Where in St. Louis can I find a quality cheap dinner for my girlfriend and I ?
May 28, 2009 4:17 PM   Subscribe

Whats the best affordable food in the downtown area of St.Louis ?

I'm traveling to St. Louis this weekend to see a concert and lucked out on a cheaper than average rate room at the Hilton on Olive street. By lucked out I mean broke my bank account for extravagance. My girlfriend will also be going and I would like to take her somewhere nice but cheap (since she also gets to stay in the nice but not cheap hotel), my budget is about $20 a person. We are open to all kinds of food except pizza and we would be interested in trying locally owned restaurant.
posted by carefulmonkey to Food & Drink (11 answers total)
Will you have a car? Your options will expand greatly if you do. The best food in STL is outside of the immediate downtown area.

I used to work across the street from where the Hilton is now, so all of my experiences were for quick lunch places (I really liked the Chinese place at that intersection). There are several nice (i.e., expensive) places like Tony's but they'll definitely break your budget. Hopefully someone with more direct experience can help with suggestions in that immediate area.
posted by zsazsa at 4:40 PM on May 28, 2009

Yeah, do you mean walking distance? If not, go to either Pappy's or Iron Barley.
posted by Bookhouse at 4:57 PM on May 28, 2009

Yeah, you're not going to have much luck with good, cheap, local food downtown. Take the Metro (the local light rail) to the Loop. There are lots of local restaurants there, including Blueberry Hill and some good cheap Thai places, of which I recommend Thai Country.

If leaving the downtown area isn't an option, then Jimmy John's is probably your best inexpensive, non-pizza option.
posted by jedicus at 4:58 PM on May 28, 2009 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I definitely second Pappy's if you have a car and don't mind traveling a short ways. Best BBQ in St. Louis, hands down.
posted by jedicus at 4:59 PM on May 28, 2009

Sen Thai Bistro at 13th and Locust is wonderful. It's at 13th and Locust - Locust, I believe, is just one block over from Olive. Easy walking distance from your hotel.
posted by Ostara at 5:05 PM on May 28, 2009

The Schlafly tap room is a pretty good brewpub, but might be a bit far depending on how much walking you're into.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 5:18 PM on May 28, 2009

Michael's Pub & Grill in Maplewood for Greek/American, it's near fore mentioned Schlafly. They have the best Pastitsio and Chicken Avogolemano soup in St. Louis (or just about anywhere, in my estimation). They also make a great cheeseburger.

I also second Blueberry Hill, adding the possibility of Fitz's (both in The Loop). Both are St. Louis lore, and if you've never had a Fitz's root beer float, I'll venture so far as to say you haven't lived until you have. BH has a GREAT reuben and Fitz's has french fries that knock my socks off.

Also, much closer to downtown, you just gotta try Crown Candy. It's a landmark, a must see, authentic old school diner. They make fantastic sandwiches, floats, malts, sundaes and candy -- it's more of a lunch appropriate spot.
posted by diablo37 at 5:29 PM on May 28, 2009 [1 favorite]

Seconding Schlafy's, plus they also have live music (in a separate area), and neat little patio. And the beer was really good. I thought their food (and beer sampler) was very reasonably priced for the amount we were served.

I've heard that the food at Maggie O'Brien's is pretty good, for typical Americanized Irish bar food. But I didn't actually eat there. It's probably not walking distance, but it's near the old Union Station that might be worth a look-see via public transit.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 5:31 PM on May 28, 2009

Schlafly, schlafly, schlafly. We had our wedding reception there. Very good food, generous portions (get the rarebit as an appetizer!) and great beer.
posted by notsnot at 7:20 PM on May 28, 2009

n-thing Schlafly. Consider springing for a cab. Seriously, just do it. It won't cost much extra, and your girl will appreciate not having to walk around our not-so-walkable city. She'll feel safer, too.
posted by everythings_interrelated at 7:21 AM on May 29, 2009

Schlafly is awesome (especially if you want to try some great local beer) but I would vote for just taking the metro to the loop and walking around. There's a bunch of great affordable restaurants there.
posted by saul wright at 4:28 PM on May 29, 2009

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