10 Famous Foods In Missouri: Dishes Missouri Is Known For

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The Missouri food scene is as diverse as it is delicious, drawing influences from its historic past while showcasing modern innovation. The famous foods in Missouri food deliver a flavor explosion in your mouth, with each bite taking you on a culinary journey through the state’s unique history and culture. 

From the famous St. Louis-style pizza to iconic dishes like gooey butter cake and Kansas City BBQ, the Show Me State is home to some special eats. That incredible range of delicious dishes on offer is undoubtedly one of the most thrilling facts about Missouri for foodies!

What’s Special About Foods In Missouri

Missouri food is a blend of many different culinary traditions, from Southern comfort food to German and Italian specialties. You can see that the cuisine reflects the state’s history and geography.

What makes the foods of Missouri truly unique is it twists on classic dishes, using local ingredients and flavors, making them part of the state’s identity.

There is also the sense of community and tradition that surrounds food. Whether it’s a local diner, a family-owned restaurant, or a roadside barbecue joint, the food in Missouri is always served with a side of warm hospitality and a generous helping of local pride.

If you’re looking for a culinary adventure, these are some of the famous food of Missouri to try when you are touring around.

Most Famous Missouri Food

One of the most famous foods Missouri is known for is undoubtedly its Barbecue; and in that arena, you cannot miss out on trying the style from Kansas City.

Kansas City Barbecue


Kansas City Barbecue is part of the city’s history and heritage. It has been around for over a century, dating back to the 1900s! As one of the famous foods in Missouri that stood the test of time, this stuff is no short of legendary.

Kansas City Barbecue is all about the meat. We’re talking slow-cooked, tender, juicy meats that fall off the bone. From ribs to brisket to pulled pork, Kansas City does it all, and they do it right.

This style of barbecue is unique because it delivers a burst of flavor. The sweet and tangy marinade used is a perfect complement to the smoky, savory succulent meat. 

And the best part? Every BBQ joint’s got their own secret recipe, so you always have an excuse to try different ones.

Kansas City Barbecue is paired with a variety of hearty sides like baked beans, coleslaw, and cornbread. You certainly won’t be left hungry. 

But what really makes this Missouri food special is the cultural aspects of it. Barbecue is more than just food; it’s an opportunity to gather with friends and family, enjoy some finger licking good food, and catch up!

So if you’re ever in Missouri, make sure to grab some Kansas City Barbecue – it’s an unmissable taste of the Midwest.

Iconic Foods From Missouri Cities

St. Louis-style Pizza


The iconic St. Louis-style Pizza is a game-changer in the Missouri food scene! 

This style of pizza has a thin, cracker-like crust that is topped with Provel cheese (a special combination of cheddar, Swiss, and provolone cheeses). It’s creamy, gooey, and just addictive, as the toppings flow to the edge.

This dish is also steeped in history and tradition that serves a reminder of the city’s Italian heritage. The original St. Louis-style pizza was created in the 1940s and one of the things St Louis is known for.

Since pizza has Italian roots, some of the most common and original toppings on St. Louis-style Pizza resemble Neapolitan-style Pizza. These include stuff like tomatoes, basil, and anchovies.

However, Louis-style pizza has been adapted by different restaurants to include various gourmet toppings such as bacon, pepperoni, mushrooms, or olives. 

While the light crust means that it cannot hold overly heavy ingredients, don’t be fooled into thinking this cultural food in Missouri is anything less than lip-smacking good. 

St. Louis-style Ribs


St. Louis-style ribs are the ultimate comfort food in Missouri and an absolute local favorite.

What really sets St. Louis-style Ribs apart is the rub. This is where the magic happens, folks. The rub is a blend of sweet and savory spices that gives the ribs that mouth-watering, finger-licking flavor. 

It is slathered generously onto the meat before it is cooked over indirect heat to preserve its juiciness. These thick, pork ribs are grilled until they become tender yet still slightly crunchy on the outside. 

The result? Succulent and smoky ribs that will make your taste buds dance! They are traditionally also served with a sweet and tangy barbecue sauce that complements the slow-cooked meat.

Enjoy these ribs with some coleslaw or potato salad for an indulgent Missouri food experience.

Famous Foods From Missouri

Cashew Chicken


One of the cultural foods from Missouri that you should definitely try is the Cashew Chicken. It draws influence from Chinese cuisine and was invented by a chef named David Leong in the 1960s.

This delicious stir-fry combines tender chicken and crunchy cashews in a savory sauce, creating an unforgettable combination in both taste and texture.

The star ingredient in this recipe is obviously the cashews, as they add crunchiness, and most importantly, a unique nutty taste to balance out the robust flavors. 

There are also other common ingredients used in Asian dishes such as garlic, ginger, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar which all contribute to making it so tasty. 

This dish is usually served over steamed white rice for a complete meal. It’s perfect for large groups of people or when you’re looking for something different from the usual Chinese takeout items. 


Slingers are rich, cheesy dishes that are usually served for breakfast in Missouri. It is a combination of hash browns, eggs, meat, and cheese, all topped with chili and slathered with nacho cheese sauce! 

