Sure, a 'hot chick on a stick' might not sound romantic, but you'd be surprised how much fun you can have at Fast Eddie's—no fancy clothes necessary, live music, no kids in sight, and more peel-and-eat-shrimp that you consume in one sitting—all without breaking the bank. What's not to love?
Fast Eddies, 1530 E. 4th St., Alton, Ill., 618-462-5532
There's nothing fancy here, and that's just why fans flock to Saratoga Lanes. Draft beer, fluorescent lighting and rented shoes aside, it's also a great place to relax, have a few laughs and rekindle that competitive spirit.
Saratoga Lanes, 2725 Sutton Blvd., St. Louis, 314-645-5308
The classic date night—dinner and a movie—is made better by cozy leather love seats and a full bar stocked with creative cocktails to enjoy during the movie. Get there early to ensure a good seat, and then just kick back and relax at one of St. Louis' best kept secrets.
Moolah Theatre, 3821 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, 314-446-6806
Shaw Nature Reserve
For those that love the road less traveled, bundle up and get outdoors! The Shaw Nature Reserve is offering a guided, night-time hike of its beautiful grounds on Valentine's Day weekend. Check out constellations and planets using their telescope, and top off you night with steamy hot beverages and desserts to share.
Shaw Nature Reserve, Highway 100 and Interstate 44, Gray Summit, Mo., 636-451-3215
The Ritz Grill
There are lots of fine-dining locations in St. Louis, but few have the cache of The Ritz-Carlton. It is, afterall, The Ritz. Throw in a new dinner menu and the incredibly artistic work of their gifted in-house pastry chef. and you have a match made in heaven. Go ahead and splurge—get a room! Inquire about Valentine's Day packages that include champagne, brunch, and other goodies. Trust us, you deserve it.
The Ritz-Carlton, 100 Carondelet Plaza, Clayton, Mo., 314-863-6300
The Melting Pot
Fondue may seem a little too obvious, the two St. Louis locations will be packed, and you'll need a reservation, But any meal that starts with cheese and ends in chocolate can't be a bad thing. The fact that you'll linger at the table for a couple of hours doesn't hurt either. Bring on the fondue forks!
The Melting Pot: 294 Lamp and Lantern Village, Town & Country, Mo., 636-207-6358 and 6683 Delmar Blvd., University City, Mo., 314-725-4141
One person's filet and cabernet is another's guacamole and margaritas. Pueblo Solis is consistently ranked among the city's best Mexican restaurants, and if tequila doesn't make you feel a little warm and fuzzy, maybe their chicken mole will do the trick—considered an aphrodisiac in Mexico.
Pueblo Solis, 5127 Hampton Ave., St. Louis, 314-351-9000
A romantic road trip anyone? Fond, in Edwardsville, Ill., fulfills all the romantic dining requirements—small, beautifully appointed, delicious food, special occasion feel and the 'in-the-know' feeling you get when you find someone else who has gone there. A menu that changes daily and that features carefully selected, locally sourced ingredients adds to its allure. Make a night of it and hole up in one of Edwardsville's bed and breakfasts after your meal!
Fond, 106 N. Main St., Edwardsville, Ill., 618-656-9001
There is something so out-of-the-ordinary about strolling through marbled museum hallways. The Saint Louis Art Museum—despite the ongoing construction of its new wing—remains one of the most beautiful places in St. Louis, and what's more romantic than that? Admission is free, and the museum is open until 9 p.m. on Friday nights. Take your time, hold hands, enjoy the silence and you'll be sure to walk out a bit more cultured then you walked in.
Saint Louis Art Museum, 1 Fine Arts Drive, St. Louis, 314-721-0072Annie Gunn's
Annie Gunn's in Chesterfield is a St. Louis dining institution. The welcome is warm, the atmosphere is comfortable, the menu is delicious in its simplicity, and the service is gracious. It's not cheap, but it's satisfying in all the right ways.
Annie Gunn's, 16806 Chesterfield Airport Road, Chesterfield, Mo., 636-532-7684
After living and writing in St. Louis for almost 15 years, Meredith Boggess has plenty of good things to share about her adopted hometown. She and her husband recently welcomed their first daughter into their home on The Hill, and, despite the sleepless nights, they are still awash in that new parent glow. Contact Meredith at firstname.lastname@example.org
Best Bets articles represent the views and the research completed by St. Louis Sprout & About journalists and are not driven by advertising or requests by vendors or venues. Best Bets do not imply an endorsement of a business or activity.