St. Louis has some of the best Italian food outside of Italy. When I was at school I had serious Italian withdrawals because it wasn’t as good in the South. Of course that’s because St. Louis has The Hill, a primarily Italian neighborhood filled with bakeries, grocery stores, and of course, restaurants. No matter what time of day or where you go, you are sure to get your Italian fix in some way or another. I have been visiting The Hill and other Italian food hot spots for years, and I am sharing my top restaurants for when I need some t. ravs and fettuccine.
- Charlie Gitto’s – This is one of my all time favorites! They have a location on The Hill but we go to the Gitto’s downtown. Their toasted ravioli (meat ravioli fried and served with marinara sauce) is the best in town, hands down. You can’t go wrong here, and I’d sample their Chicken Parm sandwich.
- Cunnetto’s – Another all time favorite, this is a city wide favorite as well. They have people waiting outside their doors before they open for dinner and people have been known to wait for an hour or more. *Ahem me* But it’s just. That. Good. Their fettuccine is my favorite, but their meat dishes are some of the best in the city.
- Adriana’s – Adriana’s is the perfect lunch spot and open for just that. They have a wide array of sandwiches and salads as well as pizza and pasta. They have a half and half special where you can choose a sandwich, salad, soup, or pasta. My favorite is the Italian beef but their meatball sub is just as good.
- Mama Campisi’s – Mama’s and Gitto’s have debated for years, and they each claim to be the original toasted ravioli. To me it doesn’t matter because I love them both! (Although I am a bit partial to Gitto’s.) Mama’s on The Hill has a lot of great pasta dishes, and a wide array of seafood entrees.
- Favazza’s – Favazza’s has GREAT salad. I know, I know, who really likes salad but theirs is awesome. Italian salad is so good from their dressing to the fresh cheese they dose the lettuce in. Now I usually get fettuccine but they have fantastic mostaccioli and red sauce. You also can’t go wrong with one of their steaks.
- Frank Papa’s – My family has been going here for years and we love it! My dad loves their steaks and my sister usually get a cheese pizza. Their pasta dishes are prime and their spaghetti is super fresh from the tomato and basil.
- Rich & Charlie’s – This is more of “chain” in that there are a few of these in the area. And none of these are on The Hill, but there are delicious. I love their Pasta con Broccoli, which is a creamy red sauce with broccoli and mushrooms. They have great toasted ravioli and salads as well.
Best Bakery: Missouri Baking Co. This bakery is m y favorite on The Hill. Every Wednesday they make cinnamon bread and it is the best cinnamon bread I’ve ever had, and probably will ever have. If you want this bread you have to come in early on Wednesday mornings but they are known to sell out of it often. They also have a great selection of breads, cookies, and pastries. If you don’t go on a Wednesday try their cinnamon rolls or rainbow cookies (that’s an Italian flag cake with almond or cherry flavoring with chocolate on top.)