Lafayette Square: The Food Lover's Guide to One of St. Louis' Tastiest 'Hoods
Park Avenue Mansion - Bed and Breakfast
(2007 Park Avenue; 314-588-9004)
Built in the 1870s, the Park Avenue Mansion is a historic bed and breakfast positioned perfectly to take advantage of Lafayette Square's many restaurants and shops. After having once served as a birthing hospital, funeral parlor, physician's office and boarding house, the home has been beautifully reimagined and restored. Enjoy breakfast in the picturesque gardens, or, from October 16 through April 1, dine in with an elegant five-course preselect dinner. Coffee and tea are available 24 hours a day, and during the spring and summer, take advantage of herbal iced tea and mint-infused lemonade. Fall and winter brings organic chai or a hot cocoa.
Welcome to SqWires. | Kristen Klempert
(1415 South 18th Street; 314-865-3522)
Built into part of the renovated Western Wire Products factory in Lafayette Square, SqWires focuses on simple, spirited food. (Seafood, in particular, is a highlight.) The interior is modern-industrial with a cosmopolitan feel, thanks to exposed brick and lofty windows. The happy hour is pretty solid with above average drink offerings group-friendly food -- plates are easy to share, and each offers something for someone. The dips-and-spreads app features warm pita bread fanned among three very distinctively different but complementary dips. SqWires' modern flare fits in beautifully against the historic backdrop.
- Old-School Urban Renaissance: SqWires
Square One Brewery and Distillery
(1727 Park Avenue; 314-231-2537)
Housed in an old Lafayette Square tavern that was home to an Anheuser-Busch tavern a century ago, Square One's dozen different varieties of house-crafted beer include the staples of every microbrewery -- a rich stout, a clean-tasting IPA and a tart weizen. The food is hearty pub fare that goes well with the full-bodied flavor of a pint: chili, beer-cheese soup, bratwurst, plus beer-battered this, that and the other. Besides the dozen microbrews on tap, the distillery side of the operation churns out its own whiskey, vodka, gin, an American tequila and three rums. A brewery and a distillery...in the same building? We are there.
Eleven Eleven | Laura Miller
Eleven Eleven Mississippi
(1111 Mississippi Avenue; 314-241-9999)
One of the most popular restaurants on the square (though technically, it's a few blocks away), Eleven Eleven Mississippi is the perfect spot for a dinner party or an intimate dinner date for two. The restaurant bills itself as a "Wine Country Bistro," and the wine list is up to the challenge along with a menu featuring variations on casual Northern Italian and California fare. Wild boar is a house specialty -- that's right, wild boar. The soft lighting and graceful décor helps create an intimate atmosphere to ensure things go well on that first date.
1919 Park Ave., St. Louis, MO