12 Hidden Gems in St. Louis You Haven't Visited But Should

By Eric Berger How many times can you take out-of-town guests to the City Museum? You can only go on so many first dates to Sasha’s Wine Bar before your companions start to notice that the whole staff knows you. And no matter how unfathomable it may seem, there is a point where your energetic children will get tired of running around in Forest Park. For all those reasons and more, it is crucial that you find some new spots around town. To be sure, Tower Grove Park, the view into Busch Stadium from Three Sixty and the two free beers on the Anheuser-Busch Brewery tour are all very nice, but you don’t have to be Christopher Columbus to find them. We wanted to dig a little deeper. We asked some of our smartest business owners, artists, musicians, restauranteurs and even the mayor to share their favorite hidden gems around St. Louis. Yeah, we know; now they won’t be so hidden any more. But if we can help just one person find a new favorite, we’ll consider our efforts worth it. Responses have been edited for space and clarity.

By Eric Berger

How many times can you take out-of-town guests to the City Museum? You can only go on so many first dates to Sasha’s Wine Bar before your companions start to notice that the whole staff knows you. And no matter how unfathomable it may seem, there is a point where your energetic children will get tired of running around in Forest Park.

For all those reasons and more, it is crucial that you find some new spots around town. To be sure, Tower Grove Park, the view into Busch Stadium from Three Sixty and the two free beers on the Anheuser-Busch Brewery tour are all very nice, but you don’t have to be Christopher Columbus to find them. We wanted to dig a little deeper.

We asked some of our smartest business owners, artists, musicians, restauranteurs and even the mayor to share their favorite hidden gems around St. Louis. Yeah, we know; now they won’t be so hidden any more. But if we can help just one person find a new favorite, we’ll consider our efforts worth it.

Responses have been edited for space and clarity.

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1. “The Central Library downtown (1301 Olive Street, 314-241-2288) is a gem hiding in plain sight. Step inside under the stunning architecture outside and prepare to be awed by the ornate details and welcoming public spaces inside. The $70 million renovation in 2012 is something every St. Louisan — and visitor — should make a point to see.” – Francis Slay, mayor of St. Louis
Photo courtesy of Nagel Photography / Shutterstock.com.
1. “The Central Library downtown (1301 Olive Street, 314-241-2288) is a gem hiding in plain sight. Step inside under the stunning architecture outside and prepare to be awed by the ornate details and welcoming public spaces inside. The $70 million renovation in 2012 is something every St. Louisan — and visitor — should make a point to see.” – Francis Slay, mayor of St. Louis

Photo courtesy of Nagel Photography / Shutterstock.com.
2. “As a reporter, I am always on the hunt for the next big story — and my next cup of coffee. St. Louis has no shortage of incredible coffee shops. I love each of them, but a new favorite combines great coffee with a great story. Silo Coffee + Goods (4818 Washington Avenue, 314-312-3497) is essentially a gourmet coffee cart housed inside the TechArtista co-working spot in the Central West End. You blink and you might miss their sign outside on Washington Boulevard. They serve excellent pour-overs and espresso drinks, and a portion of the sales fund clean water projects. Grab a spot at the bar facing the window and watch the many faces of the neighborhood go by. It’s a coffee shop that’s making an impact not just by fueling the community, but making a major impact across the globe.” – Alexis Zotos, general assignment reporter at KMOV (Channel 4)
Photo courtesy of Silo Coffee + Goods.
2. “As a reporter, I am always on the hunt for the next big story — and my next cup of coffee. St. Louis has no shortage of incredible coffee shops. I love each of them, but a new favorite combines great coffee with a great story. Silo Coffee + Goods (4818 Washington Avenue, 314-312-3497) is essentially a gourmet coffee cart housed inside the TechArtista co-working spot in the Central West End. You blink and you might miss their sign outside on Washington Boulevard. They serve excellent pour-overs and espresso drinks, and a portion of the sales fund clean water projects. Grab a spot at the bar facing the window and watch the many faces of the neighborhood go by. It’s a coffee shop that’s making an impact not just by fueling the community, but making a major impact across the globe.” – Alexis Zotos, general assignment reporter at KMOV (Channel 4)

