Everyone knows that St. Louis is a BBQ town, and every person you ask will have a different spot that’s number one in their hearts. For us, that’s almost always Salt and Smoke. Not only do they have all your favorite BBQ staples—ribs, arguably the best brisket in town, pulled pork, etc.—but they also have innovative sides (hi, bacon cheddar popover), solid vegetarian options, and a bourbon selection that will leave you bleary-eyed. They also have burnt end toasted ravioli. Burnt. End. T-ravs.
Try going to Mission Taco Joint—MTJ if you’re cool—on a weekend night without putting your name on NoWait first. Not gonna happen. This place is off-the-charts busy to the point we are surprised they haven’t bought the spaces around them or dug out a subterranean taco lounge. We get the love, though. Prices are totally reasonable, the drinks (not just the margs) are always on point, and the food is just downright tasty. Their late night happy hour means $2 tacos, and most of the menu works well for the inebriated/hungover. Carne asada fries, queso con chorizo, giant tortas, and the Brah’rito (carne asada, bacon, black beans, fries, cheese, etc.) all do the trick. Okay, honestly, we’re writing this from inside MTJ at 11pm.
Couldn’t get into MTJ? Just looking for something different? That’s okay, friend, because you can go to Seoul Taco! This is the O.G. location for the now regional chain, started by St. Louis’ own David Choi as a food truck. The menu is a fusion of Korean and Mexican cuisines, resulting in what can only be described as f’ing delicious. We typically go for the bulgogi beef gogi bowl because we’re watching our figure, but when we’re feeling naughty, we get a big burrito or the nachos. When we’re feeling extremely naughty, it’s gogi and waffles time: sweet potato fries topped with nacho cheese, Seoul sauces, and meat.
Go to the end of the Loop, turn right, and you’ll find a little, unassuming shop called Fork & Stix. Go inside. Order everything. Fork & Stix is the best Thai restaurant in St. Louis. Some people may tell you otherwise, but those people are just plain wrong, and probably stupid. There are some familiar dishes on there, like green/red curry, pad thai, and spring rolls, but you’re not going to get those. You’re going to get the spicy papaya salad, som tum, the sai oua aromatic sausages with the naam prik nuum hot sauce. Then you’re going to order one of the best dishes in all of St. Louis, the khao soi. You’re welcome.
If you’ve ever seen a show at The Pageant and not gone to Pi before/after, you haven’t really lived your best St. Louis life. This pizza joint offers something for everyone. Fresh ingredients combined with locally sourced meats atop their signature cornmeal crust make for a truly presidential experience. Did we mention this is Barack Obama’s favorite pizza? Regardless of what side of the aisle you’re on, everyone can agree both the deep dish or thin crust offerings get our vote.
Give that sweet tooth what it wants, from cannoli to tiramusu to cheesecake and even gelato. If you need to fill your empty stomach before giving in to your sugar craving, Piccione offers frittatas, soups, and sandwiches; and if you need some caffeine to go with your Italian cookies, they have a full coffee bar. But let’s be serious: you go there for CANNOLI. All the cannoli.
Not only does Blueprint have some of the best coffee in the city, but it’s got some of our favorite cafe food, as well. The reality is we usually go here after we’ve already had breakfast and get one of their daily pastries with our coffee (YOLO), but they also offer a breakfast egg sandwich, an egg biscuit, granola bowls, and more.