The Nine Best Neighborhood Bars in St. Louis: 2013

Categories: Best Of

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A true neighborhood bar doesn't have to be within striking distance of your front door to make you feel at home. What matters most is the experience you'll find inside these cozy confines, many of them tucked away on residential streets. Is the barkeep sassy with her attitude yet generous with her pours? Are the people on the stools next to you your new best friends? If so, it's likely that you landed at one of the following St. Louis watering holes.

See also:
- 10 Best Dive Bars in St. Louis
- Best Beer Selection in St. Louis
- Best Neighborhood Bars in St. Louis County

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The Little Bar
(6343 Alabama Avenue; 314-351-1665)
There are plenty of hole-in-the-wall bars in Carondelet, though none better than the Little Bar. True to its name, this spot is a few hundred square feet at best, and every inch is hazy with cigarette smoke and the dust of hundreds of scratch-off lottery tickets -- conveniently available behind the bar. If it weren't for the Internet jukebox, the place would look lost in time. Third-shifters belly up when it opens at 6 a.m., and its daytime colleagues populate the place the rest of the time.

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Harlem Tap Room
(4161 Martin Luther King Drive; 314-531-2965)
The bartender at Harlem Tap Room politely deposits two stiff gin and tonics on a vintage bar top from the 1940s and charges us a measly $10. Within seconds a spirited patron two seats down raises up her glass and shouts our way, "Welcome to the Harlem! You all from around here?" Nah, not really. But, dammit, we'd like to be. There's a gigantic man holding court by the jukebox, approving choices ranging from Bill Withers and Tyrone Davis to Nelly and Kendrick Lamar. He croons along with all of them. No one is afraid of being alive here. They sing. They dance when they feel like it. They demand the remote to turn on the game, and everyone laughs when it was on the right channel in the first place. Someone makes a crass joke, and someone else calls out, "You can't talk like that now, we got visitors! We gotta stay correct!" As we leave, we're told to make sure we order wings from Brother's Diner next door the next time we return to Harlem Tap Room. The restaurant will deliver them directly to your bar stool. This place is magic.

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Lemmon's
(5800 Gravois Avenue; 314-481-4812)
South Gravois would be a dark, dark place without Lemmon's. This well-loved watering hole is so free of pretense, something everyone can appreciate. It has the three things we St. Louisians require: shuffleboard, trivia and pizza. Come on a show night and you'll either be in heaven or hell, provided your heaven is local punk and your hell is alt-country.

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Friendly's
(3503 Roger Place; 314-771-2040)
This Tower Grove joint features bar sports in every room, free popcorn and two patio options -- covered and smoke-friendly with a second bar, or all the way outside, gravel below and sky above. Did we mention there's booze? This cash-only bar is certainly one of the cheapest in town -- a pint of mixed drink for less than a fiver, and the ladies pouring those pints are some of the most efficient barmaids on the south side.


Location Info

Map

The Little Bar

6343 Alabama, Saint Louis, MO

Category: Music

Harlem Tap Room

4161 Martin Luther King Drive, Saint Louis, MO

Category: Music

Lemmons - CLOSED

5800 Gravois Ave., Saint Louis, MO

Category: Music

Friendly's Restaurant & Pub

3503 Roger Place, St. Louis, MO

Category: Music

Hard Times Lounge

1718 Olive St., St. Louis, MO

Category: Music

Riley's Pub

3458 Arsenal St., St. Louis, MO

Category: Music

Sanctuaria

4198 Manchester Ave., St. Louis, MO

Category: Music

Bastille Bar

1027 Russell Blvd., St. Louis, MO

Category: Music

Super's Bungalow

5623 Leona St, St Louis, MO

Category: Music

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62 comments
ronaldclements
ronaldclements

If you're a non-smoker, good luck breathing inside Riley's Pub. There is a stench of cigarettes to go with the perennial cloud of smoke.

Nicholas Allen
Nicholas Allen

North county sucks that's why... It's a shit hole

Deb Woods
Deb Woods

No joke! This unrelenting frigidity is determined to make a drunk of me. I discovered back in December that a shot of LPR Moonshine before heading out fortifies you quite nicely against the cold. It's a hundred proof & warms you from the inside out! And it's a LOCAL product!

George Acosta II
George Acosta II

I 'm gonna have to get over to Mimi's and check that out.

George Acosta II
George Acosta II

IDKs is on the list of best dive bars, its also on the most popular skid row bar in on the planet.

Audacious Melodious
Audacious Melodious

Mimis Subway Bar & Grill should def be on this list!! Great food, good people!!!

Kirsten Mazzanti
Kirsten Mazzanti

You left out Some other Place! Best bar for food fun and drinks! Scott and Beverly are the sweetest owners ever. You never feel like a stranger! Love em!

Dana Phillips
Dana Phillips

I see no north county establishments on here! lol

Shane Smith
Shane Smith

The Mack on Mackland should really be on this list.

Tracey Ufheil
Tracey Ufheil

Recently I have seen numerous posts that contain articles from LAST year.....this list dates back to MARCH 2013??????? Am I missing something?

Kelly Fleming Hanratty
Kelly Fleming Hanratty

That's why drunk people get hypothermia more than sober ppl....cause they don't feel how cold they are. Lol

Aaron Lange
Aaron Lange

Super's Bungalow has got Teri, the most beautiful bartender in the southside.

Don Occhi
Don Occhi

The Bungalow is my favorite.

Tim590
Tim590

Hummels on Broadway & Blow :)


Christy Wilson-Crump
Christy Wilson-Crump

Gators South in Imperial, MO at the corner or 61-67 and Imperial Main. Huge beer and wine selection, amazing authentic cajun food made from scratch to order, patio, nightly live music with a great crowd. Perfect place to enjoy drinks with friends and RELAX.

Adam White
Adam White

Trophy Room is a favorite spot of mine.

Debbie Luke
Debbie Luke

Jimmie Mack's on The Hill. Juke box is always on and the bartenders are awesome!

Erin Schmidt
Erin Schmidt

Royale, Fortune Teller Bar, Hatfields....

Dana Pettyjohn Klassen
Dana Pettyjohn Klassen

Sad that you missed the Thurman Grill in Shaw. Great patio, fantastic food, friendly people and free Jazz and Blues on the weekends...do these other places have free music? Just curious.

Dave Muser
Dave Muser

I hate to say it... But I've never had a bad night at Weber's. Way better service than Lemmon's. Lemmon's is okay if you want to wait 10 minutes at the bar for a drink. They just need more staffing

James Lay
James Lay

Holy shit! That's me in the Lemmons picture!

Getreal.
Getreal.

Lemmons? Maybe if you like paying $5 for a 12 oz. Schlafly "pint".

dutchtown
dutchtown

Why only 9?  Hard to believe CBGB and Black Thorn were left out.  Suggestion: do a top 15 or top 20 next time!

chica2270
chica2270

You missed Thurman Grill and Provisions in the Shaw neighborhood. 

dford69
dford69

6 OUT OF 9 ON THE SOUTH SIDE...WE'RE SOME HAPPY DRUNKS.

Michelle Wamser
Michelle Wamser

Haha! I am not but I hear they serve up a mean lunch. I will probably be there tomorrow night though. It's my Cheers!

Chris Price
Chris Price

you would like the hilltop...you practically live there. i bet you're there right now!!! ;)

Kerry Manderbach
Kerry Manderbach

You shoulda been around in the 60's, when there was a bar and/or confectionary on practically every street-corner in StL City... RFT began publishing around 10 years too late...

Jon Tosh
Jon Tosh

Pretty good list. I'd throw the Hilltop on there too.

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