Adriana's On The Hill - The Hill's Italian Sandwich Shop

3.84 stars Review Philosophy

Adriana's On The Hill Takeaway. Ideal Italian sandwich shop on the hill. 6.9/10 Italian beef sandwich. 7oz of delicious Italian meat on a foot-long Italian loaf. $14.27 after tax and tip is average. Super friendly service. Ten-minute wait Thursday at Noon. Out the door on Saturday. Easy parking on the street within a three-minute walk. Plenty of indoor tables and outdoor seating available. Tip: Check the daily specials before heading over. Reddit recommended, but not my favorite.


Table Of Contents: Experience | Food | Atmosphere | Receipt


Adriana's On The Hill bite

Details

  • 5101 Shaw Ave, St. Louis, MO 63110
  • (314) 773-3833
  • Website
  • Facebook
  • Yelp - 4.6 stars - 471 ratings
  • TripAdvisor - 5.0 stars - 276 ratings
  • Google Maps - 4.8 stars - 1,094 ratings

Hours

DayHours
MondayClosed
Tuesday10:30 AM–3 PM
Wednesday10:30 AM–3 PM
Thursday10:30 AM–3 PM
Friday10:30 AM–3 PM
Saturday10:30 AM–3 PM
SundayClosed

Map


Adriana's On The Hill Experience Summary

After posting my initial version of best sandwiches in St. Louis on Reddit, the second most recommended sandwich shop was Adriana's on the Hill. Because I couldn't contain my excitement to eat my third fancy sandwich of the week, I went there a day after going to Legrand's.

I got the Hot Italian Beef because it's my favorite Saint Louis-type sandwich and the most recommended on Yelp.

Adriana's On The Hill Italian Beef

6.9/10 sandwich. Adriana's was not mind-blowing, had nothing particularly unique to the offering, and was stuck being compared against the best sandwich in STL in the Blues City Deli Hot Italian Beef. Still one of the better sandwich shops in St. Louis.

6.9/10 puts it right in the middle of my sandwich quality rankings as a good but not great sandwich. You'll enjoy it, but it's not the best of the breed.

Adriana's On The Hill menu

Coming in at $13.50 before tax and $14.27 after tax puts it on the high side of the average for the cost of a St. Louis, high-quality sandwich.

Adriana's has a great vibe of being a cozy, mom-and-pop sandwich shop. It fits well into The Hill as being another Italian eatery. Although I hate the general, over-the-top, post-modern feel of The Hill (You don't have to paint things the color of the Italian flag to make a place feel Italian!), Adriana feels down-to-earth and homey.

Adriana's On The Hill door

There are plenty of tables inside and out to eat your sandwich that you can pick up at the window or wait for them to bring out.

On a Thursday, I was in line for 2 minutes and 18 seconds at 12:05 p.m. I was second in line, so it takes roughly 1 minute per person ahead of you to order, plus another five to ten minutes for them to make the sandwich.

Adriana's On The Hill front

Parking was easy on the street in The Hill during lunchtime.

This review is a rollercoaster. Buckle up.

The Food At Adriana's On The Hill

I got the Italian beef because:

Easy peasy.

Adriana's On The Hill length

Unfortunately for Adriana's, that means I'm comparing their Italian beef to the best in the city, Blues City Deli.

I'll give Adriana's a 7/10 on the sandwich. Worth a stop if you're nearby, but not a twenty-minute drive.

Adriana's On The Hill meat

The quick specs on Adriana's Italian beef are 7oz of meat on a footlong Italian loaf that measures 3" high by 3" wide. Overall, the sandwich came in at 16.5oz and 800 calories.

I reflected a lot on why I didn't like this sandwich as much as the others. After taking a long look at my inner sandwich sense, there were three "problems" with this otherwise delicious sandwich:

  1. The raw onions overpowered the meat's flavor

  2. The meat didn't have quite enough flavor

  3. The size and type of bread threw off the flavor per bite

Follow along on my journey.

Adriana's On The Hill weight

The onion overpowering the meat was immediately obvious. I didn't need to meditate on this one. I love onion, but the onion flavor overrode the meat instead of complimenting it. I think they should cook the onion to mellow it out a bit.

