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Cool Spots Near SLU's Campus

There are a lot of benefits to going to college on Saint Louis University's urban campus, but one of the best has to be access to entertainment, shopping and food every day of the week, right outside your residence hall. And when it comes to Midtown — the St. Louis neighborhood immediately around SLU — new things are being added all the time. Here are a few of our faves:



We could stop this list right now, because what more could you possibly need in life? Even putting aside the literal warehouse of attainable Scandinavian design, Ikea offers you unlimited access to hot dogs, Swedish meatballs and yogurt soft serve for less cash than you can find in your EKTORP sofa.

Distance from SLU: Across the street.
Inside Tip: The question of what to do with your mom when she visits is pretty much answered.

2. Moolah Theatre and Lounge

Formerly a Shriners temple, this combination movie theater/bowling alley is the perfect place for a date (there are couches and loveseats if you're lucky enough to grab one) or just a night out with friends.

Distance from SLU: Across the street.
Inside Tip: There’s a $2 student discount on tickets.

3. Pappy's Smokehouse

Almost 4,000 happy Yelp reviews can't be wrong. Pappy's has been named the No. 1 BBQ in the country by Zagat and The Huffington Post, and it's almost as close as the dining hall.

Distance from SLU: Less than a block.
Inside Tip: The lunch special comes with a drink and a side at a price that even a college student can afford.

4. STL Symphony

SLU is located next to some of the most impressive arts venues St. Louis has to offer, including the second-oldest symphony orchestra in the country. Performing in the amazing Powell Hall, the symphony is the opposite of stuffy (yes, you can wear jeans if you want), recently showcasing music from U2, Star Wars and Pokémon.

Distance from SLU: Four blocks.
Inside Tip: The symphony offers steeply discounted tickets and subscriptions for students, plus special student nights.


Forget your playlist for a few minutes and embrace 88.1 KDHX, St. Louis's independent radio station that also happens to be one of SLU's neighbors. In addition to playing music you've never heard before but might love, KDHX holds concerts on The Stage and offers locally sourced food in the Magnolia Cafe.

Distance from SLU: Two blocks.
Inside Tip: Always wanted to learn guitar? The KDHX Folk School offers eight-week classes for string instruments.

6. Cortex Innovation Community

If you've got an interest in bioscience, technology and entrepreneurship you're in the right place, and not just because SLU has some of the top programs in those areas. Cortex is a 200-acre innovation hub right next to Saint Louis University that is attracting everything from shopping to start-ups.

Distance from SLU: Six blocks.
Inside Tip: Cortex's master plan calls for the creation of 10,000 jobs in the St. Louis area. One of them might be yours.

7. Chaifetz Arena

Even if you aren't a huge basketball fan, you don't want to miss seeing the Billikens play at home. If music is more your thing, watch the concert calendar. Sam Smith, the Lumineers, and Florida Georgia Line have all played Saint Louis University's arena recently.

Distance from SLU: On campus.
Inside Tip: Free basketball tickets for SLU students.