With the Sigma Tau Delta 2024 Centennial Convention in St. Louis, MO, fast approaching, it’s time to start planning how you will spend some of your downtime and where you will go to eat with all the great new friends you’re about to meet. During the fall Sigma Tau Delta Board meeting, the Student Representatives had some time to learn a little about what St. Louis has to offer. Read on for their reviews of some of the local restaurants and attractions.

$=$1-10 per person
$$=$11-20 per person

Restaurants that Won’t Kill Your Budget

Dao Tien – $
820 Olive St, St. Louis, MO 63101
10-minute walk from hotel

A ten-minute walk from the hotel, Dao Tien fulfilled my need for Bún bò Huế, a super yummy, spicy beef noodle soup. It is one of my favorite comfort foods, but Dao Tien also has stir fry, vermicelli, rice platters, and more. If you’re able to make it for lunch, they have a lunch special on Tuesday-Friday with an entrée, an appetizer, soup, and rice. If you decide to get pho, the bowls are so big you could easily share! —Elle Hardoin

Sushi AI – $
910 Olive St, St. Louis, MO 63101
11-minute walk from hotel

This sushi place was so delicious. As someone who only had sushi one other time before, this place did not let me down. I ordered the Red Dragon and was amazed by how tasty it was. The food was so good that I convinced others to join me the next time I went, and we ordered some green tea mochi and ice cream and enjoyed it. This was such a nice find in the streets of St. Louis. I highly recommend this place if you are wanting to taste delicious and affordable sushi! —Destiny Jones









Food is, of course, the first matter of business. I absolutely loved Sushi AI which is just a few blocks away from Hilton and Drury hotels. The raw fish was fresh, and the combination of light sauces on the sushi was so refreshing! I would definitely like to come back here again in April! Also, if you choose to get their Ramune (Japanese soda), make sure you put some strength into that bottle opener to pop that marble down and open the drink—It’s stubborn! —Eunice Tan

Pickles Deli – $
200 N. Broadway, St. Louis, MO 63102
5-minute walk

If you are looking for a quick lunch spot during the week, Pickles Deli is the perfect option.  They use fresh ingredients, are attentive to allergy needs, and have a range of unique breakfast and lunch options.  The staff is friendly and were more than happy to answer any questions I had about the menu.  There is some indoor seating available, but the deli is also an easy walk from both the arch and the Citygarden. Both the Rueben and the Greek salad come highly recommended, but everything on their menu looked delicious. 

Prices for sandwiches range from $10 to $15.  Be aware that they are closed on the weekends, and their hours (at the time of writing this) are listed as 7 am to 3 pm Monday through Friday. —Kaitlynn Sass

Salt + Smoke – $$
501 Clark Ave, St. Louis, MO 63102
2-minute walk

Walking outside anywhere near this restaurant will immediately have you wondering what smells so good! I cannot stop thinking about the barbeque ribs and, chances are if you stop by, you won’t be able to either. Also, my favorite type of cake is lemon blueberry mascarpone, favorite as in I paid $60 for this type of cake for my birthday, and theirs is absolutely perfect. Also, buy the barbeque sauce while you’re there: the shipping cost is intimidating but I am still very tempted. —Elle Hardoin 


You can’t come to St. Louis and not eat barbecue. At least, I don’t recommend missing out on it. There are plenty of places to hit if you’re wanting to try it out, but Salt + Smoke is definitely one swing you won’t want to miss! Tucked on the outskirts of Ballpark Village, it’s just down the street about a block and a half away from the hotel. The portion size more than makes up for the price and it’s an easy meal for two or more people to share, which makes it pretty cost effective. I wanted to try everything, so I settled on two starters, the fried pickles and the Trashed Ribs, which come in sweet or hot and tangy flavors. For anyone looking to go vegetarian/vegan, they have a Falafel Burger with flaxseed mayo, organic greens, and pepper jelly that has my mouth watering. And you don’t have to order ribs or wings to try out all of their sauces. Each table is set with four different house-made flavors for all your dipping needs. Fair warning: You might dream about how all this tastes long after returning home. I know I did. If you end up falling in love, touch base at the front to buy a bottle of BBQ sauce to take with you. You can also check out their super cute display of themed t-shirts. But you’ll want to hurry! They sell out of the most popular dishes and sauces as the night goes on. —Kelly Taylor

The Train Shed at Union Station – $$
201 S. 18th St, St. Louis, MO 63103
4-minute drive

The Train Shed describes their space as a “gathering ground for people from every walk of life.” Their diverse menu features items ranging from light and shareable finger foods to pizzas to great burgers and creative entrees. Large windows in the space provide great views of Union Station and the St. Louis Wheel. —Kaitlynn Sass








Koibito Pokē – $$
Ballpark Village- 601 Clark Ave Suite E, St. Louis, MO 63102
4-minute walk

