lola jean giveback cafe photo by meera nagarajan

5 new places in St. Louis to try this August

1. Lola Jean's Giveback Coffee
5400 Nottingham Ave., St. Louis,

You’ll never want to leave Lola Jean’s bright, sunny interior. Huge windows let natural light stream in, illuminating hanging plants, plush couches and a lemon-themed mural sure to please any Beyoncé fan. 

Classic espresso drinks and cold brew on tap are made with Kaldi’s coffee beans, and you can spike any beverage with house-made syrups. Keep it familiar with vanilla or try more interesting flavors like ginger-clove-maple in a loose-leaf teas or chai lattes

Sister restaurant and neighbor Russell’s on Macklind provides the pastries like savory scones flecked with herbs, cheese and garlic and sweet treats like soft chocolate chip cookies — the ideal partner for a cortado. And since all proceeds benefit local nonprofits, you’ll feel even better about purchasing that extra cookie.

pizzas at peel wood fired pizza // photo by michelle volansky

2. Peel Wood Fired Pizza
208 S. Meramec Ave., Clayton, 314.696.2515,  

Illinoisans have long sung the praises of Peel Wood Fired Pizza in Edwardsville and O’Fallon, and now Missourians can finally taste what all the fuss is about. Don’t miss exclusive dishes like the Creole shrimp and asparagus pizza, made with a rich Creole-Parmesan cream sauce and tender marinated shrimp. 

The kitchen uses those wood-fired ovens for more than just pies. A starter of smoky, tender-crisp wood-fired cauliflower is the perfect vehicle for harissa aioli. Find that aioli atop the nutty, roasty bulgar wheat paella featuring slices of merguez sausage and braised lamb shoulder. If paella and pizza seem like heavy lifting, lighten things up with the rainbow carrot salad – colorful carrot ribbons, arugula, toasted almonds, raisins, sunflower seeds and goat cheese are all dressed with coriander vinaigrette. 

3. Vitality Bowls Superfood Cafe
8029 Dale Ave., Richmond Heights, 314.448.1015,

The first Missouri location of Vitality Bowls Superfood Cafe is stepping up the wellness game. Along with the quintessential fruits and veggies (strawberries, bananas, kale, spinach), the cafe also features a variety of ingredients you’re unlikely to find at most restaurants, including pitaya (dragon fruit), camu camu (an Amazonian berry), graviola (soursop) and acerola (Barbados cherry). 

With viscosity closer to smoothie than concrete, the Immunity Bowl features a delectable blend of acerola, raw ginger, kale, camu camu, mango, bee pollen and more. The cafe eschews fillers like ice, frozen yogurt, added sugars and artificial preservatives in its mission to deliver antioxidant-rich sustenance. Healthy and delicious? That’s a combo we’re delighted to scoop up.

sunset at living room // photo by michelle volansky

4. Living Room/Craft Beer Cellar
5760 Chippewa St., St. Louis, 314.222.0333,,

St. Louis loves its coffee and beer, and two local favorites in both arenas have teamed up. Living Room Southampton and Craft Beer Cellar South City split an airy former service station on the corner of Chippewa Street and Sulphur Avenue, complete with garage door windows. 

During the morning and early afternoon, Living Room serves up a solid coffee and tea menu with some interesting specialty drinks like the Sunset, made with blood orange soda and espresso. A small snacks menu with pastries like scones and biscuits is also available. The bar then transitions to beer exclusively, with 15 taps currently including the hard-to-find Perennial Artisan Ales Apricot Gose. Customers can also peruse the plentiful selection of bottles in the adjacent retail area.

5. Blueprint Coffee Watson Location
4206 Watson Road, St. Louis, 314.266.6808,

The second location of Blueprint Coffee is an old service station complete with a wall of garage doors opening to Watson Road. The breezy indoor/outdoor setup includes a partially shaded back patio and a long list of refreshing draft beverages from nitro cold brew and iced teas to rotating infused sparkling waters and house shrubs. (Get the lovely strawberry-basil if it’s available.) 

All the standard pour-over and espresso drinks are available, but don’t miss the sweet-tart house tonic with espresso. The cozy neighborhood spot is already bustling, and the owners plan to expand hours and start a short food menu beyond its current handful of pastries soon.