evangeline’s bistro and music house in the central west end photo by jonathan gayman

5 spots in St. Louis to soak up the Mardi Gras vibes without the chaos of Soulard

This year’s Mardi Gras Grand Parade will be held on Saturday, Feb. 10, and as much as we love the second biggest Mardi Gras celebration in the country, sometimes it can be a bit much. So, if the Soulard frenzy isn’t really your thing, but you still want to get some New Orleans vibes going in a more low-key atmosphere, check out these spots.

4 Hens Creole Kitchen
This restaurant is inside the City Foundry STL food hall, so you can take in the spirit of Mardi Gras through the cuisine with dishes like shrimp and grits and Not Your Mama’s Gumbo while others in your party could choose from the nearly 20 other stalls in the food hall if they’re not feeling the Creole vibes. If you want a bit of the imbibing nature of the holiday, stop by the Kitchen Bar for a few drinks, then check out the retail shops and various entertainment available at City Foundry such as PuttShack and Sandbox VR.
3730 Foundry Way, St. Louis, cityfoundrystl.com

Evangeline’s Bistro and Music House
Stop by Evangeline’s in the Central West End for some classic New Orleans fare. Their brunch menu consists of jambalaya, Andouille sausage gravy and biscuits, beignets, and bottomless mimosas and bloody marys. Want to try some more French-inspired drinks to celebrate Mardi Gras here? Try the Vieux Carre with rye whiskey, cognac, Benedictine, sweet vermouth and bitters, or the Fleur Etoilee with St. Germaine, Champagne and fresh berries. Be sure to catch the performance by the St Louis Banjo Club on Feb. 10. There will also be a Beignet Festival Feb. 9 to 11 with a variety of sweet and savory beignets. On Mardi Gras on Tuesday, Feb. 13, there will be King Cake and free appetizer coupons if you find the baby, along with live music from Bob Case and the Wild Accusations.
512 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 314.367.3644, evangelinesstl.com

Mardi Gras in Tower Grove Park
STL Barkeep is heading to the Piper Palm House in Tower Grove Park to help you let the good times roll with three separate events. On Saturday, Feb. 10, from noon to 5 p.m. there’s a pig roast and cocktail party with entertainment by the St. Boogie Brass Band. Food and drink are available a la carte. On Saturday evening at 6 p.m., there’s a five-course dinner by chefs Ryan McDonald and Nate Hereford with tickets available online. And on Fat Tuesday, there’s the third annual Cocktail Carnivale with St. Boogie Brass Band beginning at 5 p.m. with food and drink available for purchase.
Piper Palm House, 4256 Magnolia Ave., St. Louis, Facebook: Mardi Grove in Tower Grove Park!

gumbo at sister cities cajun // photo by izaiah johnson


Sister Cities Cajun
Although Sister Cities is just a mile down from the big festivities, it should be far enough away to avoid the crazy Soulard crowds. Celebrating its 10th anniversary last year, Sister Cities has cemented itself as a go-to place for Cajun food with fun and entertaining vibes in its spacious patio. On Mardi Gras, they will be running all the fun festivities from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Stop by for a taste of their Cajun smoked wings or try the classic Mardi Gras Hurricane. Spots fill up fast on Fridays and Saturdays, so reservations are strongly recommended.
3550 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314.405.0447, sistercitiescajun.com

The Wolf Cafe
Celebrating Mardi Gras on Friday and Saturday, the Wolf Cafe is offering a special food menu for the holiday, including traditional options like crawfish jambalaya, as well as a chicken and Andouille sausage gumbo. They’ll also be offering vegan gumbo and New Orleans-style red beans and rice to ensure there’s something for vegans and vegetarians. The Mississippi mud pie would pair perfectly with a chocolate martini for dessert. Don’t miss the cocktails, including real fruit Hurricanes. Joining for the festivities on Saturday only will be a St. Louis-based roots group that has been making music here for over 20 years. Salt of the Earth is providing all the necessary vibes to make this Ballwin Mardi Gras a party.
15480 Clayton Road, Ballwin, 636.527.7027, thewolfstl.com