WingFest 2024 with Concerts

Great Food! Great Music!

Join us for WingFest 2024!
Featuring:

$20 gets you All You Care to Eat Wings AND admission to the Concert with Arthur Seabury and the Supermatics, The Jah Lion Band and more on The Lot.

Wing Contest - Only 20 spots available. Call 660-827-3228 to reserve your grill.

People Choice - $2 per vote minimum.

Starts at 4 p.m. Bring your family and friends.


Small Town Meets Big Taste

Sirros began life backward.

Although the restaurant technically opened in 1989, the spot at 261 Merchant Street in historic downtown Ste. Genevieve first began serving food in 1934, when the Orris Cafe debuted with a seventy-five-cent, three-course chicken dinner.

It became, over the decades, a soda fountain, a pizza parlor, and even a TV repair shop before it was left vacant for many years. Richard Greminger, who owned the neighboring Orris theater, bought the building in 1984 and opened Sirros—Orris spelled backward with an “s” tagged on—a few years later.

Since then, it’s been a favorite among wine country tourists and locals alike. Longtime manager Lauren Smothers says consistency keeps them coming back. “Good service, good food,” she says. “You just know when you go there, it’s going to be familiar faces and good service.”

The onion rings help, too. One of the signature items, the onion rings, are cut and fried and made to order, making them the restaurant’s most popular item by far. The ninety-seat restaurant is also well known for its French dip and Saturday night pasta specials.

Southwest Salad

Sirros offered some carryout options before COVID-19 hit, but they’ve been able to pivot and streamline the menu a little to make takeout more efficient. You can grab a number of pub classics, like burgers, wings, and potato skins, plus the only local pizza in town.

“The chains have it down to an art, so that was all kind of a learning curve: simplifying our menu a little bit to make more items of a better quality when you get carryout,” Lauren says. They did shut down completely for a several weeks in spring 2020 but were able to stay afloat.

“We reopened with a limited menu, and we all wear masks. We removed some tables and encourage social distancing at the restaurant. We removed all our bar stools. I want people to feel safe here,” she says. “We pulled through. It’ll take a while to catch up, but we’re still hanging in there. The support of the community was just great.”

At one point in the 1930s, the soda fountain in the Sirros building was the lone bus stop between St. Louis and Cape Girardeau. Travelers have a wide array of options now, but few are as embedded in the community as Sirros.

“Keep supporting your mom-and-pop places,” Lauren says. “We hope that when you do come in, it’s a good experience. You don’t just get some food thrown at you and, you know, see you later. We want you to feel at home, feel comfortable, and leave with a smile on your face. Just spread the love, be happy, embrace change.”

261 Merchant Street, Ste. Genevieve Normal operating hours are Mondays–Thursdays 11 am–8 pm, Fridays and Saturdays 11 am–9 pm, and Sundays 11 am–8 pm. SirrosRestaurant.com 573-883-5749


Vegan Tacos, Lefty’s Bagels, A Coffee Bar, and More in St. Louis

Central West End Streatery, CWEScene.com/alfrescodining

Outdoor dining is back in St. Louis. Twenty Central West End restaurants are participating this year, including Salt + Smoke, Cocina Latina, and Drunken Fish. The eateries will be open on Euclid Avenue on Fridays and Saturdays from 5–10 PM.

Terror Tacos, TerrorTacos.com

Terror Tacos is now open at 3191 S. Grand Boulevard. The menu is 100 percent plant-based and vegan and is full of mouthwatering street food, such as the Terror Tofu Taco that is made with a corn tortilla, grilled cilantro-lime tofu, red cabbage, green onions, and green chili sauce, and the loaded nachos with chipotle cheese, seasoned veggie grounds, black beans, red onions, green onions, lettuce, salsa, and guacamole. The restaurant itself is also head-turning and looks, well, pretty metal. With bright pink paint running down the black walls and yellow running down the pink walls, it feels like you might be able to watch your favorite horror movie while chowing down, but for now you’ll only be able to see it briefly while picking up your meal. Terror Tacos is currently open for takeout only. 

Scott Lefton

Lefty's Bagels, Facebook.com/LeftysBagels

In mid-April, St. Louis will have a brand new bagel shop at The Bakers Hub in Chesterfield. Scott Lefton and Doug Goldenberg are co-owners of Lefty's Bagels where each bagel will be rolled by hand and made in the classic New York style. Read our full story on Lefty's Bagels here

C. Oliver Coffee + Flower Bar, Facebook.com/oliverscf, Restaurantji.com/mo/maplewood/c-oliver-coffee-flower-bar-/

It’s not often that you find one place that combines delicious drinks and the perfect photo opportunity but that’s exactly what C. Oliver Coffee + Flower Bar does. The menu features specialty drinks, such as the Powder Pink Mocha and Strawberry Mocktte, which both contain strawberry milk. There are also an array of coffees and macarons to choose from, but one of the favorite spots for customers is the flower wall that makes the perfect photo backdrop for any occasion. Fresh flowers are also for sale.


A New Beer, a Mexican Restaurant, and New Locations in Columbia

Logboat's Bicentennial Beer, LogboatBrewing.com

Logboat Brewing Company recently released a new beer to celebrate our upcoming bicentennial. COMO 200 is a blonde ale that uses honey from Boone County to add a semi-sweet flavor. Find it in cans and on tap at Logboat Brewing Company at 504 Fay Street or at grocery stores in Columbia. We Landed On The Moon, a fruity IPA, is also back at the taproom on draft and available at stores. Follow their social media for new and seasonal releases.

Casa Maria's Mexican Cantina, CasaMariaMexican.com

Columbia is now home to an additional Mexican joint on the south side of town at 1305 Grindstone Pkwy., Suite 115 where Babbo's Italian was formerly housed. There is indoor and outdoor seating. The eatery markets itself as "modern Mexican," and the large menu features delicious meals, such as the Arroz Bandidos, which is made with grilled chicken, steak, shrimp, onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, rice, and queso dip. There are also multiple vegetarian options and lunch features.

