ST. LOUIS (KMOX) –Where are the best places to hang out before and after Cardinals games? Let’s break this into our Top 5 Areas to Hang Out Around Busch Stadium:


Ballpark Village. The $100 million behemoth attracts millions of visitors. It’s not only the place to be for Cards fans, but it’s also become a good spot for concerts, as well as viewing other major sporting events. From the baseball-themed Cardinals Nation to the impressive Budweiser Brew House (not to mention the raucous PBR bar), there are plenty of hangout options. For a “wow” factor, go to the Fox Sports Midwest Live! entertainment plaza and catch a game on some of the biggest screens in the country. Drunken Fish has excellent sushi and happy hour specials. Tip: On a nice day, the Field of Dreams, with its Adirondack chairs and big screen TV, is as good as it gets.


Ballpark North. Let’s refer to this as the area north of Ballpark Village. There are three can’t-miss establishments: Mike Shannon’s, 360 and Charlie Gitto’s. For the combination of food, drinks and baseball nostalgia, Shannon’s is tough to beat. Perched at the top of the Hilton at the Ballpark, 360 is quite simply one of the finest rooftop restaurants in America, complete with an outdoor bar and stunning 360-degree views of downtown. (And St. Louisans will tell you: if you’re going to try toasted ravioli, get it at Gitto’s.) Travel north on 4th Street to get to Laclede’s Landing and Lumiere Place, which is as close to Vegas as you’ll get in STL. Take the Four Seasons elevator to the 8th floor and enjoy drinks and appetizers at Cielo. Trust us. And there’s no better street downtown than Washington Avenue, the ever-growing strip of nightlife. Tip: Anthony’s, located at 10 S. Broadway, is the ultimate hideaway bar. Tremendous food. And speaking of that, go even further north to Crown Candy Kitchen. Worth it!


Ballpark West. We’ll go ahead and say that Wheelhouse is one of the best sports bars you’ll find downtown, with ample seating, tons of TV’s, good food and friendly service. Joe Buck’s is an easy walk to the Stan Musial statue and therefore can attract a crowd in its expansive bar. Check out the impressive beer selection at the Flying Saucer while you’re in the area. Tip: For an upscale experience, valet and stop into the Westin.


Ballpark South. Paddy O’s is still a favorite meeting place for many Cardinals fans. The open-air feel and unbeatable location make it a perfect place to hang on gamedays. Just down the street, Kilroy’s has become popular, as well, especially for its discounted prices. On Broadway, the king remains the lovable Broadway Oyster Bar, home of great music and delicious Cajun food for over 30 years. Tip: For live music, check the websites for Old Rock House, Beale on Broadway and BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups to see who’s playing that night.


Too many bars here to name, but you can start at McGurk’s (and its outstanding outdoor patio) and eventually make your way north to 4 Hands Brewing for a taste of some local craft beer. Or just take any ballpark shuttle offered by one of Soulard’s fine establishments and you’ll have the best of both worlds: a ride to the game and a return trip to one of the coolest neighborhoods in town. Tip: Bogart’s serves up some ridiculously good BBQ.


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