To Market in St. Louis
Whether you’re looking for a quick take-and-heat meal or have the capability to turn out an entire feast in your hotel’s kitchenette, you’ll find plenty of grocery options in St. Louis.
Hometown chain Schnucks (multiple locations, including 6600 Clayton Rd., Richmond Heights) is a favorite among residents, thanks to low prices, a broad wine and beer selection, and the availability of neighborhood-specific food items (the Schnucks on the Hill has a particularly great assortment of Italian meats and cheeses).
Dierbergs (multiple locations, including 8450 Eager Rd., Brentwood) is another popular option, although items tend to be a little bit pricier.
Visitors staying in the Central West End should be sure to check out Straub’s (302 North Kingshighway Blvd., additional locations in Webster Groves and Clayton). This small market boasts one of the best takeout counters in town; the potatoes Dauphine and homemade macaroni and cheese are out of this world.
There are also several outposts of affordable-gourmet fave Trader Joe’s (the most centrally located is at 48 Brentwood Promenade Ct., Brentwood), along with two Whole Foods locations (the closest one to the city proper is at 1601 South Brentwood Blvd., Brentwood).
If you’re in St. Louis between April and October, check out one of the many farmers markets. The most well-known is Soulard Farmers Market (730 Carroll St.), but in recent years others have popped up all over town. Tower Grove Farmers Market (in Tower Grove Park, off Arsenal St.) bustles with life on Saturday mornings. You’ll find plenty of produce, organic meats, and fresh flowers — plus lemonade stands and a fire truck that dishes out ice cream.
The Maplewood Farmers Market, which unfolds Wednesday afternoons in the parking lot of Schlafly Bottleworks (7260 Southwest Ave., Maplewood), has the added amenities of live music and cold beer.
When you visit the Grand South Grand district, stop in Jay’s International Market (3172 South Grand Blvd.). This globally minded market carries everything from miso to challah and tamarind sodas to Pocky. Plus, Jay’s is ultra- affordable (tea lovers will find excellent varieties for less than three bucks a box).
There are a number of authentic Mexican markets on Cherokee Street, including El Torito Supermarket (2753 Cherokee St.), and University City and Olivette are home to dozens of Asian markets, including Seafood City (7733 Olive Blvd. University City).
© Brooke S. Foster from Moon St. Louis, 1st Edition