The 5 Best Neighborhoods in St. Louis

Are you moving to St. Louis? Or perhaps you’re already in the Gateway City, but it’s time to check out a new neighborhood? St. Louis, Missouri is packed with so many unique neighborhoods it may be hard to pick one to live in.

Talk about a good problem to have, right?

The overall theme of St. Louis City neighborhoods is historic; it is an old city full of stunning, vintage architecture, so most parts of the area will have a historic connection at some level or another. However, the style can change from neighborhood to neighborhood. Perhaps exposed brick in a towering loft with polished cement floors is your ideal type of home—if so, downtown might be the place. Or maybe something a little more Victorian would do the trick, with beautiful wood trim and a quaint garden. You might be better suited for Lafayette Square.

Below you’ll find five of St. Louis’ best neighborhoods and some of the features that set them apart. We’re leaving the hardest part to you, though: picking just one to live in.

1. Central West End

Ask anyone in St. Louis about the best places to live and the Central West End, or CWE, is sure to come up. The Central West End merges trendy businesses with historic homes to create a one-of-a-kind neighborhood that constantly has a flow of pedestrian traffic. Located near some of the area’s major hospitals, the Central West End is a short drive from other popular office spots like downtown and midtown. This neighborhood is great for residents of all walks of life, from young students to families to empty nesters.


  • Foodie haven: If you find yourself dining out often, the Central West End is for you. Find cuisines from around the world, crafted by renowned chefs and presented in on-trend environments, in this neighborhood.
  • Great for students: While known as a bit pricey, the Central West End is a fantastic location for students at the nearby Saint Louis University. Washington University in St. Louis is just a short drive away as well.
  • Services nearby: The Central West End has everything, from a large library to salons to a 24-hour coffee shop and cafe.

2. Lafayette Square

Love the look of historic homes? Then try out Lafayette Square. Filled with “painted ladies”—the nickname for colorful Victorian homes—Lafayette Square is a stunning neighborhood populated by prospering local businesses, residents and pets. The area is so visually pleasing a twice-per-year Lafayette Square House Tours is held by the Lafayette Square Restoration Committee, and it is a frequent background for local couples’ engagement and wedding photos.


  • Ample green space: Take the family for a walk around the expansive Lafayette Park and enjoy the outdoors without leaving your urban oasis.
  • Nearby eateries: Leave the car at home and walk to a high-end restaurant or charming bar. There’s even a popular brewery and distillery called Square One in the neighborhood. What’s better than apps and cocktails at the place that made your vodka?
  • Neighbors who care: With varying levels of membership and a history of neighborhood-focused improvements, this area has an active organization dedicated to keeping it beautiful and bustiling.

3. Downtown

The urban core of St. Louis, the downtown region, is home to many of the area’s most notable destinations. From the Gateway Arch to City Museum, Kiener Plaza to Ballpark Village, downtown is a destination for business, entertainment and living. Those looking to move downtown may appreciate the expansive lofts and Arch views, as well as neighborhood perks like easy-to-access bodegas and an ample number of restaurants, nightclubs and coffee shops.


  • Ditch the commute: Skip traveling in on the highway every morning and move downtown.
  • Walk to the game: Louis is a major sports town, and downtown residents have the easiest access to St. Louis Cardinals and St. Louis Blues home games. Go team!
  • Apartments for every style: While downtown is known for its industrial lofts, classic apartments and even townhomes are available.

4. Soulard

Soulard likes to party. Referred to as “lively” by the city’s tourism site, Soulard is home to shops, eateries, bars and art galleries. It also has one of the largest Mardi Gras celebrations outside of New Orleans. This historic neighborhood is actually the oldest in St. Louis—so old, in fact, its farmer’s market has been continuously operating since 1779. Soulard has housing options in a variety of price points and is conveniently located near the highway, although with so much to do in it you might not need to ever leave.


  • Constant activity: Love the nightlife? Soulard is for you. Home of St. Louis’ gigantic Mardi Gras celebration, this area is packed with fun bars.
  • Central location: Nestled between downtown and South City, Soulard is close to everything which makes commuting a breese.
  • Find the freshest food: Stop by the bustling Farmer’s Market Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday for fresh meat, produce, spices, flowers and more.

5. Shaw

Nestled near the popular Tower Grove Park, Shaw is a historic neighborhood that is largely residential and peppered with popular eateries and bars. Thanks to a protective ordinance, the vintage charm of the area and its homes have stayed largely intact and the Tower Grove Neighborhoods Community Development Corporation works to continue the neighborhood’s positive improvements.


Julia Cain