5 Tasty Reasons to Visit the City Foundry Food Hall in St. Louis

Entrance to the City Foundry Food Hall in St. Louis

In the middle of America, where a 630-foot stainless steel arch provides a symbolic gateway to the west, an old manufacturing facility has a new lease on life. The 15-acre site, where small electric motors, castings, and automotive parts were cranked out back in the days when Americans cruised around St. Louis in Model Ts and coupes, is now the City Foundry food hall where the present-day community can gather, eat, and play.

A special thanks to Explore St. Louis for inviting me to experience their fair city. (<– See what I did there?) But you can count on me to always share my honest opinions, regardless of who foots the bill.

Food hall worker holding up sign

Located just north of I-64, in the Midtown neighborhood that’s halfway between Downtown St. Louis and Forest Park, is City Foundry STL. From fried chicken to crepes, poke bowls to popsicles, and craft beer to cocktails, visitors can enjoy a wide range of eateries in one amazing spot at this long-awaited food hall. But beyond the tasty food, here are six delicious reasons you’ll want to visit the City Foundry food hall.

    

Have You Visited the City Foundry Food Hall?

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Art made out of factory parts at the City Foundry Food Hall
Wall art designed from old factory parts at the City Foundry Food Hall in St. Louis

1. City Foundry STL Is Part of the City’s Rich History

For more than 70 years, workers at Century Electric and Federal-Mogul Automotive cranked out motors and other mechanical parts that kept America humming. But in the 1950s and 1960s, after many jobs were moved to lower-cost production facilities in the South, output slowly ground to a halt, and the facility was abandoned in 2007.

When the dilapidated property was acquired a decade later, the roof had caved in and the floor had collapsed. Many developers might have opted to demolish the structure and rebuild, but the team at New + Found wanted to preserve as much of the original site as possible. 

Establishing a guideline that anything larger than three inches should remain in the building, the developers ensured that guests stepping inside the cavernous 30,000-square-foot food hall today can easily see how the industrial skeleton of the original foundry has been transformed into a modern space full of character. 

In the shadow of a 100-foot-long gantry crane, plant-wrapped columns rise from the centers of tables, and patches of glass reveal spots of colorful brickwork amid the concrete floor. The century-old steel rail trestles, riveted beams, and soaring columns that provided the original foundry structure remain in place, albeit with a fresh finish. And the building’s magnificent butterfly roof, one of its most interesting architectural features, has been rebuilt.

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Patty's Cheesecakes at City Foundry Food Hall in St. Louis
Pat Upchurch, the founder and head baker at Patty's Cheesecakes, learned to cook from her dad.

2. You Are Supporting Small Local Restauranteurs

If you’re looking to wet your whistle or grab a bite, you’ve got a unique assortment of eateries to choose from at the City Foundry food hall. After all, it isn’t a mall food court or busy corner of generic suburbia with the same stale nationwide chains. Instead, you’ll find a collection of local eateries — some taking the first step out of a food truck and into a brick and mortar location — at City Foundry STL.

Chicken empanada from Buenos Aires Cafe in St. Louis
Chicken empanada from Buenos Aires Cafe

3. Most Eateries At The City Foundry Food Hall Offer Small Bites

With so many delicious options — like fried green tomatoes, empanadas, Caribbean chicken, poke bowls, and cheesecake, to name just a few — it can be hard to keep your watering mouth in check with the space available in your growling stomach.

Fortunately, most of the eateries at City Foundry STL offer small bites, which allow you to build your own progressive dinner as you stroll from stand to stand. And with a wide range of options, it’s easy to find something for everyone in your party.

4. Take Your Tastebuds On A Trip Around the World (Without Leaving St. Louis)

While there might not be room in one visit to try it all, your tastebuds can travel around the world and enjoy a variety of cuisines at the City Foundry food hall. Starting in the Americas, you’ll find Southern favorites at 4 Hens Creole Kitchen, roasted chicken at Chicken Scratch Rotisserie, Mexican food from the Yucatan peninsula at Sureste, and Argentinian specialties at Buenos Aires Cafe

While remaining firmly planted in St. Louis, you cross oceans as you dig into beef maffai from West Africa at Chez Ali, opt for sweet or savory Belgian waffles at Press Waffle Co, enjoy fresh fish at Hello Poke, sample Asian fusion tacos at Kalbi Taco Shack, and down Bombay sliders and chutney at Turmeric Street Style.

The Bar at City Foundry Food Hall in STL
Guests can enjoy beer, wine, and cocktails at the bar at the heart of City Foundry STL

5. There’s More To Do (Than Eat Delicious Food)

Although eating is one of my favorite pastimes, City Foundry STL offers more than delicious food. Fill in the space between breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a little retail therapy at the City Foundry shops, a round of mini-golf at Puttshack, or a movie at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.

To Visit the City Foundry Food Hall in St. Louis

City Foundry STL is located at 3730 Foundry Way. You’ll find it on the southeast corner of the City Foundry property near the intersection of Forest Park and South Vandeventer Avenues. The City Foundry food hall opens daily at 8:00 am, but individual restaurant hours may vary.

For the latest information, including details about special City Foundry STL events, when new eateries are opening, and City Foundry STL concerts, visit the City Foundry STL website.

Have You Visited the City Foundry Food Hall?

What did you like most? Any additional tips and tricks to pass along? Share your experiences in the comments section below.

Enjoying a taco at City Foundry STL
The bar at the center of City Foundry STL
City Foundry STL - Pin 2 - JPG
St. Louis Arch along the Mississippi River in St. Louis

Looking for more information to plan your St. Louis vacation? Check out my additional recommendations to help you plan your trip to St. Louis including what to see and do in St. Louis, the best places to stay in St. Louis, where to eat in St. Louis, and more!

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10 thoughts on “5 Tasty Reasons to Visit the City Foundry Food Hall in St. Louis”

  1. I love food halls! We have a few here in Los Angeles that are tons of fun! Thanks for your rec’s I’ll be sure to save this post for while I’m in St. Louis!

  2. Now I know that I have to and want to go back to St. Louis. During my stay, I was focused only on seeing Gateway Arch NP. I didn’t know about the existence of City Foundry Food Hall in St. Louis. Such delicious food! I add it to my list.

    1. Depending on you when you visited, it may not have been opened yet. It’s a relatively new addition to the Gateway City!

  3. I wish more cities would have food halls. I love the idea of being able to walk and buy different types of food to taste.

    1. Aren’t they the best? And I love that most of the vendors at City Foundry have bite-sized options so you can try them all!

  4. We have a food hall like this in Fort Worth and I love visiting it. The waffles form there are one of my favorites for sure. When I make it to St. Louis, I will definitely be trying out the empanadas you mentioned!

  5. Oh I love a good food hall and City Foundry STL looks like a good one! That it’s located in a historical building and district is definitely an added bonus. I like that it’s full of small indies too.

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