St. Louis Essentials

5 STOPS | 33 MILES | 54 min

One day to taste St. Louis’s best Roadfood? Not counting the enigmatic St. Paul (an egg foo yung sandwich sold in Chinese restaurants), toasted ravioli (which has gone national), and ultrathin-crust, Provel-topped pizza (get it in a bar), this itinerary provides a wide-ranging taste of The Mound City’s edible treasures. Essential eats range from fantastic versions of familiar fare — caramel cake at Natalie’s — to dishes that are unique to St. Louis, such as gooey butter cake at Park Avenue Coffee and a kaleidoscopic kitchen-sink slinger at Connelly’s Goody Goody Diner. At the little-known C&K, you will find some of the Midwest’s best urban barbecue; and at the legendary Ted Drewes, the first and last word in custard.


Park Avenue Coffee

The St. Louis dessert delight, gooey butter cake, is best at Park Avenue, which makes 76 flavors. Expertly brewed coffee is the cake's good companion.


Connelly’s Goody Goody Diner

In this 1931-vintage St. Louis, Missouri diner expect to enjoy good hamburgers, chili mac, and that all-in-one breakfast dish known as a slinger.

Must Eats

C&K Barbecue

A humble, take-out-only BBQ, C&K smoke-cooks the best versions of St. Louis ribs, pork steaks, chicken, and hot links, plus pig ears and snoots.

Natalie’s Cakes & More

Natalie’s Cakes & More

The specialty is caramel cake, moist and buttery, at Natalie's, a charming neighborhood bakery that survived the Ferguson, Missouri, riots, and now thrives.


Ted Drewes

Ted Drewes’ frozen custard, a Roadfood legend of St. Louis, Missouri, is fresh, pure and tons of fun. Must-eat: a concrete milk shake, thicker than thick.