Eclipse Bar: The Best Cocktail Bar in St. Louis
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The Best Cocktail Bar in St. Louis
For those looking for an out of this world bar experience, one St. Louis bar can take you to the moon and back.
Eclipse, which is located at the Moonrise Hotel in St. Louis, features several different venues, decorated in a cosmic style, and can host everything from casual drinks to a cocktail party.
The rooftop terrace overlooks the city and features lights and access to the bar and restaurant for private parties. The New Moon Room is an indoor/outdoor space that is covered by solar panels that power the lights, which makes the venue a green space.
The bar has a wine and beer selection as well as signature cocktails with unique names, including the Strawberry Fields is Overrated made up of Ransom gin, Cynar, Punt e Mes vermouth, Pimm’s No. 1 and Bitter Truth Pimento Dram served up with a cucumber and a lemon and Never Rub Another Man’s Rhubarb made up of Espalon Blanco, house-made rhubarb syrup, Salerno blood orange liqueur, lime juice and house-made grapefruit jalapeño bitters, served on the rocks with an orange twist.
Rooftop Garden Bar
Let’s face it: 2020 has been a year for the books. And not like, “We went to the moon!” More like — well, you know. Because we — at the Moonrise — feel so strongly about helping our community, we are proudly ensuring the students at Washington University are safe and healthy for the 2020-2021 school year. Unfortunately, that means the Rooftop Twilight Room and Garden Bar are closed until the end of the school year. But, don’t worry. You can still enjoy our astral aperitifs and cosmic cocktails at Eclipse Restaurant!
Be on the lookout for reopening announcements in June 2021.
If you are 21+, head to the Rooftop Garden Bar at the Moonrise Hotel for striking panoramic views of the St. Louis skyline, Gateway Arch and bustling Delmar Loop. This hip yet historic area was designated “One of the 10 Great Streets in America” by the American Planning Association. Come up to enjoy craft cocktails and small plates from our award-winning culinary team. Watch the sun disappear into the horizon at a rooftop bar beneath the world’s largest rotating man-made moon.
The Rooftop Garden Bar is St. Louis’ most eco-friendly rooftop bar. An awning of glass solar panels powers the entire rooftop, from the outdoor rooftop bar and deck to the indoor/outdoor Twilight Room bar, as well as two and a half guest room floors below. The Moonrise and Eclipse boast the first restaurant and hotel roof in America made entirely of solar panels. The Moonrise is committed to being one of the region’s leading green hotels, meaning that guests of the Moonrise Hotel’s Eclipse Restaurant can feel good about leaving a smaller footprint.
Rooftop Garden Bar Hours
Rooftop Twilight Room Hours
We are currently closed and will reopen summer 2021.
- 21+ only
- Food and Beverage state licensing does not allow for any outside food or beverage to be brought in.
- Celebratory cakes are not allowed.
- Decorations are not allowed.
- We card everyone.
The rooftop garden bar is now open for the season and will remain open through October, weather permitting. This 8th-floor outdoor rooftop bar is also an event venue available for private parties until 7 pm and is the ideal space to host your happy hour, reception, shower or intimate wedding ceremony. When you host an event at the Moonrise, a good time is written in the stars!
The Golden Hoosier restaurant and bar coming to the former Southtown Pub space
Owners Ivan and Berto Garcia envision the tavern-style establishment as the flagship of a redevelopment project spanning the Chippewa-Kingshighway corridor, an area they're calling the Crown District.
Courtesy The Golden Hoosier
St. Louisans will identify with a one pound Duroc pork steak, served with beans and cole slaw
A couple of years ago, Ivan Garcia was doing some soul-searching when a question in a book struck him: “If you could do anything you wanted to do and had unlimited resources to do it, what would you do?”
For him, the answer was clear. A real estate professional by trade, Ivan had always dreamed of redeveloping the section of Kingshighway and Chippewa in South St. Louis that he called home. Curious how his brother and business partner, Berto Garcia, would answer, he posed the same questions and was stunned with his response. Unprompted and with no knowledge of Ivan’s answer, Berto said his dream was to do the exact same thing.
Courtesy The Golden Hoosier
Now, the brothers are on their way to realizing that goal as they prepare to open the Golden Hoosier, a tavern-style, upscale-yet-approachable watering hole that's slated to be the flagship of their redevelopment project. The bar and restaurant promises to be a celebration of what makes St. Louis—and, in particular, the city's South Side—such a special place.
“We just want people to feel good, feel taken care of,” says Ivan. “There are a lot of dive bars around—and I love them—but this is for people who want quality experience but not necessarily fine dining. This neighborhood has always been working-class the South Side was all brewery employees and never fancy. We wanted something that celebrates working people, good times, family, and all those things.”
The Garcia brothers have made their name in St. Louis as the force behind Garcia Properties, a real estate firm with a ubiquitous presence in the south part of the city. As Ivan explains, the brothers have always seen the potential in the Chippewa-Kingshighway corridor, and once they realized they were on the same page with their idea for the area, they began buying buildings in the area in hopes of executing on that vision. One of those spaces, the former Southtown Pub location, seemed like the perfect place to add a reimagined neighborhood bar. When they couldn’t find anyone whose vision met theirs, they decided to do it themselves.
Courtesy The Golden Hoosier
According to Ivan, the Golden Hoosier is the anchor of a rebranding of the entire area. Working alongside the firm that was instrumental in rebranding The Grove, they have named the neighborhood the Crown District, hoping to make it a thriving commercial and restaurant center that rivals some of the region's other bustling neighborhoods, such as The Grove, South Grand, and the Delmar Loop.
Courtesy The Golden Hoosier
The scale of their ambition drives the Golden Hoosier. The brothers put serious resources toward creating a gorgeous space that embraces the building’s vintage aesthetic. Dark walls, modern taxidermy, and antique light fixtures adorn the space, the crown jewel of which is the restored Art Deco–style bar. According to Ivan, that bar was the inspiration for the restaurant having gone in one day to tear it out, he was so struck with its beauty and history that he could not bring himself to do so. As such, it’s become the focal point of the project.
