Olive Street

When I describe Olive, I alternate between the equally inaccurate monikers “St. Louis Chinatown” and “China-street.” It’s actually a section of Olive Street just off I-170 N (a 12-minute drive away) where a lot of Asian restaurants happen to be concentrated. You’ll find Chinese and Korean grocery stores (Olive, Seafood City, Dong Dong), numerous Chinese restaurants (Asiana, Chao Zhou, Sichuan Hot Pot, Shu Feng), dim sum places (LuLu’s, Wonton King), Japanese restaurants (Nobu’s), Korean restaurants (Asian Kitchen), pho places (Pho Long, Dao Tien), and bakeries (J & W, Wei Hong). Olive St. isn’t anything close to the sprawling and expansive Chinatowns of New York or San Francisco, but there’s plenty of good Asian food to be had.

— Debra Y., M1

Blue Elephant

7816 Forsyth Blvd.
Price: $$

Blue Elephant is one of many Thai restaurants in St. Louis, but it strikes me as more of a sit-down place than others such as Thai 202 in Central West End. Perhaps this is due to the larger seating area and its location in Clayton, an upscale district a few miles west of the medical school. Fortunately, the prices are not scaled accordingly, and the food is exquisite. In addition to Americanized Thai staples such as Pad Thai, Thai fried rice, and Thai iced tea, there’s also an amazing duck curry here. Mango sticky rice is a seasonal dish, but I feel that it is done best here.

— Francis W., M1

Joy Luck Buffet

8030 Manchester Rd.
Price: $-$$

Joy Luck offers dine-in Chinese buffet and hotpot options for less than $20. Chinese buffet contains the traditional Chinese cuisine and sushi bar. If you are looking for spicy (Szechuan) food, hotpot at Joy Luck is the best in St. Louis. Sitting around a boiling pot, adding in your favorite ingredients, taking them out, dipping into special sauce, then EATING! The best way to lift your spirits on a gloomy winter day!

— Albert L., M1

Mandarin House

You can never invite too many friends to dim sum.

9150 Overland Plz.
Price: $-$$

If you are looking for a good dim sum place (think Chinese brunch), Mandarin House is the perfect restaurant to achieve your goal. When I first moved from Toronto to St. Louis, I was a little worried because I thought there wouldn’t be authentic Chinese restaurants here. My first trip to Mandarin House completely changed my mind. Shrimp dumplings, shu-mai, stewed beef … SO MANY selections to choose from! During the weekend, grab a few friends and head over to Mandarin House for a nice dim-sum brunch and a great time!

— Albert L., M1

Seoul Garden

10678 Saint Charles Rock Rd.
Price: $-$$

Although it’s not within walking distance of campus, you’re just a quick drive away from good Korean food at Seoul Garden. It has every staple of Korean cuisine that you could crave, ranging from dishes like bibimbab and fried dumplings to seafood pancakes and Korean barbecue. The portions are large, the food is authentic, and the staff is quite friendly. Of course, there’s also a $20 all-you-can-eat barbecue option that will make you feel bad for not eating all the provided sides that come with it. Come here to satisfy your desire for a taste of home or to try something new!

— Janice K., M1