St. Louis Itinerary
I will be in St. Louis for three days--first trip--staying at the Renaissance downtown, without a car. Have spent some time reading this board and looking at recommendations but I don't know the geography of the city--would be grateful if you would help me figure out what's realistic in terms of getting there (walk or public transportation or reasonable cab ride) for:
--dinner one night before a baseball game
--great food fancier restaurant dinner out (Farmhaus? Niche?)
--bbq lunch (Pappy's would seem to be the place?)
--a sample of St. Louis Italian--pizza? restaurant on the Hill? does it make most sense to do this the baseball game night?
--will definitely get to Ted Drewe's
--how about an early dinner either near the hotel or near the airport before an evening flight?
--any other suggestions very welcome!
Enjoy your first trip to St. Louis!
Ted Drewe's is great anytime, but it is particularly lively and happy after a ballgame, especially if the Cards won. The favorite item there is a "concrete" -- a very thick concoction with frozen custard and syrups, fruit, or other add-ins. I like a chocolate with extra malt. But to really taste the wonderful, rich custard, a sundae is good, perhaps a hot fudge. Get one of both, small, and share.
I would not try to get to the Hill for a meal before a ballgame -- they start fairly early and you might want some pregame time to wander around and soak up the very festive atmosphere -- few teams have such loyal fans who dress in Cardinal red. I'd try to get into Anthony's Bar, caddycorner to the ballpark and owned by the folks who run the iconic Tony's, for some very good sandwiches or casual but excellent food. I don't know if they take reservations before games.
Imo's is the local chain for St. Louis pizza. Some branches are takeout or delivery only and some have dining facilities. Go with simple toppings -- pepperoni, sausage, mushroom, onion, peppers -- currently I'm seeing a special (during Cards telecasts) of two two-topping medium pizzas for $6.99 each -- ask. Be sure to order a side of toasted ravioli, a St. Louis specialty and favorite.
Niche is the hottest new-style restaurant in town, and is just south of downtown (your hotel is on Washington, on the north side of downtown). Nearby to Niche is Sidney Street Cafe, also very good. Tony's is the dress-up, old-school, Continental-Italian favorite -- very expensive and formal by St. Louis standards, not by NYC. Excellent service and very good food, much finished tableside. Caddycorner to the ballpark, close to your hotel.
Pappy's is excellent and a lot of fun -- very friendly place. Bogart's is getting great reviews, newer so I haven't been, and walking through the Soulard market can be fun. It also places you very close to the Anheiser-Busch brewery -- tours are interesting and fun and end with a free beer. The other attraction I'd be sure to check out is the zoo -- outstanding and free, try to go in the morning before it gets too hot and when more animals are out and active. I would not make any extra effort to get to the Hill unless you have a family or other attachment to the area.
Please report back.
Sidney Street Cafe
2000 Sidney St, Saint Louis, MO 63104
That's been the Imo's special for some time, and it's fine. Provel cheese is the standard, and it's not fake cheese, its dairy, to be sure; its just technically a cheese product. Not stringy like some mozzarella (the industrial kind), but quite gooey and creamy in texture when melted as it is on a pizza. Tidier to eat than mozz, which pleases those accustomed to it.
Another vote for Anthony's, which is catty-cornered to the stadium. St. Louis style Italian downtown is well served by J. F. Sanfilippo's in the Drury Inn on Broadway, family owned, kind of a sleeper that many locals don't know about but it's quite good of its kind. The Hill, IMHO, is more fun in the daytime, when you can stroll (if it's not as hot as it is as I write this) and nibble at delicatessens). Citygarden downtown is a must; Terrace View restaurant there is nice for lunch.
The Terrace View
808 Chestnut Street, Saint Louis, MO 63101
I'm new to town, but would make these limited recommendations...
1. For dinner before baseball game or near hotel, you might try "The Bridge Tap Room and Wine Bar" on Locust (around 10th/11th). Close to both locations. Depending on preferences, Prime 1000 is a fair steakhouse on Washington Avenue.
