10 Famous Foods In St. Louis, MO: Dishes St. Louis Is Known For

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St. Louis is a city with unique food traditions influenced by its culture, history, and surroundings. It’s home to some creative dishes, such as Toasted Ravioli, which is often considered the best in the world. There are many famous foods in St. Louis, ranging from traditional American classics to special international delicacies, that you can uncover when visiting the city. 

What’s Special About Foods In St. Louis, MO

The city was founded in 1764 by French fur traders, but its claim to fame was where Lewis and Clark’s famous expedition started. However, St. Louis’s, often-overlooked culinary scene should be better known. It combines Midwestern comfort food with the flavors of various immigrant groups who have made the city their home.

St. Louis’s diverse population can be traced back to the 19th and 20th centuries when immigrants from Germany, Poland, Ireland, and Italy settled and built their communities. Many Bosnians settled there in the 1990s, seeking refuge from the conflict in their home country. Due to its unique cultural melting pot, some delicacies can only be found in the Lou.

From classic Italian dishes to savory barbeque, St. Louis is known for its diverse and delicious food scene. Whether you are looking for a quick bite or an exquisite meal, you will be able to find some of the best eats in St. Louis, MO. 

The foods in St. Louis feature traditional classics like gooey butter cake to more modern creations like the famous St. Louis-style pizza. Be sure to spend time exploring the culinary delights and discover why it’s one of America’s favorite destinations for gastronomy. These are some of the famous foods from St. Louis to try when visiting!

Most Famous St. Louis Food

St. Louis-Style Pizza

One of the most famous foods from St. Louis is none other than the St. Louis-style pizza! When a dish is named after the city, you know that you have to try it. It’s a unique take on thin-crust pizza loaded with tons of cheese. 

The pizza has a sweet and tangy tomato sauce that adds to the flavor profile. Topped with Provel cheese, made from cheddar, Swiss, and provolone, it’s an unforgettable experience. This is it if you want to try local classic food in St. Louis!

Feeling hungry after checking out the iconic landmarks in St. Louis, grab yourself a piece of the city’s signature pizza and continue exploring the culture through its food offerings.

Famous Foods In St. Louis, MO

Toasted Ravioli

Toasted Ravioli is one of the best foods in St. Louis, MO. It’s undoubtedly one of the city’s most well-known dishes, and anyone in the area absolutely has to give it a shot. This dish comprises beef ravioli that have been deep-fried and are accompanied by marinara sauce and Parmesan cheese. 

The harmonious way in which the different flavors come together makes it an absolute enjoyment that will leave you wanting more. Toasted Ravioli is an excellent choice for those who want to sample the culture of St. Louis and the city’s delectable regional cuisine.

That said, toasted ravioli are not just enjoyed in St. Louis; this tasty dish is one of the things Missouri is known for, and you can find it in various cities across the state.

Barbecue Pork Steaks

Barbecue pork steaks have been an American staple for decades and remain among the best foods in St. Louis. The pork steak is marinated in a blend of spices and herbs before being grilled over direct heat. 

It’s one of the most in-demand St. Louis dishes because of its delicious and juicy flavor. Although pork steaks are more commonly prepared at home, you can easily find them in numerous restaurants in St. Louis as well.

Some of the popular spots in the city to try a top-notch pork steak, include Gamlin Whiskey House with its huge 24-ounce pork steak, Ms Piggies’ Smokehouse, and Highway 61 Roadhouse. Most of them also serve this delight with classic sides like mac & cheese, corn bread, and coleslaw.


St. Louis Slinger is a hearty breakfast dish consisting of two hamburger patties, eggs, chili, onions, and cheese all served on top of hash browns. This hearty dish is one of the most well-known foods from  St. Louis. 

It’s a favorite among St. Louis residents and visitors alike, you will see it offered on the menus of many restaurants throughout the city. Before you head out to explore the famous landmarks in Missouri, fuel up with this city’s signature dish for your day of adventure!

St. Paul Sandwich

About all of the Chinese eateries in the St. Louis area offer the St. Paul Sandwich as one of their offerings. St. Louis is the origin of this dish, which may have been developed in the 1940s by the proprietor of a Chinese restaurant in Lafayette Square. 

Almost all the Chinese eateries in the city will have St. Paul Sandwich as one of their offerings. This iconic food from St. Louis is believed to have been created in the 1940s by the owner of a Chinese restaurant in Lafayette Square. 

