I’ve been to Saint Louis three times in the last two years. Almost every time I tell someone I’m going there, I get some sort of response back from the other person about how they don’t like STL. I’ve enjoyed each trip and I’m sharing my recommendations so that you can, too.
The year might not be 1903 and the World’s Fair may not be hosted in Saint Louis anymore, but there is still lots to see, do and eat!
Speaking of eating, let’s start there:
- Vivola Express
- We stumbled upon this little sandwich shop and THANK GOD we did because this little restaurant has become one of my must-haves when I’m in Saint Louis. Their hot roast beef sandwich with au jus melts in your mouth. Their meatball sub is incredible. The restaurant is small and there is always a line during the lunch hour but it is family owned and they work fast. If there is a line, trust me, it will be worth the short wait.
- Charlie Gitto’s on the Hill
- Step one: order the toasted ravioli. Amazing. I ordered the veal milanese entree with the sangria. The food was all really delicious. The sangria was good, not amazing. My only regret was that we didn’t order dessert. This location is small and intimate – a perfect date night destination.
- Little O’s Soda Shop in Saint Charles, MO.
- Okay, depending how much time you have or which direction you’re traveling in from, you should absolutely stop here. I consider myself an ice cream connoisseur. I ordered the chocolate shake and not only was it delicious, it was huge. They have all sorts of flavors as well as old fashioned sodas. This is a great spot to stop and cool off when you’re checking out the Katy Trails or checking out the shops and attractions in historic St. Charles.
- Anheuser-Busch Brewery Tour
- Okay, I know this isn’t “eating” but it often goes hand-in-hand with drinking. I am not a beer girl, but the tour we had was really cool. I was there in November – just in time to see their Christmas lights! The weather was cold which seemed fitting as I admired the Clydesdales. The historic buildings are beautiful and you’ll get some free samples while you’re there. A win-win for everyone! My favorite part? The timeline with their vintage ads displayed.
- Ballpark Village
- You can find lots of great beverages at Anheuser-Busch but if you’re looking for a great view to enjoy with your drink you’ve got to visit Ballpark Village. Done watching the game on their HUGE screen? Trot upstairs for some music at Howl at the Moon or dance over to PBR. This whole area is under construction right now so I’m excited to see the final additions when they’re finished.
- The Gateway Arch
You’ve probably heard of the arch. I had wanted to see it for a long time and I will say that I was not disappointed. The museum was undergoing some renovations and construction during my visit. I didn’t have a chance to go up and peak out from the top of the arch while I was there BUT I plan to during a future visit (maybe during the spring or fall while the weather is cooler). Take the time to watch the video in the museum underground. For some reason, I thought the arch was a lot older than it really is but seeing old videos from the construction of it is really incredible.
- Basilica of Saint Louis, King (The old cathedral)
- On your way to/from the arch, you’ll likely pass a little church on the corner. This church started as a one-room log structure in 1764 that was erected as the first Catholic Church in the newly founded city. This church is much smaller than the newer cathedral (and not quite as dazzling) but there is a lot of history here. It has a lovely exterior and I think it’s cool that you can see the church standing tall near the Arch. While having been rebuilt a few times since the 1700s, in general the church stood the test of time in a growing city.
- Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis
- Speaking of the newer cathedral… it’s just breathtaking. I can’t even scratch the surface of how cool this church is because it is HUGE but also because pictures just really don’t do it justice. I’d love to get a full tour during a future visit so I can learn about the history behind all of the mosaic designs. I could spend hours just looking around at all of the paintings. Not to mention, the ceilings… the cathedral is home to one of the largest mosaic collections in the western hemisphere. These tiles sparkle as they show off the amazing angels and people they were shaped to feature. I had the pleasure of going to mass here during my last visit. The sound of the music from organs (yes, there are multiple) is incredible. Don’t miss the Pieta replica. The fact that Pope John Paul II visited this church in 1999 makes me love it even more.
Things I’d like to do next time:
- St. Louis Cardinals game
- Tour the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis
- Ride up to the top of the Gateway Arch
What am I missing? What are your favorite things to do in Saint Louis? I’m always looking for recommendations for future visits.