I lived in St. Louis for 4 years during grad school. Last weekend, I had the opportunity to spend 36 hours in St. Louis and visit some of my favorite, and two new, Black-owned businesses.
This is one of my favorite places in St. Louis. Tucked away in the Shaw neighborhood, SweetArt is a real gem and always touts #loveandmagic. You can feel the love and magic when you walk in and when you taste the food. I usually head to SweetArt for the cupcakes, which are some of the best that I have ever had AND often gluten-free or vegan. On a couple occasions, including this weekend, I also order lunch, which never disappoints. This time, I opted for a spicy chick’n wrap with a kale salad and wondered why I had waited so long to do so. I am pretty sure I was not eating real chicken, but the texture and seasoning was perfect. There was just enough spice, and it was balanced well with the avocado and dressing. The kale salad was simple and topped with their signature love and magic dressing, which was a delicious vinaigrette situation. I finished my meal off with a mini margarita cupcake, which was like taking a sip of a margarita from a salt-rimmed glass. Later, I had a birthday cake and a cookies and cream cupcake, which were both delicious. I really do love SweetArt, and every time I go, I find a new reason to love it more.
Northwest Coffee Roasting Company
When I was living in St. Louis my first year, I would come here to study all the time because it was super close to my apartment. Housed in a Central West End converted garage, it has a super chill, almost hipster vibe.
Outside, there is a courtyard that is perfect for studying, hanging with friends, or a day date on a sunny, breezy day. In addition to the traditional coffee shop beverage options, you can also order breakfast sandwiches, waffles, and smoothies. This time, I got a chai tea latte and some mini waffles, which were nice, crispy, and slightly cinnamon flavored. It was the perfect way to start my morning.
SweetFixx has been open just over a year in the Tower Grove neighborhood and is a bright and shiny beacon of dessert deliciousness. It still feels new when you walk in. The display of both savory and sweet options is incredibly enticing, and I ended up buying way more than I had intended when I walked in. I also had my first savory cupcake made of meatloaf topped with garlic mashed potatoes. The onions were a little big for my liking, but there was great flavor, and the potatoes were delicious and creamy.
For my sweet tooth, I had a chocolate chip oreo cookie, which was probably the biggest cookie I’ve ever seen, and slightly scone-like, but very tasty. I also had a hot lava chocolate cupcake, which was perfectly moist with not too much frosting and a nice crunch with chocolate chips sprinkled in. The lava cake was definitely my favorite, and I can’t wait to try other creations.
Turn is an up and coming restaurant right on the edge of the Grand Center and Midtown neighborhoods, and I’m actually upset that it was not around when I was living in St. Louis. It definitely would have been a regular brunch spot, even without serving bottomless mimosas. Since the owner is a former DJ, the restaurant has a well-implemented music motif, which is not at all cheesy. There is a wall of album covers with everyone from Donna Summers to Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, while, just like records, the menus have a side A and B. There are a lot of intriguing options (i.e.: a flight of biscuits), and everything sounds delicious. I tried the apple cinnamon biscuit, the Turn Burger of the Day (fig, maple jam, Nueske bacon, goat cheese, and lettuce), fries, and a peach pineapple smoothie. Although the smoothie had a few more chunks than I would have liked, everything that I tasted was wonderfully seasoned and cooked to perfection. I don’t know what the seasoning on the fries was, but I need more of those fries in my life. There are a bunch of things on the menu that I want to try, so I will definitely be back.