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Best Restaurants in St. LouisOur favorites include some of this destination's best restaurants—from fine dining to simple fare.

Ask anyone in St. Louis to name the “best” restaurant, and the likely answer will be Tony's . At the sight of the formally attired valet and doorman, it's clear that a very special occasion is about to begin. Filet mignon in a Chianti sauce and linguine with lobster and shrimp are two entrée highlights. You'll want to dress up for the occasion.

Crown Candy Kitchen , just north of downtown, often has a line winding out the door and down the sidewalk; it's very popular during the lunch hour and on weekends. Crown's has one of the oldest soda fountains in the country, and they still make their own ice cream. The lunch menu—sandwiches, soups, hot dogs, chili—is simple but hits the spot. And it's affordable; most lunch and dinner entrées are in the $4-$7 range.

Many folks say Hodak's Restaurant & Bar serves the city's best fried chicken, and the chicken platter with fries and coleslaw is a great value. Weekday luncheon specials offer everything from pot roast to breaded pork loin. On Friday a choice of cod or Jack Salmon is served with spaghetti and a rotating vegetable. And one of the appetizer choices is (naturally) toasted ravioli, a St. Louis favorite.

Imo's Pizza is where St. Louis-style pizza—square-cut pieces of thin, crispy crust with tomato sauce and Provel cheese—originated. There's nothing fancy here, just good pizza; their calling card is “the square beyond compare.”

The Hill, St. Louis' Italian neighborhood, is where you'll find Dominic's . Attentive service and an extensive wine list go toward ensuring an elegant dining experience. You can't go wrong with dishes like veal with capers and mushrooms or linguine with fresh clams, and for dessert the Jackie's Cassata cake is yummy.

Summer is the time to head to Boathouse Forest Park enjoy lakeside patio dining, cold drinks, live music and beautiful sunsets. Dogs are always welcome (outside dining only) and are given their own water bowl and treats. In cold weather, dine indoors by the large stone fireplace. The menu offers the usual fish and chips, Angus beef burgers, flatbreads, salads and house-made soups along with such brunch offerings as chorizo and egg burritos and handmade biscuits topped with a sunny-side-up egg, hash browns, cheddar cheese and sausage gravy. Be prepared to wait at this very popular spot if you haven't made reservations.

Students and theatergoers congregate at Dressel's Public House , a lively pub that serves traditional Welsh dishes as well as a variety of sandwiches, soups and salads. The homemade deep-fried potato chips are perfect with some malt vinegar sprinkled on top. There's sidewalk dining in season.

At the family-operated Frank Papa's Ristorante in Brentwood, candlelight and white tablecloths welcome casual diners as well as those celebrating special occasions. The menu covers the expected Italian bases—spaghetti pomodoro, risotto milanese, grilled shrimp scampi, veal saltimbocca. Portions are generous, prices are reasonable and the staff will make you feel right at home.

West of the city in the suburb of Chesterfield is Annie Gunn's , which has been in business since 1937. The upscale pub atmosphere is a nice backdrop for traditional barbecue gussied up with gourmet touches. Smoked pork chops with a barbecue glaze is a local favorite, as is the bread pudding for dessert. It's usually busy, and you may have to wait for a table.

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St. Louis, MO

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Travel Information

City Population

319,294

Elevation

585 ft.

Sales Tax

The sales tax rate in the city of St. Louis is 8.49 percent. The city's lodging tax is 14.9 percent and there is a rental car tax of 7.82 percent.

Emergency

911

Police (non-emergency)

(314) 231-1212

Time and Temperature

(314) 321-2222 or (636) 441-8467

Hospitals

Barnes-Jewish Hospital, (314) 747-3000; Missouri Baptist Medical Center (Town and Country, Mo.), (314) 996-5000; St. Alexius Hospital, (314) 865-7000; St. Anthony's Medical Center, (314) 525-1000; Saint Louis University Hospital, (314) 577-8000.

Visitor Information

I-270 and Riverview Dr. St. Louis, MO 63138. Phone:(314)869-7100

Air Travel

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport

Rental Cars

Hertz offers discounts to AAA members; phone (314) 426-7555 or (800) 654-3080.

Rail Service

The Amtrak terminal, (800) 872-7245, is at 430 S. 15th St.

Buses

The Greyhound Lines Inc. terminal, (800) 231-2222, is at 430 S. 15th St.

Taxis

Cab companies include St. Louis County Cab & Yellow Cab, (314) 991-5300 or (314) 993-8294; and Laclede, (314) 652-3456 or (314) 403-7000 (to request a taxi via text message). All cabs in St. Louis are on the meter system. Base fare is approximately $2 to $3.50 for the first mile, with a rate of $2 to $2.50 per mile. The base fare goes up $1 for each additional passenger. A fuel surcharge of at least $1 also is added to the fare, and there is a $4 surcharge for airport pick-ups.

Public Transportation

Metro, the public transportation system—which includes MetroBus, the MetroLink light-rail train and the Metro Call-A-Ride para-transit van service—transports passengers throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area. The base bus fare is $2; $1 (ages 5-12, ages 65+ and customers with disabilities). Exact cash fare is required. A MetroLink one-ride ticket is $2.50; $1.25 (ages 5-12, ages 65+ and customers with disabilities). A 2-hour system pass (with transfers) is $3; $1.50 (ages 5-12, ages 65+ and customers with disabilities), or $4 from Lambert Airport. Weekly and monthly passes also are available. For route information, current fares and hours of system operation contact MetroTransit Information Mon.-Fri. 7-7; phone (314) 231-2345, or (618) 271-2345 in Illinois.

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