St. Louis is much more than just the Arch and Cardinals games. This midwestern city is also a foodie paradise with tons of one-of-a-kind eats and drinks that will take your taste buds on an authentic tour of local flavors.
Here are 11 things to treat yourself to while you’re in town – but be warned that you may be tempted to extend your stay just to try it all.
Locals debate whether Mama’s on The Hill or Charlie Gitto’s is the birthplace of these meat-filled, breaded, and deep-fried pasta squares, but there’s no denying that both serve some of the top toasted ravioli in the city. You can also try delectable versions at Lombardo’s and Trattoria Marcella.
St. Louis BBQ
Traditional St. Louis barbecue features grilled meat slathered in a tomato-based sauce that can range from sweet to spicy to tangy. Yet, the city’s impressive BBQ scene also masters a diversity of regional styles. Pappy’s Smokehouse, Bogart’s Smokehouse, and Sugarfire Smokehouse are among the top spots to devour this mouthwatering fare.
Imo’s St. Louis-Style Pizza
A crispy thin crust, tomato sauce that’s heavy on the oregano, and Provel cheese (a mix of cheddar, Swiss, and provolone) instead of mozzarella are the stars of St. Louis-style pizza. For a taste of this beloved square-cut pie, head to Imo’s Pizza. The location at 904 S. Fourth St. is less than a mile from Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark and Hilton St. Louis Downtown at the Arch.
Deep-dish pizzas made with cornmeal crust are the signature items at Pi Pizzeria. Choose from one of the specialty pies or create your own customized pizza from classic and gourmet toppings, as well as fresh herbs. Ask about the special discounts for Hilton guests.
Italian on The Hill
If you’re craving world-class Italian food, venture over to The Hill neighborhood. You’ll find hearty Italian sandwiches at Adriana’s and Gioia’s Deli (try their homemade hot salami), upscale Italian cuisine at Dominic’s, and farm-to-table selections at J. Devoti Trattoria. Fresh bread, biscotti, cannoli, pizza shells, and more are available at Vitale Bakery.
Gooey Butter Cake
For a decadent dessert, try this St. Louis favorite made with wheat cake flour, cream cheese, butter, sugar, and eggs. The dense golden treat has a cookie-like crust sprinkled with powdered sugar. Savor a piece at Park Avenue Coffee, Gooey Louie, or Missouri Baking Company.
Ted Drewes Frozen Custard
Created from milk, cream, sugar, pasteurized egg yolks, honey, and vanilla, frozen custard is ice-cream’s thicker and creamier cousin. Join the large crowds outside the order window at the iconic Ted Drewes to experience this frosty dish at its best. Concretes (frozen custard blended with sauces and toppings) and sundaes are the most popular items on the menu.
Fitz’s Root Beer
Fans of Fitz’s premium root beer laud its smooth, full-bodied flavor. The brand’s eatery serves the classic soda ice-cold out of the tap and into a bottomless mug. Drink adventurously with a creative float, such as the Eurostar (vanilla ice-cream, root beer, hazelnut spread, caramel sauce, and whipped cream) or The Big Muddy (root beer topped with chocolate ice-cream, chocolate syrup, and caramel sauce).
Crown Candy Kitchen
Opened in 1913, Crown Candy Kitchen is St. Louis’s oldest soda fountain. Stop in at this nostalgic eating establishment for delicious sandwiches – such as the renowned BLT –chili, tamales, soups, and salads. The array of chocolates and old-fashioned candies, sundaes, malts, and shakes make for the perfect post-meal indulgence.
As the largest locally owned independent craft brewery in Missouri, Schlafly produces six year-round beers, seasonal brews, special releases, and more. Beer on tap, food, and live music awaits at the Schlafly Tap Room brewpub, just a 10-minute walk from St. Louis Union Station Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton. As an added bonus, Hilton guests receive discounts at Schlafly.
Anheuser-Busch Brewery Tour
Some of America’s most beloved beers are made in the heart of St. Louis. Anheuser-Busch offers multiple brewery tour options (most of which include samples) and a beer-school class. The free general tour highlights the entire seven-step brewing process and the Budweiser Clydesdales’ stables. For the most in-depth experience, book the $35 Beermaster Tour.