our favorite dishes from each spot at city foundry stl photo by izaiah johnson

What to order from each spot at City Foundry STL

1. Dipped Cone at Poptimism
We’ve been big fans of Poptimism’s craft ice pops (brought to you by the owners of Whisk: A Sustainable Bakeshop) since their debut at local farmers markets. While of course the pops are tops (the goat cheese-blackberry and avocado flavors have special places in our hearts), the true must-get at their City Foundry location is the dipped cone. Sweet cream soft-serve coiled into a crisp waffle cone and drizzled with housemade dark chocolate magic shell makes for a perfect to-go treat after any (and every) City Foundry visit. – MV

2. Chicken Sampler Plate at Chez Ali
Chef Alioun “Ali” Thiam moved to the U.S. in 1999 and lived in New York City until 2013. After moving to St. Louis and cooking at Chez Mathy, Thiam has brought his superb Senegalese cuisine to the Foundry. Though his menu changes often, staples like curry chicken, jollof rice, steamed cabbage and fried plantains are usually available. Try as much as possible by getting the chicken sampler plate, which, depending on when you go, should come with curry chicken and jerk chicken, as well as sides like rice and steamed cabbage. (Definitely add plantains.) If you’re lucky, you may show up on a day when the fabled yassa chicken is on the menu, which you should order immediately and in large quantities. – AR

3. Fruity Cheesecakes at Patty’s Cheesecakes
Owner Pat Upchurch of Patty’s Cheesecakes offers a number of different flavors available in slice form and as 2 ½-inch rounds that change monthly. Standouts we tried were chai tea latte, which had a delicate sweetness, and the blueberry-honey, which had a bright flavor and pretty purple hue. Fruity flavors shine here; sample a few little rounds to taste the menu. – MN

4. Shrimp ‘n’ Grits at 4 Hens Creole Kitchen
4 Hens Creole Kitchen offers creative twists on classics of New Orleans’ creole cuisine. The shrimp ’n’ grits is a solid choice; spice-crusted shrimp top a veritable lake of creamy, smoked gouda cheese grits dressed with a tangy sauce. – LW 

5. Boneless Beef Short Rib Taco at Kalbi Taco Shack
The boneless beef short rib taco at Kalbi Taco Shack is tender and highly juicy thanks to a generous portion of savory-sweet soy sauce marinade. It’s topped with an aioli and a refreshingly crisp housemade slaw with Napa cabbage, cilantro, green onion and a sweet vinaigrette and served with a lime wedge. We recommend opting for a flour tortilla. – LH

6. Bacon & Egg Salad at Good Day
At Sauce HQ, we’re firm believers in the power of a great salad, so Good Day’s focus on the green stuff was music to our ears. We loved the Bacon & Egg salad, which is a marvel of flavor engineering. Finely chopped bacon, tossed with a generous portion of baby spinach, gives a strong hit of smoky flavor, while pickled red onion and lemon-poppy seed vinaigrette provide just the right acidic balance. The whole thing is topped with a fried egg, whose runny yolk provides an extra layer of richness while serving a flavor amplifier for the bacon. – LW

7. Super Nova Burger with Wookiees Fries at Intergalactic
Intergalactic’s menu lists all their burgers with double patties, and we think that’s setting the tone exactly right. The rest of the menu consists of loaded waffle fries (the Wookiees with caramelized onions, cheese sauce and mustardy secret sauce was a favorite) and a small selection of shakes. The not-to-miss item is the Super Nova, a double cheeseburger with pepper jack cheese, pickled jalapenos and spicy ranch dressing on a brioche bun. The patties are neither super thick nor smashed diner-style, but just in between. The best part is each patty’s burnished crust, giving addictive, umami flavor with each bite. – MN

8. Crispy Pork Tacos at Sureste
Created by Alex Henry, the former head chef of Cleveland-Heath and Nixta, Sureste Mexican is an adventurous survey of southeastern Mexican cuisine. The crispy pork tacos, which take seriously crispy, bacon-like pork cubes, tangy pickled cabbage and xni-pec (a kind of extra chunky pico de gallo) as their centerpiece, are a tour de force. We love the setup, which gives you a generous bowl of delicious pork and vegetables and three fresh tortillas to fill yourself. Our veg-heads were equally enamored with Sureste’s citrusy, funky marinated beets tostada. Get the well-rounded meal you deserve by ordering both. – AR

