🔥 = WashU Hot Picks (WUSM M1 favorites, as reported by our classmates in the Annual Dis-O Guide Mega Survey)
- Students Say
- St. Louis Quirks!
- Dietary Restrictions
- Feeling lazy
- Coffee Break
Kristin P., M1
St. Louis has many great restaurants and is truly a foodie paradise. We also have a long history of food quirks — unusual local dishes and traditions. As a native St. Louisan, I encourage you to check them out, if only for the fun of it.
Virginia H., M1
Boba. Or bubble tea, depending on where you’re from. As the sixth USDA-approved food group, it’s a non-negotiable part of the student diet. There is a relative abundance of boba places in the city, and here are a few.
Haley S., M1
The WashU community has a surprising number of budding chefs and bakers! As a student, I would highly recommend taking advantage of the class food events, such as Friendsgiving and bake-offs. Scheduled the week before Thanksgiving break, Friendsgiving is a wonderful opportunity to eat delicious food cooked by your classmates and ring in the holidays. The bake-offs are more frequent, often scheduled before exams, and are the perfect study breaks! Some class favorites include: homemade applesauce, skillet cornbread, bacon-wrapped stuffed dates and pumpkin cheesecake at Friendsgiving; carrot cake, chocolate raspberry macarons, buckeyes, apple turnover, and chocolate chip cookies were hits at the bake-offs.
Haley S., M1
Even though you might not associate dim sum with St. Louis, you should definitely check out Mandarin House! The menu is authentic and expansive, serving everything from boba, to shrimp dumplings, vegetable soup, and orange chicken. Furthermore, the venue is quite large, so it’s great for both small gatherings and large groups. If you want the full dim sum experience, I would recommend going for the weekend lunch special and make sure to order the steamed pork buns!
Katie C., M1
The Tower Grove Farmers’ Market is a favorite weekly stop of mine. There’s a huge variety of vendors and it’s really fun to try new foods and support local businesses/farmers.
Drishti S., M1
With my countless allergies including (but not limited to) peanuts, tree nuts, lentils, chickpeas, soybeans, and various fruits and vegetables, I have always found it difficult to find places to eat that had allergen-free options and that were flexible and accommodating. However, as someone whose primary hobby is trying new food, I have found several places that offer me a variety of options, and hopefully the list below can be helpful to you if you also struggle with food allergies! As a disclaimer, please always make sure to ask about ingredients in the food and potential cross-contamination. Happy eating!
Bruin P., M1
There are so many great places to grab a bite when you need to stick around campus. Some great options are listed here, in no particular order.
Chris D., M1
In my first few months in St. Louis, I’ve sampled my way through a bunch of gluten-free eateries. My favorite for casual breakfast and baked goods is New Day down the road in Clayton (dedicated facility; try the biscuits and gravy!), and Retreat has my vote for best restaurant in Central West End. Some other favorites are included in the list below. I’m always looking for new places, so let me know if you come across something great!
Haley S., M1
There are plenty of grocery stores in St. Louis, so depending on what you are looking for, there is a store for you!
Ashley A., M1
There are going to be some weeks when you feel like you don’t have a second to spare, and then you will look in your pantry and discover you don’t have something else: food. It is during these moments when I pull out my handy-dandy Instacart app and marvel at modern innovation as I order groceries and await their much-needed arrival from a random stranger. Granted, I don’t always have my groceries delivered (those service fees add up!), but it’s useful when times are dire (or you really can’t bring yourself to go to Schnucks).
Kelsie K., M1
There are numerous international grocery stores throughout the city and the county. On the Delmar Loop, just a short MetroLink ride away from the Central West End, United Provisions offers a wide variety of international groceries as well as a grab-and-go section stocked with sushi, dim sum, and other delectable snacks. On Olive Boulevard, the predominantly Asian section of town, you can find Olive Supermarket and Seafood City along with many wonderful restaurants. Lastly, other international grocery stores include Jay International Food Co. on South Grand, Global Foods Market in Kirkwood, and Pan-Asia Supermarket in Manchester.
Rachel B., M1
St. Louis has some great spots for hungry night owls. There are the usual staples like McDonald’s and Domino’s, but there are also plenty of more exciting options. A few of our favorites are in the list below!
Vinay P., M1
The Mediterranean might be thousands of miles away, but there are plenty of options for its food right here in town. The Vine is my personal favorite with its hot beef, soft pita, and creamy hummus.
