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5 St. Louis Top Hole-in-the-Wall Restaurants

5 St. Louis Top Hole-in-the-Wall Restaurants

5 St. Louis Top Hole-in-the-Wall Restaurants

These five St. Louis top hole-in-the-wall restaurants are part of a vibrant culinary scene, and its top hole-in-the-wall restaurants are a testament to the city’s diverse and delicious offerings. From the mouthwatering barbecue at Pappy’s Smokehouse to the innovative plant-based cuisine at Lulu’s Local Eatery, and the authentic Mexican flavors at Taqueria El Bronco, these five establishments have captured the hearts and palates of locals and visitors alike.

While we have explored some of the St. Louis top hole-in-the-wall restaurants, it’s important to note that this is just a taste of what the city has to offer. St. Louis is brimming with hidden culinary gems waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re seeking soul-satisfying comfort food, international flavors, or unique local specialties, there are plenty more St. Louis top hole-in-the-wall restaurants for you to explore and indulge in. This is why these are some of the St. Louis top hole-in-the-wall restaurants that are waiting for you to discover them. This list is in no particular order.


Want more ideas to round-out your restaurant search?
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1) Pappy’s Smokehouse

Pappy’s Smokehouse is truly one of the St. Louis top hole-in-the-wall restaurants. Located in the heart of the city, this family-owned and operated establishment has gained a well-deserved reputation for serving some of the most mouthwatering barbecue in town. As soon as you step through the door, the tantalizing aroma of slow-smoked meats fills the air, immediately setting the stage for a memorable dining experience.

At Pappy’s Smokehouse, their signature food is undeniably the succulent, tender, and flavorful ribs. These perfectly smoked ribs are slathered in a tangy and slightly sweet barbecue sauce, creating a harmonious blend of smokiness and tanginess that will have your taste buds dancing with delight. The meat is so tender that it effortlessly falls off the bone, making each bite a true barbecue lover’s dream come true.

Main Menu Items:

1. “St. Louis-Style Ribs”: These ribs are the epitome of barbecue perfection. Slow-smoked to perfection, the St. Louis-style ribs boast a beautiful caramelized crust and tender, juicy meat that practically melts in your mouth. The balance of flavors and the quality of the meat make this dish a must-try for any barbecue enthusiast.

2. “Pulled Pork Sandwich”: This classic sandwich is a staple at Pappy’s Smokehouse. Generous portions of succulent pulled pork are piled high on a soft bun and topped with their signature barbecue sauce. The pork is slow-cooked to perfection, resulting in a moist and flavorful filling that will leave you craving for more.

3. “Burnt Ends Platter”: For those looking to indulge in smoky goodness, the Burnt Ends Platter is a delectable choice. These charred and caramelized chunks of beef brisket are bursting with flavor and have a melt-in-your-mouth tenderness. Served with a side of coleslaw and cornbread, this platter is a satisfying and hearty option for any barbecue lover.

Customer Reviews:

“Pappy’s Smokehouse is hands down the best barbecue joint in St. Louis! The ribs are out of this world, and the smoky flavor is simply incredible. The place may be small, but the flavors are big!”

“I stumbled upon Pappy’s Smokehouse during my visit to St. Louis, and I’m so glad I did! The pulled pork sandwich was absolutely delicious. The meat was tender and flavorful, and the barbecue sauce was the perfect complement. Definitely worth the wait!”

“I can’t say enough good things about Pappy’s Smokehouse. The burnt ends platter was a meat lover’s paradise. The burnt ends were smoky, juicy, and packed with flavor. The sides were equally delicious. If you’re in St. Louis, this is a must-visit spot!”

Pappy’s Smokehouse truly lives up to its reputation as one of the St. Louis top hole-in-the-wall restaurants. With its family-owned and operated charm, this restaurant offers an authentic and memorable barbecue experience. From their signature St. Louis-style ribs to their mouthwatering pulled pork sandwich and flavorful burnt ends, every dish at Pappy’s Smokehouse is prepared with love and expertise. They are one of the St. Louis top hole-in-the-wall restaurants.

The combination of tender, slow-smoked meats and their delectable barbecue sauce makes for an irresistible culinary delight. If you’re a barbecue aficionado or simply seeking a delicious meal, Pappy’s Smokehouse is the place to go in St. Louis. They are one of the St. Louis top hole-in-the-wall restaurants.


2) Anthonino’s Taverna

Anthonino’s Taverna is truly one of the St. Louis top hole-in-the-wall restaurants. Located in the vibrant area of the city, this family-owned and operated establishment has become a local favorite for its authentic Italian cuisine and warm, inviting atmosphere. As you step inside, you’re greeted with the aroma of freshly baked bread, simmering sauces, and the sound of laughter and conversation, creating a welcoming and homey dining experience.