In addition to the indoor space, the Golden Hoosier has a large outdoor area, outfitted in a whimsical, nostalgic state campground theme. Metal and wood picnic tables, an outdoor bar that props open to look like a vintage snack bar, and a circular stone fire pit add to the vibe.
The Garcias also brought in chef Colleen Clawson. As she explains, her vision came together quickly after speaking to the brothers and has coalesced into a menu that gets to the heart of the tone that the brothers are trying to set with the Golden Hoosier.
Courtesy The Golden Hoosier
The next best thing to an extended hug: grilled cheese and tomato soup
“Within a couple of weeks of starting to conceptualize and get the picture of what this place would become, the menu happened pretty immediately,” Clawson says. “It’s been augmented since then, but the bones of that have helped us stay in our direction and stay in our personality to express ideas about we are trying to be. This is an homage and celebration of the South Side, family, work—those are big jumping-off points. The menu offers what a tavern on the South Side needs to have, but we also want to be interesting, surprising, and celebrate that this culture is very much a melting pot. We’re taking things that maybe you grew up eating or your family made and reimagining them with lots of flavor.”
To that end, patrons can expect such dishes as a one-pound pork steak with homemade Maull’s-inspired barbecue sauce, served with beans and slaw. Clawson is also bringing back the tandoori wings from her popular pop-up restaurant, Babaxavi, as well as a “Superman Potato” inspired by the loaded spuds served at the corner markets in her North City neighborhood. She’s particularly excited about what the team believes will be the restaurant’s signature item, the Frenchie sandwich (pictured below). Inspired by a Portuguese classic, the sandwich is piled with andouille sausage, sirloin steak, and Bavarian ham.
Courtesy The Golden Hoosier
Courtesy The Golden Hoosier
Classic daiquiri, Golden Hoosier-style
Amanda Gaines, the Golden Hoosier’s general manager, leads the bar program. Balancing well-made cocktails with approachability, she has created a cocktail list and curated a range of spirits that get to the heart of the Garcias' mission. She promises a range of offerings that will appeal to all walks of life, as well as drinks that pair well with Clawson’s food.
Though the Golden Hoosier team has not yet announced an official opening date besides "early May," which could mean as early as this weekend. In the meantime, the Garcias encourage eager patrons to check the tavern’s social media pages to stay up to date.
5. 33 Wine Shop & Bar
1913 Park Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63104
Alt Text - 33_Wine_Shop_&_Bar_Whiskey_Missouri
The 33 Wine Shop & Bar offers its guests a great experience with knowledgeable and friendly servers. They serve the best wines in Missouri, not to mention their excellent whiskey bar.
Guests are always impressed with the big selection of whiskeys that they offer. The place itself is charming as well, with plenty of art on the walls and even a pool table in the secondary room.
They are open from Monday to Saturday from 3:30 PM to 1 AM. Contact 314-231-9463 for more details.
3. Three Sixty
This restaurant and rooftop bar and lounge in St. Louis is called &ldquoThree Sixty&rdquo as it offers an amazing 360-degree view of Downtown St. Louis wherever you are seated. This rooftop bar also offers heated outdoor seating so you don&rsquot get cold while you enjoy the amazing sights. The bar is also to the annual pop-up bar called Up on the Rooftop, which opens every December. This is where master mixologist and bartender Kyle Mathis prepares amazing seasonal cocktails for everyone.
Address: 1 S Broadway, St. Louis, MO 63102
Website: Three Sixty
Opening hours: Sun: 10am - 1pm, 4pm - 11pm Mon - Thu: 4pm - 12am Fri: 4pm - 2am Sat: 10am - 1pm, 4pm - 11pm
Eclipse Restaurant menus are updated seasonally with fresh, creative offerings. We experiment with exciting new flavors and the freshest ingredients in order to craft the best food in St. Louis.
In the Eclipse Restaurant and lounge, enjoy American gastro cuisine with a cosmic twist on our brunch and dinner menus. Experience the culinary expertise of Head Chef Donald Cross, better known as DC. In the kitchen, he skillfully constructs both timeless American classics and uniquely inventive dishes inspired by seasonal produce and his culinary training. The restaurant’s stylish interior provides a contemporary yet intimate space in which to dine on the finest fare in the galaxy.
For stellar small plates or appetizers and creative, hand-crafted cocktails and drinks, jet up to the seasonal Rooftop Terrace Bar and all-seasons Twilight Room. Sip and savor under the world’s largest man-made moon on our open-air patio. Or, relax inside an out-of-this-world atmosphere in the Twilight Room.
No matter which space you choose you’re certain to enjoy an unmatched dining experience in unique surroundings
The Extraordinary Moonrise Menus
Menus are regularly updated with seasonal offerings, so there’s always something new to come back and try! We innovate while still respecting the classics. No reservations are taken for the rooftop bars. Call (314) 726-2222 for reservations at Eclipse Restaurant.
25 Excellent St. Louis Bars to Get Your Drink On — No Matter What Your Mood
There is no such thing as a bad bar — only a bar that isn't right for you at a particular time or place. When you feel like tying one on, you'd be a fool to pay $14 a drink. And when you're feeling fancy, you don't want to trip over the local drunks crying into their whiskey. There are excellent St. Louis bars catering to both moods, and many, many more. Choose wisely!
After extensive field research, we've compiled a list of 25 bars that are perfect in key situations. From Brentwood to Downtown, your first date to your third date, from drowning your sorrows to celebrating your bachelorette party, these bars won't just get you what you want — they'll get you what you need.
