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Noonday City Guide: St. Louis

If you’re like I was five years ago, there’s a good chance that you’ve never visited St. Louis. Maybe you aren’t even sure where it’s located in the Midwest. I certainly didn’t know until my husband got into graduate school there and I suddenly found myself packing up and heading toward the Midwest.

To my even greater surprise, St. Louis has turned out to be such a fun city with an incredibly vibrant food and small business scene. Recently, my friend and fellow Noonday Ambassador Megan and I took to the town to track down some new favorite hangouts. Here’s a handful of the must-see spots we discovered!

1. Bowood Farms

Bowood Farms is an amazing garden center and boutique in a renovated warehouse. Inside, you can grab a coffee at the Café Osage, or you can spend hours picking out the perfect plant to take home.

2. Pappy’s BBQ

Pappy’s is hands down the best BBQ in St. Louis. Get there as close to opening time as you can. You’ll want to beat the long lines to try Pappy’s delicious burnt ends before they’re sold out.

3. Kaldi’s Coffee

To start your weekend off caffeinated, I highly recommend any of Kaldi’s Coffee shops, which are each beautiful and cozy in their own ways. If I had to pick a few favorites, the Demun, Laclede Ave, and City Garden locations would be my top three. City Garden feels like you’re in NYC, Demun is like a second home in a darling neighborhood, and Laclede Ave’s location is just stunning. But no matter which location you go to, their vanilla latte can’t be beat.

4. Flowers & Weeds

If you’re sensing a plant theme, you’re right. Of St. Louis’s many gardening stores, Flowers & Weeds is probably my favorite. It’s perfect for city dwellers. Not only do they have brilliantly healthy plants and beautiful pots for sale at affordable prices, they also have a potting station in the back in case you don’t have a patio or yard for potting at home .There are giant bins of soil that you can scoop into your pots right there in the store. Oh, and they have a terrarium-making station—what more could you want from a plant store?

5. Brick River Cidery

St. Louis’s first cidery just opened and their cider is simply delicious. You can try them all in a flight, but I’m going to guess the rosé cider will be your favorite. It was definitely mine.

6. Snowfactory

There are tons of amazing dessert options in St. Louis, so it would be impossible to choose the wrong one. But if you want a truly unique experience, Snowfactory is it. This one-of-a-kind ice cream shop specializes in Thai-style ice cream rolls that you can customize from scratch when you go in. You’ve got to try it. It’s unreal.

7. Sauce on the Side

If you want to switch up your pizza game, Sauce on the Side is where it’s at. This fast-casual restaurant is a local chain that serves up amazing calzones. Not only is Sauce on the Side a huge favorite with locals, it was formally recognized by Food Network.

8. Clover and the Bee

This is a beautiful new brunch spot in Webster Groves, and it’s 100 percent worth the drive outside the city. Any spot that combines gorgeous design with tasty food is a win in my book. Oh, and their fresh juices are a must when you visit.

Come see for yourself!

To my great surprise, St. Louis has turned out to be such a fun city with incredibly vibrant food and a booming small-business scene. I hope my reviews will inspire you to put our Gateway to the West on your weekend-getaway bucket list!

Brooke Van Groningen is a Noonday Ambassador and a Midwest transplant from Virginia Beach to St. Louis, MO, where she lives with her husband, Aaron. Brooke is a yoga-junkie, nutella-fanatic, and loves capturing life from behind her camera. You can read more from Brooke on her blog, See Things Closer, which was born out of her personal experiment to take a closer look at what an ethical lifestyle looked like for the everyday girl–whether that be in fashion, friendships or faith.