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St. Louis Foods – St. Louis has the best food, including gooey butter cake. 8 must try St. Louis foods, and restaurants where you can eat and enjoy with family and friends.
Some of the best food in the country can be found smack dab in the middle, in the city of St. Louis, Missouri. St. Louis foods include a wonderful mix and array of Midwest tastes coupled with ethnic and cultural traditions.
I might be a little partial to Saint Louis food, since I spent half my childhood there. I have a feeling that even if I were just a traveler passing through, I’d still have a love for all of it.
Nothing delves you into a place quite like the food. For it’s in the food and the people who make that food where you discover all the stories, traditions, flavors, and personality that come together to make a city like St. Louis the place that it is.
The city of St. Louis is a very special place that doesn’t get enough recognition, in my opinion, compared to bigger cities like Chicago and New York. Don’t get me wrong, those bigger cities have wonderful food and places to explore; but even a smaller city like St. Louis is bursting at the seams with all sorts of good things to eat.
Below you’ll find a listing of some of our favorite St. Louis foods, as well as some of the best restaurants in St. Louis.
1. Gooey Butter Cake
Gooey butter cake is one of my favorite desserts of all time. My mom would make it homemade, and it’s pretty much a St. Louis staple.
Gooey butter cake (and pumpkin spice gooey butter cake) is an ooey gooey cake made with butter, cream cheese, and powdered sugar. It has a chewy edge and slightly salty crust with a gooey sweet center.
Apparently, it was an accidental dessert created by a German American baker back in the 1930’s. Nowadays you can’t walk into a St. Louis bakery and not find this sticky gooey treat.
Places to Eat in St. Louis: My personal favorite place to get gooey butter cake in St. Louis is Soulard Bakery at Soulard Market; theirs is just the right texture, thickness, sweetness, everything.
You can also find it at Park Avenue Coffee, Gooey Louie’s, Missouri Baking Company, and so many more places, I could go on and on because it’s that good.
Soulard Bakery: 730 Carroll Street; St. Louis, MO 63104.
2. Toasted Ravioli
Yet another St. Louis staple is toasted ravioli, a crispy, breaded, meat-filled, deep-fried ravioli best served with a sprinkling of parmesan and dipped in marinara sauce.
Most of the stories you’ll read of its origins point to the Italian neighborhood in St. Louis known as The Hill, where they say it was another accidental discovery.
The Hill St. Louis is where baseball greats like Yogi Berra and Joe Garagiola, Sr., grew up. You’ll find many of the best Italian restaurants on The Hill.
Places to Eat in St. Louis: We really enjoyed the toasted ravioli from Mama Toscano’s, family owned for four generations. The ravioli is handmade and so delicious.
Culture Trip provides a whole listing of other places where you can enjoy the best toasted ravioli in St. Louis.
Mama Toscano’s: 2201 Macklind Ave.; St. Louis, MO 63110.
3. Pretzels and Pretzel Sticks
If you haven’t been to Gus’ Pretzel, another family-owned and operated business since 1920, you’re missing out.
Their menu includes pretzel sticks and fresh pretzels, including cinnamon-sugar pretzels and garlic-butter pretzels. They also offer pretzel sandwiches, pretzel endz, deli sandwiches, and dips.
While parking is behind the restaurant, you may want to go in the front door, where you can actually watch the pretzels being made as you walk toward the counter.
Gus’ Pretzel: 1820 Arsenal St.; St. Louis, MO 63118.
4. Concrete and Frozen Custard
Any St. Louis native will tell you where you can get the best frozen custard and that’s Ted Drewes.
Since 1930, Ted Drewes has been serving frozen custard to St. Louis residents and visitors. We couldn’t make a trip and not pay a visit for some delicious custard treats.
The menu includes treats like concretes, malts, shakes, sundaes, floats, ice cream sodas, and a mean banana split. My personal favorite is the Lemon Crumb concrete with vanilla custard, lemon cream, and graham crackers… It’s so good!
You can also get the Muddy Mississippi, filled with vanilla custard, peanut butter, chocolate chips, and pieces of cone.
Ted Drewes Frozen Custard: 6726 Chippewa; St. Louis, MO 63109.
5. Hot Salami Sandwich
Gioia’s Deli in The Hill neighborhood is home to the “famous homemade hot salami.” In fact, Gioia’s actually has 3 locations and is celebrating 100 years this year!
While in town, we knew we wanted to try their original hot salami. We’re a sucker for a good deli, as well as a good sandwich.
Their hot salami sandwiches are made to order, so you can get just about anything you want on your sandwich from dressings to toppings and cheeses.
My hot salami sandwich did not disappoint; and it was so big I was able to eat part of it the next day for lunch too. Also, I may be the only one excited about this, but you can buy strawberry Vess soda at Gioia’s Deli. Yum!
Gioia’s Deli: 1934 Macklind Ave.; St. Louis, MO 63110.
6. Fitz’s Root Beer
Wanna eat a yummy meal and watch root beer and other flavored sodas on a vintage bottling line? Fitz’s Root Beer is one of the most fun places to eat in St. Louis.
Fitz’s Root Beer started as a drive-in restaurant with root beer and hamburgers back in 1947. Then it went away for several years before it came back in 1993.
You can enjoy your original recipe root beer in a frosty mug or straight from the bottle. They also serve other flavors, including diet root beer, cream soda, orange, pumpkin, peach, berry pomegranate, grape, strawberry, key lime, black cherry, and more.
They even have their own Fitz’s Root Beer BBQ Sauce, and it is so good.
After you’re finished eating, you may as well go out and explore the Delmar Loop, where you’ll find all sorts of fun quirky shops and restaurants.
Fitz’s Root Beer: 6605 Delmar Boulevard; St. Louis, MO 63130.
7. “Rajun Cajun” Bloody Mary
Dan will tell you where to get the best Bloody Mary drink in all of St. Louis, and that would Norton’s Cajun Corner at Soulard Market. In fact, it was so good he went back for another one the next day.
I’m pretty sure it was the best Bloody Mary he’s ever had. Rimmed with their signature Norton’s Cajun Spice and topped with a stalk of celery, I know it looked amazing.
Their menu options, including gumbo and jambalaya, looked and smelled delicious.
Norton’s Cajun Corner: 730 Carroll St.; St. Louis, MO 63104.
8. Thin Crust Pizza
Anyone will tell you the place to eat pizza in St. Louis is Imo’s Pizza, where you can get another Saint Louis staple, thin crust pizza.
Started by Ed and Margie Imo back in 1964, Imo’s offered both pick-up and delivery. The pizza chef they hired made the pizza with a thin crust and used Provel cheese instead of the typical mozzarella.
Now Imo’s is a franchise and has 96+ stores.
You’ll find Imo’s Pizza in locations all across the city, as well as in suburbs and locations outside the city.
St. Louis foods are not to be missed, whether you’ve lived there for 50 years or are just traveling through. Whether you’re in the mood for a full on dinner, a snack, dessert, or even just a drink, St. Louis restaurants have you covered.