1. When you want to drink wine: Sasha's
It's not just those incredibly lengthy wine lists — now on iPad, complete with voluminous tasting notes — that make both Sasha's (Sasha's on Shaw at 4069 Shaw Boulevard in Shaw, Sasha's on DeMun at 706 De Mun Avenue in Clayton both www.sashaswinebar.com) such a mecca for oenophiles. It's the way the servers won't hustle you along if you're lingering over a glass instead of ordering a meal. It's that, if you want a bite, the kitchen is open late. And, more than anything, it's the convivial atmosphere. You'll eat, drink and be merry at Sasha's that you'll try something new too is merely the cherry on top. Or is that a grape?
2. When you want to drink beer: International Tap House
If you can't find a beer you like at International Tap House (locations in Chesterfield, Columbia, the Central West End and Soulard, www.internationaltaphouse.com), you won't find one anywhere. One look at the chalkboard behind the bar will tell you why: iTap boasts 40-plus draft choices at each location. And if that's not enough to satisfy you, the coolers are packed with a varying (but ridiculously large) assortment of beer. The vibe will be just as good as your drink, with comfortable seating, plenty of TVs for catching the game, live music on some weekends and staffers happy to recommend a brew for even the most selective of drinkers. It's the laidback atmosphere you didn't know you needed.
3. When you want to drink clever cocktails: Planter's House
There's a reason Ted Kilgore's mixology mecca Planter's House (1000 Mississippi Avenue, Lafayette Square 314-696-2603 or www.plantershousestl.com) is always at the top of those lists naming the best cocktail bars in the city: It is, without question, the very best. It's the best for savoring a classic drink or trying a new concoction it's the best for putting your trust in the bartenders' hands and letting them work their magic. There's not a bad cocktail on the list — and, more impressively, not even a boring one. Cheers.
4. When you want a super-cheap happy hour: Tower Pub
If you're looking for a friendly crowd and cheap drinks, Tower Pub (3234 Morgan Ford Road, Tower Grove South 314-771-7979) has you covered. There are fantastic happy hour specials ($2.75 drafts from 3-7 p.m.), but also great specials from 7 p.m. to close. On Monday, all drafts during those hours are $2. On Tuesday, a $2 "flip for it" special lets you flip a coin for the possibility of a beer or well on the house. On Wednesdays, ladies drink certain specials for $2. There's also trivia on Thursday and shot specials on Friday. Even if you're broke, you basically have no reason not to drink here every night of the week.
5. When you want to drink on a patio: McGurk's
You may think you've outgrown John D. McGurk's (1200 Russell Boulevard, Soulard 314-776-8309 or www.mcgurks.com), the sprawling Irish pub that brings revelers from across the region to Soulard. You may think there are more original choices for drinking outside. But then you step outside onto its lush patio, and once again you find yourself shocked by how vast, how beautiful, how green it is. Order a drink from the bar and grab a table (if you're lucky), and you'll remember why you come here — and why you'll never stop coming back.
6. When you want to drink above the people: Eclipse
Leave behind the Delmar sidewalks lined with Pokemon hunters and take the Moonrise Hotel elevator up to Eclipse (6177 Delmar Boulevard, the Loop 314-726-2222 or www.eclipsestlouis.com). This quirky-cool rooftop bar overlooks the Loop and plays host to everyone from students to socialites to the occasional Pageant headliner. Sure, it's great that the kitchen is open late (until about 11 p.m.), and there are two different bars at your service, but what will really catch your attention are the details: the star-studded ceiling, funky chairs, the space memorabilia lining the walls and the world's biggest man-made moon poised overhead After all, it wouldn't belong on the Loop without a dose of kitsch.
7. When you want really good food with your booze: Three Flags
Three Flags Tavern (4940 Southwest Avenue, Southwest Garden 314-669-9222 or www.threeflagstavern.com) is that rarity among St. Louis' top restaurants — a place where you can just as easily enjoy your dinner from a barstool as from a table, and really dig in without being jostled. That's because the bar here isn't just a counter tucked into a busy dining room it's in its own room, providing plenty of elbow space for those who prefer to dine solo or just eat a bit more informally. The "board of fare" is consistently top-notch, so don't waste your Three Flags visit by drinking on an empty stomach order some wings, tacos or the excellent burger and see how good eating at the bar can be.
8. When you want to go dancing: Upstairs Lounge
There's no arguing that the best way to dance is to dance like nobody's watching, and at Upstairs Lounge (3131 S. Grand Boulevard, Tower Grove South 314-358-2004 or upstairslounge.net) you can do just that. At this small, unique bar, everyone's too busy enjoying themselves to judge you. Upstairs Lounge is home to weekly and monthly events that cater to many tastes, with various sub-genres of electronic as well as hip-hop and New Wave represented. Its straightforward setup and simple drink list coupled with numerous talented performers show there's only one focus here: the music. You don't have to be a great dancer to have a kick-ass time here all you have to do is go upstairs to get down.
Turn the page for more amazing St. Louis bars — including two karaoke spots.
9. When you want to sing karaoke: Double D Karaoke
If music is the language of the heart, then karaoke is the heart's way of telling a room full of drunk strangers that it's ready to frickin' ROCK. It's a magnificent catharsis, and few establishments enable it better than Double D Karaoke (1740 S. Brentwood, Brentwood 314-961-5646 or doubledstl.com/). The Brentwood bar boasts enough cheap beer and drink specials to propel even the timid to the raised wooden stage, and the regulars are always waiting in the wings to throw a bombastic '80s pop ballad into the mix. So listen to your heart when it's calling for you. Hoof it to Double D's, and give that heart the karaoke therapy it needs.
10. When you want to watch drunks sing karaoke: Talayna's
It's always a party at Mike Talayna's Jukebox Restaurant (1115 Hampton Avenue, Dogtown 314-647-7600, no website), and for good reason. Where else can you get cheap drinks, a crowded dance floor and karaoke until 3 a.m.? Come tipsy and stay until you're ready to caterwaul in front of a bunch of strangers. If those disco balls could talk . actually, scratch that. Some things are best kept among friends. And by 3 a.m., you'll include everyone in that circle.
