About Our Program
Graduate Writers Association
Writers in the Schools
STL Survival Guide
Admission and Assistantships
Natural Bridge Debut Writers Series
As a mid-sized city, St. Louis has the best of both worlds: national touring artists, professional sports teams, multi-cultural events, art, and all kinds of ethnic cuisine. It's also got some of the spaciousness, nature and quality of living of smaller towns. We've got a rich history all around, from the barley and hops in the air (Soulard District) to grand World's Fair-era mansions (Central West End), to cobblestone streets (Laclede's Landing). We hope you'll get to do at least most of the things mentioned here for a full STL living experience. Who knows? You might stick around.
Looking for a Place?
There are also several good leasing companies in St. Louis. If you're looking for a place, make sure to send John Dalton an email and he can put you in touch with current students, who may have some leads on good places to live.
Mass Transit: For those who don't drive, UMSL offers FREE Metro passes to all students. Simply head to the cashier's office to grab one for yourself. These are good on both the train and bus systems in the city. There are metro stops on both north and south campus and it's quite easy to use the train as your standard method of transit to school. The train heads all the way to the airport, and students can part for free in the UMSL North station when travelling by train to the airport. The transit system is not perfect, but it's well worth taking advantage of.
Other: Unlike Chicago and most big cities where you can stand on the corner and hail a cab, St. Louis is not a taxi town. We've got them, but be aware that you have to telephone your request first.
For the time being, St. Louis also has access to Uber rideshare services.
There are some great places to walk, ride bikes and in-line skate around St. Louis, too. Forest Park, in particular. But it makes sense to wear helmets if you're donning wheels because paths occasionally cross over busy streets. Also, as in any larger city, it's best to keep to populated areas and not to stray down quiet trails after dark. But you know that already.
Popular cab companies:
ABC Cab Co. (314) 725-2111
Allen Cab (314) 241-7722
Archway Cab (314) 535-9377
County Cab/Yellow Cab (314) 993-TAXI (8294)
Laclede Cab Co. (314) 652-3456
Midwest Taxi Inc. (636) 723-1600
Metro West Cabs (632) 272-8204
Wilson Taxi Inc. (314) 389-4333
St. Louis metro area phone numbers begin with the 314 prefix, unless they are new West County/St. Charles county numbers (636 prefix), or in Illinois (618 prefix). Illinois numbers are considered long distance by most local phones. The 636 prefix is not considered long distance, however sometimes you must dial a '1' before the number to go through. This '1'-thing is not consistent for 636 numbers, so you'll need to try yours out to see which way it works. Why? Who knows.
There is only one print newspaper - the St. Louis Post–Dispatch. This site shares space with the Suburban Journals, a weekly regional paper.
The STL Beacon is an online newspaper that gives nicely written mini–essays.
Our city's alternative weekly is the Riverfront Times. You'll see it every Wednesday in racks outside doorways of popular restaurants and establishments.
Cool Parts of Town
Central West End
A convenient metro stop gives easy access to the CWE by train. Once the home of our city's jazz and burlesque scenes in Gaslight Square and DeBaliviere Blvd., the Central West End (CWE) is probably one of the classiest parts of town, boasting gorgeous architecture, great (although sometimes pricey) restaurants, antique shops and art galleries. For a cheap date: grab a to-go cup of coffee from Coffee Cartel or Starbuck's, and take a walk down one of the tree-lined streets on a pretty day, enjoying the turn-of-the-century mansions bordering and just off of Forest Park. The park itself is another beautiful spot, and home, of course, to a number of our museums and the zoo (free admission!).
Euclid Avenue is the main drag for the Central West End, with its northern edge highlighted by trendy restaurants, Welsh pubs, a row of art galleries and antique shops, and Left Bank Books-the last great independent book store in 'the Lou.' The southern stretch, closest to the metro station, is a bit less upscale and peppered with ethnic restaurants more affordable for the typical student budget, a branch of the city library, and anchored by 'Hospital Row.'
Our version of Chicago's Belmont district is South Grand, found roughly between Arsenal (bordering Tower Grove Park) and Utah. Plenty of good ethnic food (Thai, Italian, Vietnamese and more), as well as chains like the St. Louis Bread Company make this a great place to meet for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Grab a coffee and a delicious, healthy lunch at Mokabe's, the artsy coffeehouse of the area and a popular gay/lesbian hangout. Cruise some fun gift and pawn shops for one-of-a-kind items, or pick up a used book at Dunaway's to take into the park on a sunny day. There are all kinds of fun bars here, too: from martini to punk rock. Watch this neighborhood at night, and keep to the main drag as things can get a bit sketchy after dark.
