I would think that Crown Candy Kithen is a must go to. An Ice Cream Shop/Diner dating back to 1910 I believe. Just featured on Man vs Food on the travel channel.
Many St. Louisans don't even know about this place. Not in a good neighborhood persay so I would probably plan for lunch.
Thanks for all the responses so far. This will be our second trip to STL in the last few years, and we will be back to the City Museum. Our kids are 7 and 3, so we really need family friendly, although my wife and I would like to come on our own some time and do some grownup things.
FOTD, you live on Shakedown Street?
1. 400 Olive is in a former bank lobby and the vault doors are open. Your kids may get a kick out of eating there.
2. Papa Fabarre's in Macy's has an old-time New Orleans feel, with an elaborate system of fanbelts that turn the ceiling fans.
3. The Old Spaghetti Factory on Laclede's Landing is always full of kids, who enjoy the incredible wooden staircase.
The Lemp Mansion does a great family style fried chicken dinner on Sundays. We would frequent it when living back home. They even do a dinner theater (kid appropriate) if you are interested...and as a side note...they would let me take the kids upstairs on a tour of the house.....the supposedly haunted house! The kids loved going there...plus the fried chicken was good...fried in lard...came with the usual sides.
Pappy's is a family-friendly BBQ place on Olive where it turns back from Lindell near St. Louis University on the side of downtown -- really good baby back ribs, pulled pork (ask for it untrimmed, with the bark), and brisket, also good sides like sweet potato fries. Imo's is the local pizza chain -- lots of locations in the city, some have dine-in, others for delivery or pick-up only. St. Louis-style pizza is ultra-thin, topped with the melty provel cheese, and cut into squares rather than wedges -- served with cheesy Italian salad and toasted (deep-fried breaded) ravioli. There are a lot of good sandwich places around town -- Amighetti's on the southside Italian neighborhood called the "Hill," Blues City Deli in Benton Park, Anthony's Bar for upscale burgers and sandwiches across from the new ballpark downtown. Hodak's for fried chicken. Blueberry Hill on Delmar in the Loop out near Washington University for burgers and bar food, darts, pinball, and all sorts of rock'n'roll memorabilia featuring our native Chuck Berry. By all means hit Ted Drewe's on the old Rte. 66 for frozen custard, perhaps the St. Louis landmark.
It may sound like an odd recommendation but the Schlafly Taproom has great food selections for a family. Also, if you don't go to the City Museum at some time during your trip you will have deprived your children of a terrifically good time. http://www.citymuseum.org/home.asp There is a cafe there called Samwiches.
Schlafly Tap Room
2100 Locust St, Saint Louis, MO 63103
701 N 15th St Ste 29, Saint Louis, MO 63103