11. When you want to drink with your dog: Waiting Room
Unlike Post-Dispatch food writer Daniel Neman, who infamously blasted Urban Chestnut in January over its dog-friendly policies, ultimately ruining the fun for everyone (thanks, Neman), some of us actually like to spend time outside of the house with our four-legged friends. Luckily, Neman's scaly tendrils have yet to reach some choice local establishments. One such dog-friendly bar is the Waiting Room (10419 St. Charles Rock Road, St. Ann: 314-890-8333 or www.waitingroombar.com), whose large back patio serves as an ideal spot to drink with your furry pal. Just make sure to clean up after the little guy so as not to unduly burden your bartender — remember, the same fingers that have to pick up that shit will be making your drinks for you. As always, no uptight food writers allowed.
12. When you want to listen to the blues: BB's
With upwards of 50 shows each month — often multiple acts in a single day — BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups (700 S. Broadway, Downtown 314-436-5222 or www.bbsjazzbluessoups.com) is your single best bet when you're in the mood for the blues. It helps that the food is amazing: One taste of the bar's St. Louis Cuban sandwich will have you instantly hooked. And if you're not feeling the act that is playing, you really couldn't be in a better place: BB's is part of the Broadway-based St. Louis blues triangle, joined by Broadway Oyster Bar and Beale on Broadway. All three bars are just a short walk from one another, and each regularly hosts live blues music. Make a night of it.
13. When you feel like people watching: CBGB
Pick your sight lines at CBGB (3163 S. Grand Boulevard, Tower Grove South) for max viewing pleasure. At the corner of the bar, you can covertly spot the attractive hipsters flow through out front on the concrete patio you can keep an eye on one of St. Louis' better streets. Or just position yourself near someone ordering the gin bucket (not a euphemism) to see how it turns out. You won't be disappointed.
14. When you want to listen to jazz: Zodiac Lounge
Zodiac Lounge (3517 N. Grand Boulevard, JeffVanderLou 314-535-9800) may look like a hole in the wall, but don't let its exterior fool you: this place has class. The 35-and-older policy caters to generations accustomed to a time when "going out" meant dressing up. You won't see any attempts at twerking at this bar the focus here is on conversation and the jazz and blues music wafting from the jukebox. You may feel like you've stepped into the past a bit — but that's part of Zodiac's charm. Take a seat at the 26-foot-long bar, order up some cognac and stay awhile.
15. When you want to play bocce: Milo's
Don't know how to play this Italian version of bowling? No problem. Step out on the patio at Milo's Bocce Garden (5201 Wilson Avenue, the Hill 314-736-4695 or www.milosboccegarden.com) and you'll know that bocce is more about kicking back with neighbors than intense competition. Don't hesitate to get your name on the chalkboard for a turn on one of the two bocce courts — you can learn as you go. In the mean time, grab an umbrella table, order a beer and some St. Louis-style pizza, and watch life on the Hill pass by. Got the kids in tow? Just stay with them on the bocce court and you're good to go.
16. When you want to watch the game: Pepper's Grill and Bar
Fans shouldn't have to cheer alone. For that moment of pure tension — the scrum of sticks at the net, the baseball sailing high to left field, the running back charging the goal line — the best company can be found on a stool at Pepper's Grill and Bar (5452 Gravois, Bevo Mill 314-352-9909). The south city watering hole comes stocked with an enclosed patio and all manner of diversions, including beer pong, billiards and an extensive menu of bar staples. But the atmosphere positively sizzles at game time. Just look for the mural and the huge red pepper dangling above Gravois Avenue, and what you'll find inside is more precious than the racks of TVs or generous drink specials — this is where the fans are.
17. When you want to get down at a piano bar: Howl at the Moon
Yes, Howl at the Moon (601 Clark Avenue, Downtown www.howlatthemoon.com/st-louis) is located at Ballpark Village. Go ahead and judge. But local politics aside, this place has everything you could want in a modern piano bar. Let's start with the music: The bar's house band can pull off practically any song you throw at it. On weekend nights, you'll find the dance floor packed with everyone from twenty-somethings to the couples who have finally sent that last kid off to college. To top it off, the rainbow of specialty drinks on the menu come in sizes ranging from a single glass to a bucket. Yes, a real you're-going-to-get-seriously-drunk-sized bucket. Cheers.
Turn the page for more bars, including one to wow out-of-towners.
18. When you want to drown your sorrows: Colorado Bob's Ship of Fools
19. When you want to drink after the game: Broadway Oyster Bar
Cards loss got you in the mood to drink away your sorrows? Cards win got you in the mood to celebrate? In either case, Broadway Oyster Bar (736 S. Broadway, Downtown 314-621-8811 or www.broadwayoysterbar.com) has you covered. The New Orleans-inspired hot spot has all the drinks, crawfish and live music you could ever need. Pro tip: Step out of the stadium, find one of those pedicabs prowling the grounds and have them do the legwork for you. Walking is for fit people and suckers.
20. When you want a great first date: Venice Cafe
Quirky and colorful, Venice Cafe (1903 Pestalozzi Street, Benton Park 314-772-5994 or www.thevenicecafe.com) is a great spot to meet a near-stranger and see if you can make them a bit more than a friend. Live music prevents those potentially awkward silences the relatively new addition of a food component called the Jerk Shack keeps you from having to leave for a bite to eat just when things are getting good. Best of all? The killer patio. If it doesn't put your date in the mood, you've got no chance anyway. Move along.
