Favorite Sources for St. Louis Foodies

CJ Sanders of CJ's Produce at the Kirkwood Farmers MarketFrom time to time, local readers ask, "Where do you get [insert: great tomatoes, perfect peaches, great Parmesan cheese]?" So here it is, my favorite sources here in St. Louis, many in the Kirkwood-Webster area. Check back often for updated sources. If you have a favorite that's not on the list, please leave a comment!

St. Louis Vegetables, Fruits & Farm Foods &
St. Louis Farmers Markets &
St. Louis Cheese Sources &
St. Louis Meat &
St. Louis Sweets & Treats &
St. Louis Kitchen Shops &
St. Louis Grocery Stops &
St. Louis Bread & Pastries &
St. Louis - Worth a Stop! &
St. Louis Food Media &
Recipes with Special Missouri Products



See also St. Louis Food Gift Ideas



VEGETABLES, FRUITS & FARM FOODS

CJ's Produce
At the Kirkwood Farmers Market, fresh local produce

FAVORITES: Eckert's peaches, Cascade tomatoes for slow-roasted tomatoes



Centennial Farms
Many local apple varieties, some hard-to-find vegetables (Centennial is usually has stands at the Tower Grove and Maplewood markets)



Eckert's Country Store & Farms
Also at Soulard Market, the best local asparagus, strawberries, cherry tomatoes and peaches



Ozark Forest Mushrooms
Organic, locally grown shiitake and oyster mushrooms





FARMERS MARKETS

Tower Grove Farmers Market
My favorite farmers market in 2006 and much-appreciated in 2007, especially for the local musicians who play in the pavillion


Maple Grove Farmers Market
A much-appreciated mid-week market, Wednesdays during the season, Saturdays once a month during the off-season. Often, live music and after-market events.



Soulard Market
Since 1838, a St. Louis institution and year-round source of fresh produce, local meat and spices plus 'flea market' booths. If local produce is the objective, you do really have to learn your way around the market.

FAVORITE BOOTHS: (map of Soulard booth locations): Scharf Farm; Charles (oops, don't know Charles' last name! but both Scharf and Charles are featured in this 2005 Kitchen Parade column); Soulard Spice Shop (fresh spices at great prices, be sure to 'take a number' when you first arrive); Kruse Gardens (mostly organic vegetables, often unusual); Nolte Farms for vegetables; Seibert Meats for gorgeous Canadian bacon;





CHEESE

Goatsbeard Farm New!
Fresh goat cheese from a small family farm near Columbia and a herd of just fifty goats. In 2007, at the Maplewood Farmers Market on Wednesdays, also at Whole Foods and the Wine & Cheese Place.





MEAT

See Ladue Market, below



Hinkebein Hills Farm
A regular at the Tower Grove farmers market and other regular markets; excellent sausage; the dog loves the real bones, the price can't be beat!



Farrar Out Farm A young couple who sell at the Kirkwood Farmers Market during the season but off-season, set up a stall once a month for selling eggs, honey, maple syrup, pork roasts, lard. If you wonder where to buy a 'whole hog' in St. Louis, this is it, processed and packaged to order. This is on my list for the next season, July and February.



Miller Ham I've been a fan of this St. Louis local ham since 2006 and have purchased four so far.



Freddie's Market in Webster Groves at 9052 Big Bend, toward Kirkwood. I go out of my way to buy meat, especially, at Freddie's because it's one of the last places in town to keep real butchers and because the prices are reasonable and consistent, no $6 chicken breasts one week and $3 chicken breasts the next.




SWEETS & TREATS

La Dolce Via
In Forest Park Southeast (south of Highway 40 and the Central West End on Taylor) My favorite stop for beautiful pastry, cakes that taste as good as they look; very casual spot for lunch or weekend brunch, too; will do gluten-free special orders

PERSONAL FAVORITES: At Christmas, the buche de noel; the focaccia; a scone to go



Kakao Chocolates New!
Lovely little truffles and chocolate confections from local chocolatier Heather Wessels. In 2007, at the Tower Grove Farmers Market and Clayton Farmers Market on Saturdays, and the Maplewood Farmers Market on Wednesdays

PERSONAL FAVORITES: "Turkish Coffee" truffles, deep chocolate with a subtle touch of cardamom



Café Glacé
From the local pastry master, Pete Abrams: European cakes (not faux European 'style') plus gelato and other confections; no retail store-front yet so call ahead for special orders

PERSONAL FAVORITES: Chocolate gelato, peppermint marshmallows, every single macaroons



Bissinger's Hand-Crafted Chocolates

PERSONAL FAVORITES: molasses suckers



Gus' Pretzels
A fun stop with the kids on the way to/from Soulard Market, watch pretzels being made, then eat one hot!



Ted Drewes Custard
Grab the kids and the dog for a St. Louis concrete treat (I recommend the pumpkin pie concrete)



Crown Candy Kitchen
From another era, literally. Long lines and small booths but moves more quickly than you'd expect. Share a sandwich but get your own chocolate banana malt. The kids love the candy selection, after. Be sure to feed the meters.




FAVORITE KITCHEN SHOPS

Kitchen Conservatory
St. Louis' premier kitchen store and cooking school -- and a brand-new blog!



