St. Louis – The Gateway to My Stomach

Having lived in St. Louis, Missouri for a majority of my life, I have fond attachments to this great little city. It is a great place to raise a family or enjoy the single’s life. Tourists know St. Louis for the Gateway Arch, Shaw’s Botanical Gardens, and the St. Louis Zoo. But there is another side to the side the Gateway City, it a foodies paradise for regional cuisine.

New York is known for their thin sliced pizzas, New Orleans popularized Cajun cuisine, and St. Louis is known for their toasted raviolis! Toasted raviolis are either beef or veal filled, lightly breaded that are deep fried and served with marinara sauce for dipping and parmesan cheese may also be sprinkled on top. It is popular in the Midwest region but particularly in St. Louis.

“Hello, my name is Jan and I am an occasional beef lover.” Whenever I am in St. Louis, I try to have dinner at Tucker’s Place in Soulard. (2117 S. 12th Street, St. Louis) The 14 oz. rib eye steak is simply juicy, tender, and cooked to perfection! It comes with house salad, baked potato and dinner roll. The rib eye and the bacon-wrapped filet are both part of the daily specials at Tucker’s. The buffalo wings and the loaded potato skins are divine! The wait-staff are so friendly.  If you’re looking for an authentic steak house with a community feel, Tucker’s is your place!  My mouth is watering as I type this entry….*yum* To view the complete menu for Tucker’s Place, click here.

14 oz. rib eye steak from Tucker's Place

14 oz. rib eye steak from Tucker’s Place

Tucker’s Place is located in the historical district of Soulard. Soulard is considered on of the oldest neighborhoods in St. Louis, Missouri. The area is well known for its live entertainment with bars providing local jazz and blues music, which is what St. Louis is known for. Soulard is located north by Carroll Street, on the east by Seventh Street, on the south by Lynch Street and to the west by Interstate 55. Soulard is also famous for its farmer’s market. Located on two acres of land and offering 100 vendor selections, the farmer’s market is the largest west of the Mississippi River. For more information about Soulard, please click here.

Once you enjoyed your late dinner at Tucker’s and then walk to McGuirk’s Irish Pub. When the weather is collaborating, make sure to grab a seat in their beer garden. The drink selections are vast. If McGuirk’s is packed, you can stroll down Russell Boulevard and check out the other bars and pubs.

Another St. Louis speciality is a St. Paul Sandwich. I am not sure of the origin of this sandwich is can only be found in the St. Louis regional area. A St. Paul sandwich is a bean sprout patty, deep fried, and served between two slices of white bread with mayo, lettuce, and two slices of pickles. It is best to eat the sandwich right away otherwise it will get soggy. My favorite is a beef St. Paul and I love getting it from The Orient Wok Restaurant in Edwardsville, Illinois. (6698 Center Grove Road, Edwardsville) This is a family owned business and the prices are very cheap but great quality food. The St. Paul sandwiches will cost you between $3.75 for the beef and $3.95 for the shrimp or the special St. Paul.

Beef St. Paul sandwich

Beef St. Paul from The Orient Wok (Edwardsville, IL)

If I am seeking something light to nosh on, I get a sandwich from Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches. This sandwich place was founded in 1983 in a garage in Charleston, Illinois. Now Jimmy John’s has over 1, 200 franchises in 40 states. The bread is far better than other chain sandwich shops. My favorite sandwich is an 8” Vito, filled with Genoa salami, provolone, capicola, onion, lettuce, and Italian vinaigrette. (I omit the onions.) My other favorite is the slim 5 with salami, capicola, and cheese. (No vegetables or sauce) The slim sandwiches are great if you traveling and wanting to bring it with you. For a full Jimmy John’s menu, click here.

If you are seeking late, late, night dining, I recommend Steak ‘n Shake. Steak ‘n Shake is comfort food after-hours. They are known for their steak burgers. You can order a single, double, or triple patty beef sandwich. It’s fresh, not frozen. You can select from a variety of sides include vegetable beef soup, shoestring fries, or a cup of cottage cheese. Their milkshakes are something to brag about. My favorite is the strawberry shake but you can also order cookies and cream, chocolate banana, chocolate chip cookie dough, turtle caramel nut, mint chocolate chip, and many more. For a complete menu listing, click here.

Steak and Shake burger

Steakburger from Steak n Shake

Another great late night nosh place is White Castle. I am sure you are conjuring up images from “Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle.” These little square sliders are steamed cooked to perfection with onions and a dill pickle. It is best topped with a dollop of catsup. Do not forget to order a side of liquid cheese with your french fries. To find a White Castle near you, click here.

White Castle burgers

Crave Case from White Castle (30 burgers)

No trip to St. Louis would be complete without a visit toTed Drewes Frozen Custard Stand in the heart of the city. Ted Drewes was started in Florida in 1929, and then the St. Louis stand opened up the following year. There are so many combinations to select from. My all-time favorite is the Hawaiian sundae. The infamous Ted Drewes custard is topped with coconut, pineapple, banana, and macadamia nuts. As you are sitting in your car, while in the parking lot, this sundae will transport you to Hawaii in an instant. There are two locations but the one on Chippewa Avenue is opened from February through December. When the Chippewa location is not selling custard, in late November through December, they are selling Christmas trees. To discover your favorite frozen custard, please click here.

Hawaiian Sundae from Ted Drewes

Hawaiian Sundae from Ted Drewes

If you want an authentic St. Louis food experience, I encourage you to try one, two, or all of the foods I recommended. As a reminder, moderation is best. However, you cannot blame me if you discovered a new food addiction while in the Show-Me State.

Until our next destination…

Chili Mac - 5 ways from Steak n' Shake

Chili Mac – 5 ways from Steak n’ Shake

Jetting Jan enjoying a strawberry milkshake from Steak n' Shake

Author enjoying a strawberry milkshake from Steak n’ Shake

Shrimp & ham fried rice & crab rangoon from Orient Wok

Shrimp & ham fried rice & crab rangoon from Orient Wok

All photos taken by author for the sole use on

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