Taste of Soulard
Soulard Shows Off Its Best Cajun & Creole Eats
Mardi Gras Fools at Soulard's Hardshell Cafe
At some point during St. Louis’ nearly six weeks of Mardi Gras events, many of the bars and restaurants in the Soulard neighborhood open their doors and either set up outside, or invite folks in, for Taste of Soulard, a chance to sample this historic enclave’s best Cajun & Creole eats and libations.
Located just a mile or so from Busch Stadium, the Gateway Arch, and “downtown”, Soulard is a quaint historic neighborhood filled with lovingly restored brick homes and streets paved almost entirely in red bricks. Known at one time as “Frenchtown”, the district’s roots date back to the late 1700s when a portion of what is now known as Soulard was given to Antoine Soulard, surveyor general of Upper Louisiana, as payment for services rendered.
For a modest price, Taste of Soulard attendees receive a ticket booklet that includes a map of the Soulard area and the locations of participating establishments. Attendees create their own “pub crawl”, as they explore the district, exchanging tickets from their booklet for drinks and/or food at the various participating establishments.
A courtesy trolley is also available on the Saturday & Sunday of the festival. A large tent is also set up in the park next to the Soulard Farmer’s Market at the intersection of Lafayette Ave & S. 9th Street. Inside, additional vendors offer samples from their menus their menus.
Booklets can be purchased in advance at any participating Soulard business, or by calling 314-771-5110, or the day of the event from participating Soulard vendors. For guests who run out of tickets, or choose not to buy the ticket booklet, individual portions can be purchased for cash at participating restaurants and pubs in the area.
With hundreds of people wandering the streets of Soulard and getting in the Mardi Gras mood, Taste of Soulard becomes a very respectable street party in one of the city’s venerable old neighborhoods, in and amongst some truly lovely architecture.
Everyone is in a good mood, beads, Cajun/Creole food and drinks abound, and the twin goals of introducing visitors to the restaurants in the area, and to Soulard in general, are accomplished in a way that sets the stage for the larger Mardi Gras events coming in the next few days and weeks.
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