Best Way to Spend a Summer Night
When summer in the Lou rolls around, everyone is ready to soak up the sun and take advantage of our city’s packed calendar of fun events—so many of which are free! It can be overwhelming to pick and choose which to attend, but we’re here to help. We’ve devised a perfect summer evening in various neighborhoods. Now you have no excuse … put on light layers, grab a few friends and make a night of it.
Cocktails: One 19 North is the perfect place for quiet conversation and a great glass of wine.
Dinner: Grab dinner and a cold one on the chill patio at Club Taco, complete with big umbrellas, strings of twinkle lights and, of course, a wide variety of tacos. Find a ton of locals at Billy G’s (one of the best patios in town) drinking a beer and listening to live music outside.
Dessert: Walk over to The Custard Station for a late-night treat, or check out the weekend ‘done’ at Strange Donuts, open until midnight on weekends.
For fun: Bring your blanket to Kirkwood Park for the Music Making series (Saturday nights) or to Station Plaza for the downtown concert series (Thursday nights).
central west end
Cocktails: Located just outside the bubble on Sarah Avenue, Retreat Gastropub has quite the list (and knowledgeable staff). Sub Zero Vodka Bar continues to get accolades and awards— and there’s a reason for it! It’s got vodka galore, along with everything else.
Dinner: It’s hard to pass up the Gerard Craft gem Brasserie, where the food and atmosphere trick your mind into thinking you’re in a French cafe. Or there’s Mission Taco Joint for margs and Mexican, Pi for pizza, Little Saigon Cafe for Vietnamese … this area covers the globe!
Dessert: Euclid Avenue is home to not one, but two, late night/early morning cookie destinations: Hot Box Cookies and Insomnia Cookies. Test out both to find your fave. Or get your fix at The Cup or Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream.
For Fun: Head to the streets around Left Bank Books or Coffee Cartel to catch some tunes during Sounds of Summer, a free music series from 6 to 9 p.m. every Friday night. The Chase Club inside The Chase Park Plaza is newly opened and also offers music every Friday night.
Cocktails: It’s hard to pass up a night under the stars at the Moonrise Hotel Rooftop Terrace Bar. Grab a lounge chair, lay back and be thankful the weekend has started!
Dinner: Tavolo V (a converted lighting warehouse) is as cool as it sounds. The windowed garage door goes up when it’s nice outside, and the affordable Italian trattoria merits return trips. If you’re craving barbecue, Salt + Smoke is a sure bet.
Dessert: Peacock Diner offers ice cream treats and pie in an old-fashioned soda fountain setting, complete with neon lights, or get Thai-style rolled ice cream at Snow Factory—it’s a show and dessert!
For Fun: Plenty of big names end up on stage at The Pageant, or check out who’s playing at Blueberry Hill or Cicero’s. Maybe you’ll opt to take a stroll down Delmar Boulevard and pop into the countless unique music, home, clothing and gift boutiques. You can learn about local ‘celebrities’ from the sidewalk stars on the Walk of Fame, and a trolley ride will soon be available, too!
Cocktails: You can’t beat the views at Three Sixty on top of Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark. Tasty cocktails are just part of its appeal: catch a Cardinals game from afar, dance to the DJ, or just enjoy the fire tables and ambiance up high. The Four Seasons offers its own great views facing the Arch on the eighth-floor Sky Terrace, where you can sit by the pool, sip and socialize.
Dinner: David Bailey’s Small Batch Whiskey & Fare is perfect for vegetarians—and anyone who appreciates good food, really. Oh, and did we mention there is a slight focus on whiskey? Sen Thai is still a mainstay for quality Thai, and Schlafly Tap Room is casual and comfortable while offering plenty of good-tasting hops.
Dessert: Porano has gelato pops—enough said! Get one to go and walk to the new Arch grounds, which offer tons of green space to relax on a blanket under the night sky.
For fun: Arcades and beer? Yes, please! Feel like a kid again at Start Bar with old-school arcades, Skee-Ball, pinball and more. Keep the ‘kid’ theme going at City Museum, where you can slide and climb to your heart’s content. Go bowling at Flamingo Bowl, or get tickets to cheer on the Cardinals!
Cocktails: Go dark at Sanctuaria, where mixologists handcraft fresh, unique cocktails—many of them with ingredients from the surrounding garden. This place has been called ‘Cocktail Mecca,’ and it’s easy to see why.
Dinner: The Grove is heating up, and Layla is part of that. The gourmet burger and shawarma joint—yes, the two go together!—uses locally sourced ingredients. Falafel fries and hummus anyone? Eat healthy and get a taste of Nepalese, Indian and Korean cuisine right here in the Lou at Everest Cafe & Bar.
Dessert: You might just want to stay put at Layla and indulge in some ice cream, again sourced locally. Milkshake offerings include things like bacon-infused caramel, fresh mangoes, and bananas, dates and walnuts. Yum.
For Fun: Everyone knows and loves Food Truck Fridays; embrace the lines to get samples from various moving restaurants at Tower Grove Park! Head there for Musical Mondays, where you can throw down a blanket (and some munchies and wine) to hear the Compton Heights Concert Band perform.
Cocktails: Herbie’s has settled into its new location well. The patio is packed on nice nights, so stop by to grab a couple of drinks and take in the scene.
Dinner: There are almost too many fabulous options to name, and the extra-nice thing? They’re all within walking distance of each other! You could do a progressive dinner: start at Pastaria for salad, head to Tani Sushi for a roll, and then The Libertine, 801 Fish or Cafe Napoli for a memorable main.
Dessert: Ruth’s Chris could easily be a stop on the dinner schedule above, or pop in for one of its decadent desserts: massive carrot cake slices are often on the menu, or the white chocolate bread pudding will put you over the edge. Opt to pick up lots of little things at How Sweet is This, the itsy bitsy candy shop on De Mun named one of the best candy stores in the country by Food Network Magazine.
For Fun: Just grab a table on a patio, watch the passers-by and enjoy a drink. Barcelona has a fun, carefree vibe, and Bar Napoli always has a lot going on, including music and dancing.