St Paul sandwich features a fried egg foo young patty on two slices of white bread, topped with mayonnaise, lettuce, pickled vegetables, and tomato. The egg foo young patty can typically be found on the menus of various restaurants in different iterations, including vegetable, chicken, beef, pig, and shrimp.

Although St. Paul is a delicious sandwich, the fact that it’s frequently the most affordable entrée option on the menu may be the true explanation for why it’s so popular. You can buy a St. Paul at most restaurants for about $2 -$3, and it comes with sufficient food to make you feel as though you have eaten a complete dinner. 

Try Hon’s Wok in the Central West End or Fortune Express in South St. Louis for a taste of an authentic St. Paul. It is one of the most popular foods in Missouri.

Popular Ingredients And Snack Foods From St. Louis, MO

Mayfair Salad Dressing

The Anchovy-based Mayfair salad dressing was developed at the Mayfair Hotel in downtown St. Louis by chef Fred Bangerter sometime around 1935. It was originally served in the hotel’s Elizabethan-themed restaurant, The Mayfair Room, Missouri’s first five-star dining establishment. 

St. Louis’s historic Nantucket Cove restaurant used to serve the dressing as their signature dish after purchasing the hotel’s closely guarded secret recipe. Many St. Louis restaurants now offer their own takes on “Mayfair dressing,” though the original recipe has been kept under wraps.

Mayfair dressing typically has an oil and egg base that is seasoned with anchovies, garlic, and prepared mustard. Spices and ingredients such as celery, onion, champagne, and black peppercorns are also commonly used in the mix.

Provel Cheese

St. Louisans love a white processed cheese called Provel, which is a blend of cheddar, Swiss, and provolone. Because of its low melting point, Provel has a sticky, almost butter-like consistency when at room temperature. 

This makes it a common topping for salads, chicken, and some iconic St. Louis dishes like the  Gerber sandwich and St. Louis-style pizza. Sometimes it’s even used to make cheese soup. 

In addition, the white sauce pasta meals at some restaurants are also made with Provel instead of the traditional fresh Italian cheese and cream.

Desserts And Sweet Foods Of St. Louis

Gooey Butter Cake

If you are looking for a sweet and sticky treat while touring the city, Gooey butter cake is your best bet. This is one of the most popular foods in St. Louis that has been around since the 1930s.

Typically about an inch in height and dusted with powdered sugar, this cake is made with wheat cake flour, butter, sugar, and eggs, featuring a sweet dough base. It has the sweetness and richness of a brownie but is firm enough to be cut into squares.

To most people, gooey butter cake is more of a coffee cake than a dessert. This cake has two main varieties: one made with gooey butter from St. Louis, MO Bakers, and the other with cream cheese and store-bought yellow cake mix. 

Bionic Apples

If you’re looking for the best caramel apples in St. Louis, look no further than Merb’s Bionic Apples. For over 40 years, customers have been flocking to the candy store for their candy-coated apples. Merb’s signature homemade caramel is drizzled over the huge Granny Smith apples, then covered in salted pecan pieces for a nice crunchy touch.

Bionic Apples are a fall delicacy only available for a short time each year so be sure to grab one while they are around! You can get one from Merb’s from the beginning of September to the Thanksgiving holiday. 

These yummy treats are available at select grocery stores and at all three Merb’s Candies shops in the St. Louis area, including their flagship South Grand outlet.

Iconic Drink In St. Louis, MO

Vess Soda

Beyond all the famous foods in St. Louis, the city also has some iconic beverages; and Vess Soda sits on top of that list. The longstanding brand was founded in St. Louis, Missouri in the early 1900s. Since its inception, this cherished drink has become a local favorite.

It’s delightfully tart and tangy, bubbly and reviving. You can pick from a variety of flavors including peach, lemon-lime, cherry cola, grape, and strawberry.

This fizzy, sweet drink is bound to be a hit with the little ones. What makes it special is the locals’ fond memories of the drink. Having a Vess Soda is like taking a time machine back to a simpler, sweeter, and more enjoyable time in childhood.

Discovering Delicious Foods In St. Louis, MO

St. Louis, Missouri, is a city full of history, culture, and delicious food. From the classic St. Louis-style pizza and toasted Ravioli to the unique flavors of gooey butter cake and pork steaks, there are plenty of scrumptious dishes to discover in this city.

With so many options available, it’s no wonder why so many people love exploring the culinary delights that St. Louis offers! There is no better way to experience all the amazing foods in St. Louis yourself than an exciting gastronomic excursion to the city.



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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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