Judging by the amount of traffic and interest in Hawkeye wrestling posts and threads, I figure there are likely a few BHGP-ers coming to St. Louis for the wrestling finals in a couple of weekends.
As a long-time (but now former) St. Louis City resident and someone currently employed in downtown St. Louis, I thought I would post a few travel tips for my online friends. I'm just going to focus on places relatively close to downtown for fairly easy access from the wrestling. Also, St. Pat's is the last day of the tournament so expect crowds downtown in the a.m. for the 5K road race and at the bars later on. Cabs are kind of a joke in the STL and will be even harder to find that day.
This post won't be Fodor's or Zagat's but I'd be happy to add to the post if you have any questions.
BBQ - For the love of God eat at Pappy's Smokehouse on Olive or Bogart's in Soulard. Memphis-quality barbecue a short distance from downtown. Pappy's has been featured on Man vs. Food and on the camo caps sported by Cards pitcher Adam Wainwright post-game.
Sandwiches - Blues City Deli in Benton Park. Great food, great vibe, Vince the owner and former blues drummer is always behind the register. Amazing assortment of chips and soda.
Asian - Sen Thai Bistro is just a couple of blocks from Scottrade. About a block from there on Washington is Wasabi for sushi.
Microbrewery - Home of Schlafly Beer. Good fish and chips, rest of the food is just OK. Their beer is really great, especially the Pale Ale.
Italian - Go anywhere on The Hill, STL's Italian neighborhood. Every place is good, but most don't take reservations. Favazza's, Zia's, Gitto's, and Rigazzi's are a few of the classics.
Soulard Neighborhood - My personal favorite, lived there 7 years. Ground Zero for St. Louis' Mardi Gras, which is second in the US to New Orleans. 30-40 bars and restaurants in about 1 square mile. Here are the highlights:
Pubs - McGurk's and Llewellyn's, both will be packed for St. Pat's
Hooters Plus - Johnny's and DB's. Scantily clad waitresses and shockingly decent food. Wings are good at both. Johnny says his food is better than it needs to be and he is right.
Dive - Cat's Meow, cheap and smoky and cheap. I always try to end up here.
Pizza - Joanie's and Ferraro's
Mexican - Chavas for deep-fried tacos
Burgers and Beer - Big Daddy's
Washington Street - just a short 4-5 blocks from Scottrade. I don't frequent because I'm 40+ and have two kids but there are tons of bars and restaurants there. Flannery's and Over Under are decent sports pubs, Dubliner is Irish (duh), Rosalita's for Mexican. A little farther west on Washington is The Pour Haus. Seems like a hard-drinking crowd, I went during the WS last fall and people were l-l-l-l-loaded. There are clubs on Wash, I know nothing about about them other than people probably wear shiny shirts and drink Red Bull and Roofies.
Places to Skip
Laclede's Landing and Union Station. No one from St. Louis goes there.