Some long-time readers may or may not already know this about me, but I actually grew up in a small town in Illinois across the Mississippi River just west of St. Louis (yes, west across the Mississippi). I went to college in St. Louis and even though I am not currently within the St. Louis borders, I have stayed in Missouri ever since and I am unapologetically St. Louis. To me, it is sort of like a younger sibling in that way that people from here are allowed to discuss the city and its flaws, but no one else can make fun of it.
me normally: st louis is my home but it has some serious flaws on social, political, & economic levels that need a lot of work to address— gabe, allegedly (@untiloasis) January 22, 2023
me when stl is in a twitter poll: ON THE 8TH DAY GOD GAVE US ST LOUIS RAHHHHHHH NO ONE CAN STOP US SUIIIIIIIII
Most people this time of year are headed downtown to watch the Cardinals play and that is a great time on its own, but there are tons of other things to do as well. According to the St. Louis Business Journal of the 3.3 million fans projected to go through the turnstiles, 35% of those are estimate to be from out-of-town. For those fans, here are some things to do to really maximize your trip!
In the stadium
Starting in the Stadium there are actually some new food options this season. In section 150 behind home plate a Mission Taco location has opened. It will offer similar options to the Mission Taco restaurants like their tacos and street corn and some exclusive options like “Hot Corner” Chicken. There is also a vegan taco option.
Another new location is called Big Chicken which is open alongside the first base line in section 135 and on the terrace in 358. They will serve Nashville hot chicken and fries and have something called A Big Cookie, which is the size of a basketball.
A Freddy’s frozen custard is open in the right field terrace. For anyone unfamiliar, Freddy’s is a chain restaurant that serves burgers and fries along with milkshakes and frozen custard.
The Cardinals also boast a variety of options in Ballpark Village. Within BPV there is the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum. Tickets to the museum run around $12. Before every Friday home game at 4:30pm the museum interviews former players and other people close to the team.
For food their are the Cardinals Nation Restaurant and Bar, the Budweiser Brew House, Salt + Smoke, and Sports & Social St. Louis. There are also more club-type locations like PBR, Crown Room, and Shark Bar. Then of course there are the different shopping locations like Baseballism, Arch Apparel, and New Era Shop.
Moving further out from the stadium there are still tons of great eating options. There are Broadway Oyster Bar, the 360 Rooftop Bar, and 4Hands Brewery just beyond the stadium and further out south of the brewery there the old neighborhood of Soulard. This New Orleans type of area complete with French-influenced 19th century architecture, is full of bars and restaurants to visit before a game and catch a shuttle to the stadium. There is craft beer at International Tap House, an outdoor patio at Molly’s, and a popular Irish restaurant called McGurks among many other places.
Of course no discussion of Soulard is complete without mentioned the historic Soulard Market. The Soulard Farmers Market is said to be the oldest public market in the United States west of the Mississippi River. The market was founded when Julia Cerré Soulard donated to the City of St. Louis two city blocks to be the farmers market around 1841. The market is open Wednesday through Saturday and hosts over 140 venders.
Other fun things
Travelling even further out, but still just a quick drive away from the stadium there are some of the best things in the area. Just west of the city there is the St. Louis Zoo, which is free to visit and is terrific. There is also the St. Louis Science Center which contains exhibits, a planetarium, and a four-story OMNIMAX® Theater. And rounding out the area is the Missouri Botanical Gardens, which from May 2 through October 15 will be presenting the work of world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly and thousands of pieces of blown glass forms in 18 installations throughout the garden.
Those are just some things I can personally recommend — feel free to share some ideas in comments. I know there are few things I didn’t get to like The Armory, The Foundry, and the other fun live sports experiences in the area — I didn’t even mention visiting the Arch! St. Louis is far from perfect, but it is ours. Hopefully those folks that do not get to experience it as often are able to use some of these ideas to have a great time. Come out and cheer on the Cardinals and see what else there is to offer!