This hearty dish is often considered the perfect food for curing a hangover or, of course, satisfying a serious case of the munchies. It is not only delicious but guaranteed to leave you feeling full and satisfied.

The flavors of the hash browns, egg, beef, or sausage blend perfectly together while the chili and nacho cheese add just the right amount of spice to balance out the dish. 

Slingers are an energizing breakfast option to kickstart your day of exploration through the famous landmarks in Missouri. Ironically, they are also a favorite late-night food.

This just goes to show there’s literally no bad time for this epic Missouri food. Slingers are relatively common on menus across the state so you have plenty of chances to try them out! 

Popular Snack Foods Of Missouri

Toasted Ravioli


Toasted Ravioli is exactly what it sounds like – ravioli that’s been breaded and deep-fried until it’s crispy and golden brown. It’s served hot and crispy, and it’s great for snacking or as an appetizer.

However, the origin of this unique Missouri food is rather amusing. It is said to have been created by accident back in the 1940s when a chef in St. Louis dropped some uncooked ravioli into hot oil! 

But what was almost a disaster turned out to be a blessing for us all, as this savory snack is now one of the most popular foods in Missouri. 

Toasted ravioli is typically filled with beef, cheese, and herbs. It is deep-fried until crunchy on the outside but still chewy and soft on the inside. 

This tasty dish is usually served with marinara sauce or garlic butter for the perfect pairing. Simply delicious!

Cheese Curds


Get ready to drool, because we are going to talk about one of the most mouth-watering foods in Missouri – Cheese Curds!

These bite-sized morsels of cheesy goodness are made from fresh, unaged cheese that is cut into small cubes and deep-fried until they become golden.

That crispy exterior with a warm, gooey center is what makes them incredibly addictive – it’s easy to see why they’re so popular! Cheese curds have a mild flavor, however, you can find all kinds of seasoned ones as well like jalapeno or garlic. 

Cheese Curds are incredibly versatile; you can enjoy them as a standalone snack with your favorite dipping sauces. Alternatively, use them as a topping for burgers, sandwiches, or even salads. They’re the perfect addition to any meal.

Desserts And Sweet Foods In Missouri

Deep-Dish Apple Pie


This fruity work of art is one of the most famous comfort foods in Missouri and it’s no surprise why.

If you are already a fan of apple pies, the Deep-Dish takes it a step further with its depth. It’s a masterpiece that’s filled to the brim with juicy apples, cinnamon, and sugar, delivering a rich mouthful of goodness that’s second to none.

The deep crust is perfectly baked to a golden brown, creating a delicious crunch that complements the sweet and gooey filling perfectly.

It is best served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or creamed for an ultimate indulgence. Deep-dish apple pie is a nostalgic Missouri food to enjoy after an eventful day exploring everything the state has to offer. 

Gooey Butter Cake


Gooey Butter Cake is one of the classic foods from Missouri that has been delighting dessert lovers for over 80 years. It’s a decadent treat that’s rich and buttery with a chewy crust that gives way to a soft and creamy center.

This iconic St Louis dessert has made its way across the U.S., and it will become pretty obvious why after you try it.

What’s more surprising is how simple this classic is to make. There is just a handful of ingredients needed such as butter, sugar, eggs and flour. The result? A lusciously sweet confection that just melts in your mouth. 

In addition, you can enjoy it anytime. For breakfast, as a mid-day snack, or as a dessert after dinner. You can serve it plain, dusted with powdered sugar, or even topped with fresh fruit or whipped cream. It’s literally a base for creative variations.

This is also a Missouri food for sharing since they are usually baked in a big batch and cut into squarish slices. So there’s always a community element around it. 

Bring it to events, share it with friends, or use it to conclude a satisfying family dinner, this versatile dessert is good for anytime, anywhere.

Iconic Drink From Missouri

Vess Soda

While enjoying all the famous foods of Missouri, how about something tasty to wash it down?

When it comes to drinks in Missouri, there’s one that has to be mentioned – Vess Soda. This beloved beverage has become a local favorite since its introduction in the early 1900s.

It’s the perfect combination of sweet and sour, fizzy and refreshing. There are multiple flavors to choose from such as peach, lemon-lime, cherry cola, grape, and strawberry.

You can imagine this sugary fizz drink is appealing to kids. So what really sets it apart for locals is the sense of nostalgia. Drinking a Vess Soda is like taking a trip back in time to a simpler era, when life was a little bit sweeter and a lot more fun.

Nevertheless, it’s still a popular choice for BBQs, picnics, family reunions, and other gatherings across Missouri today.

Discovering The Delicious Foods In Missouri

Missouri’s food culture is full of unique flavors, many of which have become iconic parts of the state’s identity. From cheese curds to deep-dish apple pie, there are plenty of delicious treats to try on your trip.

Make sure to explore all the yummy food Missouri is known for that makes this state so special. Come hungry and leave satisfied – the foods in Missouri are truly special and not to be missed!



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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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