Stacia Conley

Written by Stacia Conley

Modified & Updated: 15 Mar 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


St. Louis, Missouri, is a city renowned for its rich history, vibrant culture, and delectable local cuisine. From savory barbecue to delectable desserts, the culinary scene in St. Louis is a testament to the city's diverse influences and flavors. In this article, we'll delve into the fascinating world of St. Louis' famous local cuisine, uncovering nine intriguing facts that showcase the city's culinary prowess.

Prepare to embark on a mouthwatering journey as we explore the unique dishes, iconic eateries, and culinary traditions that have shaped the gastronomic identity of St. Louis. Whether you're a food enthusiast, a traveler seeking culinary adventures, or simply curious about the flavors that define this dynamic city, these facts will offer a tantalizing glimpse into the culinary tapestry of St. Louis, Missouri. So, grab a seat at the virtual table as we savor the flavors, stories, and traditions that make St. Louis a true haven for food lovers.

Key Takeaways:

  • St. Louis is famous for toasted ravioli, ice cream cones, and unique pizza. Its rich culinary heritage reflects the city’s diverse influences and unwavering pride in delicious, iconic dishes.
  • From gooey butter cake to St. Louis-style ribs, the city’s culinary scene is a vibrant tapestry of flavors and traditions. St. Louis continues to captivate food enthusiasts with its delectable offerings and innovative creations.
Table of Contents

St. Louis is Known for Its Iconic Toasted Ravioli

A local favorite, toasted ravioli is a must-try dish in St. Louis. These crispy, breaded ravioli are typically filled with meat and served with marinara sauce for dipping. The dish is believed to have originated in the Italian-American community in St. Louis and has become a beloved staple of the city's culinary scene.

The Invention of the Ice Cream Cone is Linked to St. Louis

St. Louis holds a sweet claim to fame as the birthplace of the ice cream cone. Legend has it that during the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, an ice cream vendor ran out of bowls and partnered with a nearby waffle vendor to create a cone-shaped receptacle for the ice cream. This delightful invention quickly gained popularity and has since become a timeless treat enjoyed worldwide.

St. Louis-Style Pizza Features a Unique Cracker-Thin Crust

Distinctive to the city, St. Louis-style pizza boasts a thin, cracker-like crust that sets it apart from other regional pizza styles. Topped with Provel cheese, a blend of cheddar, Swiss, and provolone, this pizza is a local delicacy that has captured the hearts and taste buds of St. Louis residents and visitors alike.

Gooey Butter Cake is a Delectable St. Louis Creation

A delectable dessert that originated in St. Louis, gooey butter cake is a sweet, rich treat with a gooey, buttery filling atop a cake-like base. This indulgent confection has become synonymous with St. Louis's culinary identity and is a beloved dessert often enjoyed during special occasions and gatherings.

The Slinger: A Hearty St. Louis Breakfast Tradition

A hearty and indulgent breakfast dish, the Slinger is a St. Louis classic. This satisfying meal typically consists of a base of hash browns or breakfast potatoes topped with eggs, chili, and a generous sprinkling of cheese. The Slinger is a beloved morning staple that provides a hearty start to the day for many St. Louis locals.

Pork Steak: A St. Louis Barbecue Staple

Pork steak holds a special place in St. Louis's barbecue culture. This flavorful cut of meat is a regional favorite, often marinated, grilled, and served with a tangy barbecue sauce. The succulent and tender pork steak is a testament to the city's rich barbecue traditions and is a must-try for barbecue enthusiasts visiting St. Louis.

St. Louis-Style Ribs: A Savory Delight

Renowned for their distinctive preparation, St. Louis-style ribs are a culinary delight that showcases the city's barbecue prowess. These succulent ribs are trimmed in a specific manner, resulting in a uniform, rectangular shape that allows for even cooking and a delectable texture. Seasoned with a flavorful dry rub and often accompanied by a tangy barbecue sauce, St. Louis-style ribs are a true culinary gem.

The Gerber Sandwich: A St. Louis Original

The Gerber sandwich is a beloved St. Louis creation that has stood the test of time. Consisting of a garlic cheese–topped hamburger patty nestled between two slices of Italian bread, this iconic sandwich has been a favorite among locals for generations. Its simple yet satisfying combination of flavors has solidified its place in the city's culinary heritage.

St. Louis Boasts a Rich Culinary Heritage

St. Louis's culinary landscape is a vibrant tapestry of flavors, traditions, and innovations that reflect the city's diverse influences and rich history. From iconic dishes that have become synonymous with the city to innovative culinary creations, St. Louis continues to captivate food enthusiasts with its delectable offerings and unwavering culinary pride.


In conclusion, St. Louis, Missouri, boasts a rich culinary heritage that reflects its diverse cultural influences. From the iconic toasted ravioli to the delectable gooey butter cake, the local cuisine offers a delightful fusion of flavors that captivates both residents and visitors alike. The city's vibrant food scene not only showcases its historical roots but also celebrates innovation, making it a haven for food enthusiasts. Whether savoring a plate of crispy fried brain sandwich or indulging in a slice of St. Louis-style pizza, the culinary journey in this charming city is nothing short of extraordinary.


Q: What makes St. Louis cuisine unique?
A: St. Louis cuisine is unique due to its fusion of cultural influences, resulting in iconic dishes like toasted ravioli and gooey butter cake that are synonymous with the city's culinary identity.

Q: Where can I try authentic St. Louis cuisine?
A: Authentic St. Louis cuisine can be savored at local eateries, including historic restaurants, neighborhood diners, and renowned food establishments across the city.

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