a blt and chocolate milkshake at crown candy kitchen photo by david kovaluk

Landmark: Crown Candy Kitchen

For more than 100 years, Crown Candy Kitchen has held down the corner of North 14th Street and St. Louis Avenue. Though the city has evolved around it, not much has changed at the historic soda fountain and diner. Structurally, the restaurant is nearly the same as it was when it opened, the only major changes being some paint and detailing to keep it looking fresh. “We don’t change things around here. Change, I tell people, is a bad thing around here,” said co-owner Andy Karandzieff, whose grandfather, Harry Karandzieff, started the restaurant in 1913. 

crown candy kitchen // photo by david kovaluk

Part of the reason for keeping things the same is because it’s simply what people want. “I think it’s a generational thing, to an extent,” Karandzieff explained. “All these people have been coming here for all these years. Grandparents, parents, their kids. At some point, I may have four generations of a family in here. It’s constant St. Louis.” 

While it’s true that the old-school vibes are a major draw, nothing has a bigger pull than Crown Candy Kitchen’s menu. From the egg salad and roast beef sandwiches to the four-cheese grilled cheese and many chili options, Crown Candy has something for everyone. However, Karandzieff pointed out that there is one meal which stands above all others. “They all come in for the BLT and a chocolate shake,” he said. “That is the classic order.” While the legendary BLT – which “Man vs. Food” host Adam Richman once called a contender for the best sandwich in America – might be the most crowd-pleasing, Karandzieff loves an underdog. His favorite sandwich is Crown Candy’s Reuben. “I think it’s a great sandwich. I think it’s underrated,” he said.