Graduation can be stressful, especially when your parents ask you to pick your favorite restaurant for your celebration meal. Not to worry – when you blank on all the great places you’ve dined at in the last four years, this list is here to save the day.

Reliving your college days:


Photo by Colleen Daly


You were here every Wednesday night for pennies and closed it down every Saturday. What place could be better than Humphrey’s to celebrate all your triumphs?

Sit outside in the patio and enjoy the nice May weather, or sit inside in a big table with all your family and friends. Order any of their delicious burgers and don’t forget to toast with some beer because what’s more college than that?


Photo courtesy of McGurk’s


Your parents have always been asking you to show them the places you hangout at, and you’re going to miss this place. You remember a few drunken nights listening to music outside on the patio, dancing the night away with your friends.

Why not spend your graduation dinner reliving those memories, outside on the patio, eating some scrumptious fish and chips, a burger, or sharing some toasted ravioli with your friends and family?


Photo courtesy of Diablito’s Cantina


You know why you should go here – margarita pitchers and the salsa bar.  This on SLU campus, people pleasing place is convenient and will make your whole family happy. Order tacos to go with your margs and beers or just eat as many chips as you can since they are “unlimited” while drinking the night away with your family. And trying to forget the nights you might have ventured here on a Thursday.

Relive the days your table ordered so many pitchers by the end of the night that you ended up buying an entire pitcher, but this time with your parents to help out.


Photo courtesy of Drunken Fish

Drunken Fish

Drunken Fish in undergrad was always a big hit for birthdays (free Saki shots), karaoke Mondays, and a much needed sushi fish on Sunday night. It seems to be the first place that comes to mind when you’re looking to have a good dinner with friends.

Their reasonably priced and adventurous rolls are a hit with anyone who’s down to try something new. Not interested in branching out? Their fried rice, noodle dishes, and even burgers are sure to satisfy anyone who may be joining you on your big day.


Photo Courtesy of Pappy’s Smokehouse

Pappy’s Smokehouse

If you are moving out of the Lou then one thing you will for sure miss is its killer BBQ. This means you cannot leave without saying goodbye to good ol’ Pappy’s. This smokehouse has won over every true St Louisan’s heart with its incredible slow smoked meats and different sauces that can please everyone in your family.

You probably already know the menu by heart, but in case you need suggestions we recommend the pulled pork sandwich, or the dry-rubbed ribs and their Pappy’s original sauce.


Photo Courtesy of Pastaria by Niche


Noodles made in house right in front of you and fresh bread with olive set on your table immediately. Yes, you should be drooling right now. Come here for the high quality, made-with-care, trendy Italian food. If you’re looking for a unique brunch, Pastaria offers favorites with a delicious Italian twist. And don’t forget a cannoli or tiramisu for dessert. Make sure to call ahead, because this place gets crowded quick.

Something a Little Fancier:


Photo Courtesy of Basso


It doesn’t get any better than classy beers and pizza, right? Basso offers over 32 beers on tap, a long list of fancy Italian wines and cocktails that will satisfy everyone. It is located beneath the Restaurant at The Cheshire, which gives it a one of a kind rustic atmosphere.

You can choose to sit by the fireplace while you sip your drink, in the semi-private lounge for a bigger crowd or even at a communal table with the best view to the open kitchen and their wood-burning oven.


Photo Courtesy of The Block

The Block

You can feel confident that you are getting the best available for the season, when eating here. The menu changes seasonally based on what is fresh and in season in the area. The meat is butchered in house. If anything is confusing on the menu, the wait staff is so friendly and super knowledgeable. This restaurant is a great place to take anyone who is picky with food quality, but also will appease your less-adventurous family members.

Go when they open at 5 to take advantage of the happy hour, or go whenever you want on your parent’s check. Be sure to get a local cocktail and a funky dessert.


Photo Courtesy of Charlie Gitto’s

Charlie Gitto’s

Without a doubt, The Hill is a place everyone considers when going out for a nice dinner. Charlie Gitto’s will not disappoint. Copious amounts of seating combined with a very helpful wait staff make this a no brainer.

