This weekend I took over the Explore St. Louis Instagram account to showcase some of my favorite places in the city. It's no secret that I'm an Instagram lover, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity, and had such a fun time deciding what I wanted to showcase about the city. It was hard to limit it down! I find Instagram a fun medium to keep up with my friends travels and to see the world through their lens, or iPhone as it may be. I also find it one of the best ways to stay current with the local events happening in town.
My first stop on the weekend takeover had to be Olio. What may surprise most out-of-towners, is that, when it comes to food, St. Louis can hold it's own with the other major food cities such as Chicago, New York, Houston, etc. Olio is complete magic to me. Tapas is my favorite style of dining, and although they have larger plates, we always prefer to share a combination of the smaller plates. The staff is fun and a bit quirky, which I love, and even the decor in the restaurant I find inviting and elegantly casual, if that makes sense?
Next stop was the Tower Grove Farmers Market. Visiting all of the 30+ markets in the city is on my St. Louis bucket list, but for now out of the ones I've visited, Tower Grove is by far my favorite. Its a good size with lots of variety and everything is locally grown (I'm looking at you Soulard). Most of my Saturdays begin here with a cup of coffee and breakfast from Kult Kitchen. I don't know how they do it, but folks, this is seriously the most DELICIOUS grilled cheese/breakfast sandwich ever.
Next up on the takeover was Revive Thrift. Revive Thrift is on my way home from the Tower Grove Farmers Market and on Saturday mornings I love to stop in and peruse the new arrivals (and generally end up leaving with something fantastic). If you're looking for a great way to add affordable pieces to your wardrobe - with the added benefit of knowing your money is going to a great cause - you must check them out! They also sell a combination of new, vintage, and rehabbed furniture that is constantly changing. I recommend following them on Instagram to find out when their new arrivals come in. Or maybe I don't because that means more competition for me.
My last Saturday stop was Comet Coffee. I couldn't nail down a favorite coffee shop in the city if my life depended on it, but I love this little shop on the south side of Forest Park. I have a class pass membership and occasionally find myself at Yoga Six, which is practically next door to Comet Coffee. I'll always stop in for a cup of coffee and a pastry item when I'm in the area. They're a single origin pour over shop, with a coffee menu that can be a bit intimidating, however, I have always found the baristas to be nothing but friendly, unpretentious, and always excited to walk you through and explain the menu.
Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. Living in Chicago set my breakfast standards pretty high, however, St. Louis has met all expectations! The breakfast game here is strong! I have so many favorites it was hard to narrow down one but I chose Egg because of the friendliness of the owner, staff, and how flavorful the food is. It's only opened on the weekends and located inside Spare No Rib on Gravois.
I knew for the take over I wanted to feature Zee Bees Market because it's such a special store. Zee Bees is located in Tower Grove and sells all socially and environmentally conscious gifts from around the world as well as sustainably produced coffee, tea, and chocolate. It's a great place to stop in if you need to purchase a gift for someone. You can also sometimes find them selling select items at the Tower Grove Farmers Market on Saturdays.
Luckily my weekend takeover was scheduled for this first weekend in August, which was great timing since we were already signed up for our monthly "Sunday School" class at Reeds. While living in Lexington we joined a wine club with one of the local wineries. Every quarter we received 3 bottles of pre-selected wines. Often these were wines I never would have selected for myself. It was a great way to expand our horizons and push us, or really me, out of my comfort zone. Up until that point I basically rotated between carbernet, merlot, and tempranillo wines but after 2 years, I found myself not only enjoying a wider variety of wines but more open to trying different wines. Upon moving to St. Louis we were thrilled to find Andrey with Reeds American Table and the opportunity to branch out of our comfort zone again and try interesting new wines, while also learning a bit of history in a relaxed setting. It was the perfect way to conclude my takeover.
Be sure to follow Explore St. Louis on Instagram to see the photos from my takeover as well all the other weekend take overs! Until next time St. Louis!
Sincerely, Local Menagerie