Contrary to popular belief, there is more to pizza in St. Louis than Provel-covered squares. The last few years have been filled with examples of Neapolitan perfection as Italian kitchens around town fire up blazing-hot ovens to deliver us to quality wood-fired pies. However, when it comes to New York-style pizza — what one might argue is the quintessence of the American form — St. Louis has a reputation as having a dearth of slices, at least if you ask any East Coast transplant. These five places offer a delicious counterpoint to that narrative.
For the past four years, Mitch Frost has been serving up excellent New York-style slices at his Grove hot spot, Pie Guy (4189 Manchester Avenue, 314-899-0444). Frost's pies capture that greasy ease of the Big Apple's grab-and-go joints, though they actually are a reflection of his painstaking research and experimentation.
Punk-rock vibes permeate Pizza Head's (3196 South Grand Boulevard, 314-266-5400) South Grand storefront, capturing the big city's pizza game as much as its East Village's music vibe — though it's hard to be angsty when you're noshing on the amazing white pie with spinach and artichokes.
A local staple since the mid-'90s, Racanelli's (multiple locations including 8161 Big Bend Boulevard, Webster Groves; 314-963-1111) is synonymous with New York-style pie in St. Louis thanks to owner John Racanelli's family's Italian American restaurant background, which traces its roots to the Bronx.
Founder Frank LaFata opened the original Pizza-A-Go-Go (6703 Scanlan Avenue, 314-781-1234) in 1967 in an old Gaslight Square bar called Whiskey-A-Go-Go, which is how the spot got its name. Since then, it's been one of the city's most beloved New York-style pizzerias.
Ask any New York transplant where to go for pizza, and after they stop laughing, they will all have the same answer: La Pizza (8137 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-725-1230). The tiny University City shop is the area's gold standard, which is why calling ahead is a must.
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