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Eat, Drink, Play in the Lou

St. Louis is stitched together by a distinct patchwork of neighborhoods, each with many unique qualities: lush parks, favorites eateries, signature happenings and more. Whether you’re moving to a new area or just want to explore a little, here’s the highlights reel.

get outside: At a whopping 1,800 acres, Castlewood State Park features breathtaking trails along the Meramec River.
eat: Faraci Pizza and Mi Lupita are longtime local favorites. Marcella’s Mia Sorella offers fresh Italian, while Charlotte’s Rib serves lip-smacking barbecue.
drink: Order a cold one at laid-back Clancy’s Irish Pub, or enjoy the novelty of ‘Table Tap Technology’ at Circle 7 Ranch.
caffeinate: For a caffeine fix, drop in at family-owned Six North Cafe.
enjoy: Ballwin Days, Vlasis Park (June 10-12)

central west end
get outside: The Central West End abuts Forest Park, our 1,371-acre green gem that includes The Muny, the Art Museum, the zoo and tons more.
eat: Brasserie serves up some of the best French in town, while Cafe Osage features farm-fresh options for breakfast, brunch or lunch. For great Cajun (and live music!), hit up Evangeline’s.
drink:  Grab a pint at Dressel’s, sample vodka at Sub Zero Vodka Bar or sip on some of the best handcrafted cocktails anywhere at Taste.
caffeinate: Top picks for perking up include Coffee Cartel, Central Cafe and The Cup.
enjoy: Halloween Party (Oct. 29)

get outside: Faust Park includes playgrounds, trails and picnic spots, but it also houses an historic village of buildings from the mid 1800s. For a more nature-centric experience, check out River’s Edge Park.
eat: Annie Gunn’s reached legendary status long ago. Other upscale options include EdgeWild and Balaban’s. For a fun twist on fast food, check out Kim Cheese, Korean-Mexican-American fusion.
drink: International Tap House and The Crafty Chameleon serve up an impressive array of brews. For great wines, stop in at Balaban’s.
caffeinate: The Wolf offers sustainable eats and organic/fair trade coffees.
enjoy: Taste of St. Louis, Chesterfield Amphitheater (Sept. 16-18)

get outside: Shaw Park’s 48 acres include playgrounds, pools, athletic courts and picnic spots.
eat: For brunch, you can’t go wrong with Half & Half. And Gerard Craft’s Pastaria serves up impeccable Italian all day long, while his Niche has received national acclaim for special-occasion dining.
drink: The Libertine offers inventive handcrafted cocktails in a hip setting, while Fox & Hounds Tavern in The Cheshire has the market cornered on cozy.
caffeinate: City Coffee House & Creperie has a bistro vibe, while Northwest Coffee Roasting offers a bustling spot for coffee, tea and smoothies. Don’t forget local fave Kaldi’s, both on DeMun Avenue and Carondelet Plaza.
enjoy: Saint Louis Art Fair, downtown Clayton (Sept. 9-11)

creve coeur
get outside: Creve Coeur Lake Memorial Park (more than 2,000 acres!) features a large, natural lake perfect for boating or strolling around.
eat: Gulf Shores Restaurant and Grill serves up tasty Cajun fare, and Gobble Stop Smokehouse reportedly has some of the best smoked turkey in town.
drink: EdgeWild Bistro & Tap in Westgate Centre features a sizable wine and beer list. For a classic sports bar experience, visit The Post Sports Bar or The Hive.
caffeinate: Grab a cup of joe (and a delicious pastry) at St. Louis Kolache or La Bonne Bouchee.
enjoy: Creve Coeur Days, De Smet Jesuit High School (June 23-26)

des peres
get outside: Des Peres Park (42.5 acres) includes ball fields, trails, playgrounds and a lake stocked for fishing. Phantom Forest Conservation Area offers a more rugged nature experience.
eat: Zydeco Blues serves up Cajun/Creole classics, while Three Kings offers creative twists on pub classics. Gerard’s dishes out steaks and seafood (and boasts an impressive wine list).
drink: The Village Bar is an old-school, no-frills bar in an historic setting. J. Gilbert’s offers enticing happy hour specials and upscale food.
caffeinate: To put pep in your step, visit The Daily Bread Bakery and Cafe or Monark Cafe.
enjoy: Des Peres Summer Concert Series, Des Peres Park (June 10, July 8, Aug. 12)

get outside: Kirkwood Park’s 92 acres include an outdoor amphitheater, picnic and fishing spots, sport courts and a playground.
eat: Some favorites in the quaint downtown area include Five Star Burgers and One 19 North, an eclectic tapas restaurant. For healthy food done deliciously, check out The HotPot.
drink: Kirkwood Station Brewing serves up craft brews, while Bar Louie and Ice & Fuel are happening spots for after-work drinks.
caffeinate: For a great cup of joe, check out McArthur’s Bakery or Kaldi’s Coffee.
enjoy: Greentree Festival, Kirkwood Park (Sept. 16-18)

