Fall fun in St Louis MO
October 5, 2009 12:59 PM   Subscribe

I am spending next weekend in St Louis with teenagers. Any suggestions on stuff to do? Also are there restaurants that are vegetarian friendly (daughters) that would also have food to please a non-vegetarian (son)?

We are visiting my daughter in college and want suggestions on stuff to do and places to eat. Besides myself and the kids we may have extra kids along so looking for fairly inexpensive ideas.

posted by readery to Travel & Transportation around St. Louis, MO (14 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The City Museum is great fun, and not too expensive.
posted by sinfony at 1:14 PM on October 5, 2009 [2 favorites]

As much as I dislike the place (more due to the owner than anything else), Brandt's on the Delmar Loop has good food for both of your children.
posted by adipocere at 1:25 PM on October 5, 2009

Vegetarian options at places ominivores will love can be had a Shangri-La Diner on Cherokee and Everest Cafe on Manchester.

St. Louis is filled with free things to do: the Zoo, the Science Center, the Art Museum, Laumeier Sculpture Park, the History Museum, and the new CityGarden. (Yes, all of these are free.)
posted by hworth at 1:27 PM on October 5, 2009

Best answer: Seconding the City Museum. I went there with a bunch of fellow interns when I was in college and we had a total blast.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 1:28 PM on October 5, 2009

Raj's Rasoi is a great, inexpensive Indian restaurant that offers only vegetarian items. In my experience, people who like Indian don't seem to mind the lack of meat.

Alternatively, the Everest Cafe and Bar offers a good mix of vegetarian and non-vegetarian Nepalese, Korean, and Indian cuisine. It's a little more expensive than Raj's.

Some other sort-of vegetarian-friendly places are the Thai restaurants on the Loop. There are three, I think, but I favor Thai Country Cafe and Thai Pizza, though they're all owned by the same family. In any event, they're very inexpensive (most entrees are $8), but be aware that even something like tofu pad thai is probably cooked with at least some fish sauce.

The zoo is free and always fun. Try to go earlier in the morning (i.e., arriving by 10am) to beat the crowds and find better parking.

The Arch is something to see at least once. It's downtown, so if you go to the City Museum then it won't be far away.
posted by jedicus at 1:30 PM on October 5, 2009

Best answer: The leaves should start changing soon if not already which is one of the best parts of fall in St. Louis. Try Powder Nature Valley and Castlewood Park, just two of many that have fun walking trails through really pretty nature areas. Also, Forest Park is beautiful too.

The Zoo is also can't miss fun, it's actually IN Forest Park. It's one of the best in the country and it's FREE!!! Also a fantastic Art Museum in FP. For a fee, the Missouri Botanical Garden is always a wonderful place. I make a point of visiting every time I am back home. No matter the season, there is always something blooming.

Cardinals baseball will be in playoff mode (NLDS), so you might head downtown to soak in that atmosphere; it's like nothing else, trust me. I'm headed home in a couple weeks myself to partake. Tickets won't be cheap, but you never know what you can find from a scalper of which there are plenty. At the very least, turn on the radio and listen to Mike Shannon call the game.

OH! And how could I forget!? Eckert's Farm is THE classic fall activity. You can pick apples, pumpkins, go on hayrides etc. www.eckerts.com. The caveat being that it's not right in St. Louis, you'd have to drive a short way to Illinois.

I don't know too much about vegetarian restaurants being the self centered meat-eater that I am. Probably most places can accommodate or at least have some vegetarian geared dishes on their menus. Some of my favorites that are more family-friendly are Michael's Bar and Grill in Maplewood, Fitz's and Blueberry Hill in the loop and Imo's Pizza - the square beyond compare. (Imo's is a locally-owned chain, you'll find em here and there.)

posted by diablo37 at 1:38 PM on October 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If you're into haunted houses, St. Louis has one of the best in the country. Check out Scarefest for more info.

Nthing City Museum. If you're not enticed by the 5-story high slide and the suspended jungle gym then at least go to see a glass-blowing demonstration.

For more ideas on where to go and what to see, check out the RiverFront Times (or RFT), the local artsy newspaper.

Lastly, a note on St. Louis pizza: diablo37 mentioned Imo's which is the quintessential St. Louis-style pizza. But St. Louis-style pizza is not for everyone. It is not even for all native St. Louisans. Some of us would rather eat cardboard. If you're enticed by gooey provel cheese on top of cracker thin crust then go for it. Otherwise, for local culinary fare may I recommend the toasted ravioli?
posted by philotes at 2:21 PM on October 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Came in just to nth the City Museum. It really is that awesome.
posted by advicepig at 2:45 PM on October 5, 2009

Here is a map that I have linked before but may be useful. Mokabe's is a nice place for lunch and they have plenty of veg and meat options.
posted by sulaine at 5:34 PM on October 5, 2009

Read the previous askmefi threads about st louis. Everyone will tell you to go to the city museum and you should because it's amazing. Also, Forest Park (free art museum and zoo,) the Loop, and South City (specifically South Grand area with Tower Grove Park and bunch of great ethnic restaurants.) Go to the RFT and read through the Best of St Louis list, just published last week, plenty of things to do and great restaurants with vegetarian and not options.

Specific recs:
Bahn Mi So
Basil Spice
posted by saul wright at 5:44 PM on October 5, 2009

The City Museum also has food options...pizza, sandwiches, and salads, etc. There are definitely vegetarian options. The City museum really is amazing.
posted by schyler523 at 6:46 PM on October 5, 2009

Best answer: The Scott Joplin house and the Crown Candy Kitchen (dicey neighborhood, so go during daylight hours).
posted by brujita at 10:32 PM on October 5, 2009

Everyone's done a good job of covering all the awesome free stuff around town. As far as restaurants, almost all restaurants in the South Grand area (Grand Ave. south of Arsenal) have great vegetarian options, & if your daughter's at Wash U, the U City Loop is very close & has restaurants with good vegetarian & omnivore options as well.
posted by oh really at 7:02 AM on October 6, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks, everybody!

We spent the first day at the City Museum, which was awesome. It also has a vintage clothing store on the fourth floor, so that was ideal for us as well.

Great suggestion with the Crown Candy Kitchen, brujita. The egg salad sandwich plate and tons of ice cream were a perfect "fun day out" dinner.

My daughter had to work at 6:00 AM Sunday so I brought her to work and went to the Lewis and Clark campsite at Camp Dubois Historic Site and biked around the excellent local bike trails and over the Old Rt 66 bridge which is now open to foot and bike traffic only, all while letting the other teenagers sleep in a bit and not have to put up with my biking/history buff nerdiness, so a win/win.

Later Sunday we went to Cahokia Mounds then out for Imo's Pizza.
posted by readery at 1:51 PM on October 12, 2009

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