I haven't visited Saint Louis in about 10 years and I know a substantial amount of work has gone into the riverfront.
I should have a few hours to myself before meeting friends for a concert at The Firebird (2706 Olive Street).
My plan was to park near the venue, walk around the riverfront exploring a bit, and returning to meet some friends for a fairly quick pre-show dinner back near the venue.
Any suggestions on places to eat near the Firebird or the best places to see with a couple spare hours in Saint Louis?
This is my first time answering a question, so here goes and I hope it's helpful...
First off, The Firebird kicks ass! I'm not sure if you've been there before, but it's a great hole in the wall that brings in so many good bands. It is by far my first choice to see a show in town. Although a close second would be The Ready Room which, I don't know all the details, but has some common ownership with The Firebird folks.
Anyways, for dropping a few hours before the show, I wouldn't recommend the riverfront, at least not by the arch grounds because there's still a lot of construction underway and it's really not anything to look at right now.
If you do head downtown, I would say the places to check out and that have changed the most in the past 10 years would be Washington Ave or Citygarden (Citygarden) or the new Busch Stadium. Although, these are not necessarily walkable from The Firebird (1 mile+ away), you could drive past/around the stadium (if interested), maybe stop and walk through Citygarden (it's just 2 or 3 blocks), and then drive down Washington Ave. There are some good bars and restaurants, but in my opinion, the best/most interesting place on Washington Ave is City Museum (City Museum) although you'd probably need more time for a stop there to be worthwhile.
After doing the loop through downtown, if you want to be within walking distance to The Firebird, you should head back toward Midtown. A couple good eats near The Firebird would be The Good Pie (The Good Pie) or The Fountain On Locust (The Fountain On Locust). If you're so inclined, the best option (my opinion) would be to order carry-out at Pappy's Smokehouse (Pappy's Smokehouse) and bring it to Urban Chestnut Brewing Company (Urban Chestnut Brewing Company which just serves beer and small plate stuff so you can bring your own food in).
If you want to skip or add-on to a run through downtown, Forest Park (Forest Park) has seen continual improvement and is arguably the best urban park in the country. It houses a lot of museums, etc. and might be a nice drive through but otherwise isn't really a quick visit place.
Other nearby areas that would be good options for drinks and/or eats would be The Grove (The Grove), the Central West End (Central West End), or Grand Center (Grand Center). Grand Center is the only one within walking distance of The Firebird, though.
My apologies if this got a little too long-winded. If you have any follow-ups or want any more info, let me know and I'll do my best to help.
Hope you enjoy the show and your short visit to St. Louis!
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