Also, Tower Grove park is quite near and boasts a wonderful farmers market every Saturday morning during the warm months.
The Delmar Loop, the coolest strip in University City, is likely to be your home base if you like good music, food, and people-watching. Starting at the University City Library at Kingsbury and Delmar, and running east just past Skinker to the Pageant and the metro station, these ten or so blocks are the place to see and be seen. A stone's throw from Washington University, the demographic is largely students. Vintage Vinyl, on the south side of the street, remains the coolest independent record store in town, with Euclid Records of Webster Groves as a close second place.
The Loop has enough year-round action to keep street musicians busking, street festivals happening, and the occasional outdoor concert. This is where you meet for coffee or sip while writing in your journal; get a tattoo; or catch a great indie flick at the Tivoli, a beautiful renovated old theatre. Plenty of good places to eat include Chuck Berry's famous Blueberry Hill, Fitz's (a soda pop bottler and great casual restaurant), Cicero's (terrific pizza). There are also plenty of the chain places. Every time's a good time in the Loop, but warm weather brings out the most fun with sidewalk cafes, music and kids. There's a large lot with free parking beginning northeast of the library and extending east for several blocks.
If there's a lot of brick, and the aroma of beer in the air, then chances are you're in Soulard, just south of downtown. Cobblestone sidewalks, a bustling weekend farmer's market, and most of our city's blues and jazz clubs are found here. Behind New Orleans, the Soulard Mardi Gras parade is the second largest in the nation. A neighborhood in transition, you'll want to be careful where you park and walk at night. You'll find most of the action between Broadway and I-55, centered on Russell.
The historic Laclede's Landing, beginning just north of the Arch and running several blocks along the Riverfront, was once a hub of St. Louis nightlife. While there are still a few bars and comedy clubs, the Landing now serves primarily as the entrance and parking for the new Lumiere Place Casino. Despite all the neighborhood transition, two long-time spots might also be worth your time: a fun little wax museum, and Gibbol's a magic shop with a pretty good selection of tricks, Tarot cards, and gag gifts.
The Hill is St. Louis' famous Italian section, bounded by Kingshighway, I-44, Hampton and Arsenal. It features everything from mom-and-pop kitchens to tuxedo'd four-star digs. If you eat red meat, be sure to try St. Louis' famous dish, toasted ravioli, while you're here.
Downtown/ Washington Avenue
St. Louis Downtown's crown jewel is, of course, the Arch. There are some other touristy things you can do down there as well, and plenty of good restaurant for your power-lunches and happy hours. What you need to know about downtown is that, unlike other larger cities, after 6 pm on weeknights, most everything, save for a couple restaurants and bars, is closed. Yes, it's weird. Fact is: most everyone lives in the county, and when the business day is done, it's a ghost town. Good luck even finding an open Starbucks after 8 pm. St. Louis downtown is also not much for shopping, so if that's your thing, your best bet is a county mall.
In the 90s, Washington Avenue was a somewhat scary place, but also home to all the coolest alternative, indie and punk rock clubs. Today it's gone upscale, enjoying major renovations that have brought about a chic loft district, trendy boutiques, and expensive restaurants. While the live music is mostly gone, this is the part of town to catch live DJs and plenty of dance clubs. Another must-see artsy spot, the City Museum, is right around the corner at 16th St.
While maybe not "cool," this is the area where UMSL is, and as such is the easiest place to find apartments and good close restaurants and coffee houses. The townships of Normandy, Cool Valley, and Ferguson offer affordable apartments (new streetcar lofts just open in Ferguson). The main convenience of this area, though, is you will find yourself close to campus and thus the metro link-two stops on campus-and will be able to be in the Loop, downtown, at the stadium, or in the Central West End with just a short (3 miles approx) drive. Or you may be close enough to walk. And Ferguson has a bike path that runs under the highway and over a major street to end up at the north campus metro link stop. You can of course take your bicycle on the train or lock it up on campus. The metro link goes almost everywhere you want to go, including the airport, just 3 miles west of campus. To find out more, check out the web sites for Ferguson, Normandy, or Florissant.