Maude Vintage, MaudeVintage.com

This eclectic clothing store has moved to a new location at 9 N. Tenth Street in downtown Columbia where you can find three floors of treasures. The floors are organized by decade with 80s and 90s on the first floor, 60s and 70s on the second floor, and 50s and older on the third floor. You can find an assortment of clothing, including jumpsuits, dresses, T-shirts, and flannels, as well as sunglasses and Maude Vintage T-shirts.

Peggy Jean's Pies, PeggyJeansPies.com

One of Columbia's favorite pie shops has announced that they are opening a second location at the Shoppes at Stadium. The store will sell the same mouthwatering pies and mirror the current location. They plan to open in fall of 2021. Plus, keep an eye on their social media because they have been hinting at a collaboration with Logboat Brewing Company that will be announced in a couple of months.


2020 Discover the Best of Missouri Life Awards

Last year, for the first time ever, we decided to ask our readers about their favorites in the state of Missouri … and we received more than 35,000 votes! In 2020, our readers blew us away yet again by submitting 2,743 nominations and 43,172 votes for scrumptious bakeries, exciting attractions, fun festivals, famous folks from the Show-Me State, and more.

When we tallied everything up, we had a lengthy list: a guide for Missourians, by Missourians, of the places and experiences everyone should seek out in 2021. Here are this year’s winners.

OUTDOORS

Photo courtesy Tyler Beck Photography.

Running Trail

KATY TRAIL
The Katy Trail offers runners fantastic views over relatively flat terrain.
SECOND PLACE: ROTHWELL PARK, COLUMBIA

RV Spot

ARROW ROCK STATE PARK, ARROW ROCK
The main draws are the features of a historic town—the J. Huston Tavern is located there—but campers can also enjoy picnic areas, hiking trails, and nearby restaurants and shops.
SECOND PLACE: THOMPSON CAMPGROUND, MOBERLY

Unique Caverns

MERAMEC CAVERNS, SULLIVAN
Visitors can take guided tours of the incredible natural structure, visit the Meramec Caverns restaurant, rent canoes and kayaks, and even go ziplining.
SECOND PLACE: ONONDAGA CAVE STATE PARK, LEASBURG

Float Trip Outfitter

HUZZAH VALLEY RESORT, STEELVILLE
With canoeing, kayaking, rafting, and tubing options available, this Ozarks destination is the place to go for those looking to tour the Huzzah and Courtois Rivers.
SECOND PLACE: AKERS FERRY, SALEM

Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre, Arrow Rock

Little Theater

ARROW ROCK LYCEUM THEATRE, ARROW ROCK
With 416 seats it is, indeed, a “little theater”—but in the performing arts world, it’s a big deal.
SECOND PLACE: 4TH STREET THEATER, MOBERLY

Hiking Trail

KATY TRAIL
Rich in history and even richer in scenery, the Katy Trail is rife with opportunities for those looking to explore nature. Hikers can enjoy plenty of scenic views along the Missouri River.
SECOND PLACE: HA HA TONKA STATE PARK, CAMDENTON

Best Kept Secret

KATY TRAIL
We’re betting this isn’t a secret everywhere—after all, plenty of the destinations on this list are located on the trail!—but the paths less traveled on its 240-mile long stretch are wondrous to behold.
SECOND PLACE: ROTHWELL PARK, COLUMBIA

State Park

KATY TRAIL
Missourians love biking, hiking, walking and riding the Katy Trail, for good reason. There’s so much to see and do, from birdwatching to wayside exhibits and much, much more.
SECOND PLACE: Forest Park, St. Louis

Trail System

KATY TRAIL, NORTH JEFFERSON CITY SPUR
This segment of the Katy Trail is known for its gorgeous views of the Capitol Building, as well as access to the Jefferson City waterfront.
SECOND PLACE: Rothwell Park, Columbia

Food


Diner

BROADWAY DINER, COLUMBIA
Known for tasty breakfasts, the Broadway Diner is a Columbia classic with a heart of gold—the owners have given away thousands of free meals during the pandemic to those in need.
SECOND PLACE: MAIN STREET DINER, BOONVILLE

Romantic Restaurant

LES BOURGEOIS BISTRO, ROCHEPORT
With stunning views and an equally stunning menu, you’re sure to feel the sparks flying if you take your date to this Rocheport gem.
SECOND PLACE: ALPENHORN GASTHAUS, HERMANN


Italian

CHARLIE GITTO’S ON THE HILL, ST. LOUIS
If you’re looking for authentic Italian in the St. Louis area; Charlie Gitto’s has you covered with a variety of mouthwatering dishes like shrimp scampi, homemade manicotti, and, of course, toasted ravioli.
SECOND PLACE: MADISON’S CAFE, JEFFERSON CITY

Steakhouse

RAGING BULL STEAKHOUSE, WARRENSBURG
Enjoy perfectly cooked steaks, such as the KC Strip that is available in both ten and fourteen ounces. If that's not enough for you, the massive forty-eight ounce Tomahawk steak should fill you up. There are also burgers, seafood, salads, and more on the menu.

Chef

LIZ HUFF, CATALPA, ARROW ROCK
Catalpa has morphed from a fine-dining destination to a burgers-and-fries stand, but Liz Huff doesn’t have any regrets. Rather, she’s elevated American classics to a culinary art form, and the result is beyond scrumptious.
SECOND PLACE: ROB AGEE, MADISON’S CAFE, JEFFERSON CITY

Best Kept Secret

FULTON CAFE, FULTON
Missourians interested in expanding their palate will savor the bold flavors and unique dishes here.
SECOND PLACE: LULA’S TAVERN, MOBERLY

Photo by Travis Ewart.

