Soak Up The Sun: Guide to Delmar Loop

In the white-hot heat of summer, we draw ourselves outdoors. Counter-intuitive, I know. There isn’t a lick of shade lapping this street. Most of the buildings here are awning less, marked by a pull of beige with thick swatches of red and green and blue.

Blueberry Hill is one of the things to do in St.Louis

“Can we please go inside?” you ask, in a stew of sweat and perspiration. “Inside. Now. Anywhere. Pick a store. Any store.”

But I’m standing on the edge of the sidewalk, still thinking. It’s hard to choose a single place to see within St. Louis’ Delmar Loop. Delmar, fondly called The Loop, is over six blocks long and hosts specialty shops, restaurants, and art galleries. The Loop breathes the words “heart” and “soul” into our quiet mid-afternoon stroll.

We quicken our pace, searching for just the right spot. The serenity we are holding onto will only last a few more hours, before the throngs arrive to slip into the heavy nightscape. Until then, I will be your guide. Are you ready?

Stop 1: A Not-So-Little Drink

Fitz's Restaurant in Delmar Loop is one of the most iconic things to do in Delmar Loop known for it's root beer and quirky blue exterior panel and prominent logo: guide to Delmar Loop

We can’t visit The Loop without stopping by Fitz’s Restaurant – a soft drink microbrewery. Imagine premium flavours secured in vintage bottles. Cream Soda. Orange Pop. Vanilla Mint Soda. The house specialty – Draft Root Beer.

We expect just a small sip to quench our thirst, but the portions at Fitz’s are just as large as the logo itself (which, to be fair, encompasses at least a fourth of the quirky blue exterior panel).

The root beer floats are a messy eat – scoops of ice cream overloaded dangerously on a glass mug. As the ice cream melts inwards, the flavour of the soda is slowly accentuated. Fitz pushes the line of an old-fashioned malt shop and enters the realm of gourmet soft drinks.

Fitz’s Restaurant:  6605 Delmar Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63130, 11AM – 9PM, Menu

Stop 2: Oh, The Indie Galore

The Tivoli Theater is a must-see in the Loop. One of the top things to do in Delmar Loop it is known for its independent films and three-screen theater

Tivoli is where we head next – this time to get our indie-movie fix. Tivoli, a three-screen theater, plays movies that are both artful and whimsical: classic films, gorgeously animated films, and storyline-heavy films.

But as the credits roll, we’re still itching for more indie-delights. Luckily, just a little walk down from Tivoli is Subterranean Books, a locally-owned bookstore molding the concepts of warm, cozy, and intimate together. We dig through the hand-selected collection. Most are new releases – popular titles at that. But somehow, the smell of fresh paper and the shine of glossy covers pulls us deeper and deeper into Subterranean.

Soon, we find a title that catches our eye so we let our fingers rest against the pages as we search for a reading area. There is one upstairs – quiet, comfortable, and homey. That little nook mines the essence of Subterranean.

The Craft Alliance Center of Art & Design is on the other end of the street, so we’re going to be stretching our legs a little as we head towards this non-profit arts center, which culls from gifts crafted by local artists.

Our shoes click against the pavement – past the Hollywood-style stars embedded in the block of gray, past the weld of storefronts, past the Chuck Berry statue –

You pause.

Chuck Berry Statue in DelmarLoop is one of the things to do in St.Louis

Chuck Berry, an artist whose name is now synonymous with The Loop, made a monthly concert appearance at Blueberry Hill, a ritzy American restaurant serving down-to-earth grub and tasty jukebox tunes with a side of live music.  The statue is a tribute to his legendary Rock and Roll performances and a photo-stop in Delmar (Don’t tell me that you’ve never tried tackily posing like a statue for a picture. No? Not even for Instagram? Okay, maybe it’s just me.)

Tivoli Theater: 6350 Delmar Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63130, Website

Subterranean Books: 6275 Delmar Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63130, 11AM – 8PM, Website

Craft Alliance Center of Art & Design: 6640 Delmar Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63130, 10AM – 5PM, Website

Stop 3: Late Lunch in The Loop

Ranoush has some exotic dishes in Delmar Loop - great food includes beef with Arabic salad

Food sounds good right about now so we scout for a few places to eat. Delmar is a melting pot of cuisine. Thai. Asian. Italian. The Loop crosses every international culinary path.

