Jason Groupp April 3, 2019 Education


As many of you may have seen, STL cuisine was on the hot-seat last week. If you were living under a rock and completely off grid, I’ll catch you up. A former STL native was proud to introduce his favorite way to eat bagels from Panera (here in STL it’s known as “Bread Co.”)

As a former NY’er now living in STL, I spent most of last week trying to educate my local friends as to why this is just completely wrong. 🙂 That said, unfortunately, STL cuisine is not often looked upon as a hotspot for foodies. I’ll admit, it has taken me some time to find my favorite places and I’m here to share them with you!

Ordinary to Extraordinary

From my limited time here I’ve found is that STL cuisine is all about taking ordinary staples and making them extraordinary. For example, you’ll find a great grilled cheese sandwich on just about any menu in restaurants in the area. Be forewarned, EVERYTHING is covered in a cheese called Provel. I am not a huge fan, but if you’re looking for a local “taste of STL” you must have it slathered in this processed delicacy. 🙂

Jason’s Taste Of STL

First of all Shutterfesters, I suggest you take one evening and get out of the Union Station immediate area. St. Louis is an incredibly easy town to drive around and parking is generally never an issue. Trust me, taking a little effort to get out of the area will pay off and I think you’ll find some great new shooting locations as well! With that said, here are my favorite hot spots for a fun affordable meal!

Downtown Area:

These restaurants are within a few minutes of Union Station and are pretty great.

Pappy’s Smokehouse: If you only venture out once, go here! This is one of the best BBQ joints in St. Louis, some may argue the best brisket in the country! Lines can be long, but I promise you’ll be licking your fingers for daysssss!

Bailey’s Range: Best burger and shakes you’re going to find close to Shutterfest. Remember what I said about taking ordinary to extraordinary? Try the boozy shakes – they are EXTRAORDINARY!

Broadway Oyster Bar: I have to be honest. The food sucks at this place, and I don’t know what the locals see in it, but the atmosphere is so much fun. Their live music is amazing and if you’re looking for a fun night out with your Shutterfest friends, I promise you’ll have a great time.

Wheelhouse and Schlafly Tap Room are perfect for large groups. I like Wheelhouse better, but you can walk to Schlafly from Union Station.

360 – At the top of Hilton Ballpark, it’s a great place to go for cocktails. The view is fantastic.

Ballpark Village:  As much as I hate to recommend a ballpark facility, I have to admit, it’s a pretty neat spot. Service is always good, and there’s a lot to choose from.

Rooster Downtown: This location is fairly close and is your ONLY option for a great breakfast in downtown St. Louis!

The Hill: (ten minutes from Union Station)

Milo’s on the Hill: This is one of my favorite places when the weather is nice. Their outdoor seating is plentiful and there’s Bocce! I highly recommend you go with whatever their daily specials are!

Milo’s on the Hill

Steve’s Hot Dogs: HOT DOGS PEOPLE! Need a say more! Get a Bacon-Bacon Jamaican!

Steve’s Hot Dogs. Yum!

Gelato Di Riso:  When you finish eating at either of these places head over for Gelato across the street!

…..now I know you’re looking for another Italian recommendation for food here. If you want good Italian food, you’ll need to go to NYC. (Sorry STL) 🙂

Lafayette Square: (3 minutes from Union Station)

1111 Mississippi:  This is a phenomenal restaurant, but on the pricier side. Totally worth it to splurge, but make a reservation first.

Bailey’s Chocolate Bar: Dessert and Martinis! Do I need to say more!?

Soulard: (5 minutes from Union Station)

Mission Taco Joint: This was one of my favorite restaurants for me and my family when we first moved here. Love the funky vibe and the tacos served family style are amazing! I would say this should be your first choice IF you don’t want BBQ.

Bogart’s: Honestly, I haven’t actually been here yet, but I know someone will complain if I don’t mention them. I hear it’s good. 🙂

The Grove: (Ten minutes from Union Station)

The Grove sign St. Louis

Urban Chestnut Brewery:  They have two locations, one that’s only five minutes away, but I actually prefer the one in the grove. You can’t go wrong, and it’s perfect for larger groups, with counter service making it really easy to have everyone grab what they want and sit down in long tables.

Urban Chestnut Storefront


Vincent Van Donuts: If you need an early morning sugar rush to get you going, you cannot go wrong here! Eclectic donut shop where everything is made from scratch daily. You definitely want to try the Maple Bacon donut – it’s a Maple and cinnamon glaze topped with brown sugar, cinnamon, and cayenne candied bacon! It’s got Bacon people!

Vincent Van Doughnuts

Tower Grove Park: (Ten minutes from Union Station)

The Shaved Duck: This little restaurant has been a staple for St. Louis for years with its take on traditional bbq dishes. I’d recommend this place more as a lunch stop over dinner, and you definitely want to order the duck!

Rooster South Grand: This hip spot right off the park is a great place for breakfast. The biscuits and gravy are fucking amazing! (top it off with a bloody Mary!)


Let me know what you think!!

There you have it, my 2019 foodie guidebook to a bunch of my favorites here in out little town. I hope you enjoy them and please let me know what you think! Did I miss one? Let me know ([email protected]), I’ll get it added, that is if I agree with you! 🙂