Your Guide on Where to Go Before a Cardinals Game
For most of us (please excuse us, diehard fans), Cardinals baseball is about a lot more than just baseball. It’s about spending the day outside, exploring St. Louis, having fun with family and friends, and wondering why you became an accountant instead of a baseball player. To make the most out of a day at the stadium, we love grabbing a bite at one of St. Louis’ great restaurants before we hit Busch. Picking is never easy, but we’ve rounded up some of our favorite bites around the stadium.
I Need to Eat Within 25 Feet of the Stadium
We get it—you want that primo parking spot by the stadium and you don’t feel like walking. No worries! The obvious answer is Ballpark Village, which will be filled with like-minded fans. BPV, as the cool people call it, is home to 12 different places where you can grab anything from a quick snack and a drink to a full meal.
If that’s not the scene you’re looking for, hop in the elevator at the Hilton at the Ballpark and dine at Three Sixty—they’ve recently launched an entirely new cocktail and food menu, and believe us, it’s good. Alternately, the good folks behind Start Bar and Wheelhouse launched their newest endeavor, The Midwestern, which is their first foray into a family-friendly restaurant. The space includes an 85-foot bar with just about every spirit and beer you can think of (plus some of the most talented mixologists in town), and the food menu comes from Ben Welch, the man behind the highly acclaimed Big Baby Q Smokehouse. Get the BBQ nachos.
Want a little live music to go with your food? Tin Roof on Clark is a great option, with a huge seating area and bar—and great pre-game food options. The other option is the incredible, iconic, and flat out fun Broadway Oyster Bar. It feels like a New Orleans restaurant was swept up in a tornado and dropped off in downtown St. Louis. Expect cajun and creole food, plus lots of fun NOLA-style bands.
These Boots Are Made for Walking
If you’re not afraid of a little exercise, why not park somewhere near Washington Avenue and enjoy some food over there? Take in the architecture, enjoy the weather when it’s not 120℉, and go eat some tasty local food. There’s just something about summer, baseball, and BBQ that goes together like peanut butter and jelly and more jelly, which is why a stop at Sugarfire Smokehouse is in order. There will almost certainly be a line, but don’t worry—it’s BBQ, everything is already made. You’ll be eating, covered in sauce, in no time.
If BBQ isn’t in the cards, right across the street you’ll find Taze Mediterranean, Pi Pizza, Sauce on the Side, Gioia’s Deli, and Hi-Point Drive-In. If pizza, burgers, calzones, sandwiches, and gyros don’t do it for you, you’re probably a robot.
Another option—one that could be described as “epic” or “baller”—is heading to the top of Four Seasons St. Louis for lunch at their new restaurant, Cinder House. This South American-inspired hotspot comes from the mind of acclaimed chef Gerard Craft, with dishes like tacos al pastor, a Piri Piri fried chicken sandwich, salads, and BBQ pork steaks cooked over a wood-fired grill. Not only is the food great, but cocktails are solid, and it has a massive rooftop terrace you can eat on.
Have Car, Will Travel
Maybe you have a parking pass, or maybe you just like to live life on the edge. Either way, you’re going to eat on your way to the game and then drive (or rideshare/taxi) to the stadium, because that’s how you roll. We recommend two areas a stone’s throw from Busch: Soulard and The Grove.
Soulard, of course, is especially great to go to after the game thanks to its plethora of bars, but it’s not too shabby for pre-game eats. Mission Taco Joint is always a winner. Loading up on tacos, chips and guac, and margs is never a bad idea, especially when they’re this good. Their burritos are equally delicious, but we don’t want you too tired to enjoy watching the Cards win, ya know?
All the tourists are going to be flooding Pappy’s Smokehouse, so if the weather is nice, grab some meat and sides from their sister restaurant, Bogart’s Smokehouse, and snag one of their patio tables. Those ribs are life-changing.
The Grove has quickly become one of (if not the) best food ‘hoods in St. Louis. If you don’t get the chance to eat out in this area often, now is your time to shine…but good luck picking. If you’ve got a bigger group or a love of beer and German food, Urban Chestnut Brewing Company’s bierhall is epic. Aside from having something like 30+ beers on tap, they have recently launched a great new food menu with housemade sausages, a smash burger that you won’t soon forget, plus classics like poutine, warm pretzel sticks, and all that other good stuff.
Heading down Manchester, you’ll find The Gramophone, home to some of St. Louis’ best sandwiches (and with what seems like hundreds on the menu, no one will be disappointed), another Sauce on the Side location, Sameem Afghan, and Grace Meat + Three. Chef Rick Lewis’ comfort and Southern foods are just incredible. Whether you go for his Nashville hot chicken, his incredible smoked pork ribs, or one of his sandwiches (hello, fried bologna), you will not be disappointed…except in your lack of self-control.
Just a smidge south is one of our favorite corners: On one side, you’ll find Olio, a casual, contemporary Israeli restaurant from restaurateur Ben Poremba, and on the other, you’ll find Union Loafers, one of the best bakeries and sandwich shops in St. Louis.
Eat Well, Be Happy
There’s no reason you shouldn’t be having an amazing meal before you watch the Cards smash whoever they’re playing. Don’t be the person eating a turkey sandwich in their car beforehand. You’re better than that.