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A Day in STL: Skinker & The Delmar Loop

Have you really been to St. Louis if you haven’t been to the Delmar Loop? In our latest “A Day in STL” blog, we offer you not one but three different suggested lists of ideas for spending a day in around our Skinker cafe and the Delmar Loop. 

The Loop is one of St. Louis’ most iconic neighborhoods. Straddling the city and county along east-west Delmar Boulevard, the Loop has been a major player in St. Louis’ music, nightlife, and dining scenes since the 1950s. From The Pageant’s concert hall to Blueberry Hill’s legendary Duck Room, the St. Louis Walk of Fame sidewalk stars to the dizzying array of dynamite eateries –– the Loop is St. Louis to the core. 

Looking for things to do around the Loop? Join us on one or all of our three potential Loop adventures:

  • Rock & Roll
  • Family Fun
  • Distant Vistas
  • KALDI’S AT SKINKER

    The Exterior of the Kaldi's Coffee Skinker Cafe and Coffee Shop in St. Louis, MO

    Our cafe at Skinker and Forest Park Parkway is right next to a MetroLink station (super convenient for zipping east and west across town). Caddy-corner to the cafe is the sprawling Danforth campus of world-renowned Washington University. 

    Once known as Kayak’s (and probably still is to many!), our Skinker cafe is the perfect place to breakfast up and get ready for a day of adventure in the nearby Delmar Loop.

    ADVENTURE #1: ROCK & ROLL

    Do you have a thumping bass in place of a heart? Do power chords electrify your cerebellum? This trip’s for you.

    • Blueberry Hill
    • Iron Age Tattoo
    • Three Kings Pub
    • The Pageant
    • Vintage Vinyl
    • Sunshine Daydream
    • Pin Up Bowl
    BLUEBERRY HILL

    Photo credit to Blueberry Hill

    Blueberry Hill is one the best places to soak in the Loop’s historic music legacy, with this pub’s corridors lined with photographs of many stars, right alongside a sprawling, legendary collection of knickknacks, collectibles, and odd historical minutia.

    This iconic bar and restaurant not only has a smoking lounge and darts room, but boasts multiple themed rooms to explore, and a number of classic arcade games. The Duck Room downstairs is actually a miniature performance venue, where anyone who’s anyone has to perform at least once.

    IRON AGE TATTOO

    The name says it all. Are you into body art? Got the ink bug? This is the place to go and commemorate a wild weekend adventure, an amazing concert, or, well, anything! Check out their website here

    THREE KINGS PUB

    Cozily paneled in dark wood, with an extensive rotating tap list and even a not-so-secret special beer vault list, this pub, like its big brother Blueberry Hill, is inspired by pop culture. The 3 eponymous monarchs––Elvis, Henry VIII, and King Kong––reign eternal over the bar. Three Kings has an excellent menu, and is the perfect place for game night. 

    THE PAGEANT 

    The exterior of the Pageant and Moonrise Hotel in the Loop in St. Louis, MO

    Even those less-acquainted with the Loop know - and love - the Pageant. So many shows, so much history, one rocking building. This is where the rockers rock, the boppers bop, and hip hop raises the roof. The Pageant has hosted over 1300 concerts since it opened in 2000!

    JOE’S CAFE & GALLERY

    The exterior of Joe's cafe in the Loop in St. Louis, MO

    A little further east from The Pageant is a true local gem: Joe’s Cafe & Gallery, a unique art garden and music venue. This quaint little dive is just a few blocks away from the Delmar Loop Metrolink, so you don’t even have to drive! It’s also just a few blocks away from the Kaldi’s Coffee cafe on Skinker!

    VINTAGE VINYL, SUNSHINE DAYDREAM, PIN UP BOWL

    The honorable mentions for this Rock & Roll adventure are a literal landmark records store (Vintage Vinyl), a self-described “hippie superstore” (Sunshine Daydream), and an 8-lane bowling alley with unique decor and ambience (Pin Up Bowl). Most St. Louisians will have heard of all 3 of these local businesses, and almost everyone’s been to at least one of the three. Close out your day/night in the Loop with a few rounds of bowling, or some neat and off-beat local shopping!

    ADVENTURE #2: FAMILY FUN

    Find some family-friendly fun and places to dine for an unforgettable day!

