Ah, SLU. The Billiken playground where students come to become engaged, educated, and work towards the greater good. But when we’re not strutting our stuff down West Pine or trying to storm open hammocks, we plan to have a good time. We are fortunate to live in a manageable city that makes it simple for even freshman to get out and try the killer food scene. At first search the plethora of options can be overwhelming and it’s easy for anyone to drop major dollar on a meal that is only sub-par.

For all the aspiring foodies, St. Louis newbies, or people that just enjoy to eat, here is a Spoon SLU’s guide to eating and drinking in our St. Louis area for any scenario. Try these out when Bread Co. (or Panera –  you have to choose your battles, people) isn’t doing it for you anymore.

When you’re craving munchies at 2 am: Pickelman’s


Photo courtesy of @pickelmans on Instagram

What would be a night out at SLU if you didn’t find yourself waiting in the chaotic, drunkingly-impaired line waiting to get your hands on a “pizza guy.” Staying open until 3:30 am makes it an ideal place to satisfy those late night munchies coming home from the library or drunchies after Pennies.

What to get: Pizza is the way to go, specifically the chicken Asiago pizza. Splitting it with friends and the ultra thin crust make it less regrettable in the morning.

#Spoontip: ask for extra sauces on the side for dipping goodness.

Location: 3722 Laclede Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63108

You’re cramming for exams and the library is full: Northwest Coffee Roasting


Photo courtesy of @777josoratchet on Instagram

When club Pius is bumpin’ it’s impossible to get anything done, much less find a place to sit. That’s when you have to be real with yourself and set up shop in a new place to get your work done. Northwest is an ideal space with a warm industrial feel located practically a stone throw away from campus. Head to this spot for shaded outdoor seating in the warm months and homemade waffles on the weekends.

What to order: Good ‘ole cup of joe to sip on while you literally watch the beans roast in house. Pretty cool, eh?

Location: 4251 Laclede Ave, St. Louis, MO 63108

You’re sick of Starbucks: Rise Coffee House


Photo courtesy of @risecoffeestl on Instagram

When you initially enter Rise you feel as if you should either be wearing flannel, have a beard, and carrying a Polaroid camera. By the time you take a sip of your prime latte the eclectic decorations have become cozy and any fear of giving off basic vibes is washed away by the welcoming atmosphere. Starbucks who?

What to order: A latte, any flavor. Once you take a sip of a real latte your life could be changed, also the latte art is unreal.

Location: 4180 Manchester Ave, St. Louis, MO 63110

You’re going on a Tinder date: Urban Chestnut Brewery & Bierhall


Photo courtesy of @foodysfood on Instagram

Much like your relationship status, Urban Chestnut is open and casual. The long picnic tables encourage community seating which leaves plenty of room for people watching or eavesddropping on other conversations if you two run out of things to talk about. The food is top-notch and easy to share and the beer list is extensive with something for everyone.

What to order: I’m not going to tell you what beer to order because that’s like you telling me what ice cream flavor to order – not gonna happen. Taste a few and maybe you will find “the one”, besides your date.

Location: 4465 Manchester Ave, St. Louis, MO 63110

You’re trying to be romantic: Bailey’s Chocolate Bar


Photo courtesy of @baileysinstl on Instagram

Dim lighting, comfy seats, and chocolate, it’s basically all done for you. All you have to do is show up and you have yourself a romantic night out. This place isn’t just for date night, friends like dessert too – did I mention they have decadent martinis?

What to order: I once ordered “Chocolate Inebriation” and haven’t been quite the same since.

Location: 1915 Park Ave, St. Louis, MO 63104

You’re “doing it for the ‘gram”: Union Loafers


Photo courtesy of @whiskeyandsoba on Instagram

It’s a fact of our generation, we record our everything we eat. Now that we’ve admitted it let’s set our news feeds up for success. Loafers has plenty of natural lighting and supreme sandwiches crafted with house-made bread that makes any picture a guaranteed winner.