Caffeine. It's the stuff that makes up most of what flows through our veins. It's the excuse to meet someone when it's not exactly a date. It's what best friends share and the fuel of study groups. In St. Louis, corporate chains such as Starbucks and St. Louis Bread Company abound, but there are some good alternatives with a bit more personality, too.
The Grind - relocated from its original trendy spot on Maryland Avenue, The Grind is now euro-techno-chic and wired for working, meeting and at least, looking smart. This is the place to get a fast connection, use a public computer to surf the Web, or meet a professor.
Coffee Cartel - on the corner of Euclid and Maryland Ave., the Coffee Cartel has terrific coffee, ice cream and some baked goods. Be forewarned: the largest size coffee is like drinking a Big Gulp at 7-11. HUGE! Great outdoor tables make people-watching extra fun on a nice day.
Also in this area: Starbucks
Northwestern Coffee, 8401 Maryland - is a good meeting spot for professionals and moms. Not much of a hangout place, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, is it?
Kaldis on DeMun, part of a local chain that has grown to several locations over the years because of its great coffee and food, its comfortable bohemian atmosphere, and goodservice. Other locations are in old town Kirkwood, downtown Clayton, and Chesterfield.
Also: St. Louis Bread Complany, Starbucks
With two floors, purple wall, and a cool crowd, the Soulard Coffee Garden, at 910 Geyer Ave, is a lush retreat after a noisy workday. Great food, especially breakfast and dessert. Really busy on Sundays.
Kayak's - Practically on the Washington University campus, Kayak's, at the corner of Forest Park Parkway and Skinker, is the upscale, elegant hangout for students and local businesspeople.
Meshuggah is probably the hippest, most bohemian coffeehouse around. This is the place where the pierced, tattooed and dred-locked both wait on and wait with you to be served. Meshuggah has its definite regular customers, and you'll see many a student with notebook or sketchpad, lost in reverie. Two levels, with comfy seating upstairs (no elevator for disabled), cool music almost all of the time, really good food, and some outdoor seating that gets snatched up fast on nice days.
Also in this area: St. Louis Bread Company, Starbucks
South Grand/Tower Grove:
The best-known is Mokabe's, on Arsenal about half a block west of Grand. With lots of outdoor seating facing Tower Grove Park, and two levels with three rooms of space, this coffeehouse boasts some of the best healthy and vegetarian food around, too. Occasional live music, eclectic décor, and a gay-friendly crowd make Mokabe's a fun place to be.
The Gelateria, on the corner of Grand and Wyoming, appears to be just a fancy ice cream shop. But that's wrong. With a classic tin roof, old fashioned counters and a rich, warm antique décor, they serve great coffee and tea, and it's a cozy, clean place to hang out.
Hartford Coffee Company, a few blocks away from the strip, at 3974 Hartford Ave. A nice community place with good food, too.
Shugga's Coffeehouse and Café, at 3149 Shenandoah (just east of S. Grand and north of the Park) is also a nice, hip oasis in a changing community.
Also in this area: St. Louis Bread Company
Our city's very large Bosnian community has a proliferation of new little coffee shops in South City, around the South Kingshighway/Gravois area. These are different from what most Americans are used to in a coffee house, but depending on your style, they might be exactly right. Expect smoky, dark little establishments, real china cups, just one or two choices (black coffee and espresso, usually), and a little Bosnian chocolate on the side of the saucer.
Live Music and DJ: With enough club-style to accommodate everyone, St. Louis usually has something to do almost any evening you feel like venturing out. For a full run-down on clubs, calendars and contact info, check out the Riverfront Times website. Here are some of our favorites:
The Billiken Club, St. Louis University Student Center. What it lacks in atmosphere and maybe acoustics (this is, after all, a cafeteria), the Billiken Club makes up for with the coolest up-and-coming indie and alternative national and international touring acts. Best of all, it's FREE! Not just to SLU students, to everybody!
The Bluebird, 2706 Olive. An indie/alternative crowd and a great venue to see breaking acts, as well as the established bands such as Nada Surf. All ages shows are the norm.
Broadway Oyster Bar, 736 S. Broadway. This 150-year-old building on the edge of Soulard has been hosting parties on the patio for what feels like the beginning of time. It's adjoining restaurant boasts award-winning Cajun cuisine and seafood. Rock, Cajun and Zydeco music dominate the calendar. Most shows are 21 + up.