get outside: Tilles Park’s 75 acres include picnic and fishing spots, trails and tennis courts.
eat: In Ladue, Truffles features upscale, modern American eats, while Sportsman’s Park serves up tasty bar classics. In Frontenac, sample Italian at Sugo and Via Vino or dig into hearty soups and sandwiches at The Shack.
drink: Schneithorst’s offers brews and German-themed cocktails (like the Apple Strudel Martini) in an Alpine-inspired setting. Cardwell’s at the Plaza has a hoppin’ bar.
caffeinate: Deer Creek Coffee has a selection of coffee, as well as an all-day breakfast menu, and Starbucks at Lindbergh and Clayton is a longtime favorite.
enjoy: Winter Wonderland, Tilles Park (holiday season)

get outside: Eleven-acre Deer Creek Park features soccer and baseball fields, playgrounds, picnic tables and barbecue spots.
eat: Reeds American Table serves up impeccable upscale American. For brunch: Southwest Diner is always a delight.
drink: Sit in Boogaloo’s bar swings with a Cuban-inspired cocktail. For beer, Schlafly Bottleworks and Side Project Brewing are always buzzing.
caffeinate: Foundation Grounds and La Cosecha both focus on organic coffee.
enjoy: Let Them Eat Art, downtown Maplewood (July 8)

the hill
get outside: Berra Park is popular for softball and soccer games, barbecues and other outdoor gatherings.
eat: Where to start? Some of our favorites: for classic Italian, Trattoria Marcella; for Spanish tapas, Modesto; for upscale farm-to-table, Five Bistro; for sandwiches, Amighetti’s.
drink: Throw back a beer and play some bocce at Milo’s.
caffeinate: Shaw’s Coffee serves up fresh-roasted java in an elegant setting.
enjoy: The Wine Walk on The Hill (May 7)

tower grove/shaw
get outside: This neighborhood has two of the city’s best spaces to get fresh air: Tower Grove Park, a 285-acre Victorian gem, and Missouri Botanical Garden, stunning year-round.
eat: Wine bar Olio features delicious Mediterranean-inspired small plates, while Union Loafers has top-notch sandwiches. For sweets: La Patisserie Chouquette and Ices Plain & Fancy.
drink: Sip on a cold one at Black Thorn Pub or Amsterdam Tavern. Enjoy a fine vin rouge at Sasha’s on Shaw.
caffeinate: For interesting teas, check out London Tea Room. For air-roasted, small-batch coffee: Hartford Coffee Company.
enjoy: Festival of Nations, Tower Grove Park (Aug. 27 & 28)

university city
get outside: Heman Park’s 85+ acres includes picnic spots, a recreation facility, baseball fields and trails.
eat: The Delmar Loop features an eclectic selection of restaurants, including the James Beard-nominated Público. Off-the-Loop hotspots include Vernon’s BBQ and House of India.
drink: Three Kings Public House offers drinks in a lively setting, while Mission Taco’s margaritas just might be the best in town. For booze with a view, order a drink at The Moonrise.
caffeinate: Winslow’s Home serves great coffee and locally sourced goodies. For a funky setting, check out Meshuggah Cafe or Blueprint Coffee in The Loop.
enjoy: U. City Jazz Festival, Heman Park (June 11)

webster groves
get outside: Blackburn Park’s 38 acres feature sport courts, trails and a bird sanctuary.
eat: Olive+Oak is one of the hottest new restaurants anywhere in the city, while Milagro Mexican puts an upscale spin on Mexican. Other favorites include Fuzzy’s Taco Shop and Big Sky Cafe.
drink: Grab a cold one at Llewelyn’s Pub. For
cocktails, try Cyrano’s; for wine, Robust Wine Bar.
caffeinate: Stratton’s is popular for breakfast.
Webster Groves Garden Cafe offers organic java.
enjoy: Old Webster Jazz & Blues Festival, Old Webster (Sept. 16)

get outside: Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park is perfect for everything from camping to hiking. Rockwood Reservation is a nearly 2,000-acre state forest and wildlife conservation area.
eat: Table Three offers upscale American fare. Big Chief Roadhouse, a Route 66 original (although recently remodeled), serves burgers, sandwiches, pizza and more.
drink: Llewelyn’s Pub offers dozens of brews and features an expansive patio and game room.
caffeinate: Sunny Street Cafe serves up coffee, tea and smoothies.
enjoy: Founders Day Car Show, Main Street (Aug. 27)


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