One thing I always budget for now when traveling is food. Eating. I could care less about buying trinkets, chotchkies, or mementos, but I’ll happily dispense with cash for a good meal on the road. Here’s a tour of some of the establishments I ate at during my recent trip to St. Louis, with non-review reviews or quick synopses of what’s what at each location:
The first place was Sugarfire, a smoke house “BBQ & comfort eats” restaurant on Olive Blvd. in Olivette just west of I-170. Obviously the menu caters more to carnivores with a sprinkle of pescetarian, but the sides are pretty veg-friendly and everything is effing delectable!
I’m biased (say “Hi!” to my sister). But if you’re looking for morning (including early morning) savory eats, sweet morsels, and NYC-roasted coffee, look no further than Restituo in the Shaw neighborhood in the city. TIP: food truck coming soon. Also, the Vietnamese Iced Coffee is a solid jolt of buzz!
South Grand Blvd. has a bunch of new establishments, and the one that stood out the prominently to me is Lulu’s Local Eatery on the corner of Wyoming. The menu is entirely vegan – a “wow” for St. Louis imho. I got the bahn mi sandwich, whose meat substitute was made from jackfruit – a surprising choice, and so convincing the carnivore I ate a meal with had to ask the waiter before I took a bite to ensure it was vegan (thanks for that Ashley!). Also they have a good beer selection for such a small establishment.
Just north of Lulu’s is Rooster (at least one of their locations). They claim to offer “elevated comfort food & cocktails” – I didn’t try any cocktails but the food is spot-on good. This seating arrangement was for the 16th installment of the St. Louis chapter of Pecha Kucha, otherwise the chairs are arranged around the tables canteen-style.
OK for this one I have to apologize. One of the top 3 restaurants I ate at during this trip and I forgot to get a picture! Which is crazy because while the outside of Pearl Cafe is pretty generic or even banal for a Thai restaurant, the interior is great, the beer selection is probably 100+ choices deep, and they have a selection of Scotch that rivals any Scotch bar I’ve ever been to. And the food was delicious! Seriously one of the best eateries I’ve been to in a while, and it’s hidden on North Lindbergh!
Next up is First Watch on Forsyth Blvd. in Clayton. A fairly unassuming place – as someone from the city this isn’t the kind of place I’d be inclined to pull over and walk into to figure out what it is. But there’s good foot traffic for the area, and while the menu is pretty standard the food itself is good if not great. Again, standard design and menu, but palatially melange-arific! I continue to be impressed by the food offerings St. Louis has since I’ve moved away.
If you find yourself walking Cherokee Street in the city, you really should stop by the Mud House, either for coffee or food. The only actual food photo I managed to take while on this trip, the pimento grilled cheese sandwich was amazing!
Back in North County, if you find yourself anywhere near (as in, within a 30 mile radius) of Florissant, you should stop by Dogs n Frys (especially if that’s what you want!). Homemade buns, unique veggie and meat dog options, with some really novel toppings and taste sensations. Can’t recommend this place enough, and the staff are totally friendly and warm. Great place, top-notch find for this trip.
Been there once before but it was so good I had to go back to try something else, if you want a spice-influenced, Southwest American style breakfast, I cannot recommend enough Southwest Diner on Southwest Avenue in the city. Also, SOUTHWEST! It’s just fun to say, and eat! Love the decor and ephemera too.
Another restaurant from the same people who run Rooster, Baileys Range specialize in burgers & shakes; I didn’t have a burger, but can testify that the shakes are superb. Had some fries too, and what could be generic is otherwise really well prepared, fresh, and delicious. Put it on your radar if you’re ever in Downtown.
Lastly, while I didn’t have food this time I can attest the food here is great; finished my trip with a night cap at The Royale on South Kingshighway. A true neighborhood bar for St. Louisans.