Nestled right in the middle of the American heartland, St. Louis is a surprisingly sophisticated city, with internationally renowned art, food, and design. So it’s only fitting that this destination would have world-class coffee shops, including these 10 standouts to try.
Given its location right across the street from the Washington University in St. Louis campus, you’d be forgiven for assuming Kayak’s is nothing more than a convenient meeting and study spot for undergrads. And while it is both of those things, Kayak’s also has innovative and fresh food from local farmers and can whip up a mean cappuccino sure to satisfy even the most incorrigible coffee snob. Kayak’s also has a seriously outdoorsy vibe. The walls look like those of a cabin; the baristas can point you in the direction of the best climbing and biking on nearby trails, and outdoors equipment (including, of course, kayaks) line the rafters.
Located on the main thoroughfare in tony Clayton, Northwest serves impeccable demitasse coffees and matcha lattes to moms on their way to Pilates and the rest of the neighborhood crowd. Live in St. Louis long enough, and you’re sure to start seeing people you know at this see-and-be-seen spot, which also serves killer smoothies (try the bee pollen).
It is taking nothing away from The Mud House’s coffee to say that the star attraction is the food. The owners grow a majority of the produce that they serve in their garden out back and elevate simple Southern food into the territory of the sublime. For example, a pork shoulder confit sandwich replaces the ubiquitous pulled pork sandwich, and a breakfast burrito substitutes chorizo for bacon. There is also gooey butter cake, of course.
Former New Yorkers own 2Schae Cafe, and it shows in the menu, which features not only bagel and lox but also classic black and white cookies flown in direct from the city. 2Schae Cafe is on the ground floor of the historic Senate building—a classic prewar apartment building where Charles Lindbergh used to live—and has an unpretentious yet elegant neighborhood atmosphere mixing the best of St. Louis and New York together.