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Feb 12, 2009 10:52 AM

St. Louis recommendations?


I am going to be coming in from Columbus Ohio to St. Louis, on business and this will be my first time in the city, and possibly the state (though as a kid I went to worlds of fun constantly, is that in Missouri?!) at any rate, I would welcome any suggestions on restaurants (more interesting mid priced cuisine) and though I realize this isn't a travel web site, I'd REALLY like suggestions about hotels and what parts of town are cool and safe and what isn't. Again, I realize this isn't a travel website BUT, I'm clueless. Thanks, in advance for any input!


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  1. Marta -
    These are my picks for St. Louis in the cheap - moderate price level:

    Carl's Drive Inn
    9033 Manchester Rd
    Saint Louis, MO 63144
    (314) 961-9652‎

    Chris' Pancake & Dining
    5980 Southwest Ave
    St Louis, MO 63139
    (314) 645-2088‎

    Goody Goody Diner
    5900 Natural Bridge Ave
    St Louis, MO 63120
    (314) 383-3333‎

    2100 Gravois Ave
    St Louis, MO 63104
    (314) 776-7292‎

    John D Mc Gurks Irish Pub
    1200 Russell Blvd
    St Louis, MO 63104
    (314) 776-8309‎

    Ted Drewes Frozen Custard
    6726 Chippewa St
    St Louis, MO 63109
    (314) 481-2652‎

    C & K Barbecue Restaurant
    4390 Jennings Station Rd
    St Louis, MO 63121
    (314) 385-8100‎

    Pappy's Smokehouse
    3106 Olive St
    St Louis, MO 63103
    (314) 535-4340‎

    Phil's Bar B Que
    9205 Gravois Rd
    St Louis, MO

    Plush Pig Barbeque
    7814 Forsyth Blvd
    St Louis, MO 63105
    (314) 725-4411‎

    Smoki O's
    1545 N Broadway
    St Louis, MO

    Smokin' Al's
    1216 Hampton Ave
    St Louis, MO

    Hope that helps a little

    3 Replies
    1. re: FrugalDanny

      Smokin' Al's closed down from what I heard.

        1. re: FrugalDanny

          My full belly will attest that they were open as of this this afternoon.

    2. Are you driving in on I-70? Be sure to stop at The Firefly Grill in Effingham IL.

      For hotel advice, I suggest going to

      1. If you drive and take 70 through Effingham, don't miss the Firefly Grill. If budget is consideration, they usually have a lunch special or two that are reasonable. The regular menu is higher but great bang for the buck.

        1 Reply
        1. Phil's is awful Do not go there. Sorry frugal.

          What part of town are you conducting business in?


          14 Replies
          1. re: FriendOfTheDevil

            I couldn't agree more. Phils is AWFUL.

            I think alot of my recommedations will be based on where you stay. You can get a Hampton Inn anywhere but I really like the Drury downtown. Great rooms, reasonable price and close to the Metro. I also like The Chase but that is on the spendier side of things. My all time favorite hotel in St. Louis is now the Four Seasons....GORGEOUS views of the Arch/City...I love the bar and the rooms are first rate. I try and go there whenever I can...the spa service is fab.

            As for food...I'd hit up Niche, Frazers Brown Bag, Pappy's, Ted Drew's, Pi and get a pretzel from Gus'....again...once you nail down your hotel...I'll have more recs for you.

            1. re: CheesemongersWife

              aw shucks! is there no one that will stand up for phil? (:-D)
              how the heck does it stay in business for god sake!

              1. re: FrugalDanny

                Thank you! I'll be conducting business downtown mostly. I asked someone about sushi and they mentioned Miso but I looked online at the menu and I have to say it looked a little Mcsushi. It was also suggested that i stay in Clayton. Any thoughts there?

                1. re: martaburke

                  Clayton is nice. The Ritz Carlton is's about a 15 minute drive to downtown..but you can catch the Metro. I always prefer downtown...and if work is paying...stay at the Four Seasons. LOL!

