12 Local Gems in St. Louis To Explore Before You Graduate

This city is full of hidden gems that we explore on our CITYTREKs, but with graduation just around the corner, we made a bucket list for you to explore on your own. These local establishments are run by people who love this city and make up St. Louis’ charm and grit. Even if you're graduating, it's never to late to get to know St. Louis!

1. COURTESY DINER

1121 Hampton Ave
3155 S Kingshighway Blvd
8000 S. Laclede Station Rd

Nothing like ending a late night with the gang at a classic diner. Let the nostalgia hit and reminisce over a slinger and fries. Lucky you, this locally owned and family operated chain has three different locations. Cash only.

2. World's Fair Doughnuts

1904 S Vandeventer Ave

This corner shop has been serving up doughy treats for over 30 years. Grab a classic glazed or apple fritter for less than a buck and take a stroll to the Missouri Botanical Gardens. Cash only.

3. Compton Hill Water Tower

Head out for a midnight adventure and climb to the top of this historic tower to check out the full moon. One of only seven of its kind in the United States, the Water Tower is open twice a month for the full moon and the first Saturday. 

4. MoKaBe's Coffeehouse

3606 Arsenal St

Start your Sunday with a buffet brunch that offers a variety of vegetarian-friendly dishes, delicious bacon, and bottomless coffee all for ten bucks. Vegetarians and meat-lovers, unite!

5. Left Bank Books

399 N Euclid Ave

Now that school's wrapping up, you can finally read for fun! Wander into St. Louis' oldest and largest independently-owned bookstore and escape reality for a bit.

6. Gus' Pretzels

1820 Arsenal St

"Family-owned and operated business—Gus Jr. is the third generation pretzel baker." With a statement like that, no wonder this place is a local favorite. Head on in and check out the photos on the walls, you'll even see couples who celebrated their wedding with a giant pretzel heart.

7. Earthbound Beer

2710 Cherokee St

Serving up "St. Louis' smallest, weirdest beer," this brewery started in an apartment and made its way to Cherokee. The beers on tap change weekly so there's always new flavors to try and new people to meet at Earthbound Beer.

8. Powell Symphony Hall

718 N Grand Blvd

Celebrate with a classy night at the symphony. Put your student discount to good use and grab some tickets to a concert. From The Planets to Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions, we're sure you'll enjoy the night.

9. Moolah Theatre & Lounge

3821 Lindell Blvd

This one-screen theatre offers couch seating and themed drinks so what's not to love? Housed in a former Shriners temple, this theatre is the real deal. Get there early to snag a couch.

10. THAXTON SPEAKEASY

1009 Olive St

On a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday night, this underground lounge and speakeasy is in full swing like The Roaring Twenties. You can only get in through the back alley entrance if you have the weekly password so make sure to check before you head out.

11. Tenth Life Cat Rescue

3202 Cherokee St

This adoption center is home sweet home to adoptable cats looking for their forever home. Spend an afternoon playing with the cats and you may just walk out with a new furry friend, we almost did! Head on out and across the street to local gem #12.

12. STL Style House

3159 Cherokee St

Brothers and identical twins Jeff and Randy Vines have created a true St. Louis retail and design shop that captures the soul of the city. Start up a conversation with the staff and you'll learn some remarkable things about St. Louis. No standard airport souvenirs here.