Humans are creatures of habit. When we find something we like, we stick to it. Consider this your friendly nudge to get out there and try something new. St. Louis is blessed with over 30 different cuisines—here is your go-to guide for when you're in the mood to discover something new.
Menu FOMO is real, and it’s always the worst when you’re trying a new place. Read on to make your dinner date envious of your plate.
Like Brazil, this authentic Tower Grove East bar and restaurant, named after the South American country’s capital, is warm, energetic, and inviting. Serving authentic plates and cocktails, this friendly restaurant has some of the best Brazilian food in St. Louis. The colorful Christ the Redeemer mural and occasional live music will make you forget you’re more than 5,000 miles from Rio.
Try the feijoada with Brazil’s national cocktail, the caipirinha, and soak in the festive atmosphere. Go for Brasilia's fresh and flavorful meat and seafood plates, or try a little bit of everything at the new lunch buffet for $11.95, Tuesday through Saturday from 11am to 2pm.
Established in 2005, Sameem was Missouri’s first Afghan restaurant, and the only one in St. Louis until a few years ago. Serving traditional Afghani fare, Sameem brings Middle Eastern cuisine to the Midwest in the bustling Grove neighborhood. A plethora of vegetarian options, halal meals, as well as some Indian- and Pakistani-influenced dishes are available for both lunch in dinner, in addition to the lamb, chicken, hearty stews, kabobs, chops, and rice dishes.
Start with the hummus or the eggplant boorani: eggplant roasted with sauteed onions, tomatoes, garlic, and ginger, balanced with a garnish of garlic yogurt and mint. The chicken teekah masala is always a delicious stand-by if you don’t feel like going too far off the beaten path. More adventurous eaters should try the goat special or the beef curry.
This Turkish/Mediterranean/Lebanese restaurant will transport you to a different state of mind (if not a different country) through its authentic food, romantic atmosphere, and mesmerizing belly dancing. Luxurious yet intimate, the candlelit restaurant mixes up date night in the tastiest of ways. Cozy up in one of the booths and expand your Mediterranean food experience beyond hummus and pita.
A somewhat drab exterior on Olive Blvd gives way to Royal Chinese BBQ’s updated, contemporary interior. This Chinese restaurant has the very best Beijing (aka Peking) duck in town. We recommend sticking with anything roasted or barbecued, like the sticky chicken wings or caramelized pork belly—if it's hanging in the window, order it.
St. Louis' only Taiwanese restaurant isn't messing around. Tai Ke came to town ready to show everyone why Taiwan is considered one of the world's greatest food meccas. First things first—you need to start the meal off with the gua bao (aka pork belly buns).
Since authentic Taiwanese fare was non-existent in St. Louis until Tai Ke opened, there's a lot of stuff on the menu that you've probably never had before. The street snacks taste just like they do in Taipei, and the large entrees and noodle options will satisfy even the hungriest of customers. It's a great place to go with a group to sample everything more efficiently.
File this under “food you never knew you needed so badly.” Not quite under-the-radar, the popular food truck’s brick and mortar location in Webster Groves opened its doors in February 2019. Be forewarned: The popularity of the restaurant means long lines, and they routinely sell out before closing. First-timers: Don’t miss the pide: a Turkish wood-fired flatbread with your choice of beef, chicken, or veggies; topped with cheese, herbs, and ajvar (a roasted red pepper sauce).
Great Indian food is hard to come by in St. Louis, but some of the best can be found in an unassuming Chesterfield strip mall. The Curry Club opened in late 2018 and offers quick-service traditional Indian cuisine for both lunch and dinner, as well as an all-day weekend menu. The curries, naan, and dosas are all made in-house, as are the spices. Don’t miss their lunch combo from 11am-2pm; starting at an affordable $5.99, it features two curries of your choosing, naan, and rice.
Traditional, homestyle Korean food isn't easy to find in St. Louis. Asian Kitchen arguably does it better than anywhere. Start with classics like dolsot bibimbap: rice mixed with your choice of meat, vegetables, topped with an egg, sesame oil, and red sauce, served in a hot stone bowl; or the soondubu jigae, a spicy soft tofu stew with your choice of kimchi, beef, pork, or seafood. The Korean BBQ is NOT to be missed. Get the kalbi—a delicious mix of grilled beef short ribs marinated in a sweet and savory sauce and served on a bed of onions. Oh, and you get upwards of 20 different banchan (small appetizers) for free.
As close to Mexican street tacos as you can find in St. Louis—not located on Cherokee Street. Tacos, nachos, tamales, sopas, gorditas—you name it, La Taqueria Durango has it. With almost 20 meat and vegetable fillings, there's something for everyone.
Not only is the taqueria muy deliciosa, but its got a great market next door. Don't sleep on the torta ahogada: a football-sized roll filled with carnitas and onions, covered in a spicy smoky chile sauce. This unassuming authentic eatery is also our pick for the best authentic Mexican food in St. Louis.