St. Louis is a vibrant and diverse city that offers a massive variety of things to do and see. Whether you want to play and learn at City Museum or take in the arts at the Art Museum, there is no shortage of interesting and entertaining places to visit. There is also another side of St. Louis that we don’t really think about while exploring the city, and that is our impressive food scene. The city, and all of its neighborhoods, holds several culinary jewels. Each of these dining destinations packs massive amounts of flavor and fun into the dining experience, all without costing an arm and a leg. Here just a few of the most delicious eateries in town.

Dogtown: Felix’s Pizza Pub

6401 Clayton Ave

Felix’s Pizza Pub is a New York Style pizza den located in the heart of Dog Town, and residents visit the pizzeria and pub regularly. The large space gives you the perfect place to enjoy a slice, or even a whole pizza. The inspired menu offers much more than just your usual toppings, and, if you come here, you better be ready for a slice of adventure as you check out the massive selection of specialty pizzas. To start your taste buds on a thrill ride, order a slice of Turtle Park. topped with Canadian bacon, pineapple, freshly diced jalapenos, and drizzled in tangy BBQ sauce.

The Grove: Sanctuaria

4198 Manchester Ave

Serving tapas, Sanctuaria is sure to surprise you with their menu. The small tapas plates hide big, bold flavors. Start with the Cabrales Cigars, which are made of Spanish blue cheese and leek fondue rolled into “cigars” before being pan seared and accented with a pleasant sherry-raisin sauce. Then order the Vaca Frita with Chimichurri. This delicious dish is a shredded Angus steak that is pan seared to perfection with just the right amount of charring, before being bedded atop a thick potato puree and finished with a citrus herb sauce.

The Hill: Favazza’s

5201 Southwest Ave

Favazza’s is exactly what you would expect if you wanted a taste of exceptional yet traditional Italian food. Located on The Hill, Favazza’s offers intimate interior dining or a warm brick walled outdoor area that oozes ambiance. The red sauce is the real draw here, with a velvety texture and a rich bite. The marinara is capable of making even a plate of spaghetti noodles a memorable dish. Served with freshly baked garlic bread in a setting worthy of a scene from GoodFellas or The Sopranos, the food and experience at Favazza’s will keep you coming back for a taste of authentic Italian in the Midwest.

Benton Park: Blues City Deli

2438 McNair Ave

This establishment is so popular that it is common to see a line of eager customers going out the door and down the block. Think hot or cold sandwiches that include an original roast beef and an Italian beef, a variety of Po’ boy sandwiches, pork BBQ sandwiches, veggie sandwiches, and of course their Prez Reuben that overflows pastrami and Swiss with sauerkraut smothered in thousand island dressing right off the thick rye bread. These large sandwiches could all feed two people for lunch, so bring a friend or order a half sandwich. While you are there, see if you’re lucky enough to catch a live blues band for entertainment.

Midtown: Small Batch

3001 Locust St.

Small Batch is labeled as a whiskey bar, and you’ll definitely notice that as they hand you a menu with the first ten pages devoted to the brown liquor. While it is easy to get lost in trying to find the perfect whiskey blend, you’d do yourself a massive service to try the brunch menu. Order the Johnny Cakes, which consists of cherry compote, sorghum syrup, the toasted crunch of bruleed banana, and whipped coconut ice cream (which is so good you may just order a bowl on the side).

Downtown: Bootleggin BBQ

1933 Washington Ave

This downtown BBQ joint is memorable for a variety of reasons, chiefly being located on Washington Avenue, which puts it in walking distance from all the fun things to do downtown. Also, it has incredibly delicious BBQ. It’s Kansas City Style BBQ that has the sweet tomato and molasses based sauce drenching the smoked meats. The signature burnt ends, which are double rubbed smoky cubes from the brisket point, highlight the menu and offer a taste that any true fan of BBQ will appreciate. V

by Brandon Evans