Looking for the best St. Charles restaurants? You’ve come to the right place!
If you plan to visit St. Louis, you must check out historic St. Charles, Missouri. Only a short 20-minute drive west of St. Louis, you can find a peaceful jaunt through brick-lined streets with horse-drawn carriages, early 18th-century buildings filled with cute boutiques, galleries, and more restaurants than you can imagine.
Food lovers will be overjoyed with the selection of classic comfort food and contemporary restaurants that will have you wanting to blaze a trail just like the pioneers did through the many one-of-a-kind restaurants offering unique local cuisine. Here are some of my favorite restaurants for you to try on your next visit to St. Charles.
Visiting other destinations in Missouri? Check out our other delicious guides:
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- 20 Best Restaurants In St Louis
The 8 Best Restaurants In St Charles MO
519 S Main St // +16367573341
If you are looking for something sweet, then Sugar & Slice Bakery is the place to be. While most Main Street restaurants and cafes don’t open until 11 am or later, the bakery opens at 10 am most days. Their display case is filled with colorful macarons, huge cookies, and creative cupcakes. No wonder that this list of the best restaurants in St Charles MO starts with a sweet tooth place.
The young staff is friendly and prompt in asking what you want to order. I was intrigued by the oatmeal cream pie and giant chocolate chip cookie but chose a lemon blueberry cupcake. The cupcake is packaged in a single turquoise box for safe keeping.
As soon as I got outside, I sat on a bench and opened the box. I had a little trouble removing the cupcake without getting it all over my hand. The cupcake’s frosting was so dense that while I was removing it, the cupcake broke in half. I had frosting in one hand and cake in the other. But, I was not disappointed.
I put the two back together and took a bite. Wow! The lemon cupcake was so moist, and I devoured the cupcake in seconds to ensure I got a bite of frosting and a fresh blueberry in every bite. It was exceptional.
903 S Main St // +16369473883
This friendly cafe is at the beginning of the historic St. Charles Main Street. The patio fills up quickly on warm sunny days, but a few tables are inside for overflow. Although it’s a Cafe, it still tops the list of the best restaurants in St Charles MO, and here’s why.
The day I went there, strawberries were in season, so they offered fresh Strawberry Crepes, and a delicious Strawberry Lemonade made with pureed strawberries. I chose to get their half sandwich and soup, which came out quickly and hot.
The loaded baked potato soup, one of their popular items, was topped with tons of crunchy bacon. The sandwich, Yes, Honey, had grilled chicken, bacon, provolone cheese, pepperoncini, and a honey garlic sauce.
The Half & Half seemed to be the popular choice among the guests at the restaurant, with them choosing soups, salads, quiche, and multiple kinds of sandwiches. But, you can also get flatbread pizzas, and a huge slice of bread pudding for dessert with raisins, apples, and dried cranberries served warm with caramel sauce.
1200 S Main St // +16367248600
Hendricks BBQ is the perfect place to reconnect with old friends. Whenever I’m in town, I call my friends, and we meet to catch up over a delicious hearty meal. Since 2012, Hendricks BBQ has been grilling down-home barbeque fresh every day. Their St. Louis-style ribs are meaty and perfectly spiced that you might even forget to put on one of the Hendricks BBQ sauces (Sweet, STL, and Hot & Sweet). It’s probably one of best restaurants in St Charles MO.
Getting into the restaurant might seem tricky as parking is back behind the restaurant by the Katy Trail, the old railway line turned park trail for 240 miles through Missouri. Once you find parking, cross the trail and head toward the bottom of the building. There you have two options to get in: the door with an elevator waiting to take you to the 2nd floor or the deck stairs up to the hostess desk.
Once you are seated, go ahead and get an appetizer. We got the Brisket Nachos, normally $12.50, but the server offered them for $5. Ah, Yeah, we’ll take it. The nachos come with crispy tortilla chips covered with house-made queso, your choice of meat (brisket for us), our signature baked beans, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, jalapenos & sour cream. This was the first time I had baked beans on nachos, and now I don’t think I can ever eat them without them.
For dinner, we both got the BBQ platters. My friend picked two meats (brisket and smoked sausage), and I picked three (smoked sausage, BBQ ribs, and pulled pork). Whether you choose 1, 2, or 3 meat platters, you get a choice of two sides. Side options include applesauce, baked beans, coleslaw, green beans, macaroni & cheese, baked sweet potato, collard greens, potato salad, cheddar grits, french fries, and onion rings, or a baked potato.
It is a shame that you can only pick two with all of these choices. However, I recommend baked beans, mac & cheese, and onion rings. We ordered the larger meat platter to ensure we took leftovers home for lunch the next day. And let me tell you, the second day is as deliciously good as it was the day before.
501 S Main St // +13147270200
Salt + Smoke is my favorite BBQ place to eat and one of the best restaurants in St Charles MO. This restaurant is so popular that you will often see lines of people waiting outside the door. If you want to get in quickly, offer to seat at the bar. Or, if you have been there a couple of times before, just order takeout. I keep doing this every time I visit my family in St. Louis. It is that good!
My first time there, I ordered the Pulled Pork Plate with a Burnt Ends Toasted Ravioli appetizer. Every plate comes with two sides and a bacon & cheddar popover that is so huge that it could be a meal in itself. The sides available are Beef Fat Fries, Pit Beans with Smoked Bacon, Sweet Pepper Potato Salad, Coleslaw, White Cheddar Cracker Mac, Green Bean and Tomato Salad, BBQ Sweet Potato Chips, Creamed Corn, Brisket Chili, and a Seasonal Side.
