You’ve already worked through the 31 things to do in St. Louis, and you’re craving some more. This little big city may not be the Big Apple or good ole Los Angeles, but this town still has an abundance of activities and sights. And here are 12 more:
- Shaw’s Coffee – When we couldn’t find parking too close to #2, our crew started the short walk to our lunch spot. But something caught Samantha’s eye: coffee. “It’s so cute!! We have to go in!!” I easily obliged because coffee, duh. Walking into the door under the yellow awning graced with white string lights, my eyes were drawn to the real potted trees, a moulded ceiling and cherry wood. After the barista kindly greeted us, we responded that we were just looking around. And then Samantha saw Ghirardelli chocolate was IN the coffee. Ignoring our wallets and upcoming lunch plans, we gave in. I opted for an iced Caffe Mocha that the menu boasts as a “latte sweetened with Ghirardelli dark chocolate.” Samantha ordered the same drink hot, and we brought our drinks to the back room called the Safe Deposit Vault with dim lighting, grated door, mirrors, a wall with deposit boxes and four comfy chairs. After my routine mix-the-whipped-cream-into-the-coffee, I indulged into the creamy, rich chocolate flavor. Here’s a pat on the back for spontaneity and a subsequent success!
- Adriana’s-Dana and Samantha looked up some of the best restaurants on The Hill, and this one popped up. The picture-perfect sunny day with a crisp yet comfortable chill did indeed reflect the quality of this quick-service restaurant with its pizzas, sandwiches, pasta and salad. Hanging flowers, blue checkered table covers and a moulded ceiling graced the inside. Being gluten-free, I ordered the House Salad (“iceberg, pimento, provel and Parmesan cheeses tossed in our Vinaigrette dressing” as told by the menu). If I’m honest, I wasn’t all that thrilled going in: ordering a salad at an Italian restaurant isn’t my favorite thing because it’s just a reminder I can’t eat bread and pasta and pizza and basically everything. But I left quite satisfied with my choice. The pepper and Vinaigrette dressing (which had a broad consensus of approval from our table) complemented the pimento.
- Maggiano’s Little Italy-Close to the Galleria Shopping Center, this restaurant provides an elegant atmosphere for a nice Italian dinner. Do order from the Classic Pastas section of the menu. You have one plate of pasta at the restaurant and get another one to take home all for $13.95. I thoroughly enjoy their Lighter Take on Fettuccine Alfredo (+chicken) as well as Taylor Street Baked Ziti.
- Bailey’s Range-Although known for their perfect French fries and a variety of different dipping sauces, Bailey’s Range makes me think of two of my favorite words: ice and cream. I’ve ordered the following shakes: Salted Caramel, Drunken Mocha and Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows (at different times). All of them were quite creamy with the ice chunks melting in my mouth. But my favorite would have to be the Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows for its out-of-the-ordinary flavor. As the menu mentions, be sure to get extras like whipped cream for free.
- La Bonne Bouchée – If this is your first or second visit to Round Trip, you may not know that I’m obsessed with all things France. So, let’s just say this bakery and cafe satisfied my inner wannabe francophile. With its overwhelming expanse of macaroons and quality menu, you’ll get your taste of classy France. Let me just say that my Frittata open-faced omelette made my stomach VERY happy. Read more about this restaurant here.
- Deer Creek Coffee in Ladue – Whenever I get together to chat with Dory, coffee is the go-to activity. But recently we decided to stray from our regular coffee spot. I ordered a Caramel Royale (caramel sauce, espresso, milk and a touch of vanilla). I’m definitely a sweet coffee kind of girl, but my tolerance for espresso is ever-increasing. You’re talking to the girl who won the high school senior superlative for most likely to be found at Starbucks. And let me tell you something: this Caramel Royale caught my attention and requires a return to Deer Creek. The strength of the espresso matched the sweetness of the caramel. In one sip, you go from saying, “Wow, that is some strong coffee!” to “Oh, dang, this is sweet!” When I’m back in the Lou, I definitely would love another stop here.
- Rooster-In this building marked with bright orange and red walls with spotlights, I saw a variety of people: a man in a business suit, a tattooed waiter and us gal pals in our cute-sy dresses (if I do say so myself…). Dana had mentioned this dining spot was highly rated in St. Louis. I ordered the #6 Scramble (seasoned black beans, cheddar, spinach, red onion and salsa). The presentation was beautiful— who knew eggs could be attractive? The casual yet unique atmosphere of Rooster is worth a visit.
- City Garden-Just a short walk from #4, the City Garden is a gem in the middle of St. Louis. With children playing in the fountains and bunny sculptures, this garden is not only safe but photogenic. The gal pals and I enjoyed taking cute pictures with my dear sweet Cammie (my Nikon D3200). There’s even a quaint path through the trees to the top of a hill.
- Crushed Red-Walking into this dive in Kirkwood, you’ll be greeted by mason jar light fixtures and a red wall with dandelion-yellow typography. After walking up to place my order, I enjoyed the Queen Margherita pizza on gluten-free crust. The thin yet sweet gluten-free crust held flavorful mozzarella, juicy tomatoes and lathered pesto. Although casual, Crushed Red provides a cool yet comfortable vibe.
- Down by the Station-Also in Kirkwood (can you tell that I’m obsessed with Kirkwood?!), this boutique-meets-store-crossover boasts cute notebooks, stationary, Vera Bradley, porcupine onesies for your little one, Kate Spade, Lilly Pullitzer and hot dog socks… so basically everything you ever wanted in life. Even though I didn’t purchase anything, it was fun to poke around and read all the fun sayings on the magnet board. (FYI there were cat magnets if you wanted to know.)
- The Custard Station-Covered by a red and white striped awning, the Custard Station cooled us off on a hot day, but warning: cash only. I opted for a cement with peanut butter and fudge (my all-time favorite), which was creamy yet light. Dana, Samantha, Riley and I enjoyed the shade and rest on the picturesque benches steps away from the register.
- Mission Taco– When another restaurant lacked many gluten-free options (sorry to you, tofu, but we’re not meant to be), Taylor and I found ourselves in the car, trying to find a quick, affordable restaurant so we could make it to our next stop on time. She’d eaten here before, and we headed into this effortlessly cool taco joint. The bartenders sported a range of looks from shaved sides to long beards, tat sleeves with Chinese characters to pierced ears. These edgy looks matched the food: I ordered two Chicken al Pastor tacos (“Achiote roasted chicken, grilled pineapple pico de gallo, blood orange habanero sauce, hibiscus pickled onions, micro cilantro”) and one Carne Asada (“wood-fire grilled flank steak, baby arugula, queso fresco, avocado serrano sauce”). While the Carne Asada had a softer, not-so-bold taste (I’m not a huge guac person…), the Chicken al Pastor taco boasted a bold flavor with its contrast of a spicy vibe with the sweet pineapple. It’s important that you know that I’m obsessed with pineapple (and recently bought a full one and cut it up myself!!), but I wasn’t so sure about it on a taco. But oh, snap! It’s a different flavor, but mmm, it’s fantastic.
St. Louis may not be the largest city in the U.S., but it’s definitely still worth a trip to the Gateway to the West.