Dating in St. Louis
July 11, 2006 7:29 AM   Subscribe

Dating in St. Louis: Where are the good, upscale, fun places for a guy in his mid-twenties to take a date? Jazz, great food, art, and weekday availability are each a big plus.

I suddenly find myself needing to plan a top-notch date on very little notice, and I'd appreciate all the help that I can get. I'm pretty open-minded, so any suggestion would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
posted by gd779 to Human Relations (16 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Cyrano's in Old Webster had great food and a nice atmosphere, not too expensive. Mai Lee's on Delmar (in strip mall just near 170) has the best vietnamese food in StL and is pretty cheap. The Famous Bar on Chippewa has live jazz and blues and is popular with the 20s-30s crowd.
posted by sulaine at 8:13 AM on July 11, 2006


On Wednesday evenings throughout the summer, MOBOT (Missouri Botanical Gardens) has a free outdoor jazz concert. (This is off Shaw Ave south of the CWE). I used to go every week with friends and do this, but I've also used it as a fantastic date venue. Bring a blanket, a bottle of wine, and cheeses/snacks. It is a fantastic time.

City Museum downtown is an amazing date place, if you are inclined to have an "active" date.

I can offer up tons more suggestions, too. Feel free to e-mail me and let me know some more specifics of what you are looking for and I'll send you everything I can think of!
posted by galimatias at 8:21 AM on July 11, 2006


Famous Bar is seconded for drinks. I started going there because every girl I met said that was their favorite bar. I put two and two together.... Also, by neighborhood:

Lafayette Square: 1111 Mississippi for food, followed by the Chocolate Bar

CWE: Drunken Fish or Duff's for dinner, after... well anywhere, it's nice because you can just walk around and find something interesting without planning. If it's open again 1014 on Delmar and Euclid is good for club style dancing. Club Viva has salsa dancing.

the Hill: nothing, I live on the Hill but I just don't get why anyone comes here for expensive but mediocre italian(ish) food (that'll put you to sleep before the night has started) and there's nothing else around if you're under 50. Though nearby there's Pop's Blue Moon for music.

Loop: Dinner at Brandts or the Red Sea or, well anywhere. Bars like Blueberry Hill (I think everyone goes here though, no points for originality.)

Clayton: Jazz at Finale, dinner at Crossings or Blue Elephant.

Dogtown: Felix's is my favorite, also Colossus down the road.

Downtown: I'm pretty sure every girl in St. Louis has been taken to the City Museum already. I'd start at Mosaic or Red Moon and then get the hell out of there.

Forest Park: Blah... it's been done.

St. Louis Hills: There are some great places along Watson - a place I've heard of but not tried is Marcellos (maybe, can't remember the name, it's just south of Fyler on Watson) and lots of smaller bars and clubs scattered throughout.

Soulard: Hammerstones has blues every night, 1860 Hardshell has some fun R&B and real unique crowd. Molly's is interesting, and the beds with canopies out back make for an interesting date. Juniper grill is my favorite restaurant in that neighborhood. Nearby there's Frazers Brown Bag (good food) and Sidney Street Cafe is the perfect high end first date place.

South Grand: Pho Grand, King and I are the best bets for food. The upstairs lounge is good for loud music and dancing. Absolutli Goosed is good for drinks.
posted by muddylemon at 8:38 AM on July 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


I second the City Museum reccomendation.
posted by nitsuj at 8:40 AM on July 11, 2006


I don't know much about upscale, but I'll tell you that any date that ends at Ted Drewes will get you kissed. I've only been to St. Lou twice but each time made it a point to visit this wonderful place.
posted by luriete at 9:27 AM on July 11, 2006


Mind if I pile on for an STL question? What's a good place for a mid 30's guy to go dancing? I'm not talking about grinding, I actually know how to dance! :) Samba, ChaCha, Rumba, Bolero, Waltz, Foxtrot, Tango, etc...

I know there are official "dances" on certain nights at a few places, I've found them on the web, but I wonder if there are venues where there are live bands playing, or just good music with a dance floor, where people my age of similar interest hang out?

I'm in STL on business a few times a year, and just like to dance, not looking for romance. :)
posted by jwhowa at 9:52 AM on July 11, 2006


For art, you could always go to the Contemporary, or some of the other Washington Avenue (downtown) art galleries (along the First Friday Gallery Walk route). This site here has a pretty comprehensive list of food and venues that are within walking distance (or that are even on Wash. Ave. itself).

St. Louis Magazine's calendar can also be a good place to find events happening the day you want to head out.

As muddylemon alluded to, though, downtown St. Louis isn't necessarily where you want to be when the sun goes down...

The Loop could also be a good place to go, provided you're not there too late (because unfortunately, everything closes by 9-10 p.m.). Craft Alliance often has a show in their gallery—lots of glass showing there (and everywhere else in St. Louis) this summer. Then you could walk down the Loop and choose your venue for food/entertainment.
posted by limeonaire at 10:02 AM on July 11, 2006


Trattoria Marcella is excellent, although a bit noisy at times.

