Benton Park: An Updated Guide to Restaurants in the Benton Park Neighborhood of St. Louis

St. Louis' neighborhoods are gems in their own right: full of history, great people and, as far as Gut Check is concerned, fantastic food. Each week we'll take you into a specific neighborhood and point you in the direction of the best places to grab some bites.

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This week we wander the old-school streets of Benton Park, lined with charming homes just across I-55 from the international HQ of beer juggernaut Anheuser-Busch InBev. Nestled in the neighborhood are some great brunch spots, as well as a white-tablecloth gem helmed by a James Beard Award-nominated chef, a beloved sandwich destination and a Brazilian joint.

See also:
- South Grand: An Updated Guide to Restaurants
- The Hill: An Updated Guide to Restaurants

First up, Sidney Street Cafe...

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Laura Miller
Sidney Street Cafe
(2000 Sidney Street; 314-771-5777)
Ten years after Kevin Nashan took over the helm of Sidney Street Cafe, this St. Louis institution in the city's Benton Park neighborhood remains one of the area's premier dining destinations. A few of the classic Sidney Street dishes remain (steak wasabi, filet Béarnaise), but diners will have a hard time resisting the contemporary American approach, market- and chef-driven, that Nashan and his crack team of cooks follow. Look for stunning dishes like sorghum-smoked sweetbreads or foie gras with grapefruit gelee, lamb porchetta or rabbit rissole. Reservations are recommended -- and are a must on the weekend.

See also:
- James Beard Foundation Announces Award Semifinalists: Gerard Craft, Kevin Nashan in Running for "Best Chef: Midwest"

Hodak's Restaurant & Bar
(2100 Gravois Avenue; 314-776-7292)
A St. Louis institution so popular you have to line up on a ramp, amusement park-style, while you wait for a table. Fried chicken is the main attraction here -- more than a few claim it's the city's best. For $7.35 you get a half-chicken fried to a crisp, golden brown, the surface uniformly crunchy, the meat tender. Hodak's also features fried fish, chicken-fried steak and even fried frog legs. Those seeking a non-fried meal will find steaks and barbecue as well as sandwiches, burgers and daily lunch specials.

Location Info

Sidney Street Cafe

2000 Sidney St., St. Louis, MO

Category: Restaurant

Hodak's Restaurant & Bar

2100 Gravois Ave., St. Louis, MO

Category: Music

Riverbend Restaurant & Bar

701 Utah St., St. Louis, MO

Category: Music

The Mud House

2101 Cherokee St., St. Louis, MO

Category: General

Blues City Deli

2438 McNair Ave., St. Louis, MO

Category: Music

Benton Park Café

1900 Arsenal St., St. Louis, MO

Category: Restaurant

Yemanja Brasil

2900 Missouri Ave., St. Louis, MO

Category: Music

Lemp Mansion Restaurant & Inn

3322 DeMenil Place, St. Louis, MO

Category: Music

Frazer's Restaurant & Lounge

1811 Pestalozzi St., St. Louis, MO

Category: Restaurant

Kevin's Place

2111 Cherokee St., St. Louis, MO

Category: Restaurant

Luvy Duvy's Cafe

2321 Arsenal St., St. Louis, MO

Category: Music

My Voice Nation Help
6 comments
ddfry3
ddfry3

Ernestos is indeed a gem, a winning combo of good food and drink, reasonable prices, and convivial atmosphere.

ellav8or
ellav8or

I do wish Ernesto's would get more recognition.  What a darling little place with great atmosphere and the best outdoor seating in Benton Park.

IanFroeb
IanFroeb

@ellav8or Thanks for the comment. Ernesto's exclusion was an oversight on my part when putting together the list of restaurants for this post. I've added it.

jeffrey.trzeciak
jeffrey.trzeciak

@ellav8or I agree!  Ernesto's is wonderful, particularly in the summertime when you can sit out on the patio.  I love it!

ddfry3
ddfry3

Agreed, Ernesto's is a great spot with great food and drink at a very reasonable price.

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