Gateway to the Gateway to the West
by Kayla Moller, CDM ’21, Co- Professional Development Chair ’19-‘20
As annual session quickly approaches and the resolutions pass around, prospective EC members studying and students anxious to socialize, people are wondering, “Where is St. Louis?!” On a map it’s pretty much the middle of the US (or as close as it can be). On the banks of the Mississippi just over the border with Illinois is a small city known as the blues capital, home to Budweiser (with free tours and tastings!) and the Gateway Arch. Having gone to undergrad there, I can truly call the city my second home. Even with our very limited free time, it’s worth spending a few hours walking around or tasting local favorites. I thought I’d share some of the highlights (and some things that don’t need a stop) with everyone.
Places to go out:
Ballpark Village (aka BPV) is a must hit. Next to the St. Louis Cardinal’s stadium is a building home to multiple bars. There is Howl at the Moon for any dance needs, PBR (Professional Bull Riders) for the need to ride the mechanical bull and country music, and a Budweiser beer garden.
Soulard is an area of downtown St. Louis known for its Mardi Gras parade (the second largest in the US). The area is filled with many bars and restaurants. Molly’s for example is a classic hotspot.
360 is a bar downtown with the best view of the arch. Located on top floor of the Hilton hotel hosts the best views of the city and great cocktails and outdoor space.
The Delmar Loop is a street west of downtown and named one of the best streets in the US by Obama. Home to classic bars like Blueberry Hill, which was where Chuck Berry played at least once a month. On any night, the darts board is a great way to drink and socialize with friends. Moonrise hotel has another great view of the city and beyond. 3 Kings and HopCat for great games and beer. Plus, Mission Taco has $2 tacos and tequila shots after 10pm (also has a location in the Central West End).
Mike Talaynas (aka Talaynas) is the place to dance the night away. Do not come before 12am (there is karaoke and it’s a sad sight). After 12am, the dance floor fills and the crowd comes in. Under the pink neon lights and multitude of disco balls, this place nails the throwback vibe and a good time.
Local Food Faves:
Ted Drewes’ frozen custard - All the sweet ice cream (but doesn’t fall off when turned upside down!) you need. Many classic flavors along with some great creative ones like “Cardinal Sin.”
Toasted Ravioli - Ever wanted to try deep-fried ravioli? This is your chance. It is famous as a local cuisine from the Hill area (Italian neighborhood south of downtown), but nowadays you can find it everywhere.
Gooey Butter Bars - These are the best (discovered my love for them during my freshman year). They are like a lemon square without the lemon flavor. Sweet, but not too sweet. Christina Tosi copied them for her Milk Bar Pie.
Pappy’s BBQ - THE best BBQ in St. Louis (Sorry Salt+Smoke, Sugarfire and more). They sell out quickly, so get there early in the day (I’ve even been there for brunch). There’s usually a line around the restaurant so you may have to wait. The style of meat varies with what they have, but it’s all yummy. Plus, the sauce on the table and the sides are amazing! (Best sweet potato fries I’ve ever had- with extra sugar on them instead of salt!)
BRUNCH! (Rooster, Half and half, City coffee house and creperie, Milque Toast and many more) Attractions (time permitting)- St. Louis is serious about its brunch. On Sundays, the waits can get long for some popular places. My trick: go early. 9am is not nearly as busy as 10am or 11am.
St. Louis Pizza (Imo’s) – Just no… It’s terrible. Don’t even try it. Pi pizza (Chicago style) is amazing (Obama’s favorite pizza).
The City Museum! - An old shoelace factory turned into an incredible jungle gym. Complete with a 7-story slide, rooftop school bus (that’s hanging off!), aquarium, and much more. You’ll feel like a kid again in no time.
Anheuser-Busch Tour - FREE tour of the famous factory. They will give a little history of the beer and how it’s made. (Plus some horses too!). PLUS some free beer samples. If you only want the beer- stay for the first few minutes and you can leave from there.
The Gateway Arch- The classic symbol of St. Louis. There’s a pod that you can take to go to the top and get views of the city. TBH, I never did it- I’m too claustrophobic. But you can take some cool pics at the park at the base of the arch.
Forest park- Same landscape architect as Central Park, but even bigger! Home to the St. Louis Zoo, Art Museum, and History Museum (all free!). Roam and look at the boathouse, Jewel Box (arboretum), or just wander through nature.
Hope this helps navigate through the annual (session) destination! Please reach out with any questions.
- Kayla Moller, CDM ’21, Co- Professional Development Chair ’19-‘20