Anthony W., M1
Despite the fact that St. Louis is located in the Midwest, there is surprisingly a good variety of Vietnamese restaurants, specifically for phở. My current top two recommendations include Phở Grand and Phở Long for two separate reasons. On one hand, Phở Grand has a very diverse menu with many great dishes including, but not limited to, phở. The phở specifically has a flavorful broth and is priced reasonably for the quantity of noodles and meat provided. It will definitely quench your craving for phở without leaving you feeling unnecessarily full and/or greasy from the broth. Meanwhile, Phở Long has a smaller menu but really focuses on the phở. The broth itself is pretty flavorful, though somewhat lacking compared to Phở Grand, however the quantity of noodles and meat provided for the given price is higher than that of Phở Grand. Likewise, to note, the broth isn’t very heavy with oil. If you are looking for phở that, at a very slight cost in quality, is cheap with large portions, I would highly recommend Phở Long.
Kristin P., M1
While I personally love Imo’s, I assure you there’s way more to the pizza scene in St. Louis than just thin crust and provel cheese. If you’re craving pizza, you’ll have many delicious options, no matter your pizza style preference.
Mac E., M1
While BBQ and ribs are a staple of the St. Louis diet, if you’re looking for something off the beaten path, ramen is a great refresher to your restaurant routine. My personal favorite ramen at Nami is the Original Tonkatsu.
Allie L., M1
There are some great options for soul food that are pretty near to the medical campus! Grace Meat + Three is a restaurant in the Grove, which is about a five-minute drive from campus or a 15-minute walk. They have plenty of soul food options, like fried chicken, homemade macaroni and cheese, burgers, collard greens, and chicken and dumplings. This great local eatery is perfect for indulging in your soul food cravings.
Bruin P., M1
The single most important reason to come to St Louis! Just kidding, but the ‘cue really is the best in the world. Here are the consensus best smokehouses around: Pappy’s was voted best ribs in America by the Food Network — and I’m inclined to agree! The meat is unbeatable and the walls are covered in menus signed by celebrities. It’s an iconic local establishment that absolutely deserves a visit from everyone. Try to get there early in the day before the burnt ends run out! Sugarfire was my parents’ favorite when they visited for the White Coat ceremony. The best part is the sauces (upwards of eight different flavors), plus your food is served right on the spot. The Meat Daddy combo is easily my all-time favorite meal in town. Salt + Smoke and The Shaved Duck are honorable mentions for their great atmosphere and quality sides!
Allie L., M1
There is no shortage of dessert eateries in St. Louis, and there are actually many around the Central West End. The Cup is a gourmet cupcake shop in the CWE, and Jeni’s Ice Cream is a scoop shop with some really interesting flavors. There is also a Hot Box Cookies and an Insomnia Cookies in the Central West End, which both offer warm cookies in-store or via delivery. There are also places nearby to get donuts, including Vincent Van Donut, which is just a few minutes away from campus in the Grove. Notably, a famous St. Louis frozen custard place, Ted Drewes, is about a 10-minute drive from campus!
Haley S., M1
Speaking as a Southern Californian and taco aficionado, I was pleasantly surprised by the number of taco places in St. Louis! If you want fast and cheap food, Mission Taco serves adequate food, but its main claim to fame is two dollar tequila shots and tacos after 10 p.m. If you are looking for okay tacos and excellent margaritas, El Burro Loco in the Central West End is also a good bet. But if you want authentic, out-of-this world tacos, go to Mi Ranchito in the Loop. The service is impeccable and the food is unforgettable!
Kay P., M1
I tend to study in cafés; the list below includes some of my favorite coffee shops around town. I fell in love with Blueprint when they served their pour-overs in Erlenmeyer flasks. Northwest Coffee is my favorite place to read books and to hang out with friends. Sump is my coffee connoisseur friends’ all-time favorite coffee shop, and Rise has good food (avocado toast is my personal favorite!).
Jackie H., M1
A good majority of STL restaurants have really great veg options! You won’t go hungry, I promise. Here are some of the best places for almost every occasion. Lulu’s Local Eatery is hands-down my favorite and always will be. I take all my friends and family there and everyone loves it. So many of my favorites are listed below!
Allie L., M1
St. Louis has many great places for brunch. Rooster is a restaurant with indoor/outdoor seating, a great selection of brunch items and different types of mimosas. The City Coffeehouse and Creperie has coffee drinks and sweet crepes and savory crepes. BBQ Saloon features a southern take on brunch and also has a bottomless mimosa special. There are plenty of brunch restaurants to satisfy any weekend morning craving!
Jack B., M1
St. Louis has so many interesting and scrumptious restaurants, the hardest part about planning your birthday dinner is deciding which one to pick! Here is a list of a few of my personal favorite places to eat at for your special day.