2. For BBQ lunch, it's likely easier to get to Bogart's Smokehouse than Pappy's -- both owned by same company. It's not a terribly far walk from downtown to Bogart's, though through an industrial area. Otherwise it's a cab ride from either location. Bogart's is in more of a neighborhood and next to the Soulard Farmers' Market. Bogart's is only open for lunch and not on Sunday.
170 S Main St, Hoisington, KS 67544
thinking of pre-game bites downtown, has anyone been to the Broadway Oyster Bar lately? or the Terrace Cafe at CityGarden (online menu looks wintery)? City Museum http://www.citymuseum.org/home.asp is open quite late on weekends for 'big kids' and not only has a full bar but a ferris wheel on the roof!
after the game there's always mischief to be found in Soulard (almost walking distance from the ballpark, but not advised) and right around your hotel Washington St. is jumping these days
near DD's suggestion of Niche (on my list!), the Venice Cafe has a fantastic patio for a few pre/post dinner drinks (they have some food, but it's never tempted me) if you go, be sure to check out the mosaics the OCD owners have installed over the years and the Explorer's Room upstairs.
both shown in this map
for the last dinner, after check-out I'd either leave the bags at the hotel and stay around downtown, or if you've packed light, lug them on Metro to the CWE and wander Euclid North from the station. near the Delmar station there are a few places like Pi and a few blocks away the Delmar Loop has a gajillion choices (but not sure if I'd want to be lugging luggage that far, the area is changing for the better, but still a few gaps between here and there)
the problem with eating near the airport or otherwise along the way is that the area isn't particularly known for great choices and while there are some, getting a cab to one wouldn't be a problem, but getting one from there to the airport becomes a little dicey.
re: hill food
"help me figure out what's realistic in terms of getting there (walk or public transportation or reasonable cab ride)"
the highways fractured the city badly, there are wonderfully walkable neighborhoods with destinations, but they don't connect the way they do in NYC, SF, DC or Boston. sometimes I wonder if that has in some ways preserved through neglect.
getting a cab downtown or the West End or Clayton is not a problem. but these are also served by Metro. getting one in certain parts of the city, difficult. buses stop running (or cut back service) early. in the County? forget it. I think this is why most of our suggestions have been fairly close-in. Soulard and Benton Park are an easy cab ride, but no Metro and spotty after hours bus service. http://www.metrostlouis.org/Default.aspx
I'll let others chime in on some of your questions. I would highly recommend both Farmhaus and Niche. Niche is much closer to downtown (short, pretty cheap cab ride). Farmhaus is around I-44 and Arsenal, on Ivanhoe, some 10-12 miles from downtown, so that would be considerably more expensive. You'd need to cab it. That said, I think it's wonderful in an eclectic (in the best sense of the word) way.
For BBQ Pappy's is good, I prefer Bogart's in Soulard, which is near downtown and gives you a good feel of "real" St. Louis neighborhoods.
Don't personally like St. Louis pizza (it has a faux cheese product called provel if it's truly St. Louis style), but Imo's has several locations downtown. For other pizza near downtown I'd go to Feraro's (NJ style) in Soulard or PW Pizza on Chouteau (neither are St. Louis style) Great Sicilian sandwich place on the Hill called Adriana's...some of the best sandwiches I have ever had, highly recommended. I prefer Trattoria Marcella or LoRusso's Cucina for Italian, they are slightly off the Hill proper but worth the trip.
Neae the hotel, Mosaic, Mango (Peruvian), and Lucas Park Grille all have things to offer, and near the hotel, in Ferguson, Cork Wine Bar has good small plates and a nice vibe. Hope this helps!
Lucas Park Grille
1234 Washington Ave, St. Louis, MO 63103
3600 Watson Rd, Saint Louis, MO 63109
3257 Ivanhoe Ave, St Louis, MO 63139