    • Fitz’s Root Beer
    • COCA
    • Peacock Diner
    • Wizard’s Wagon
    • Planet Walk
    • The Baked Bear
    FITZ’S ROOT BEER

    Fitzs and Vintage Vinyl in the Delmar Loop

    Where else can you get a burger and a float while watching a soda bottling line right in front of you? This place will fascinate the kiddos and keep their tummies happy! Check out their menu on their website

    COCA (Center Of Creative Arts)

    Located just a block south of Delmar, near the Post Office, this unassuming building houses an amazing organization. COCA offers dozens of cool and innovative classes for kids and adults. Sign up in advance for an afternoon activity!

    PEACOCK DINER

    Want some fries with those scrambled eggs? How about a milkshake and some fried chicken? At the Peacock Dinner, pretty much anything but actual peacocks are on the menu!

    WIZARD’S WAGON

    Comic books? ✔️ Magic cards? ✔️ Tabletop games like D&D, puzzles, toys, dice, plushies, accessories and more?✔️✔️✔️! Stop in just to browse and buy, or check out their schedule to look for open play or pre-scheduled events! Wizard's Wagon website

    PLANET WALK

    Planet Walk sign at the Delmar Loop

    Perfect for your pint-size astronauts! The Delmar Loop’s Planet Walk is a unique astronomy exhibit built right into the Loop itself. Each colorful planet marker has some neat facts to learn about that planet, and yes, the markers’ distance from one to the next is in fact to scale! Really helps to visualize the vast enormity of space in our own little star system.

    THE BAKED BEAR

    This little ice cream snack shop packs a wallop! Serving decadent cookies and brownies with a wide variety of tasty ice creams and toppings, The Baked Bear offers unique and customizable ice cream sandwiches. The perfect place to top off your kids’ summer day adventures in the Loop!

    ADVENTURE #3: DISTANT VISTAS

    Do you have insatiable wanderlust, but you’re not quite ready to hit the open road? Come and browse international delicacies and glimpse the far horizon right in the heart of St. Louis!

    • W Karaoke Lounge
    • Subterranean Books
    • United Provisions
    • Nudo House STL
    • Ranoush
    • Blue Ocean Sushi
    • Corner 17, U City Grill, Gokul, and more! 
    W KARAOKE LOUNGE

    One of the Loop’s latest venues, the W Karaoke Lounge offers a unique karaoke experience. Here, you can reserve any of 10 different rooms ranging in price and size, for several hours at a time. It’s the perfect gift for someone who loves to belt out their favorite tunes, whether on their own or in a small party! The lux decor and top-tier sound system are sure to dazzle. 

    SUBTERRANEAN BOOKS

    Interior of Subterranean Books on the Delmar Loop in St. Louis, MO

    A longtime denizen of the Loop, Subterranean Books is any bibliophile’s dream. With new expanded digs, online ordering, knowledgeable booksellers, and a wide selection of fiction, nonfiction, and verse, Subterranean is sure to expand the horizons of your mind. 

    UNITED PROVISIONSUnited Provisions and Peacock Diner Sign in the Delmar Loop in St. Louis, MO

    In a densely urbanized area like the Loop, a good grocery store can be a unicorn, but United Provisions pulls it off! Shop for international foods from dozens of countries and cultures, as well as local beverages from beer to cold brew to kombucha! This is a one-stop spot for a weekend culinary adventure.

    NUDO HOUSE STL

    One of St. Louis’ best ramen shops calls the Delmar Loop home. Nudo House STL is a fantastic place for local ramen-heads to slurp to their hearts’ content. Nudo House offers more than just traditional Japanese and fusion ramen though; their menu also includes a variety of Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches, Thai pho bowls, and more!

    RANOUSH

    This eatery has been a mainstay in the Loop for a number of years. Specializing in Syrian cuisine, Ranoush brings the best of Middle East flavors for an unforgettable dining experience.

    HONORABLE MENTIONS:

    U-City Grill, Corner 17, Seoul Taco, Blue Ocean, Gokul Indian (vegetarian!) and Mission Taco are all excellent places to grab lunch or dinner. Seriously, there’s way too much food in the Loop, bring a friend or five. 

    EVEN MORE HONORABLE MENTIONS!

    We’d be utterly remiss if we didn’t mention the fantastic BBQ and whiskey collection of Salt + Smoke, or the eccentric but plush hotel experience of the Moonrise Hotel.

    Honestly, we could spend far more than a day in the Delmar Loop, and we think you should too!

    Craft Alliance Sign and Statue in the Delmar Loop in St. Louis, MO

    -

    READ NEXT:

    A DAY IN STL: THE CRESCENT & DOWNTOWN CLAYTON
    A Day in STL: Crescent & Downtown Clayton | Kaldi's Coffee Blog

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