Typically when you think of Missouri cuisine, I would guess that images of slow-cooked, smoky BBQ or decadent gooey butter cake come to mind. What you may not know is that Missouri is home to several ethnic food neighborhoods where you can broaden your culinary horizons and eat your way around the globe.
Southwest Boulevard – Kansas City
Located on the west side of KCMO, “The Boulevard” is known for its wide selection of Hispanic restaurants and grocery stores. Be sure to top your Taco Sonoro with house-made guacamole at family-owned Ponaks Mexican Kitchen. At La Bodega, split an order of savory paella.
The Hill – St. Louis
Home to baseball’s Yogi Berra and Joe Garagiola, Italian pride flies high on The Hill. Step back in time at Rigazzi’s and slurp huge portions of homemade spaghetti and meatballs paired with frosty fishbowl beers. Visit Charlie Gitto’s to dip golden, pillow-like toasted ravioli (a St. Louis invention) in homemade marinara. Stop by world-renowned Volpi Food for your artisan crafted meats or stroll into Missouri Baking Co. for traditional baked goods.
Germantown – Hermann
This little river community has a strong German heritage and has become famous for its wineries and festivals. While visiting Hermann, you can also sample traditional German fare such as Schweineschnitzel and Kartoffelpuffer at Vintage Restaurant, Stone Hill Winery’s restaurant, or enjoy locally made “wurst” at Hermann Wurst Haus.
South Grand – St. Louis
A one-stop-shop where you can find authentic eats from 14 countries including Brazil, China, France, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Morocco, Iran, the Philippines, and Turkey. This makes South Grand the most diverse dining destination in the St. Louis area. Savor Ethiopian cuisine at Meskerem or taste Thai home-style cooking at The King and I.
You don’t have to hop on a plane to enjoy ethnic culinary adventures; in Missouri, authentic international delights are right around the corner.