Where to eat in St Louis with kids?
I am going with my family and need recommendations on where to eat. We are hoping to go to Six Flaggs, the Zoo, the Childrens Museum and City Museum. We will have a car. We love all kinds of food. Don't want anything too pricey. But don't just want "kid's meals". YKWIM? Thanks.
My kids always loved The Boathouse in Forest Park for the day you are at the Zoo - especially if it's a nice day and you can eat outside around the lake. There's something about paddle boats that really made my family happy. It's been a while so I honestly can't speak of it from a food experience.
Six Flags is in a rather distant suburb, and is surrounded primarily by chains. You can pack a picnic and leave it in your car, then take a break during your day to go eat--you could stock up on delicious deli foods or undressed sandwiches from the Hill, which is the city's traditional Italian neighborhood.
There is a restaurant inside the City Museum although I have never been to it, as I can't get my kids to sit down long enough when we're there to actually eat. Fountain on Locust is not too far from the City Museum and pretty kid friendly.
I am assuming that by "Children's Museum" you are referring to the Magic House which is in Kirkwood. In that neck of the woods, we are partial to Dewey's Pizza. I also like Kaldi's Coffee for a quick lunch and my kids like Culpeppers, although I think it is nothing special. These are all on Kirkwood Road just north of the Magic House. There are a lot of family friendly places right around there, hopefully someone else can chime in with some other suggestions.
IMHO, the Boathouse in Forest Park is also nothing special, but it's a great atmosphere. It does get crowded though, so just factor in everyone's capacity for waiting.
the City Museum has a coupla casual places inside (and don't miss the rooftop ferris wheel!) some friends spin discs in the Cabin on Friday nights (I know you're with kids, so just let them go crazy in the main place while you indulge in an adult beverage in the hideaway). there's a fake retro dinerish place and a bowling alley over on Washington near 13th (? - well it's West of Tucker) and they're ok. although I'd rather hit South Grand for VN. and as long as you're downtown, you have to hit CityGarden (no relation) it's a sculpture park that encourages your tykes to climb on the pieces. best at dusk.
in Eureka there's a branch of Original Fried Pies (a regional chain, granted) sweet and savory choices http://www.theoriginalfriedpieshop.co... near Phil's a M+P BBQ joint http://philsbbqeureka.com/lunch-dinne... (the website is kinda wonky) and Supersmokers BBQ (a small local chain) http://supersmokers.com/ each along the North service road of I-44.
never been to these but am curious. you could be my guinea pig!
otherwise it's Steak and Shake (which is good) and lesser choices or it's a 10-20 minute drive for something "special" and with hungry kids who want to get back to the rides, I can't recommend that.
Boathouse is a great setting although the menu does look dull. the boats rent year-round, weather permitting. also in The Park (yeah some of us capitalize that) is a more upscale place in the History museum. From the zoo, the Hill, as mentioned is a quick hop down Hampton, turn left just after I-44 at the "Dirt Cheap" store and wander a ways ESE. a couple of great bakeries and really good sandwiches and pizza (yeah STL style but not the kind that gets the bad press - little or no provel) I like Milo's, a nice patio and bocce courts to divert the kids. http://www.milosboccegarden.com/ although others swear by Amighetti's I just don't have the patience for the line.
re: hill food
If you are indeed at the Magic House Children's Museum, I second the vote for Dewey's pizza...the pizza is good, as are the salads, the staff is both young and friendly, and they have some particularly kid-charming aspects like a window into the kitchen where you can watch the cooks twirl pizza dough, and the fact that they will happily do a half & half pizza of whatever type you need, which is very nice for me, since I have one red sauce kid, and one white sauce kid.
The eateries inside City Museum are okay, and not ridiculously overpriced, as hill food suggests, and you might do just as well to stick to sturdy snacking while you're there...(it really is hard to make the kids sit down for very long) and grab something to eat afterwards (and if you do head to South Grand, which isn't far, both Pho Grand and LemonGrass are right in the South Grand strip and very acceptable Vietnamese, but I can also recommend The Vine for Middle Eastern food The portions are huge...mine are fourteen and thirteen and they usually split an order of chicken schwarma with obligatory fruit smoothies (they do a great berry smoothie).
I've found the food at the Boathouse to be pretty unremarkable, but the setting does make up for it.
When you are at the zoo you really are minutes away from lots of better food, both on the Hill to the South (follow hill food's directions to the Hill, once you're a few blocks east of Hampton and just south of Highway 44 you're in the thick of it, and there are pasta/pizza/sandwich places galore) or the University City Loop (the street is Delmar) to the North.
re: hill food
clarification - on the Hill it's mostly good but don't expect much innovation, with a few exceptions it's largely of the old-school red sauce Italian. think Baltimore's or NYC's Little Italy. avoid anyplace with a tour bus and/or a tour group milling out front.
and the Eureka ideas are for the Six Flags day. (sorry I just drive through there, rarely stop for more than a coke)