hello, saint louis arch!

Don’t you think that with just a month or so left of summer, now’s a great time for weekend getaways? I do. And for those of you from Chicago, did you know Saint Louis is only a little over four hours away?

In the just over 24 hours I spent there last weekend, I learned Saint Louis has some pretty cool things to offer—things like:

1) The Cathedral Basilica, a beautiful, imposing church with one of the largest mosaic collections in the world. You can take pictures inside, just not during mass.

cathedral basilica

2) Historic cobblestone streets near the arch, the kind you find in New England towns, the kind with names built right on the bricks.

second street

3) Beautiful trees and green areas, not the least of which is Forest Park, an enormous urban park that’s 500 acres larger than NYC’s Central Park.

forest park

4) Forest Park is also where you’ll find free attractions like the Saint Louis Zoo and the Saint Louis Art Museum, the latter of which is especially enticing with its air-conditioning when it is 100 DEGREES OUTSIDE, you know, just as a heads up.

st louis art museum

Of course as nice as all those things were, the parts I enjoy best about any city are its food, even beyond the Whole Foods and the Trader Joe’s (which, yes, I went to both while there). Special thanks to the Urban Spoon iPhone application for helping us find the following:

1. Pi PIzzeria, 400 N. Euclid @ McPherson, St. Louis, MO.

pizza at pi

A green restaurant with vegan menu options, Pi Pizzeria boasts the best deep-dish and thin-crust pizza in town. We got a large thin pizza, the crust dusted with cornmeal and crunchy on the edges, topped with ricotta, cherry tomatoes, basil and Miller Amish chicken. I ate two big pieces and wished I could polish off more.

pizza at pi

2. Winslow’s Home, 7211 Delmar Blvd. St. Louis, MO.

winslow's home

Just a few miles from Forest Park in a beautiful neighborhood of historic estates, Winslow’s Home has such a cool vibe.

outside winslow's home

Outside, it’s a beautiful brick building with awnings above an outdoor seating area. Inside, it’s like a farmers market (fresh produce!) meets general store (all kinds of trinkets and grocery items) meets cute cafe (tables nestled right into the shop).

inside winslow's home

The menu focuses on fresh, local ingredients, many of which have been taken straight from Winslow’s own farm. There’s a counter filled with fresh baked goods, from muffins to pies to cookies.

winslow's home

And at lunchtime, the cafe offers a variety of sandwiches, salads and soups, including our tomato panini with mozzarella & basil and the sourdough grilled cheese made with fontina and cheddar.

tomato panini

grilled cheese

Fast trips are nice ways to spend weekends indeed—and even more so when the evening drive home is filled with sunsets like these:

sunset on drive home

What about you guys? Do you know Saint Louis? Have favorite spots there? And where are your weekend getaways taking you this summer? I’d love to hear!

Shanna Mallon

Shanna Mallon started Food Loves Writing back in 2008, as a way to remember her grandma and write about her life through food. Since then it's become a place leading her to a lifestyle of eating whole foods, a new home in Nashville and the love of her life, Tim. Follow Shanna on Twitter @foodloves, keep up with Food Loves Writing on Facebook and stay inspired with the monthly newsletter.

This Post Has 21 Comments

  1. Val

    I went to St. Louis early this year to go to the City Museum! It’s basically a big building with lots of things to climb on and slide down and crawl through…not like any other “museum” I’ve ever been to and a lot of fun!

  2. Lan

    oh shannalee, that last picture? breathless.

    summer of 2003. i had been living in San Diego for 13 months and i packed up my little honda civic and drove it back east. i made pit stops in Houston to visit with a college friend, drove up to OK and then into St. Louis, en route to a high school classmate’s wedding in Chicago. the entire trip was beautiful and tho i barely remember st. louis (i just remember the arch), it was a wonderfully liberating time for me.

  3. heather @ chiknpastry

    never been to SL other than an airport break! i’d love to go sometime. other trips this year will include a drive down the PCH (Portland to LA and a stop at Napa!), wedding in Cincinnati, Cleveland for the Bruce Springsteen exhibit at the Hall of Fame, and a trip home to NC for a wedding. good times! oh, and Milwaukee this weekend and Minnesota in three weeks. i get around :) ha ha.

