Moya – Here’s the thing. I can make Ethiopian dishes, but not at the level of my mother’s. When I’m craving food from home, I go over to Moya. This restaurant is not what you would think of as a traditional Ethiopian restaurant. That being said, I was surprised the first time I came in and they were able to bring my food out quickly. Their service is fast. Like can they stop time fast. If you like spicy and savory food, this is the place to go. It’s right off the overpass, the bridge that connects WashU to University City, so it’s close.
Taj Mahal – Also right off the overpass is an Indian restaurant called Taj Mahal. I was first introduced to this beautiful place when my friend, who’s from India, became homesick for Indian food and took our group of friends there. Their mango lassi, chicken tikka masala, and garlic naan is delicious.
Salt and Smoke – Fun fact about St Louis, apparently we go through more barbeque sauce than any other city. I believe that Salt and Smoke contributes at least 1/3 to this accomplishment. The. Sauce. Is. So. Good. Meat eaters: you definitely have to come here and order their brisket sandwich! Vegetarians should also come here. The falafel burger and their mac and cheese and are on another level. The mac is ooey gooey with some crunch and even though the falafel burger is green on the inside, I’ve heard it’s one of the best veggie burgers around.
Fork and Stix – There’s a ton of Thai places on the loop, including a Thai pizza place, but none rival this intimate restaurant off of Delmar. They serve fast, delicious traditional Northern Thai. The thing I always recommend is an appetizer called muu ping. It is marinated skewered pork served with sticky rice. 10/10 would recommend.
Pi Pizzeria – Yo this place is a STL staple. You need to come here. I’m not from Chicago, but I have been there a few times and have tried their deep dish. I was fortunate enough to interview intern Katie, a native from Chicago who gave her expert opinion. (Editors note: Katie was not born in Chicago, but she moved there when she was 8). “It’s hard to compare the two” … “Pi’s ingredients are cool. I think it would be a fair assessment to say they are a Hipster deep dish pizza.” Thanks Katie! Also, I recommend getting their garlic bread, it’s pretty good. I won’t spoil the surprise, but you have to work to eat it.
Honorable Mentions: Seoul Taco, Ranoush, Mission Taco, and Public.
Blueprint – If your goto coffee shop involves little to no decor, succulents, cement flooring, unrefined wood, hanging pendant lamps, and one major statement piece in the shop, this is your place. Granted, this is every hipster coffee shop described ever (seriously google hipster coffee shop), but their coffee is pretty good. I usually go for their cold brew, but beware, their coffee is highly concentrated.
Piccione Pastry – This Italian bakery in general has great pastries, but they are known for their cannolis. Gooey Butter cakes are a St Louis specialty, and Piccione put a spin on this by turning the cakes into a cannoli! If you go on a humid and hot day, an average STL summer day tbh, don’t forget to grab their refreshing lemonade Italian soda.