You don't need to be a famous explorer to set out and discover St Louis in Missouri has a unique pizza culture. If Lewis and Clarke had been around in the 21st century, and knew about pizza in St Louis, they may well not have been in such a hurry to leave. If you're new to the city and haven't tasted a St Louis-style pizza before, don't leave without trying one. No matter what important expedition you've got planned, cross it off your agenda and make time to eat, because truly authentic St Louis-style pizzas are hard to come by anywhere else. St Louis-style pizza appeared on the city's food scene in the mid-40s and was created by an opera singer who preferred to make his own rather than sing for his supper. Whether he used a processed cheese called Provel because he was short on mozzarella, no-one knows. When restaurants started using his recipe though, it was an instant and lasting success.
It's not just the use of a different lactic topping on a St Louis-style pizza that sets it apart from your standard disc of cheese and tomato covered dough. St Louis-style pizza incorporates big differences from the base right up to the way it's presented. Yeast is used as a raising agent in the majority of pizza dough recipes. It's what makes those bubbles appear in the crust when the pizza is cooked. Not in St Louis-style pizzas though. They're yeast-free so the base is extra crunchy compared to what you'd expect in a normal pizza. While the traditional topping might be bacon, bacon and even more bacon, pizzerias in St Louis have learned to adapt with the times and these days just about any topping goes. And quite often the more, the better. One thing that hasn't altered, and probably never will, is the way a St Louis-style pizza is cut before serving. Forget triangular-shaped wedges. A St Louis-style pizza, even though it's round, gets cut into squares just like a Grandma pizza does.
When you get a delivery pizza in St Louis, you want one that lives up to expectations when it arrives. To coin a phrase, Farotto's on Manchester Road know how to deliver. The exterior of Farotto's might not win any awards for architectural designs; it's a bit gray and unassuming, but it's what comes out of the kitchen that counts. Get a pie delivered in St Louis from Farotto's and you know you'll get the real deal when it comes to St Louis-style pizza. That consistency of quality has seen this family-run business grow and grow until they needed to expand their establishment to accommodate all of their repeat clients. And who wouldn't go back again for a Vinny Special topped with homemade meatballs or a very sophisticated Black and Bleau with blackened chicken and blue cheese? St Louis-style pizza is a mainstay on Farrotto's menu, but it's not all they do. Their entrees, salads, and pasta dishes are top-notch too.
Failoni's on Manchester Avenue has been trading for over a hundred years. That's some record when it comes to making pizza. Go there for a take-out pizza in St Louis and you can be assured of getting the very best made by hands with inherited pizza genius. Failoni's cook their St Louis-style pizzas in a brick oven. It's a method that ensures that super crispy base is as crunchy as it can get. Their pizzas are so tasty that even a simple St Louis-style Margherita with just sauce and cheese features on the house specials menu. It's not only the food at Failoni's that keeps their clients happy. The pizzeria has a warm, bar-like atmosphere and there's frequent live music for entertainment. Drop in at Failoni's for a take-out pizza in St Louis and you may well find yourself deciding on eating in instead.
Chesterfield is a city to the west of St Louis with plenty to explore and one of the most fascinating places there is: Faust Park. The park is a great place for a day out and everyone will love seeing the butterfly house, antique carousel, and historic village followed by a hike on the park's walking trail. Finish up with pizza at Stef's in the center of town and you'll head home feeling like true expeditionists.
St Charles may be only a twenty-five-minute drive from Downtown St Louis, but head there and you'll be in Missouri wine country. If you're not into touring vineyards, a walk around St Charles will introduce you to its historic center full of specialist antique stores. When you don't feel inclined to walk, take a carriage ride instead then stop off at Talayna's on the main street for a Wagon Wheel pizza with all the trimmings.
One of the main reasons people head over to Florissant, a city to the north of St Louis, is to visit the Pelican Island Natural Area. It takes a boat trip over from the Sioux Passage Park to get to the six-mile-long island in the Missouri River. It's an ideal location for bird watching or fishing and when you've had enough of the outdoors, Pirrone's on Florissant's Washington Street is a great spot to stop for a St Louis-style pizza.
Best pizza in St Louis!
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