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10 Surprising Restaurants and Bars in St. Louis

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St. Louis, Missouri, may not top the list of great American cities for foodies, but a lot of exciting things have been happening in its dining scene in the last few years. New restaurants like Vicia and Nixta have recently garnered some pretty prestigious national accolades, while different concepts and cuisines have emerged. However, there’s so much more to explore — and eat — in the city’s many neighborhoods, from farm-to-table pop-up events to sandwich counters in unexpected places. Below, we’ve rounded up some of the most innovative, entertaining, and dependable eateries that often fly under the radar in the Gateway to the West.

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1. Billy G's Kirkwood

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Billy G's, 131, W Argonne Dr
Kirkwood, MO 63122
(314) 984-8000
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Billy G’s Kirkwood is nestled between a fire station and a row of small businesses along a pedestrian-friendly stretch of downtown Kirkwood. Among the many options in the area, Billy G’s stands out for its upscale burgers, pastas, and St. Louis-style pizzas, as well as for its patio, which is one of the best in the city. After your meal, go for a stroll and soak up some of this suburb’s small-town charm.

2. Kounter Kulture

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3825 Watson Rd
St. Louis, MO 63109
(314) 781-4344
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There aren’t many restaurants that offer innovative cuisine in a carryout-only location, but Kounter Kulture is one of them. The tiny restaurant serves up a rotating menu of Asian-inspired dishes — such as Korean beef brisket, lemongrass poached shrimp, and steamed buns — all made with locally sourced ingredients. From April to November, the business also sets up shop on Saturday mornings at the Tower Grove Farmers’ Market under the name Kitchen Kulture.

3. Salume Beddu

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7118 Oakland Ave
Richmond Heights, MO 63117
(314) 645-2050
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Salume Beddu’s artisan-cured meats are made by hand using old-school methods and high-quality ingredients, and that’s probably why they have developed such a following. Although the company’s eponymous retail outlet and sandwich counter closed in 2017, Salume Beddu sandwiches can now be found inside Parker’s Table, a wine shop and specialty grocery store. The location may have changed, but they are still serving up the same hand-crafted salumi that’s made just a few miles away in Olivette, Missouri.

4. Privado

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6665 Delmar Blvd
University City, MO 63130
(314) 899-9221
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The only indication of activity at now-closed Randolfi’s Italian Kitchen is a small, handwritten sign on the door that reads “Welcome to…Privado.” Yet every Friday and Saturday evening, 16 diners participate in an intimate and decadent dining experience from executive chef Mike Randolph, a three-time James Beard semifinalist. The 12- to 15-course tasting menu includes bites like trotter dumplings, raw hamachi over parsnip puree, and chocolate soufflé with a porcini sauce. Tickets must be purchased online in advance.

5. Blood & Sand

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1500 St Charles St
St. Louis, MO 63103
(314) 241-7263
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You might not even notice Blood & Sand while driving by. The restaurant is located on a small city street that’s more like an alley, and it’s marked only by a plaque next to a revolving door. But inside, members and their guests are treated to contemporary American cuisine — it’s known for its truffled tater tots — and an extensive wine and cocktail menu. Blood & Sand is membership based, but it accepts a limited number of non-member walk-ins and reservations.

6. Vin De Set

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2017 Chouteau Ave
St. Louis, MO 63103
(314) 241-8989
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After a trip to southern France, restaurateurs Paul and Wendy Hamilton were inspired to open Vin de Set, a French bistro with a spacious rooftop patio in the Lafayette neighborhood. The bistro offers approachable takes on classic dishes like Croque Monsieur, seafood bouillabaisse, and savory crepes. The Hamiltons are committed to implementing sustainable practices, and many of the ingredients used in the restaurant are grown in its hydroponic greenhouse. The wine list takes its cue from France, but you’ll still find a great selection of American craft beers if you’re in the mood — order up an Elysian Dayglow IPA to go with your Roquefort burger.

