Ballwin, Missouri is just 25 minutes outside of St. Louis, a little town favored by families bringing up children and quiet, suburban good life. You might think it wouldn’t be worthy of great dining praise but try any one of these 10 fantastic restaurants and you’ll definitely change your mind.
Looking for a bit of Italian flair in Ballwin? Candicci’s is a family-run restaurant and catering company that has been in business for over 35 years now. With that kind of history, they must be doing something right. The menu offers expected Italian-American favorites, with portions big enough to handle any appetite. Feast on chicken gorgonzola with zingy cheese and shitake mushrooms or a plate of tender veal saltimbocca with salty prosciutto. You could also enjoy a thin-crust pizza with a variety of flavors and topping options. What makes Candicci’s really special is an on-site garden in which they grow fresh herbs and lettuces during the summer months to use in the restaurant.
Though the name is a bit cheeky, the restaurant is anything but. Charlotte’s Rib gets down and dirty with seriously great barbecue. Along with slow cooking and smoking a variety of juicy meats, the restaurant makes a number of barbecue sauces in house. Stop in for a heaping plate of baby back ribs, pulled pork, or beef brisket. On your way out, buy a bottle of their famous BBQ sauce to try on something at home. You’ll be glad you did. Some reviewers even claim Charlotte’s Rib to be the best BBQ in all of St. Louis. With that kind of endorsement, it’s worth a try.
Circle 7 Ranch is the perfect place for a relaxed, but fun, night out. Relatively new to the Ballwin restaurant scene, this spot is both a restaurant and taphouse. The interior is decorated with a distinctly casual, pub-like vibe, and the menu reflects homestyle classics that are sure to remind you of a Sunday afternoon at grandma’s. A unique feature at many of the tables is a personal table tap: a private tap so that guests can pour their own glass of cold craft beer without leaving their seat. So belly up to the bar with an empty glass and an empty stomach: they will both be full before you know it.
St. Louis locals are certainly loyal, having supported a number of great restaurants for decades. Faraci Pizza is one of those, having been in business for over 48 years. The Faraci brothers continue the legacy of their parents by selecting top quality ingredients and using their grandmother’s time-tested recipes. It’s a great place to go with friends or go alone for a casual night out. The service is warm and friendly, and you’ll be welcomed into their family right away.
Fresh on the heels of success with another Italian restaurant in St. Louis, the owners of Mia Sorella brought their magic touch to Ballwin. What they created was a welcoming and neighborly restaurant, serving the best Italian rustic fare. Pizza, pasta, and meat dishes are the stars of the menu, but appetizers and sides are not to be missed. Start your meal off with a fresh beef carpaccio or an order of warm and gooey toasted ravioli. If you happen to stop by for a quick bite and a drink later in the evening, the bar menu offers Mia Sorella’s take on a classic Sicilian street food: arancini. Rice, mushrooms, cheese, and truffles are rolled into little balls and deep fried, creating a dish that is out of this world.
Sometimes, a great plate of Mexican food, without any frills, is exactly what you need. Mi Lupita has been serving just that for over 20 years. This restaurant is an unsung hero of Ballwin: everyone’s been there, but it doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves. Inside, the restaurant is painted with colorful murals, and the service is always cheerful and caring. Guests love Mi Lupita for its simple and honest take on classic Mexican dishes. House favorites include street-style tacos, pork tamales, and a fresh seafood ceviche. Order a tangy margarita, or try a cold frozen mango margarita, and enjoy your spicy culinary trip south of the border.
Depending on which map you’re looking at, this restaurant may be just outside of Ballwin city limits. But it’s good enough to claim it for the town’s own. Senor Pique is a family-run, lively Mexican restaurant, serving authentic fare. Customers love this place for its generous portions and overall affordability. You can feed your family or a whole group of people without breaking the bank. But don’t think this is just cheap Mexican food, as you get a whole lot of flavor for your money. From spicy tacos al pastor to handmade guacamole, you are sure to get something fresh at Senor Pique.
If you are trying to appease a group with differing palates, St Louis Taco and Pita Grill is just the place. A good majority of the restaurant’s menu are Greek dishes, but you will also find American classics too. But it doesn’t just stop there; you can even get Mexican dishes, such as tacos and tamales.
Tucker’s Place is another long-standing establishment in the St. Louis area. The restaurant has been so successful that it has grown over the last 30 years to include three locations. At the Ballwin location, you can expect honest-to-goodness American country cuisine. The shining stars of the restaurant’s menu are the stick-to-your-ribs entrées try a filet mignon, 20-ounce porterhouse, or a thick-cut pork chop. The service is always attentive, and the atmosphere makes you want to come back time and again. During good weather, enjoy your meal on the romantically lit outdoor patio.
The Wolf Cafe is a breath of fresh air in Ballwin. Dedicated to quality ingredients and mindful sourcing, this restaurant brings together great food and a clear conscience. Concerned with all things sustainable and earth friendly, the meat is purchased from ethical farms, the produce is locally sourced and seasonal, and local craft beers flow on tap. Stop by in the morning for coffee and a pastry made from scratch; the lunch and dinner menus offer soups, salads, sandwiches, and burgers. The Wolf Cafe also hosts great local live music acts too.