  4. Kim

    I’ve never been to St. Louis, but I do have a fondness for it because of “Meet Me In St. Louis” (the film and the song, which is now stuck in my head, thankyouverymuch). Someday, I’d like to visit.

    For now, I don’t have any exciting summer trips planned, but we did have two camping trips (one 5-day, one 3-day) in July, and we are moving this weekend, and we are having a few guests visit in the upcoming months…hosting weekend getawayers at our new condo-by-a-lake :-)

  5. Maddie

    I was in St. Louis this weekend too!…on an unexpected layover that was zero fun. The only upside: seeing the gorgeous Arch from the air as the sun set. I’ll have to go back under better circumstances, because you have me realizing how much I was missing.

    So far this summer, I’ve taken little trips to Baltimore, Richmond, Charlottesville, and Chi-town. But a real vacation to Croatia is next…and once it cools down, maybe some camping in Shenandoah. :)

  6. Celeste

    I love the first picture and the food pictures make me really hungry even though it is 10 pm here in Vancouver.
    We were just in Kansas. I was doing some catering for a conference.
    Weather was hot, hot, hot so we didn’t get out much but I did get some KC BBQ.
    Good times.

  7. Niki

    I love St. Louis. I have friends there so it’s always nice to head down. The West Loop has some great shops and Blueberry Hill is there. Yum. They also have Vintage Vinyl, which has great old records.
    But if you want to get a tattoo down there, don’t go to Iron Age!!! they are horrible!!!!! :)

  8. Jacqui

    i’ve been to st. louis a few times to visit murdo’s cousin, but can you believe it? i’ve never seen the arch, or the zoo, or the museum, or eaten at pi or winslow’s. we did go to the anheuser-busch brewery, though. i think that happens with family a lot — we always end up just hanging out and visiting, not really concerned about seeing the city. and that’s fine, too.

    my summer weekends are filled with trips to michigan! :)

  9. Megan Gordon

    Looks awesome! I know nothing about St. Louis but have been wanting to make a quick getaway to Big Sur and I realize the summer’s passing us by here, so I’m just going to have to make it happen. Even for a day, like you said, a change of scenery is so good. I love how your travel posts are always so varied in terms of food, landmarks, scenery etc. Good stuff. (Like the blog changes, too, with bolder headings…)

  10. Shannalee

    Val, OF COURSE you did! Is there any city within a five-hour radius you haven’t been to? : ) City Museum sounds fun!

    Lan, Thanks! That trip sounds like one of those that you don’t forget, the kind that changes you. I liked hearing about it.

    Heather, Portland is on my top ten list of places I want to go – enjoy it extra for me, OK?

    Kim, FUN! All of it! Sounds wonderful.

    Maddie, We were in the same city! At the same time! And Croatia? Hello. That sounds fantastic.

    Celeste, You cater for conferences? I’m so impressed! And BBQ sounds goooood!

    Leftoverist, Well, if you’re ever in Chicago, you have to go to Lincoln Park Zoo then. Not only is it free, it’s beautiful and nestled right on the city’s north side. Your upcoming trip sounds fantastic by the way–like just my kind of vacation.

    JessieV, Thanks and I know! I just downloaded it this weekend, but it’s very helpful.

    Elizabeth, Oh, that water tower sounds cool. I mean, this weekend it would have been hoooooot but you know what I mean. Next time!

    Niki, Totally drove by Blueberry Hill and wondered what it was like inside. And ha about the tattoo. Duly noted!

    Jacqui, I totally get that – sometimes hanging with family, while not like look-at-all-I-did-here is soooo much better. But listen to me, if you and I are ever in Saint Louis together? We are hitting up Winslow’s Home. You would have loved it. It’s totally our kind of place.

    Megan, Big Sur! Oh, that sounds wonderful. And I totally agree – I love seeing new places, even for just a day, because it gives you a new perspective and keeps you fresh and it’s fun. PS thanks about the sidebar headers! They are still under construction, but you ARE SO SWEET to notice.

  11. Pingback: Cheesy Scrambled Eggs & [Another] Quick Trip to St. Louis | Food Loves Writing

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