21. When you want a great third date: Element
The new-and-improved Element (1419 Carroll Street, Lafayette Square 314-241-1674 or www.elementstl.com) now boasts amazing dishes from up-and-coming chef Josh Charles — but the food isn't the only reason to come here on that critical "will they or won't they" moment in a fledgling relationship. Instead, we'll direct your attention to the third-floor lounge area, conveniently located just above the restaurant. This bar is our hands-down pick for the sexiest spot in the city. Cuddle on the couches or straddle your partner on a bar stool just don't forget to check out that glorious view.
22. When you want to propose: Cielo Bar
It would be flat-out impossible to turn down any reasonable partner's request for holy matrimony so long as he or she proposes at Cielo Bar (999 N. 2nd Street, Downtown 314-881-2105 or www.cielostlouis.com/cielo_bar). For one thing, the choice of this impossibly stunning bar atop the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown St. Louis shows your supplicant takes your happiness seriously. For another, who could be in a bad mood when surrounded by so many beautiful people and such an incredible view of the Arch? Go ahead, order the Champagne. We can already hear the wedding bells.
23. When you want to wow your bachelorette party: Thaxton Speakeasy
Your crew may wonder if you've had too much to drink already when you start leading them toward an alley — but what did they expect, a speakeasy with an entrance visible from the street? Thaxton Speakeasy (1009 Olive Street, Downtown www.thaxtonspeakeasy.com) is all about authenticity, from its password-protected doorway (sign up online to acquire the current password) to the Art Deco decor. Naturally, it takes a few flights of stairs to find the gin joint below — and don't be caught off guard if you arrive to find a dance floor full of people dressed in 1920s attire. The Prohibition thing is painted on so thick here that ordering drinks may feel a bit scandalous — but what are bachelorette parties for?
24. When you want to wow out-of-towners: Three Sixty
When the Hilton elevator opens on the top floor to reveal Three Sixty (1 S. Broadway, Downtown 314-241-8439 or www.360-stl.com) you can't help but be a little awestruck: It's not every day you're greeted by a glowing waterfall streaming from the ceiling. Venture a little further into this rooftop space, and you'll come across the requisite chic bar and seating — but let's be real. It's the view you won't be able to tear your eyes away from. Take your guests outside to experience the real deal with a fire-lit bar and unmatched angles of the Gateway Arch and Busch Stadium. Whether you want to provide an upscale dinner experience with small plates and dessert or treat your visitors to a few drinks while watching the Cardinals game below, Three Sixty will impress.
25. When you want to keep drinking at 2 a.m.: Mangia Italiano
All that people watching at CBGB's left you thirsty, and you've been drinking up all night — looks like you won't be driving home any time soon. To make matters worse, it's last call. What to do? Easy: Just follow the throngs to nearby Mangia Italiano (3145 S. Grand Boulevard, Tower Grove South 314-664-8585 or www.dineatmangia.net), South Grand's premiere 3 a.m. bar. A long-time favorite of the late-night drinking set, Mangia proves the old adage true: Anyone who says they remember drinking there probably never really did.
For more bar coverage, see our guide to St. Louis' best dive bars, which is also on the streets now in handy dead-tree format. Or check out our list of ten great tap rooms.
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Baileys’ Chocolate Bar
Courtesy of Baileys’ Chocolate Bar
Chocolate lovers won’t want to miss Baileys’ Chocolate Bar near historic Lafayette Park. The much-loved spot—located above Pop, a new champagne bar by the same owners—serves decadent desserts and martinis. The space is cozy and romantic, with marble tables and French accents that give a nod to the building’s past. Baileys’ Chocolate Bar has been serving up ice cream martinis like the Signature, made with chocolate ice cream, Irish cream, and chocolate vodka, since 2004.
The Best Restaurants in St. Louis
Find great pizza, brunch, barbecue and more in this underrated, overly delicious city.
Savor St. Louis
Once the fourth-largest city in the U.S. and a major port on the Mississippi River, St. Louis has long been a melting pot of cultures and cuisines, and that stands true today. Thanks to the city&rsquos incredibly diverse population, you can find a New Mexican brunch spot, an Israeli restaurant in an old gas station, an award-winning fine-dining establishment and much more. Whatever you&rsquore looking for, chances are that it&rsquos somewhere to be found in St. Louis (and this is especially true if you&rsquore into beer and meat). Check out this city guide for the best of what to eat and drink in this seriously underrated food city.
Contemporary Asian: Indo
Indo combines contemporary Thai and Japanese cuisine at a mind-blowing level. The signature Isaan Hamachi is a prime example of this &mdash raw Hamachi topped with a Thai kosho, candied garlic, coconut naam pla, shallots, and chili oil. The result is a dish unlike anything you&rsquove had before. The fall-off-the-bone tender fried lamb ribs with a fish sauce caramel are a wonderful, sticky masterpiece you won&rsquot want to share the short rib curry with labneh and roti. Your best bet is to go for the chef&rsquos omakase tasting menu at the bar&mdashyou never know what you&rsquore going to get, but you know it&rsquos going to be incredible.
Brunch: Southwest Diner
Imagine that a diner from New Mexico circa 1955 was magically transported to current-day St. Louis and you have Southwest Diner. It feels like a time warp in the best way possible. The interior has a teal, red and blue motif, decorated with all sorts of cacti and New Mexican flair. It&rsquos the food that keeps people lining up day after day. In fact, the lines can be so long that the restaurant purchased a school bus that eager diners wait in (on some days there&rsquos a cocktail bar in it!). It&rsquos hard to go wrong ordering anything on the menu, but classics include Jonathan&rsquos Famous Fiery Scramble, the red chile-braised Carne Adovada, and the St. Louis-meets-New Mexico Southwest Slinger: two burger patties, home fries and cheese, topped with two eggs and red or green enchilada sauce. Don&rsquot expect to be doing anything productive after breakfast here.
