There are many legends of how the popular St. Louis appetizer of toasted ravioli came to be found across almost every menu in the city. Most originate from an area referred to as ‘The Hill’, a predominately Italian neighborhood within St. Louis, where variations of accidental frying of ravioli resulted in the creating of a delicious deep fried treat. The meat-filled, breaded and deep fried piece of ravioli is usually served with Parmesan sprinkled on a top and a simple marinara sauce- making a easy-to-eat, and completely satisfying snack. Check out some of the best toasted ravioli in St. Louis below- some of which claim to be the originals!
This restaurant was originally called Angelo’s Pasta House, and is largely accepted as a strong contender for the very first serving of toasted ravioli. The restaurant is a regular on lists of best Italian restaurants in the city, and for good reason. Located in ‘The Hill’ neighborhood, legend has it that in 1947 a chef at the restaurant accidentally dropped a ravioli into hot oil instead of boiling it in water. The toasted ravioli can be found in the appetizer section of the menu, and is stuffed with a combination of pork, chicken, beef, spinach, and cheese and are served hot with parmesan cheese and with Pomodoro sauce. While the toasted ravioli may have originated from this restaurant, be sure to indulge in the rest of the menu which offers an array of authentic Italian meals that are prepared with the freshest ingredients.
Some may find the suggestion of a vegetarian version of the toasted ravioli as sacrilegious. Toasted ravioli is known for its meat and cheese filled stuffing, and it is actually quite difficult to find a vegetarian option for the herbivores out there. At Joanie’s Pizzeria, however, the casual diner offers one of the best and highly reviewed vegetarian options – a toasted spinach and artichoke ravioli. The ravioli is lightly fried and filled to the brim with veggies, offering a unique twist on the traditional ravioli. If you are not so inclined to explore, the menu offers the traditional ravioli as well. Joanie’s is also known as a local favorite for freshly made pizzas made with thin crusts and fully loaded with toppings. Check out their Cajun Pride pizza or the meat filled South Side Pizza for an indulgent lunch.
No list of toasted ravioli would be complete without mentioning Mama’s on the Hill, another candidate for the original creator of the appetizer, or Anthonino’s Taverna- a Greek and Italian restaurant featured on the Food Network’s ‘Diners, Drive-ins and Dives’ for their handmade toasted ravioli stuffed with ground beef, ricotta and pecorino romano cheese. Go on a ravioli tour in the city- the bite-sized appetizer will leave lots of room for a full day of sampling these treats!