Cicero's, 6691 Delmar. The Ramones, Elliott Smith, everyone significant in the punk, rock and alternative scenes either played or hung out there in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Sadly, times change. Cicero's decided to grow up, move up the block, and become an upscale restaurant and sports bar with live music. Now, it's more about sampling good international beers versus wearing them. Still, they bring in some decent regional acts to their small back room-all kinds of music, but mostly alternative and pop. Great pizza in the restaurant, and you can get a game of pool in too.
Club Viva, 408 N. Euclid. This is the place for Reggae, as well as Latin and Salsa dancing. Word on the street is the ganga burns freely here with little trouble from the Man. But what could we possibly know about that?
Cork Wine Bar, 423 S. Florissant Rd. Live Music on Fridays. A small and relatively new wine bar.
Creepy Crawl, 3524 Washington. A small, clean punk club (it's a contradiction, I know) near the Fox Theater that's home to a lot of punk rock, hardcore and alternative. While their clientele is mainly the underage hardcore set, their concert calendar fluctuates wildly, occasionally presenting well-known indie acts like Jeremy Enigk and Tapes 'n Tapes.
The Duck Room (in Blueberry Hill), 6504 Delmar. A tasteful, clean, small space with great sound, good people, and a fun location. Shows are almost always 21 + up, and tend toward the rock/jazz/alternative scenes. Before the show, peruse the awesome collectibles upstairs in Blueberry Hill. Rock and Roll legend Chuck Berry still plays here one night a month.
Fox Theatre, 527 N. Grand. There's a reason they call it the "Fabulous Fox." The architecture is eat-your-heart-out amazing. Built in 1929, this beauty had fallen into what looked like total disrepair until a complete restoration and reopening in the early 90s. Now it's home to St. Louis' Broadway plays, and music ranging from Nine Inch Nails to the White Stripes to Bob Dylan.
The Gargoyle, Washington University Student Center. Right now, the Gargoyle is pretty much the club for the hottest indie/alternative bands. It can get pretty crowded and often sells out when favorites such as Stars or Animal Collective come through town, so get your tickets early!
Jazz at the Bistro, 3536 Washington Ave. This is the club for the living legends and rising stars of jazz and blues. An intimate, warm room with tasty dinners and snacks.
Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center, 3301 Lemp Ave. If noise rock, experimental and ambient music is your taste, this is the place. Not your average club, the LNAC is a nonprofit project working as an alternative non-drinking, non-smoking, non-drugging hangout for young people. Despite all its wholesome, good qualities, it's somehow managed to remain extremely cool and hold its throne as the place for underground music. Presented in what is pretty much a big living room, Lemp hosts local, regional and some national touring acts as prominent as Xiu Xiu.
Lucas Schoolhouse, 1220 Allen Ave. A beautiful, historic renovated schoolhouse that hosts primarily jam bands and rock shows. An upstairs music hall, a lounge downstairs, and a pretty courtyard restaurant that sometimes features acoustic live music in the early afternoon and evening.
Marion's 1860 Hardshell Café and Bar, 1860 S. Ninth St. A great Soulard restaurant and bar with fantastic seafood and good blues, swing and rock.
Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp. Working hard to rattle its straight-up rock 'n roll reputation, Off Broadway has been bringing in some cool regional and national-touring alternative and punk bands (the Thermals!), alt-country and twang (the Monads!), as well as some hardcore shows for the kiddies. A good-sized, rustic venue with a regular scene of South City drinkers.
Old Rock House, 1200 S. 7th. Established in 1818, the Old Rock House was once one of the liveliest spots along the Mississippi for drink and live music. Recently, it's reopened, undergone a facelift, and is now an upscale restaurant and bar with acoustic local entertainment. A classy and fun place to take a date.
The Pageant, 6161 Delmar. Since the closing of the great old Mississippi Nights (R.I.P.) and the American Theater (ah, sweet memories!), the Pageant is pretty much THE place to see larger shows in every genre. A beautiful new venue built to look like a restored old one, the Pageant's got balcony seating, a separate underage section, and the adjoining Halo Bar, a bar that opens before the shows and stays open long after for the grownups.
Pop's, 1403 Mississippi Ave, Sauget, IL. Don't let 'em fool you with that "Sauget" address. This is the east side, straight-up, and Pop's sits right between a couple of strip clubs and a liquor store/gas station, in the heart of the infamous East St. Louis. Now that we're clear, you should also know that in its however many decades of existence (it was the Sound Garden in the 90s), there haven't been many problems. Home to lots of loud rock and roll, hardcore, and the occasional alternative show, it's just over the bridge on Route 3 and truly just a few minutes from downtown. That's not so bad, is it?
