University City (UCity to locals) can be roughly split in two: the western half is St. Louis’ unofficial Chinatown, and the eastern half is The Delmar Loop, the pulsing heart of this vibrant neighborhood and one of The American Planning Association’s “10 Great Streets in America”. The Loop gets more fun as the sun sets, when young crowds flock to the varied nightlife, enjoying everything from sports bars to hookah lounges to late-night cookie joints.
Grab a cup of joe at Blueprint Coffee and a cannoli from Piccione Bakery to fuel your day of exploring The Loop’s many restaurants and boutiques. Catch a movie matinee at the historic Tivoli Theatre and see a band play at The Pageant at night. Pro tip: Pi Pizzeria’s location across Delmar from The Pageant has a takeout window, so you can get your deep dish to-go from Pi and bring it into The Pageant while you wait for the opening act. If you want a drink after the show, walk next door to Eclipse, Moonrise Hotel’s rooftop bar. If you’re more interested in the Chinatown portion, grab a meal at Cate Zone Chinese Cafe or Tai Ke, then explore the massive Asian grocery stores: Seafood City and Olive Supermarket.
Quirky, cool, with a wide variety of international food joints.
Take a shameless selfie at the St. Louis Walk of Fame, honoring over 100 great St. Louisans. Or enjoy dinner and a show at Blueberry Hill, a restaurant/concert venue that rock legend Chuck Berry put on the map.
Traffic can be a hassle on Delmar--so bring your patience and be on the hunt for parking lots.
Walk among the well-heeled and wine and dine yourself in Clayton’s bustling downtown business district, packed with chic boutiques, delicious eateries, wine bars, and more. The Clayton crowd can be a tad hoity-toity, but not in an overly stuffy way. This is one of St. Louis’ safest neighborhoods, filled with young professionals and families.
Shoppers will love the chic boutiques and resale stores, while foodies will feel right at home with all the amazing restaurants to choose from. Start with brunch at Half & Half, then stroll along boutiques on Maryland Avenue. Head to nearby Forest Park and check out the Saint Louis Art Museum for some afternoon culture. Wind down the day with a cocktail on the patio at Pastaria or Bar Les Freres. Get spoiled come dinnertime at any of the amazing restaurants that call Clayton home; splurge at James Beard winner Gerard Craft’s Sardella or impress a date at the romantic I Fratellini.
Hosting the Clayton Restaurant Week in January and June.
Be seen (along with about 150,000 others if you can stand the crowds) during the St. Louis Art Fair in September. It’s among the top rated in the nation.
Not a late night party neighborhood; some spots stay open ‘til 1am, but overall, this neighborhood turns in early.
Bordered by Forest Park and filled with cobblestone streets, fantastic restaurants, and sidewalk cafes made for people watching, some would say the CWE is the heart of St. Louis. The neighborhood’s Euro vibe and walkability make it the perfect spot for coffee, shopping, and of course, dining al fresco.
Kick your weekend off right with brunch at Gamlin Whiskey House or Brasserie, then hit up Maryland Plaza for shopping and people watching. Be sure to check out the historic Chase Park Plaza Hotel for an afternoon movie, or take a leisurely stroll in Forest Park. When the sun goes down, be sure to meet up with friends at Taste for delicious drinks, friendly bartenders, and small, shareable plates.
Being walkable and having lots of open air dining during the spring and summer
Be sure to take the CWE Home & Garden Tour in the spring for a close-up peek at the dreamy historic homes in the neighborhood.
This neighborhood stays energetic until 2am, making it one of the late night spots in town. Parking can be a major hassle, so leave the car at home or look for parking off of Maryland Ave.
This growing neighborhood on the outskirts of the city limits is full of life, character, great boutiques, and even better restaurants.
Stroll up and down Manchester Avenue. You could stop in Penzeys Spices to stock up your kitchen, oogle at Eddie’s Guitars, then grab a beer and listen to live music at Schlafly Bottleworks (which also has a great farmers’ market on summer Wednesdays). Your breakfast should definitely be at Southwest Diner, lunch at Bolyard's Meat and Provisions, and dinner at Acero and Reeds American Table. Save room for dessert and head over to Strange Donuts for some wild 'dones’—or partake in dessert of the liquid kind and enjoy some cocktails at The Benevolent King.
Let Them Eat Art, a street festival in tribute to Bastille Day
Take a tour of Schlafly Bottleworks, St. Louis’ second-largest brewery behind, of course, Anheuser-Busch. They provide free tours and guided tastings on weekends.
There are a lot of great cocktail and beer spots on the street, but also a lot of cool artisan shops. Don’t drink and spend all your money.
This Irish neighborhood is an oldie but a goodie, many of the homes here date back to the 1904 World’s Fair, which was held in nearby Forest Park. Bordered by the Saint Louis Zoo, just off US Highway 40, this easily accessible neighborhood is home to the city's largest St. Patrick's Day festivities.
