6 Must-Try Restaurants in St. Louis
St. Louis is primarily known for two things food-wise: BBQ and toasted ravioli, a fried version of the pasta served with marinara sauce. While these offerings are certainly delicious, this midwestern city has many excellent restaurants offering a variety of other cuisines, from Thai to vegan. Although I’m not a St. Louis native, after living here for five years, I’ve acquired a near encyclopedic knowledge of its food scene. Next time you’re in the Lou, be sure to visit at least a few of these delicious local eateries!
#1- King and I
King and I is all you could want in a restaurant — flavorful, affordable food made with fresh ingredients. Around since 1980, this spot is a fixture of the Tower Grove neighborhood. My personal favorite is the yellow curry, with its bright, rich sauce and perfectly cooked chicken and potatoes. The pad thai and red curry are also top notch.
St. Louis likes to brag about how great its Italian food is, but it never amazed me until I tried Pastaria. This establishment, which has superior service and staff, goes beyond the typical chicken parm and spaghetti and meatballs. Its pizzas are wood-fired oven and its pastas are freshly made. The must-try pasta here is the pistachio-filled ravioli, served with brown butter, cheese, and lemon. If the restaurant itself is beyond your price point, they also have an excellent, more affordable deli open during lunch. Warning: you will daydream about the pasta from here.
#3- Lulu’s Local Eatery
I have brought my most meat-loving friends to this vegan restaurant, and even they have loved its food. This restaurant proves that vegan food can be affordable, accessible, and creative. Every menu item is less than ten dollars! I normally hate cauliflower, but I always crave Lulu’s buffalo cauliflower wings served with vegan ranch. Their sweet potato and black bean burger is so savory and filling that you definitely won’t miss the meat!
#4- Blues City Deli
If you are looking for a hearty deli sandwich, look no further than Blues City Deli. This St. Louis classic makes everything in house. While every ingredient is high-quality, refreshingly, there is no pretension or fanciness at this place. There’s a reason why the line is usually around the block come lunch hour. The Chicken-Shack Ranch — pulled chicken, bacon, provolone, lettuce, tomato, and ranch — is heaven-sent and so is the Pastrami.
If I was ridiculously wealthy and money was no object, I would eat at Sultan at least three times a week. This recently opened Mediterranean/Kurdish restaurant never fails to deliver a memorable meal. The lamb shank literally falls off the bone and melts in the mouth. My second time at Sultan I tried the musakhan and never looked back. This Palestinian dish consists of caramelized onions and roasted chicken seasoned with sumac, allspice, and saffron on toasted bread. It is unlike any other Mediterranean dish I’ve ever had — spiced, but not overly hot, and savory, but not heavy. Give this “chicken pizza,” as they call it, a shot!
Most of the time, my philosophy on going out to eat is to go to places with cuisine and dishes I could never cook myself. Enter Himalayan Yeti. This Nepalese/Indian restaurant makes some of the best dishes of these cuisines that I’ve ever had. My go-to order is always lamb rogan josh and garlic naan. Its momo, a type of dumpling from Nepal, are also excellent. The vast depth of flavor of these dishes makes it clear that this restaurant takes time, pride, and care in its food.
Whether you’re just passing through or staying for a few days, consider trying these spots next time you’re in St. Louis. These restaurants are beloved by locals and worth a stop!