The 8 Best Places for Toasted Ravioli in St. Louis

best toasted ravioli in St. Louis

As St. Louis’s staple food, there’s a reason that the locals (myself included) go nuts over toasted ravioli.

If you aren’t from the St. Louis area, you might be wondering, what exactly is toasted ravioli? 

T-ravs,” as we locals call them, are made of breaded and fried ravioli, usually filled with ground beef, topped with parmesan cheese, and served with marinara for dipping.

I’ve lived in St. Louis for almost nine years, and because most local restaurants have their own version of this delicacy, I have tried many kinds of toasted ravioli in the last decade. Today, I am sharing my definitive list of best places for toasted ravioli in St. Louis.

Map of the Best Toasted Ravioli in St. Louis

Best toasted ravioli on The Hill: Charlie Gitto’s

best toasted ravioli st. louis

Legend has it that toasted ravioli was birthed at Charlie Gitto’s in 1947 when one of the chefs accidentally dropped a piece of ravioli in some breadcrumbs. He decided to deep-fry it, and suddenly, he had created a St. Louis trademark food.

While some people debate whether or not this is true, you will probably believe it after you try the toasted ravioli at Charlie Gitto’s. While many Italian joints simply reheat frozen toasted ravioli, Charlie Gitto’s is 100% homemade. With high-quality beef, a crunchy outer layer, and marinara sauce like no other, it’s easy to tell that this is the good stuff.

Second-best toasted ravioli on The Hill: Mama’s on The Hill

Like Charlie Gitto’s, Mama’s on the Hill claims to have created the original toasted ravioli. I’m not sure who is telling the truth, but I do know that both of these joints serve a mean toasted-rav. In my humble opinion, I think that Mama’s on the Hill is a very close second to Charlie Gitto’s (don’t come at me!).

You can expect a traditional-style toasted ravioli at Mama’s: almost bite-sized, filled with meat, and fried to perfection. Mama’s on The Hill also has some of the best Italian food in the neighborhood, so don’t forget to order a plate of pasta while you’re here.

Best non-traditional toasted ravioli: Salt and Smoke

I am not exaggerating when I say that Salt and Smoke has life-changing toasted ravioli. I thought I had experienced good t-ravs, then ordered them at Salt and Smoke. Now there’s no going back.

As a barbecue restaurant, Salt and Smoke stuffs the ravioli with burnt ends, and instead of serving them with marinara, you’ll get a white sauce on the side for dipping (which tastes a lot like homemade ranch dressing!). All the ingredients combine into a smokey, tangy, and crunchy deliciousness.

  • Address: 6525 Delmar Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63130
  • Website: Salt + Smoke

Best overall: Trattoria Marcella

Some local restaurants serve bite-sized toasted ravs, while others boast monster ravioli. Trattoria Marcella is in the latter category, to the point where it feels like you are eating giant pillows of fried pasta.

This ravioli is freshly-made in-house and is stuffed with a blend of ground pork, beef, veal, vegetables, and spices, creating a hearty flavor. Combine that with the shredded cheese on top and a side of thick marinara sauce, and this appetizer could serve as your entire meal.

Best toasted ravioli in the suburbs: Kemoll’s

While Kemoll’s once had an iconic downtown location, they have since moved out to Westport Plaza, an entertainment and dining hub in West St. Louis County.

At their new location, Kemoll’s is still serving up their renowned toasted ravioli, created from a recipe that has been passed down through the generations.

The parmesan cheese and fresh herbs that are sprinkled on top seem like the cherry on a perfect sundae.

  • Address: 323 W Port Plaza Dr, St. Louis, MO 63146
  • Website: Kemoll’s

Best seafood-stuffed toasted ravioli: Zia’s

If you are looking for a change of pace from the traditional red-meat-filled toasted ravioli, check out Zia’s. While their normal t-ravs are delicious, they also offer seafood toasted ravioli, filled with shrimp and crab and served with a tangy lemon-butter sauce. Translation: Zia’s is the spot for seafood lovers!

This cozy and casual joint has many fantastic Italian dishes, often covered in cheese. Everything on the menu is delicious!

  • Address: 5256 Wilson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63110
  • Website: Zia’s

Best toasted ravioli in downtown St. Louis: Lombardo’s

Located in downtown St. Louis, Lombardo’s serves classic Italian fare and fantastic toasted ravioli.

Expect extra-large ravioli pieces stuffed with beef, cheese, and spinach, and covered in ultra-thick shavings of parmesan cheese. This toasted ravioli is thicker than most and is lightly fried, allowing you to taste more of the homemade dough.

Best vegetarian toasted ravioli: McGurk’s

If you like spinach artichoke dip, you need to try the spinach artichoke toasted ravioli at McGurk’s.

Located in Soulard, this is one of the best Irish pubs in St. Louis. They serve perfectly-fried toasted ravioli, stuffed with spinach artichoke dip and served with a tangy ranch, a great way to expand your toasted ravioli palate (and an excellent option for those who don’t eat meat!).

I particularly love going to McGurk’s on warm summer nights. The patio has so many plants, it is practically a garden; mix that with tons of twinkle lights, great food, and cold drinks, and you get a charming patio hangout.

  • Address: 1200 Russell Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63104
  • Website: McGurk’s