

Fozzie’s Sandwich Emporium
Sandwiches/Deli. Fozzie’s has specialty sandwiches, salads, burgers, dogs, vegetarian options, and house-made sides, chips, and milkshakes. Lunch and dinner daily. 1170 S. Big Bend, 314-932-5414; 11656 Manchester, 314-909-4755; $

India Palace
Indian. Many dine here for the setting alone, with its top-floor view of planes at Lambert–St. Louis International Airport. The menu offers some of the best Indian cuisine around. The spicy lamb vindaloo and flavorful chicken tikka masala are outstanding. White linen tablecloths, Polynesian décor, and wall-to-wall carpeting provide a casually elegant dining experience. Lunch buffet & dinner daily. 4534 N. Lindbergh, 314-731-3333,; 711 Olive, 314-621-8533, $$

J.Buck’s and Joe buck’s
American/Sports Bar. Owned by a legendary sports-announcing family, it is fit for a casual lunch or quick bite. Lunch Mon–Fri, dinner Mon–Sat. J.Buck’s, 101 S. Hanley, 314-725-4700; Joe Buck’s, 1000 Clark, 314-436-0394; $$–$$$$

Joe Boccardi’s Ristorante
Italian/Pizza. Try the chicken spiedini, tutto mare, or filet mignon. Lunch and dinner daily. 8556 Watson, 314-849-7976; 117 S. Main, Columbia, Ill., 618-281-6700; 128 Boccardi, Eureka, 636-938-6100; $$–$$$

Joey B’s
American/Bar & Grill. Large portions, reasonable prices, and multiple locations add up to a local success story. Hours vary by location. 2524 Hampton, 314-635-7300,; 710 N. Second, 314-621-9570,; 189 Concord Plaza, 314-843-2121, $–$$

Kaldi’s Coffee Roasting Company
Bakery/Café. Kaldi’s offers the Midwest’s largest selection of organic coffees. Breakfast, lunch, and early dinner. 700 DeMun, 314-727-9955, and three other area locations, $

Llywelyn’s Pub
Bar & Grill. This neighborhood pub serves Old World pub fare, with 30 Irish, English, Belgian, and French-style beers on tap and a healthy selection of American, Canadian, Irish, and Scotch whiskeys. The menu features hearty Celtic dishes, such as fried Irish pies, Welsh rarebit, and bangers and mash. All six eco-friendly metro locations have solar panels. Lunch and dinner daily. 4747 McPherson, 314-361-3003; 17 Moody, 314-962-1515; 1732 Ninth, 314-436-3255; 100 N. Main, St. Charles, 636-724-6823: 7434 Village Center, O’Fallon, Mo., 636-625-8655; 2490 Taylor, Wildwood, 636-821-3000; $$

Lombardo’s Trattoria
Italian. The cuisine of Sicily and northern Italy, crafted with recipes handed down through three generations, is the specialty here. Notable on the menu is the toasted ravioli, veal saltimbocca with prosciutto, and the linguine Lombardo with house-made sausage. One might call the food positively presidential; the renovated Union Station location once served President George H.W. Bush and his family and cabinet. Lunch Tue–Fri, dinner daily. 10488 Natural Bridge, 314-429-5151; 201 S. 20th, 314-621-0666; $$–$$$

Mike Duffy’s Pub & Grill
Bar & Grill. Choose from 11 burger options, as well as slow-smoked barbecue, St. Louis–style pizza, wings, and tempting sandwich selections. Kids eat free on Monday and Tuesday nights at any of Duffy’s three metro locations. Lunch and dinner Mon–Sat. 124 W. Jefferson, 314-821-2025; 6662 Clayton, 314-644-3700; 1024 Woods Mill Plaza, 636-394-8855; $

Mission Taco Joint
A-List 2014
Mexican/Taqueria. The specialties here are house-made corn tortillas and authentic Mexican street food reminiscent of the offerings in San Francisco’s Mission District. Mission Taco is a great spot for a handcrafted cocktail, too, with 100 percent fresh-squeezed (in-house) juices. A walk-up window offers late-night tacos. Lunch and dinner Tue–Sun. 6235 Delmar, 314-932-5430, 908 Lafayette, 314-858-8226; $

