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Baltimore hound seeks flavor in St Louis, not suburbs

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Flying into St Louis next week to visit the Cityy Museum, which my daughter says is unforgettable. Anyway, we will be staying somewhere near there without a car, so need guidance on a couple of cafes and restaurants either close or a subway ride away. that have either good local specialties (not toasted ravioli!) and/ or intense flavors, inventive and skillful cooks. we are not afraid of spice, but don't like formal restaurants.

Many thanks, and will report back

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  1. Very close at hand is Kitchen K, on Washington Avenue. A Metro ride takes you to the Central West End with a number of good restaurants like Duff's and Chez Leon. St. Louis does traditional Italian well, and downtown, the most casual high-quality vendor is a relatively unknown place called J.F. Sanfilippo's, a family-owned spot in the Drury Inn on Broadway near the Convention Center.

    And you will love the City Museum, unforgettable but indescribable.

    1. Yes, the City Museum is very cool. If you are staying downtown and sticking with Metrolink (light rail), the neighborhoods you'll be looking at are Downtown/Washington Avenue, the Central West End, Clayton, and the Delmar Loop. An American Place downtown is highly rated, but could be considered formal, as could a lot of places in Clayton, the West End, and on Washington.

      I would try Schlafly's Tap Room at 21st and Locust, the City's largest local brewer (after the AB buyout). You can get some good microbrews and good food. It should be walkable or a short cab ride away. Have the cab take you to Crown Candy Kitchen for dessert on the way back.

      The Delmar Loop is easy to get to from Metrolink. Just note that the lines branch near the hospital - the Shrewsbury line will take you to Clayton and the airport line will take you to the Loop. Get off at Delmar and head west. Delmar has been voted one of the best streets in the nation and has a lot of food to offer. Pi has great pizza, and everyone seems to like Blueberry Hill (I'm not as convinced). But I would try Fitz's. They make their own root beer (and other varieties), which you can get on draft in a frosty mug. They also have great burgers and other food. Definitely a local favorite. If you want something quick and easy go to Gyros House just off Delmar on Melville.

      St. Louis has a lot more to offer, but it's a pretty car oriented town, and the good spots are littered about.

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      Schlafly Tap Room
      2100 Locust St, Saint Louis, MO 63103

      PI
      6144 Delmar Blvd, Saint Louis, MO

      Crown Candy Kitchen
      1401 Saint Louis Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63106

      Fitz's Soda Bar & Grill
      6605 Delmar Blvd, Saint Louis, MO 63130

      Blueberry Hill Restaurant
      6504 Delmar Blvd, Saint Louis, MO 63130

      Gyros House
      571 Melville Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63130