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St Louis recommendations?

For the St Louis friends, I will be taking the Advanced Exam in October.  What are the can't miss spots to hit?  Staying downtown at the Four Seasons.

  • St Louis has islands of good places to eat and drink.  Unfortunately downtown is kind of lacking.  The one place I can recommend is Lucas Park Grille.  Rich Ross is in charge of the wine program and he has done an excellent job. 

    I've listed a few different areas below  with multiple places to eat and drink within walking distance.  They are also within 10-15 minutes of the Four Seasons.

    Botanical Gardens area:

    Indo, Union Loafers, Nixta, Elia, AO & Co Market and Olio are all on at the same intersection and all great... Actually, I haven't been to Indo yet, as it just opened, but the reviews have been great.  About a 10 minute drive from the Four Seasons.  

    Lafayette Square:

    33 Wine Bar - Chill minimal wine bar in a century old building, with awesome staff and unbeatable bottle pricing.

    Polite Society - Fun place to be at night  with a solid cocktail/beverage program, and good food.  

    Planters House - some of the city's best cocktails, good food and also a really well designed spot.


    Elmwood - Topnotch restaurant run by a true hospitality professionals with a California focused wine list.

    Acero - Great upscale Italian.

    Benevolent King

    Foundation Grounds - Coffee

    Side Project - Barrel aged/fermented beers. Definitely our most nationally well known beer geek brewery.

    Schlafly - Our OG not so micro anymore brewery.  Still great


    Wine and Cheese Place and The Wine Merchant are our two best wine shops and located about 1/2 a mile from each other.

    Pastaria - Don't let the playful vibe deter you, amazing casual (not American) Italian.  Extruded noodles, and great Neapolitan pizza.

    Sardella - attached to Pastaria, higher end Italian focused menu and a great space.

    Mai Lee - Not quite Clayton, but close and solid Vietnamese.  No problem bringing wine either, and a good spot if you have a larger group.


    Parker's Table - A fantastic wine shop, and easily one of the best designed wine shops out there.  Awesome staff, and a good spot to also get a sandwich for lunch.  

    Louis Demun - really good Italian

    Kaldi's Coffee - these are all over, but my favorite is the one in Demun.  Great place to cram for theory, great coffee without getting too geeky, and each location has a different food menu. 


    Taste, Savage, Vicia and Bulrush

    Beer: Civil Life and UCBC are my favorite breweries, but if you are a beer nerd, Side Project is the place to go. 

    *Next to the Grove location of UCBC is URB, which serves UCBC beer and is turning out some of STL's best pizza.

    BBQ: Check out Bogarts or Sugar Fire.

    Coffee: Kaldis (multiple locations), Blueprint, Comet (best pastries in town and geek coffee)

    I'm sure that I am missing a few others

  • For shame ;)  No mention of some of my great college memories ... the pantheon of St Louis drunk cuisine - Imo's pizza, toasted ravioli (Mama's on the Hill in my opinion), and Ted Drewe's Frozen Custard (must get the Flying Dutchman sundae).  Also BB's with great live music and their sweet potato fries and the Broadway Oyster bar is just down the street with a pretty tasty crawfish bisque.

    Granted, I haven't been back there in 15 years or so, so I'd attach more weight to Keith's recommendations, but I'm going to be there in September and I can't wait to see if my memories of some of these places hold up!

  • Good call on Imos, it’s a favorite of mine but you never know how it will go over with someone new to stl Wink

    and boradway oyster bar was another inexcusable omission. Such a fun place, with great music!

    ill see you in September. I’m taking service, but I would be happy to pour you a flight if you are tasting.

  • Might take you up on that, .  Another St Louis delicacy question ... where would you find a good Gooey Butter Cake nowadays?

  • Meshuggah in the Loop for coffee! 

  • Dierbergs, but that opinion is based more on nostalgia than actual quality.

  • Mission Taco has great drinks and tacos (really great drinks). I also have enjoyed meals at Brasserie by Niche. 

  • Thanks!  Will check it out!

  • Is corkage allowed in restaurants?

  • Adam email me looking for last minute study/tasting partners on the ground

    staying at 4 season as well..

  • Also forgot to mention Pi Pizza! Imo's never was my thing but Pi....

  • I can't stand Imo's...and I'm a native STL born and cheese tastes weird lol

  • We had a fantastic time at the Shaved Duck in April if you like BBQ.