These St. Louis Dishes Will Warm You Up on a Cold Winter Day

Thursday January 12, 2023
Photo courtesy of POP Sparkling Bar & Restaurant

By Rachel Huffman

This winter, counter the cold with soups, stews and other hearty comfort foods from St. Louis restaurants. From gumbo to ramen and mac ‘n’ cheese to pot roast, these dishes will also introduce you to the area’s vibrant food scene.

Here’s what we’re eating this season.

Alaskan Halibut from Acero

Mangia bene, vivi felice. Eat well, live happy. At Acero, an Italian eatery in Maplewood, the mantra rings true. You can splurge on the four-course tasting menu, starting at $58 a person, or order the Alaskan halibut à la carte. The lean, delicate fish is served with braised Tuscan kale, sweet Italian peppers, Sungold cherry tomatoes, Yukon Gold potatoes, cucumber, sorrel and yellow tomato sauce.

Lovers’ Plate from Baileys’ Chocolate Bar

Places to Eat in St. Louis_Baileys’ Chocolate Bar
Photo courtesy of Baileys’ Chocolate Bar

Cozy up with a loved one at Baileys’ Chocolate Bar and sample its signature desserts – think blondie bites, Chocolate Inebriation truffles, macarons, rose meringues, strawberry kisses, bourbon-caramel corn and banana brûlée. The decadent assortment is served with rich drinking chocolate that will warm you up properly.

Famous Fries from Baileys’ Range

Places to Eat in St. Louis_Baileys’ Range
Photo courtesy of Baileys’ Range

Baileys’ Range serves specialty burgers made with 100 percent grass-fed beef and housemade buns, but before you bite into the main course, we recommend digging into the Famous Fries. Smothered with queso, brisket chili, Cheddar and green onion, they’re perfect for sharing with a group.

Lemon-Ricotta Ravioli from Basso

Italian-inspired and locally sourced, the made-from-scratch dishes at Basso heighten the dining experience at The Cheshire, a boutique hotel on the edge of Forest Park. To brighten a dark day, try the lemon-ricotta ravioli with English peas, pancetta, shallots, garlic butter, white wine, roasted tomatoes and Parmesan.

Red Wine-Braised Pot Roast from Big Sky Cafe

In Webster Groves, Big Sky Cafe has a delectable variety of dishes, but this winter, the pot roast is the only thing on our minds. The chuck roast is slowly braised in red wine with rosemary, carrots, onions and celery and served on a mound of smoked Gouda polenta.

French Onion Soup from Bistro La Floraison

Places to Eat in St. Louis_Bistro La Floraison
Photo courtesy of Bistro La Floraison

Winter weather calls for French onion soup, and there’s no better place to order a cup than Bistro La Floraison in Clayton. Sealed with a thick layer of Gruyère, the steamy soup is one of the restaurant’s many dishes that will transport you to France, where the food and drinks are succulent, sophisticated and luxurious – and you’re expected to indulge.

Mac ‘n’ Cheese from Bridge Tap House & Wine Bar

Places to Eat in St. Louis_Bridge Tap House & Wine Bar
Photo courtesy of Bridge Tap House & Wine Bar

No ordinary mac ‘n’ cheese, the classic comfort food from Bridge Tap House & Wine Bar is made with Gjetost, a nutty Norwegian “brown cheese” with a hint of caramel. Fresh garlic and red pepper flakes round out the delicious dish.

Gumbo from Broadway Oyster Bar

Some locals say that Broadway Oyster Bar serves the best gumbo in town. Its version of the classic Cajun soup features andouille, chicken and seafood. Try it for yourself alongside a few freshly shucked oysters. Most nights, you’ll also be able to enjoy live music from local and national bands.

The Spicy Chicken Out from Chicken Out

Places to Eat in St. Louis_Chicken Out
Photo courtesy of Chicken Out

Want to break a sweat this winter? Head to either of the Chicken Out locations in St. Louis and order The Spicy Chicken Out. Featuring Nashville-style pressure fried chicken doused with Crystal hot sauce, topped with pickles and served on a Martin’s potato roll, the juicy sandwich will heat you from the inside out.

Feijoada from Cinder House

Places to Eat in St. Louis_Cinder House
Photo courtesy of Cinder House

When it’s cold outside, Peter Slay, chef de cuisine of Cinder House, craves feijoada – and after tasting his iteration, you will too. Considered the national dish of Brazil, the stew features various cuts of pork, braised beef, black beans, rice, kale, chimichurri and orange for the ultimate comfort food. The dish is full of flavor, texture and soul – and it’s available at the restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis right now!

Banana Bread French Toast from Clark & Bourbon

The signature restaurant at Live! By Loews, Clark & Bourbon offers Midwest dining with a modern twist. Start the day off right with the banana bread French toast piled with banana chips, Chantilly cream, candied pecans and warm syrup. After all, one of the coziest feelings is a full stomach.

Black Garlic Pork Loin from Commonwealth

Simply thinking about the black garlic pork loin from Commonwealth makes our mouths water. The Farmstead Farms pork is paired with butternut purée, broccolini, onion confit and bread pudding made with bread from local bakery La Bonne Bouchée. The exquisite plate is then drizzled with a honey-bourbon gastrique made with honey from The Blessed Bee Co. in Waterloo, Illinois. It should come as no surprise that this dish participated in the 2022 St. Louis Taste of Elegance, a cooking competition sponsored by the Missouri Pork Association.