Koibito Pokē lives right across the street from the Hilton, making it a quick stop during the convention’s lunch hour! Depending on how much protein you’re looking for, these bowls average around fifteen dollars, but I found myself able to make two meals out of the regular sized bowl I’d gotten, which was also convenient for the moments I had less time to eat. In terms of dishes, the restaurant is true to its name, primarily serving varieties of the Hawaiian-Japanese delicacy. With that in mind, they ensure to provide keto and vegan options, as well as giving customers the option to “build-a-bowl” in the case of a dietary need or preference. —Zoe Talbo


Ballpark Village – $$
601 Clark Ave, St. Louis, MO 63102
2-minute walk from the hotel

The Ballpark Village is a great stop for groups who are all interested in eating something a little different from each other. It’s a big open space near the baseball field where restaurants are all clustered together and you can always keep an eye on a sports game. Restaurants include Budweiser Brew House, Condado (taqueria), Katie’s Pizza and Pasta Osteria, and more! Prices are a little more expensive in this area, but it is an easy walk with a big group in a pinch for time. You can also bring take-out to sit on the open patio and enjoy the view of the Ferris Wheel while you decompress from all of our wonderful sessions. There’s also free live music most nights, which is perfect for dancing or just de-stressing after a long day. Additionally, Ballpark Village is highly accessible, with the ability to enter restaurants from the street as well as from the connecting atrium. —Kelly Taylor


Restaurants at the Hotel

1 S Broadway, St. Louis, MO 63102
Rooftop of the hotel

On the top of our convention location is 360, a lively bar and food spot! The atmosphere was a swanky party aura that was enjoyable to be part of. The feature of 360 is the three hundred and sixty degree views of Saint Louis, where you can spot features like the arch and the Busch Stadium! The close proximity to convention happenings makes this an ideal spot for winding down after a long day. Bring some friends and head to the roof!Autumn Koors Foltz

Market Street Bistro and Bar – $$
1 S Broadway, St. Louis, MO 63102
Inside the hotel

Short on time or not feeling like adventuring into the city?  Visit the Market Street Bistro and Bar, conveniently located inside our convention hotel! Ample seating and a wide range of menu items ensures that there will be something there for everyone. They have a delicious roasted beet and goat cheese salad, and their hamburgers are highly recommended. —Kaitlynn Sass

Starbucks – $$
1 S Broadway, St. Louis, MO 63102
Inside the hotel

Sites for Deltans

Citygarden Sculpture Park – free
801 Market St, St. Louis, MO 63101
7-minute walk from hotel

The Citygarden Sculpture Park is easily my favorite spot in St Louis. It is an incredibly thought-out spot and reading the brochure emphasized all of its elements immense intention and significance. The architecture is meant to reflect St Louis’s natural history, many of the plants are native to Missouri, there are beautiful fountains as well as a splash park, and the park has a focus on sustainability with rain gardens and green roofs. Follow the map through all 25 sculptures! —Elle Hardoin

Located nearly right beside our convention hotel, the Citygarden sculpture park provides a quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of St. Louis. The beautiful gardens provide ample paths to explore, offer glimpses of the arch, and would provide the perfect backdrop for a coffee or lunch break. Sculptures—including a hollow head that is built to be climbed through—are scattered throughout the gardens. When you need a break from the hotel and are craving fresh air during your convention stay, the gardens offer the perfect quick getaway while still allowing you to experience art that is unique to St. Louis. —Kaitlynn Sass


Saint Louis Art Museum – free
1 Fine Arts Dr, St. Louis, MO 63110
11-minute drive from hotel

The Saint Louis Art Museum exhibits include European, Asian, ancient, and contemporary art, as well as prints, drawings, and photographs. The ticketed exhibition scheduled to be on display in April is Matisse and the Sea, exploring how marine influences informed Henri Matisse’s modernist art. I personally gravitate toward contemporary and abstract art. If you see my video promoting this year’s common read Then the War: And Selected Poems by Carl Phillips, Ethiopian artist Elias Sime’s piece is featured in the background, which uses computer parts to create a landscape much like an image you would find on Google Earth. —Elle Hardoin

Even though this is listed as the museum, I do not plan to talk about that part at all. I want to recommend that you find a nice, beautiful day to visit this location and enjoy the scenery. This beautiful landscape includes a gorgeous pond with beautifully carved banisters. There is even a stunning weeping willow tree at this location. This is the perfect place to visit if you are wanting a small escape (or photo opportunity). Many locals go here to paint the landscape, go on paddle boats, or have a picnic. —Destiny Jones

The St. Louis Art Museum is beautiful and a stunning work of art, outside and inside, containing works from the Renaissance to innovative Contemporary Hip-Hop art pieces. However, what I really enjoyed was a small lake with a beautiful bridge and fountains right across the museum! I highly recommend it as a top romantic date/relaxation/photoshoot spot. —Eunice Tan


