Ten Best Hot and Spicy Foods in St. Louis

        Xin Lin, owner of Famous Szechuan Pavilion, sits for a moment to enjoy lunch. | Jennifer Silverberg

Yu Shan Pork at Famous Szechuan Pavilion
(8516 Olive Boulevard; 314-685-0888)

If you haven't visited Famous Szechuan Pavilion and tried the incredible dishes there, then you can't say you've experienced the full range of culinary delights that St. Louis has to offer. For a shot of straight-up capsaicin, try the yu shan pork: slivers of meat and chopped scallions and red chiles in chile oil, the savory blend of pig and garlic quickly giving way to a heat so powerful that leaves one begging for a pain-killing remedy.

       Lamb vindaloo at India Palace. | Ian Froeb

Lamb Vindaloo at India Palace
(4534 North Lindbergh Boulevard, Bridgeton; 314-731-3333)

Vindaloo traditionally offers a distinctive sour or tart note. Whether India Palace's version provides this through vinegar or tamarind paste or something else entirely, it is here in the precise proportion needed to balance out both the hot and the savory elements. The lamb vindaloo at India Palace is beautifully balanced. The heat of red chiles is strong -- just look at the dish's brilliant red color -- but not brutally so. It dampens your forehead, for sure, but never overwhelms the interplay of the complex spice blend and the thickly cut and richly flavored lamb.

Location Info

Guerrilla Street Food

@guerrillastreet, St. Louis, MO

Category: Restaurant

Kim Cheese

13435 Olive Blvd., Chesterfield, MO

Category: Restaurant

Fork & Stix

549 Rosedale Ave., St. Louis, MO

Category: Restaurant

Seoul Taco

6665 Delmar Blvd, University City, MO

Category: Restaurant

Famous Szechuan Pavilion

8615 Olive Blvd., St. Louis, MO

Category: Restaurant

India Palace

4534 N. Lindbergh Blvd., Bridgeton, MO

Category: Restaurant

Blueberry Hill

6504 Delmar Blvd., University City, MO

Category: Music

Señor Pique

14870 Manchester Road, Ballwin, MO

Category: Restaurant

Shu Feng Restaurant

8435 Olive Blvd., University City, MO

Category: Restaurant

Porter's Fried Chicken

3628 S. Big Bend Blvd., Maplewood, MO

Category: Restaurant

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