Nadoz Bakery + Café
Bakery/Café. Enjoy pastries, paninis, and an espresso bar. Open daily, brunch Sun. 3701 Lindell, 314-446-6800; 12 The Boulevard–St. Louis, 314-726-3100; Taubman Prestige Outlets Chesterfield, 17089 N. Outer 40, 636-536-4100; $

Pizza. President Barack Obama’s favorite pizza comes in both thin-crust and deep-dish styles, with Pi’s distinctive cornmeal dough. Here, at the original Pi location, it’s worth trying the inventive specials, such as the Grand Market (a deep-dish pizza that features Korean-style brisket, vegetables, and a fried egg) and the Gringo (a thin-crust pie with chipotle tomato sauce, black beans, pico de gallo, avocado, feta, and lime). Lunch and dinner daily. 6144 Delmar, 314-727-6633; 10935 Manchester, 314-966-8080; 4753 McPherson, 314-367-4300; 14870 Clayton, 636-527-5070 (pickup only); $–$$

American/Small Plates. Mix and match with small plates and wine flights. Lunch and dinner Mon–Sat. 227 W. Lockwood, 314-963-0033; 635 Washington, 314-287-6300; 126 N. Main, Edwardsville, Ill., 618-307-3203; $$

Russell’s Cafe & Bakery
Café/Bakery. Russell Ping serves soups, salads, and sandwiches. Hours vary by location. Russell’s Cafe & Bakery, 952 Brookwood Center, Fenton, 636-343-8900; Russell’s on Macklind, 5400 Murdoch, 314-553-9994; $–$$

Sauce on the Side
Italian/American. Choose from 15 kinds of calzones, with 10 sauces “on the side” for dipping. Lunch and dinner Mon–Sat. 903 Pine, 314-241-5667; 7810 Forsyth, 314-833-5426; $

Sandwiches/Deli. Not $5 and not a foot long, these sandwiches have quality ingredients packed in hoagie buns. Grab beer and wine, too. Lunch and dinner daily. 6301 Delmar, 314-725-4800; 614 Washington, 314-241-0100; $

Greek/American. Specialties at this respected family-owned chain include steak krasato and rack of lamb with scallops. (Try the combination plate if you can’t choose just one dish.) Created tableside, Greek salad is a nice touch. And don’t forget to save room for a piece of house-made baklava. Call for hours. 1054 N. Woods Mill, 314-878-4449; 3122 Watson, 314-645-8383; 8406 Natural Bridge, 314-382-8074; 2275 Bluestone, 636-916-1454; $$

Steve’s Hot Dogs
American. Eat smoked dogs with clever names like The Molotov Dog and Al Hra-BRAT-Ski. Lunch Mon–Sat. 2131 Marconi; 3457 Magnolia; 314-762-9899, $

Sugo’s Spaghetteria
Casual Italian. Here, the lasagna and meatballs are generous, and the sugo’s homemade. Lunch Mon–Fri, dinner Mon–Sat. 10419 Clayton, 314-569-0400; 243 Harvard, Edwardsville, Ill., 618-659-4640; $–$$

Three Kings Public House
A-List 2014
Bar & Grill. Three Kings offers an innovative take on classic pub fare. Half-pound burgers, a Reuben, and a bratwurst sandwich are listed alongside unexpected dishes like mussels and fries, Captain Crunch shrimp, lobster bisque, zarzuela seafood stew, and Moroccan spiced pork shanks. More than 20 beers are on tap, and many more are available by the bottle, along with house-made infused liquors. Lunch and dinner daily. 6307 Delmar, 314-721-3355; 11925 Manchester, 314-815-3455; $–$$

Tucker’s Place
Steakhouse/Bar & Grill. This local chain serves a 16-ounce bone-in ribeye and a 16-ounce bacon-wrapped filet mignon, as well as a beef tenderloin dinner for $18.85. There’s also a large covered patio and drink specials Monday through Sunday. Lunch Mon–Sat, dinner daily. 2117 S. 12th, 314-772-5977; 3939 Union, 314-845-2584; 14282 Manchester, 636-227-8062; $$–$$$

Wasabi Sushi Bar
Japanese/Sushi. Try sushi and traditional Japanese food. Lunch Mon–Fri, dinner Mon–Sat. 1228 Washington, 314-421-3500; 16 S. Central, 314-721-9970; 9983 Manchester, 314-966-7786; 1066 Town & Country Crossing, 636-230-7400; 100 S. Buchanan, Edwardsville, Ill., 618-655-9880; $$

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