What to order: The “Nut Butter” sandwich comes with all house made ingredients including a jam that changes with the fruit of the season.

Location: 1629 Tower Grove Ave, St. Louis, MO 63110

You’re parents are visiting and they are picking up the bill: Brasserie by Niche


Photo courtesy of @chefkoda on Instagram

With your parents in town it’s finally time to treat yourself (on their dime of course) and make up for all Easy Mac you have been heating up in your microwave. A member of local celebrity Gerard Craft’s Niche food group, Brasserie emphasizes beautiful French cuisine with a classy dining experience that trumps any amount of tater tots the cafeteria has to offer.

What to order: The fromage plate because what’s more French than that?

Location: 4580 Laclede Ave, St. Louis, MO 63108

You’re craving something sweet: Ices Plain and Fancy


Photo courtesy of @veganizeeverything on Instagram

This is the place to go if you’re seeking dessert and a show. The ice cream is made right in front of the customers using liquid nitrogen to produce a smooth and rich treat to satisfy any sweet tooth. The menu always features seasonal flavors as well as staples and boozy treats. Let’s just say I have yet to have a less then outstanding flavor.

What to order: The s’mores, when it’s in season. Campfire smoke is infused into your bowl, need I say more.

Location: 2256 S 39th St, St. Louis, MO 63110

You’re turning 21: Sub Zero Vodka Bar


Photo courtesy of @nightlifestl on Instagram

There’s plenty of fun bars in St. Louis, but only Sub Zero gives you a free bottle of vodka on your birthday. After turning 21 you quickly learn just how much more expensive your life becomes, so any free alcohol is welcome. Creative cocktails and an elite menu makes the bar a St. Louis nightlife hot spot.

What to order: Orange Grove – orange, elderflower, lemongrass, and mango. A concoction for happiness.

Location: 308 N Euclid Ave, St. Louis, MO 63108

You’re not eating meat: Lulu’s Local Eatery


Photo courtesy of @jordannmcdaniel on Instagram

Everything on the menu is meatless, a couple more are even vegan, but this is a favorite of herbivores and carnivores alike. All the sandwiches, wraps, and tacos are so good it’s easy to forget that it’s all vegetarian friendly. After stopping buy, you’ll make more than just Monday meatless.

What to order: The Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger – step aside cows.

Location: 3201 South Grand, St. Louis, MO 63118

You’re trying to watch the game: Ballpark Village


Photo courtesy of stlballparkvillage.com

The electric atmosphere makes catching a game at BPV just as exciting as watching it live across the street at Busch Stadium. The building is lined with more bars around the perimeters that allows all groups to have the smallest bar crawl of all time. A mechanical bull in one of the bars plays for a very entertaining evening for only the most daring (or most drunk). So, save a horse and ride a mechanical bull.

What to order: A Budweiser, you’re in St. Louis.

Location: 601 Clark Ave, St. Louis, MO 63102

You’re hungover: Humphrey’s Restaurant and Tavern


Photo courtesy of riverfronttimes.com

Pennies isn’t the only reason to stop by Humphs. The breakfast is cheap and perfect to soak up all of the alcohol still inside you from last night. Since it’s right off campus you can practically just stumble out of bed and dive right into a pool of runny yolks.

What to order: Biscuits and gravy – guaranteed to cure any hangover.

Location: 3700 Laclede Ave, St. Louis, MO 63108

You’re craving a slice: PaPPo’s Pizza and Beer


Photo by Mabel Suen

A recent addition to the SLU area, Pappo’s is a cannot miss. The extensive pizza menu makes it easy to please everyone and come either hand-tossed or thin crust. House-brewed beer is reasonably priced and flights of beer are encouraged for only $8.

What to order: The Kitchen Sink – a little bit of everything to make everyone happy.

Location: 3690 Forest Park Ave. St. Louis, MO