Since I have been going to St. Louis- starting at age 1- to see family, going to Carl’s Drive In is usually the highlight of my trip. Carl’s IS an institution. During the hours that they are open, there is ALWAYS a line, no matter how hot or how cold, or how long the line is. If you really want a taste of old St. Louis, this is the place to go.
Carl’s is a tiny place with entrances on either side and the kitchen being right in the middle; so you can’t move to another side once you have entered. The only seating is up at the bar and standing at the counter against the window. They have a pretty varied menu (burgers, cheese burgers, chicken sandwiches, grilled cheese, hot dogs, etc) and they make their own root beer which is always a treat. The burgers here are simple yet delicious. They are pat down very thin on the plancha so that the edges get nice and crispy. With that being said, I would definitely order a double or triple, which is equal to the size of a normal burgers.