The 5 Foods You Must Try in St. Louis

St. Louis Arch

If you’re a foodie like me, you may find yourself planning your trips around restaurants, bars, and must-try eats. So naturally, when I went to visit a friend in St. Louis, my number one priority was to eat my way through the city. If you ever find yourself in St. Louis (a city that deserves more than a layover), here are five eats you won’t want to miss!

1) Frozen Custard

I’ve had frozen custard before my trip and it was good but not extraordinary. Frozen custard in St. Louis is a perfectly delicious mix of egg, cream, and more fix-ins than you can imagine. I was skeptical until I had Ted Drewes, a St. Louis tradition that's rightly deserved. I ordered my custard with Abaco Mocha and Heath Bar, and it was nothing short of magical.

2) Barbeque

Sugarfire BBQ Ribs

St. Louis is known for its barbeque, grilled first and sauced afterwards. At most barbecue restaurants you’ll find the traditional ribs, pulled pork, brisket, and sides. If you have a more adventurous palate, you won’t want to miss Sugarfire Smoke House. Unconventional sides (e.g. cheesy broccoli, orange-glazed carrots, kale Caesar salad), old-fashioned sodas, and artisanal barbeque sauces are a few reasons to go in addition to falling-off-the-bone smoked meat. Check out their Facebook page for the daily specials.

3) Beer

Urban Chesnut Brewery

Beer has been a serious industry in St. Louis since the mid-1800, and is home to the largest and oldest brewery in the country, Anheuser-Busch. If you’re not a fan of Budweiser (admittedly, I’m not), the historical and cultural significance of the brewery alone is worth the visit. Plus, tours are free and include two free drinks! Note: The complimentary tour was underwhelming, so if you’re really interested in learning about the brewing process, I recommend paying for an upgraded tour.

If you prefer the hoppier and more complex flavors of craft beer, St. Louis also boasts a respectable array of microbreweries. Urban Chestnut Brewing Co—a brewery and German-style biergarten—offers excellent beer, food, and ambience. I ordered the cider and poutine, a Canadian dish of fries topped with gravy and cheese curds-yum! My friend had the freshly baked pretzels with mustard, equally delicious!

4) Deep Dish Pizza

Pi Pizzaria Deep Dish

I love deep dish pizza (any pizza, really), but you haven’t fully experienced deep dish until you’ve had Pi Pizza. You’re probably thinking deep dish pizza should be part of an article on Chicago eats, and I’m sure it would make the cut there as well. But Pi’s signature cornmeal crust pizza with chunky tomato sauce on top is unique, rustic, and satisfying. It’s so special that in 2008, President Obama called to say that Pi’s pizza was the best he’d ever had.

5) Fried Pickles

Blueberry Hill Fried Pickles

I love fried pickles. And thankfully, St. Louis did not disappoint me. The best fried pickles I’ve ever had, in fact, were at the landmark Blueberry Hill Restaurant and Bar in the Delmar Loop District. Spicy, tangy, and crunchy on the outside, I easily could have gobbled two baskets of these by myself. The restaurant is covered in music memorabilia, elk heads, and funky vintage collectibles, so anything you eat here will be an experience.