Updated (4th August, 2010)
St. Louis is not the world’s most exciting city and if I didn’t actually work here during the week, there would be no reason to visit. That being said, it’s not that St. Louis is devoid of culture, food and activities, it just that I can think of 10 more exciting cities in North America to visit before I would even consider St. Louis as a destination.
However, I’ve managed to put together my version of a very fun food/culture/music filled weekend in the “Lou”. Note here that this itinerary is my personal itinerary.
- Thursday night:
- Fly in Thursday night after 8pm, check into your hotel.
- If you’re staying at the airport for the night, then Harrah’s Casino offers a free shuttle to all hotels within a 10 mile radius of the Casino. All you need to do is have your hotel call them and you’ll get a free bus ride there.
- Grab a 15% off coupon and your coupon for $5 cash from the bus driver. options … and grab a meal there
- If you’re downtown, then head out to the riverboats for dinner and some gambling
- Friday :
- Breakfast at the hotel, I’m staying at the Hilton Ballpark – Downtown St. Louis (I highly recommend the Lobby Bar for drinks), then grab rental car. Ask for upgraded King room on the ball park side, if the Cardinals are playing that weekend.
- Entertainment Options – in logical sightseeing order – look at the map above for a reference point. A Hop On/Hop Off bus is probably the best bet for doing this itinerary, if you want to eat and relax with no driving.
- If you’re staying at the Hilton Ballpark, then your first logical stop should be a tour of Busch Stadium, the first tour starts at 9.30am.
- The next logical destination should be to the Arch. It’s the symbol of St. Louis and the gateway to the Midwest. It does get a little cramped in there and the Arch Tour elevator isn’t the most comfortable thing for anyone who is claustrophobic.
- Once you’re done with the Arch, then walk over to the Historic Old Courthouse
- Then it’s time for lunch on the Arch Riverfront.
- Once you’re done with lunch, you have the option of the Cathedral Basilica of St Louis or heading over to the last tour of the Budwiser Brewery Tour, since it’s only open from 10am – 4pm
- Once you’re done, then it’s time for a nap and then off for dinner at Blueberry Hill
- Finally after dinner, go enjoy some Jazz at the Bistro
- Saturday :
- No breakfast at the Hilton, since we’re going to Pappy’ Smoke House for 10.30am– this is one place I want to try, since it is pretty famous in “these here” parts.
- Then off for some lounging at Union Station
- No trip would be complete without some shopping and the St. Louis Galleria mall wouldn’t be the worst place to go.
- After shopping, then head over to the Laumiere Scuplture Park and the Missouri Botanical Gardens, which is one of the top 3 Botanical Gardens in the World.
- After all that walking and shopping, it’s time for some “ broasted” chicken at Café Lazeez
- Head back to hotel for nap … then off for an evening of Blues music at BB’s Jazz
- Still no breakfast at this Hilton but rather Breakfast the Kaffee Haus at Schneithorst’s is said to be the best … with its completely German menu
- Hopefully, there should be space for Chocolate at Bissinger’s French Confections. They are one of the last handcrafted chocolatiers in the world
- After that heavy breakfast, head down the “Mother Road” down Route 66 to Ted Drewed Frozen Custard). This landmark custard stand is an icon along the original Route 66 sign and a St. Louis institution. Be sure to try the “concrete,” a milkshake so thick you can turn it upside down without spilling a delicious drop. Ted Drewes has been serving up ice cream treats to Route 66 travelers since the 1920s
- Then head off the airport with a good taste of St. Louis in your mouth
Updated : 4th August 2010
Finding places to eat in St Louis can be quite the challenge but there are a couple places that will actually surprise you by the quality/authenticity of the food. So here is my list of decent/recommended places to go in St Louis and environs. This is not some definitive list, but comparing it to the cuisines I’ve had in my travels, I should be able to find and differentiate a good Pad Thai from some ketchup laden, over sweet, glop of noodles that seems to pass for food at Pei Wei’s, PF Chang’s or some other Asian American type restaurant that proliferates this place.
- Thai (of the 6 thai restaurants I’ve tried, these guys are excellent)
- Thai Kitchen – excellent food, will make a very good and hot Pad Thai on request. Good veggie dishes and ask for the “hot tray”. Inexpensive, good portions, expect a line up at lunch time and in the evenings, it can get packed.
- Korean (of the 3 Korean places I’ve tried in STL)
- Hangook Kwan : Good food, excellent Shochu, very good haemul pajeon (Seafood Pancake), as much Kimchi and BBQ as you want. Definitely a little Korean jewel here.
- Bar/Upscale pub food
- Sage Urban Grill : Excellent food, excellent service and price point. The portions are huge and you can’t find a better place to eat after drinking all the beer at the Brewery
- Middle Eastern
- Ranoush : Definitely decent. They make fresh Za’atar with enough Hummus, Moutabel, Fatoush and Tabbouleh than you could shake a stick at.