Gateway Arch free to enter, $15 for tickets to ride to the top of the Arch
Gateway Arch, St. Louis, MO 63102
10-minute walk 

I was not able to go inside the arch, but I was able to see it and take pictures in front of it. As someone who has never seen it before, it was amazing to be able to see just how large it was. I recommend anyone to go see this amazing monument and if you can, go inside to check out the museum. If you are wanting to go to the top though, I recommend buying tickets well in advance since it is a very busy attraction. —Destiny Jones








Every rainbow has a pot of gold at the bottom, and this one just so happens to be free. At the base of the Arch you can make out in the distance from almost every window in St. Louis, lies a museum full of interactive exhibits that allow you to explore the history of St. Louis. I loved getting to look through the old blueprints, models, and even math that went into building the Arch. You can even click through alternate designs that were put forward before the city settled on its current design. My favorite part was actually where all the children made a beeline. Toward the front left of the museum is a room with a table with all sorts of plants and insects that Lewis and Clark might have noticed as they traveled along the river. I’ve always had a soft spot for butterflies, and these ones are particularly beautiful. Head to the back of the museum to peruse the gift shop or the café, perhaps while you wait for your pre-boarding check-in time if you’ve got your sights set even higher.   

Interested in riding to the top of the Gateway Arch? Tickets sell out, so make sure to book at least a month in advance to make sure there’s room for you and your friends. Just be sure not to reenact any Percy Jackson feats up there. Not all of us have the strength and survival skills of the demi-gods. —Kelly Taylor

National Blues Museum – $-$$ ($15 adults, $10 college students)
615 Washington Ave, St. Louis, MO 63101
12-minute walk from hotel

The National Blues Museum is incredibly interactive and thoroughly dives into a rich musical history, in which Missouri holds a significant part! The range of artists discussed is extremely wide, highlighting the massive impact blues had and continues to have today. Listening to a blues recording from 1927 followed by a cover done in 1976 beautifully demonstrates music’s constancy and its development. From Muddy Waters and B. B. King to the Beatles and Led Zeppelin, progressing through the exhibits brings visitors through the evolution of blues and how music and the way we listen to it has changed and will continue to change! —Elle Hardoin







This fantastic museum is in walking distance of our convention spot and is an incredible showcase of the genre. Get an in depth look at the history, culture, and legacy of the blues genre as the museum explores the vastly influential genre. The museum is contemporary and fascinating to wander through. It also has many different opportunities for interactions! Altogether, the walk-through took around thirty minutes to an hour. Be sure to check the concert series in the evenings! Autumn Koors Foltz


Who doesn’t like a little music? A pleasant local gem was the National Blues Museum, where my favorite thing was getting to compose my very own blues song! It contained the sappiest lyrics I’d ever written in my life and a fun assemble of instruments I got to play and then mix together at the very end on many different digital stations throughout the museum. I also loved playing on the piano in the museum gift store after my tour, and the guy staffing the cashier was very encouraging when he heard my aimless tunes. Take cute pictures at photoshoot stations and unleash your musical talent amongst the amazing history of legendary blues artists! —Eunice Tan

St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station – $$
201 S. 18
th St., St. Louis, MO 63103 
5-minute drive

The aquarium provides a family-friendly experience that will delight Deltans of all ages. You start your journey on a “train ride” (simulated using video) that takes you through a brief history of St. Louis, flies you above the city, and then takes you below the surface of the Mississippi River and on to the ocean. You then explore exhibits ranging from global rivers to the ocean shore to shark canyon, all the while surrounded by 13,000 animals in total—many of which you can interact with through touch tanks and other immersive experiences. The aquarium is located in Union Station, surrounded by other activities and restaurants, and is just 1 mile from our hotel. It is walkable or accessible by a quick 5-minute Uber or taxi ride. Staff are friendly and knowledgeable and helped make my visit to the aquarium one of the highlights of my visit to St. Louis.Kaitlynn Sass


Left Bank Books – $$$ (We all want to buy a lot of books!)
399 N Euclid Ave, St. Louis, MO 63108
12-minute drive from hotel

Left Bank Books might be my favorite bookstore ever. Sigma Tau Delta has partnered with this bookstore to have a pop-up bookstore set up for convention at the hotel, but I definitely recommend checking it out if you find the time. The shelves are full of staff picks with blurbs giving readers an idea of the book and I walked out with another 26 books to add to my TBR! They also highlighted a variety of genres as well as local authors and topics related to activism! —Elle Hardoin

.   .   


More from Footnotes: February 7, 2024

Student Leadership Opportunities
2024 Convention Update
New Sigma Tau Delta Merch