Central West End
Hallmarks of the Central West End are its central location and visual appeal. Lined with mature trees, classic architecture, and unique shops and landmarks, it is both a tourist destination and a highly livable neighborhood. It is bound by Vandeventer Avenue to the East, HWY 40 to the South, Union Blvd to the West, and Delmar to the North/
The main business and entertainment district stretches nearly a mile on Euclid. It is the main corridor of activity, with more than 75 restaurants, bars, businesses – including the massive medical complex comprised of BJC and Children’s Hospitals. The Central West End holds a diversity of housing options. You can find studio apartments, spacious condos, and 10,000+ square feet historic homes on private streets.
The Central West End borders Forest Park, developed in the late 1870s. It was recognized by USA Today’ as the #1 City Park (2022) and making MSN’s list of America’s Most Beautiful Parks (2020). The national attention underscores what locals know well. Forest Park is a treasure trove of beauty and entertainment and serves as the glorious backyard of the neighborhood.
Every walk and every window from the restaurants along Euclid Avenue hold a hint of European grandeur. The scene encompasses equal parts local residents, vacationers, visitors of the medical centers, and St. Louisans from other neighborhoods venturing out for the people-watching and unique dining/drinking spots. Along with the old-world feel there is an abundance of modern day conveniences. Examples include include three grocery stores, over a half dozen pharmacies, coffee shops galore, and boutiques. Anchoring it all is astounding architecture. From the art deco Chase Park Plaza, to the modern One Hundred building, to the Cathedral Basilica, with its beautiful green tile dome and biggest collection of mosaic art in the western hemisphere.
The vibe of the Central West End is equal parts local residents, vacationers, visitors of the medical centers, and St. Louisans from other neighborhoods venturing out for the people-watching and unique dining/drinking spots. It is eclectic and vibrant and easily one of the most walkable neighborhoods in St. Louis. From celebrating special occasions, to getting a drink after work, to last minute grocery shopping, there is a diversity of intentions on the street that really meld together to create a big-city feel within the relatively small footprint of this sought-after area. It’s easy to spend a leisurely day in the CWE. Start by checking out Bowood Farms, which sprawls at the northern edge of the neighborhood and encompasses a delightful plant nursery, and award-winning café (brunch!). Then meander the shelves at the oldest and largest independent bookstore in St. louis, Left Bank Books. Afterwards catch a film at the theater located in the landmark Chase Park Plaza or visit the World Chess Hall of Fame. Visit boutiques or galleries and finish with an al fresco dinner or drinks at one of the many restaurants offering this perk;
The first inklings of this elegant neighborhood followed the 1400 square foot development of Forest Park. St. Louis’ wealth and elite wanted homes near the majestic park. They hired architects and builders to erect the beautiful homes along Lindell (and a handful of other private and semi-private streets). This was just as the 1904 World’s Fair opened within the park. It was a time of wealth and growth for the city that continued until the Great Depression. What was built then remains today as the backdrop to the local scene of dining, drinking and window shopping.
Some of the team's favorites in Central West End
CWE has a European vibe to it with all the outdoor dining options. There is a constant hum of activity that is always exciting, yet not overwhelming.
We have lived in the CWE for over 15 years and love it. We take FULL advantage of Forest Park several times a week. I walk my dog a lot and am always discovering new things.
My favorite date nights are in the CWE. We love going to Brasserie by Niche and then catching a movie at the Chase or just hanging out at Left Bank Books.