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Sep 20, 2011 03:24 PM

Please help! Going to St. Louis Fri - Mon next week.

I've never been to St. Louis (or the Midwest for that matter), so I'm excited to visit St. Louis. The thing is I won't have a car and I'll be in the downtown area (near the Gateway Arch). I have a general idea on what to do/see figured out (Anheuser-Busch Brewery tour, visit the Arch, Forest Park, etc.), but would greatly appreciate any suggestions on what to do & more importantly, eat, without having to take too many cab rides. I searched the discussion boards, but the lists seemed outdated.
The trip will be just me and my hubby. No kids! :)
Thanks in advance for your help.

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  1. outdated? really? I thought the board had been pretty active lately, scroll down for a boatload of related topics like:

    besides, it's STL, things don't change all that fast.

    1. Hey happy1004. One of the reasons you aren't getting a lot of replies may be because of the 'no-car' thing...St. Louis is a city of disparate neighborhoods, and our public transport is fairly limited...maybe you could tell us WHERE you're going and give us some idea as to where we should point you? For example...if you are going to the zoo with friends or something, we can direct you to nearby areas like University City or even Clayton...but if you are taking a cab to the zoo and hoping to hoof it to a nearby place for dinner, we're going to be much more limited in our recommendations, you'll pretty much be eating in Dogtown (not as bad as it sounds! Its a nice little neighborhood with some friendly little bar-food places...) I'm sorry I can't help much with downtown recommendations, I'm sure someone else will weigh in with places near your hotel? It might even help us to know which hotel, since 'near the Arch' could mean a lot of things, in terms of walkable destinations. You might want to add the Botanical Gardens (if you like that kind of thing) to your must-see list. And in the interest of locavorism (and, you know..tasty beer)...if you tour AB, try to visit our second-biggest brewery, Schlafly, as well. (AB lovers...don't yell at me. I can drink Bud Light with the best of 'em. I just like the hefeweizen at Schlafly...what can I say?) We do have our Metrolink rail system, which will take you to several likely areas...but it doesn't run super-late, and sometimes it's a bit of a walk to the restaurants...are you guys up for 5-6 block walks or are you thinking of nice places where you can climb out of the cab in sky-high heels and walk 5-6 yards to the door?

      5 Replies
      1. re: tonifi

        Hi! Thanks for the feedback. We will be staying at the Hilton near the convention center. I saw there are Metrolinks on Google Map. Is it pretty reliable or do you think I should cab/rent a car? Honestly, I was thinking about walking to a lot of the places. We'll probably end up doing 1 nice dinners (dress up kinda thing), but all the others, I want to immerse in the local culture/food! :)
        Thanks again.

        1. re: happy1004

          Metrolink is reliable, but perhaps doesn't run as often (much less as late) as one would wish. It WILL take you to the West End, U City and Clayton, each with a lot of choices, but you are going to have to do some hoofing once there. IIRC Forest Park has a cheap or even free shuttle from the stations, but you'd have to research that, inside the park there are only a handful of places and they are few and between (that is one honking big park).

          on Washington right where you're staying are a ton of places to casually check out. pop in for a drink, glance at the menu and make a mental note for dinner as you wander down the street (it does get a bit umm boisterous on weekend nights)

          1. re: hill food

            That's good to know! Maybe we'll get a car after all... :)

            1. re: happy1004

              you always could p/u one downtown just for the first day or two and then decide. I know people who only use mass transit and it chews up a lot of time. dense restaurant cores are few, parking lots we have. sadly some of my favorite areas aren't transit easy.

            2. re: hill food

              and as Metro tickets are time based not trip based you can always dash into some of the suggestions downstream and keep going to someplace better.