The most popular eatery is arguably the 24-hour Peacock Diner, popularized by its vibrant neon sign. The bright colours extend inwards as the interior lighting, a gel of glowstick colours, softens the striking U-turn tables. The Peacock Diner serves traditional American cuisine, decently priced and a steal for the ambiance.

But for a late-lunch special, we instead head to Ranoush, a hodge-podge of Syrian cuisine. Billowing striped red drapes, street-art style murals on the walls, wicker chairs, and copper utensils transport us to the Middle East.
Ranoush in Delmar Loop serves juicy chicken with a thick yogurt-based paste and light Arabic salad

I order a Chicken Shawarma for myself and a Kafta for you. The meats run juicy rather than dry and the bland flavour of the rice is offset by a mildly-spiced limed salad. The real highlight is a yogurt-based dipping sauce that complements but doesn’t mask any of the flavours in either the chicken or the light Arabic salad.

Peacock Diner: 6261 Delmar Blvd, University City, MO 63130, 24 hours, Menu

Ranoush: 6501 Delmar Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63130, 11AM – 12AM, Menu

Stop 4: Watching Moon rise in Moonrise

It’s starting to get late, but there is still so much more to see in St.Louis. I, for once (or twice or maybe more), am ready to hit the bed. The Moonrise Hotel in The Loop, a kitschy astro-themed boutique hotel, is the live-action version of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. With black and white space-themed photos and quirky baubles that eclipse each room, the hotel experience is one we will be mooning over even after we leave.

Moonrise Hotel: 6177 Delmar Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63112, Website

Disclaimer: All puns in this post are absolutely intentional. I apologize in advance. 

Did you enjoy this guide to Delmar Loop? Any other suggestions? Let me know in the comments below! I would love to hear from you!

You Might Also Like

  • Lovely pictures Anshula! I too love the idea of a soft drink microbrewery so Fitz’s would be right on top of my list too 🙂

    Plus the idea of watching the moon rise from the Moonrise is such a cool idea 🙂

    • Thank you! A soft drink microbrewery is definitely a very unique and fun experience! 🙂 Hope you have a wonderful day! xx – Anshula

  • Chittra Kumar

    That is a wonderful way to take around the city.. I like the way you have narrated the day, very lyrical. The soft drink microbrewery piqued my interest. Happy traveling 🙂

    • Thank you so much for your kind words! Happy traveling (and many wonderful adventures) to you as well! 🙂 xx – Anshula

  • Everything about you have experienced while ambling around is beautiful. The street views and all those building structures that are unique and stunning is really beyond compare. The food looks so tempting and luscious as well. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

    • Thank you! The food is definitely very tempting (too much restaurants…so little time)! Have a fabulous day! 🙂 xx – Anshula

  • Loved your narration, with all the puns;) You covered it all the food, the drinks, cinema and architecture!
    The live version of Hitchhikers guide seems such an interesting idea! 🙂 I wish there were pictures of that! I’d love to see this themed hotel 🙂

    • Thank you so much! I like to think of myself as an incredibly punny person (though in reality, I’m far from that) 😉 Hope you have a fantastic day! xx – Anshula

  • Marge Gavan

    Your writing made me feel like I was right there with you. To be honest I don’t know who Chuck Berry is but that statue literally made me pause. I happen to be a fan of sculptures and the level of details of this one is amazing. Looks like there are good things to do round Delmar. Would love to visit someday.

    • Thank you so much! Chuck Berry is the “father of rock and roll” – though in my humble opinion, Elvis became King of that court and unintentionally overthrew him (hence why Berry is a little less iconic than he should be) 😉 I really hope you get to visit St.Louis! Wishing you a fabulous day full of adventures! xx – Anshula

  • Cat Lin

    Thanks for a useful guide to Delmar Loop! I’d love to try that root beer float at Fritz’s Restaurant even though it might be messy! Food tour sounds like a good idea since it has so many different cuisines. I’ve never had Syrian food but it will be interesting to try!

    • Yes! A Loop Food Tour would be awesome! I’d think I’d suffer from overeating amazing Diner food and gooey butter cakes though 😉 Wishing you a fabulous day! xx – Anshula