Tuxedo-clad servers deliver housemade pastas, veal specialties, and fine wines inside a more than 40-year-old family-owned restaurant
50% Off Dinner at John Mineo's Italian Restaurant
John Mineo's Italian Restaurant
Up to 40% Off at A'mis Italian Restaurant
Ami's Italian Restaurant
Three types of pizza—New York, Chicago, and St. Louis—served alongside hearty pasta dishes, steaks, and lighter options
Italian Cuisine at Giovanni's on the Hill
Giovanni's on The Hill
Dine like a celebrity on Chef Giovanni’s authentic Italian dishes, which have earned praise from Oprah, Bill Clinton, and other celebrities
50% Off Italian Cuisine at Trattoria Branica
Amid wall sconces and modern chandeliers, seafood and veal swim in wine sauces alongside sauce-laden pastas and juicy, thick-cut steaks
50% Off at Cecil Whittaker's Pizza
Cecil Whittaker's Pizza
Pasta, sandwiches, and famous thin-crust pizzas, including Cecil's Deluxe, Cecil's Veggie, and Cecil's Meat Lover.
45% Off Pizzeria Cuisine at Fortel's Pizza Den
Fortel's Pizza Den
Crispy, thin pizzas made from dough prepared fresh daily and topped with dozens of toppings and one of seven sauces
53% Off a Pizza Meal at St. Louis Pizza & Wings
St. Louis Pizza & Wings
17 topping choices, including bacon strips, jalapeños, and pepperoncini; pizzas come with a thick crust or a St. Louis–style thin crust
50% Off Pizza
Extra-large two-topping pizza with an order of bread-stick bites and an eight-piece order of wings.
Half Off Pizza and Beer at Misty Nights Bar & Grill
Misty Nights Bar & Grill
Pizzas baked in a brick oven pair with domestic brews at a pub with free pool tables and karaoke Thursday–Saturday
40% Off Dinner at Agostino's Italian Restaurant
Agostino's Italian Restaurant
Second-generation chef curates a menu of Italian classics as well as a seafood-pasta specialty of his father's own invention
50% Off at Boardwalk Pizza
Eatery offers pizza with hand-tossed dough and housemade sauce and dessert such as calzones filled with Oreos and Nutella
Up to 47% Off Pizza Buffet at Pizza Inn
Enjoy all-you-can-eat pasta dishes and crispy thin-crust pizzas, including the signature bacon-cheeseburger pizza
With fresh ingredients and real mozzarella, the piesmiths of Pazzo Pizza unfurl an enticing menu of savory Italian provender made from scratch. Baked in a rustic stone oven, each crispy pizza is born of hand-tossed dough and an infusion of family lore, like the Sicily-imported marinara recipe and the story about Grandma's eye patch, itself a pizza. Customers can select a topping from a list of nearly 20 options, including applewood bacon, provel cheese, and fresh tomatoes. This meal gets a fizzy lift with a 2-liter sidekick of soda. Though delivery is available, this Groupon does not cover the $2 delivery fee, which goes toward training homing pizzas.
Since 1981, the pizza specialists at Elicia's Pizza have zipped through St. Louis's tangled roads delivering piping-hot pies to households in 30 minutes or less. At the shop, marinara masters stretch house-made dough into the shape of a mad professor's monocle and lavish each thin-crust disk with fresh sauce and the house's three-cheese blend. Additionally, the pizzeria's menu celebrates casual eats, such as wings, baked pastas, sandwiches, and crisp salads.
Mazara's executive chef Todd Bale uses fresh ingredients to whip up a menu of authentic Italian tastes and feelings, such as abbondanza, mamma mia, and operatic heartbreak. In the process, he puts creative twists on traditional dishes throughout the dinner menu, including vitello alla Marsala (breaded veal cutlets with Marsala mushrooms over roasted-garlic and herb risotto, topped with truffle oil, $24), tutto mare (spaghettini pasta, scallops, shrimp, mussels, clams, and lump crab tossed in white wine, tomatoes, and crushed red pepper $25), and involtini spaghettini (eggplant involtini rolls served over spaghettini pasta with mixed, grilled vegetables and marinara, $18). In addition to à la carte entrees, Mazara offers a three-course dinner menu for $25 and features daily lunch and dinner specials to keep your mouth on the edge of its booster chin.
Fortel's Pizza Den was founded more than 30 years ago by pizza enthusiast Bob Fortel, giving the restaurant plenty of time to develop a compelling formula for creating its hand-tossed pies. It starts with the crust: the dough is made fresh daily, and?since eating pizza, like playing Battleship against yourself, shouldn't involve too many tough decisions?it's formed into a single, medium-thin thickness. Chefs then slather this crispy foundation in one of seven sauces, including pesto, gravy, or Bob Fortel's original sweet-and-spicy tomato sauce. Topping choices number in the dozens, ranging from sweet chicken sausage and eggplant to corned beef and sauerkraut. While waiting for their pizza masterpieces to arrive, diners nibble on beer-battered mushrooms, toasted ravioli, and other appetizers.