The menu offers traditional Italian dishes, including pastas, salad, seafood, and steaks. There is something for everyone on the menu here, and big portions are sure to leave you with enough to take home for tomorrow.


Photo Courtesy of Taste


Taste probably offers the best cocktails in Saint Louis. Not only are they delicious, but they are also perfectly paired with dishes on the menu. You definitely get the whole experience here, great food, cocktails, drinks and awesome environment.

Sitting is limited, so if you have a big party we recommend calling ahead of time. Nevertheless, be patient because it is oh so worth it.


Photo Courtesy of Herbie’s Vintage 72

Herbie’s Vintage 72

Bring the self-proclaimed “wine connoisseur” here (or an actual wine expert will surely appreciate this restaurant). It’s especially worth the trip on your parent’s credit card, with wines starting from an average price to multiple hundreds of dollars a bottle.

If wine isn’t your thing, the top quality French American food will make your whole family happy for dinner. For breakfast, the weekend brunch is one of the best in the city, from different types of eggs benedict, breakfast flatbreads, and one-price for unlimited Bloody Mary bar.


Photo Courtesy of Olio


Everything from the restaurant’s delightful set-up, to their rustic and delicious Mediterranean cuisine will impress every member in your family. They also offer an impressive wine selection that rotates monthly, but that includes wines from almost every region in the world. Do not be overwhelmed by the menu because you really can’t go wrong with your choice.

Something Family Friendly:


Photo Courtesy of Rigazzi’s


If you’re feeling Italian, there is no better place to go than the Hill. Italian food can be pricy, but Rigazzi’s defies the odds and offers fair prices for authentic eats. Rigazzi’s classic pizzas, pastas, and desserts have earned it the title of “Best Italian Restaurant In St. Louis.”

Not only will you receive a tasty dinner, you might snag a peak of a Cardinal’s player, as they often frequent there. Whether it’s the famous “Frozen Fish Bowls” of beer, the electric Italian environment, or the scrumptious eats, Rigazzi’s is sure to be a hit with the fam.


Photo Courtesy of Vito’s


If you are looking for something close to campus but a definite crowd pleaser, Vito’s has your back. Your family can sit back and relax in either Italian inspired indoor seating, or on an adorable, twinkle- light lit patio while sipping on hand crafted beverages.

Vito’s is famous for pasta, paninis, and the St. Louis classic- toasted raviolis. It is by far the best place to let loose and laugh about your past 4 years of shenanigans with the fam while SLU’s campus glimmers in the distance.


Photo Courtesy of Bailey’s Range

Bailey’s Range

In the past 4 years you have fallen in love with all the Baileys’ Restaurants and now you can’t decide which one you should go to? We recommend Bailey’s Range. Their 100% grass-fed beef and made from scratch dishes promise high quality. In addition they offer homemade ice cream that makes to die for shakes. Burgers and shakes? Yes please!


Photo Courtesy of Fitz’s


If you’re wanting the ultimate St. Louis experience take your family to Fitz’s- the creator of one of St. Louis’s favorites, Fitz’s Root Beer. Fitz’s has an energetic, bubbly feeling to it, probably because they are making and bottling their very own sodas right in front of your eyes.

A must try is their fried pickles, followed by your choice of juicy burger or hearty gumbo. This is finger food at its finest, sure to please the whole bunch.


Photo Courtesy of Brasserie by Niche

Brasserie by Niche

Brasserie offers nice French food and has one of the best brunches in the city. Besides this, they have a great dinner menu and they accept reservation. We recommend trying their house made granola or fresh cheese. It is conveniently located next to Taste, so make sure you stop by for drinks after.


Photo Courtesy of Sidney Street Cafe

Sidney Street Café

Chef Kevin Nashan has taken this restaurant from a popular meat and potatoes restaurant to an upscale bistro in the past 10 years. The dishes are artwork, well thought out and perfectly balanced. The menu reflects what is local and fresh for the season, making all the dishes super high quality and taste amazing.

The food snob in your family will appreciate this restaurant, but your picky grandparents can find something to appease them too. Get a drink at the bar here, spend time catching up with your family and embrace the wait, because it is worth it.

And if you’re trashed at the end of the night, just take your parents to Pickleman’s.

Want more help getting food-ready for graduation?