While Soulard might be notorious for their Mardi Gras and Oktoberfest celebrations, they should also be recognized for their amazing bars and cuisine that richly celebrate St. Louis’ history and culture. Soulard is home to the oldest farmer’s market west of the Mississippi and is home to the Anheuser-Busch Brewery. The presence of the brewery has helped spur the growth of local restaurants, not only to cater to the tourists of the brewery, but the employees as well.
While there are a few chain eateries in the area, the true interest in Soulard is all of the locally owned bars and restaurants scattered throughout the 0.6 square miles. Soulard is often home to pub crawls and rightfully so with everything being so close together. While there seems to be an underlying French quarter theme to a lot of the food offered, each restaurant strives to differentiate themselves from the rest.
While we could talk all day about all of the restaurants that make up the unique experience that is Soulard, we’re just going to mention a few of our favorites and what makes them such a wonderful addition to the neighborhood.
So, because the big attraction of Soulard is the brewery, let’s start off with a few guys that are a perfect stop after the tour and right across the street. We’re talking about Howard’s and Capitalist Pig. Capitalist Pig, also known as the Mad Art center are one and the same. The old police station is home to the art exhibit and some of the best BBQ this side of the Mississippi. Obviously their pork is a pleasure to eat. They try to incorporate it in almost all of their dishes, like their pulled pork nachos, burnt ends, etc. Just a wonderful place for lunch and weekend brunch, and a great photo op with some tables placed in the old jail cells.
Check out our full review of Capitalist Pig here
As for Howard’s, they have a beautiful bar, exquisite blown glass chandeliers, a wonderful patio, and some down right delicious food. Keeping with the pork theme, we had their pulled pork slider, and it just left us wanting more…12 more. It was amazing. The building looks like a historical jewel and the patio is one of the most relaxing places to just sit outside and relax after walking the halls of AB all day.
The Wood Shack
If you’re in the mood for a good old fashioned southern sandwich or some killer mac n cheese, then The Wood Shack is an excellent stop as well. A hidden gem on a side street in Soulard, they are turning out house made pork rinds, smoked potato salad, and a po’boy sandwich that transcends state lines. These guys are cooking everything in house and it really shows in the unique flavors that they bring to their farm tables.
Check out our full review of The Wood Shack here
If you’re looking for a slice (or eight), hit up Epic Pizza. They make the pizza right in front of you and use a stone wood-burning oven that crisps up the crust perfectly. With a scattering of delicious toppings, this pizza is the perfect thing for a takeout night in or the beginning of a bar crawl throughout the neighborhood.
Last, but not least on our list would have to be Hammerstone’s on 9th Street. They feature live music with a stage inside and out on their amazing patio. We managed to get our hands on a fried green tomato sandwich which was as tasty as it was beautiful, and the best chicken fingers we’ve had to date. They are hand battered in a light and crispy cornflake coating and are served with a side of fries.
Overall, Soulard is a treasure trove of excellent bars and restaurants. The best way to discover your future favorites is to just walk in to any of the amazing places scattered throughout the town and give them a try! Ask what they’re known for and maybe try ordering out of your comfort zone. Chances are, you’ll have no problem coming up with a list of your own and you’ll never have to settle for boring drive through food again.