Northern- and Southern-Italian cuisines collide on Trattoria Branica’s menu, which has won acclaim from local press for its culinary acuity and fiscal reticence. Italian cheeses, herbs, and homemade sauces accent tender nests of pasta, market-fresh seafood, and succulent cuts of beef, veal, and chicken. Inside, sleek black chairs clip crisp white tablecloths prepped to prop up more than 300 wines from around the globe. A Mediterranean mood slips over patrons on the expansive patio, where umbrellas guard against the sun and waters cascade at a nearby fountain. For private parties, a balcony surrounded by wrought-iron railings elevates the dining experience and provides a better launching pad to catapult leftovers home.
Grassi’s West administers mammoth lunches and capacious dinners from a menu teeming with Italian favorites. Cheesy heaps of chicken parmigiano ($8.95) accompany an entourage of crispy salad and buttery bread, and the Carla special boasts lean layers of trimmed roast beef, turkey, veal, or meatballs bookended by italian bread ($7.25). Sixteen-inch thin-crust pizzas ($13.75+) sport an undershirt of homemade sauce reinforced with rooftops of veggies, sausage, pepperoni, and strips of american and canadian bacon. Locals have gotten lost within the labyrinth of Grassi’s chef salad, drizzled delicately with homemade dressing ($5.05+), and diners who prefer big chomps to small talk can revel in the cafeteria-style serving, in which indecisive slowpokes won't stymie valuable chewing time. If there’s room for desert, a slice of cherry cheesecake ($3.75) can tickle tongues or provide creamy insulation for another mound of jaw-dropping sandwich extravagance.
Paul McCartney. Luciano Pavarotti. Ronald Reagan. Besides being household names, these icons all have something else in common??they've all had the honor of dining on Chef Giovanni Gabriele's authentic, award-winning cuisine. While his passion for cooking was born in his native Sicily, it was Giovanni's other great love??his wife, Fina??that eventually led him to St. Louis, where he opened his restaurant in 1973. Just six years later, he found himself cooking for President Reagan at Reagan?s inaugural dinner, and the dish he made??a creamy bow-tie pasta topped with salmon and parmigiano??was renamed farfalline del Presidente Reagan in the commander in chief's honor. Today, it remains one of the most popular items on Giovanni's menu, alongside a host of other Italian pastas named for the celebrities who supped upon them.
But you don't have to be a celebrity or a politician to get the star treatment at Giovanni's. The restaurant has earned an AAA Four Diamond Award for 27 years running, and a 4-Star Mobil Travel Guide Award every year since 1983, in part due to the careful attention lavished upon each and every guest. Today, nearly 42 years after its inception, Giovanni's son Frank runs the kitchen, blending its iconic sauces and forming the housemade crepes, but Giovanni still commands the show, supervising in the kitchen, greeting patrons tableside, and mining the pepper and salt from nearby mountains himself.
Onesto is Italian for "honest," so it's no surprise the owners of Onesto Pizza & Trattoria strive for transparency when it comes to their food. They proudly showcase the list of more than 10 local farms from which they gather their menu's organic and seasonal fruit and antibiotic- and hormone-free meat. They even reveal the secrets behind their wild-mushroom- and Gulf-shrimp-topped pizzas by letting diners watch as each pie is hand-tossed. Pasta, from the housemade fettuccine to the macaroni and cheese served with lobster in a cast-iron skillet, joins elaborate seasonal entrees such as pan-seared wild striped bass, accompanied by a pumpernickel-crusted saffron risotto cake and sautéed spinach and apples in a lemongrass-butter broth. In addition to sourcing its ingredients locally, Onesto strives to reduce its carbon footprint by recycling, serving to-go orders in compostable containers, and asking diners to take off their carbon shoes at the door so as not to leave a footprint.
The gourmet ingredients and eco-friendly attitude seem to overshadow the restaurant's decor, which the Riverfront Times describes as "unassuming … with no obvious flash or flair." But subdued is sometimes best, as the paper named Onesto's "simple" patio as Best Outdoor Dining of 2010, hailing it as "an escape from the hustle and bustle of other St. Louis restaurant patios."
According to many members of the close-knit Italian community on The Hill, it was at a restaurant called Oldani's in the early 1940s that a clumsy chef dropped a piece of pasta in frying oil and created the first toasted ravioli. That dish went on to become a Saint Louis specialty, and Oldani's went on to become Mama's on the Hill, rechristened by matron Mama Campisi, who took it over in 1982. When Mama's sons, John and Frank, had to give up the restaurant in 2005, Lance and Andrea Ervin jumped at the chance to take over the culinary landmark. They reopened it in 2006, retaining many of Mama's original recipes as well as the crisp signature pasta.
Ivory and black stripes upholster padded chairs in the understated dining room, where a set of glowing candles are ensconced in a stone fireplace. Here, Mama's special recipes still serve as blueprints for many of the house sauces, including the marinara and parmesan cream. Salmon entrees are drizzled with her chianti-balsamic glaze, and deep-fried shrimp do cannonballs into her cocktail sauce.
