dishes at the new taco circus on the hill photo by adam rothbarth

5 new St. Louis restaurants to try in October


1. Taco Circus
4940 Southwest Ave., St. Louis, 314.899.0061, tacocircus.com


If 2019 has taught us anything, it’s that reboots and sequels are almost never as good as the original. Taco Circus on The Hill is a glaring exception. 


The new space from chef-owner Christian Ethridge has ported over all our favorite tacos, burritos, salsa and hot sauces, but has also added new delights, like a marvelous macha salsa, a delicious queso compuesto with ground beef, onion, cilantro and pico de gallo and a satisfying vegan taco with a textured vegetable protein similar to picadillo, along with cilantro and onion. 


Show up for those, but stay for the new bar program, which features house margaritas, pina coladas and a spicy mezcal margarita – or maybe it’s the other way around.



from left, c. oliver co-owners olivia medina and alyssa schuler // photo by lauren healey

2. C. Oliver Coffee + Flower Bar
7401 Hazel Ave., Maplewood, 314.724.4221, Facebook: C. Oliver Coffee + Flower Bar


C. Oliver Coffee + Flower Bar co-owners Olivia Medina and Alyssa Schuler miraculously transformed the former Orbit Pinball Lounge into a sun-drenched, marble-topped, pink-and-white coffee shop paradise. Along with assorted treats from local bakeries (don’t miss La Patisserie Chouquette macarons and Cordial Bakery’s oatmeal cream pie), the shop serves batch-brewed Sump Coffee, cold brew and a range of espresso drinks. 


We particularly liked the Oliver’s Tart Tonic, an espresso and tonic made with cherry juice and local Hello Juice & Smoothie lime juice. Ample seating at emerald green velvet couches and pink midcentury-style chairs make C. Oliver an ideal work spot. And don’t miss the flower bar, where you can build your own bouquet or buy a premade one.




the patio at bluewood brewing // photo by lauren healey

3. Bluewood Brewing 
1821 Cherokee St., St. Louis, 314.376.4166, bluewoodbrewing.com


Bluewood Brewing’s owners chose an auspicious location: the stables of the historic 19th century Lemp Brewery. Bluewood now offers more than a dozen taps that pour half local guest beers and half house brews in a variety of styles, from farmhouse ales to IPAs. 


Bluewood’s northeast IPA, Day 1, features a hazy body and juicy notes thanks to Amarillo and Citra hops, while its Sanguine Orange is a farmhouse-style saison brewed with coriander seeds and orange zest. 


Local favorite Mac’s Local Eats has moved to the brewery, where chef-owner Chris “Mac” McKenzie slings his famous smash burgers and sells locally made wares at Mac’s Local Buys, also located inside Bluewood.




ropa vieja at mayo ketchup // photo by lauren healey

4. Mayo Ketchup
2001 Park Ave., St. Louis, 314.696.2699, plantaingirl.com


For a restaurant whose name combines two household condiments, Mayo Ketchup (a popular sauce in Latin America) packs a lot of unexpected flavors into its Caribbean-centric menu. 


Twice-fried plantains are the star of most dishes, from the spicy, tangy Buffalo tostones to the jibarito sandwich, which contains hearty portions of chopped sirloin or roasted pork, cheese, lettuce and tomato in between two supersize tostone “buns.” The pernil bowl came with tasty roasted pork, Puerto Rican-style rice and peas and, of course, fried plantains for scooping.




from left, charred crust chef-owners andrew simon and james flemming // photo by adam rothbarth

5. Charred Crust 
105 S. Meramec Ave., Clayton, 314.721.0393, charredcruststl.com


Co-owners Andrew Simon and James Flemming don’t call Charred Crust a pizzeria. Nevertheless, the sourdough-crust ’za at this new Clayton lunch spot beckons us. We liked the sausage and garlic with charred tomato sauce and loved the pineapple, which features a delicious BellaVitano chipotle cheese. 


The ultra-savory three meat sandwich is served with hot coppa, smoked turkey and shaved ham, and the satisfying veggie comes with yellow squash, zucchini, oyster mushrooms, roasted red pepper, herb pesto and fresh mozzarella. Both sandwiches come on a delicious, house-made focaccia.


Heather Hughes Huff and Catherine Klene are managing editors and Adam Rothbarth is a staff writer at Sauce Magazine.