9. Rotisserie Chicken at Chicken Scratch
Chicken Scratch co-owner Nate Hereford (formerly the executive chef at now-closed Niche) is slinging some truly delectable chicken in several forms, including sandwiches, rotisserie and salads. The rotisserie chicken is a great place to start. Those traumatized by greasy grocery store grab-and-go birds need not fear; Chicken Scratch’s are delicately flavored and juicy but not oily, allowing the meat to shine. – LW

10. Skirt Steak Sandwich at Buenos Aires Café
Buenos Aires Café highlights classics of Argentinian cuisine like empanadas, plantains and meaty sandwiches filled with steak or sausage. The housemade chimichurri shines here, its fresh acidity providing refreshing balance to the rich meats and fried items. We especially love it on the skirt steak sandwich, where it’s used as both a marinade for the meat and drizzled on just before serving. The pillowy bread, sourced from Pete’s Italian Baking Co. on the Hill, is a perfect vehicle for the juicy, sweet steak and herbaceous chimichurri, retaining all the flavorful liquids without turning into a soggy mess, so not a drop goes to waste. – LW

11. Paneer Tak-A-Tak Dosa Roll at Turmeric Street Style
The menu at Turmeric Street Style is the build-your-own variety, so allow us to assist you. Get a dosa roll with the paneer tak-a-tak filling. There is nothing like a fresh dosa, a fermented rice-and-lentil batter that is spread thin on a flattop and cooked in a little oil. The result is a golden, lacy crepe that has a slight sourness to it and pairs well with spicy side dishes. The paneer tak-a-tak is exactly said spicy dish – cubes of paneer cheese are coated in a fragrant, creamy tomato-based sauce flavored with chiles, garam masala, peppers and onions. The resulting roll is spicy and satisfying and by far our top pick from their menu. – MN

12. Salmon Bowl at Hello Poke
A main staple of Hawaiian cuisine, poke is raw, diced fish, which at Hello Poke is tossed with umami-packed sauces and toppings of your choice and served over rice. Imagine a great sushi roll, but bigger, sweeter and served in a bowl. While tuna is the classic poke choice, salmon is a killer protein at Hello Poke. We were hooked upon seeing our gorgeous fish tossed with spicy jalapenos, fresh green onion and flavorful wasabi aioli, and then topped with masago and furikake. Tasting it transported us out of our land-locked daily routine to a picturesque beach where fresh fish is part of everyday life. – AR 

13. The Liege Waffle at Press Waffle Co.
The Liege waffle – the style of waffle served at Press Waffle Co. – is not your average waffle. Made with a brioche-style dough and flecked with chunky pearl sugar, this waffle has complexity of flavor – a little tangy, yeasty and sweet. It’s sturdier too – instead of light and airy, think more bread-like, making it an awesome foundation for customizable toppings; our favorite was a classic combo of whipped cream, strawberries and maple syrup. – MN

14. This Milk Punch Slaps at The Kitchen Bar
Conceived by Niche Food Group, The Kitchen Bar offers original cocktails, beer, non-alcoholic options and more. Customers are welcome to saddle up to the bar or take their drink to enjoy with food from the Foundry’s other vendors. The This Milk Punch Slaps is made with Bronson’s milk punch, Maurin Quina, agave syrup, lime juice and orange bitters for a creamy, citrus-y, not-too-sweet drink that’ll pair with plenty. If you’re not in the cocktail zone, there’s a pretty solid beer-and-a-shot deal you can jump on. – AR

15. Margherita at Fordo’s Killer Pizza
Chef Gerard Craft cannot be stopped! His new concept, Fordo’s Killer Pizza, is a pizzeria that fuses traditional Italian ’za with more modern toppings – think taco pizza, a Thai lettuce-wrap pizza and a shakshuka pizza. While the crusts for all the pizzas are well charred and airy, we always love a good ol’ Margherita; Fordo’s is generously topped with tasty, aromatic basil. – AR

16. How Am I Funny at Subdivision Sandwich Co.
No food hall would be complete without a sandwich spot, and Subdivision, the third City Foundry concept from the owners of Polite Society and The Bellwether, fills that role. There’s a long list of quirky sandwiches on the menu, but our favorite is the How Am I Funny?, a classic Italian sub featuring Volpi Genoa salami and capicola, ham, pepperoncini, shaved onion, arugula, roasted garlic aioli and pepper jack cheese. It’s a little sweet, a little spicy, a little soft, a little crunchy – all we could ask for. – MV