Outdoor Patio

CATALPA, ARROW ROCK
Catalpa’s food offerings might look a little different now, but the patio seating is extraordinary. Formerly a fine-dining destination, Catalpa is now a burger hotspot offering al fresco eats.
SECOND PLACE: FLAT BRANCH PUB & BREWING, COLUMBIA

Destination Restaurant

FULTON CAFE, FULTON
Fulton Cafe has earned rave reviews for authentic Cuban food, including Fricassee de Pollo and Salmon a la Plancha.
SECOND PLACE: CATALPA, ARROW ROCK

Local Coffee

SHOP ESPRESSO LAINE, HERMANN
Serving house-roasted beans brewed into coffee, espresso and specialty drinks, it’s no wonder its site deems it a place “where the locals hang out.”
SECOND PLACE: DERAILED COFFEE BAR & CAFE, BOONVILLE

Chocolatier

RICKY’S CHOCOLATE BOX, HERMANN
Boasting an impressive array of handmade, small-batch treats, you’ll find classics like pecan turtles to more adventurous fare like rum chatta truffles.
SECOND PLACE: RUSSELL STOVER, VARIOUS LOCATIONS


Taco

MISSION TACO JOINT DELMAR LOOP, ST. LOUIS
With a variety of tacos like spicy chorizo and Baja fish, there’s certain to be something to suit every taste.
SECOND PLACE: 44 CANTEEN, COLUMBIA

Sushi

ROLL LOVE SUSHI, COLUMBIA & JEFFERSON CITY
Offering dozens of rolls and delectable fish, chicken, and beef entrees, Love Sushi is the place to go for those who, well, love sushi.
SECOND PLACE: KAZOKU HIBACHI & SUSHI BAR, MARSHALL

Food Truck

OZARK MOUNTAIN BISCUIT COMPANY
No words can adequately describe the mouthwatering majesty that is Ozark Mountain Biscuit Company’s biscuits. The truck travels across mid-Missouri, offering affordable biscuits, high-quality jams, and scrumptious sides.
SECOND PLACE: THE BIG CHEEZE, COLUMBIA

Buffet

DON’S FAMILY STYLE BUFFET, HUNTSVILLE
With a menu consisting of comfort-food classics plus lunch and dinner buffets, we think it’s safe to say we wouldn’t be leaving with an inch of room in our stomachs.
SECOND PLACE: THE CORNER RESTAURANT-BAR-CATERING, RHINELAND

Fried Chicken

STROUD’S OAK RIDGE MANOR, KANSAS CITY
Stroud’s pan fries chicken “the old-fashioned way” and they’ve received plenty of coveted culinary awards, including the James Beard Award for Excellence and the Zagat Award for Best Restaurant.
SECOND PLACE: DON’S FAMILY STYLE BUFFET, HUNTSVILLE

Chinese Restaurant

CHINA KING, VARIOUS LOCATIONS
Sometimes we just need some good Chinese food, and when the craving strikes, China King delivers. Offering familiar favorites like Kung Po Chicken and spring rolls, there’s sure to be something you’ll savor on its extensive menu.
SECOND PLACE: HUNAN RESTAURANT, JEFFERSON CITY

Donuts

YUMMY'S DONUT PALACE, BOONVILLE
With a name like “donut palace,” you know it’s gonna be good. And that’s exactly what Yummy’s is: it offers a smorgasbord of donuts in various shapes, sizes and flavors (and they even had blueberry icing!).
SECOND PLACE: BATOCLETTI BAKE SHOPPE, HERMANN

Hamburger

Fulton Café, LLC
With all the acclaim it’s gotten and the tastiness of its food, Fulton Café deserves a second first-place ranking. The Frita Burger is a powerful testament to what a burger can be when done right, boasting onions, shoestring potatoes, a succulent burger patty and a perfectly done bun.
SECOND PLACE: MAGGIE'S BAR AND GRILL, BOONVILLE

Roadside BBQ

BUERKY'S BBQ, BOONVILLE
Technically, Buerky’s is also trail-side; it’s a stone’s throw from the picturesque biking, walking and running destination. For those wanting to refuel after a long ride—car or bike—Buerky’s is there for you.

Small Towns

Historic Small Town

BOONVILLE
Whether you’re a history buff, a bicyclist, or a birdwatcher, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for in this small town with huge offerings.
SECOND PLACE: HERMANN

Small Town Dining

MAGGIE’S BAR & GRILL, BOONVILLE
The menu, consisting of a variety of appetizers, a plethora of burgers, sandwiches, salads, and drinks, is sure to please anyone who walks in the door.
SECOND PLACE: LULA’S TAVERN, MOBERLY


Most Unusual Business in a Small Town

NEVER THE SAME, BOONVILLE
If you’re looking for unique crafts and one-of-a-kind furniture, stop by Never the Same. They make all of their furniture, from cabinets to steampunk-inspired lamps, on-site.
SECOND PLACE: DOXIE SLUSH, HERMANN

Small Town Newspaper

THE FAYETTE ADVERTISER, FAYETTE
Serving Howard County since 1840, the Fayette Advertiser is a standout for its quality, local coverage as well as its status as an independent newspaper.
SECOND PLACE: HANNIBAL COURIER-POST, HANNIBAL

Best Kept Secret

BOONVILLE
Is it really a best-kept secret when it’s appeared on this list as often as it has? Regardless of whether Boonville is well-known, its wide array of shopping and outdoor activities make it a perfect destination for travelers, families and couples.

Small Town Art Gallery

BOONVILLE RIVERS, RAILS & TRAILS MUSEUM, BOONVILLE 
Located next to the Boonville Katy Trail head, the Rivers, Rails & Trails museum is a popular destination for those looking to learn more about this splendid river town’s history. Exhibits include a half-scale replica Keel boat, wagons and model train displays.
SECOND PLACE: Capital Arts, Jefferson City

Small Town Shopping

THE WINDY NEST, BOONVILLE
The Windy Nest has earned a passionate fanbase as a result of its unique fashion offerings and unique, eye-catching jewelry.
SECOND PLACE: Hermann

Friendliest Small Town

BOONVILLE
Boonville’s website says it offers “small-town charm and hospitality,” and based on its ranking in our awards, we completely agree.
SECOND PLACE: Hermann

Small Town Sports

BOONVILLE PIRATES, BOONVILLE 
2020 was quite a bit different than previous seasons for small-town-favorite teams, but fans still love rooting for the Boonville Pirates.
SECOND PLACE: Springfield Cardinals, Springfield

