This post is for our good friends D&L & their kids, on college tour right now….

They’ll be visiting Washington University tomorrow, dh’s and my alma mater and where our 17-yo went for preschool

Here you go:

The Queeny Tower is actually located on the 17th floor of Barnes-Jewish Hospital, so it’s relatively unknown to foodies (or at least when we lived there) but they always had a great selection and service, and the fact that there’s rarely a crowd helps. And of course, sweeping views of the Forest Park area, esp. if you happen to get the corner table. The current menu can be found here. This is where my dh ordered his 16-oz. prime rib which, LOL, he had difficulty finishing — this was a year or so before we got married. I helped him a bit:). If you’re going to eat here you can find parking across Barnes-Jewish hospital either in the underground carpark just opposite the lobby/entrance. There’s always construction in this area though, so traffic may get annoying at times. However, if you’re already touring the medical school, it’s a good place to stop.

Southwest of Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University Medical Center (where dh and I met, at the Dental School which no longer exists!), and southeast of the Washington University main campus on Skinker is the Hill — the Italian-populated area dotted with restaurants all over.

Here’s a listing. Our old faves include:

  • Amighetti’s for their sandwiches (mine was a salami and red onion on a crisp Italian bun)
  • Rigazzi’s where there was always a loud crowd, so our rowdy gang of mostly Asian studes never felt out of place — this is the place for beer in a giant “fish bowl”, although our friends probably won’t go for that 🙂
  • Gian-Tony’s
  • Favazza’s, and
  • Cunetto’s

Again, haven’t eaten there in years so I wouldn’t know which ones are the “best” now, but I’m sure you’ll find a place with great toasted ravioli, a St. Louis tradition!!

Just in case there are readers wanting some food shopping recommendations, there’s also Volpi’s — which offers delicious sausages made just like they do in Italy, and Viviano and Sons where you can find De Cecco pasta, Parmigiano Reggiano cut to order from a giant wheel, also Locatelli Romano, and if I remember correctly, salt-packed anchovies.

Just north of Barnes-Jewish hospital (where my mom has worked for 22 years now), is Central West End, which is (was?) the hip and happening place to be (if you’re that kind of person anyway:)). So many restaurants here, and again, I’m not really the best authority anymore — but if it’s warm enough you might have fun eating at one of the European-style bistros with outdoor seating. There are only a few familiar names now:

  • Llywelyn’s (now a Celtic pub — used to be billed as “traditional English”; I see they still have my fave fish and chips on the menu)
  • Sansui on West Pine — a little quieter since it’s at the corner of Pine and Kingshighway, and farther away from the other restaurants
  • Silk Road, which I loved for their hot and sour soup — I don’t remember how the rest of their food was though; there’s a vague memory of green peppers that were too raw for my taste

Further north is Delmar Loop, which is more cosmopolitan, and more youthful I suppose. Central West End is frequented by doctors working at BJC, and med students; Delmar Loop plays host to more of the Wash U undergrad population. A restaurant listing can be found here. Note: parking can be difficult esp. around lunch time and after work hours.

  • Blueberry Hill has always been known for their burgers.
  • Cicero’s was the first restaurant dh invited me to — and pardon me squeezing in a funny story here: my mom promptly looked it up in the yellow pages, found that it was advertised as a “bar and lounge” and didn’t give permission for me to go. In reality it was more like a pizza bar, with dancing downstairs. I think these days they feature bands and singers — alternative music? don’t ask me, I have no idea plus I’m old 😀 — the pizza menu is here (they do offer other things, also linked); note the “music calendar” link on the top navigation menu. Hmmm…. would Gabe enjoy this place?
  • Market on the Loop has several small places where you can order and sit in the communal sitting area; last time we were there there was pizza, Indian food, Chinese and St. Louis Bread Company (the ancestor of Panera Bread)
  • Riddle’s Penultimate is another St. Lou classic
  • Seki’s for Japanese
  • There are also several excellent Thai restaurants, but can’t remember now which one we tried most recently. It may have been Gai Yang.

If you’re in the mood for pizza by the way, a must try is Imo’s Pizza — multiple locations. Nearest to Washington U main campus is on Forsyth, but parking may be tricky.

I am including the following other options because they’re also well-known areas in St. Louis in terms of food, however they are farther west of Wash. U.

  • Clayton, for classier fare, better parking, and wider streets
  • a short listing of Asian restaurants along Olive Boulevard — not mentioned is Won Ton King which has better dim sum than Cincinnati’s restaurants save for the old Pacific Moon on Montgomery, now closed. Royal Chinese Barbecue was one of the first restaurants to offer authentic Chinese roast duck and pork, etc. We frequented this place as newlyweds. Lulu’s is known for its faithful Chinese clientele. And a little hole in the wall in the strip mall where Nobu’s is (really pricey Japanese by the way!) is Pho Long, where you can get exceptional Vietnamese Pho and other soups. The deep fried spring rolls are wonderful here.

Finally, in case one is headed west of WU — our most recent find and already a favorite: a still largely unknown Korean restaurant on Olive Boulevard in the Creve Coeur area, about half an hour from WashU: Hangook Kwan — there’s a review here. The service is friendly; and the atmosphere is definitely family-oriented. I felt really out of place when I first walked in here as the clients were *all* Korean and of course were talking in their native tongue… if I’m not in the mood to try anything new I always order the Dol Sot Bi Bim Bop. It’s nearer the residential areas so quieter and no trouble parking.

Just a few paces away is the Olive Blvd. branch of St. Louis Bubble Tea. I’m a Taro bubble tea fanatic:), or maybe it’s just because they don’t offer my best-loved flavor: avocado.

Oooh, and I almost forgot: east of Washington University, very near the St. Louis Arch, is the Top of the Riverfront Restaurant inside the Millennium Hotel. It’s a revolving restaurant so you get to see a bird’s eye view of St. Louis while you eat. Sunday brunch here, esp. on Mother’s Day, is phenomenal.

So there you have it, D, L, M, and G, enjoy your day in St. Lou!!