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Jan 31, 2012 05:36 PM

STL - can't miss spots downtown?

My husband and I will be spending 4 days in STL in march for a conference and the NCAA tourney. We'll be splitting time between the Four Seasons and the Marriott Union Station. Our home town is lacking in food options, so we try to make the most of time spent in other towns. What are the cant miss spots in that area? We're up for any type of cuisine or atmosphere, as long as the food is good!

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  1. I know we ask this a lot...but will you have a car? St. Louis can be a bit far-flung, and taxis can be few and far between. Knowing your transportation options will influence our answers.

    1 Reply
    1. re: tonifi

      unfortunately, whether to drive or fly is TBD. if our of our college teams is in that region and may be playing Sunday night in the Elite Eight, we'll drive. Otherwise, flying. I know that doesn't make the planning easy. But we're not adverse to a cab fare for a meal that is worth it!

    2. You'll want to search posts over the past year or so to get more detailed info, but, for dinners, I'd certainly include Niche, which is not far from downtown, and Farmhaus, which is a bit more of a trek from downtown, but worth the trip. For breakfast you'll want to go to Rooster, which is walkable. You can get great barbecue at two locations, Pappy's and Bogart's, neither of which is downtown, but both of which are not far away. I'm sure the always helpful St. Louis contingent will offer additional ideas. Downtown will, of course, be crowded during the tourney, and you'd be smart to hop in a cab to go a short distance and avoid the crush. On the other hand, regardless of where you go, at least for dinner, make reservations and avoid disappointment.

      Niche Restaurant
      1831 Sidney Street, St. Louis, MO 63104

      1104 Locust St, St Louis, MO 63101

      Pappy's Smokehouse
      3106 Olive St, St Louis, MO

      3257 Ivanhoe Ave, St Louis, MO 63139

      2 Replies
      1. re: alan

        You might want to take a look at our public-transit rail system, Metrolink:
        It is somewhat limited but will take you to a couple of terrific areas...Maplewood for home wine kitchen, or the Central West End for Brasserie by Niche, a couple of my favorites. Niche, which is Gerard Craft's original award-winning restaurant, is, as alan says, a short cab ride from Downtown, as are both Pappy's and Bogart's, which were opened by some of the same guys, and are both really good if you are in the mood for 'cue. If you go to lunch on Saturday, choose Bogart's over Pappy's so you can cross the street and wander Soulard Market, our very old and very wonderful farmer's market. Oh, and Brasserie and home wine kitchen both do weekend brunches, which might be nice for you, if you want to do your trekking earlier in the day, and stay a little closer to home in the evenings...

        1. re: tonifi

          I had difficulty getting Bogart's Smokehouse to register on the map using the Chowhound link system, so here's one more shot because I like tonifi's suggestion of going at lunch and wandering the market. Of course, you may find yourself wanting to watch some basketball...

          Bogart's Smokehouse
          1627 S 9th St, St Louis, MO 63104

      2. Since you specified "downtown" in your original post, notwithstanding your willingness to hop in a cab, I will tell you to consider Prime 1000, right downtown on Washington. I've eaten there many times and, just last week, attended a wine dinner that, of the many wine dinners I have been to over the years, may have been the very best. It is far from just a steakhouse. The current chef is turning out some awesome and creative food. And the bar is wonderful, with a trendy see-and-be-seen vibe and terrific cocktails and a thoughtful wine list. And it has big screen TVs in the bar for watching hoop. I also very highly recommend Taste by Niche, which is next to Brasserie by Niche. I do NOT recommend Home Wine Kitchen - definitely not worth the cab fare. You may also enjoy a cocktail up at 360, in the Hilton overlooking Busch stadium. Great view. But you'll also experience a great view when you're at the Four Seasons and go up to Cielo on the 8th floor.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Wayno

          Many differing opinions on Home Wine Kitchen; Google it.

        2. While staying at Union Station, you must have a leisurely drink in the Grand Hall.

          2 Replies
          1. re: steveb

            Oh, yeah. One of the great rooms in the United States.

            1. re: lemons

              Oh! Union Station! Don't forget to play with the whispering arch (it really works).