Cornucopia
In the heart of historic downtown Kirkwood, a great source of kitchen gadgets, baking and cooking tools, Fiesta dishes and so much more

RECOMMENDATIONS: Scandinavian coffee; Christmas Traditions coffee (before Christmas only)





GROCERY STOPS

Straub's, including Missouri Products
Prime meat, wine, specialty items, family-owned Straub's is an old-fashioned grocery with a contemporary sensibility

RECOMMENDATIONS: The Kobe corned beef; Straub's chicken salad is a traditional St. Louis favorite, made with poached chicken, a creamy mayonnaise and lots of pepper;



Viviano's
On the Hill, great for all things Italian and wine bargains

RECOMMENDATIONS: Premade pizza crusts; frozen spinach manicotti; pancetta; salt-packed anchovies; check the wine cases for cheap house wines



Volpi Foods & Deli
On the Hill, proscciutto, salami and other Italian specialty meats



Global Foods Market
In downtown Kirkwood, aisle after aisle of hard-to-find groceries and produce from all over the world, an immigrant nirvana, a foodie heaven; great prices on chocolate, cheese, nuts, dried fruit, spices and more

RECOMMENDATIONS: Ajvar, the red pepper spread in a jar; many varieties of dried fruit; fresh lavosh (only on Fridays, when fresh ones arrive); great prices on spices; jars of minced garlic and ginger; Maldon salt; Ginger People products; carnaroli rice for risotto; farro;



Ladue Market
At Clayton & Price, a grocery store from another era with narrow aisles, wood floors and extraordinary service, especially from the butchers, St. Louis best source for prime meat

RECOMMENDATIONS: the beef tenderloin; at Christmas, the Miller fresh smoked hams





BREAD & PASTRIES

Breadsmith
In Rock Hill, my favorite stop for dinner rolls

PERSONAL RECOMMENDATIONS: The flax seed rolls; the cinnamon claw is an all-regular indulgence; the challah



The Daily Bread
In Des Peres, a gathering place for coffee and lunch

RECOMMENDATIONS: Multi-grain bread, available in one-pound loaves, still good on Day Two



Great Harvest
Now closed in downtown Kirkwood so requires a trip to Olivette (on the north side, a mile or so east of Lindbergh) and around the country (find a Great Harvest location)
Take home a loaf of bread and a hearty sample slice! Keeps several days.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Over the years I've bought hundreds of loaves of Great Harvest Bread. But over time, it's come to taste largely the same to me, 'sweet'. Even the whole grain loaves have the same sweet taste. Still, I return to Great Harvest on occasion for the white bread (sliced, makes great sandwiches) and these specialties: the Swedish rye, the cranberry orange bread (makes great toast!) I love the flavor and especially the size of the tomato herb rolls.

New! For bread bakers - Great Harvest sells just-ground whole grain wheat flour for $1 a pound. It's an excellent flour - and you know it's as fresh as possible.



Missouri Baking Company
On the Hill, an Italian bakery
Amazing selection of small, pretty cookies, great for Christmas if you don't have time to bake.

RECOMMENDATION: Ask for a bag of pizza dough, $1





WORTH A STOP

Stellina Pasta Cafe - a fun little restaurant/lunch stop that also sells hand-crafted, organic fresh pasta (on Watson, west of Hampton, east of Trattoria Marcella)





RECIPES with SPECIAL MISSOURI PRODUCTS

Missouri Native Pecans - Buttered Pecan Ice Cream
Lewis & Clark Era - Buffalo Ragout
Missouri Mushrooms - Homemade Mushroom Soup
Pevely Cottage Cheese - Cottage Cheese Pie





ST LOUIS FOOD MEDIA

St Louis Food Bloggers
Inspiration from local home cooks and food bloggers



STLtoday's food section

STLToday's food blog



Sauce Magazine
Also Sauce's Food Calendar, Restaurant Guide, the great Food Quiz and the daily Sip of St. Louis

9 comments:

Do you have any recommended vendors of local produce at Soulard Market? I'm always excited when I go there at the prospect of locally grown food, but when I get there I always get frustrated by all the vendors selling pineapples, or veggies with California stickers on them!

Hi Anna ~ You're right, there are lots of dealers. The trick is to go on Saturdays, early, and to pay attention to what they're selling. If there are pineapples? You know it's a dealer. Even some farmers will supplement their own stuff too so watch the hand-printed signs. My favorites are the Eckerts (north side of the northeast building, midway) and the Kruses (west end of the southeast building, right by the doors) and there are a few new ones I've noticed recently. If you'd ever like, let's meet up and we can walk through together. When I go with my friend Karen, she always spots things I'd miss ... ignore, really. Like eggs and rabbits and ...

Gosh, I have such great memories of Soulard's!

Alanna - make a trip to the newest in St. Louis - Local Harvest Grocery - owned and operated by Patrick Horine and Jenny Ryan - they are the masterminds behind Tower Grove Farmer's Market. Their goal is to have 50% of their offerings come from within 150 miles of St. Louis.
http://www.localharvestgrocery.com/

Does anyone know what happened to Soulard Spice Shop? They had the best seasoning salt that I have ever had. Please help!

Hi ChamBiker ~ I haven't been to Soulard in a couple of weeks, but am guessing the store's still there, it's just the website that seems inoperable now - and I do know that Linda, the owner, had had trouble with her site developer so maybe that's it. The last phone number I had was 314-783-2100 and I do know they're happy to do telephone orders!

Where can you find the best bacon in St. Louis?

Hi John,

We get bacon at Whole Foods, also at CJ's Produce at the Kirkwood Farmers Market. But honestly, I've not made a study of bacon - though am looking forward to making our own soon! If you have a favorite source, please let me know!

Check the "local harvest" website for CSA's in your area. Come out and meet your farmers. Know where your food comes from.

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna