Last updated on October 6th, 2023 at 03:04 am
5 Best-Kept-Secret Restaurants in St. Louis
These five best-kept-secret restaurants in St. Louis have emerged as true gems, offering unique and unforgettable dining experiences. From the mouthwatering smoked meats at Pappy’s Smokehouse to the tantalizing Nepali and Indian fusion dishes at Everest Cafe & Bar, each establishment has carved its own niche in the hearts of locals and visitors alike. The cozy ambiance of The Pat Connolly Tavern, the rich flavors of Trattoria Marcella’s Italian fare, and the wood-fired pizza creations at Blues Fired Pizza all contribute to the diverse tapestry of culinary delights that St. Louis has to offer.
However, these are just a taste of the best-kept-secret restaurants in St. Louis that await within the city’s culinary landscape. St. Louis is brimming with an array of best-kept-secret restaurants that span a multitude of cuisines and culinary traditions. Each of the best-kept-secret restaurants in St. Louis, tucked away in its own corner of the city, beckons curious diners to step inside and embark on a gastronomic adventure. Whether it’s a family-owned establishment serving up generations-old recipes or a newcomer that’s swiftly gaining a loyal following, there are countless more discoveries to be made. This is why these are some of the best-kept-secret restaurants in St. Louis that are waiting for you to discover them. This list is in no particular order.
A lot of great options are in these posts!
5 Best Hole-in-the-Wall Restaurants in St. Louis
1) The Pat Connolly Tavern
Nestled in the heart of the city, The Pat Connolly Tavern stands as one of the best-kept-secret restaurants in St. Louis. Situated in the historic Dogtown neighborhood, this charming establishment has been a popular gem for locals and those in the know. A family-owned and operated business, The Pat Connolly Tavern exudes a warm and welcoming atmosphere, making it a go-to spot for both casual gatherings and special occasions.
The Pat Connolly Tavern is renowned for its mouthwatering Irish-American cuisine, and its signature dish is the “Corned Beef Reuben Sandwich.” Served on freshly baked rye bread, this delectable sandwich boasts layers of succulent corned beef, tangy sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and creamy Thousand Island dressing. The sandwich is grilled to perfection, creating a harmonious blend of flavors and textures that keep patrons coming back for more.
Main Menu Items:
1. Shepherd’s Pie: A hearty and comforting dish, the Shepherd’s Pie at The Pat Connolly Tavern is a traditional Irish delicacy. Made with seasoned ground lamb and vegetables, topped with a creamy layer of mashed potatoes, and baked until golden brown, this dish embodies the essence of comfort food.
2. Fish and Chips: This classic British-inspired dish is given a flavorful twist at the tavern. Featuring flaky white fish encased in a crispy beer-battered coating, accompanied by a generous portion of thick-cut fries, it’s a dish that captures the essence of a delightful pub meal.
3. Guinness Beef Stew: A nod to the rich culinary heritage of Ireland, the Guinness Beef Stew is a hearty medley of tender beef chunks, carrots, potatoes, and onions simmered to perfection in a savory Guinness-infused broth. The deep flavors and aromatic spices make it a standout choice for those seeking a truly satisfying meal.
“A hidden gem in St. Louis! The Pat Connolly Tavern never disappoints. Their Corned Beef Reuben is a masterpiece of flavors, and the cozy ambiance makes every visit feel like coming home.”
“I stumbled upon this place while exploring Dogtown, and it turned out to be a delightful surprise. The Shepherd’s Pie was as authentic as it gets, and the attentive service made my dining experience memorable.”
“This tavern truly embodies the essence of Irish hospitality. The Fish and Chips were crispy on the outside, tender on the inside. I can’t wait to explore more of their menu on my next visit.”
The Pat Connolly Tavern, one of the best-kept-secret restaurants in St. Louis, offers a warm and inviting environment that pairs perfectly with its authentic Irish-American cuisine. From the iconic Corned Beef Reuben Sandwich to the flavorful Shepherd’s Pie and Guinness Beef Stew, each dish showcases the tavern’s dedication to culinary excellence. They are one of the best-kept-secret restaurants in St. Louis.
With a history steeped in family tradition and a commitment to delivering unforgettable dining experiences, The Pat Connolly Tavern is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking exceptional food in a charming setting. They rank high among the best-kept-secret restaurants in St. Louis for good reasons.