Lore & Legend

Most Notorious Missouri Outlaw

Jesse James wanted poster
JESSE JAMES

This fearsome train, stagecoach, and bank robber has gone down in history as one of the most famous outlaws in the American West—and he was from Kearney.
SECOND PLACE: CALAMITY JANE

Haunted House

LEMP BREWERY HAUNTED HOUSE, ST. LOUIS
Legend has it that the Lemp family, many of whom met tragic fates, still roam the halls in this spooky St. Louis haunt.
SECOND PLACE: OLD COOPER COUNTY JAIL & HANGING BARN, BOONVILLE

Most Famous Missouri Athlete

STAN MUSIAL
Musial served as first baseman and an outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals for twenty- two seasons; from 1941–1944 and 1946–1963.
SECOND PLACE: PATRICK MAHOMES, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS QUARTERBACK

Best-Known Missouri Family

BUSCH'S OF ANHEUSER-BUSCH
Again, not too surprising of a result. Adolphous Busch and his family founded a brewery loved throughout America—and Missouri, or course—for more than 165 years.
SECOND PLACE: The Truman Family

Re-enactor

CAPTAIN SCALAWAG, LAKE OF THE OZARKS
Fun is guaranteed if you take your family out on the “high seas” with Captain Scalawag to search for buried treasure. Featuring unique props and exciting stories, voyages with this pirate are a treasure all their own.
SECOND PLACE: “Whoever Does Mark Twain.”

Best Kept Secret

BOONVILLE
While it doesn’t get the press and the pageantry of St. Louis, Kansas City or Columbia, Boonville offers visitors plenty of adventure, shopping, fine dining and outdoor activities on the beloved Katy Trail.
SECOND PLACE: Booniebrook Home & Museum, Walnut Shade

Notable Historic Hotel

HOTEL FREDERICK, BOONVILLE
While today the Hotel Frederick bustles with modern convenience, it has worn many hats throughout its nearly 120 years of existence; it has been a weekend restaurant, a bus depot and a retirement center.
SECOND PLACE: The Elms Hotel & Spa, Excelsior Springs

Notable Missouri Figure

OMAR BRADLEY
Born in Clark, Bradley served as a heroic senior officer during World War II and was awarded the five-star rank of General of the Army.
SECOND PLACE: U.S. Grant

Culture

Jeweler

CRESCENT JEWELRY, HANNIBAL
Customers rave about Crescent’s high-quality merchandise and outstanding customer service. They offer bridal and engagement rings, gifts, repairs, and engraving. SECOND PLACE: MOLLY’S JEWELRY DESIGN & REPAIR, BOONVILLE

Natural History Museum

ARROW ROCK STATE HISTORIC SITE, ARROW ROCK
With buildings dating back to 1834, displays and experiences include taking in historic furnishings and strolling through the Old Courthouse; you can even have a meal at Missouri’s oldest continuously operating tavern.
SECOND PLACE: WONDERS OF WILDLIFE NATIONAL MUSEUM & AQUARIUM, SPRINGFIELD

Art Gallery

ST LOUIS ART MUSEUM, ST. LOUIS
Founded in 1879, the Saint Louis Art Museum has held works by Van Gogh, Dali, and more. There’s something for fans of every creative expression inside its walls, from oil paintings to sculptures.
SECOND PLACE: ORR STREET STUDIOS, COLUMBIA


Best Visual Artist

ADRIENNE LUTHER, ST. LOUIS
She manages social channels, creates logos, designs for small businesses, does custom chalkboard art for special events, and, somehow, still finds time to draw for fun.
SECOND PLACE: ANN SCHAFER, FAYETTE

Outdoor Theater

ST. LOUIS MUNY THEATER, ST. LOUIS
Patrons have been returning for more than 100 seasons to The Muny. Even in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Muny offered virtual programming for its loyal fans. SECOND PLACE: STARLIGHT THEATRE, KANSAS CITY

Movie Theater

B&B MOBERLY DRIVE-IN, MOBERLY
Given the state of movie theaters in 2020, perhaps it’s unsurprising that a drive-in should rank first. But even in a non-pandemic year, this drive-in provides hours of unique fun.
SECOND PLACE: RAGTAG CINEMA, COLUMBIA

Historical Museum

MARK TWAIN BOYHOOD HOME & MUSEUM, HANNIBAL
See first editions of Twain’s works, his father’s law office, and the inspiration for his books in a reproduction of Huck Finn’s house.
SECOND PLACE: HARRY S. TRUMAN LIBRARY & MUSEUM, INDEPENDENCE

Culinary School

COLLEGE OF THE OZARKS, POINT LOOKOUT
Offering both a major and a minor in the discipline, the school instructs students in topics like baking and pastry decorating, cooking meat, seafood, and poultry. SECOND PLACE: NICHOLS CAREER CENTER, JEFFERSON CITY

Concert Hall & Venue

THE FABULOUS FOX, ST. LOUIS
This 4,500-seat theatre has been presenting the “Best of Broadway” for decades and celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2019.
SECOND PLACE: THESPIAN HALL, BOONVILLE

Family Show

MO JAZZ MUSIC FESTIVAL, COLUMBIA
Set in Columbia’s gorgeous Rose Park, this event gets toes tapping and tunes twanging—and best of all, it’s free! Presented by Rose Music Hall and Jazz Forward Initiative, Inc., MO Jazz Music Festival offers family friendly fun and highlights the unique splendor of jazz with a multiple-artist, several-hours-long lineup.
SECOND PLACE: THE MUNY, ST. LOUIS

Best Outdoor Festival

MO JAZZ MUSIC FESTIVAL, COLUMBIA

SECOND PLACE: BOONVILLE HERITAGE DAYS, BOONVILLE

Music Festival

BIG MUDDY FOLK FESTIVAL, BOONVILLE
There’s plenty to hear, see and do at this celebration of all things folk music. Take a master class from professional artists, munch on some mouthwatering barbecue or listen to the incredible tunes; no matter what you do, you’re sure to have a rockin’ good time.
SECOND PLACE: MO JAZZ MUSIC FESTIVAL, COLUMBIA

Best Musical Artist

ZACH SIMPSON
If it’s a weekend in mid-Missouri, you can expect Zach Simpson to be out playing his country tunes—and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
SECOND PLACE: OZARK MOUNTAIN DAREDEVILS, SPRINGFIELD

Best Kept Secret

MO JAZZ MUSIC FESTIVAL, COLUMBIA
Secret no more, perhaps. MO Jazz Music Festival offers hours of family-friendly fun with an impressive lineup of jazz artists. Admission is free!
SECOND PLACE: BRICK ROOM, BOONVILLE

Shopping

Quilt Shop

THE HICKORY STICK, HANNIBAL
Visitors are drawn to its stunning, intricate window displays; and for those who aren’t quilters, the store offers regular ol’ gifts, too.
SECOND PLACE: HUNTER’S QUILT MART, CENTERVIEW

Amish Store

DUTCH BAKERY & BULK FOOD STORE, TIPTON
Explore a variety of rustic, practical goods from fresh local produce and homemade baked goods to lawn furniture and kitchenware.
SECOND PLACE: CLARK AMISH COMMUNITY, CLARK

Boat Dealer

EBERLIN BOATS & MOTORS, INC., HERMANN
Customers say Eberlin has what they need, when they need it. They even deliver boats to customers located outside Missouri.
SECOND PLACE: BASS PRO SHOPS, VARIOUS LOCATIONS

Shopping District

HISTORIC DOWNTOWN HANNIBAL
From chocolatiers to fashion enthusiasts, you’re certain to find a shop you can’t resist on Hannibal’s historic streets.
SECOND PLACE: HISTORIC DOWNTOWN BOONVILLE

Country Store

DUTCH COUNTRY GENERAL STORE, HANNIBAL
It sell gifts, food, candy, nostalgic toys, furniture, home goods, and personal care items. What’s really great, though, is that coffee, popcorn, and ice cream cones are always free. Yum!
SECOND PLACE: RANDOLPH MERCANTILE, MOBERLY


Best Kept Secret

THE WINDY NEST, BOONVILLE
Add unique flair to your wardrobe with high-quality jewelry, head-turning fashion, and more.
SECOND PLACE: ASL PEWTER, STE. GENEVIEVE

Homes

Mid-Century Modern Home

LUSTRON HOUSE, ST. CHARLES
These houses are more than quirky-looking, steel-framed homes: they’re pieces of WWII-era history. It’s estimated that fewer than 1,200 of them remain today, and St. Charles is home to several of them.
SECOND PLACE: THE HOUSE ON THE CORNER OF DON SHELTON & NORTH, EXCELSIOR SPRINGS

Victorian Home

MISSOURI GOVERNOR’S MANSION, JEFFERSON CITY
Built in 1871, this home still holds all the splendor it did when it was first constructed— and its gardens are a magnificent sight as well.
SECOND PLACE: CAMPBELL HOUSE MUSEUM, ST. LOUIS

Historic Home

MARK TWAIN BOYHOOD HOME & MUSEUM, HANNIBAL
It’s more than an exhibition, it’s an experience that invites visitors to see the world through Twain’s eyes, complete with several perfectly preserved buildings from his time and several of his possessions.
SECOND PLACE: VAILE MANSION, INDEPENDENCE

Most Notable Civil War Home

FOREST HILL, BOONVILLE
You can see the subject of George Caleb Bingham’s painting in real life here. This house features incredible columns and intoxicating interior woodwork.
SECOND PLACE: JOHN WORNALL HOUSE MUSEUM, KANSAS CITY

Log Home Builder

FRENCH OF STE. GENEVIEVE, STE. GENEVIEVE
History buffs will love strolling through these centuries-old vertical log homes and taking in Missouri’s French colonial past.
SECOND PLACE: THE HYDER CABIN, EXCELSIOR SPRINGS

Best Kept Secret

ALPENHORN GASTHAUS, HERMANN
In addition to a twelve-foot alpenhorn (a traditional horn used in the Alps) in the Main House, visitors can feed farm animals, enjoy wine in the wine cellar, and stroll through garden areas throughout the property.
SECOND PLACE: WALTER WILLIAMS HOME, BOONVILLE

Destinations

Route 66 Location

TED DREWES FROZEN CUSTARD, ST. LOUIS
Boasting an incredible lineup of malts, sundaes, floats and more, it has been winning at the custard game for more than 80 years.
SECOND PLACE: ST. LOUIS GATEWAY ARCH, ST. LOUIS

Best Kept Secret

THE WINDY NEST, BOONVILLE
It’s practically impossible to walk in Boonville’s Windy Nest and leave empty-handed. The alluring combination of gorgeous jewelry, quality clothing, and unique home goods creates a satisfying shopping experience.
SECOND PLACE: CITY MUSEUM, ST. LOUIS

Roller Coaster

BATMAN: THE RIDE AT SIX FLAGS, ST. LOUIS
For high-speed thrills, it doesn’t get much better than this DC-themed coaster. You’ll soar through the air at speeds of fifty mph and fly upside down. Not for the faint of heart!
SECOND PLACE: POWDER KEG AT SILVER DOLLAR CITY, BRANSON


Hotel

HOTEL FREDERICK, BOONVILLE
It shouldn’t be surprising that Hotel Frederick ranked twice on our list; there’s something about its winning combo of past and present that has given it special lodging inside its visitors’ hearts.
SECOND PLACE: BIG CEDAR LODGE, RIDGEDALE

Rest Stop

MISSOURI ROUTE 66 WELCOME CENTER, CONWAY
Of course it has clean restrooms and vending machines, but it also has outdoor areas for visitors to explore and Route 66-themed photo ops. Plus, the light-up sign is iconic.
SECOND PLACE: THE DAIRY B, EXCELSIOR SPRINGS

Spa

THE ELMS HOTEL & SPA, EXCELSIOR SPRINGS
It’s one of the largest spas in the Midwest—and one of the most luxurious. The Elms invites visitors into a grotto complete with a hot tub and steam shower, ten different types of massages, facials, and body treatments.
SECOND PLACE: RIVERSONG SPA & SALON, JEFFERSON CITY & COLUMBIA


