Where to eat in Da 314?

Food influencer Darius Cooks came to St. Louis and asked where to eat. Here is your guide to the best Italian, BBQ, and Chinese take-out restaurants in the city.

The big bad food Influencer DariusCooks came to St. Louis and asked where to eat? After compiling a brief list, he went and reviewed. The reviews were not stellar, and the response was a lot of ‘He should have gone there’ – ‘He was too harsh’ – ‘Don’t nobody go there’ – ‘He was right’ and ‘Meet me on the corner of Natural Bridge and Grand in North St. Louis.’ So here is MY list of where to in St. Louis for future reference.

1 Italian on the Hill.

The Hill is an Italian neighborhood in St. Louis. The restaurant scene rivals the ones in New York and Chicago. The Oprahs (Winfrey) and the Franks (Sinatra) would fly in to eat in this neighborhood.

A. Gioia Deli. This place features a salami sandwich that is said to be one of the best sandwiches in the country.

B. Charlie Gitto’s. Fine Italian dining. Has toasted ravioli a St. Louis dish

C. Gian-Tony’s. Fine intimate Italian dining. Toasted ravioli

D. Antonino’s Taverna. Toasted ravioli

2 St. Louis BBQ.

In the last 20 years, the St. Louis BBQ scene has exploded to the point that the first thing out a visitor’s mouth is ‘Where can I get some St. Louis style ribs?’ St. Louis style ribs is A CUT MEAT not a BBQ style of cooking. (A St. Louis rib is the brisket bone cut off a sparerib). True St. Louis style BBQ is smoked meat and simmered in BBQ sauce cooked in a back yard. I’m gonna keep it simple and list some of the places that get the attention of St. Louis BBQ.

A. Pappy’s Smokehouse. He won championships on the competitive BBQ circuit.

B. Sugarfire Smokehouse

C. Bogart Smokehouse Pappy’s cousin, friend, drinking buddy or something

D. Salt + Smoke – Hey let us class up the dining of BBQ

E. Red’s One and Only. Wednesday through Friday is the best time to go. Get the rib tips.

F. C&K BBQ. The Snoot-Rib tip combo is great but we St. Louisans believe they have not smoked their meat since they were opened on Newstead.

3 Chinese take-out.

In North St. Louis AKA the Black of town the Chinese takeout restaurants are referred as ‘The Chinaman.’ Even though this my last column, I am not ‘finna‘ address the political incorrectness of using the word/noun ‘Chinaman.’ This is how the natives speak and it is an endearing term, but it does not make it right. I will refer to these restaurants as CTO (Chinese take-out) So, the CTOs in St. Louis cook their fried rice differently other cities and Chinese restaurants. Also, there is the St. Paul Sandwich that is unique to St. Louis. The typical St. Louis CTO meal is a box of fried rice, St. Paul Sandwich and a Vess (local brand) soda. Rule of thumb, the more your life is in danger the better the CTO.

Here is a brief list.

A. Yet Bun Chop Suey across the street from a Murder Mobile gas station.

B. John’s AKA China Chop Suey (Government name). Their security guard needs a security guard.

C. Northland Chop Suey in Ferguson. Yes, that Ferguson.

D. Lefty’s Fried Rice. A Black owned CTO with south St. Louis City state streets one block east and west.

St. Louisans know the danger of south city state streets.

4 Donuts.

St. Louis has a world class donut scene.

A. Pharaoh’s Donuts. Better than Krispy Kreme when the hot sign is on

B. Donut Drive-In

C. Old Town Donuts

D. Donut Stop

5 Ted Drewes.

Frozen custard instead of ice cream. This is a destination dining national known foodie spot on Route 66.

6 St. Louis Style pizza.

This is a thin crust pizza, cut into squares and a special blend of cheese called

Provel is used. WARNING This is a love it or hate it deal. Most St. Louisans love it, but ones who hate it,

really really really really really really hate it.

A. Imo’s. This is the standard. For some St. Louisans, no other pizza will do

B. Cecil’s Whitakers. The alternative to Imo’s.

C. Angelo’s Pizzeria. Old Italian man cooking my pizza – sign me up

7 Taste of Ferguson.

The world heard about Ferguson so here is a quick foodie tour.