Photo courtesy of Silo Coffee + Goods.
3. “Flowers & Weeds (3201 Cherokee Street, 314-776-2887) has an outdoor garden that’s very nice to walk around in. ...” – Chris Baricevic, founder of Big Muddy Records
Photo by Kelsey Herschel.
3. “Flowers & Weeds (3201 Cherokee Street, 314-776-2887) has an outdoor garden that’s very nice to walk around in. ...” – Chris Baricevic, founder of Big Muddy Records

Photo by Kelsey Herschel.
3. “ ... Gooseberries (2754 Chippewa Street, 314-577-6363) on weekdays can be very quiet and chill.” – Chris Baricevic, founder of Big Muddy Records
Photo by Mabel Suen.
3. “ ... Gooseberries (2754 Chippewa Street, 314-577-6363) on weekdays can be very quiet and chill.” – Chris Baricevic, founder of Big Muddy Records

Photo by Mabel Suen.
3. “.... The preserves and spice aisles at Jay’s International Food Company (3172 S. Grand Boulevard, 314-772-2552) are very peaceful happy places where you can find a weird food item to try.” – Chris Baricevic, founder of Big Muddy Records
Photo courtesy of Instagram / shawnawb.
3. “.... The preserves and spice aisles at Jay’s International Food Company (3172 S. Grand Boulevard, 314-772-2552) are very peaceful happy places where you can find a weird food item to try.” – Chris Baricevic, founder of Big Muddy Records

Photo courtesy of Instagram / shawnawb.
4. “I’m in love with Gokul Indian Restaurant (6101 Delmar Boulevard, 314-721-1888). It’s 100 percent vegetarian with a lunch and dinner buffet Wednesday through Monday. Also, Monday night is their special vegan buffet night. I don’t consider myself a full-blown vegetarian, but the food is delicious and I’m there so much that if I miss a week, the staff playfully questions my absence. It’s easily overlooked as it’s on the Skinker-DeBaliviere side of the Loop. But Gokul has filled my belly in fifteen minutes or less, giving me an opportunity to get a meal when work has eaten most of my time.” – Syrhea Conway is Syna So Pro, “a one-woman musical enigma” 
Photo courtesy of Instagram / 
misslunaafter6.
4. “I’m in love with Gokul Indian Restaurant (6101 Delmar Boulevard, 314-721-1888). It’s 100 percent vegetarian with a lunch and dinner buffet Wednesday through Monday. Also, Monday night is their special vegan buffet night. I don’t consider myself a full-blown vegetarian, but the food is delicious and I’m there so much that if I miss a week, the staff playfully questions my absence. It’s easily overlooked as it’s on the Skinker-DeBaliviere side of the Loop. But Gokul has filled my belly in fifteen minutes or less, giving me an opportunity to get a meal when work has eaten most of my time.” – Syrhea Conway is Syna So Pro, “a one-woman musical enigma”

Photo courtesy of Instagram / misslunaafter6.
4. “... Also, John Donuts (1618 S. Broadway, 314-241-3360) has the best plain cake donuts — cause Syna So dislikes that fancy donut shit.” – Syrhea Conway is Syna So Pro, “a one-woman musical enigma” 
Photo by Brittani Schlager.
4. “... Also, John Donuts (1618 S. Broadway, 314-241-3360) has the best plain cake donuts — cause Syna So dislikes that fancy donut shit.” – Syrhea Conway is Syna So Pro, “a one-woman musical enigma”

