The 6 Best Places for Tapas in St. Louis (Local Favorites)

best tapas st louis

In terms of eating, I am a champion. I am so, so good at it.

I’ve never competitively eaten, but I feel pretty good about my chances. Not necessarily at eating fast, but I excel at eating well and lovingly.

I’m born and raised in the Midwest, and we know here that sharing a plate of food is its own love language.

There’s nothing that demonstrates this more than spending time with your loved ones over a plate of tapas. Communal in nature, these small plates can move at the flow of your conversation and accommodate any dietary restrictions.

Today, I’m sharing my choices for the six best tapas restaurants in St. Louis.

Map of the Best Tapas in St. Louis

Best for a Big Group: Sancturia

There’s a lot to say about Sancturia but let me start with this: Cabrales Cigars. These are blue cheese and leek fondue rolled into phyllo and then pan seared. They’re also the reason that I know life is worth living.

You can’t imagine the fury on my face the first time I ate these, knowing that I had eaten so much subpar food in my life. My email signature might as well be “may your lunch be as good as the Cabrales Cigars” for how much I talk about these.

Sancturia has Latin and South American flavors with a modern twist, a killer cocktail menu, and a fairly luxurious outdoor area. They also offer live music two times a week, happy hour Tuesday through Friday, and a Sunday brunch menu. There’s no reason not to go — except that you might order everything on the menu.

  • Address:  4198 Manchester Ave, St. Louis, MO 63110 
  • Website: Sancturia

Best for a Date: OLIO

I mean, it is one of the most romantic restaurants in St. Louis.

Let me weave you a tale about OLIO — you arrive, you’re happy, you’re relaxed, you’re hungry. You’re taken to a beautiful heated outdoor patio and brought a cocktail that is as beautiful as it is delicious. And then, gloriously, you and your friends order a range of small plates to share while you gab and laugh and bond, and you live happily ever after. This magic is only possible at OLIO.

Their food is a blend of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine, described as “the cheapest ticket to Tel Aviv” with their traditional Israeli options. And, pals, honestly, I feel so strongly about this Baba Ganoush. It is undeniably the best I’ve had, and I would buy it by the buckets if that didn’t seem like a really humiliating thing to ask my waiter.

  • Address: 1634 Tower Grove Ave, St. Louis, MO 63110
  • Website: OLIO

Best for a Late Night: Nixta

Okay, I lied. That magical happily ever after night that I said you could only get at OLIO’s? Actually, you can get that here at Nixta, too. That’s because both are owned by STL Chef Ben Poremba, whose collection of restaurants expands further than even this list, and Poremba’s commitment to not just delicious food but impeccable atmosphere makes all of his restaurants a delight to spend time at. And with tapas, this is not an unimportant element.

With a wide menu of different sized shareable plates and some truly out of this world desserts, this is the perfect way to spend an evening with your loved ones — or your enemies! Might as well have a great meal if you have to be with them anyway.

  • Address: 1621 Tower Grove Ave, St. Louis, MO 63110
  • Website: Nixta

Best Family Owned: Guido’s

Family owned and operated since the late 1980s, Guido’s Pizzeria and Tapas does an Italian twist on this traditionally-Spanish style of eatery, self-describing as “A Taste of Spain in the Middle of Italy”.

There’s something particularly lovely about spending time here. They’ve got a wide menu, full of a variety of plates and full entrees. While the joy of tapas is spending a slow, luxurious time with your loved ones, it’s so good to have the option of showing up, seeing that actually the rude man from that party last week was invited, ugh Jessica’s dating habits, and so you order a pizza instead and then get out of dodge. It’s the perfect place to feel the vibe before committing to a luxurious evening.

  • Address: 5046 Shaw Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri 63110
  • Website: Guido’s

Best Wine Bar: Sasha’s

Sasha’s is my favorite summertime meet up location. With an absolutely robust wine menu, as well as some very tasty cocktails if that’s more your style, this is a great place to just sit in their beautiful wine garden and relax with some friends or get to know a new date. 

Their menu, full of cheese plates, meat boards, and other small plates contains the perfect amount of tapas options. There’s larger plates, as well, equally as easy and tasty to split.

Sasha’s has an incredibly versatile atmosphere — from the perfect place to meet up for a single drink and a split small plate to spending hours sharing tapas and wine, it’s a great spot for all sorts of activities. My favorite of their two locations, Sasha’s on Shaw, is a cute little neighborhood corner joint. It’s rare that a place can feel both fancy enough to meet a first date and casual enough to meet a second, but Sasha rides that line effortlessly. They’ve got late hours, kind servers, and delicious food.

Do yourself a favor — go as soon as the weather breaks.

  • Address: ​​706 De Mun Ave #2238, St. Louis, MO 63105
  • Address 2: 4069 Shaw Blvd, Saint Louis, MO 63110
  • Website: Sasha’s Wine Bar

Honorable Mention: BARcelona

This is only under the Honorable Mentions category because it is temporarily closed, pending a new location. I couldn’t in good conscience leave it out, but if you’re here you’re probably looking for a place to go soon. Still, you should absolutely Bookmark this article and their website, because as soon as they’re up and running again, you’ve got to run there.

With a traditional Spanish menu and a fairly robust options of veggie/gluten free tapas, this is the perfect place to meet with larger groups with contrasting dietary restrictions.

Get the bravas. Just trust me.