7. The Stellar Hog

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5623 Leona St
St. Louis, MO 63116
(314) 481-8448
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In 2016, chef Alex Cupp bought Super’s Bungalow, a decades-old neighborhood bar in South St. Louis City, and transformed it into a laidback spot for out-of-this-world BBQ. Don’t be fooled by the plain exterior and simple beer garden. Inside, Cupp prepares fall-apart tender meats — like the brisket, which is smoked for 14 hours — and delicious side dishes. The bar is open every day except Tuesday, although food is only served Wednesday through Sunday.

8. Boogaloo

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7344 Manchester Rd
St. Louis, MO 63143
(314) 645-4803
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For a great Cuban sandwich and a cool mojito on a sweltering summer day, head to Boogaloo in Maplewood. This casual restaurant, which opened in 2005, serves an eclectic menu of Cuban-, Creole-, and Caribbean-inspired dishes — some of which aren’t found anywhere else in St. Louis. If you’re lucky, you might even snag one of the coveted swings at the bar or a table on the back patio.

9. Schneithorst’s Restaurant & Bar

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1600 S Lindbergh Blvd
St. Louis, MO 63131
(314) 993-4100
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Schneithorst’s Restaurant and Bar’s imposing half-timbered building dominates the corner of Lindbergh and Clayton roads, yet the business has been there so long it’s easy to overlook. The current restaurant opened here in the 1950s, but the Schneithorst family has been serving up traditional German fare like wienerschnitzel and sauerbraten since 1917. Today, the menu also includes an array of classic American dishes. You could go German with your beer order, or all-American with an Elysian Space Dust IPA. No matter what you order, part of the fun is taking in the Bavarian atmosphere in the bierkeller or rooftop biergarten.

10. Westport Social

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910 W Port Plaza Dr
St. Louis, MO 63146
(314) 548-2876
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With its opening in September 2017, Westport Social brought a welcome combination of upscale pub food and classic games to the popular Westport Plaza entertainment complex. The menu includes items like Bavarian pretzels, burnt end nachos, and hot chicken sliders, which are best enjoyed while challenging your friends to a game of bocce ball, snookball, pop-a-shot or shuffleboard.

This advertising content was produced in collaboration between Vox Creative and our sponsor, without involvement from Vox Media editorial staff.

1. Billy G's Kirkwood

Billy G's, 131, W Argonne Dr, Kirkwood, MO 63122

Billy G’s Kirkwood is nestled between a fire station and a row of small businesses along a pedestrian-friendly stretch of downtown Kirkwood. Among the many options in the area, Billy G’s stands out for its upscale burgers, pastas, and St. Louis-style pizzas, as well as for its patio, which is one of the best in the city. After your meal, go for a stroll and soak up some of this suburb’s small-town charm.

Billy G's, 131, W Argonne Dr
Kirkwood, MO 63122

2. Kounter Kulture

3825 Watson Rd, St. Louis, MO 63109

There aren’t many restaurants that offer innovative cuisine in a carryout-only location, but Kounter Kulture is one of them. The tiny restaurant serves up a rotating menu of Asian-inspired dishes — such as Korean beef brisket, lemongrass poached shrimp, and steamed buns — all made with locally sourced ingredients. From April to November, the business also sets up shop on Saturday mornings at the Tower Grove Farmers’ Market under the name Kitchen Kulture.

3825 Watson Rd
St. Louis, MO 63109

3. Salume Beddu

7118 Oakland Ave, Richmond Heights, MO 63117

Salume Beddu’s artisan-cured meats are made by hand using old-school methods and high-quality ingredients, and that’s probably why they have developed such a following. Although the company’s eponymous retail outlet and sandwich counter closed in 2017, Salume Beddu sandwiches can now be found inside Parker’s Table, a wine shop and specialty grocery store. The location may have changed, but they are still serving up the same hand-crafted salumi that’s made just a few miles away in Olivette, Missouri.