Powell Symphony Hall, 718 N. Grand. The home of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. One of our most beautiful architectural landmarks.
The Red Sea, 6511 Delmar. This venue has given many small local bands their start. It's small, dirty, and so authentically blah that it's cool.
Riddles Penultimate Café and Wine Bar, 6307 Delmar. Eclectic, delicious food, swinging jazz, blues, rock and folk. Good times, good times.
Scott Trade Center, 1401 Clark Ave. Here it is. The giant sports/convention/concert arena that hosts only the biggest names that aren't playing outdoors, at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre. Blue Man Group, Foo Fighters, American Idol Live, World Wrestling Federation… stuff like that.
Sheldon Concert Hall, 3648 Washington Ave. A beautiful restored concert hall with perfect acoustics, this is the place for classical music, choral, jazz, light rock, and more. Be sure to visit their beautiful art gallery, too.
2 Cents Plain (now The Crack Fox), 1114 Olive. Predominantly local and regional hardcore and metal bands with a big underage crowd.
Venice Café, 1903 Pestalozzi. With its endless mosaics, its riotous art and collages, its gawk-worthy crowd of regulars, and its amazing Jamaican kitchen in the back, this 20-year-old club is a must-see-it-to-believe-it. Live music most nights, some poetry nights, and always, always something interesting to behold. This crowd is mostly older, un-hip, and yet, ridiculously cool in the most dirty, insane senses of the word. Seriously.
Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, Riverport Drive. This is the big one. You know the one: the giant outdoor thing with the hugest acts and the parking lots several miles wide. The place that does the radio festivals, the giant tours, yadda yadda yadda. All kinds of music, lawn and seats, all ages, wristbands, turn-styles, Gestapo security, you get the picture.
Way Out Club, 2525 S. Jefferson. This 50s kitsch-style club hosts regional and touring indie, hardrock and punk bands, with occasional literary readings (more Beatnik than Browning).
The Blance M. Touhill Center for the performing arts, on campus, not just a music place, offers concerts, dance programs, plays, and stand-up comedy, with something going on most of the time, whether the Ballet Folkloric or the Ariana String Quartet
LITERARY READINGS AND OPEN MICSIf you're up for it, as you can see, there is something happening almost every night of the week, in every corner of the city. And we're not even listing school events! Various Barnes and Noble and Border's locations host regular reading series. Check for details.
Cicero's open mic poetry nights on Sundays, 18 + up.
Hartford Coffee Company hosts an open mic night in Fridays from 7 - 9:30 pm. 2974 Hartford Ave. 771-JAVA
Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid has a regular readings series. Check their website for details.
Legacy Books and Café hosts an open mike night every Friday at 5249 Delmar, 9pm. (314) 862-4226.
The Mack, 4615 Macklind-"Loudmouth" open mic poetry sponsored by the St. Louis Writers Guild, the third Tuesday of each month at 8 p.m. 21 + up. Please register in advance at their website.
Open Door Art Studio hosts a poetry group every Friday at 2111 Cherokee Street, 6-7:30pm. (314) 776-0444.
Out Loud Poetry Open Mic & Artist Showcase, featuring different artists every Tuesday, Old Tymers Nite Club, 12667 New Halls Ferry Rd, Doors at 8pm, Show at 9pm. $5 cover.
Open Mic Extravaganza with Kimmy V, Every Tuesday night at 9pm, The Shanti in Historic Soulard, 825 Allen Street. 314-241-4772.
Shugga's Coffee House hosts a Poetry and Music Open Mic Night on Fridays, 3149 Shenandoah, 7-9pm. Free. (314) 776-9200.
St. Louis Poetry Slam takes place every second and fourth Wednesday night at the Red Sea, 6513 Delmar in the U City Loop, 9pm. Admission: $5. Cash prize for the best poem. (314) 776-7370.
St. Louis Science Center holds Open Mic Night every first Friday of the month from 7-9 pm on Center Stage. Performers will have access to a new multimedia stage. Admission and parking are both free, all ages.
Wired Coffee, 3860 S. Lindbergh-open mic night sponsored by the St. Louis Writers Guild every second Tuesday night at 7 pm. All ages. Please register in advance at their website.