Fill your belly with classic breakfast fare at Courtesy Diner before heading over to the city’s (free!) zoo, one of St. Louis’ best attractions. The sea lion tunnel and new polar bear exhibit are not to be missed, and during the summer you can buy margaritas (“mom juice” to the kids) at a snack stand near the elephants. Have salad and soup for lunch at Nora’s in Dogtown, do a little day drinking and shuffleboard-playing at Heavy Riff Brewery, then have a burger and an Irish ale for dinner at legendary Seamus McDaniel’s. After that burger, head to Tamm Avenue Grill for more drinks and another burger at the instantly-famous Mac’s Local Eats. If you’ve got the itch to sing karaoke and dance the night away, Mike Talayna’s Juke Box Restaurant is open ‘til 3am.
The Ancient Order of Hibernians’ annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade--the whole neighborhood celebrates like it’s a national holiday. You can even buy green jello shots in the neighborhood’s Catholic grade school cafeteria.
Ride that carousel at the Saint Louis Zoo. We won’t tell on you.
Traffic on and around Hampton Avenue can be gnarly, especially during Forest Park events and rush hour.
Beneath the Gateway Arch, endless restaurants, museums, popular shops, and enviable loft living feeds the vibe of downtown St. Louis. Home to countless sporting and cultural events throughout the year, downtown truly does have something for everyone.
Grab breakfast at Rooster before taking the family to City Museum for a morning of exploring its repurposed industrial objects and zooming down its multi-story slides. Stroll through Ballpark Village before heading over to Busch Stadium to watch the Cardinals play ball. Finally, celebrate a day well spent with a meal at Bridge Tap House and Wine Bar (and be sure to check out City Garden at 8th and Market on your way) or Sugarfire Smokehouse.
Beautiful architecture, baseball, and the Blues (music AND the hockey team).
Take a tram ride to the top of the Gateway Arch, but be prepared for a decent wait and airport-style security check. We think it’s more enjoyable to check out the Arch from the rooftop bar at Three Sixty--with a cocktail in hand.
Washington Avenue is the place to go for shopping and entertainment, or check out Lumière Place Casino if you’re feeling lucky. This neighborhood has been under revitalization for the past decade so you’re better off sticking to well-lit streets and staying in groups after dark.
This area is known for its friendly community feel, expansive Tower Grove Park and the gorgeous Missouri Botanical Garden. Uniting the two neighborhoods is South Grand, a bustling six-block strip known for its vibrant mix of bars, boutiques, and ethnic food joints.
Pack a picnic and head to Tower Grove Park, known for its lush green spaces and picturesque pavilions, or grab a casual lunch at Steve’s Hot Dogs. For dinner, you can’t beat the variety on South Grand, where you can satisfy your craving with sushi, Ethiopian, or anything in between. At night, the move is to the homey Tick Tock Tavern (but make sure you bring some bills--it’s cash only). If you want to stick more in the Shaw area, you’re going to need to do a mix of Good Fortune, Union Loafers, La Patisserie Chouquette, and Olio—all located on the corner of Tower Grove and McRee.
Tower Grove Park’s farmers’ markets, featuring lots of local produce, meat, and cheese, as well as free yoga on Saturday mornings
Meander through the beautiful Missouri Botanical Garden. Founded in 1859, it’s the nation’s oldest botanical garden and covers 79 acres in the city. In the summer, the free Whitaker Music Festival brings musical artists to play at the garden on Wednesday nights, and in winter the Garden Glow light display never fails to impress. The Lehmann Rose Garden, Climatron, and Japanese Garden are our favorites at every visit.
Missouri Botanical Garden’s Whitaker Music Festival really packs in the crowds. Go early to have a chance at a decent parking spot, and to spread out your picnic blanket and save room for your crew. Bring your own wine, cheese, and bug spray to get the most out of this event. Generally speaking, parking in the area can be tight, so consider Ubering.
The glowing neon signs over Manchester Avenue signal that you’ve entered this vibrant, eclectic neighborhood between Vandeventer and Kingshighway. The Grove is home to some great restaurants, a brewery, a tattoo shop, a yoga studio, funky street art, and some of the city’s best nightlife, including many LGBT-friendly haunts.
During the day, explore the street’s trendy boutiques and grab lunch at Sameem Afghan Restaurant (don’t let the unassuming exterior fool you--the food is top-notch) or the absolutely amazing Grace Meat + Three. Start your night off at German-style beer hall, Urban Chestnut Brewing Company, move next door to their pizza shop, The URB, then check out the live music at Atomic Cowboy or a drag show at Attitudes Nightclub.
Being a center of the local LGBT community
Gorge yourself on southern food at Grace Meat + Three, offering a James Beard-nominated chef's take on the classics. Get a whole hot chicken and a whole slab of ribs and you're golden (and soon to be asleep).
This area is known for being eclectic and alternative - it’s the host of St. Louis’ annual World Naked Bike Ride, after all--so expect an anything goes vibe wherever you go.