April 28, 2018

35 Family-Owned Restaurants in St. Louis That Stand the Test of Time

Restaurants come and go, but not these classics. These family-owned restaurants were built to last and they survive still because of the love and dedication of their proprietors -- who either continue to own them, or have their descendants own them, no matter how many years have passed. Many of them showcase the food of the family’s home country and some of them were built just so they could be passed down for generations. If you want something with history or something of quality, your search ends here. These are the special places that are carrying on grandma’s recipe.

Restaurants come and go, but not these classics. These family-owned restaurants were built to last and they survive still because of the love and dedication of their proprietors -- who either continue to own them, or have their descendants own them, no matter how many years have passed. Many of them showcase the food of the family’s home country and some of them were built just so they could be passed down for generations. If you want something with history or something of quality, your search ends here. These are the special places that are carrying on grandma’s recipe.

Scroll down to view images
Crown Candy Kitchen
1401 St. Louis Ave.
The beloved candy shop and soda fountain was founded in 1913 and has stayed in the same family and in the same building ever since. This St. Louis institution is famous for its candies, its malts and its "Heart Stoping BLT"s.
Photo courtesy of Keith Yahl

Crown Candy Kitchen

1401 St. Louis Ave.
The beloved candy shop and soda fountain was founded in 1913 and has stayed in the same family and in the same building ever since. This St. Louis institution is famous for its candies, its malts and its "Heart Stoping BLT"s.

Photo courtesy of Keith Yahl
Ted Drewes
6726 Chippewa St.
Tennis champion Ted Drewes Sr. launched this St. Louis institution in 1930, adding additional stands in 1931 and 1941. Four generations later, the frozen custard stand has two thriving locations, selling ice cream and Christmas trees with equal aplomb to huge south-city crowds.
Photo courtesy of Philip Leara / Flickr

Ted Drewes

6726 Chippewa St.
Tennis champion Ted Drewes Sr. launched this St. Louis institution in 1930, adding additional stands in 1931 and 1941. Four generations later, the frozen custard stand has two thriving locations, selling ice cream and Christmas trees with equal aplomb to huge south-city crowds.

Photo courtesy of Philip Leara / Flickr
Pat Connolly Tavern
6400 Oakland Ave.
Joe Jovanovich's maternal grandfather founded the iconic Dogtown establishment 75 years ago, his mom and dad eventually took over the business, and he grew up in the place. At age 11, Jovanovich's world came crashing down at the age of eleven when his dad passed away suddenly from an aneurysm. Six years later his mom sold the bar. But a few years ago, Jovanovich and his mom bought back the Pat Connolly Tavern and restored it to its original glory. - Cheryl Baehr
Photo courtesy of Kelly Gueck

Pat Connolly Tavern

6400 Oakland Ave.
Joe Jovanovich's maternal grandfather founded the iconic Dogtown establishment 75 years ago, his mom and dad eventually took over the business, and he grew up in the place. At age 11, Jovanovich's world came crashing down at the age of eleven when his dad passed away suddenly from an aneurysm. Six years later his mom sold the bar. But a few years ago, Jovanovich and his mom bought back the Pat Connolly Tavern and restored it to its original glory. - Cheryl Baehr

Photo courtesy of Kelly Gueck
Cafe Napoli
7752 Forsyth Blvd.
This family-owned place was founded by Tony and Kathy Pietoso in 1989. Located in Clayton, it's a great place for a business lunch or after-work cocktails. Tony Pietoso is an omnipresent force in this coolly modern dining room. The restaurant offers a relatively short list of pastas complemented by Italian standards, along with exquisite signature dishes.
Photo courtesy of Stephen Fairbanks

Cafe Napoli

7752 Forsyth Blvd.
This family-owned place was founded by Tony and Kathy Pietoso in 1989. Located in Clayton, it's a great place for a business lunch or after-work cocktails. Tony Pietoso is an omnipresent force in this coolly modern dining room. The restaurant offers a relatively short list of pastas complemented by Italian standards, along with exquisite signature dishes.

Photo courtesy of Stephen Fairbanks
Adriana's
5101 Shaw Ave.
Adriana's on the Hill has been a sandwich institution for the past nineteen years, owned and run by Adriana Fazio and her daughters, Suzanne, Dianna and Tia. Their sandwiches are an explosion of tastes, and best-suited for those who are prepared to get a little messy with their lunch. - Tara Mahadevan
Photo courtesy of Tara Mahadevan

Adriana's

5101 Shaw Ave.
Adriana's on the Hill has been a sandwich institution for the past nineteen years, owned and run by Adriana Fazio and her daughters, Suzanne, Dianna and Tia. Their sandwiches are an explosion of tastes, and best-suited for those who are prepared to get a little messy with their lunch. - Tara Mahadevan

Photo courtesy of Tara Mahadevan
Biggie's
3332 Watson Rd.
The menu offers something for everybody — pizza, sandwiches (including one of the best veal parms around) and pasta. Biggie's isn't merely a great neighborhood restaurant but its own neighborhood, a place where anyone can feel a part of the community.
Photo courtesy of Kate Bockhold

Biggie's

3332 Watson Rd.
The menu offers something for everybody — pizza, sandwiches (including one of the best veal parms around) and pasta. Biggie's isn't merely a great neighborhood restaurant but its own neighborhood, a place where anyone can feel a part of the community.

Photo courtesy of Kate Bockhold
Erio's
951 Jungermann Rd.
Don't let this restaurant's unfortunate location between a Dollar Tree and a Subway scare you off. Joan and Pete Pulizzi serve up word-class Sicilian food so good that you'll think you're dreaming.
Photo courtesy of Google Maps

Erio's

951 Jungermann Rd.
Don't let this restaurant's unfortunate location between a Dollar Tree and a Subway scare you off. Joan and Pete Pulizzi serve up word-class Sicilian food so good that you'll think you're dreaming.

Photo courtesy of Google Maps
Al's Steakhouse
1200 N. 1st St.
Al's is special. Opened in 1925, it's the city's oldest, single-family, locally owned and operated restaurant still in its original location. This is the mother of all family restaurants.
Photo by John Schoemehl

Al's Steakhouse

1200 N. 1st St.
Al's is special. Opened in 1925, it's the city's oldest, single-family, locally owned and operated restaurant still in its original location. This is the mother of all family restaurants.

Photo by John Schoemehl
King and I
3155 S. Grand Ave.
Located at the corner of South Grand Avenue and Juniata Street, the space provides prime people-watching or simply a comfortable spot to hunker down for a hot meal. Open since 1980, Suchin Prapaisilp's restaurant specializes in Thai cuisine with influences from Chinese, Vietnamese and Japanese eats. - Mabel Suen
Photo courtesy of Mabel Suen

King and I

3155 S. Grand Ave.
Located at the corner of South Grand Avenue and Juniata Street, the space provides prime people-watching or simply a comfortable spot to hunker down for a hot meal. Open since 1980, Suchin Prapaisilp's restaurant specializes in Thai cuisine with influences from Chinese, Vietnamese and Japanese eats. - Mabel Suen

Photo courtesy of Mabel Suen
Banh Mi So
4071 S. Grand Blvd.
Thomas and Lynn Truong serve the area's best spring rolls. And egg rolls. And charred pork banh mi. And, well, basically everything. - Cheryl Baehr
Photo courtesy of Cheryl Baehr

Banh Mi So

4071 S. Grand Blvd.
Thomas and Lynn Truong serve the area's best spring rolls. And egg rolls. And charred pork banh mi. And, well, basically everything. - Cheryl Baehr

Photo courtesy of Cheryl Baehr