BBQ: Salt + Smoke
Picking your favorite barbecue in St. Louis is like trying to pick a favorite child: It&rsquos (nearly) impossible. Salt + Smoke is a relative newcomer to the scene, but it&rsquos managed to distinguish itself from the rest by crafting a menu that has something for everyone. The team behind the restaurant come from the fine-dining side of the restaurant world, and they&rsquove used that to their advantage. Classic barbecue platters are available, but so are more innovative dishes like the brisket sandwich with burnt-end mayo and tobacco onions, or the fried housemade pickles with flax seed mayo. Salt + Smoke&rsquos brisket may very well be the best in town, and the pro move is to ask for the fatty cut &mdash or, even better, burnt ends if they have them.
Burger: Mac's Local Eats
Chris McKenzie has long been known in the St. Louis food community for his dedication to pushing people to eat locally, thanks to his meat shares and CSAs. When he announced he would be opening a burger joint inside a local bar, Tamm Avenue Grill, diners didn&rsquot know what to expect &mdash but the industry pros did. The result, Mac's Local Eats, is quite likely the best burger in all of St. Louis. McKenzie&rsquos burger has not only all the marks of the best diner burgers, like the thin patty being cooked until ultra-crispy, but also a certain je ne sais quoi that comes from dry-aging. That&rsquos right, this is a dry-aged diner burger, made from the best cuts of the animal. Simply put, it&rsquos the best diner burger ever made.
Icon: Sidney Street Café
Looking to impress a visitor? Sidney Street Café, winner of 2017&rsquos Best Chef: Midwest James Beard Award, is the place you should go. Chef/owner Kevin Nashan and his team have been pushing the boundaries of contemporary American cuisine for over a decade. Try the smoked sweetbreads with pear chutney, Indian fry bread and herb salad to start, followed by the rabbit porchetta with pickled ramp jus, then the deconstructed carrot cake to finish. If you&rsquove never had cheesecake puree with carrot-passionfruit sorbet, you haven&rsquot really lived.
Carb Heaven: Union Loafers
Union Loafers is a St. Louis staple in the making. Open for just over two years, this place has made a name for itself as not only the best bread bakery in town, by far, but also one of the finest sandwich shops west of the Mississippi and the home of the kings of pizza. If gluten is involved, Loafers is where you want to be. The bread &mdash sought after by diners and by St. Louis&rsquo best restaurants alike &mdash is pure perfection. Go for a loaf of their famous Light & Mild, their enormous Bavarian pretzel or, if you&rsquore looking for something more casual, their cheesy bread. The 18-inch New York-style pizzas are what will change your life, though. The surprise favorite is the spinach (that&rsquos healthy, right?), a hearty pie topped with bacon lardons, garlic and lemon. Don&rsquot forget to order extra buttermilk sauce to dip the crust in.
Modern Italian: Sardella
Besides being arguably the most beautiful restaurant in the city, Sardella also has one of the most interesting menus, with most dishes taking inspiration from Italy and giving them a twist. You need the smoked foie gras torchon with pepperoni spice in your life. If you&rsquore lucky, they&rsquoll have the cresc&rsquotajat available: a polenta-infused housemade pasta with pesto Genovese, prosciutto crumble, and roasted spring onion. Add to that a fantastic bar program and one of the best brunches in St. Louis (hello, eggs benedict raviolo!), and you have a can&rsquot-miss restaurant right in the center of town.
Thai: Fork & Stix
Before 2012, the idea of good Thai food in St. Louis was limited to pad thai with some chicken satay on the side. Then came Fork & Stix, a small restaurant specializing in the cuisine of northern Thailand, and everything changed. Diners were introduced to the likes of sai oua, a pork sausage packed with Thai herbs, served with sticky rice and spicy naam prik nuum. Hung lay curry, filled with sweet and gingery braised pork belly and shoulder, became a wintertime favorite. But no dish has taken St. Louis quite like Chiang Mai&rsquos signature dish, khao soi. This egg noodle curry soup is almost indescribable &mdash think about the best curry you&rsquove had, but better. That&rsquos what it is. On any given day, you&rsquoll find the restaurant packed with everyone from college students to award-winning chefs, for good reason.
Cocktail Bar: Planter's House
Ted Kilgore is St. Louis&rsquo best-kept secret. He is unarguably the person who brought the craft cocktail movement to St. Louis over a decade ago, and he&rsquos shown no signs of slowing down. From the day that Planter&rsquos House opened, it has been the city&rsquos top cocktail bar, with a mix of classics and inventive creations. It even has a menu of its own "new classics," drinks that have been so popular that there&rsquos no reason for them to go away. It does have a full food menu, as well, to help soak up some of what you&rsquore throwing down. Insider&rsquos tip: The main bar area is great, but to truly experience Planter&rsquos House, slip upstairs to the intimate, 1950s-style Bullock Room.
French fare has the reputation for being stuffy and heavy, but that&rsquos not the case at Brasserie. The food pays homage to, well, the French brasserie &mdash a relaxed neighborhood restaurant where one can have a simple meal with friends and family. Whether you decide to take a seat at the bar and enjoy a cocktail with some gougeres and a Brasserie Burger or head into the main dining room for a romantic dinner, you&rsquoll feel right at home. Larger plates include French classics like coq au vin, steak frites and possibly the best roasted chicken you&rsquoll ever have, served over bread and mushrooms, which are perfect for soaking up the buttery jus. Make sure to save room for the decadent desserts, like the profiteroles du jour or the classic floating island.
Late-Night Spot: Taste Bar
How lucky is St. Louis to have one of its best restaurants and cocktail bars also be the place to go for a late-night rendezvous? Taste feels like an old-school speakeasy, complete with Edison bulbs, marble counters and dark wood, but the food and drinks it&rsquos serving up are anything but old-school. The cocktail menu, which changes seasonally, is eight pages long, housing everything from the classics to punch bowls to a section simply called "resurrection." The food menu changes daily, offering somewhere around 15 small plates and snacks, two larger entrees and three desserts. The confit chicken wings drizzled with soy caramel shouldn&rsquot be missed, nor should the seasonal bruschetta option. It&rsquos a 1 a.m. home run.