2) Blues Fired Pizza
Tucked away in a quiet corner of the city, Blues Fired Pizza has gained a reputation as one of the best-kept-secret restaurants in St. Louis. Situated in a cozy neighborhood, this family-owned and operated establishment has captured the hearts of locals and visitors alike. With its unassuming exterior, Blues Fired Pizza offers an inviting and comfortable atmosphere that complements its delectable offerings.
Blues Fired Pizza is renowned for its unique take on wood-fired pizzas, and its signature dish is the “St. Louis Blues Pizza.” This masterpiece features a thin and crispy crust adorned with a harmonious medley of ingredients. Topped with smoked provel cheese, tangy barbecue sauce, tender pulled pork, and a sprinkle of red onions, this pizza pays homage to the city’s culinary roots while offering a burst of flavors in every bite.
Main Menu Items:
1. Margherita Pizza: A timeless classic, the Margherita Pizza at Blues Fired Pizza showcases the beauty of simplicity. The thin crust is adorned with a luscious layer of tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella cheese, aromatic basil leaves, and a drizzle of olive oil. The result is a harmonious combination of flavors that exemplifies the essence of Italian cuisine.
2. Mediterranean Salad: For those seeking a lighter option, the Mediterranean Salad is a standout choice. Crisp mixed greens are paired with kalamata olives, roasted red peppers, cucumbers, red onions, and feta cheese. Tossed in a zesty vinaigrette, this salad offers a refreshing and flavorful dining experience.
3. BBQ Chicken Pizza: Another pizza creation that wows the palate is the BBQ Chicken Pizza. This indulgent delight features a layer of tangy barbecue sauce as the base, topped with succulent pieces of grilled chicken, red onions, cilantro, and a blend of cheeses. The juxtaposition of sweet and savory flavors makes this pizza a crowd-pleaser.
“Blues Fired Pizza is a hidden gem that I stumbled upon during my visit to St. Louis. The St. Louis Blues Pizza was a revelation – the perfect balance of smoky, tangy, and savory flavors. It’s now my go-to spot whenever I’m in town!”
“The Margherita Pizza took me back to Italy with its authentic taste and quality ingredients. The wood-fired crust was a delight, and the attentive staff made my dining experience truly enjoyable.”
“I’m a barbecue enthusiast, and the BBQ Chicken Pizza at Blues Fired Pizza exceeded my expectations. The tender chicken and bold flavors left me craving for more. This place truly deserves its reputation as a hidden treasure in St. Louis.”
Blues Fired Pizza, one of the best-kept-secret restaurants in St. Louis, offers an inviting ambiance and a delectable menu that revolves around wood-fired pizzas. From the iconic St. Louis Blues Pizza to the classic Margherita and the indulgent BBQ Chicken Pizza, each dish exemplifies the restaurant’s commitment to culinary excellence. This is one of the best-kept-secret restaurants in St. Louis.
With its cozy atmosphere and a dedication to serving unforgettable flavors, Blues Fired Pizza stands as a must-visit destination for anyone seeking an exceptional dining experience in the heart of the city. They stand out among the best-kept-secret restaurants in St. Louis.
3) Everest Cafe & Bar
Everest Cafe & Bar stands out as one of the best-kept-secret restaurants in St. Louis. Located in a charming neighborhood, this family-owned and operated establishment offers a welcoming atmosphere that invites diners to experience the rich flavors of Nepali and Indian cuisine. The restaurant’s unassuming exterior belies the culinary treasures that await inside.
Everest Cafe & Bar is celebrated for its fusion of Nepali and Indian flavors, and its signature dish is the “Chicken MoMo.” These delectable dumplings are crafted with care, featuring a delicate, hand-rolled dough filled with succulent minced chicken and a blend of aromatic spices. Served with a zesty tomato-based dipping sauce, Chicken MoMos are a popular appetizer that embodies the perfect balance of textures and flavors.
Main Menu Items:
1. Samosa Chaat: A delightful starter, the Samosa Chaat combines the popular Indian samosa with a medley of flavors. Crispy samosas are crumbled and topped with yogurt, tamarind chutney, mint chutney, onions, tomatoes, and a sprinkle of chaat masala. This dish is a burst of sweet, tangy, and savory notes that tantalize the taste buds.