Duck Leg Confit from Eleven Eleven Mississippi

Places to Eat in St. Louis_Eleven Eleven Mississippi
Photo courtesy of Eleven Eleven Mississippi

Modernity informs the rustic Tuscan cuisine at Eleven Eleven Mississippi. While the menu features many tempting dishes, the duck leg confit stands out. A hearty white bean cassoulet (white beans, kale, carrot, leek, garlic and pork fat) acts as a warm pillow for the succulent duck leg, and a tangy smoked pear sauce (smoked pears, duck jus, sherry vinegar and herbs) rounds out the dish.

Khao Soi from Fork & Stix

Places to Eat in St. Louis_Fork & Stix
Photo by Paige McDonald

Take your taste buds for a ride with this traditional curry soup from North Thailand. Featuring egg noodles, curry paste, coconut milk, sour pickled mustard greens and chicken or tofu (or beef as a nontraditional option), the khao soi from Fork & Stix is one of the best iterations of the dish on the planet.

Chana Masala from Gokul Indian Restaurant

Places to Eat in St. Louis_Gokul Indian Restaurant

Did you know that spices such as cinnamon, coriander, cumin, ginger and turmeric naturally increase thermogenesis, a process that produces heat in living organisms? That’s why the chana masala from Gokul Indian Restaurant makes us feel warm and cozy after a few bites. Along with those winter spices, the dish features garbanzo beans simmered in a rich tomato sauce.

Shroomed Out from Nudo House

Places to Eat in St. Louis_Nudo House
Photo by Julia Calleo

Ramen just feels right for this weather. At Nudo House, you can’t go wrong with any of the options, but we’re partial to the Shroomed Out, featuring mushroom broth, king oyster mushrooms, bok choy, menma (seasoned bamboo shoots) and black garlic. All ramen is garnished with green onion, sesame seeds and ajitsuke tamago (ramen egg).

Lasagna “Pastaria Bolognese” from Pastaria

Part of Niche Food Group owned by James Beard Award-winning chef Gerard Craft, Pastaria offers a fresh approach to Italian dining in downtown Clayton. To withstand the winter forecast, we suggest the lasagna made with Pastaria Bolognese, béchamel, mozzarella and Grana Padano.

Bucktown Pizza from Pi Pizzeria

Warm up with a hot, gooey pie from Pi Pizzeria. The Bucktown is crafted with the restaurant’s deep-dish cornmeal crust. It boasts mozzarella, roasted chicken, artichoke, red pepper, green olive, red onion, sun-dried tomato and Feta – plus, an explosion of flavor.

Brie Dans Le Porc from POP Sparkling Bar & Restaurant

Hearty Comfort Foods from St. Louis Restaurants
Photo courtesy of POP Sparkling Bar & Restaurant

Everything is bubbly and bright at POP Sparkling Bar & Restaurant. Pair your glass of Champagne, sparkling wine or specialty cocktail with the warm prosciutto-wrapped Brie. The savory shareable comes with fresh thyme, tomato jam and housemade baguette slices.

Beer Cheese Soup from Schlafly Beer

Beer. Cheese. Soup. We’d like to thank the genius who put these things together. At Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood and Schlafly Tap Room in Midtown, the creamy beer cheese soup blends sharp white Cheddar with the brewery’s Dry-Hopped American Pale Ale (APA). Sprinkled with bacon bits, it’s a necessary indulgence, especially in winter.

Tom Yum Soup from Sen Thai

Places to Eat in St. Louis_Sen Thai

Herbivores and carnivores alike love Sen Thai on Washington Avenue in downtown St. Louis. The Asian bistro has mastered both Thai and Japanese staples, but as temperatures hover around freezing, we recommend ordering a piping hot bowl of tom yum soup. The spicy soup is loaded with a flavorful combination of plump shrimp, mushrooms, chiles, lemongrass and makrut lime leaves and garnished with green onion.

Cauliflower from Small Batch

Places to Eat in St. Louis_Small Batch
Photo courtesy of Small Batch

If the whiskey at this Midtown lounge doesn’t do the trick, warm up with the cauliflower from the list of small plates. Small Batch serves a vegetarian menu inspired by local ingredients and global cuisines, and on the current menu, the cauliflower is tossed in cashew yogurt and curry batter and then fried. It’s finished with a sweet and spicy glaze and garnished with cilantro.

Stone-Ground Cheddar Grits from The Clover and the Bee

Places to Eat in St. Louis_The Clover and the Bee
Photo courtesy of The Clover and the Bee

Bringing you fresh food in a chic setting, The Clover and the Bee is a neighborhood café known for its efficient service and heartfelt hospitality. On a wintry day, there’s no better place in Webster Groves to snuggle up with a warm bowl of deliciousness. The stone-ground Cheddar grits have been on the menu since day one – and for good reason. Accompanied by a poached farm egg, tomato ragù and crusty bread, they’re irresistible.

Beef Stroganoff from The Frisco Barroom

Rich and hearty, beef stroganoff is comfort food at its best. Originating in Russia in the mid-19th century, the old-world dinner entrée is enjoying a well-deserved resurgence, which you can experience firsthand at The Frisco Barroom in Webster Groves. The eatery’s recipe features pappardelle tossed with marinated and roasted beef tips, mushrooms, onions and sour cream.

Still hungry? Explore more St. Louis restaurants.

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