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Trip List by europhileinstl

The Best of St. Louis Missouri

Aug 13, 2009  I love my hometown and want to share with visitors some of what there is to offer other than our Wonderful Zoo and St. Louis Cardinals
4.5 of 5 bubbles based on 2 votes

Personal favorites from a life long resident ...including Classic St Louis eateries, neighborhood spots not to be missed, and other suggestions to enjoy your visit.

  • Explore locations featured in this Trip List: Saint Louis
  • Category: Best of
  • 1. Forest Park
    Forest Park, Saint Louis, Missouri

    This is our crown jewel in my humble opinion. Not only can you visit the St. Louis Zoo (for free mind you - parking can even be had for free - "Local Tip" free street parking on north side of Zoo - I haven't paid for parking for 25 yrs.) you can take in some incredible Art at the St. Louis Art Museum - again FREE - The building is gorgeous and sits at the top of what we call "Art Hill", the view from the top of the hill is delightful. Fountains, park benches, and walking paths border the Grand Basin where you will find paddle boats puttering around. The basin is a perfect place for a photo and rivals parks in Paris.

    Stroll or bike around the park past fountains, lakes, over bridges and past the historic mansions on Lindell Blvd. (Bikes can be rented at the Information Center)

    Head over to the Boat House to rent paddle boats, have lunch, or sit in the rocking chairs and soak up the sun.

    If you visit in summer, take in a musical at the MUNY. Our outdoor amphitheater that also offers free seats for those on a budget. The free seats are in the last nine rows and are available on a first come, first served basis. The gates for the free seats open at 7 p.m.

    A perfect way to finish off an evening is to go over to the Grand Basin and take in the beautiful fountains and flowers as you watch the sunset streak across the sky.

  • 2. The City Garden

    I am very proud of one of our latest additions to Downtown St. Louis. The City Garden is a public garden and sculpture park.

    It sits on 2.9 acres located between Eighth and Tenth and Chestnut and Market Streets.

    Dip your feet in on of the three water features that your kids will love. Enjoy two dozen whimsical and thought provoking scupltures while you soak up the sun. Grab something to eat at the window laden cafe that overlooks the garden.

    Here are just some of the artists: Fernand Leger, Mark di Suvero, Keith Haring, Martin Puryear, Jim Dine, Tony Smith, and Aristide Maillol

  • 3. Central West End
    Central West End, Saint Louis, Missouri

    Our little slice of Greenwich Village - Head to the intersection of Maryland Ave and Euclid and grab a seat. Coffee Cartel, Companion, and Starbuck's are within a stone's throw. Want to read your local paper or browse through a magazine as you sip your cafe latte? - Walk over to the outdoor newspaper stand and remember the good old days.

    The Central West End has dozens of great cafes, coffee shops, restaurants, and shops. Just some the places I visit over and over: Rasoi for Indian, Coco Loco Brasil, Bar Italia, Companion, Kopperman's, Majestic for Greek, Bissinger's for Chocolate, and Dressel's for Pub Grub.

  • 4. The Loop in University City
    The Loop, Saint Louis, Missouri

    Another hometown favorite of mine is the quirky and some times edgy LOOP. The Loop is a street (covering six blocks) with vibrant shops, restaurants, and cafes. You'll see college students, wine enthusiasts, bohemians, professionals, and hippies all hanging out and having a great time.

    You are not a local unless you have been to Blueberry Hill or Cicero's. Newbies to the Loop - PI - President Obama loves their pizza, Ranoush - Syrian food, and my nieces can't get enough of FroYo. If you want some of the very best Chinese food, go to see the ladies at Noodle Cafe.

    While your shopping, look down at your feet and take in the Loop's Walk of Fame too.

  • 5. The Hill

    Mangia Italiano - Historic neighorhood filled with bakeries, trattorias, restaurants, and Italian grocery stores.

    Ever hear of Toasted Ravioli? You'll find it here. This is a classic St. Louis dish that is not found in other parts of the country.

    On any given Saturday morning, you'll find those in the know squeezing through the narrow aisles of Viviano's, Urzi's, or DeGregorio's for a hunk of cheese, olive oil, or pasta.

    Hungry yet? I recommend Amighetti's, Cunetto's House of Pasta, Guido's Pizzeria and Tapas, Lorenzo's Trattoria, and Zia's.

  • 6. South Grand

    Yet another neighborhood that I love is the six blocks of South Grand from Arsenal to Utah. Located in south city, this neighborhood in my opinion has some really great ethnic spots. #1 on my list is Pho Grand - Vietnamese - If I am eating Vietnamese, I'm at Pho Grand. I love Middle Easter food and South Grand has Kebab International and Sameem Afghan Restaurant.

    Check out Tower Grove Park while you're at it. - A Victorian gem! - Tower Grove Farmer's Market, wading pool, and Piper Palm House's Cafe Madeleine -www.towergrovepark.org/

  • 7. Hodak's Fried Chicken
    Hodak's, Saint Louis, Missouri

    Run, don't walk to this classic South Side St. Louis favorite. Since 1962 they have been serving up piping hot chicken to hundreds of people each day. Kitschy chicken decor surrounds the wooden booths and tables.

    If you want to have Hodak's for lunch, show up at 11:15 to avoid a line. $7.35 gets you a platter with 4 golden pieces, fries, and tangy slaw. You won't regret it!!