Whether you are looking for a quick bite, late night munchies, or a great cocktail, our guide to the best restaurants in Downtown St. Louis has you covered.
A bright cafe known for its breakfast scrambles and crepes, Rooster has been voted “Best Breakfast in Missouri” by the Food Network. The restaurant often has an absurdly long wait time on weekends—download the Yelp app to get on the wait list or prepare to have your patience tested. The always buzzing eatery has vegetarian and gluten-free options, along with 10 types of creative Bloody Mary varieties(!).
Photo courtesy of Rooster
This time-tested shop opens at 11pm, so it can double as a late-night eat or a yummy breakfast. John's Donuts is a secret food industry spot, and almost all agree their apple fritters are the best in town. With great prices and a large selection, you’ll want to get there early before they sell out.
Photo courtesy of John's Donuts
This retro-style restaurant and ice cream parlor serves up an impressive menu of New American fare, cocktails, and show-stopping desserts. The bold and bright art deco interior will make you feel like you’re on the set of a glamorous old Hollywood film. The food gets raves—from the dill pickle soup to the Strutz salad, but the true stars are the can’t-miss ice cream creations from the classic hot fudge sundaes to the boozy adult floats.
Photo courtesy of The Fountain on Locust
Another gem in the St. Louis BBQ scene. Sugarfire offers rotating specials and sinfully good sides to pair with all that smoked meat—plus some veggie options, too. You’ll order at the counter, cafeteria-style, and take your tray of deliciousness to whatever table you can find. The vibe is very casual but with a lot of energy due to the buzzing lunch and dinner crowds. Meats and sides are served directly on paper-lined trays and diners eat at benches or small tables.
The sister restaurant of acclaimed St. Louis hotspot Fork & Stix, KiiN Essentially Thai has virtually the same menu, full of fresh and authentic Thai specialties. Go ahead and try something besides Pad Thai—we have a feeling you won't be disappointed. Our favorites include the red curry and the Khao Soi.
St. Louis sandwich royalty, Gioia’s has been locally owned and operated since 1918. Pick from their sandwich menu or make your own. Hot or cold, it’s almost impossible not to leave stuffed and happy. Anything with the housemade salami gets our vote—the recipe is over 100 years old.
The newest endeavor from James Beard winning chef/restaurateur Gerard Craft is perhaps his most interesting concept yet. This Brazilian/South American inspired restaurant atop the Four Seasons Hotel is built around the kitchen’s massive wood fire hearth, making it perfect for meat eaters and vegetarians alike. Pair that with a great cocktail program, the Four Seasons’ impressive wine list and service, and the amazing rooftop terrace, and you have all the makings for a great night.
St. Louis is a BBQ town, and The Midwestern is the newest addition to the scene...kind of. Ben Welch, formerly of Big Baby Q, picked up and headed Downtown and joined forces with the folks behind Wheelhouse and Start Bar. This beautifully renovated restaurant has an amazingly drink program, plus a menu of creative BBQ and southern dishes that will put you right into a food coma. Get the pastrami.
An alternate name for Bridge might be “paradise for wine and cheese lovers.” While they offer more than 200 beers and many delicious entrees, this cozy Downtown bar is the perfect place to nibble on some charcuterie and sip a glass of wine. The vibe is dark and intimate with a hint of swank, perfect for a cozy dinner before or after a show. The phenomenal selection of alcohol will satisfy even the pickiest drink connoisseur, and if the charcuterie board doesn’t fill you up, sandwiches, salads, and entrees will definitely satisfy.
Photo courtesy of Bridge Tap House
A St. Louis institution that makes you feel like you’re in New Orleans. Live music, fresh oysters, and Cajun food are the signatures of Broadway Oyster Bar. The vibe is loud and fun, and it has one of the best patios in town. There’s live music every night of the week, and BOB is especially fun after Cardinal games, as many fans tend to migrate here to keep the party going.
Photo courtesy of Broadway Oyster Bar, Yelp, Wes F.
This microbrewery offers yummy bar food (thanks to the chefs behind Peacemaker and Sidney Street Cafe), craft beers, and fun events like the Food Truck Feast. The vibe is chill and the multi-level bar has a large upstairs room with long community tables, a massive TV screen, and several arcade games. Stop by here before a Cardinals game for some beer and snacks that are elevated beyond what you can get in the stadium (charcuterie, anyone?).
Photo courtesy of 4 Hands Brewery
One of the most gorgeous rooms in the city complete with nightly light shows, The Grand Hall stands 65 feet at its tallest point. Step in for a drink in the renovated and restored bar and lounge area, and be treated to the high-definition projection mapping experience anytime after 5pm. Open ‘til 1am, the bar is a swanky yet casual choice for a drink Downtown.
Photo courtesy of The Grand Hall at Union Station
Open ‘til 3am, the party at Wheelhouse doesn’t really get started until 10pm or later. There’s a VIP mezzanine, a stage, an outdoor patio, and a line to get in. So if you’re looking for a Downtown hotspot where the party lasts into the wee hours of the morning, The Wheelhouse will have all you’re looking for.
Photo courtesy of The Wheelhouse
Sister bar to The Wheelhouse, Start Bar is where arcade-meets-bar, with tunes from the ‘80s and ‘90s always blaring on the speakers. Settle in, have a boozy slush and play games like skeeball and Mario Kart. Start Bar is fun during the day, at happy hour, and before Cards games too. Late-night it's a 21-and-up establishment, and there is a “dress to impress” dress code with no active wear or bags allowed, so come prepared.
A Nashville-style honky-tonk with live country bands performing Thursday-Saturday nights* and for all Cardinals’ home games. Check their website or Facebook page for the live music calendar.
*Game 6 isn’t a 3am bar, they are only open till 1am.
Photo courtesy of Game 6 HonkyTonk Joint
Note: If you are visiting and you’ve never tried Imo’s Pizza, “the square beyond compare” must be on your list. Even if for no other reason than to weigh in on our city’s style of pizza. The Downtown location is conveniently located next to Kiener Plaza.