Just a few hours' drive north (or a one-hour flight), St. Louis is so much more than an arch. Here's how to plan your next stylish getaway to the Show-Me State.
St. Louis does not lack for places to rest your head. The most beautiful hotel lobby is inside the St. Louis Union Station Hotel, set in a building once housed by the Union Railway Station. Another stunning option is the Angad Arts Hotel, just a short hop from The Fabulous Fox Theatre, museums and art galleries. Each floor of the Angad is a different color, allowing you to choose a room based on how you want to feel. Live! by Loews is perfectly situated across from Busch Stadium and in the center of the city’s latest entertainment spot, Ballpark Village, a hub for fun, even if baseball isn’t your favorite pastime.
But standing head and shoulders above the rest are Chase Park Plaza and The Last Hotel.
The Chase Park Plaza is located in the heart of Central West End and began as two competing hotels in the 1920s. Situated across from Forest Park and within walking distance to shopping and dining, there are endless ways to spend your day nearby if the Mediterranean-style pool, three on-site restaurants and movie theater aren't enough to keep you entertained.
In the early 1900s, St. Louis was home to the International Shoe Company, the largest in the world. The iconic, downtown building now houses The Last Hotel, a 142-room structure featuring historic details and modern amenities alongside a gorgeous dose of art deco style. Be sure to carve out time to enjoy the city skyline and a dip in the rooftop pool.
Michael and Tara Gallina are the husband and wife duo behind this tasty little gem. Michael is a James Beard nominee, was dubbed a best new chef by Food & Wine in 2018 and the restaurant was recently named the best new restaurant in St. Louis by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
When it comes to the menu, you can’t go wrong with the three-course farmer’s feast. Everything is fresh and local, and the unique flavors of each dish surprise and delight. We also highly recommend the wine pairings or specialty cocktails from the bar.
Plus, if you find your way to the outdoor fire pit on the three-season patio, you won’t be disappointed. Vicia cooks a majority of meals over open flame in this fire pit, and you’ll have a chance to see your own food being prepared.
If you’re looking for a more casual, but equally delicious option, check out Winslow’s Table Market & Bakery. Also owned by the Gallinas, here you'll find breakfast, lunch and a fresh market. It's counter-service only, but don’t let that deter you. Brunch is served Wednesday through Sunday, and we recommend stopping by for a few amazing, healthy (or at least delicious) bites to fuel your day. When you're done, peruse their market to pick up some great local snacks to carry you through your afternoon adventures.
Eleven Eleven Mississippi
The first of many of their restaurant concepts in St. Louis, Paul and Wendy Hamilton opened Eleven Eleven Mississippi in 2003. The location is named after the address (good to know in case you have enjoyed a few glasses of wine beforehand), and is focused on Tuscan- and California-style cuisine. Their wine list is divine and the pastas, flatbreads and entrees are all delightful, but we recommend starting with an antipasto board or one of their unique starters like wild boar ravioli.
Vin de Set
Vin de Set is a sleek bistro owned by the same restaurant group behind Eleven Eleven Mississippi. It's a bit more formal and very French, and you won't get a much better view of the St. Louis skyline than from this rooftop.
Not far from the Tower Grove neighborhood you’ll find this new, up-and-coming restaurant in Fox Park. Little Fox was recently included on a New York Times list of the top restaurants in America they are most excited about for the future, but we’re loving the vibe in this cute restaurant right now. Don’t miss out on the stracciatella; it’s one of our favorite cheese dishes on the menu and especially yummy paired with their cocktails and some warm, grilled bread.
If you’re looking for a vegetarian or vegan option in a cool little neighborhood, check out Tree House Restaurant in Tower Grove. The casual eatery sits in the middle of a great strip of restaurants and shops that give you a real feel for the neighborhood. Late night, swing by The Night Owl above the restaurant for a nightcap. During the day, stop by Tower Grove Creamery for some Central Dairy ice cream and take a stroll through Tower Grove Park across the street.
You’ll find Juniper in one of our favorite STL neighborhoods: Central West End. Just off of Forest Park (and near The Chase), Central West End is home to cute streets full of excellent dining, sipping and shopping. Stop by Juniper for some great classic Southern cocktails, but don’t leave without an order of biscuits or without trying the deviled eggs.
Bar Italia Ristorante
Bar Italia is what your Italian dining dreams are made of, and if you're in St. Louis during patio season, be sure to make your reservation alfresco. The bruschetta is out of this world, and we've never been disappointed with anything from the menu. We recommend going without a dish in mind and ordering the daily special, then top it off with a top-notch wine list and homemade gelato.
Anheuser-Busch Brewery and Peacemaker Lobster & Crab
If you plan to see one of the classics in St. Louis, the Anheuser-Busch brewery, we recommend filling up your stomach before you join the tour and free beer tasting. Swing by Peacemaker Lobster & Crab for some lobster, shrimp or a po’ boy, then head to the brewery to see where some of your favorite (and old school) beers are born. It’s educational, it’s free and there’s a great taproom at the end where everyone of age gets to partake in a few drinks on the house.
Olive + Oak
Olive + Oak will be your new favorite place that you wish was in your own neighborhood. The food is delicious, the drinks are spot on and the hospitality is exactly what you want out of a great neighborhood restaurant. They say they cook from their hearts and you can taste it in every dish and every detail of the restaurant. Start with the oysters, move on to the duck or rabbit tart and end with one of their specialty desserts offered that night.
What do you get when city relics, industrial objects and architectural pieces are repurposed and placed both inside and on top of a 100-year-old warehouse? One of the coolest museums in the country. Both the young and young at heart will enjoy climbing through the building, exploring a full cave system and sliding their way down the museum's 30-plus slides. Kids not required to enjoy this eclectic treasure.
Spend an afternoon exploring The Hill, a quaint neighborhood founded by Italian immigrants between Hampton and South Kingshighway. The area is full of traditional restaurants and small markets that will make you feel like you’re walking through “the Old Country.” Be sure to find some fried ravioli — a dish created by accident ahead of the St. Louis World’s Fair and found on almost any appetizer menu — and bring home a taste of The Hill in a bottle of Zia’s famous dressing.
Serving up frozen custard since 1929, this is a St. Louis classic. Expect to wait in line on a weekend evening, and you’ll eat outside, but the concretes are more than worth the wait. Ted Drewes frozen custards are made so thick they're served upside down.
In the middle of the city, you'll find 1,300 acres of public parks, lakes, streams and five of the city’s cultural institutions: The Muny amphitheater, Saint Louis Art Museum, Science Center, Zoo and the Missouri History Museum. The park has been home to the 1904 Summer Olympics and 1904 World’s Fair, known as the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. Start your morning with a jog through the park or check out one of the many festivals held on the grounds year round.