Venice Cafe hosts an Open Mike Night on Sundays and Mondays at 1903 Pestalozzi Street, 9:30pm. Call first for times and info as details can change. 314.772.5994Word in Motion presents The St. Louis Poetry Slam every Wednesday. This is an audience judged poetry competition where the best poet of the evening wins up to $100! It takes place at Dressel's Pub, 419 Euclid in the Central West End. $5 cover
And of course, the MFA program sponsors a reading series in the evenings, regularly bringing in well known writers to campus for readings and receptions. The UMSL Center for the Humanities brings in writers during the day on Monday afternoons, and the UMSL Great River Author Series brings in famous writers, at least once a month, for evening readings. (Other universities in town-Washington University and Webster University especially-also being in writers. These are always free and open to all.)
Literary Organizations You Should Know:
Observable Reading Series-regular readings at the Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood by national touring authors and poets. Free.
River Styx-a monthly readings series of literary heavy hitters at Duff's in the CWE.
St. Louis Poetry Center-readings, monthly workshops by award-winning, nationally-recognized poets. Some heavy hitters in the group, too. Almost all free.
St. Louis Writers Guild-readings, two regular open mic nights a month, one regular free monthly workshop, lectures by famous authors. Much of it free. Ask to get on their email list for their events calendar, which also features other literary happenings. Visit: the website. Check the St. Louis Literary Calendar regularly for more open mic and lecture events. Details are always subject to change, so it's a good idea to call ahead.
We've got Barnes and Noble, but shopping at independent and used book stores just feels good for the soul, eh? Here are some of our favorites:
A-1 Books, 10218 Bach Blvd. Used books in the county, just off of Page near 170. You never know what you might find for cheap!
Annie's Books, 13451 Olive St. Rd. Used, rare and out of print books. Wow! 314.878.2688.
Big Sleep Books, 239 N. Euclid. Crime and suspense only! Get your whodunit fix here. 314.361.6100.
The Book House, 9719 Manchester. A great big old house full of used books. Is there anything better? 314.968.4491.
Dunaway Books, 3111 S. Grand. A really nice, fairly large store crammed with great used books. All kinds of treasures await. 314.771.7150.
Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid in the Central West End. The best book store in our city. Complete with its own cat. Used books downstairs, great selection, knowledgeable, literary, hip staff. 314.367.6731.
Legacy Books and Café. 5249 Delmar. 314.862.4226.
Mystic Valley, 3212 Laclede Station Rd. New Age books, magic, and the occult. Different. Weird. Fun. 314.645.3336.
Subterranean Books, 6275 Delmar. A small, great used book store in a cool part of town. 314.862.6100.
UMSL's bookstore has a limited selection of other than text books, but it is growing all the time so browse through it for good fiction and poetry collections.
It's everyone's favorite subject! Looking for general groceries to stock the fridge, the best place for a date, or late-night eats? Here's our advice:
St. Louis has two large grocery chains: Schnucks and Dierbergs are the leaders, with Shop 'N Save running in third. Dierbergs is the most upscale (and expensive) and found only in the county. All three chains have a good selection of everything, including organic and international foods.
Groceries specializing in organic food include:
Golden Grocer, 335 N. Euclid Ave (CWE)
Whole Foods, 1601 S. Brentwood Blvd (Brentwood)
Natural Way, 8110 Big Bend Blvd (Webster Groves)
Wild Oats Community Market, 8823 Ladue Rd. (Ladue/Clayton)
Jay International Foods, at 3172 S. Grand, features a great selection of Middle Eastern delicacies, as well as other cultures. Mexican mercados abound throughout the city and county, as well as Asian groceries (Indian, Korean, Chinese and Japanese) especially on Olive and Page, around 170).
Global Market in Kirkwood, a south and west suburb, and not on the metro link is a haven for the transplanted, whether from the mid-east or from China or from Denmark. Food from all nations, are displayed and listed by country of origin.
International Provisions, a new international store opened in the beating heart of the Loop, fantastic selection of cheap fresh produce and not too shabby on the prepared foods and dry products either.
If we were to sit and list every good restaurant in St. Louis for you, you'd be reading all day. Better to just pick our favorite hangouts, right? For more information on these or any other places to eat in St. Louis, check out Sauce Magazine.
Cummel's Café, 1627 Washington. A very small, but very tasty menu in a bohemian, laid-back atmosphere. Cheap, too.
