Where to eat and drink close to the convention center?
October 30, 2007 3:20 PM   Subscribe

5 days in St. Louis, very little free time. Awesome places to eat near the convention center?

I'll be in St. Louis for a conference, and most days are pretty full. I'd like to find a nice place close by that has good food (but moderately priced, which for me means $20ish for meal w/o drinks). I love a good brewery with good unique food, as well as not-the-same-as-every-other pubs. Any recommendations? It will either be for a late lunch, or a late dinner.

I'm staying near the convention center, I'll have a car, and a companion show shares similar interests in places to eat. I'd be willing to travel, but the closer the better. It needs to be flexible since my schedule is a little crazy, so no reservations.

As a side interest, I'm curious of a good local bar/pub to hang out at, but not specifically eat at that would be close by.

(1) Places to eat?
(2) Bar/Pubs to hang and drink at?

posted by peripatew to Travel & Transportation around St. Louis, MO (20 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
There's a pub over on Washington, umm, the Dubliner, who has decent food and a nice selection of drinks
posted by khaibit at 3:50 PM on October 30, 2007

Schlafly Brewpub is at the corner of 21st and Locust, somewhat close to the convention center. It is the OTHER brewery in St. Louis. They have mussels and over 30 beers on tap.

The City Museum at Delmar and 15th is one of the best showcases of St. Louis eccentricities. It is open late Friday and Saturdays. There are two bars. One is a beatnik coffee house and the other a log cabin overlooking the largest junkyard jungle gym you will ever see. This is the one thing you should really see before you leave.

The Washington Ave. loft district between 7th and 16th has plenty of bars and restaurants.

South Grand Ave. (left at Grand off 40) by St. Louis University has some great Thai and Vietnamese food.
posted by rabbitsnake at 3:56 PM on October 30, 2007

I travel to St. Louis frequently for work, but usually do not go out in the area you are staying (we usually stay west of St. Louis) but I did enjoy the food and beer at the Schlafly Tap Room. The Chicken Fried Steak, the Fish and Chips and the beer were all good (although the beer was lower in alcohol than I am used to in CA).

On preview, I second Schlaflys.
posted by cftarnas at 4:04 PM on October 30, 2007

An American Place is excellent and almost directly across the street from the convention center.

You can find restaurant reviews and lots of information (including searching by neighborhood) at Sauce Magazine.
posted by gd779 at 4:06 PM on October 30, 2007

Mike Shannon's on Market is supposed to be pretty good, if a bit pricey (I've never been, but the missus liked it). A stroll up Washington Ave will find you a few good places to eat and drink--Mosaic is a tapas bar/restaurant that stands out for me. If you can make it out to Schlafly, I'd second rabbitsnake's recommendation. Also, S. Grand has Ethiopian, Afghan, Japanese/Sushi in addition to the Thai and Vietnamese) if you're willing to make the extra trip for something out of the ordinary.
posted by slogger at 4:13 PM on October 30, 2007

If a brewpub is what you want, like everyone else says, can't go wrong with the Schlafly Tap Room on Locust. The food is mid-to-upper tier, tasty bar food, and you can get samplers of their various microbrews. People go nuts over their fish and chips, bread pudding, and their fries themselves, which come with some sort of spiced-up ketchup, and another sauce that escapes me at the moment.
posted by stleric at 5:36 PM on October 30, 2007

(Also, unless you're really, really into sports, avoid Flannery's - it's average food, overpriced, and in spite of their name, exceedingly not-Irish.)

