CWEscene: Best Bets for 20-Somethings

Whether you’re a young professional who’s new to the neighborhood, or a student at one of the area’s numerous universities, the Central West End has plenty of exciting restaurants, retail, activities and other cultural attractions to keep you entertained. Here are our best bets for 20-somethings exploring the CWE!

You’ll Never Go Hungry in the Central West End

The Central West End is known as one of St. Louis’ dining meccas, and for good reason. From breakfast/brunch to after-bars, and everything in between, there’s something to satisfy every craving.

Kingside Diner offers classic diner fare in a modern, eclectic setting. Their third-shift happy hour (6-10 a.m. daily) is a popular choice among the tired but hungry.

If you’re in the mood for sushi, BBC Asian Café and Bar offers fresh food along with cocktails, hookah and a cool lounge atmosphere. Open from 6 p.m. until 1 a.m., BBC is the perfect place to sate your late-night cravings while relaxing with friends. Prefer MexiCali street food? Mission Taco Joint’s late-night happy hour offers $2 tacos and tequila shots after 10 p.m.

Evangeline’s Bistro and Music House is the perfect spot for a quiet weeknight dinner or drink. Or, check out their Sunday brunch for live music from your favorite local swing jazz bands, an (in)famous Bloody Mary Bar and a special New Orleans-inspired menu with delicious beignets and bananas foster-stuffed French toast.

Sweet tooth? Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams keeps it interesting with new flavors — like wild berry lavender or lemon ndali vanilla — and fresh waffle cones, made with natural ingredients and dished up with biodegradable spoons and bowls. 

Open 24/7/365, Coffee Cartel is another awesome option for students pulling an all-nighter or just looking for some late-night grub. Located in the heart of Maryland Plaza, Coffee Cartel’s spacious patio is the perfect spot to do your required reading or engage in intellectual debates under the stars.

Check out our Central West End event listings for information about the neighborhood’s MANY happy hours.

CWEscene Style

In need of some new wardrobe staples? Check out East+West, Fauxgerty, AG Jeans or Bonobos to find fun fashions for young men and women.

Get Fit

The Central West End offers plenty of fun fitness options, including Pure Barre, Orange Theory and Steel Wheels (opening soon), or hit the trails at nearby Forest Park.

Fun and Games

Your 20s are the perfect time to pick up a new hobby. Bowood Farms offers classes in flower arrangement, hand lettering and water coloring, while the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis offers weekly lessons and lectures that make the intimidating game accessible to anyone with a desire to learn. If you’re already a chess pro, check out the oversized board located outside the World Chess Hall of Fame beneath a 14′ tall king piece.

Become a cocktail connoisseur at Gamlin Whiskey House, home to the Missouri Whiskey Society, then head across the street to Brennan’s to practice your serve in their Ping Pong parlor.

Prefer something a bit more active? Visit Club Viva for a fun night out with your friends. From Latin to roots reggae, their international music scene is sure to keep you dancing. Complimentary dance lessons are available starting at 8:15 p.m. Thursdays and Saturdays (21 and up).

Expand Your Mind

Looking to do some extracurricular reading? Check out Left Bank Books, an independent bookstore started by a group of Wash.U students at the corner of Euclid and McPherson in 1969. Relax in their quiet basement amid the stacks of used books, or ask their staff to recommend a new release. The shop offers near-daily events including reading groups and author talks.

For those with an entrepreneurial spirit, check out TechArtista, a buzzing co-working space with a great rooftop deck on the neighborhood’s northern edge.

For cinephiles, check out Hollywood’s latest blockbuster and independent flicks at the Chase Park Plaza Cinemas.

Tour the Cathedral Basilica for a glimpse of St. Louis history and some truly breathtaking art — the mosaics in the cathedral cover 83,000 square feet, making it the largest collection of mosaics in the world. Guided tours are available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m during the week. 

Other nearby attractions include the award-winning St. Louis Zoo, the Saint Louis Art Museum and the Missouri History Museum.

Out Late?

Check out our CWE Nightlife Guide to see our top picks for late-night dining and entertainment.

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