10 Restaurants in St. Louis to Eat Well (and Cheaply!)
St. Louis’ relatively low cost of living enables artists, creatives, entrepreneurs, millennials and more to set up shop here without having to worry about massive rents and overhead costs, and the mentality extends further when you’re looking to grab a bite on a budget. The city is full of skilled chefs and artisans looking to hone their skills while lowering cost barriers, so everyone can test out their creations. Keep reading for a roundup of ten restaurants we love to where you can grab delicious eats at reasonable prices.
The Vine Mediterranean Cafe and Market
The Vine is a South Grand staple where you can find authentic Lebanese cuisine and groceries, which fall on the spectrum of the Mediterranean diet. We love the vegan falafel sandwich, made with a blend of chick peas, garlic, spices, tahini sauce, tomatoes, parsley, onion, pickles and pickled turnip. Add a side of fries sprinkled with Mediterranean spices, which costs less than $10. You can also get several types of shawarma sandwiches at similar prices.
Lona’s Lil Eats
Another affordable vegan-friendly option, Lona’s Lil Eats is a beloved Fox Park locale, with a focus on Asian-fusion fare. Try one of the Lona’s platters or create your own, with your choice of filling, protein and sauce. We love the rice paper wraps, which are large enough to last for at least two meals without draining your wallet.
From the creative mind of renowned local chef Gerard Craft, Porano in Downtown St. Louis is an experiment in casual, delicious dining, with expertly sourced ingredients and choose-your-own pasta bowls. If you’re looking for innovative yet no-frills Italian comfort food, we can’t think of a better spot to try out. You can even get gluten-free pasta, which is just as tasty and delicious as the restaurant’s house-made variety.
While we’re on the subject of Italian comfort food, we’d be remiss not to mention Adriana’s On The Hill. As a stalwart pillar of The Hill neighborhood in St. Louis, with historically Italian roots, this cafe’s sandwiches are the stuff of legend. Run by local Adriana Fazio and her daughters since 1992, you’ll likely be encourages to try one of their famous beef or meatball sandwiches—which, trust us, will not disappoint.
If you’ve never tried this classic Czech pastry, it’s time to visit the Kolache Factory in Brentwood. This delicious baked good can come sweet or savory, with either fruit or meats, cheeses and vegetables wrapped in dough and baked. For breakfast or lunch, try the potato, egg and cheese or sausage, egg and cheese variety, for a delicious twist on the classic breakfast biscuit sandwich.
Blues City Deli
If you stop by here for lunch, don’t be deterred by the line stretching out the door. It’s been happening since Blues City Deli opened over a decade ago, and the restaurant proprietors know how to handle a crowd, which has been happening for over a decade since it opened. Try out one of their po’boy, Italian or New York-style pastrami sandwiches with a fountain soda, surrounded by jazz- and blues-themed decor and live music.
It’s tough to get in on weekends here as there is nearly always a large line and long wait, but if you aren’t pressed for time or can make it on an unsuspecting weekday, Southwest Diner in Maplewood is worth your trouble. Diners love the reasonably-priced omelets, pickle fries, grits, burritos and fare inspired by the Southwest region of the U.S. Pro tip: for vegetarians, their homemade black bean burger is to die for.
With a fusion of Korean-Mexican fare, Seoul Taco began as a food truck and has now opened several brick-and-mortar locations in several cities, which speaks to its well-loved menu. Take a look at the St. Louis menu and you’ll see all entree options are under $10, but the volume and quality of delicious ingredients will leave you feeling sated. Try out the three tacos for $8, a burrito for $8 or the gogi bowl.
Guerilla Street Food
Guerilla Street Food began as a food truck offering authentic Filipino-style cuisine, and popular demand led to two brick-and-mortar locations, in both The Hill and South Grand neighborhoods. Expand your palette with dishes like the Arroz Caldo, Tempeh Adobo, Veggie Ukoy and Sisig Taco, but less adventurous diners can be eased in to this cultural cuisine with dishes like the All-City Burger, crafted with a Filipino twist.
While Snarf’s has developed a national reputation for its delectable sandwiches, its four locations in St. Louis are a go-to for brunch, lunch, dinnertime and late-night meals for local students, businesses and general sandwich-lovers. Swing by The Loop, Downtown at the MX, Maryland Heights or near the St. Louis University campus to pick up an artisan sandwich at all hours of the day and night.
Fozzie’s Sandwich Emporium
For another delicious, classic spot to grab an artisan sandwich, St. Louis locals love Fozzie’s Sandwich Emporium, which has two locations in Richmond Heights and Des Peres. You’ll find favorites like roast-beef dip, Italian beef and chicken Parmesan, as well as gyros and two different types of veggie burgers, all at affordable price points.