        2. The classic dress-up dinner is Tony's, which is a mix of old-school Italian (not meatballs and red sauce, but fine veal chops and such) and more modern American (scallop appetizer w/ truffles). It's downtown, near either of the Hiltons, quite fancy, but not as stiff as some people still think. The great secret to it is that if something isn't on the menu but you have a hankering for it, they'll make it for you if they have the ingredients. A particular nod to the fine soups and a chocolate cake with housemade banana ice cream for dessert.

          If you get a steak or chop, ask for the Italian potatoes, fried with onions and black olives...yum. (Not on menu, but no one will blink an eye.) The family Bommarito always has at least two members on hand to watch over things.

          Other good places, especially not dress-up, but this is the top of the list.

          410 Market St, Saint Louis, MO 63102

          2 Replies
          1. re: lemons

            ahh Tony's, where the staff won't let your errant napkin ever hit the floor. I need to go back some day.

            1. re: lemons

              I'll definitely check it out! I love potatoes of all kinds hehe.

            2. The original comment has been removed
              1. I LOVE love love love CityGarden (is that too effusive?), haven't heard great things about the cafe, but it's a beaut and the menu has looked good, odd as the proprietors get high marks elsewhere in town.

                since you're adults and downtown, hit the late weekend nights at the CityMuseum (no relation) have cocktails and ride the roof-top ferris wheel.

                1. re: hill food

                  BTW, The Terrace View is going to quit serving dinner...I believe at the end of this month...and will close at the end of the year, when the lease is up. Too bad, but of all the Fiala restaurants, it was the least wonderful.

                  The Terrace View
                  808 Chestnut Street, Saint Louis, MO 63101

                  1. re: lemons

                    I heard there were issues, too bad, such an awesome location (I guess better March-October)

                  2. re: hill food

                    Ooh roof top ferris sounds awesome! Thanks!!!

                2. Hello! Since you are taking the Metrolink, Union Station is a nice place to check out. It use to be an old railway station and now contains shops, restaurants, and a hotel. At the Fudgery the workers will put on a show while they make fresh fudge. It is very enjoyable. Here's a link to the Union Station website:

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: PixieFrog

                    Thanks! I'll definitely check it out. I'm getting really excited!:)

                    1. re: happy1004

                      Now see, I was going to say that you really ought to check out City Museum...but since you aren't traveling with kids and I seem to have developed a reputation as some sort of crazed City Museum stalker(okay...I AM some sort of crazy City Museum stalker), I abstained. HOWEVER...since hillfood is in my corner I'll go ahead and second his have GOT to see this place. It is a little overrun with teenagers at night, but still absolutely worth a visit. I swear to you, it isn't all slides and tunnels...wander up to he architecture museum on the third floor and look at the gargoyles, have a drink at Cabin in the CIty, check out the view from the roof. And after a few drinks, the slides start to look like fun even to the grown-ups.

                      1. re: tonifi

                        oh toni, I've seriously thought about shooting Bob my resume despite the words of a former employee of his: "yeah you'll get paid crap and be expected on any given day to risk your life building his insanity" I dunno sounds like more fun than a desk job.

                        there is food found in the place, but nothing remarkable IIRC. (but a full bar in the Cabin!) and Schlafly's (good pub food, great beer, live music with rarely a cover) is just around the corner.

                        1. re: hill food

                          "yeah you'll get paid crap and be expected on any given day to risk your life building his insanity"

                          whoa. weird that I posted that last week given Monday's news.


                          1. re: hill food

                            Your post was the first thing I thought of when I heard. I just keep wondering what more wonderful things we might have had from that admittedly crazy man if he had only had twenty or thirty more years.

                    2. re: PixieFrog

                      Of all the suggestions so far, Union Station, sadly, is the one I'd skip, at least food-wise. It's a spectacular and beautiful old building but it has not ever lived up to its promise as an attraction. No-one has mentioned it so far, but I'd hop in a car or cab and head down to Iron Barley for food that you won't find elsewhere and the charm of a modern neighborhood institution.

                      Iron Barley
                      5510 Virginia Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63111