St Louis: What Shouldn’t Be Missed !!

Along the banks of Mississippi river on border of IL and MO is situated the city of St. Louis. Apart being known for the Arch, this city has a lot to offer. We tried to capture most of the city both as traveler and foodie, walking down the streets, getting a bite of local food and capturing the famous tourist spots. Here are few reasons why St Louis should be your next destination:

1. Gateway Arch:  A 630 foot monument on the bank of Mississippi river, is world’s tallest arch and a major tourist spot. Easily accessible from downtown and the most visited attractions. Buy tickets to visit observation deck on top of the arch,this few minutes tram ride will be your best experience in St Louis.IMG_3001.JPG

2. Missouri Botanical Garden Located in Shaw Blvd, this is the oldest botanical garden offering a vast horticulture exhibit. Spread across 79 acres this garden includes major attractions like Japanese garden, Climatron(a conservatory based on tropical rain forest  theme), Temperate House, Linnean House (oldest operative greenhouse). Click Here for pictures

Timings: 9am -5 pm daily, General Entry Fee: $8

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Missouri Botanical Garden

3. Cathedral Basilica of St Louis One of the few churches which are both Cathedral(having pope’s throne) and Basilica(special spiritual, historical, and/or architectural significance), it took more than 7 decades to complete it(from 1912-1988). Witness the extravagant interior of mosaics made out of glass in 7000 different colors, astonishingly no paint has been used inside the church,Check out the pictures.Tours are available to get well versed with art and history of the Church. Tour booking is free and can be done through the website or over the call, you can make a donation as per your will after tour commences.IMG_2943

4. Mississippi River Overlook-Most serene place in St Louis to experience the spectacular view of Downtown, Gateway Geyser and skyline of St Louis from 40 ft tall platform overlooking Mississippi river.

Do make a visit to Gateway Geyser next to the platform, incredibly boosting the water approximately to the height of Gateway of Arch on the other side of Mississippi River. It also holds the credibility of being the tallest fountain in USA and second in the world.

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View from the platform

5. Downtown Take a walk on the “Washington Ave” and “Broadway”, try out the best restaurants, indulge in shopping and acknowledge the diverse culture of St Louis. Busch Stadium, home ground to St Louis Cardinals and Old Courthouse are just a few blocks down from the Washington Avenue(the main street).

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Washington Avenue

6. Toasted Ravioli  Created in St Louis, this deep-fried appetizer should be on your list. Toasted ravioli of St Louis became famous when it got dropped by chef accidentally and eventually became the most desired menu item. Filled with meat and fried till golden brown it is served with marinara sauce and topped with Parmesan cheese. One can have this dish at “The Hill”, an Italian neighborhood in St.Louis.

Must try Mama Toscano’s Ravioli at 2201 Macklind Ave, St. Louis.

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7. St Louis Style BBQ – We have started loving BBQ after visiting couple of joints in Chicago and now on our visit to St Louis, it would have been unfair if we hadn’t tasted the renowned St Louis Style BBQ. Few notable restaurants serving authentic STL BBQ: Pappy’s Smokehouse, The Shaved Duck, Smoki O’s Bar-B-Que. 

We tried Smoki O’s BBQ Read our review here . This place is highly recommended if you are in the city and a non-vegetarian of-course.

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Travel Tips:

  • Try to book hotel in Downtown as most attractions are nearby.
  • Make a visit to Mississippi River Overlook around sunset for spectacular view.
  • Traveling with kids !! Well St Louis do have City Museum, Zoo & Aquarium. There is no entry fee in museum and zoo.
  • Try to visit Missouri Botanical Garden in Fall season.
  • Do try Gooey Cake & Provel Cheese Thin Crust Pizza, other specialties of St Louis.
  • As a visitor, do not roam around at late nights. Be safe
  • Last but not the least click a selfie at Mississippi River Overlook.

 

 

Restaurant Review: A Fabulous find !! Honey Jam Cafe…

Saturdays are generally a day to relax and have brunch and well Chicago suburbs do have a lot of breakfast joints to offer. But for some reason we had restricted ourselves to one from past many months till last week, when we got to know about this place from Zomato and couldn’t resist ourselves.

Honey Jam Cafe, its a perfect place to have breakfast and brunch on weekends as well as on weekdays.IMG_3881IMG_3882

It was 11 am and as we have expected the place was almost full. The ambiance is bit dark, but space wise they have ample seating space.

They took roughly 5 minutes to get us seated and after that we ordered 2 coffee(bottomless), they do have other options to choose from like fresh fruit juice,soda,lemonade etc. but we have a preference of coffee over others always. As most of other breakfast joints this one also has a lot to offer and the menu is quite extensive.

They offer a wide variety of pancakes, waffles, crepes, french toast, benedicts, omelettes, skillets, fritatas, burgers and sandwiches etc. So,we did what we always do, choose the specialty/signature dishes of the restaurant and taste the best they have.

We ordered San Francisco Chicken melt, Monkey Waffle & Red Velvet french toast with cream cheese,strawberry & chocolate sauce.

Monkey Waffle was a pure blend of sweetness with freshness of fruits topped with smooth peanut butter sauce. It was as good as it looked, totally mouthwatering !!!!IMG_3875

We have tasted a wide variety of french toasts. But while going through the menu my eyes stopped over this one, Red Velvet french toast, stuffed with cream cheese.. and the fusion of this delight doesn’t ends here !!! It was topped with fresh strawberries and chocolate sauce. The best french toast I had till date.

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San Francisco Chicken Melt, a combination of grilled chicken breast with ham, cheddar cheese and tomatoes, serves on grilled wheat and it comes with fries(sides). The chicken was tender,full of flavors & best of all it just melted in my mouth.IMG_3879

Overall, this place has got everything what you can expect from a breakfast joint.The only con was the service which was a bit slow, didn’t liked it. But surely we would like to try out more of their signature dishes on our next visit.

If you are in western Chicago suburbs then surely make a visit to Honey Jam Cafe,Downers Grove, they are also located in Bollingbrook. 

Please feel free to leave your suggestions or recommendations, they are very valuable for us.

Honey Jam Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato