Mainstreet to Malls: The Shopping Geography of St. Louis

February 27, 2013

By Ryan Saale

St. Louis Central West End To experience shopping like a St. Louis local, consider your destination and shopping style. In St. Louis, we tend to gravitate toward shopping experiences and destinations surrounded by coffeeshops, eateries, and wine bars.

Convenient to the Convention Center
You have the good fortune of attending a conference on Washington Avenue. This main thoroughfare is home to the majority of shops downtown. Although the area contains mainly restaurants and bars, there are a few unique shops to visit:

  • The Collective, a boutique vendor co-op and downtown's newest clothing shop, features many local, national, and international designers.
  • The American Institute of Architects (AIA) bookstore sells books and collections about the architectural history of St. Louis, the Midwest, and beyond.
  • Last of the independent bookstores, Left Bank Books includes a vast array of literary delights and an excellent, well-read staff to help make the experience enjoyable.
  • Check out Beverly's Hill and Boxers for the latest and largest selection of underwear, activewear, and pajamas for women and men.
  • For international gifts and jewerly head over to Macrosun and browse their wide-selection of unique global items.
  • Great gifts from St. Louis can be found at the St. Louis Cardinals Team Store at Busch stadium, or the below-ground shops at the Arch.
  • Head to Bridge Tap House and Wine Bar once shopping is complete for a calm enviroment to enjoy a glass of wine or a snack.

Walk, Shop, Sit, and Sip
St. Louis has many shopping locales, but if pressed for time, the following areas will be your best bet for hitting the most shops while experiencing unique areas of the city.

  • Central West End: St. Louis' most walkable neighborhood includes many boutiques for both men and women, art galleries, and unique shops for gifts. Maryland Plaza is a great stopping point for fashion destinations AG Adriano Goldschmied and 10denza boutique . While there, swing by Bissinger's Chocolatier for an uber luxe chocolate/coffee shop experience. Accessible by Metrolink, the Central West End station.
  • Delmar Loop: Lined with boutiques, tattoo shops, and St. Louis' very own Walk of Fame, the Delmar Loop shopping and entertainment district is a vibrant, eccelectic, and urban destination. Check out Sole & Blues and Ziezo for boutique-level clothing or try your luck at Avalon Exchange , the region's top resale shop. Grab a burger and soak up some local history at Blueberry Hill , St. Louis' most famous restaurant and home to the still-performing Chuck Berry. Accessible by Metrolink, Delmar Loop station.
  • Cherokee Street: The newest emerging—although not as saturated—shopping district is just south of Downtown St. Louis on Cherokee Street. East of Jefferson Street you will find the largest concentration of antique and resale shops in St. Louis. West of Jefferson, you can grab the city's best Mexican food or simply hang with St. Louis' urban hipsters. If you have limited time, check out Cherry Bomb for vintage ware and STL Style for the best locally-made, screen-printed T-shirts.

Malls and High-End Shopping
The most convenient mall to the convention center is the St. Louis Galleria . Head west on the Metrolink to the Galleria stop. Here you will find 165 stores and restaurants including large department stores such as Nordstrom and Macy's, as well as luxury retailers like Coach and J. Crew.

To rub shoulders with St. Louis' affluent set, visit Plaza Frontenac , a distinctly upscale mall with Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Tiffany & Co., Louis Vuitton and many others. If the weather is nice, don't miss the patio at Cardwell's or head across the street to Schneithorst's for wonderful German food and an authentic rooftop beer garden.


Ryan SaaleRyan Saale is the Local Arrangements Committee (LAT) communications chair for NAFSA’s 2013 Annual Conference & Expo. Ryan is a St. Louis native who spent time living, studying, and working abroad in Argentina, Chile, Mexico, and Spain, and recently completely his master’s degree at Washington University in St. Louis. He began his career in international education in 2009 after working in corporate communications for five years, both in St. Louis and Santiago, Chile. Ryan is assistant director of international affairs at Fontbonne University where he is responsible for all international student recruitment and global outreach initiatives.


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