Revisited: An Updated Guide to South Grand
One of the most diverse neighborhoods in St. Louis, South Grand is well-known as the place to go for authentic food from around the world. A family-friendly area with a bounty of restaurants and independent shops, South Grand is a perfect destination to pick up stand-out handmade gifts or enjoy a leisurely meal followed by a stroll through Tower Grove Park.
In our 2017 issue of Guided magazine dedicated to South Grand, we sang praises of the Tick Tock Tavern’s eclectic 1970s-chic atmosphere, The King and I for its time-honored Thai dishes, corner barbecue joint The Shaved Duck and vegan hot spot Lulu’s Local Eatery.
Since then, we’ve frequented Asian fusion eatery VP Square, Turkish delight Sheesh and Vietnamese institution Banh Mi So #1, a hidden gem of a hole in the wall that rightly claims to have the best spring rolls in town. We’ve been happy to see fair trade clothing and homegoods shop Zee Bee Market thriving, and we’ve celebrated artisan home accessories and gifts boutique Urban Matter’s move to the neighborhood.
Undeniably booming, South Grand continues to expand and welcome in exciting new businesses and annual festivals like PrideFest St. Louis and the International Institute’s Festival of Nations. Read on to learn more about six more shops, restaurants and events to visit.
Image courtesy of South Grand Fall Fest.
Offering up a surprising and welcome change from Tex-Mex-style dishes most commonly found in U.S. Mexican restaurants, Alta Calle (which translates to “High Street”) elevates traditional Mexican street food with fresh ingredients and artful preparation. Some dishes from the menu—such as the tortas, tacos and carne asada plate—may ring familiar. But when your plate arrives brimming with colorful vegetables, herbs, decorative flowers and homemade salsas, you’ll see that Alta Calle’s chefs, Tello Carreón and Steve Suarez, are reinventing what North Americans expect of Mexican fare.
Established in 2013 and relaunched in 2018, Baida is a Moroccan gem beloved by vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. Featuring a fresh and vegetable-forward menu, Baida is the place to go for classic tagines and couscous dishes. Baida’s cozy but low-key atmosphere makes it an ideal spot for a weeknight date or family meal. We recommend the rich and deliciously spiced shakshuka and the Artichoke M’Kally: a whole fried artichoke heart smothered with a tomato sauce and topped with feta cheese and olives.
Image courtesy of Apotheosis Comics.
A comic book store that aims to be more than just a store, Apotheosis Comics is also home to a bar area offering coffee, local craft beers, wine and snacks. While they’re an undeniably great place for comic collectors to find both new releases and rare issues, Apotheosis also hosts a busy calendar of events for the broader community. For example, every Thursday and Saturday night, the shop holds a comedy open mic and showcase, and every Wednesday, Apotheosis offers local up-and-coming musicians their chance in the spotlight.
Taste of Persia
Opened in 2018, Taste of Persia’s 100-percent halal menu features authentic Persian and Afghan cuisine. The decor keeps it simple, but Taste of Persia’s dishes are rich and warming, kissed with saffron and richly spiced. This is a great restaurant to bring a group and order family style. Split the super silky hummus, the kashke bademjan (roasted eggplant dip) and the King Platter with kabobs, roasted tomatoes and rice. Don’t forget a baklava for dessert.
Image courtesy of Found By the Pound.
Found By the Pound
A wellspring for vintage shoppers, Found By the Pound offers a curated bounty of quality retro and modern clothing. Nestled in the heart of South Grand’s business strip, this shop is the place to go for on-trend aged denim, psychedelic ’60s and ’70s tees or Hawaiian-print button-ups. Insider tip: Despite the name, at the South Grand location, all goods are sold by the piece, not by the pound.
One of St. Louis’s most unique annual neighborhood festivals, Fall Fest continues to draw eager crowds to enjoy music, vendors and craft activities. South Grand’s business and restaurants stay open for this walkable and family-friendly fest, making it the perfect time to explore all the neighborhood has to offer. A must-do to add your calendar, Fall Fest is held each September just as the weather starts to cool and the leaves start to turn gold.