Interpretive Center

DOGWOOD CANYON, LAMPE
The park offers visitors unique experiences like biking, fishing, horseback riding, and Segway tours—the fun is truly limitless.
SECOND PLACE: RIVER, RAILS & TRAILS MUSEUM, BOONVILLE

Boutique Hotel

HOTEL FREDERICK, BOONVILLE
Boasting a perfect mix of olden-day charm and modern-day convenience, the hotel is nestled conveniently close to the Katy Trail and offers bike rentals.
SECOND PLACE: MOONRISE HOTEL, ST. LOUIS

Farmer's Market

SOULARD FARMERS MARKET, ST. LOUIS
Soulard got its start in 1779, and farmers are still selling fresh produce at the market today! Locavores can pick up seafood, cheese, baked goods, and more.
SECOND PLACE: COLUMBIA FARMERS MARKET, COLUMBIA

The Climatron in the sunset at Missouri Botanical Gardens
Photo courtesy Missouri Botanical Garden.

Gardens

MISSOURI BOTANICAL GARDEN, ST. LOUIS
This garden supports conservation efforts in St. Louis and around the world, and it takes its mission of “reconnecting people with nature” seriously.
SECOND PLACE: POWELL GARDENS, KINGSVILLE

Bed and Breakfast

THE WINDY NEST, BOONVILLE
SECOND PLACE: Hickory Springs Bed & Breakfast, Boonville

Scenic Spot

LOOKOUT POINT AT HARLEY PARK,, BOONVILLE
A great place to visit with your sweetheart … or just by yourself, to take in the majesty of nature. Lookout Point offers breathtaking views of the Missouri River: if you go, you have to bring a camera.
SECOND PLACE: The Top of the St. Louis Gateway Arch, St. Louis

Tour Guide

BOONVILLE Tourism, BOONVILLE
Boonville has more than 450 structures on the National Registry of Historic Places, and BOONVILLE Tourism will guide you through them all. In non-pandemic times, this timeless landmark hosts plenty of fun events for travelers, like art festivals, steam engine shows and Christmas celebrations.
SECOND PLACE: Hannibal Trolley Co., Hannibal

Stretch of Highway

ROUTE 66
As if it would be anything else? Route 66 is iconic for good reason, and there’s plenty to see, experience and do across its hallowed miles. It’s more than just a highway: it’s cultural cornerstone.
SECOND PLACE: N Hwy 94

Imbibe

Brewery

ANHEUSER-BUSCH BREWERY, ST. LOUIS
Anhueser-Busch is a St. Louis icon, and from its Biergarten to its factory tours and gift shop, it provides hours of fun for the whole family.
SECOND PLACE: LOGBOAT BREWING COMPANY, COLUMBIA

Dive Bar

BROADWAY OYSTER BAR, ST. LOUIS
Known for its scrumptious seafood and Cajun influences, Broadway Oyster Bar boasts cocktails from New Orleans as well as more traditional drinks.
SECOND PLACE: LULA’S TAVERN, MOBERLY


Best Saison

LOGBOAT BREWING COMPANY’S PATRICK SWAYZON, COLUMBIA
The smile-worthy name has a smile-worthy flavor profile to match: its semi-tart, fruity taste marks it as the best in the state.
SECOND PLACE: SAISON DE LIS, PERENNIAL ARTISAN ALES, ST. LOUIS

Cocktail

THE COVE RESTAURANT & BAR, BOONVILLE
The Cove’s full bar serves beers and shots in an easily accessible location, but they’re known for their cocktails and large patio.
SECOND PLACE: HOTEL FREDERICK, BOONVILLE

Best Norton

ADAM PUCHTA WINERY, HERMANN
This winery is the oldest continuously owned family winery in the United States, and its Cellar Select Norton is a remarkable vintage.
SECOND PLACE: STONE HILL WINERY, HERMANN

Tasting Room

PINCKNEY BEND DISTILLERY, NEW HAVEN
Visiting the tasting room at Pinckney Bend Distillery gives adventurous imbibers the chance to sample what they’ve been working on; often, these drinks are only available at the tap room.
SECOND PLACE: THE SCHLAFLY TAP ROOM, ST. LOUIS

Roastery

LAKOTA COFFEE COMPANY, COLUMBIA
The downtown location at Lakota is the original. Their single-origin coffee draws customers from all over CoMo.
SECOND PLACE: BEAN, MOBERLY

Historic Tavern

J. HUSTON TAVERN, ARROW ROCK
Originally constructed as a family home, the structure has had many uses over the years; today, visitors imbibe in what was once the mercantile store. The tavern is closed for renovation through the beginning of next year.
SECOND PLACE: HOTEL FREDERICK, BOONVILLE

Distillery

WOODSMEN DISTILLING, HIGBEE
Woodsmen Distilling grows and harvest most of their own grains, and they use Missouri white oak barrels to age bourbon and whiskey.
SECOND PLACE: PINCKNEY BEND DISTILLERY, NEW HAVEN


Cocktail Bar

DOXIE SLUSH, HERMANN
Drinking at Doxie Slush is more than just a night out—it’s an experience. Its trendy vibes and scratch-made, eye-catching frozen cocktails make it a must-see (and sip). SECOND PLACE: THE COVE RESTAURANT & BAR, BOONVILLE

Best Kept Secret

THE BRICK ROOM AT HOTEL FREDERICK, BOONVILLE
The Brick Room’s meticulously crafted cocktails and live music make it a destination for those looking to have a unique experience.
SECOND PLACE: MADISON’S CAFE, JEFFERSON CITY

White Wine

ADAM PUCHTA WINERY, HERMANN
Adam Puchta produces several tantalizing options for white wine drinkers, including a dessert wine with a “soft floral nose”.
SECOND PLACE: STONE HILL WINERY, HERMANN

Photos // Tyler Beck Photography, Missouri Botanical Garden, Cassidy Moody


St. Louis Arch and Missouri River in the night with the downtown skyline

27 Things to do in St. Louis

Missouri’s second-largest city, St. Louis, is known for its beer, baseball, and The Blues hockey team, especially after its 2019 Stanley Cup win. But the city has more to offer than just a few late night sports games and some brews. It’s filled with art, music, and close-knit communities that gather in each unique neighborhood.