I like The Drunken Fish for Sushi.

City Museum is very funky and cool.

If you like Thai food, Sen Asian Bistro downtown is wonderful. So much better than The King and I.

Also, the Botanical Gardens are having "Chihuly Nights" on Thursday nights this summer. They are having all of the glass sculptures lit up, glassblowing demonstrations, music and a cash bar available. I am trying to talk my husband into going but no luck yet. It sounds like it would be interesting, though.
posted by Ostara at 10:03 AM on July 11, 2006


As for dancing in St. Louis, here's a good list of places.
posted by limeonaire at 10:06 AM on July 11, 2006


Mm. Sen-Thai Asian Bistro is good...but I actually prefer The King and I, or even Thai Country Cafe on the Loop. Too many vegetables and things that don't go together in Sen's "upscale" Thai for me...
posted by limeonaire at 10:08 AM on July 11, 2006


If you really want to impress, how about Sidney Street Cafe in Benton Park? Or Niche? Or Harvest? Or Busch's Grove?
posted by rglass at 10:18 AM on July 11, 2006


Chihuly Nights was sort of cool, but you basically have to get in line for the dome as soon as you get there and expect to be waiting in it for a good hour. I skipped that and just wandered around the rest, which is pretty much what you could see with out the 15.00 admission.
posted by pieoverdone at 11:17 AM on July 11, 2006


Drinks after dinner is always fun - especially if there's live music. Broadway Oyster Bar, Finale or Brandt's are all good picks.
posted by kdern at 6:22 PM on July 11, 2006


Modesto (Tapas Restaurant) on the Hill used to have flamenco dancers on Tuesday nights. Not sure if they still have it, but they do have good sangria. Barcelona in Clayton is also a happening tapas place, but they are "acceptable" with service and quality, so it might not be a good date place.

The casinos have been good for fun dates, depending on whether or not you feel like it is appropriate for the individual in question.

I'm a huge fan of Il Vicino in Clayton. It's a little corner brick-oven pizza place. It's casual and laid back. You order at the counter and they bring the food to your table. The pizzas are great, and they serve beer and wine, too. The outdoor patio is always a favorite hangout for me.

In the Central West End, try Brennan's for outdoor wine, cheeses, and assorted liquors. Monday night is cigar night, so be forewarned. All other days are ok. Also in the CWE is SubZero, which is one of my favorite bars (it's a vodka bar with literally 100 types of vodka. Mmmmm).

609 in the loop is a little pricey as a restaurant, but the hookah bar is fun. If you go later, there is usually a DJ and the music can get too loud for conversation, though.

As I mentioned before, MOBOT is always a great place to walk around and explore, as are the Art and History Museams if you are looking for something more cultural and refined.

On top of the Howard Johnson hotel off Lindberg and I-70 is the best Indian restaurant in town. A bonus is the cool view of the airport in the distance and the planes taking off and landing.

Sushi at Miso on Meramec in Clayton has a cool bar for the 20-somethings in the evening hours.

Crown Candy Kitchen downtown is a neat piece of St. Louis history and is a fabulous diner, candy shop, and ice cream venue. The neighborhood is somewhat sketchy (well, very sketchy) so go during daylight only. But, this place is a gem that every native needs to see at least once.

The Landing is worthless for dates. Skip it. However, Morgan Street used to have dollar pitchers on Thursday nights. Not sure if they still do, but it was great back when I was in town. And yes, it is really $1 for pitchers all night.

Soulard has some good restaurants that typically have some live music afterward. Great Grizzly Bear, McGurks, and Molly's are the ones that I used to frequent.

Sasha's wine bar and Kaldi's Coffee off Demun in Clayton just south of Wash. U. are also great ideas. The wine bar has a pretty good and constantly changing selection, and you can't go wrong at Kaldi's for any coffee or tea selection. Kaldi's closes around midnight on weeknights, though.

Tivoli Theater on the Loop shows Indie films and is always intriguing to visit. The Loop is cool to walk, anyway, with all the eclectic record shops, head shops, and clothing stores. It gets somewhat sketchy after dark, but with all the college kids around, it's quite safe as long as you stick to the main strip.

Still, some of my best dates in STL involved ending the night at the Courtesy Diner on Hampton for cheap greasy food. It's so much fun for the novelty/people-watching factor, but it's not for everyone.

Good luck with the date!
posted by galimatias at 8:40 PM on July 11, 2006


I second the Brennan's suggestion. It's (deceptively) three floors that are all very different. Second floor seems more conducive to meeting new people. The street level is a wine shop where you can buy a bottle and drink it there. Basement has a more of a speakeasy feel. Highly recommend it.
posted by Juggermatt at 10:14 AM on July 12, 2006


Here's a list of great cheap eats in St. Louis (self link).
posted by kdern at 1:47 PM on November 20, 2006


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