Anthonino’s Taverna is renowned for its delectable toasted ravioli, a popular St. Louis specialty. These bite-sized pockets of goodness feature perfectly seasoned ground meat or cheese filling, coated in breadcrumbs, and then fried to a golden crisp. Served with a side of marinara sauce for dipping, each bite offers a delightful combination of crunchy exterior and flavorful, savory filling. This signature dish is a must-try and embodies the essence of Italian comfort food.

Main Menu Items:

1. “Chicken Spiedini”: This menu item showcases Anthonino’s Taverna’s mastery of Italian flavors. Tender chicken breast is marinated in a blend of herbs and spices, skewered, and grilled to perfection. Served with a side of lemon butter sauce, this dish offers a harmonious balance of flavors, with the succulent chicken complemented by the tanginess of the lemon. It is accompanied by a choice of pasta or a side salad, completing a satisfying meal.

2. “Pasta Carbonara”: Anthonino’s Taverna’s rendition of this classic Italian pasta dish is a standout. Perfectly cooked spaghetti is tossed in a creamy sauce made with eggs, Pecorino Romano cheese, and pancetta. The combination of rich flavors and velvety texture creates a comforting and indulgent experience. This dish is a favorite among pasta lovers and offers a taste of traditional Italian cuisine.

3. “Pizza Margherita”: Anthonino’s Taverna excels not only in pasta but also in pizza making. The Pizza Margherita is a true testament to their dedication to quality ingredients and craftsmanship. A thin, crispy crust is topped with fresh mozzarella cheese, basil leaves, and ripe tomatoes, resulting in a simple yet flavorful masterpiece. The combination of the fresh ingredients and the perfectly balanced flavors makes this pizza a standout choice.

Customer Reviews:

“Anthonino’s Taverna is a hidden gem in St. Louis! The toasted ravioli is absolutely incredible – crispy on the outside, and the filling is bursting with flavor. The atmosphere is cozy, and the service is friendly. A must-visit for Italian food lovers!”

“I can’t get enough of Anthonino’s Taverna’s chicken spiedini. The marinade is so flavorful, and the chicken is always tender and juicy. The lemon butter sauce adds a delightful zing. It’s like a taste of Italy right here in St. Louis!”

“Anthonino’s Taverna serves the best pizza in town. The Margherita pizza is simply outstanding. The crust is thin and crispy, and the toppings are fresh and vibrant. It’s the perfect combination of simplicity and flavor.”

Anthonino’s Taverna is a popular St. Louis top hole-in-the-wall restaurant that captures the essence of Italian cuisine in the heart of the city. As a family-owned and operated establishment, it exudes warmth and authenticity, inviting diners to indulge in a culinary experience that feels like home. They are one of the St. Louis top hole-in-the-wall restaurants.

From the iconic toasted ravioli to the tantalizing chicken spiedini and the expertly crafted pizza, every dish at Anthonino’s Taverna showcases their commitment to quality ingredients and traditional flavors. Whether you’re seeking comfort food or a taste of Italy, this charming restaurant is a must-visit in St. Louis. They stand out among the St. Louis top hole-in-the-wall restaurants.


3) Bogart’s Smokehouse

Bogart’s Smokehouse is truly one of the St. Louis top hole-in-the-wall restaurants. Located in the heart of the city, this family-owned and operated establishment has gained a well-deserved reputation for serving some of the most mouthwatering barbecue in town. As soon as you step through the door, the tantalizing aroma of slow-smoked meats fills the air, immediately setting the stage for a memorable dining experience.

Bogart’s Smokehouse is renowned for its mouthwatering, fall-off-the-bone ribs. These succulent ribs are slow-smoked to perfection, allowing the flavors to meld and the meat to become incredibly tender. The smoke imparts a rich, smoky flavor throughout each bite, while the housemade barbecue sauce adds a delightful tanginess. Whether you prefer the classic baby back ribs or the meaty spare ribs, the quality and flavor of Bogart’s Smokehouse’s ribs are unmatched.

Main Menu Items:

1. “Pulled Pork Sandwich”: This menu item is a favorite among Bogart’s Smokehouse patrons. Slow-cooked for hours, the pulled pork is tender, juicy, and packed with smoky flavor. Served on a soft bun and topped with tangy barbecue sauce and pickles, it is a delicious combination of textures and flavors. Each bite offers a satisfying balance of smokiness, sweetness, and a hint of acidity.

2. “Brisket Platter”: The brisket at Bogart’s Smokehouse is a true delight. Prepared with expertise, the brisket is tender and moist, with a beautiful pink smoke ring around the edges. The rich flavors of the meat are enhanced by the skillful seasoning and the slow smoking process. Served as a platter with a choice of sides, this dish is a hearty and flavorful option for barbecue enthusiasts.

