The Top Five–St. Louis Area Restaurants

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Ian Froeb has recently come up with the STL100 list of the 25 best restaurants in the area (ranked), along with another 75 great restaurants to round out the top 100 places to grab a bite to eat. This inspired me to come up with my own list…my five favorite non-chain (unless it’s a local place that has added locations over time), restaurants in the area (in no particular order), plus five honorable mentions, because I can.

  • Seamus McDaniel’s, Dogtown neighborhood of St. Louis–Best burger I’ve ever had, in a really great neighborhood. Seamus will always be number one on my restaurant list!
  • Beast Craft BBQ, Belleville, IL–This is a new location on the St. Louis area restaurant scene, and it’s the place that really got me interested in BBQ. The burnt ends (an item hard to find in Belleville) are fantastic, and their “Big Sammich” series always leaves me wanting to try whatever they think up next!
  • Amighetti’s Bakery and Cafe, The Hill neighborhood of St. Louis–The Amighetti Special, made with turkey pastrami and Amighetti’s secret dressing, is the best deli sandwich I’ve ever had. They also make fantastic cannoli!
  • Olympia Kebob House and Taverna, St. Louis–Best saganaki in town!
  • Eckert’s Country Restaurant, Belleville, IL–If you’re looking for country-style food, this is the place to be. The fried chicken and chicken fried steak are both excellent, and the side dishes (available to pass family style) are just what you’d expect. If you’re still hungry after dinner (doubtful), you can walk next door and get a frozen custard for dessert (in season).

Honorable mention:

  • El Maguey, multiple┬áSt. Louis area locations–Great Mexican food on the Missouri side of the Mississippi.
  • Ted Drewes, St. Louis–Sometimes, you just want dessert, or to celebrate a Cardinals win. If so, Ted Drewes is the place to be!
  • Llywelyn’s Pub, multiple St. Louis area locations–Bonus points go to the St. Charles location, where you can actually eat in an old bank vault!
  • Schlafly Tap Room, St Louis–If the great beer selection isn’t enough of a draw, the food is also excellent. I’m partial to the schnitzel. And while you’re there, make sure to try the sticky toffee pudding for dessert!
  • Gordo’s Margaritas, Millstadt, IL (of blessed memory)–There are other restaurants named Margaritas around town, but my favorite was Gordo’s in Millstadt. The food was excellent (especially the chimichanga!), and the people who work there were great. I’m really sorry to see it closed…we’re going to miss eating there a lot!

Where are your favorite places to eat in St. Louis?