As a heads-up, there's a really good gelato place on Washington (Gelateria), good crepe breakfasts on Locust around 10th St. or so (Rooster), good Thai on 13th at Sen Asian Bistro (stick to the Thai food, the Japanese stuff is supposed to be only average), and inexpensive but delicious (and filling) Italian at 10th Street Italian.
posted by stleric at 5:43 PM on October 30, 2007

I second Schlafly's (Get the sticky toffee pudding for dessert) as well as Sen Thai Bistro.
posted by Ostara at 5:56 PM on October 30, 2007

This is Vito's girlfriend who grew up in St. Louis. The Landing is very close to the convention center and has a lot to offer pub/bar wise. I don't have any specific recommendations, but I've always heard good things about the Drunken Fish. Sundecker's and Morgan Street both have fairly good atmosphere, but tend to be infiltrated with the college kids on weekends.
posted by vito90 at 6:10 PM on October 30, 2007

If you're willing to drive to South Grand (10-15 minutes from downtown), I cannot recommend Sameem highly enough.

Take 44 to Grand and head south.
posted by PhatLobley at 6:33 PM on October 30, 2007

Also chiming in for the City Museum. I'm from Kansas City, so I'm not supposed to like anything in St. Louis... but I'll be damned if the City Museum isn't just about my favorite place in the world.
posted by cosmonaught at 7:19 PM on October 30, 2007

Also if you drive to South Grand please go to The King & I for Thai. It is awesome (I still crave it and I haven't lived there for five years).
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 7:27 PM on October 30, 2007

Mike Shannon's on Market is supposed to be pretty good, if a bit pricey

Mike Shannon's is very pricey for what you get (which is, admittedly, very good, but still). You'd be better off going up to an Italian restaurant on The Hill. The Landing is also good for places to eat, yes.
posted by middleclasstool at 9:27 PM on October 30, 2007

Heh. Sen Thai Asian Bistro is good, it was my first thought. If you can get to South Grand, though, try Pho Grand, an amazing Vietnamese place. Dress nicely for either of these places.

Also, the Drunken Fish's sushi is good, but not great, and the atmosphere...too many snobby party girls at any of the locations.
posted by limeonaire at 5:13 AM on October 31, 2007

Thirding the City Museum. It really is as cool as everyone says it is.
posted by Quidam at 8:53 AM on October 31, 2007

Downtown St. Louis is the worst and most uninteresting part of the city. It's ghetto-fied. I can tell you to certainly avoid Sen Thai; it's overpriced and not very good at all.

It's true that they have built up the Washington are between Tucker and 20th, but it's still pretty sketchy if you go more than a few blocks away from Washington. There is a Wine Bar on washington that has a decent selection, but it's undefensibly snobby. The only thing I agree is a must-see Downtown is the City Museum. Go there. But I haven't been impressed with the rest of the crap on Washington.

I also would discourage going to South Grand, unless you really like dive bars and assholes. CBGB is a great place to hang out if that's your thing. All the resturaunts down there are crap, IMHO. If you like diners, The Buttery and the South City Diner are both, um, interseting places. But I would recommend The Courtesy Diner.

All of the resturaunts that have been suggested by other here, with the exception of Schafly's, I must respectfully disagree with. I'd warn you against.

Take a short drive to the Central West End (should be <>Dressel's or Duff's. Those are the two best locations for Pub food in the city.

If you feel like venturing out of downtown, Blueberry Hill in the Delmar Loop is the quintessential St. Louis experiance. Most people love it or hate it, for various reasons. I like the burgers.

If you get a chance, check out Meshuggah Coffee in the Loop as well. It's the best in town.
posted by jeffamaphone at 9:40 AM on October 31, 2007

Oh--fuck--I completely forgot about the hill. Make sure you get to one of the following (in order that I prefer them):

1. Cunetto
posted by jeffamaphone at 9:42 AM on October 31, 2007

The right link for Dressel's. Not sure what happened above.
posted by jeffamaphone at 9:44 AM on October 31, 2007

King & I is okay.
posted by jeffamaphone at 9:45 AM on October 31, 2007

This is probably no longer relevant, but I'd just like to add that Drunken Fish's Central West End location got a C rating from the health department last January.

...And also that South Grand has numerous perfectly good non-dive, non-diner restaurants, and that Cunetto's falls into the category of "developed its good reputation long before expectations rose for what good Italian food in St. Louis entails."
posted by stleric at 8:25 PM on November 5, 2007

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