2. Lamb Curry: The Lamb Curry is a testament to the rich spices and slow-cooked goodness of Nepali and Indian cuisine. Tender pieces of lamb are simmered in a fragrant curry sauce, infused with a blend of spices that awaken the senses. Served with aromatic basmati rice, this dish offers a comforting and satisfying dining experience.
3. Paneer Tikka Masala: A vegetarian delight, the Paneer Tikka Masala showcases marinated paneer (Indian cottage cheese) that’s been charred to perfection in a tandoor. The paneer is then gently simmered in a creamy tomato-based gravy, enriched with spices and aromatics. This dish offers a velvety texture and a harmonious balance of flavors.
“Everest Cafe & Bar is a hidden gem that I stumbled upon while exploring St. Louis. The Chicken MoMos were a revelation – bursting with flavors and served with a dipping sauce that’s pure magic. I can’t wait to explore more of their menu!”
“The Samosa Chaat was a delightful explosion of textures and flavors. It’s clear that the chefs at Everest Cafe & Bar have mastered the art of creating dishes that resonate with authenticity and taste.”
“As a lover of Indian cuisine, I was thrilled to discover the Paneer Tikka Masala at this hidden gem. The flavors were spot-on, and the ambiance of the restaurant made the dining experience even more memorable.”
Everest Cafe & Bar, one of the best-kept-secret restaurants in St. Louis, offers an inviting ambiance and a diverse menu that showcases the best of Nepali and Indian cuisine. From the signature Chicken MoMos to the tantalizing Samosa Chaat and the rich Lamb Curry, each dish exemplifies the restaurant’s commitment to delivering exceptional flavors. They are another of the best-kept-secret restaurants in St. Louis.
With its family-owned charm and a dedication to serving culinary treasures, Everest Cafe & Bar stands as a must-visit destination for those seeking an unforgettable dining experience in the heart of the city. They deserve to be ranked high among the best-kept-secret restaurants in St. Louis.
4) Pappy’s Smokehouse
Nestled within the heart of the city Pappy’s Smokehouse is a well-kept secret in St. Louis that has garnered a loyal following among locals and visitors alike. Situated in a vibrant neighborhood, this family-owned and operated establishment has become a destination for barbecue enthusiasts seeking an authentic and unforgettable dining experience. With a reputation for outstanding smoked meats and a warm atmosphere, Pappy’s Smokehouse remains one of the best-kept-secret restaurants in St. Louis.
Pappy’s Smokehouse is renowned for its mouthwatering smoked meats, and its signature dish is the “Memphis Style Ribs.” These succulent pork ribs are meticulously smoked over a blend of hickory and applewood, imparting a deep smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with the restaurant’s signature dry rub. The result is tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs with a harmonious balance of flavors, making it a must-try for barbecue aficionados.
Main Menu Items:
1. Pulled Pork Sandwich: A true classic, the Pulled Pork Sandwich at Pappy’s Smokehouse features slow-smoked, hand-pulled pork piled high on a soft bun. The meat is infused with layers of smoky goodness and complemented by a choice of house-made sauces, allowing guests to customize their flavors to perfection.
2. Beef Brisket Platter: For those craving the ultimate barbecue indulgence, the Beef Brisket Platter is a standout choice. Slices of tender, smoky beef brisket are served alongside traditional barbecue sides, creating a hearty and satisfying meal that embodies the essence of comfort food.
3. Smoked Turkey Breast: Pappy’s Smokehouse caters to a range of palates with their Smoked Turkey Breast. Delicately smoked to retain moisture and flavor, the turkey breast is a lean and savory option that provides a lighter alternative to the hearty meats on the menu.
“Pappy’s Smokehouse is a hidden gem that every barbecue lover needs to experience. The Memphis Style Ribs were a revelation – tender, flavorful, and a true testament to the art of smoking meats. This place deserves all the praise it gets.”
“I stumbled upon Pappy’s Smokehouse during a visit to St. Louis, and I’m so glad I did. The Pulled Pork Sandwich was a symphony of flavors, and the friendly staff made me feel right at home. I’ll be coming back for more!”
“As a barbecue connoisseur, I hold high standards for smoked meats, and Pappy’s Smokehouse exceeded my expectations. The Beef Brisket Platter was a carnivore’s dream, and the ambiance of the restaurant added to the overall experience.”