We’ve rounded up twenty-seven things to do in St. Louis. Whether you’re looking for a place to shop, see art, or visit outdoor attractions, St. Louis has you covered.

Brunch

Photo courtesy Lassaad Jeliti, Owner of EGG

Egg
2200 Gravois Avenue
This brunch pop-up turned brick-and mortar is a favorite among St. Louisians, and don’t fret, the menu isn’t as simple as the name. Think of traditional breakfast items with a twist. The french toast is smothered in blueberry compote and mascarpone, while the eggs Benedict swaps out the classic english muffin for cornbread. It’s open six days a week to meet your breakfast and brunch needs.

Polite Society
1923 Park Avenue
If you want brunch, you’ll have to make it here on a Saturday and Sunday between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The small menu is packed with flavor and features brunch classics like biscuits and gravy and a farmer’s breakfast. Plus, you can kick your day off with one of the specialty cocktails on the menu.

The Mud House
2101 Cherokee Street
If you’re looking for a light breakfast and a tasty coffee to sip on, then this cozy spot is for you. Pick from the list of breakfast food, sandwiches, and pastries to start your day.

Dinner

The Shaved Duck
2900 Virginia Avenue
This made-from-scratch smoked BBQ joint is housed in a quaint building in the Tower Grove neighborhood. With music most days of the week and food that is described as “rustic American cuisine” this is sure to be a favorite among visitors and regulars alike. Try something classic like the baby back ribs or go with something more unique like the slow smoked duck breast with a cherry juniper jam and a side of your choice.

Lona’s Lil Eats
2199 California Avenue
I’m sure you’ve tried a rice paper wrap when you’ve eaten a spring roll or something of that sort, but have you ever had a giant one? Well, that’s what this St. Louis restaurant is known for. Think of Asian cuisine and soul-food mixed together in one restaurant, and that’s what you have here. Create your own wrap that’s made with fresh ingredients or choose from the list of favorites that are featured on the menu. If you aren’t interested in the wraps, there are still plenty of other options to choose from.

The Fountain on Locust
3037 Locust Street
Enjoy scratch-made food at this vibrant restaurant that was formerly a car showroom. The walls are now covered in beautiful murals, but the building was originally constructed in 1916. In 2005, Joy Grdnic purchased it to create the unique eatery. There are 52 different soup recipes in rotation with vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options. Make sure to try one of their specialty ice creams and a handmade soda with your meal.

Dessert

Ice cream in St. Louis
Photo courtesy Chris Bauer

Clementine’s Naughty & Nice Creamery
1637 S 18th Street
If you’re looking for handcrafted ice cream, then this is the spot for you. This ice cream is made with 100% natural ingredients and there are even dairy-free options. If you want an ice cream with a kick, try one of their boozy options (that you can even order pints of online and have them delivered to your front door.)

Ted Drewes
6726 Chippewa
4224 S. Grand Blvd
No trip to St. Louis is complete without some frozen custard … especially this frozen custard. The family-owned company was founded in 1929 by Ted Drewes Sr. and has been a staple in the city ever since. Sundaes are a classic choice, but the concretes that are so thick they are served upside down are one of the best sellers.

The Cup
28 Maryland Plaza Rear
This bakery specializes in homemade cupcakes with buttercream frosting and unique designs on each one. But if you want a different sweet treat they also have cakes, gooey butter cake, and cookies.

Night Life

Upstairs of 4 Hands Brewery, photo courtesy Josh Rowan.

4 Hands Brewing Co
1220 S 8th Street
St. Louis has a handful of breweries, but if you’re looking for something less touristy and more local, then this is the spot for you. There are year-round beers on tap along with collaborations with other breweries, barrel aged, and seasonal brews. There’s also a small food menu with items that pair nicely with everything on tap.

Venice Café
903 Pestalozzi Street
This bar and performance venue is one of the funkiest places you’ll find in St. Louis. Bright and colorful mosaics cover the inside and out making the entire place a piece of art and a perfect photo op. There’s live music most nights and a food menu, too. But remember, it’s cash only.

Planter’s House
1000 Mississippi Avenue
Inspired by St. Louis’s rich history, this cozy cocktail bar and restaurant is a perfect stop for your night out. There’s even a private room with a romantic bar and velvet walls known as the Bullock Room. It is available to rent out and open Thursday through Sunday when it isn’t reserved.

Up-Down STL
405 N Euclid Street
Every city needs an arcade bar and luckily St. Louis has a few. This is one of the city’s favorites, though. There’s a full bar with over 60 beers on tap, plus more than 60 classic arcade games, Nintendo 64 console gaming with teens trying to figure out is bubble cash legit at all times on it, life size Jenga and more to keep you busy. When you’re tired of gaming try one of their pizzas that are sold by the slice.

Sports

North Entrance of Ballpark Village, photo courtesy Emmanuel Jenkins.

Ballpark Village
601 Clark Avenue
Located directly next to Busch Stadium where the Cardinals play, this sports district is filled with restaurants, bars, and clubs. Have a drink while watching the game or head into the country bar PBR to ride the iconic mechanical bull.

Topgolf
16851 N Outer 40 Road
Whether you’re a pro-golfer or just want to give it a try, you can at this sports entertainment complex. There is high-tech driving range and food and drink options, too. With the technology offered, you’re able to track your golf ball to get an accurate score.

Art

Laumeier Sculpture Park in St. Louis
Laumeier Sculpture Park, photo courtesy Flickr

Laumeier Sculpture Park
12580 Rott Road
The perfect place for a picnic and a unique art seeing experience. There are 105 acres with 60 pieces of large-scale outdoor sculptures. The park was originally a gift from Matilda Laumeier who gave the first 72 acres to St. Louis County in memory of her husband, Henry Laumeier. Then in 1976, local artist Ernest Trova gifted 40 artworks, with an estimated market value of approximately one million dollars. The park officially opened in 1977.

