When you think restaurants in St. Louis, MO, your first thought is likely barbecue. To be sure, places serving up amazing barbecue and other regional favorites (toasted ravioli, anyone?) are plentiful, but there is much more to the area’s culinary offerings than just the stereotypical St. Louis foods. St. Louis boasts a thriving and innovative food scene, serving up a variety of imaginative and delicious fare. Whatever your taste or budget, there’s a place for you. Here’s a look at five of the best St. Louis restaurants:

1. Blues City Deli

“It’s like a big old house party every day at the deli,” reads the home page of the small, casual place that has occupied the corner of McNair and Victor for fifty years. Indeed, with a menu full of mouth-watering sandwiches, beer and wine on tap, and live music on Thursdays and Saturdays, that description sounds just about right. Blues City Deli is known for generous, reasonably priced delicious sandwiches. Customer favorites include the New York-style Reuben, the NOLA-inspired Muffaletta, and anything served on a pretzel roll. BCD is hardly a hidden gem; lines are often out the door, but the food is worth the wait.

If you're craving a sandwich, Blues City Deli has just what you're looking for.  Picture courtesy of Yelp.

If you’re craving a sandwich, Blues City Deli has just what you’re looking for. Picture courtesy of Yelp.

2. Bogart’s Smokehouse

Ranked among the top three barbecue restaurants in the United States on TripAdvisor, Bogart’s delivers the goods. Bogart’s serves up their take on down-home Memphis and St. Louis specialties, offering mouth-watering ribs, BBQ sandwiches and platters and inventive sides. Customers rave about the ribs, slow-cooked to perfection with just the right amount of smoke, and the Fire and Ice pickles. Bogart’s certainly does its part to uphold St. Louis’s reputation as a barbecue city.

3. Broadway Oyster Bar

The lively Broadway Oyster Bar offers customers down-home Cajun and Creole cuisine. The crawfish boil, macaroni and cheese, and char-grilled oysters top the list of customer favorites. The place gets crowded, but the hopping patio provides plenty of seating, which keeps the wait time down. Of course, even if you must wait, the innovative drinks from the bar and nightly live music make it a great spot to bide your time.

Broadway Oyster Bar not only has delicious seafood, but has live entertainment 7 days a week! Photo courtesy Yelp.

Broadway Oyster Bar not only has delicious seafood, but has live entertainment 7 days a week! Photo courtesy Yelp.

4. Edibles & Essentials

This unassuming café and market is new, but already earning a reputation for its tasty offerings. Order at the counter and then seat yourself. Inside is cozy and laid back, and outside houses a spacious patio. Either space is a great spot to enjoy brunch, lunch or dinner. There are options to appeal to carnivores (the Bahn Mi taco is a standout) and vegetarians (try the beet Reuben!) alike.

5. Hendel’s

Housed in a landmark building (it began use as a general store in 1873), Hendel’s offers a welcoming and elegant dining experience built around new American cuisine. This is the spot to come for that special Sunday dinner, as its mix of traditional comfort foods, sophisticated offerings, local brews and craft cocktails are sure to please all. The menu offers a variety of steaks, fish, chicken, burgers and salads. In addition, the Sunday brunch is fantastic, which makes it a perfect destination for holidays and other celebrations.


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