The Hill – St Louis

We learned a lot today about this very interesting and tight knit community on a food tour. About 2500 people live in this neighborhood – the largest Italian American enclave in the nation. Our tour began at Guido’s.

In the bright orange shirt, John, the owner of Eat St Louis. Because of demand there were three tours today spaced 30 minutes apart and John had to lead one of them. Nice touch: the orange water bottles, one for each of us. A good idea too, since it was hot (84 degrees) and humid (71%).

This tasting – the first of six! – was pizza St Louis style. Thin crust, provel cheese, and cut into squares.

On to one of two Italian grocers on The Hill:

We walked through the grocery section, past the kitchen prep area, to the back of the restaurant:

Delicious shaved beef/cheese sandwich (warm and wrapped in foil, ready at each table setting) plus delicious Italian stuffed olives:

We learned a lot about the neighborhood as we walked between stops including these shotgun houses built for the Italian miners who came to The Hill to work in the clay mines.

Next was a salumeria – a delicatessan – but this one specialized in sausages. Jill, in the green shirt, was our guide:

These are charcuterie cones were filled with an assortment of the meats available inside.

Inside the shop:

Next, Mama Toscano’s:

This is where Toasted Ravioli began. These were meat filled and hot. Delicious!

Two stops to go, time for dessert?

Jill brought out a box of …


A stop at Piazza Imo. Behind the fountain are several tables with chess sets. There are also a couple of bocce court venues in the neighborhood.

This marble fountain is relatively new – imported in 2019 from Italy – pristine with no signs of weathering yet. In the background is St Ambrose Church, another focal point of the community:

Final stop … for gelato. Before we went in, Jill said it would be perfectly fine if we asked for a taste of EVERY flavor. Be still my heart. I tried a few, but quickly knew salted caramel was the perfect choice.

It was really really good … and I forgot to take a picture. Great food tour, excellent guide – thank you Jill – great information about The Hill. We might have to come back to this neighborhood and do more exploring. And eating.

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