Five Good Restaurants in Old Fast-Food Buildings



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Check out this post's sequel: Even More Restaurants in Old Fast-Food Buildings.

As I posted a few days ago, a new Vietnamese restaurant is opening at 3737 South Grand Boulevard, inside a former McDonald's. I'll admit that whenever I see a locally owned business taking over a chain restaurant's location, I smile. After the jump, in no particular order, five of my favorite examples of this phenomenon.

  • Ian Froeb
Taqueria la Pasadita
2336 Woodson Road
Used to Be: Taco Bell

You couldn't come up with a more appropriate repurposing: The chain that has done more than any other to dumb down Mexican and Tex-Mex food is supplanted by a joint selling the real, um, enchilada. Or, to be more exact, goodies like tacos with chicharrónes and the best tamales I've had in St. Louis.

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Laganini Pizzeria & Restaurant

4625 Gravois Avenue
Used to Be: Captain D's

The pizza at Laganini, which features the cuisines of Bosnia, Italy, Greece and more, is so tasty it has successfuly vanquished the ghost of popcorn shrimp past.

  • Ian Froeb
8643 Olive Boulevard
Used to Be: IHOP

Nobu's is one of the best sushi restaurants in town, but with its distinctive exterior, you'll be forgiven if you ask for the blueberry pancake sashimi.

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Simply Thai
2470 North Highway 67
Used to Be: Taco Bell

Not to keep knocking Taco Bell, but even a medium curry at this Florissant standout packs more punch than any "Lava" sauce.

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Ba Le (Closed)
3515 South Kingshighway
Used to Be: Long John Silver's

A posthumous award to this Vietnamese restaurant, which specialized in banh mi, the tasty sandwich as cheap as a burger (or fish sandwich, for that matter) at most fast-food joints.

Any examples I've missed? Let me know in the comments.

Related: "Even More Restaurants in Old Fast-Food Buildings"

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