St. Louis is home to many neighborhoods, each with its own distinct identity. Here are some of the most famous.
The Central West End is a vibrant, elegant, and eclectic neighborhood stretching from Midtown’s western edge to Union Boulevard and bordering on Forest Park. It boasts diverse and excellent restaurants, locally owned shops, and historic homes (some dating back to the 1904 World’s Fair).
The Grove is a growing business and entertainment district along Manchester between Kingshighway and Vandeventer. There you can find a variety of independently owned restaurants, retail, and services. It is also home to the premier nightlife in the area, and is a thriving center for the LGBT, artist, and cycling communities in the St. Louis area.
Located in the heart of St. Louis, Grand Center hosts more than 1,500 cultural events annually. With 12,000 theater seats and 12 museums and galleries within four blocks, it is a destination for more than 1.5 million visitors each year. From Broadway musicals to jazz clubs, contemporary art to cabaret shows, a symphony to a circus, films to festivals, and much more, this premier arts district has something for everyone. An eclectic choice of restaurants, housing, and educational options further enhances the vitality of this cosmopolitan neighborhood.
The area between Arsenal and Utah on South Grand is a hub of the St. Louis international community. Home to cultural events, convenient services, and flourishing shops, it is an affordable, safe, and fun place to play, work, or live. Where else in the city can you find a vegetarian-friendly cafe, an award-winning Vietnamese restaurant, a hip martini bar, and a neighborhood pharmacy all in the same block?
Soulard is a historic French neighborhood named after Antoine Soulard. It is a picturesque residential neighborhood filled with restaurants, bars, and pubs, among other businesses, and is one of the oldest communities in the city. The neighborhood hosts many events throughout the year, including Mardi Gras, Oktoberfest, and Bastille Day. It is also known as a neighborhood with a high density of bars, many of which play host to a variety of live music, especially the blues and jazz bands which the city is known for.
The downtown hotspot on Washington Avenue is dotted with loft apartments, boutique shops, classy restaurants, and high-energy bars. With an eclectic mix of places to eat, drink, and socialize, this is one of the region’s trendiest places to hang out.
Lafayette Square surrounds Lafayette Park, the city’s oldest public park, created by ordinance in 1836. The neighborhood itself is one of the oldest in St. Louis, with a fine collection of French-style houses and a newly revitalized dining and bar scene.
An energizing entertainment and shopping district, The Loop offers six blocks of exhilarating shops, restaurants, live music, and cafe culture. A century ago at this location, streetcars from downtown “looped around” to return to the city, which gave the area its name. That movement continues today, as the Loop expands into the City of St. Louis with exciting new development that has made it a visitors’ destination. The era of revitalization began in the 1970s with legislation that encouraged unique, owner-operated gift shops, clothing boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants in first-floor storefronts. Outdoor cafes bring excitement to the generously widened streetscape. The addition of the St. Louis Walk of Fame, which honors famous St. Louisans with brass stars and informative plaques embedded in the sidewalk, further enhances pedestrian enjoyment of the area.
The Hill is a mostly Italian-American neighborhood, home to a large number of locally renowned Italian restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores, and two bocce gardens. Baseball greats Yogi Berra and Joe Garagiola, Sr., grew up on the Hill; their boyhood homes are across the street from each other on Elizabeth Avenue.
Laclede’s Landing is downtown St. Louis’ oldest district and only riverfront entertainment and dining destination. A favorite among locals and a must-see experience for all tourists and conventioneers, its century-old buildings and cobblestone streets offer a charming reminder of St. Louis’ earliest days. The nine-block area was settled in 1764 by fur traders Pierre Laclede and Auguste Chouteau. The site of the original village, which quickly exploded into a bustling community of merchants, families, and industries, was chosen both because of its location near the mouth of the Missouri River and as a natural halfway point for explorers, traders, and prospectors heading to the untamed American West. Today, the Landing is home to unique restaurants, bars, and nightclubs, as well as shops and theaters.
The Historic Shaw neighborhood, located just south of the Saint Louis University medical campus, is surrounded by parks on three sides, including Tower Grove Park and the Missouri Botanical Gardens. Shaw is full of historic, turn-of-the-century architecture. It also offers a number of local dining options, including the Sasha’s on Shaw wine bar, Mama Josephine’s, which offers New Orleans-style cooking, and the Thurman Grill, which features live music on most nights.