This flows into point two - the meat didn't have quite enough flavor. This critique is a nitpick. I think it had enough flavor on its own but not in the context of the larger sandwich. And, here, my friends, was where I made the connection and had my sandwich epiphany.

The Italian loaf-to-meat ratio was off.

The loaf was simply too big and airy for the amount of meat, leaving the mouth feel of each bite not quite hitting the spot. Each bite was too airy.

Adriana's On The Hill inside

The outside of the loaf was crunchy, but then it took a quick second to hit the inner solids. And when you did hit the solids, you were greeted with more onion and cheese than meat. And then the meat and cheese pushed the prime subject, the Italian beef, to the background.

If they took a smaller loaf from Union Loafers and upped the loaf-to-meat ratio, they could easily push this sandwich into the 8's.

Adriana's On The Hill height

For everyone still with me, thanks for hearing out my logic. Never in my life did I expect to reflect for over an hour on why a really good sandwich wasn't excellent.

I'll try the Italian Salsiccia next time to spice it up, but I should probably plan on bringing a loaf from Union Loafers.

Adriana's On The Hill crumbs

Adriana's On The Hill Atmosphere And Miscellaneous

I hate The Hill. The Hill is overly postmodern, trying to be Italian when we're in the middle of St. Louis. You don't need to put Italian flags on shit to be Italian.

You just need to cook good Italian food and have friendly service.

Adriana's On The Hill seating

And the vibe at Adriana's was just that - classically Italian and good food without bashing it over your head.

They don't need to pretend that they're Italian.

They are just Italian.

Adriana's On The Hill specials

You're greeted with bright-colored, small tables as soon as you enter. The whole restaurant feels cozy. And, best of all, you see your Nonna in the kitchen.

The service was super friendly. You order at one register, and they give you a ticket, which lets you pick up the food at the next window or wait for it to be brought to your table.

Adriana's On The Hill width

It's definitely not the fastest process as the single register will cause a backup eventually, but it took 2 minutes and 18 seconds for me to complete my order after being number two in line.

Talking to the nonna at the register, it gets extremely crowded on Saturdays, with a line out the door all day. But you'll probably top out at waiting fifteen to twenty minutes during the week.

Parking At Adriana's On The Hill

Parking in The Hill is no sweat on the weekdays. On weekend nights, it can be a problem, but you don't usually get sandwiches at 7 o'clock on a Saturday.

So, you'll be alright.

I parked three minutes away just to get a little bit of a walk-in before going in. But I could have parked closer if I cared.

Adriana's On The Hill Receipt

Adriana's On The Hill receipt

Sandwich Size Comparisons

PlaceSandwich ScorePriceTypeOverall WeightMeat WeightLength
Blues City Deli 9.7 $10.50 Roast Beef 13.7 5.2 8.0
Carl's Deli 9.3 $11.95 Pastrami 14.3 9.6 6.0
Legrand's Market & Catering 8.8 $10.49 Special 11.4 7.6 8.0
Parker's Table 8.7 $13.00 Special 9.0 4.8 5.0
Nomad 8.3 $14.00 Pastrami 13.6 7.6 6.0
Gioia's Deli 7.8 $12.00 Italian 24.0 8.0 10.0
Eovaldi's Deli 7.2 $11.95 Italian 27.8 13.8 9.0
Mom's Deli 7.1 $9.50 Special 16.9 9.8 9.0
Lion's Choice 7.0 $7.89 Roast Beef 7.7 5.4 4.0
Adriana's on the Hill 6.9 $13.50 Roast Beef 17.0 6.8 12.0
Snarf's Sandwiches 6.4 $13.50 Italian 24.4 5.6 12.0
Pickles Deli 4.1 $10.99 Special 8.3 3.6 6.0
Fozzie's Sandwich Emporium 2.1 $12.95 Roast Beef 15.0 6.8 6.0
Protzel's Deli 1.9 $13.00 Pastrami 12.8 6.8 6.0

Related Saint Louis Restaurant Reviews

Join The Newsletter

Weekly reviews of restaurant, parks, and things to do All Around Saint Louis.