The city of St. Louis.
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Meet Me In St. Louis For T-Ravs and Gooey Butter Cake

If you know someone from St. Louis, city pride runs deep. After visiting for a weekend, you will understand why.

There are certain foods and places unique to the St. Louis area that are not found anywhere else in the United States. Because of these things, St. Louis is the perfect place for a weekend getaway. Here are my top tips for making the most of your St. Louis sabbatical.

When looking for a place to stay, St. Louis has many hotels. You can find eccentric and quirky, or classic and elegant places to stay. The Moonrise Hotel, an eccentric variety, is located in the Delmar Loop, one of the city’s most notable entertainment districts.

The hotel “blends cool modern design and quirky sophistication to create a truly unique boutique hotel experience,” according to its website.

While staying at the hotel, you will be within walking distance of restaurants, ranging from American-style food at Blueberry Hill, to Middle Eastern cuisine at Ranoush.

There are also many boutiques and gift shops along the street. Make sure to check out Euclid Records, Pitaya, and Avalon Exchange when shopping. While shopping and eating on the Delmar Loop, ride in the tram, a ride that will take you back to the 1920s.

A statue in St. Louis.

The Moonrise Hotel is just minutes away from Forest Park, a 1,300-acre park with incredible agriculture and home to the Muny, St. Louis Art Museum, Missouri History Museum, and the St. Louis Zoo. With free admission to the museums and the zoo, any of these activities make for a perfect day. For lunch, a picnic on Art Hill, located in the center of Forest Park, provides a great spot to sit and relax with the view of the Art Museum behind you and the park in front.

For this Forest Park picnic, a great lunch idea is Imo’s Pizza, sliced St. Louis-style into squares with a thin crust, sweet red sauce, and cheese on top. Toasted ravioli is a crucial side order. T-Ravs, as they are affectionately called by St. Louis residents, are breaded and deep-fried raviolis. Find these at most restaurants in St. Louis. There is nothing like eating a T-Rav along with a square slice of pizza.

Another necessary activity is going to a Cardinals baseball game. St. Louis Cardinals fans are the best fans in baseball, according to Forbes.com, Bleacher Report, and Fox Sports. Sitting in Busch Stadium, you’ll be surrounded by a sea of red and white and deafening fan cheers. After the game, visit Ballpark Village to celebrate the possible Cardinals’ win. Ballpark Village has four restaurants and three bars, and after a baseball game, it will be filled with fans. It’s the place to grab a bite to eat or a couple drinks after the game.

You can also visit Ted Drewes Frozen Custard, a delicacy founded in the Midwest. Ted Drewes is arguably one of the most iconic spots in St. Louis. Order their famous concrete, (frozen custard mixed with a topping of your choice), and the employees will flip it upside down in front of you, just to prove how thick and creamy their custard truly is.

Another must-try is Gooey Butter Cake, a flat, dense cake made of sugar, butter, flour, and not much else. Try this famous cake at Gooey Louie Bakery, at 6483 Chippewa St., or pick one up at a St. Louis grocery store.

When you think of St. Louis, you probably think of the Gateway Arch. Just a few blocks away from Busch Stadium, it is a a symbol of the city. Take a day trip to see this 630-ft tall monument, and if you’re feeling brave, ride in the tram to the top and take in views of the city. 

After the trip to the top, visit the museum underneath and learn about St. Louis’s role in the westward expansion of the United States. If you choose to visit during Fourth of July weekend, the arch grounds will feature Fair St. Louis, an annual festival with concerts, food and fireworks.

On your way out of St. Louis, stop at St. Louis Bread Company and grab a bread-sliced bagel. You may know this bakery/restaurant as Panera Bread. Panera Bread originated in St. Louis, and all locations in the St. Louis area are still named St. Louis Bread Company. These restaurants are the only ones that serve bread-sliced bagels – bagels sliced like bread instead of sliced down the middle.

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