Mama's famous fare also lures avid diners to enroll in culinary classes taught by kitchen staff. In the currently running sauces class, up to 20 students set pots a-simmer in groups of five, fueled by appetizers, snacks, and pep talks given by freshly cracked bottles of wine.
Gazing at the Tuscan-inspired murals in La Gra Italian Tapas & Wine Bar's dining room as the aroma of Italian tapas wafts through the air, guests might think they've been transported to the old country. However, while guests haven’t been secretly teleported to a Florentine trattoria, you can hardly blame them for making the mistake. Small plates of tomato-, caper-, and garlic-topped bruschetta or flash-fried Sicilian olives stuffed with gorgonzola cheese map out bite-sized guides to Italy’s native tastes. Fresh Mediterranean-inspired ingredients also populate larger entrees such as four-cheese veal parmesan and pizzas topped with provel cheese, yellow squash, and spicy garlic cream sauce.
Pours of domestic or imported red and white wine add Euro-style complements to meals occasionally accompanied by the strains of live music. More than 20 martinis also showcase the resident mixologists’ creativity, with the Cosmic Sorbet boasting citrus vodka and cranberry juice supplied by the astronauts who lead each year’s fruit harvest on Venus. While dinner is served and drinks flow seven nights a week, guests can also rent the dining room, bar, café, or entire restaurant for private parties that accommodate up to 100 attendees.
The doughsmiths at Cecil Whittaker’s Pizzeria craft thin-crust pizzas bubbling with an untouched surface of cheese or loaded with toppings such as jalapeño peppers, bacon, and shrimp. It’s their specialty and what they’re known for—“This is the place to go if you like St. Louis-style, thin-crust pizza (though they do offer a thick crust pizza, too) or just want to kick back and have a beer,” raves Metromix.
But the menu isn’t limited to pizzas. Each day, the kitchen roasts and slices tender beef for roast beef sandwiches dipped in savory au jus. The au jus is prepared in house, as is the meat sauce that graces Cecil Whittaker's pasta, chicken parmesan, and meatball sandwiches. There’s also a hearty selection of smokehouse dishes such as ribs, pulled pork, and brisket served with homestyle sides of green beans and coleslaw. A weekday lunch buffet from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. gives diners a chance to sample different entrees and sides–along with a salad and pizza bar–and creative additions the chefs cook up like sloppy joe's one day or bacon cheeseburgers the next.
When founders J. Kim Tucci, Joseph A. Fresta, and John P. Ferrara first opened The Pasta House Co. in 1974, they wanted to elevate pasta to an art form. “Some artists sculpt, some paint, and some sketch,” they write on the restaurant’s website. “But, at The Pasta House Co., we create authentic Italian culinary delights.” A few of the locations even have giant, exhibition kitchens so you can watch as pizzas, pastas, and entrees come to life.
Naturally, The Pasta House Co.’s menu revolves around the Italian staple from which it gets its name. There are more than 25 varieties of pasta to choose from, including linguine with chicken livers and the signature lasagna, plus weekday specials such as stuffed manicotti. Meanwhile, the mangia bene menu—which translates to “eat well” in Italian—showcases the more wholesome side of Italian eating, with dishes low in fat and calories that won’t peer pressure you to break curfew.
As devoted Catholics in the early '60s, Ed and Margie Imo would wait until after midnight every Friday night to pickup meat-topped pizzas from their favorite local St. Louis pizzerias. Tired of going out so late, they were inspired to make a change. In 1964, they opened their first Imo's Pizza to offer what was then an innovative concept—home delivery. As a nod to Ed's career cutting squares of linoleum, the duo's pizzas were always cut in squares and used as tiling to construct restaurant's floor. Today, the Imo's franchise encompasses more than 90 stores, and hasn't strayed from their square slices and pledge to never-frozen ingredients. The thin-crust pies are layered edge-to-edge with 100% provel cheese, homemade sauce, and more than 15 meat and veggie toppings.
Though they all begin with similar hunks of dough, the pizzas at Manhattan Express rarely wind up resembling one another. To start, chefs prepare thin crusts, whole-wheat crusts, or New York-style crusts to serve as the foundation for any of their 9-, 12-, or 16-inch pies. On top of that, they pile your choice of 25 toppings, from jalapeno peppers and shrimp to low-fat mozzarella cut in the shape of mushrooms. Pizzeria staples such as sandwiches, salads, and pastas round out Manhattan Express' savories and dessert options include eight flavors of snow cones, such as cherry and orange.
Through an elegant menu and an extensive wine list, founders J. Kim Tucci and Joseph Fresta make it easy and delicious for Missouri locals to celebrate the regional traditions of Italy. With each week punctuated by a special Sunday-brunch menu, Tucci & Fresta’s regular offerings range from its trademark pork chops milanese to Italian-style grilled cheeses at lunch. Traditional drinks and desserts, including lemoncello and pistachio gelato, lend meals a sweet finish.:m]]