MBU in STL: The Hill
St. Louis is a diverse city with limitless options for food, coffee and exploring. Spread throughout the St. Louis metro area are neighborhoods just as diverse as the people that inhabit them. From the upscale Central West End to the eclectic Tower Grove neighborhoods, when combined, these neighborhoods create the perfect mixture that makes St. Louis such a great city to call home.
Serving as the Italian sector of St. Louis, The Hill is home to the best authentic Italian restaurants in St. Louis. Spread throughout the neighborhood are family-owned restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores and cafes. Located right across the interstate from Forest Park on the south side, The Hill is a strong community with a great pride for their homeland, as you’ll notice with the Italian flag flying and fire hydrants painted red, green and white.
4945 Daggett Avenue, Saint Louis, MO
Laying claim to the oldest restaurant in the Hill, Rigazzi’s was founded in 1957. Rigazzi’s has been nationally recognized by Bon Appetit magazine for their pizza and locally, they have been awarded “Best Italian Food” and “Best Toasted Ravioli.” Rigazzi’s doesn’t just offer pizza, they have all the Italian classics.
Cunetto House of Pasta
5453 Magnolia Avenue, Saint Louis, MO
Opened in 1972, Cunetto’s, as it’s known by the locals, was started by two pharmacist brothers who started cooking in the back of their pharmacy and decided to open an authentic Italian restaurant. It’s called the house of pasta for a reason, serving over 30 different types of pasta dishes. Craving pasta? Check out all Cunetto has to offer.
5141 Wilson Avenue, Saint Louis, MO
This bakery and cafe was founded in 1921. Since opening they haven’t changed the recipe to their famous Amighetti’s Special. This sandwich, the recipe brought over from Italy, is comprised of ham, beef, salami, brick cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pepper and Amighetti’s own dressing. Along with the bakery and cafe, Amighetti’s also has a gellateria that serves unique flavors of ice cream.
5046 Shaw Avenue, Saint Louis, MO
Guido’s serves up traditional Mediterranean dishes. Their menu has offerings of Italian cuisine, traditional Spanish dishes and Tapas. As Guido’s themselves put it, “A taste of Spain in the middle of Italy.” Their menu can be split into three different sections. The Italian section featuring dishes such as, manicotti, seafood ravioli and chicken picatta. The Spanish section offers items like veal genoveva, calamares a la plancha and Jamon Serrano. The third section is their pizza which is all cooked on St. Louis style crust and in an old fashioned stone deck oven.
Zia’s On the Hill
5256 Wilson Avenue, Saint Louis, MO
Zia’s was founded in 1985. The winner of numerous awards, once you try the food you’ll know why. Serving up classic Italian dishes like Carbonara, Parmigiana and Mignon Pancetta. Zia’s also has a food truck that will travel around to local fairs, festivals and businesses in the St. Louis area. Make sure to save room for their desserts as well, the cannoli’s especially.
1913 Marconi Avenue, Saint Louis, MO
Since 1968, Marconi Bakery has been using the old world traditions to bake fresh bread everyday. They sell classic Italian bread in variety of sizes, buns, bread wreaths, rolls, bread crumbs and dough. Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Marconi Bakery also offers pizza baked in old world recipes. This bakery is sure to give you some of the best bread you’ve ever had.
1934 Macklind Avenue, Saint Louis, MO
Gioa’s Deli started in 1918. They are the home of the hot-homemade-salami sandwich in St. Louis. This deli is the oldest family owned business on The Hill. While they are famous for their salami sandwich, they also offer plenty of other sandwich options including the Porknado, the Hogfather and Italian Poor Boy. Gioa’s has expanded and now has a food truck that makes its way around St. Louis and another location that just opened in Downtown. Be sure to stop by the original and try their famous sandwiches.
One word: cannoli. If you haven’t had a cannoli before, let Vitale’s introduce you to the Italian fried pastry tube filled with a sweet ricotta cream. While there, be sure to grab some bread, Italian cookies and more handcrafted delicacies.
Honorable mentions: Viviano’s, Joe Fassi Sausage Factory
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