920 Olive St.
Bailey’s Range, a member of the Bailey’s Triumvirate, specializes in burgers and has many novelty choices. The Buzzed is an espresso-rubbed burger with apples and bacon, the Mexical is essentially a quesadilla between two buns, and they’re innovating a favorite and standing up for equality with their LGBT — lettuce, goat cheese, bacon, and tomato. Of course, you can always create the classics, but have some fun and experiment with their wacky topping assortments. From different soda pops to teas and milkshakes, you will have all the choices in the world for an accompanying beverage. Pretty much every drink they have comes in a boozed-up version too, for that extra kick. I have heard their Sweet Sweet Bacon milkshake — Maker’s Mark, candied bacon, and salted caramel ice cream — is quite the experience. Regardless of how you mix-and-match your meal, everything about the place is fun, laidback, and delicious, so do yourself a favor and check it out.
— William C., M1
The Fountain on Locust
3037 Locust St.
Found in Midtown, just north of Saint Louis University, The Fountain on Locust has a theme with décor that is deliciously retro. I haven’t seen any other St. Louis restaurant quite like it. It looks and feels like a ‘50s ice cream parlor, and some of the booths even have small panels for you to listen in on their original serial radio program. When you look at the menu, the first items you encounter are their cocktails and ice cream martinis, and are they ever delicious. (My personal favorite is the “Thin Mint” ice cream martini. I don’t know how one can go wrong with chocolate, mint ice cream, and vodka.) The Fountain’s sandwiches and non-alcoholic desserts — homemade sodas, ice cream, and floats – are also surprisingly tasty. As of this writing, I have yet to attend the Fountain’s monthly “Burlesque Bingo” night, but the title is intriguing enough that I would guess it’s pretty fun. Recommended if you like ice cream and/or a retro aesthetic.
— Jeffery M., M1
Being from St. Louis, I might be a little bit biased, but Imo’s Pizza is the BEST pizza and is found on almost every block of this city. With its classic St. Louis-style thin crust, yummy marinara, and the infamous pseudo-plastic-flavored provel cheese, you won’t go wrong. My personal favorite is the Veggie Deluxe topped with everything from tomatoes to broccoli, but a classic is the David Freese special (never mind that he’s been traded), giving you a two-topping large for $14! Imo’s is also a great place to try toasted ravioli — a delicious St. Louis take on classic ravioli. And if you find that the over-processed combination of provolone, swiss, and cheddar into provel was as delightful as I told you it would be, have no fear, Imo’s sells packets of shredded provel at Schnucks.
— Harleen G., M1
4270 Manchester Ave.
Located on Manchester in the heart of The Grove is a hidden treasure named Sweetie Pie’s. From the outside, you would never know that inside, the best soul food that St. Louis and probably the Midwest have to offer lies in wait. The first time I went to Sweetie Pie’s, I felt like I had found heaven; the food is just that good. I can honestly say that I had the best fried chicken ever in my whole life at Sweetie Pie’s, and I’ve had a LOT of fried chicken over the years. You definitely need to try it if you are a fan of any of the following: fried chicken, fried catfish, mac and cheese, cornbread, banana pudding, sweet tea, collard greens, candied yams. This list alone is enough to make me lick my lips. Plus, the owner used to be a backup singer for Tina Turner and the restaurant has its own reality TV show on the Oprah Network. So now you just have to go! (But really, the show is called “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s.”)
— Abiye I., M1