Photo by Brittani Schlager.
5. “A big part of what Big Shark does in the community is programming. One of the hardest aspects of planning and executing local events is finding venues — and this has led us to really explore the region and its network of parks and municipalities. On the top of our list as a hidden gem is the River’s Edge Trail in Columbia Bottoms Conservation Area (801 Strodtman Road, 314-877-6014). Located, literally, where the mighty Mississippi and Missouri rivers collide, the trail is about 3.5 miles long and is on the very edge of the Missouri River banks. Walking next to moving water is always powerful, and the trail is always dynamically changing. Eagles and shore birds abound, and it makes you recall the importance of the great rivers to the history of St. Louis.” – Mike Weiss, owner, Big Shark Bicycle Co.Pictured: Columbia Bottoms Conservation Area. Photo courtesy of Flickr / Sharla Matlock.
5. “A big part of what Big Shark does in the community is programming. One of the hardest aspects of planning and executing local events is finding venues — and this has led us to really explore the region and its network of parks and municipalities. On the top of our list as a hidden gem is the River’s Edge Trail in Columbia Bottoms Conservation Area (801 Strodtman Road, 314-877-6014). Located, literally, where the mighty Mississippi and Missouri rivers collide, the trail is about 3.5 miles long and is on the very edge of the Missouri River banks. Walking next to moving water is always powerful, and the trail is always dynamically changing. Eagles and shore birds abound, and it makes you recall the importance of the great rivers to the history of St. Louis.” – Mike Weiss, owner, Big Shark Bicycle Co.

Pictured: Columbia Bottoms Conservation Area. Photo courtesy of Flickr / Sharla Matlock.
6. “It is inaccurate to call it hidden, but the American Bottom (theamericanbottom.org) as a concept has been invisible even to many of its occupants. Bracketed by the confluence of the Mississippi River and Missouri River to the east down to the Kaskaskia River, the region encompasses a series of complex sites, from cultural landmarks such as the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Midwest, at Cahokia Mounds (30 Ramey Street, Collinsville, Illinois, 618-346-5160), to Miles Davis’ childhood home (1701 Kansas Avenue, East St. Louis, Illinois, 618-213-8120), contemporary art interventions such as Granite City Art and Design District (1800 block of State Street, Granite City, Illinois) or the oldest African-American incorporated town in the United States, in Brooklyn, Illinois. The Bottom makes our region’s history visible far beyond our city’s bricks and complicates our often limited view of our own place.” – James McAnally, founder and co-director of nonprofit art gallery and organization the LuminaryPictured: Cahokia Mounds. Photo by Michael Dolan.
6. “It is inaccurate to call it hidden, but the American Bottom (theamericanbottom.org) as a concept has been invisible even to many of its occupants. Bracketed by the confluence of the Mississippi River and Missouri River to the east down to the Kaskaskia River, the region encompasses a series of complex sites, from cultural landmarks such as the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Midwest, at Cahokia Mounds (30 Ramey Street, Collinsville, Illinois, 618-346-5160), to Miles Davis’ childhood home (1701 Kansas Avenue, East St. Louis, Illinois, 618-213-8120), contemporary art interventions such as Granite City Art and Design District (1800 block of State Street, Granite City, Illinois) or the oldest African-American incorporated town in the United States, in Brooklyn, Illinois. The Bottom makes our region’s history visible far beyond our city’s bricks and complicates our often limited view of our own place.” – James McAnally, founder and co-director of nonprofit art gallery and organization the Luminary

Pictured: Cahokia Mounds. Photo by Michael Dolan.
8. “My favorite hidden gem is of course in Lafayette Park (2023 Lafayette Avenue). The grotto is not only super romantic and private, but serene and peaceful. It’s hidden from public view around a little walkway near the historic wrought-iron bridge — the one you see wedding couples always taking their pictures on.” – Tamara Keefe, owner of Clementine’s Creamery  Photo courtesy of Flickr / Dave Thompson.
8. “My favorite hidden gem is of course in Lafayette Park (2023 Lafayette Avenue). The grotto is not only super romantic and private, but serene and peaceful. It’s hidden from public view around a little walkway near the historic wrought-iron bridge — the one you see wedding couples always taking their pictures on.” – Tamara Keefe, owner of Clementine’s Creamery

Photo courtesy of Flickr / Dave Thompson.