Going Solo to St. Louis- recommedations?
I'm traveling to St. Louis at the end of the month for work. Never been there before. Any suggestions on good places to eat for dinner? I'm going by myself, so I'm probably looking for more chill places rather than ultra-expensive or romantic. I'm staying at the Adams Mark. Also, what kind of food is St. Louis known for? I'm clueless!
Don't forget to stop by The Hill and check out the various Italian places...you can spend a lazy afternoon walking around and checking out the various delis/restaurants/bakeries. I was there a couple of times but it was a while back and forget specific places, maybe someone can suggest a few!
Will you have a car? If so, you are only about 5- 10 minutes south of Crown Candy Kitchen (on the city's near north side.) It's at 1401 St. Louis Avenue- but St. Louis Ave doesn't go through from downtown so it's easiest to jump on the highway for one exit.
They have sandwiches and chili for your dinner but make sure you don't eat too much because you have to save room for dessert! It's a popular lunch spot, less crowded at dinner except for before baseball games and other downtown events.
The majority of the dessert stuff is made in house. The ice cream, toppings (hot fudge, chocolate sauce, caramel, and simple syrup base) are all made in the back in the early mornings.
You have to try the crown newport. It's spectacular- homemade butterscotch/caramel sauce, chewy gooey hot fudge and toasted pecans over your choice of ice cream topped with real whipped cream! It's sinful.
Hmmm, no car. First of all, cabs aren't as abundant as you'd find in other cities. You often need to call for a cab, you should find one hanging around near the Adam's Mark, but you may need to call for one after you eat. (http://stlouis.missouri.org/transportation/cabs.html) I'd say that Crown Candy is worth the cab ride. It's only about 2.5 miles from the Adam's Mark. If you are lucky, there will be a cab that stopped by to grab a malt and you won't need to call for one.
You are within easy walking distance to Laclede's Landing as well. Joey B.'s has Toasted Ravioli and St. Louis Style pizza. I've never been there but they were featured on the Food network (not that it really says much!) Jake's steaks does a decent steak, imo. We've been there a couple times.
If your visit carries over a weekend, Live on the Levee is every Fri and Sat night and on Saturday's they are offering a 3 course dinner for $30 @ the Sauce Cafe featuring a different local restaurant each week http://celebratestlouis.org/site/ .
The ideal "chill" joint is called JJ's. I usually go there on saturday nights. It is a large diverse crowd, something for all ages. Pool, darts, videogames, jukebox and tunes. Through the week it has a pretty good happy hour. You can count on having a good time as long as your open and sociable.
Mike...are you driving, walking, or using cabs/public transit?
I'm a bit out of the loop these days (circumstances, and children, have conspired to keep me in the kitchen most nights), but I am always very comfortable at Iron Barley and the food is very good, and a good value as well. Tom Coghill cooks a kind of upscale home-cookin' that I've never found anywhere else, and the place is very casual and friendly...they also have the full range of our local microbrew (Schlafly). The two Schlafly facilities are also pretty decent...the St. Louis Brewery Tap Room downtown is very near to where you'll be staying and has a nice pub-vibe and good fish and chips (its all about the green peppercorn ketchup for your chips), and their Maplewood facility, the Bottleworks, has a more ambitious menu and the same good beer. Whichever you try, you must get the Sticky Toffee Pudding for dessert...it's better on a cold winter night, but sit under an air-conditioning duct and order it anyway, it's gooood. St. Louis is known for its toasted ravioli and signature pizza. Toasted ravioli is fine...I had eaten 12,521 of the little suckers by the time I graduated from high school and I haven't wanted one since, but at one time I adored them...and St. Louis style pizza is very, very thin crusted (almost a cracker-crust), with a sweetish red sauce and gobs of provel cheese. I'm a native and I love it, but many non-natives are horrified. If you try it, perhaps you should order only a small...(or drop your leftovers off at my house). Guido's on Shaw (just west of Kingshighway) does a very nice version of St. Louis pizza and makes toasted ravs as well, as well as fulfilling your casual/chill preference.
Most visitors to the our town find their way to Ted Drewes for frozen custard. Try to drag a co-worker along...it's more fun to stand around on the sidewalk with somebody (you probably won't have a problem on a hot July night recruiting people to accompany you). I prefer the South Grand location (not so crowded) but if you want the full effect you probably should go to the one on Watson and mill around with the giant crowd that gathers there on summer nights...and don't be alarmed, the lines move fast. I get a marshmallow/macadamia nut concrete (an ultra-thick shake that is their specialty) or a terra-mizzou sundae ('terra-mizzou being a local riff on the flavors of the classic italian dessert).
St. Louis isn't really known for a particular type of food (not like barbeque in Kansas City or pizza in Chicago), but you'll find plenty to eat. I hope you have a good time...take some time to drive or walk around some of our older neighborhoods and admire our red-brick city. South Grand, the Central West End, University City, Soulard, and Maplewood will all offer you plenty of options and your concierge should be able to point you in the right direction easily. Avoid the Landing unless you're looking for bars and bars and yet more bars (the kind with the loud music and louder patrons)...(okay, maybe I'm just old)
I have friends from Philadelphia who say they always feel right at home in St. Louis, we hope you feel the same...let us know where you end up and what you think?
From the Adam's Mark, I suggest you walk south down Broadway, and you will hit a stretch of blues bars. The Broadway Oyster Bar is a unique place and features Creole and Cajun food.
Keep on going south, and you will hit a part of town called Soulard. The entire district is dedicated to chilling, with an interesting bar on every corner. Try McGurk's, which will have live Celtic music every night, and has a delightful patio. For wonderful food, go to the Juniper Grill, which is near McGurk's. Close by is Nadine's Gin Joint, and if you are lucky, there is a concert going on in the Lucas School House.
You don't say whether or not you have a car. If you don't, you are within walking distance to Washington Ave. You can head to the Dubliner for Irish pub food, Mosaic for small plates, Copia for American style and Red Moon for asian influenced cuisine. All of these places are good and you will be comfortable going alone.
Have a good visit.
There are things St. Louis is known for. The style of Pizza, Toasted Ravioli to name two. But personally your not going to be any worse for the wares without them. Give me some direction on what type of places you like and I can give you tons of suggestions.
Where do you live and what are some of your favs there?
Meanwhile, check out-