Expand Your Mind: Savage
Savage is an experience different from any other restaurant in St. Louis. The intimate 18-seat restaurant forms a "U" around chef/owner Logan Ely, and with a spotlight over the kitchen island, it&rsquos almost as much of a show as it is a meal. The restaurant (which, by the way, was designed and built by Ely) offers very reasonably priced six and twelve course tasting menus, but don&rsquot worry about being stuck in a 3 hour, stuffy dinner. The feeling is casual, like you just happen to be eating in Ely&rsquos house and he&rsquos making a wildly inventive hyper-seasonal 12-course meal. If you&rsquore looking for a restaurant pushing boundaries, this is it.
Tasting Menu: Vicia
When Blue Hill at Stone Barns chef Michael Gallina announced he was leaving New York to return to St. Louis, his hometown went wild. A chef of that caliber opening a new restaurant in town sent the hype train into overdrive, and he did not disappoint &mdash Vicia opened and went straight into the upper echelon of St. Louis dining. Lunch there is always a great decision, but it&rsquos the dinner service tasting menu that takes things to the next level. Expect over 15 dishes, ranging from incredible local pork to vegetable-forward fare like you&rsquove never had before, all paired with wine or beverages from Vicia&rsquos botanical bar program. Try getting there a little early so you can enjoy a drink on their enclosed patio while you watch the chefs cook in the restaurant&rsquos enormous, custom-made hearth.
Seafood: Peacemaker Lobster & Crab Co.
Eating seafood in a landlocked Midwestern state isn&rsquot always the smartest idea, but at Peacemaker Lobster & Crab Co., you&rsquore in good hands. This is the sister restaurant to the James Beard Award-winning Sidney Street Cafe, after all. With fresh catches flown in daily, Peacemaker serves up a menu of coastal classics including lobster rolls, crab boils and New Orleans-style po&rsquo boys. There&rsquos no better place in town for oysters, both in quality and variety, and the fish crudo of the day will never let you down. Combine all that with housemade soft serve and boozy slushies and you&rsquove got the perfect spot to enjoy a casual night out &mdash or lunch, if you&rsquore feeling wild.
Taiwanese: Tai Ke
The University City neighborhood in St. Louis has long been the city&rsquos unofficial Chinatown, but most restaurants in the area have avoided pushing any boundaries &mdash that is, until Tai Ke arrived. Rather than focus on American-Chinese food like so many other restaurants, they stay true to their roots: classic dishes from Taiwan, including street snacks. There&rsquos nowhere else in town serving clay pots full of the fragrant Three Cup Chicken, a dish that&rsquos both familiar and completely foreign. The gua bao pork buns will make even the worst day better. The best snack of all, though? Taiwanese hot sausages set inside sticky-rice buns, drizzled with a house sauce and showered with scallions.
Straight Outta the Balkans: Balkan Treat Box
Did you know the largest Bosnian population outside of Europe is in St. Louis? Surprise! You could head to "Little Bosnia," better known as Bevo Mill, or you could track down the Balkan Treat Box food truck. Owners Loryn and Edo Nalic combine their Balkan background with their experience working at some of St. Louis&rsquo best restaurants to create unforgettable dishes. The flavor is unreal&mdashalmost all the dishes are cooked using the truck&rsquos built-in wood-fired grill and oven. Pillowy somun bread is baked fresh minced beef sausages called cevapi are grilled to order and served with a spicy red pepper relish. The real star, though, is the Turkish-inspired pide, a grilled flatbread stuffed with meat or cheese it&rsquos like the missing link between a pizza and a calzone.
Cheap Eats: Carl's Drive In
Since 1959, Carl&rsquos Drive-In has been the spot for a quick burger, fries and a tall, cold glass of root beer, and the best part is that prices haven&rsquot changed much since then! Seriously, where else can you get a triple cheeseburger for under $6? Granted, Carl&rsquos is home to the thinnest, crispiest patties in the world, but it&rsquos still quite the deal. Add to that a basket of onion rings for $1.75 and a 24-ounce mug of root beer for another $1.75 and you&rsquove got yourself a meal that will keep you full for a day. If your time in St. Louis is limited, just swing by for a single patty and small root beer (made in-house), then head on to your real lunch. You&rsquoll have room.
It&rsquos hard not to feel cool inside Olio. Built inside a renovated 1930s gas station, this modern Israeli restaurant has both old-school charm and a contemporary edge, thanks to the design and decor. The food, too, alternates between modern and rustic &mdash you can get a bowl of hummus with pita bread made in-house, or you can be a little fancier and go for something like the smoked trout tartine. What makes the restaurant perfect is that it&rsquos great for any time of day, whether it&rsquos a quick lunch, happy hour and snacks, or a romantic dinner out. Seriously, Olio&rsquos bar program (especially the daily "spritz hour") is not to be missed.
Parisian Pastries: La Patisserie Chouquette
It only makes sense that city with French roots should have French pastry shops. The folks at La Patisserie Chouquette serve up a mix of French classics, like the pain au chocolat and canele, plus mountains of their own French-inspired creations. Their Darkness croissant, made with chocolate butter and chocolate dough, and filled with chocolate, is famous nationwide. Their macaron offerings range from the delicate Cream Earl Grey to wild flavors like Horchata Rum, Bey (Lemonade) and Funnel Cake. If you&rsquore looking for something more substantial, their custom cakes are literally edible art. You will almost certainly leave with more than you intended to buy, but hey, you only live once.
