Pizza isn't the only attraction at America's Incredible Pizza Company—families are drawn to its go-kart track, laser tag, and glow-in-the-dark mini-golf course. But the entertainment center's expansive buffet is quite the draw in and of itself, featuring more than 100 items and centering on pizza, including original, thin, and deep-pan crust (gluten-free upon request) crowned with more than 30 types of toppings. Verdant greens and freshly made dressings await visitors at the popular salad bar, and the baked-potato station comes with every necessity for side-dish construction, from cheese to the bacon bits from which bacon is built. A variety of sauces enliven the buffet’s fettuccine and spaghetti noodles, and other homestyle include hot dogs and frito pie.
In the indoor adventure park, meanwhile, gamers zip around a track in two varieties of go-karts—the stock-car speed and the slower Busch speed—as announcers report each turn. Visitors also can instigate harmless car crashes in the bumper-car area or spend five frames toppling pins during mini bowling.
Gianino's stretches its pizza crusts by hand, simmers its sauces from scratch, and serves them both in its warm, friendly dining room. Rev up your pasta palette with an appetizer of toasted cannelloni ($7.15), or jump straight to the main event with a traditional pasta dish like the fettuccine carbonara ($13.15), served with prosciutto, egg, and a cream-based sauce. Specialty pizzas ($12.10–$15.50) include the vegetarian-friendly eggplant with sliced tomato and provel cheese, while the Sonny Delight BBQ Chicken provides a tasteful update to an Italian classic, much like dressing Michelangelo’s David in jeggings. An array of meat and seafood-based entrees away to quell carnivorous cravings, and the organized menu comes complete with suggested wine parings for each course–saving the cabernet and the spaghetti con polpette ($12.20) from the perils of online dating. Reservations are recommended.
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.
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."
At Kim’s Pizza, pies come in small, medium, large, and heart-shaped varieties. The retro restaurant’s chefs can shape a romantic pizza with a day’s notice, helping diners reinforce their affection or providing target practice for Cupids. Around Kim's, black-and-white-checkered floors and a stainless-steel bar recall mid-century diners, and a pinball machine provides a diversion from reading the menu.