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St. Louis is a vibrant city and cultural hub with an energy all its own. In this and future posts, we hope to give you a sense of life in St. Louis — it’s best art, food, attractions, places you won’t want to miss, and interesting curiosities. As St. Louis natives, we want to share this information with locals and visitors alike. For locals, we’ll highlight places that may have flown under your radar or that you simply haven’t explored yet. For visitors, we’ll help you get a real taste of the city. A walk through the different neighborhoods of St. Louis will introduce you to the many merging styles of 19th-century architecture, both classic and timeless. Donned the “Gateway to the West”, as you explore St. Louis you’ll get a sense of its history as well as its future. The revitalization of the city has made it a destination for art-lovers, theatre and music enthusiasts, business-minded professionals, as well as those drawn to its exciting nightlife. The blend of Midwestern attributes and Southern charm creates the unique, friendly feel of the city.
What you may not know is that St. Louis is among the top 10 foodie cities in America. The exciting food scene here has gained national attention for its diversity, high quality, creativity, and accessibility. The restaurants here provide guests with an array of local ingredients sourced from surrounding farms and rivers. Here are 5 of the best buzz-worthy restaurants to sample in St. Louis:
1. Half & Half
For your brunch needs, visit Half & Half and experience their eclectic array of dishes. With two locations, in Clayton and Webster Groves, this brunch destination has earned quite the following of loyal customers. Their brunch classics have been altered and perfected in a way that’s sure to please, and they offer drinks with unique twists. A recommended plate is their Sausage Biscuit with housemade sausage, a fresh country biscuit, scrambled eggs, aioli, and house potatoes. Looking for a little morning kick? Try their hot bourbon chai punch. Their goal is simple: “to deliver great food with great coffee.” According to their fans, they’ve succeeded.
2. Brasserie by Niche
For authentic French food, look no further than Brasserie by Niche. Their brunch is outstanding as are their dinner offerings. The hip atmosphere will have you feeling like you’ve stepped off a plane and landed in the 11th arrondissement of Paris. Their unique flavorful dishes ensure that patrons leave full and happy. With a romantic atmosphere at night and a bright sunny feel at brunch, this is a spot you won’t want to miss. One recommended brunch dish is their carefully crafted Hazelnut Waffle, topped with apple compote, a huge dollop of creme fraiche, and hazelnuts. They also serve up specialty brunch cocktails including tried-and-true classics like their exceptional bloody mary.
3. Pappy’s Smokehouse
Looking for a lunch that’ll satisfy your craving for authentic barbecue? Look no further than Pappy’s Smokehouse. With rave reviews and a line out the door as proof, this place is a must-visit. Many believe it to be the best BBQ in St Louis, and some even claim it’s among the best in the nation. Don’t let the line discourage you — the succulent offerings at this popular smokehouse are worth the wait. The dry-rubbed ribs are a recommended choice.
For a spot with exceptional Italian-inspired cuisine and hospitality, reserve a table at Louie. This brand new bistro opened in December 2017 and has already generated quite a buzz. This neighborhood venue is located in the DeMun area, where it serves up delicious plates, including Italian favorites like their Agnolotti with butternut squash, brown butter, sage and walnuts. They also have an authentic wood-burning pizza oven from Italy. This cozy space is a great destination for a date night or group outing, with a long bar that spans most of the length of the restaurant. They also have a superb selection of Italian wines to choose from.
5. The Shaved Duck
For a unique take on barbecue in St. Louis, locals gather at the Shaved Duck. This smokehouse has a simple motto of “bbq, folk and soul”, and their inviting vibe and friendly service live up to it. This hidden gem is tucked away in Tower Grove and offers live music every day of the week, making it an entertaining hub to meet up with friends for an afternoon. Their diverse menu includes their famous burnt ends, which you’ll want to sample if you visit. You should also try their Duck Confit, which is slowly poached in duck fat, served over greens in cider molasses with grilled bread.
When exploring the city of St. Louis and enjoying all of the attractions available, make sure to set some time aside to experience the colorful food culture. Depending on your mood and taste buds, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a great brunch place to meet up with friends or a romantic restaurant for a date, there are countless places for every taste.