Soulard: St. Louis' Mardi Gras Headquarters

One of St. Louis' oldest neighborhoods totally rocks.

Named for surveyor and refugee from the French Revolution, Antoine Soulard, the Soulard neighborhood is one of the city’s oldest and most colorful districts, anchored on the north by Soulard Farmer’s Market (the oldest west of the Mississippi, at its best on Saturday morning),

Soulard Farmer's Market

bordered on the south by the complex (open both for tours and its Biergarten)

Anheuser-Busch Brewery Tour

and inhabited by a Mardi Gras celebration reported to be the second-largest in the U.S. In between the market and brewery, the neighborhood’s charming streets are lined with vintage brick residences (rehabbers abound), restaurants, shops and cozy nightclubs. A popular destination for night owls and music lovers, Soulard also rewards daytime visitors with the Farmer’s Market, The Porch (gifts, home furnishings, wine), La Belle Histoire (gifts, decorative accessories, Mardi Gras items, jewelry), and the Soulard Art Gallery, where resident artists display their work alongside juried shows.

The Porch

Restaurants cater to foodies from breakfast (Soulard Coffee Garden) to dinner (Mission Taco Joint, Epic Pizza & Suds, Bogart’s Smokehouse, Nadine’s, Joanie’s Pizzeria), and include such innovators as Pieces, the St. Louis Board Game Bar & Café, and Twisted Ranch, featuring some 31 ranch dressings flavoring every item on the menu.

Soulard Coffee Garden

Soulard really comes alive at night in clubs like The Great Grizzly Bear, Hammerstones and 1860 Saloon, home to live music every night.

 live music every night

Come in late Feb./early Mar. for a madcap Midwest Mardi Gras, complete with parades, wiener dog races, Cajun cook-off, pub crawls and much more.

Soulard Mardi Gras Grand Parade

David Lancaster
About the author

David Lancaster is an accomplished artist and photographer whose work has been shown in galleries in St. Louis, Chica...