Grand/South Grand

Lemongrass

3161 S. Grand Blvd.
Price: $$

Lemongrass is a nice Vietnamese place conveniently located right next to two other great restaurants, The Vine and The King and I. There are several places to grab a nice bowl of pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) in St. Louis. You may not get the best bang for your buck at Lemongrass, but with the savory broth supporting the noodles and a medley of meat, you will be satisfied, if not overly full. They also offer many appetizers. I had never had Vietnamese pancakes until I came here, and they are certainly delightful. Quality over quantity.

— Jerry F., M1

Pappy’s

3106 Olive St.
Price: $-$$

Disclaimer: Not for vegetarians. Pappy’s is a required pilgrimage for any self-proclaimed carnivore. Honestly, their ribs are a revelatory experience. Even as you arrive at its unassuming entrance, your nose is greeted by the enticing smell of smoky-sweet deliciousness wafting from the kitchen. The walls are lined with barbecue paraphernalia and a huge number of signatures and photos from famous fans. Be prepared to wait up to an hour to place your order, especially during the lunch or dinner rush, but believe me, it’s time well spent. Pappy’s specializes in Memphis-style barbecue, which means slow-cooked brisket, pulled pork and chicken sandwiches glazed with house-made sauce, and ribs falling off the bone, each accompanied by your choice of delectable side dishes. (The sweet potato fries are not to be missed!) Since Pappy’s makes everything in-house, they do sell out, so plan accordingly! Everything here tastes like love. Tender, meaty love.

— Jessica H., M1

The Vine

3171 S. Grand Blvd.
Price: $-$$

The Vine looks tiny and unremarkable, but that appearance conceals one of St. Louis’s most amazing treats. It’s a Lebanese restaurant, grocery store, and bakery that houses certain hard-to-find spices and numerous tasty baked goods. The restaurant is the real meat and potatoes, literally and figuratively, as The Vine’s scrumptious beef and chicken shawarma sandwiches are two of their most popular dishes. Their French fries are the best I’ve had in recent memory, exquisitely seasoned with Mediterranean spices and carefully fried in sunflower oil, making each bite a practical explosion of flavor. It makes me wonder if somewhere along my ancestry there was Irish blood, because I can’t imagine why else I would enjoy these fries so much. Oh, their pita and hummus are also quite good. Service is also friendly and fast, and if you like, they have hookahs.

— Francis W., M1