Foodie Haven: Sidney Street Cafe
Looking to impress a visiting foodie? Sidney Street Cafe, winner of 2017's Best Chef: Midwest James Beard Award, is the place you need to lock down a table at. Chef-Owner Kevin Nashan and his team have been pushing the boundaries of contemporary American cuisine for over a decade. The less adventurous can opt for a classic like the filet bearnaise stuffed with lobster or the steak encrusted in wasabi, but where's the fun in that? Start with the lightly grilled Gulf Coast shrimp served with tomato salad, sliced grapes, pickled onion and white gazpacho, follow it with the rabbit porchetta with mustard jus and then finish with the deconstructed carrot cake. If you've never had cheesecake puree with carrot-passionfruit sorbet, you haven't really lived.
Every once in a while, a restaurant comes along that is perfect. For St. Louis, that restaurant is Louie. The team behind it has created a space that is modern yet classic, inventive but traditional, formal and informal all at once. Stop by with friends for a pizza and beer or celebrate a special occasion with great wine and a multi-course feast. Louie believes that simplicity is key, but don&rsquot let the barebones menu trick you: the food here is incredible. The roast chicken is the best roast chicken you will have in your entire life. Seriously. Get the chicken. And the prosciutto. And some pasta.
Bakery: Nathaniel Reid Bakery
If St. Louis had a Happiness Index like Bhutan, it would have seen a massive increase in pure joy when Nathaniel Reid Bakery opened in 2016. It&rsquos a guarantee you will not leave with just one thing. The Kouign Amann, a traditional, buttery pastry from Brittany, will make you wonder why you&rsquove been eating normal croissants all these years. His sandwiches are addictive. But it&rsquos their entremets (a.k.a. fancy cakes) that will really wow you. They look as good as they taste, and that&rsquos saying something. The chocolate, hazelnut and vanilla creme bruleé Sambava is a classic, but if the pistachio and berry Jarmo is in the case, you are required to get it.
For over a century, the staff at Gioia&rsquos has been slinging sandwiches in St. Louis&rsquo historic Italian neighborhood, The Hill. They&rsquore known for their signature hot salami, a terrine-like mix of pork shoulder and head, but their sandwich menu goes much deeper. Most options stick to the Italian genre, with things like coppa, meatballs and various salumi, but chicken, turkey and roast beef make appearances too. Order like a pro and go off the not-so-secret menu. You&rsquoll be thanking us when you&rsquore scarfing down your Hill Topper or Porknado 2.0. Most importantly, you can get any sandwich on garlic cheese bread &mdash which you obviously should do.
Meat and Three: Grace
St. Louis isn&rsquot part of the South, but it&rsquos close enough. Grace pairs the simplicity of a "meat and three" joint with the talents of James Beard Award-nominated chef Rick Lewis. That means you&rsquore not getting boring fried chicken and mac 'n' cheese that&rsquos been sitting in a pan all day you&rsquore getting the best fried chicken in St. Louis, made to order. Cornmeal fried catfish, St. Louis-style ribs, and a sweet-tea-brined turkey leg are some mains that are not to be missed, but good luck picking a side. Cracklin' cornbread or sweet-and-sour greens? Chicken livers or fried green tomatoes? Picking might feel impossible, but you really can&rsquot go wrong. Don&rsquot forget to save room for the banana pudding.
This St. Louis Bar Charges by the Hour, Not the Drink
Bars are places where people drink and socialize. How much you do of one or the other is a sliding scale: Mocktails are available for the pure socializers barstools tucked into a dark corner are available for the focused boozers. But typically, people fall somewhere in the middle. So a new bar in St. Louis has decided to charge everyone the same: At Open Concept, patrons pay by the hour—usually $10𠅊nd drinks are included. The concept behind Open Concept has made global headlines𠅊nd the repercussions of charging by the hour may be more multifaceted than you think.
Launched on Friday, this self-described "cocktail bar" also says it&aposs "unlike any bar you have ever visited." Guests book time in advance online or at the door, and that time begins when they get their first drink. After that, Open Concept says you can "drink all that you can legally handle." In general, that includes things like premixed drinks, Franzia wine, or domestic beers like Bud Light. (Frankly, it&aposs not high-end stuff, but what do you expect for ten bucks?) Or for twice the price (usually $20), you can add top shelf choices like a few craft beers and straight drinks and shots of options like Kettle One, Patron, and Maker&aposs Mark.
Owner Michael Butler told KMOV that his bar was "the first of its kind in the region and the state." And part of what makes the idea so novel is its use of modern conveniences: Visitors check in with their phones and receive text messages to let them know how much time they have left. "We decided to mix technology with that open bar concept," Butler added. People can even handle their tipping online.
Of course, with an open bar, many people&aposs minds immediately turn to overconsumption. But Bulter told The Takeout his staff is ready to deal with these situations. "When we see people becoming visibly intoxicated, we then serve them Pedialyte. We care about our customers," he told the site. "Most people once they&aposve been drinking just want something fruity and tasty, so we can serve them that Pedialyte and say ‘Hey you need to slow down.&apos"
Instead, Butler played up the positives for his patrons: "Our bar wait time is less than other bars because all that payment is done at the door," Butler also stated. "We serve mostly draft drinks so we turn around orders quickly, and the interaction at the bar is not nearly as long as at a regular bar."
Meanwhile, a possible advantage for Open Concept that isn&apost discussed is that the bar gets a guaranteed amount from everyone. At a time when younger generations are notoriously cutting back on their alcohol consumption, that flat guaranteed rate might be more valuable than hoping patrons keep buying more the longer they stay. And let&aposs be honest: It&aposs not like open bars are taking a loss if they aren&apost covering their costs, the price can simply be raised the next time.
Overall, it would seem like Open Concept&aposs concept might offer some interesting benefits to both its customers and its owners. Of course, the success of any bar depends on a lot more than any one gimmick: You need good atmosphere, good clientele, good drinks, etc. But at the very least, if Open Concept can&apost find its niche, you can&apost necessarily fault them for trying.