Welcome to my first neighborhood spotlight. Through these spotlights I will take you on a tour of St. Louis’ neighborhoods to help you get to know the city a little better and find the perfect neighborhood that maybe you didn’t even know you were looking for, or at least find a new place to check out.
Where – Benton Park is located on the city’s south side and is bordered by I-55 to the east and Jefferson to the west, Gravois to the north and Cherokee to the south. This neighborhood is easy to get to downtown with easy highway access.
History – This neighborhood is named after St. Louis’ second oldest park and Missouri’s first congressman, Senator Thomas Hart Benton. Many of the historic buildings existing today date back to the 1880s and 1890s. This is largest historic district in St. Louis and is worth a visit to check out the architecture.
Parks – Benton Park is the largest of the 4 parks within the neighborhood with 14 acres. This gorgeous park has a lake with a great wrought iron and stone bridge that is perfect for pictures. Freemont Park is a little over 2 acres and includes a dog park. The Benton Park neighborhood also includes Carnegie and Cherokee Parks at 2 and 9 acres respectively.
Caves – Yes, I said caves! This neighborhood is known to have several cave systems that were perfect for lagering beer. The cave entrances are not accessible anymore. They were sealed up in the early twentieth century but plans are in the works for cave rediscovery through the English Cave Community Garden, check out the latest discovery. So cool.
Events – concerts in the park, Halloween parades, annual bike races (if you haven’t been, these are normally over the Labor Day weekend every year and worth experiencing), Tunes on Tap Tour, and more.
Eating – oh so many options, you will not run out and will soon find your favorites, go-to’s, and date night spots. There are a few worth mentioning, but by all means this is not an exhaustive list.
- Sidney Street Café – by James Beard award winning Chef Kevin Nashan
- Benton Park Café – great breakfast & lunch spot
- Blues City Deli – lunch spot. Don’t be surprised to see a line around the building when you arrive – it moves quickly and is worth the wait for the great food and service – I go for the Benton Park sandwich
- Peacemaker – raw bar, po’boys and lobster rolls (Maine style all the way for me)
- Mac’s Local Eats – smash burgers, need I saw more? They are in the same space with Bluewood Brewing, so even better.
- This list goes on….Yemanja Brasil, Frazer’s, Utah Station, Melo’s Pizzeria, Café Piazza, Mud House, Whisk Sustainable Bakeshop, Shameless Grounds, Gus’ Pretzels (just a great St. Louis thing to do)
Drinking – you do not know what you are missing about living in a neighborhood until you become a regular at a bar you can walk to.
- Ernesto’s Wine Bar – nothing better than a bottle of wine, baked goat cheese and a nice conversation. We’ve done this up (Valentine’s Day) and down (causally at the bar), inside or outside – just a great place.
- Small Change – self-described hobo chic dog-friendly cocktail bar. Also, home to the annual Miracle Bar pop-up that is a must-experience around the holidays. Big fan of what Ted Kilgore and Ted Charak work up (also owners of Planter’s House in Lafayette Square).
- Venice Café – check out local musicians in a funky atmosphere
- Bluewood Brewing – they are newer on the brewing scene in St. Louis – but I love what they are doing. Cafe Noir for me please!
Shopping – Hammond’s Antiques & Books, Lineage, Murphy’s Mutts & Cuts, STL Rocks, Verdigris
Services – Indigo Massage (this locally owned massage and wellness center is a my personal go-to), Zephyr Bar & Salon, Skin by April
Things to see – Historic Lemp Mansion, Demenil House
** side note, this is being published during COVID-19 pandemic, some places are closed for the season or offering different hours, schedules, etc. Please check directly with any establishments for current offerings.
Neighbors – Benton Park has an active neighborhood association (BPNA) that promotes programs, services and activities aimed at encouraging connections between neighbors and fostering civic involvement. You will want to become a member and enjoy the great connections you can make while part of this awesome community.
Interested in Benton Park?
Come visit for the day or a few hours, check a bar or restaurant, do some shopping, picnic in the park or my favorite – take a walk around the neighborhood.
Interested in viewing properties for sale? Reach out and I would be glad to show you around.