St. Louis-style Pizza: Friend or Foe?

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The answer is yes.

For those of you who are wondering what St. Louis-style pizza is, it’s served on ultra-thin crust (a cracker, basically), with a slightly sweet and oregano forward sauce, and, most notably, provel cheese. Not provolone—provel. Provel was made in the late 1940s by a group of scientists who combined cheddar, Swiss, provolone, liquid smoke, and probably some other stuff, to create a processed cheese that was supremely melty.

St. Louisans love it. Non-St. Louisans, uh, feel differently. 

They hate it. They hate the texture (often referred to by these non-believers as ‘plastic’), and they hate the smell/taste. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, no matter how wrong they may be, however, we need to look into the pizza being eaten more closely. All of the comments below are directed to those not from St. Louis, or those St. Louisans who believe their hometown’s take on pizza is an abomination.

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If you’re ordering from Imo’s, the local STL-style pizza chain, you’re probably going to have a bad time. It’s addictive in its own way, but the fast food production levels will leave you with a pizza that you only find disappointing.

What you need to do is find a St. Louis pizza shop that specializes in St. Louis-style pizza and eat there instead. Somewhere that makes their own crust and their own tomato sauce. Somewhere that likely mixes their provel with mozzarella. The real deal.

There are a lot of small mom & pop shops that you could pick from. A few of my favorites are Erio’s, Nick & Elena’s, Serra’s, or Guido’s on the Hill—but there are tons of low key options. If you still don’t like St. Louis-style pizza after trying one of these O.G.’s, you’re just plain wrong. 

For all of Spencer Pernikoff’s St. Louis-style pizza recommendations (and pizza recommendations in general), check out his “Pizza Party” list on CurEat. Don’t have the CurEat App? You can download the app for iOS or Android.


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