Saint Louis Art Museum
1 Fine Arts Drive
Founded in 1879, this museum collects and presents high quality and historical art. Admission to the museum is always free and admission to main exhibitions is free on Fridays.

Shopping

Blueberry Hill on The Loop in St. LouisDelmar Loop
Delmar Loop is filled with one-of-a-kind shops, restaurants, art galleries, live music, cafes, and the St. Louis Walk of Fame. It’s made up of eight blocks and enough to keep you busy for the entire day. Try the Thai rolled ice cream at the Snow Factory or pick up a record at Vintage Vinyl.

Cherokee Antique Row
1900-2300 Cherokee Street
Six blocks of independently owned and operated shops, restaurants, and cafes line the streets of Antique Row. It’s a favorite for those looking for antiques, vintage clothing and locally made gifts. You can also take a tour of one of the 19th century mansions in the area.

Historic St. Charles
1001 S Main St, St Charles
So technically this is not in the city, but it’s close. The history attached to it and the shops offered get it a mention. The 200-year-old Historic Main Street is filled with more than 125 unique shops. Seemingly all shopping needs can be met there including antiques, specialty food, clothing, jewelry, and home decor.

Outdoors

Photo courtesy Missouri Botanical Garden

Missouri Botanical Garden
4344 Shaw Blvd
The Missouri Botanical Garden is the nation’s oldest botanical garden in continuous operation. It was started by Henry Shaw in 1859 who spent his life giving millions of dollars to benefit St. Louis. The garden has his original 1850 estate home, a 14-acre Japanese strolling garden, a rose garden, a tropical rainforest in the Climatron conservatory, one of the world’s largest collections of rare and endangered orchids, and many other pieces of the garden.

Forest Park
5595 Grand Drive
Known as the heart of St. Louis this public park includes a variety of attractions, including the St. Louis Zoo, the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Missouri History Museum, and the St. Louis Science Center. It covers 1,371 acres and is perfect for an outdoor day trip.

Tower Grove Park
4256 Magnolia Avenue
Another gift from Henry Shaw, this urban green space is right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the Tower Grove neighborhood. The park hosts farmer’s markets, food truck Fridays, and a variety of other outdoor events you can find on this calendar.

Family Friendly Activities

Photo courtesy City Museum

City Museum
750 N 16th Street
This is less of a museum and more of a giant playground for all ages, or a city within a city. It is housed in a 10-story, 600,000 square-foot warehouse that was formerly the International Shoe Company. The eclectic museum is constructed from the same stuff that St. Louis is made of. Concrete, iron, bricks, tile, stone, gears, beams, wheels, bridges, buses, planes, doors, fire trucks, and even more.

Grants Farm
10501 Gravois Road
This historic farm and petting zoo was built by and named after Ulysses S. Grant. It consists of 281 acres with goats, horses, camels, bison, parakeets, snakes, kangaroos, and more exotic animals who roam in the outdoors. You can pet and feed some of the animals, but expect to be jumped on by the baby goats when you enter with a bottle of milk. Admission is free, and parking is between $15 and $30.

The Arch
100 Washington Avenue
You can’t talk about St. Louis without mentioning the iconic Gateway Arch. The 630-foot monument is the world’s tallest arch and the tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere. When you’re at the top, you can see all of the city below making it a hotspot for tourists and those who are new to the city.

Credits // Arch Photo courtesy Daniel Schwen


Smith's Restaurant

Smith's Restaurant Gets By on Word of Mouth

What happens when a restaurant continues to serve home-cooked, made-to-order, fresh foods daily? Well, people come. And they return. And, they tell others. Owners Mark and Angie Smith of Smith's Restaurant say their famous Giant Pork Tenderloin Sandwich tops the menu. A special process of cutting the meat, tenderizing, breading, and frying it to a golden brown makes it a local favorite. For smaller appetites, Smith’s signature sandwiches are available in half-orders. They’re not quite as big, but they’re just as tasty. Smith’s Restaurant also has full breakfast and dinner menus.

Antique lovers will enjoy the restaurant’s casual Americana décor that complements the family-friendly food. Mark and Angie advise customers to save room for homemade pie and cake, both made in the restaurant.

The restaurant is located about thirty miles north of Springfield, just off Highway 13 at Highway U. Check out the two additional locations—in Clinton at the intersection of Highways 7 and 13, and Highway 13 and US 54 in Collins.

SmithsRestaurant.com

1340 Highway U • 417-777-6484


A Slice of Pie

A Slice of Pie Celebrates 30 Years

According to Ron Hopson, the key to a good pie is the crust. Ron should know. He and his wife, Mickey, have been baking them at A Slice of Pie for more than thirty years.

“If you get the crust right, then you can put anything in it,” says Ron. “If the crust tastes like cardboard, it will kill the pie.”

The Hopsons are both retired schoolteachers who knew nothing about the food industry when they opened their Rolla eatery in 1986. “Our expertise is that we like to eat,” quips Ron.

So do their loyal customers, who buy whole pies or just stop in to enjoy a slice from the menu. A Slice of Pie offers about twenty-five traditional fruit pies, five types of brownies, and four flavors of cheesecake. A Slice of Pie also serves a light lunch that features chicken salad, several varieties of quiche, potpies, and soups.


Alex's Pizza Palace

For Great Pizza in Rolla, Follow the Students

For more than 50 years, Alex’s Pizza Palace has been serving Rolla locals as well as Missouri S&T students. Founded in 1964 by Alex Kallas and his wife, Froso, Alex’s Pizza Palace is known for handmade pizza dough and fresh sauces.

Nearly twenty years after it first opened, Ellie and Lazos Makridis bought the business and kept the tradition alive as they expanded the restaurant. Now with seating for more than three hundred, Alex’s Pizza Palace churns out fresh pizza dough every morning and offers catering and delivery. If you’re really hungry, check out the toasted ravioli or cheese balls appetizers. For the main course, choose from gyros, calzones, gourmet pizzas, and Greek specialties such as spanakopita.

122 West Eighth Street • 573-364-2669