                  OH WAIT! Hwy 40 is closed from Clayton to Kingshighway I believe. I would suggest staying downtown. Then you could go to Niche, Anthony's Bar, Rooster and Wasabi (best sushi downtown).

                  1. re: CheesemongersWife

                    Do not count on a 15 minute drive to downtown from Clayton on Forest Park Parkway. It is at least 30-45 minutes with Hwy 40 closed. The Metrolink light rail is faster and relaxing.
                    For the budget-minded in Clayton, I recommend House of Wong for freshly-cooked Chinese (with some Cambodian on the menu). They will make just about any dish with tofu for vegetarians. Also, Il Vicino for good pizza and salads. Each is a good value with good food.

                    1. re: CheesemongersWife

                      Roosters is a great place. You can get a great gift certificate for them at penny’s on the dollar at restaurant dot com.

                    2. re: martaburke

                      Clayton is very nice. Listen to Cheesemonger's Wife. She is one of the most experienced in St. Louis "city" life.


                      1. re: FriendOfTheDevil

                        interesting and mostly safe areas include the old downtown warehouse/garment district along Washington, Euclid in the Central West End, Delmar in the U City Loop, Soulard, South Grand below Arsenal.

                        unless you're really into 19th c. cast-iron facades, skip Laclede's landing - amateur night year-round.

                        I assume CheesemongersWife means the Drury by the riverfront, not the one by Union Station. It's an interesting collage of 19th and 20th c. buildings joined at the hip. Drury stepped in when some numbnuts was trying to tear down the old Fur Exchange and snapped it up before total irreversible destruction occurred. also in that complex is a slick 3 story mid-century building that is one huge Vierendeel truss.

                        Clayton is indeed nice, but a bit antiseptic and boring with a capital B. if you choose to stay there, it's not that much longer to take the Forest Park Parkway instead of 40 (sorry, 64 now). I prefer it if I have a choice - smaller scale, bit more urban and you get a chance to look around along the way before it joins up with 64 in Midtown although SLU has not been kind to the streetscape.

                        1. re: hill food

                          yep...the downtown Drury across the street from the old court house.

                    3. re: FrugalDanny

                      It stays in business the same reason other marginal places stick around-the clientele don't know any better. Including Phils with Pappys is a major insult to Pappys.

                      I don't think the typical visitor will find the recommendation for Goody Good, C and K very useful given they're in out of the way locations in dicey areas-definitely to be avoided at night for all but the street savvy. And for burgers, Carl's really isn't a good value.

                      There are a lot of good restaurants in Clayton, but many tend to be on the expensive side, at least for stl. I would consider the Plush Pig for BBQ, Cafe Napoli for italian is a decent value, Remy for med.influenced tapas, mains, wine bar is moderately priced. Blue elephant for thai will be reasonable, though I've never been there so can't tell you about the food. Avoid Barcelona which went downhill a long time ago.

                      1. re: mister

                        I have to include Pomme in the Clayton mix. Both locations....I have had great meals at both spots. One is more upscale and the other is a nice cafe with a decent wine list...and good breakfast. I still think they have the best croissants in town.

                      2. re: FrugalDanny

                        I've been wondering that myself about Phil. We live less than a mile away ate there once a few years ago. We've never even been tempted to go back.

                        1. re: Pylon

                          My biggest problem with Phil's is their sauce. It's runny like watered down ketchup and has the same flavor.

                    4. re: FriendOfTheDevil

                      I agree 100%. Phil's sucks big time. Just awful.Stay away. If you want ribs try Pappy's as others have said. I also would go with Frazers Brown Bag, Harvest in Richmond Heights is good, and we like the Charcoal House on Manchester for steak.

                    5. I contributed extensively to a long recent thread about St. Louis restaurants here:


                      Note, it veers off into a cosmopolitan debate in the middle, but then gets back on track.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: nosh

                        Nosh's post that he is referring to is EXCELLENT! Def check it out.