Jilly's Cupcake Bar, 8509 Delmar. Would you spend $5 on a single cupcake? You would if you saw what Jilly's does to them! OK, so it's a little foo-foo in the décor and the name (gag me), but you have never, ever tasted a cupcake so good. Guaranteed.
Mangia Italiano, 3145 S. Grand. Great Italian food, good prices, hip crowd and the most bad-ass murals by resident artist Wayne St. Wayne. The bar does a pretty good business, as well.
Schlafly Bottleworks, 7260 Southwest Ave. at Manchester and The Schlafly Tap Room, 2100 Locust Street downtown, are hands-down, the best places to eat in St. Louis. Serving all local/regional food and an eclectic, tasty menu, it's not cheap but this place is THE place to eat well and have a great time. They're best-known for their delicious Schlafly brews-from pale ales to seasonal barleywine. The bars at both locations are always hopping most every night of the week, and watch the schedule for live music and the occasional reading. It's very much a scene. Expect to wait up to an hour or more to eat during the weekend dinner rush at the Maplewood location!
Pi, 6144 Delmar Ave. A famous pizzeria with deep dish, sauce filled delights. A popular place to take visiting writers before GWA readings.
Restuarants close to campus:
The Breakaway, a half mile west from cmpus on Natural Bridge, also a pasta/salad/ sandwich/pizza place. Very affordable.
Ferguson Brewery, 418 S. Florissant Rd. A small microbrewery with burgers, pizzas, fries, and other bar-type food. They are brewing an UMSL Jubilee brew for UMSL's 50th anniversary.
Spiros, a Greek place with the usual feat cheese salads, spinach turnovers, mousaka, as well as salmon and beef dinners. Next to The Breakaway and the Art-t-cafe coffee house.Late Night Eats:
It's after midnight, your concert has just let out, and you're starving. What's a hungry young student to do? New York City this is not, and finding a decent place to chow down can be tough. There are a few of them out there, though. Here's the skinny:
Courtesy Diner, 1121 Hampton Ave., and 3153 S. Kingshighway. The finest example of a 1960s chrome greasy spoon diner in our city. Open all night.
Denny's-You can't go wrong with Denny's. Well, not usually (although there was a late-night shooting at the one on Hampton recently). But the food is pretty decent, the coffee's always hot, and the prices are right.
1515 Hampton Ave
6441 S. Lindbergh
10575 E. Watson
1096 S. Highway Dr.
5789 Campus Pkwy
12319 Dorsett Rd
1467 Dunn Rd.
9900 Natural Bridge Rd.
2925 N. Hwy 67
Eat-Rite Diner- It's clean, it's greasy, it's cheap and it's open all night. What more could you ask for?
5513 S. Lindbergh
IHOP- While this world-renowned chain keeps losing St. Louis locations, you'll still find one in Ferguson on New Halls Ferry Road near highway 270, in Clayton on the corner of Clayton Rd. and Brentwood Blvd, and one in St. Ann at St. Charles Rock Road and Lindbergh, near I-70. Expect long-waits on the weekends after concerts and baseball games, even really late at night. But you know what? It's totally worth the wait.
Uncle Bill's Pancake House, 3427 S. Kingshighway. Open all night. The joint really jumps around 2 a.m. on the weekends.
Waffle House-Lots of county locations, these 24-hour diners are breakfast food-only, and while perhaps not great food, it's cheap and open!
Sick of the same old-same old? Sure. We are too. Here are some alternatives:
KCLC 89.1 FM Lindenwood College
KWUR 90.3 FM Washington University
KWMU 90.7 FM University of Missouri - St. Louis (NPR programming)
WSIE 88.7 FM University of Southern Illinois at Edwardsville (NPR and jazz programming)
KDHX 88.1 FM St. Louis Community Radio
KNSX 93.3 FM St. Louis Independent Radio
Abuse Hotline 314.531.2003
AIDS Information Hotline 1-800-337-2437
Al-Anon, Al-Anon Adult Children and Alateen 314.645.1572
Alcoholics Anonymous 314.647.3677
Birth control/Pregnancy Counseling
Planned Parenthood 314.533.9933
Deaf Services 314.721.3744
Rape Hotline 314.531.2003
Suicide Crisis Intervention 314.647.4357 (647-HELP)
Women's Self-Help Center 314.531.2003