3. “Smoked Turkey Club”: For a lighter option without compromising on flavor, the Smoked Turkey Club is a standout choice. The turkey is smoked to perfection, resulting in a smoky and juicy meat that is piled high on toasted bread. It is then layered with crispy bacon, fresh lettuce, and ripe tomatoes, creating a harmonious combination of smoky, savory, and refreshing flavors.

Customer Reviews:

“Bogart’s Smokehouse is hands down one of the best barbecue joints in St. Louis! Their ribs are incredibly tender, and the smoky flavor is out of this world. The pulled pork sandwich is also a must-try. You can taste the love and passion that goes into every bite!”

“I stumbled upon Bogart’s Smokehouse while exploring St. Louis, and I am so glad I did! The brisket platter exceeded my expectations. The meat was so flavorful and tender that it practically melted in my mouth. The friendly staff and cozy atmosphere made the dining experience even better.”

“Bogart’s Smokehouse is a hidden gem in St. Louis. The smoked turkey club sandwich is my go-to choice whenever I visit. The turkey is incredibly moist and has a perfect smoky flavor. The combination of the bacon, lettuce, and tomatoes adds a satisfying crunch and freshness. Highly recommended!”

Bogart’s Smokehouse is an exceptional St. Louis top hole-in-the-wall restaurant that excels in the art of barbecue. As a family-owned and operated establishment, they have mastered the craft of slow-smoking meats to perfection. From their signature fall-off-the-bone ribs to the mouthwatering pulled pork sandwich and flavorful brisket, each dish at Bogart’s Smokehouse is a testament to their dedication to quality and flavor. They are another of the St. Louis top hole-in-the-wall restaurants.

The restaurant’s inviting atmosphere and the expertise of their smokehouse techniques create a dining experience that truly stands out. For a taste of authentic St. Louis barbecue, Bogart’s Smokehouse is a must-visit destination. They deserve to be ranked high among the St. Louis top hole-in-the-wall restaurants.


4) Lulu’s Local Eatery

Lulu’s Local Eatery is truly one of the St. Louis top hole-in-the-wall restaurants. Located in a vibrant area of the city, this family-owned and operated establishment has captured the hearts and palates of locals with its delicious and innovative plant-based cuisine. The cozy and welcoming atmosphere makes Lulu’s a popular destination for those seeking wholesome and flavorful food in a relaxed setting.

Lulu’s Local Eatery is renowned for its mouthwatering vegan tacos. These flavorful creations feature a variety of plant-based fillings, such as marinated tofu, jackfruit, or roasted vegetables, nestled in a warm tortilla and topped with an array of fresh and vibrant toppings. The combination of textures and flavors in each taco is truly exceptional, demonstrating Lulu’s commitment to providing delicious and satisfying vegan options.

Main Menu Items:

1. “BBQ Jackfruit Tacos”: Lulu’s takes jackfruit to a whole new level with their BBQ Jackfruit Tacos. The jackfruit is slow-cooked in a tangy and smoky barbecue sauce, resulting in a meaty and flavorful filling that resembles pulled pork. The tacos are then topped with a refreshing slaw and a drizzle of vegan chipotle mayo, creating a perfect balance of sweet, smoky, and creamy flavors.

2. “Spicy Korean BBQ Tofu Bowl”: This menu item showcases Lulu’s ability to infuse bold and exciting flavors into their dishes. The tofu is marinated in a spicy Korean barbecue sauce, giving it a delightful kick. Served on a bed of fluffy rice and accompanied by a medley of fresh vegetables, this bowl is a harmonious blend of heat, sweetness, and umami.

3. “Buffalo Cauliflower Wrap”: Lulu’s takes cauliflower to new heights with their Buffalo Cauliflower Wrap. The cauliflower florets are coated in a crispy batter, baked until golden, and then tossed in a tangy buffalo sauce. The flavorful cauliflower is wrapped in a soft tortilla along with crisp lettuce, creamy avocado, and dairy-free ranch dressing. This wrap offers a satisfying combination of textures and a punch of spicy and savory flavors.

Customer Reviews:

“Lulu’s Local Eatery is a vegan food paradise! Their tacos are incredible, especially the BBQ Jackfruit Tacos. The jackfruit is so flavorful and tender, and the toppings add a refreshing crunch. I love that I can enjoy delicious plant-based food in such a cozy and welcoming atmosphere.”

“I’m not a vegan, but Lulu’s Local Eatery has won me over with their Spicy Korean BBQ Tofu Bowl. The flavors are bold and vibrant, and the tofu is cooked to perfection. The combination of heat, sweetness, and fresh veggies creates a truly satisfying and wholesome meal.”

“Lulu’s Buffalo Cauliflower Wrap is a game-changer! The cauliflower is crispy and coated in a delicious buffalo sauce. The wrap is packed with flavor and the dairy-free ranch dressing adds a creamy element. It’s a must-try for anyone, vegan or not!”

