20 St. Louis Restaurants That Are Always Worth the Wait

From months-long waiting lists to lines out the door, some restaurants always seem to be flush with diners. How do you know if you should spend your precious time waiting for a table, or pass in favor of a go-to spot where you know you can walk right in? We've rounded up this list of St. Louis restaurants that are always worth the wait so you have an answer to that question -- and so you don't miss out on some of the area's best food.

From months-long waiting lists to lines out the door, some restaurants always seem to be flush with diners. How do you know if you should spend your precious time waiting for a table, or pass in favor of a go-to spot where you know you can walk right in? We've rounded up this list of St. Louis restaurants that are always worth the wait so you have an answer to that question -- and so you don't miss out on some of the area's best food.

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20 St. Louis Restaurants That Are Always Worth the Wait
Southwest Diner
6803 Southwest Ave., 314-260-7244
For a Southwestern twist on your typical brunch food, take a trip to Southwest Diner. You won't mind a wait here -- Southwest Diner has turned a bus into the ultimate chill-out spot, complete with unique art and complimentary coffee. Photo courtesy of Instagram / hallieeeeee.
Southwest Diner
6803 Southwest Ave., 314-260-7244

For a Southwestern twist on your typical brunch food, take a trip to Southwest Diner. You won't mind a wait here -- Southwest Diner has turned a bus into the ultimate chill-out spot, complete with unique art and complimentary coffee. Photo courtesy of Instagram / hallieeeeee.
Must try: New Mexican Breakfast Burrito.
Photo by Jennifer Silverberg.
Must try: New Mexican Breakfast Burrito.

Photo by Jennifer Silverberg.
Lona's Lil Eats
2199 California Ave., 314-925-1888
Don't let the name deceive you -- the flavors coming from this fast-casual restaurant are anything but little. St. Louis' go-to for Asian comfort food, Lona's Lil Eats offers cuisine with influences from Thailand, China and Vietnam. These menu items don't just taste great, either -- made with fresh ingredients and no MSG, they'll make you feel great, too. Photo of owner Lona Luo by Jennifer Silverberg.
Lona's Lil Eats
2199 California Ave., 314-925-1888

Don't let the name deceive you -- the flavors coming from this fast-casual restaurant are anything but little. St. Louis' go-to for Asian comfort food, Lona's Lil Eats offers cuisine with influences from Thailand, China and Vietnam. These menu items don't just taste great, either -- made with fresh ingredients and no MSG, they'll make you feel great, too. Photo of owner Lona Luo by Jennifer Silverberg.
Must try: The handmade dumplings.
Photo by Jennifer Silverberg.
Must try: The handmade dumplings.

Photo by Jennifer Silverberg.
Black Thorn Pub & Pizza
3735 Wyoming St., 314-776-0534
You wouldn't think that some of the city's best pizza is being served in a bar -- but it's true, and its home is Black Thorn Pub. You may have to wait an hour for this deep dish pie of heaven to cook, but that lag time will be justified once you take a bite. That pizza, plus the dive-y atmosphere, will keep you coming back for more. Photo by Doyle Murphy.
Black Thorn Pub & Pizza
3735 Wyoming St., 314-776-0534

You wouldn't think that some of the city's best pizza is being served in a bar -- but it's true, and its home is Black Thorn Pub. You may have to wait an hour for this deep dish pie of heaven to cook, but that lag time will be justified once you take a bite. That pizza, plus the dive-y atmosphere, will keep you coming back for more. Photo by Doyle Murphy.
Must try: The 14-inch Chicago-style supreme, Black Thorn's signature pizza.
Photo by Jenna Murphy.
Must try: The 14-inch Chicago-style supreme, Black Thorn's signature pizza.

Photo by Jenna Murphy.
Mission Taco Joint
Locations in the Central West End, Soulard and on the Delmar Loop
Mission Taco Joint is always busy -- and with good reason. These tacos are on a whole other level, with creative fillings such as duck and cactus in addition to your more traditional chicken and steak. The burritos and tortas are also great. Download the NoWait app, and you can get in line for a table here without even leaving your sofa. Photo by Jennifer Silverberg.
Mission Taco Joint
Locations in the Central West End, Soulard and on the Delmar Loop

Mission Taco Joint is always busy -- and with good reason. These tacos are on a whole other level, with creative fillings such as duck and cactus in addition to your more traditional chicken and steak. The burritos and tortas are also great. Download the NoWait app, and you can get in line for a table here without even leaving your sofa. Photo by Jennifer Silverberg.
Must try: Beef Brisket Birria.
Photo by Jennifer Silverberg.
Must try: Beef Brisket Birria.

Photo by Jennifer Silverberg.
Half & Half
8133 Maryland Ave., 314-725-0719
Go to Half & Half for brunch, and you may wonder if the rest of the city decided to join you. But that's because everyone loves it, making it a true St. Louis staple. From savory to sweet, Half & Half has options for everyone. Photo by Jennifer Silverberg.
Half & Half
8133 Maryland Ave., 314-725-0719

Go to Half & Half for brunch, and you may wonder if the rest of the city decided to join you. But that's because everyone loves it, making it a true St. Louis staple. From savory to sweet, Half & Half has options for everyone. Photo by Jennifer Silverberg.