7118 Oakland Ave
Richmond Heights, MO 63117

4. Privado

6665 Delmar Blvd, University City, MO 63130

The only indication of activity at now-closed Randolfi’s Italian Kitchen is a small, handwritten sign on the door that reads “Welcome to…Privado.” Yet every Friday and Saturday evening, 16 diners participate in an intimate and decadent dining experience from executive chef Mike Randolph, a three-time James Beard semifinalist. The 12- to 15-course tasting menu includes bites like trotter dumplings, raw hamachi over parsnip puree, and chocolate soufflé with a porcini sauce. Tickets must be purchased online in advance.

6665 Delmar Blvd
University City, MO 63130

5. Blood & Sand

1500 St Charles St, St. Louis, MO 63103

You might not even notice Blood & Sand while driving by. The restaurant is located on a small city street that’s more like an alley, and it’s marked only by a plaque next to a revolving door. But inside, members and their guests are treated to contemporary American cuisine — it’s known for its truffled tater tots — and an extensive wine and cocktail menu. Blood & Sand is membership based, but it accepts a limited number of non-member walk-ins and reservations.

1500 St Charles St
St. Louis, MO 63103

6. Vin De Set

2017 Chouteau Ave, St. Louis, MO 63103

After a trip to southern France, restaurateurs Paul and Wendy Hamilton were inspired to open Vin de Set, a French bistro with a spacious rooftop patio in the Lafayette neighborhood. The bistro offers approachable takes on classic dishes like Croque Monsieur, seafood bouillabaisse, and savory crepes. The Hamiltons are committed to implementing sustainable practices, and many of the ingredients used in the restaurant are grown in its hydroponic greenhouse. The wine list takes its cue from France, but you’ll still find a great selection of American craft beers if you’re in the mood — order up an Elysian Dayglow IPA to go with your Roquefort burger.

2017 Chouteau Ave
St. Louis, MO 63103

7. The Stellar Hog

5623 Leona St, St. Louis, MO 63116

In 2016, chef Alex Cupp bought Super’s Bungalow, a decades-old neighborhood bar in South St. Louis City, and transformed it into a laidback spot for out-of-this-world BBQ. Don’t be fooled by the plain exterior and simple beer garden. Inside, Cupp prepares fall-apart tender meats — like the brisket, which is smoked for 14 hours — and delicious side dishes. The bar is open every day except Tuesday, although food is only served Wednesday through Sunday.

5623 Leona St
St. Louis, MO 63116

8. Boogaloo

7344 Manchester Rd, St. Louis, MO 63143

For a great Cuban sandwich and a cool mojito on a sweltering summer day, head to Boogaloo in Maplewood. This casual restaurant, which opened in 2005, serves an eclectic menu of Cuban-, Creole-, and Caribbean-inspired dishes — some of which aren’t found anywhere else in St. Louis. If you’re lucky, you might even snag one of the coveted swings at the bar or a table on the back patio.

7344 Manchester Rd
St. Louis, MO 63143

9. Schneithorst’s Restaurant & Bar

1600 S Lindbergh Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63131

Schneithorst’s Restaurant and Bar’s imposing half-timbered building dominates the corner of Lindbergh and Clayton roads, yet the business has been there so long it’s easy to overlook. The current restaurant opened here in the 1950s, but the Schneithorst family has been serving up traditional German fare like wienerschnitzel and sauerbraten since 1917. Today, the menu also includes an array of classic American dishes. You could go German with your beer order, or all-American with an Elysian Space Dust IPA. No matter what you order, part of the fun is taking in the Bavarian atmosphere in the bierkeller or rooftop biergarten.

1600 S Lindbergh Blvd
St. Louis, MO 63131

10. Westport Social

910 W Port Plaza Dr, St. Louis, MO 63146

With its opening in September 2017, Westport Social brought a welcome combination of upscale pub food and classic games to the popular Westport Plaza entertainment complex. The menu includes items like Bavarian pretzels, burnt end nachos, and hot chicken sliders, which are best enjoyed while challenging your friends to a game of bocce ball, snookball, pop-a-shot or shuffleboard.

910 W Port Plaza Dr
St. Louis, MO 63146

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