Lulu’s Local Eatery stands out as one of the St. Louis top hole-in-the-wall restaurants, offering a haven for plant-based food lovers in the city. As a family-owned and operated establishment, Lulu’s has carved a niche in the local dining scene with their innovative and flavorful vegan cuisine. They are one of the St. Louis top hole-in-the-wall restaurants.

From their signature vegan tacos to the spicy Korean BBQ tofu bowl and the irresistible buffalo cauliflower wrap, each dish at Lulu’s showcases their commitment to providing delicious and wholesome plant-based options. Whether you follow a vegan lifestyle or simply enjoy exploring new culinary experiences, Lulu’s Local Eatery is a must-visit destination in St. Louis that caters to all palates. They have earned the rank of being one of the St. Louis top hole-in-the-wall restaurants.


5) Taqueria El Bronco

Taqueria El Bronco is truly one of the St. Louis top hole-in-the-wall restaurants. Located in a vibrant area of the city, this family-owned and operated taqueria is a hidden gem for authentic Mexican cuisine. As soon as you step inside, the lively atmosphere and the aromas of sizzling meats and freshly made tortillas transport you to the streets of Mexico, setting the stage for a flavorful and satisfying dining experience.

Taqueria El Bronco is renowned for its mouthwatering tacos al pastor. These flavorful tacos feature marinated pork that is cooked on a vertical spit, creating layers of tender and juicy meat with a slightly crispy exterior. The pork is infused with a blend of spices, including achiote, which imparts a rich and savory flavor. Served on warm corn tortillas and topped with onions, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime, each taco is a burst of authentic Mexican flavors.

Main Menu Items:

1. “Carne Asada Tacos”: Taqueria El Bronco’s Carne Asada Tacos are a true delight. Grilled to perfection, the thinly sliced steak is tender, juicy, and full of flavor. The meat is complemented by the simplicity of the toppings, such as diced onions, fresh cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. The combination of the grilled steak and the fresh ingredients creates a classic and satisfying taco experience.

2. “Cochinita Pibil Torta”: The Cochinita Pibil Torta is a standout menu item at Taqueria El Bronco. This Mexican-style sandwich features slow-roasted, marinated pork that is tender and infused with achiote and citrus flavors. The pork is placed in a soft telera roll and topped with refried beans, pickled onions, and avocado. The result is a harmonious blend of textures and flavors, creating a hearty and satisfying meal.

3. “Chiles Rellenos”: Taqueria El Bronco’s Chiles Rellenos is a dish that showcases their mastery of traditional Mexican cuisine. Roasted poblano peppers are stuffed with a savory filling, such as cheese or seasoned ground meat, and then battered and fried to perfection. Served with rice, beans, and a tangy tomato sauce, this dish offers a delightful balance of flavors and textures.

Customer Reviews:

“Taqueria El Bronco is an absolute gem! The tacos al pastor are to die for. The marinated pork is so tender and flavorful, and the toppings add the perfect balance of freshness and tanginess. It’s like having a taste of Mexico right here in St. Louis!”

“I can’t get enough of Taqueria El Bronco’s carne asada tacos. The steak is always perfectly grilled, juicy, and full of flavor. The simplicity of the toppings lets the quality of the meat shine. It’s a must-visit spot for anyone craving authentic Mexican tacos.”

“The chiles rellenos at Taqueria El Bronco are fantastic! The peppers are perfectly roasted, and the fillings are delicious. The crispy batter adds a delightful crunch, and the tomato sauce ties everything together. It’s a comforting and satisfying dish that never disappoints.”

Taqueria El Bronco is a hidden gem among St. Louis top hole-in-the-wall restaurants, offering an authentic taste of Mexico in a lively and welcoming atmosphere. As a family-owned and operated taqueria, they have perfected the art of crafting flavorful and satisfying Mexican dishes. They are one of the St. Louis top hole-in-the-wall restaurants.

From their signature tacos al pastor to the mouthwatering carne asada tacos and the delectable chiles rellenos, each item on the menu showcases their commitment to authentic flavors and quality ingredients. Taqueria El Bronco is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a true Mexican culinary experience in St. Louis. They can definitely be counted among the St. Louis top hole-in-the-wall restaurants.


Now you know why these are some of the St. Louis top hole-in-the-wall restaurants just waiting for you to discover them. However, it’s important to let you know that this is not an exhaustive list of the St. Louis top hole-in-the-wall restaurants and that this list is in no particular order.

So, venture off the beaten path, follow your taste buds, and uncover the culinary treasures that await you in the lesser-known corners of St. Louis. Embrace the spirit of adventure and discover your own St. Louis top hole-in-the-wall restaurants, where you can savor the flavors, experience the local charm, and create unforgettable dining memories. St. Louis is a city that celebrates its diverse food culture, and its hidden culinary gems are just waiting to be explored.


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