Five Foods You Need to Try in St. Louis

St. Louis is bustling with a culture all its own, and that includes its own dishes. Here are five essential food items to try next time you visit St. Louis.

Toasted Ravioli

You’ll find this tasty delicacy on most menus around town. Toasted Ravioli is a local favorite, made of breaded, deep-fried pasta filled with meat or cheese and sprinkled with parmesan cheese. When dipped in marinara sauce, the flavors truly come together.

This dish was created in St. Louis in the 1940s and it’s a bit of a myth as to who exactly was the first to create it. Whoever it was, we’re certainly thankful for this tasty recipe.

Gooey Butter Cake

This melt-in-your-mouth, sugar dusted treat is one thing you don’t want to miss out on. Like toasted ravioli, the myth surrounding this dish is that it was likely created on accident –but we’re certainly grateful for that stroke of fate.

Gooey Butter Cake is essentially a coffee cake with a sweet, custard-like layer at the top, sprinkled with powdered sugar for extra flavor. Many local bakeries will serve this treat and although it’s traditionally made with vanilla, the chocolate, pumpkin and other assorted flavors make our taste buds sing.

St. Louis Pizza

Around here, we like our pizza thin crusted –and our definition of thin crust is different than most. We don’t typically use yeast in our dough, allowing our thin crust to be even thinner.
St. Louis Pizza also combines swiss, cheddar and provolone cheeses for a truly unique, flavorful dish. Our pizza also tends to be cut in squares as opposed to traditional triangular slices.

Ted Drewes Frozen Custard

St. Louis loves Frozen Custard and the town favorite has got to be Ted Drewes. Since opening in 1941, this brand of ice cream has become a St. Louis staple.

All the custard at Ted Drewes is vanilla, though guests will often add in sauces, candy, fruit, nuts, and other toppings for extra flavor. The most popular treat is called The Concrete, which is custard so rich and thick, that it won’t fall out of the cup if turned upside down.


The Slinger is pure party food, most often eaten after a night of drinking on the town. The best Slingers are served at little random, hole in the wall type of restaurants around the city.

Though the ingredients vary, the basic version of a Slinger includes hash browns, eggs, and hamburger patty doused with chili and topped with cheese and chopped onions.

Next time you visit St. Louis, make sure you try some of these staple foods –you won’t regret it. And, of course, enjoy your stay at the Charles F. Knight Center. Our staff would be happy to recommend different restaurants and dishes to help you get that true, St. Louis experience.