Hands down, the White Cheddar Cracker Mac is what legends are made of. The creaminess of the cheese with the cracker combo is something you just can’t stop eating. So much so that my takeout orders consist of only the White Cheddar Cracker Mac and the Burnt Ends Toasted Ravioli, another scrumptious St. Louis delicacy.
515 S Main St // +16364939303
Situated right next to Salt+Smoke is Braddens, a casual American restaurant that has been here in some form since 1818. It was called Eckert’s Tavern, and this establishment has seen some history. Here’s why Bradden is one of the best restaurants in St Charles MO: Plans for the Santa Fe Trail were drawn and signed in front of the brick fireplace. Settlers seeking the opportunity to hold free land used wagon trains to follow the Santa Fe Trail out of St. Charles for a better life out west.
Today, the restaurant has a diverse selection of dishes that any visitor would enjoy. I ordered a traditional St. Louis appetizer that you can find in most St. Charles’ restaurants, Toasted Ravioli. The toasted ravioli can trace its origins to a predominantly Italian-American neighborhood of St. Louis, The Hill, when a ravioli was accidentally dropped into the fryer, thus creating the toasted ravioli. A classic Toasted Ravioli is made using meat-filled ravioli, coating it in bread crumbs and frying until golden crisp. It’s served garnished with fresh grated Parmesan and marinara sauce for dipping.
For lunch, I ordered the River Cafe Half Pound Burger. The burger is covered with BBQ sauce, crispy bacon, usually cheese (I went without it), fried onion ring, lettuce, tomato, and pickle. And I added crinkle fries with the burger. The burger was perfectly made for my taste buds, with the right amount of BBQ sauce coating the bacon and the onion ring. The whole lunch was wonderful as I sat outside on the patio listening to the birds chirp and flitter. Although you do have to watch as some of the birds are more fearless and will come and visit your table for your crumbs.
217 S Main St // +16369473334
I stopped for a late lunch at the Lewis & Clark’s Restaurant on a sunny afternoon. Ask to sit on the patio for the most beautiful views of Main Street and the Missouri River. This restaurant embraces the history of the Lewis & Clark expedition with decor from the journey, like the canoe hanging out of a wall on the staircase. If that wasn’t a reason enough, here are a few more that made this place top the list of the best restaurants in St Charles MO.
The food is fabulous, with several Lewis & Clark House Specialties on the menu. I tried the White Chili, and it was simply delicious with the cheese melting over the shredded chicken and the white beans. The Chicken, Apple & Bacon Quesadilla I had was also pretty tasty. I had never thought of mixing Granny Smith apples into a quesadilla. This is something I’m definitely going to try again!
108 S Main St // +16369477007
Touted as the best pizza and as one of the best Italian restaurants St Charles MO, I would agree. Italian immigrants started Frankie Tocco’s Pizzeria, and they have handed down their 100-year-old recipes to family members that continue the cooking traditions today. The restaurant is small, with six booths and a scattering of tables in the center—photographs of Frank James Dominic Tocco and his family line the walls with Italian decorations.
There are plenty of traditional Italian offerings like Meatball Grinder, Linguine, Lasagna, and Sicilian Arancini. I was able to try an Arancini made with cooked ham and cheese. Frankie Tocco’s Hand-Made Arancini is made with Sicilian ground beef and peas wrapped with Arborio rice, hand-breaded and fried. Try this giant rice ball; it will surprise you. It surprised me and it’s one of the reasons why it’s one of the best restaurants in St Charles MO.
I ordered a simple single topping pizza with pepperoni added. Their pizzas are a classic Saint Louis style with Provel Cheese and a thin crust. You can get Mozzarella, but you must remember to ask for it. The pizza comes out quickly and is cut into square slices. I bit into the first slice, which was piping hot, but oh so good. If you are into a more adventurous pizza, try the Tocco Special, which has Italian sausage, pepperoni, Canadian bacon, mushroom, and onion. Guaranteed it will be mouthwatering. Frankie’s is definitely one of the best places to eat in St Charles mo.
302 N Main St // +16367240978
After munching on all the great food in St. Charles, head to Sugar Bot Creamery which definitely tops my list of the best restaurants in St Charles MO. This old-time soda fountain ice cream shop is a blast from the past. Recently opened in their new location, their ice cream is made in-house with 16 flavors that rotate seasonally. You won’t find traditional ice cream flavors here. Instead, you can choose from flavors like Oatmeal Cookie Dough, Madagascar Vanilla Bean, Perfect Pecan Shortbread, and my favorite Belgian Waffle Wonder, which is Sweet Cream Ice Cream blended with Belgian Waffle Bits & Chocolate Chips.
But, the Creamery Specialties are their homemade baked goods that are made from scratch daily. Plus, you can get these baked goods added to the Main Street Monster. This decadent, over-the-top Milkshake has everything in it, which does change periodically and could easily be a meal in itself. I watched one young lady get it made for her birthday. Wow! These Main Street Monsters are something else!
Best Restaurants In St Charles MO: Summary
If you are planning on visiting the St. Louis area, stop and check out historic St. Charles. With all the food choices, you can eat for days and never have the same meal twice. Whether it is a hearty BBQ, sandwich and soup combo, or a tasty dessert, you can find it all here in St. Charles. Come and start your next out west adventure in St. Charles, just like Lewis & Clark did. You won’t be disappointed and definitely won’t leave hungry!
Which of these St Charles restaurants will you try first? Let us know in the comments section below!
Heather is a freelance writer and photographer from Detroit. She is the owner of Raulersongirlstravel, a travel website sharing her adventures and photographs from around the world. She loves SLOW travel, getting to know the local culture, and always exploring with her camera. She has been published in several publications.