1634 Tower Grove Ave Saint Louis, MO 63110
Olio has great taste in names and even better taste in food. Located in a converted gas station, Olio has a distinctly modern, contemporary feel with lots of natural light and one of the better day-drinking patios in town. The modern Israeli food is some of the best in town, with lots of snack-sized and shareable plates. You may think we’re bullshitting you, but the egg salad will change your life. The restaurant is also home to some of the finest cocktail artists (that’s what they’re called, right?) in town.
Elaia, Ben Poremba’s flagship restaurant, is located above Olio. Think of it like Olio’s sophisticated older brother. The restaurant is still vaguely Mediterranean, but it’s recently become more of reflection of chef Aaron Martinez than anything else. The menu offers tasting menu and a la carte options, though only a real jabroni would order a la carte. The food is what you’d imagine of a restaurant at this level: visually impressive, incredibly inventive, and a true mix of the expected and unexpected.
1641D Tower Grove Ave, St. Louis, MO 63110
The little corner at Tower Grove and McRee is just about the best spot in St. Louis. On one corner, you have Good Fortune, a casual Midwestern-meets-Chinese eatery with bao, bowls, small plates, and some sides. It’s a great place to pop into for a relatively cheap and filling meal, plus they have a surprisingly decent booze selection. We recommend getting the sticky & spicy wings for the table, then grabbing yourself a few bao buns—our favorites are the mushroom and kung pao fried chicken.
1629 Tower Grove Ave, St. Louis, MO 63110
Sometimes we worry that this is all a dream and when we wake up, Union Loafers won’t be here. There’s a reason this place is busy all the damn time: it’s perfect. Ted Wilson makes the best breads in St. Louis, and literally no one will argue with you about that. During lunch, they offer a limited menu of salads, soups, and sandwiches, but they’re as close to life changing as they can be. Get the little gem salad with bacon and the rare roast beef sandwich, then report back to us. For dinner, it turns into a pizzeria, and woooo, buddy, they’re a treat.
1626 Tower Grove Ave, St. Louis, MO 63110
If we were in Paris, we’d said, “nous t’aimons La Patisserie Chouquette”. That translates to “this is the best French pastry shop in St. Louis”. Everything Simone Faure and her team touches turns into a little slice of perfection, not just in design, but in flavor. Pastry case options change on a whim, but that’s part of the joy of going.
Seriously boozy ice cream made right in front of you using liquid nitrogen. ‘Nuff said.
4066 Russell Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63110
Fiddlehead Fern Cafe is exactly the kind of spot that Shaw needed: an airy, peaceful cafe serving great coffees, teas, cocktails, and simple breakfast fare. The menu feels very California, with loaded toasts (go ahead and order that avocado toast—ya basic), seasonal salads, and egg scrambles, but we’re okay with that. Sometimes we need a break from fried chicken and hamburgers.
Sasha’s is the perfect place for a date and/or devouring a cheese plate and polishing off a bottle of red. It’s cozy and romantic, with dim lighting, a large bar, and a fireplace inside. During warmer months the patio is always buzzing with a fire pit, a fountain, and a lively crowd. Also, the wine list is on an iPad, so that’s kinda cool.
1904 S Vandeventer Ave, St. Louis, MO 63110
Technically not Shaw or Botanical Heights, but close enough that we’re pretending it is. World’s Fair Donuts are some of our favorites in town. The place feels like a time warp to the 70s, mostly because it is, and you really can’t go wrong with whatever you order. Try one of their cake donuts, a blueberry chip donut, and whatever else is out and looks tasty. You will feel no regrets.