One of St. Louis’ most famous dishes is our toasted ravioli, a delicious fried ravioli. However, not many people know of the origin of this dish –and to be honest, we don’t know for sure either! The story of how this dish came to be is just as fascinating as it is delicious.
Many people claim to have been the first to serve toasted ravioli. The dish originated in the Hill neighborhood of St. Louis in the 1930s, quickly becoming a staple in the area.
One of the most famous claims comes from Charlie Gitto’s, a restaurant who has been serving the dish the longest. According to Charlie Gitto’s, the dish was just a delicious accident that happened when a chef dropped a boiled ravioli into bread crumbs. At that point, instead of throwing it away, he took the ravioli and fried it.
Mama’s on The Hill also claims to be the originator of toasted ravioli. According to Mama’s, there was a waiter who came down to the restaurant to have a cocktail with his friend, a chef. While drinking the two got very intoxicated and accidentally dropped ravioli into the fryer.
Regardless of who was the first, toasted ravioli is a St. Louis staple that you just have to try. Next time you stay at the Knight Center, come try this St. Louis classic dish.