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st. louis, mo - bits & bobs

  • Mardi Gras in St. Louis is held in the Soulard district. Soulard was known as “Frenchtown” until roughly 1,840.

  • It’s rumored that iced tea was invented at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, when a tea plantation owner who planned to give away free samples of his hot tea diluted his brew with ice to help fair patrons cope with sweltering temperatures.


St. Louis | Daytime Activities | Nightlife | Parades, Krewes, Events & Calendar

Mardi Gras 2019 is Tuesday, March 5th

St. Louis Dining

Known for its style of barbecue, St. Louis is a town that likes to eat.  St. Louis style BBQ tends to be heavy on the sauce, and includes a few interesting items like Crispy Snoots.  Yup, they are exactly what you think they are (cheeks and noses).

But beyond BBQ, the city has hundreds of restaurants.  These are just a few specifc restaurants, and notable areas or events that warrant checking out, whether you are in town for Mardi Gras or for some other reason.


With a huge, ornate wooden bar located in one classic Soulard building, and a dark, intensely intimate restaurant in a brick masterpiece right next door, Molly's is a sprawling local pub/restaurant with excellent food and more than just a hint of the bayou. PoBoys, oysters, Creole Crudités, and gumbo are just a few of the dinner menu items.

Hot Tip: Try the Sugar n' Spice Pecans as a starter. They are sweet and hot and simply divine.

816 Geyer St.; 314-241-6200

A perennial award winner in the Crystal Cajun Cook-Off, Sage is a terrific upscale eatery with a comfortable neighborhood ambiance.

In addition to the pleasant seating and large wooden bar downstairs, on the upper level there are several intimate spaces suitable for casual drinks or dining, along with a second bar. The building seems to ramble on, in that classic Soulard fashion.  But, as with the menu, food, and service here, everything is carefully thought out and painstakingly well executed. Sage offers a comfortable space and excellent cuisine in the style of an urban American grill (steaks, pasta, salads, beer, wine, and cocktails).

1031 Lynch St.; 314-256-1203

Soulard Neighborhood
As the host site of Mardi Gras in St. Louis, most restaurants in the historic Soulard neighborhood offer red beans and rice, jambalaya, and all things Cajun and Creole during the mid-winter Mardi Gras celebration.

Given the Soulard District’s rich architectural history, most restaurants in this part of town are located in buildings with some notable past and a few interesting stories of how it has passed from one owner to the next. 

Johnny's Restaurant & Bar
Formerly “Hilary’s” this is the place where, in 1980, Hilary Clemens and his friends started the first Mardi Gras celebration in St. Louis.

With its abundantly endowed, casually attired waitresses, televisions on just about every wall, and lots of quiet corners for private conversations, Johnny's is a quintessential guy hang out and neighborhood favorite.

1017 Russell Blvd.; 314-865-0900

Cajun Cook-Off
Both amateur and professional chefs compete in this annual Mardi Gras event that pits local chefs against on another in a test of Cajun culinary expertise.  

Taste of Soulard
A number of Soulard’s favorite restaurants offer samples of their signature dishes.   Visitors buy tickets, and stroll (or ride the free trolley on Taste of Soulard event days) through the architecturally rich Soulard District sampling food and meeting the locals in this captivating historic neighborhood.

St. Louis | Daytime Activities | Nightlife | Parades, Krewes, Events & Calendar

St. Louis Feature Stories

Mardi Gras in Soulard - A Brief History of the Soulard Neighborhood in St. Louis

Cajun Cook-Off - St. Louis' Cajun & Creole Antidote to Old Man Winter

Taste of Soulard - Soulard Shows Off Its Best Cajun & Creole Eats

Soulard Pet Parade & Wiener Dog Derby- St. Louis' Four-Legged Mardi Gras Fun