You love food—not only as sustenance to fuel your activities, but as a hobby that consumes your free time. New restaurant opening in town? You’re on the wait list to try it first, and after scouring the menu in advance, you know exactly what to order. You know your way around the kitchen: how to prepare foods to extract the utmost flavor (and pleasure), selecting the right beverage to compliment the menu and creating a meal that hits just right.
Planning your next foodie adventure?
Welcome to St. Louis—America’s next great food city.
“There are cities with great food and there are great food cities. St. Louis is the latter. In recent years, the rest of the country has been recognizing
St. Louis as an essential culinary destination.”
-Holly Fann, food writer and St. Louis Magazine contributor
Dine on The Hill
First stop? The Hill, where you’ll find the best Italian restaurants and bakeries along with markets and mom-and-pop trattorias. While we’ve enjoyed visiting historic Italian neighborhoods in other areas, including North End in Boston and Federal Hill in Providence, ours is the best. Why? While there are modern additions and new homes, the original neighborhood is still intact, creating a truly authentic experience.
Enjoy an evening out at Charlie Gitto’s on The Hill, a St. Louis fine dining tradition for over 25 years. Choose a Charlie Gitto’s Signature Item, like Arancini (Risotto balls, filled with fresh Mozzarella cheese, served with their famous pomodoro and walnut pesto cream sauce), Veal Nunzio (Thinly sliced veal, topped with jumbo lump crabmeat, finished with CG cheeses and lemon butter sauce) or Seafood Pasta Suzanne (Fresh homemade tagliatelle noodles with shrimp, scallops, clams, langostinos and mussels in a spicy three-pepper cream sauce), or from a wide range of entrees if those don’t tantalize your tastebuds. Pair your meal with a selection from their extensive wine list, or consult one of two certified sommeliers on staff for a recommendation. Reservations are encouraged.
Looking for more of a neighborhood tavern feel? Your trip to the Hill isn’t complete without stopping by Milo’s Bocce Garden. A popular hangout, Milo’s is the perfect spot to relax with friends, enjoy a drink, grab a bite to eat and play bocce. Don’t be fooled by the tavern feel though; the menu is excellent. Split an Antipasto Tray for Two (Salami, copa, assorted cheeses, olive salad & bread) while you enjoy Milo’s House Brew from the draft, or satisfy your comfort food cravings with St. Louis-style pizza and wings, tossed in house made hot sauce and made to order: fried, grilled or trashed. Bocce not your style? Milo’s offers several indoor games, including darts, foosball, Soprano’s pinball, Golden Tee Golf, and Big Buck Hunter. Let’s bocce!
Ready for dessert? Gelato di Riso makes Italian gelato fresh daily and serves it with a side of happiness. Gelato contains less air than traditional American ice cream, giving it a velvety texture and making it rich in flavor. Mix your favorite flavors, which change daily, to create the perfect icy cool treat, or enjoy a fudge brownie or cannoli from the bakery washed down with a delicious latte. Choose from Dolce Gelatos, made with milk instead of high fat cream for guiltless indulgence, or Frutta Gelatos, made with real fruit ingredients to satisfy your luscious fruit cravings. Life is too short to skip dessert, so enjoy some Italian decadence right here in St. Louis. Relish your sweet treat over coffee and conversation on the patio or get it to go to explore the neighborhood. Live luxuriously!
A Sushi Revolution
Ready to explore other cuisines? Our acclaimed chefs are ready to lead the way. After being recognized as Rising Star Chef of the Year multiple times, Nick Bognar has arrived. He burst onto the foodie scene at Nippon TEI, merging classic American sushi with his special take on Japanese cuisine to deliver contemporary sushi.
After making a splash at Nippon TEI, Bognar branched out with his first sole endeavor, indo. This Best New Restaurant winner (Esquire, GQ and Food & Wine) blends traditional Southeast Asian flavors with western cooking and delivers such a memorable experience that it’s been called “a revolution of the form.” Dive into spicy lamb tartare topped with fried shallots and candied pine nuts that’s served with a rice cracker or short rib curry with red curry, labneh and roti flatbread for a magical experience you’ll want to share with family and friends. At first glance, the Issan Hamachi (indo’s signature dish) and crab donabe rice may appear simple, but each bite makes you feel like you’re experiencing these dishes for the very first time—because you are.
As we write this, Bognar is going on a new adventure. This fall, he’ll open Sado, the first Asian restaurant on The Hill, bringing a fresh, new taste to the historic Italian neighborhood. Nippon TEI, owned by his parents, will close when it transitions into the new space. While Sado will feature an expanded selection of Nippon TEI favorites and everyday staples, there will be a notable new addition: a Japanese charcoal grill.
Create Your Own Foodie Adventure
Want to create your own foodie adventure? As a melting pot of tastes and flavors, St. Louis delivers options for everyone.
Book your 3-course Farmer’s Feast experience at Vicia to enjoy a unique, vegetable-forward menu and an evening you won’t forget.
Chow down on smoked meats and authentic Filipino cuisine at The Fattened Caf, a pop-up restaurant experience located in Earthbound Beer.
The verdict is in: St. Louis loves Louie. Come for the incredible food and inviting atmosphere, and stay for the party.
Stop by Gioia’s Deli for “the hot salami” (its iconic hot salami sandwich) as you explore the city or go about your day.
Savor a stunning dining experience at Ben Grupe’s Tempus, named a top 10 restaurant in the country.
Celebrate Southern culinary traditions without leaving the city at Juniper.
Meet your friends at The Lucky Accomplice, where Logan Ely transcends typical bar food into reimagined, locally-driven fare you’ll love.
Step into a pastry wonderland at Diana’s Bakery. Warning: no one only visits once.
Some days just call for noodles. Get your ramen (and pho) fix at Nudo House, a delicious collaboration between Mai Lee, a master of pho, and Executive Chef Marie-Anne Velasco.
Experience modern neighborhood dining inspired by Brooklyn bistros and the travels of chefs Craig and Mowgli Rivard at Little Fox.
Delight your senses with handcrafted cocktails and delicious food inspired by historic recipes at the award-winning Planter’s House, which celebrates our grand history of hospitality.
It’s not your average Mexican food. Chef Alex Henry brings Southeastern Mexican influence to St. Louis while using local ingredients at Sureste Mexican.
We could go on and on, but it appears our secret is out. St. Louis is a foodie’s paradise, and it tastes so good. Plan a foodie adventure to remember and travel the world without leaving the Gateway City!