St. Louis: A Midwest, Midsized City with a Large Food Scene

Advisor - Emily Tirjan
Curated By

Emily Tirjan

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  • St. Louis

  • Arts & Culture

  • Food & Wine

  • City Travel

  • Missouri

  • Foodie

  • Local food

  • Local culture

  • History

The Gateway Arch is a 630-foot-tall monument in St. Louis.
Curator’s statement

St. Louis is an eating and drinking town! From its diverse neighborhoods and iconic dishes like toasted ravioli and St. Louis style pizza, to its inclusive dining culture, St. Louis combines a rich history of cultural influences with accessibility and local collaboration to create a thriving and inclusive food scene that rivals larger cities. Once you start exploring St. Louis, you’ll see why it’s quickly becoming a known eating and drinking spot in the country.

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Where to stay in St. Louis

Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis

Luxury hotel with upscale rooms and suites offering river views.

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The Royal Sonesta Chase Park Plaza

A timeless and luxurious hotel in St. Louis, known for its historic charm, modern comforts, and impeccable service.

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  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

  • Breakfast daily.

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The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis

Luxury hotel in downtown Saint Louis with artsy rooms and suites.

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Things to do in St. Louis

Forest Park is considered one of the nation's greatest urban public parks.

The Arch

The arch is an iconic monument that stands at 630’ tall. It symbolizes the city’s historic role “Gateway to the West” during its westward expansion. You can take a tram ride to the top to get amazing panoramic views of St. Louis along with the Mississippi River.

Forest Park

In Forest Park, you can check out the St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis Zoo, Missouri History Museum, Muny Opera, Boathouse and the Jewel Box. If you visit during Winter, there is an outdoor skating rink called Steinberg. During the warmer months, there are two public golf courses, tennis courts, running and biking trails and you can explore all the wildlife and nature.

Soulard Farmers Market

Grab a bite to eat or a bloody Mary at this historic marketplace. From fresh produce to artisanal goods, a spice shop, local flavors, live music and more, it’s a vibrant and hopping place, especially on Saturdays. My friend even came home with a bunny once!

City Museum

The City Museum is a whimsical and immersive playground for all ages, where art and architecture blend to create a fun urban adventure. The museum is filled with tunnels, imaginative exhibits, an aquarium, many playgrounds and a 10-story slide!

Ballpark Village

Ballpark Village is an entertainment district located right next to Busch Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals. There is a blend of sports bars, restaurants and night-life venues. Many people attend before and after Cardinals games.

Union Station

Union Station is a historic transportation hub, which has now been turned into a vibrant destination. Union Station features a large hotel with the iconic Grand Hall, lots of bars and restaurants, boutique shops, an aquarium and a huge Ferris wheel.

Lastly, Explore all the different neighborhoods!

The Hill

Italian-American neighborhood known for its authentic cuisine, family-owned restaurants and has a very welcoming atmosphere.

Soulard

Historic neighborhood with Cajun flair, known for red brick architecture, the farmers market, and a vibrant nightlife scene. One of the largest Mardi Gras celebrations outside New Orleans is held here!

Central West End

An elegant urban neighborhood, known for historic mansions, upscale dining and boutique shopping.

Clayton

A suburb of St. Louis, often known for its upscale dining, shopping and a business district, which is home to some corporate headquarters.

Delmar Loop

Cultural and entertainment district known for its eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, live music venues and art.

Places to eat & drink in St. Louis

Anheuser-Busch Biergarten has a full bar service of beer, wine & spirits.

Eats

Louie on Demun – One of my favorite St. Louis restaurants. Upscale cozy authentic Italian restaurant that has amazing food and desserts.

Ted Drewes – The famous frozen custard stand, known for their frozen custard and concretes that they flip upside down before serving.

Broadway Oyster Bar – Cajun restaurant with a funky atmosphere; they often have live music and a fun, lively patio.

Cinder House – located in the Four Seasons, offers upscale American cuisine, with stunning views overlooking downtown St. Louis and the Mississippi River.

Charlie Gittos on the Hill – Authentic Italian restaurant with a very welcoming family atmosphere. You must get the toasted ravioli!

Pappy’s Smokehouse – One of St. Louis’ best BBQ restaurants. Tip: Go early – they will sell out!

Farotto’s – In my opinion, Farotto’s has the best St. Louis style pizza! Local Italian restaurant with a St. Louis twist and also a local favorite.

Eleven Eleven Mississippi – An American bistro with Tuscan California cuisine that has a huge wine emphasis.

Drinks

Anheuser Busch – I think the name says it all; one of America’s largest breweries. You’ll have the freshest Budweiser of your life here! Check out the biergarten or go on a tour and see the Clydesdales!

Venice Café – A cash only bar/music venue in Benton Park with funky art and mosaics inside and outside on the large patio.

360 Rooftop Bar – Located on the top of Hilton at the Ballpark, 360 has panoramic views overlooking St. Louis and offers unique cocktails, craft beers, a large wine list and a small food menu.

Planters House – Award-winning cocktail bar with a chic atmosphere. They call it “A cocktail, food and spirits experience”.

4 Hands Brewing Company – Craft brewery that offers barrel-aged beers, a tasting room, free arcade games and is known for their beer called City Wide. They also own 1220 Spirits, which is a botanically-inspired craft distillery.

John D McGurk’s Irish Pub and Garden – Irish pub in Soulard that offers food, drinks, live music and a huge outdoor patio and a landscaped garden.

Thaxton Speakeasy – Prohibition-era-themed cocktail lounge located downtown that is underground and requires a password for entry.

Need to Know

Looking for more travel inspo? Check out my guide, Two Amazing Safari Lodges in South Africa: Greater Kruger National Park.

Advisor - Emily Tirjan

Travel Advisor

Emily Tirjan

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Missouri.