St. Louis Bars to See the Sights

Sep 10, 2021 at 6:20 am
click to enlarge St. Louis looks pretty good from the roof of Vin De Set. - ERIN MCAFEE
St. Louis looks pretty good from the roof of Vin De Set.
Sometimes, you just want to take in the view. We've got you covered in the RFT 2021 Bar Guide with the best spots to see the skyline, sunset and ... Máni.

Vin De Set
2017 Chouteau Avenue, 314-241-8989

If the gorgeous, French-vintage vibe of the inside bar and lounge is not enough to draw you to drink at Vin De Set, the stunning rooftop deck will seal the deal. This gorgeous outdoor space — unarguably one of the best open-air drinking experiences in town — boasts one of the best views of the St. Louis skyline, a vista made even more lovely when enjoyed under the soft glow of white twinkling lights that illuminate the space in the evening. You can order one of the bar's wonderful cocktails to sip on while enjoying the view, but the more appropriate choice is a bottle of white Burgundy; it's the best way to soak in the French vibes that underpin the city's history. —Cheryl Baehr

Riverboats at the Gateway Arch
50 South Leonor K. Sullivan, 877-982-1410

The Mississippi River is criminally overlooked in St. Louis. One of the world's great waterways, it's often treated here as an afterthought or something to avoid. And that is a fine topic to discuss on a tipsy afternoon at the dockside bar and Paddlewheel Café at Riverboats at the Gateway Arch. Have a few, stare out over the majestic river and get all philosophical about its starring role in the lives of various civilizations, its cultural influence or the policies of the Army Corps of Engineers. Also fine: simply hanging out with a cold one. A warm weather feature, Docktails Happy Hour, is 4-7 p.m. every Thursday through September (maybe longer, TBA). And if you'd like to see more of the river, book one of the cruise options. You may have driven over the Mississippi a million or so times, but it is a perspective-shifting experience to see the city and surrounding environs from the water. Plus, boat drinks! You can't beat that. —Doyle Murphy

Three Sixty
1 South Broadway, 314-241-8439

For as much fun as a day at the ballpark can be, it also brings with it its fair share of hassles. You have to secure tickets, deal with the crowds, sit outside the whole time enduring the elements, pay a bajillion dollars just to get a Bud Light, and your food options range between thrown peanuts and warmed-over hot dogs. If only there was a better way! Enter Three Sixty, the rooftop bar atop the Hilton in downtown St. Louis. Here, you can take in the sophisticated environs and stunning views of the city that the space has to offer, while also peering right over the walls of Busch Stadium to catch the game from above. And while the food and drink options aren't exactly cheap, they're certainly better than the ballpark fare — say goodbye to peanuts and crackerjacks, and hello to kimchee pizzas and grilled shrimp skewers. Farewell as well to $14 Bud Lights, as Three Sixty has a selection of top-shelf cocktails sure to sate your thirst. When put up against the ballpark experience itself, there's just really no comparison — in fact, after enjoying a game from these classy digs, you may not care if you ever get back to the stadium itself. —Daniel Hill

Eclipse Rooftop Bar at Moonrise Hotel
6177 Delmar Boulevard, 314-726-2222

In ancient times, man held the moon in such high esteem that it was worshipped as a god in some cultures. In Norse mythology, that big ol' rock that silently circles the Earth was personified as Máni, thought to be the brother of the personified sun, Sól, and an array of powers were ascribed to it. Nowadays, we mostly know of the moon as the place that MTV shot the bumpers it uses between its programming, but that doesn't mean we can't relive the old days, with the help of the Eclipse Restaurant atop the Moonrise Hotel. There, looming over the rooftop bar, is the largest man-made model of Máni in the world, silently spinning and demanding adulation. Clad yourself in your sturdiest armor and horned helmet, gather here with your brothers in arms, and hold aloft your turkey legs and mead (or, as the case may be, chicken po boys and mojitos) while she continues her endless flight from the ravenous wolf Hati Hróðvitnisson across the night sky. For the glory of Odin! —Daniel Hill

The Boathouse
6101 Government Drive, 314-366-1555

When you think of the Boathouse at Forest Park, the image that comes to mind likely involves throngs of families clamoring for a canoe, hours-long waits for a hamburger, aggressive geese and aching leg muscles from being forced to spend too long in a paddle boat. Go ahead and keep thinking that, because the growing number of people who've rediscovered the Boathouse — now finally with its stuff together — don't want you to know that this may be the best place in town to spend happy hour. Over the past couple of years, since Mike Johnson and his Sugarfire team have taken over the space, the Boathouse has finally turned into the bar and grill it was meant to be, and more and more people are catching on. By the time late afternoon hits, the place becomes absolutely magical thanks to its lakeside setting. Sip a cold beer while gazing across the water and you'll feel like a visitor in your own town. Hop on the water if you're bored, people watch if you're feeling low-key, or just bask in the beauty of the environs now that the secret is out. —Cheryl Baehr

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