A Cathy’s Kitchen. Opened in the aftermath of the Ferguson protests.

B Elicious Breakfast/Brunch spot

C King of Soul. Soul Food

D Northland Chop Suey CTO

E Drake Place Soul Food

F Red’s One and Only.

G Vincenzo’s A Hill like restaurant

H Faraci Pizza St. Louis Style pizza

This was a brief list of what a non-native St. Lousian can eat when visiting. Yes, the list skewered to the Northside of St. Louis (where the Black folks live) but this is where I am from. This list is far from complete, and it is intended to be a simple starting point for the next Influencer or visitor to the 314 (the major St. Louis area code). REMINDER- This is a brief list. Of course, many St. Louisans upon reading this list will scream ‘he didn’t mention this and how he could leave out that.’ Well as some of us St. Louisians say “It is what it is”.

Gioia’s Deli

1934 Macklind Ave

St. Louis, MO 63110 Monday – Saturday: 10 am – 4 pm Sunday: Closed

Charlie Gitto’s

5226 Shaw Ave St. Louis Mo 63110 Hours: Monday through Thursdays 5pm –9pm Friday/Saturday

5pm – 9pm Sundays 4pm – 9pm


Monday: Closed

Tuesday: Closed

Wednesday: 4:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Thursday: 4:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Friday: 4:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Saturday: 4:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Sunday: 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Antonino’s Taverna

2225 Macklind Ave, St. Louis, MO 63110

Sunday: Closed

Mon-Sat: 11am – 10pm

Pappy’s Smokehouse 3106 Olive St. Louis, Mo 63103

Mon-Tues: Closed Wed: 11am-4pm* Thurs: 11am-6pm* Fri-Sat: 11am-7pm* Sun: 11am-4pm*

*Or earlier if they sell out

Sugarfire Smokehouse (Several locations Including)

9200 Olive Blvd St. Louis Mo 63132

Daily 11am- 7pm or until sold out

Bogart’s Smokehouse

1627 S. 9 th Street. Saint Louis Mo 63104

Tue-Saturday 10:30 am 4pm

Sunday- Monday Closed

Salt + Smoke (Several locations including)

6525 Delmar Blvd. St Louis, MO 63130

Sunday – Thursday: 11am-9pm

Friday + Saturday: 11am-10pm

Reds The One and Only BBQ

304 South Florissant Road St. Louis, Mo 63135

Tuesday-Wednesday 10am-9pm

Sunday/Monday Closed

C&K Barbecue

4390 Jennings Station Rd. St. Louis Mo 63121

Wed –Monday 11am –8p.m

Tuesday Closed

Yet Bun Chop Suey

5814 Natural Bridge Ave. Saint Louis 63120

Mon-Sat 11-10:15 p.m.

John’s AKA China Chop Suey (Government name)

6165 W. Florissant Ave Saint Louis Mo 63136

Mon – Sat. 10:45- 10:30 p.m.

Northland Chop Suey

9240 W. Florissant St. Louis 63136

Monday- Saturday 11am- 11pm

Sunday 12-8pm

Lefty’s Fried Rice

Home/Menu (leftysfriedrice.com)

3000 South Jefferson, Saint Louis Missouri 63118

Monday-Saturday 11am 8pm

Sunday Closed

Pharoah’s Donut’s


202 N 9th St, St. Louis, MO 63101




Donut Drive-In

6525 Chippewa Saint Louis Mo 63109

Tuesday-Thursday 5am-10pm

Friday-Saturday 5am-Midnight

Sunday 5am-10pm

Monday Closed

Old Town Donuts

508 New Florissant Rd.

Florissant, MO 63031

Open 24 Hours ‘Err’ Day

Ted Drewes
Ted Drewes Frozen Custard

Imo’s Pizza | Order Delivery or Carryout (imospizza.com)

Cathy’s Kitchen

Cathy’s Kitchen – Cathy’s Kitchen (cathyskitchen.net)

Elicious Southern Style Breakfast and Brunch


King of Soul Café


Vincenzo’s Italian Restaurant

Contact – Vincenzo’s Italian Restaurant (vincenzosstl.com)

Faraci Pizza

520 South Florissant Road St. Louis, Mo 63135

Tuesday – Sunday 4p.m to 10p.m


On Key

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