December 30, 2022

St. Louis Restaurants to Look Forward to in 2023 [PHOTOS]


A new year means plenty of new things, and St. Louis' dining scene is no exception.

Let's face it, 2022 has been rough, and we've seen a lot of restaurant closures. But there are some grand returns slated for 2023, and some exciting new prospects on the way.

Food editor Cheryl Baehr has compiled her list of the 10 Most Anticipated Restaurants of 2023. She writes, "Despite the many challenges that persist in the hospitality business, St. Louis diners have reason to be optimistic about the coming year. Longtime favorites are poised to expand, newcomers are planting roots, and it's entirely possible that the area will, once and for all, get a respectable bagel shop."

After Cheryl's top 10, we also selected some additional restaurants to look forward to in the new year. Don't forget to pick up our January 4 issue on newsstands for a complete set of predictions about what's to come in 2023, or visit our online Bold Predictions issue here.
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Cheryl Baehr
Cheryl Baehr
Katie’s Pizza & Pasta Osteria at Ballpark Village
Cardinals fans have reason to celebrate the 2023 season beyond Wainwright's return to the mound: Katie's Pizza & Pasta Osteria, the beloved Italian-inspired restaurant owned by Katie Lee Collier and Ted Collier, will open its third area location at Ballpark Village, giving baseball fans a delicious way to set a base before all of that draft-beer imbibing at the stadium. Game day just got more delicious.
RFT File Photo
RFT File Photo
Amighetti's
Since 1916, Amighetti's has been a fixture of the Hill's sandwich scene, garnering national acclaim for Mrs. Amighetti's special namesake sandwich — a heaping pile of ham, roast beef and salami served with St. Louis-style cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, pepperoncini and zesty dressing on wonderfully crusty bread. Under the leadership of Anthony Favazza, the restaurant has been operating out of its Rock Hill storefront since 2016, but it's always been his dream — and the dream of Mrs. Amighetti — to one day bring the iconic shop back to the heart of St. Louis' Italian American community. Last year, Favazza made that dream a reality by purchasing the old Hanneke Hardware and Industrial Supply building on Southwest and Macklind, which he is in the process of renovating into a brand-new Amighetti's. Bonus, Favazza's other storied St. Louis brand, Hank's cheesecakes, is also slated to operate out of the same storefront. The Hill has never been more delicious.
Instagram
Photo courtesy of Instagram / bbthomas89.
Benton Park Cafe
Last April, Benton Park Cafe cofounder Jessica Lenzen shuttered the neighborhood eatery in preparation for a renovation. It never reopened, and as time passed, Lenzen realized that she was not so sure whether or not she had it in her to continue to operate the business.

Enter Elicia Eskew and Gavin Haslett, two Benton Park Cafe regulars and local businesspeople who were looking for an opportunity to invest in their community. The two are working toward reopening the beloved spot sometime this year and promise that they see themselves as stewards of the restaurant's legacy, not change agents. As evidence? Their commitment to keep the photograph of late cofounder John Caton in its position of prominence in the dining room.
Mabel Suen
Photo credit: Mabel Suen
Sado
After two decades of bringing delectable Japanese cuisine to the St. Louis region from its west-county storefront, Nippon Tei (food pictured above) is shutting its doors, moving to the Hill and rebranding itself as Sado, a sushi restaurant and Japanese grill that will be a culinary incubator for chef and owner Nick Bognar. Longtime Nippon Tei fans will be happy to see some old favorites on the menu, but Bognar emphasizes that this is a reinvention, which will take the former menu as a jumping-off point to do new and exciting things.
Photo by Eric Frazier
Photo by Eric Frazier
Bonito Bar
As if partners Natasha Kwan and Rick Roloff haven't already made their stretch of University City a food and beverage hot spot, the Frida's and Diego's owners have plans to convert the space between their two eateries into the forthcoming hot spot Bonito Bar.

Though Bonito Bar will have a separate identity from Frida's, guests can enter the new spot through a glass door inside the restaurant, where they will encounter a 12-to-14-seat bar featuring seasonal cocktails that utilize fresh-squeezed juices. Kwan and Roloff have made a name for their impeccable design aesthetic as much as for their delicious food, so expect stylish digs that evoke a Miami vibe.
Greg Rannells
Greg Rannells
Deli Divine
St. Louis is poised to get a proper Jewish deli courtesy of Ben Poremba. The chef and restaurateur has partnered with the nonprofit hub Delmar Divine to open Deli Divine, a delicatessen that will feature pastrami, corned beef, babka, bagels, lox and Poremba's famous egg salad. But for Poremba, the impetus for opening the spot has less to do with operating a deli and more to do with honoring the neighborhood's Jewish heritage. What better way to do that with such edible comfort?
Courtesy of Maryland House
Courtesy of Maryland House
Maryland House
Soon, the long-vacant Mandarin Lounge space will be converted into a modern eating and drinking establishment, courtesy of Kevin Brennan, the Central West End bar operator whose Brennan's has firmly established itself as the tony neighborhood's Cheers. Brennan hopes to capture some of that Brennan's magic at the forthcoming lounge and events venue; if you've seen the swanky renderings, there's no question he will soon have another hit on his hands.
Courtesy of Videira Wine Shop & Bar
Courtesy of Videira Wine Shop & Bar
Videira Wine Shop & Bar
For years, Mykel McIntosh has had a passion for the beverage side of the hospitality industry, honing her craft alongside Ceaira Jackson and Misha Sampson at Bait while doing her own research to become an expert in her craft. Now, she's putting all of that knowledge together at Videira Wine Shop & Bar, a modern, stylish speakeasy that will have a unique selection of wines by the glass, craft cocktails and thoughtful noshes. Located in a new development in the soon-to-be-bustling midtown, McIntosh hopes Videira will be the place people think of when they are looking for somewhere to go for after-dinner drinks or a nice, relaxing glass of wine on the patio.
Mabel Suen
Nexus Cultural Cuisine
Food and beverage powerhouses Ceaira Jackson and Misha Sampson have been bringing St. Louis excellent dining experiences, first at their Soulard restaurant Fleur de Lilies and later at the Central West End seafood hot spot Bait. Now, the pair are poised to again dazzle diners with their forthcoming Nexus Cultural Cuisine, a cross-cultural tapas experience that will open in the middle of all the Midtown action. Look for international flavors, exciting cocktails and a lively, lounge-like experience that is sure to be hit number three for the duo.
Looking Meadow Coffee
Founded three years ago out of a vintage camper, Looking Meadow Coffee has become a staple of Tower Grove Farmers' Market. Soon, the vegan-friendly coffee and baked goods brand will have its own storefront, located in the former Stone Spiral coffeehouse in a residential part of Maplewood. Look for expanded food and drink offerings and even a host of adult beverages when owner Jaime Hermand secures a liquor license for the forthcoming shop.
Doyle Murphy
Looking Meadow Coffee
Founded three years ago out of a vintage camper, Looking Meadow Coffee has become a staple of Tower Grove Farmers' Market. Soon, the vegan-friendly coffee and baked goods brand will have its own storefront, located in the former Stone Spiral coffeehouse in a residential part of Maplewood. Look for expanded food and drink offerings and even a host of adult beverages when owner Jaime Hermand secures a liquor license for the forthcoming shop.