Pappy’s Smokehouse, one of the best-kept-secret restaurants in St. Louis, offers an authentic barbecue experience that’s hard to find elsewhere. From the signature Memphis Style Ribs to the hearty Pulled Pork Sandwich and the indulgent Beef Brisket Platter, each dish reflects the restaurant’s dedication to smoked meats of exceptional quality. This is another one of the best-kept-secret restaurants in St. Louis.
With its family-owned charm and a commitment to serving up barbecue perfection, Pappy’s Smokehouse is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a memorable and delectable dining experience in the heart of the city. They have earned the rank of being one of the best-kept-secret restaurants in St. Louis.
5) Trattoria Marcella
Nestled in the heart of the city, Trattoria Marcella stands as one of the best-kept-secret restaurants in St. Louis. Located in a charming neighborhood, this family-owned and operated establishment offers an authentic Italian dining experience that has garnered a dedicated following. With its unassuming facade and warm ambiance, Trattoria Marcella captures the essence of a hidden gem, offering a culinary journey that delights the senses.
Trattoria Marcella is celebrated for its exquisite Italian cuisine, and its signature dish is the “Toasted Ravioli.” This St. Louis classic is reimagined with an Italian twist, featuring delicate ravioli filled with a blend of ricotta cheese and spinach. Lightly breaded and fried to golden perfection, the Toasted Ravioli is served with a zesty marinara sauce, creating a delightful fusion of textures and flavors that pay homage to the restaurant’s Italian roots.
Main Menu Items:
1. Osso Buco: A culinary masterpiece, the Osso Buco at Trattoria Marcella offers a taste of traditional Italian comfort. Tender veal shanks are braised to perfection, resulting in melt-in-your-mouth meat that’s infused with rich flavors. Served atop a bed of saffron risotto, this dish is a true indulgence for discerning palates.
2. Lobster and Shrimp Ravioli: Combining the elegance of seafood with the comfort of pasta, the Lobster and Shrimp Ravioli is a standout option. Delicate ravioli are filled with a luxurious mixture of lobster and shrimp, then dressed in a creamy tomato vodka sauce that adds a touch of sophistication to the dish.
3. Tiramisu: For dessert enthusiasts, the Tiramisu at Trattoria Marcella is a must-try. This classic Italian dessert features layers of delicate ladyfingers soaked in espresso and coffee liqueur, interlaced with creamy mascarpone cheese and dusted with cocoa powder. It’s a sweet ending that leaves a lasting impression.
“Trattoria Marcella is a hidden treasure that captures the essence of Italy right here in St. Louis. The Toasted Ravioli was a revelation – crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside. It’s no wonder this place is considered one of the best-kept-secret restaurants.”
“From the moment I stepped into Trattoria Marcella, I felt like I was transported to an Italian trattoria. The Osso Buco was exceptional – the veal was tender and the flavors were reminiscent of my time in Italy.”
“As a lover of seafood, I couldn’t resist trying the Lobster and Shrimp Ravioli. The dish exceeded my expectations with its delicate flavors and perfect balance of textures. This restaurant truly knows how to elevate Italian cuisine.”
Trattoria Marcella, one of the best-kept-secret restaurants in St. Louis, offers an authentic Italian dining experience that resonates with both comfort and sophistication. From the signature Toasted Ravioli to the indulgent Lobster and Shrimp Ravioli, each dish exemplifies the restaurant’s dedication to culinary excellence. They are definitely one of the best-kept-secret restaurants in St. Louis.
With its family-owned charm and a commitment to delivering memorable flavors, Trattoria Marcella stands as a must-visit destination for those seeking an unforgettable journey through Italian cuisine in the heart of the city. They deserve to be ranked among the top hole-in-the-wall restaurants in St. Louis.
Now you know why these are some of the best-kept-secret restaurants in St. Louis just waiting for you to discover them. However, it’s important to let you know that this is not an exhaustive list of the best-kept-secret restaurants in St. Louis and that this list is in no particular order.
As you venture through St. Louis, keep an eye out for those unassuming facades and lesser-known eateries. The true allure of this city lies in the pockets of hidden excellence that can be found when you peel back the layers. The five best-kept-secret restaurants in St. Louis represent just a fraction of what awaits your palate. So, embark on your culinary journey with the anticipation of uncovering even more of the best-kept-secret restaurants in St. Louis. Your taste buds will thank you for the delightful surprises that lie ahead.
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