If you've ever experienced "the haze" that guides out-to-eat decision-making after midnight, you're likely aware of the abundance of wee-hour diners and fast-food joints teeming with toxin-absorbing carbohydrates.
But, what about the hours between dinner and after hours - for the times when you don't want an evening to end, but the prospect of powering through to the early morning is not in the cards? The answer is a growing list of local restaurants offering up late-night menus perfect for extending your evening without sacrificing your ability to face the next day.
So, where to go? We've rounded up four spots for some tasty late-night eats in St. Louis. From striped-down menus designed to pair with expertly crafted cocktails to entire flights geared toward sharing amongst a table of friends, each menu with the promise of the perfect ending to a more tame evening out on the town.
After transplanting from a space shared with Niche in Benton Park, Taste quickly settled into new digs in the Central West End. Despite the new home, the focus on top-notch late-night eats remains, ranging from the simple - pickles, roasted nuts, cheese and charcuterie - to the downright decadent - braised cuts of Berkshire pork belly (pair it with French fries), pastas and perfectly seared scallops with roasted sections of watermelon.
4584 Laclede Ave., next door to Brasserie by Niche in the Central West End, 314.361.1200, tastebarstl.com
Sanctuaria has emerged as a go-to spot for St. Louis diners, featuring an expansive list of tapas and a vibrant drink program. What you might not know is that around 11pm, the see-and-be-seen bar becomes home to one of the city's best late-night menus as well. Our picks? Warm Spanish piquillos stuffed with goat cheese and paired with a fiery salsa verde and a Cuban frita, sliders of pork and smoky chorizo topped with cheese and crisp potato.
4198 Manchester Ave., The Grove, 314.535.9700, sanctuariastl.com
MOSAIC MODERN FUSION
West County does not miss out on the late-night trend with Mosaic's "after dark" happy hour, anchored by a handful of bar nibbles that are simple and portable, while highlighting the restaurant's trademark approach to crisscrossing cuisines and flavors. What's in store? Korean style pork is paired with kim chee and wrapped in crisp lettuce for three-bite snacks while traditional chicken wings are reinvigorated with a crust of smokey harissa and a side of mint and yogurt called raita for dipping.
11927 Manchester Road, Des Peres, 314.369.7639, enjoymosaic.com
After 10pm, Five Bistro turns its focus to the late-night crowd, serving up a selection of plates that are not only filling, but tailor-made for sharing. House-cut pommes frites make for the foundation of Five's take on poutine, complete with a confit of locally sourced rabbit, mushroom gravy and their own ricotta cheese. Selections of chef Anthony Devoti's own charcuterie make an appearance as well, accompanied with housemade pickles, marmalade, jams and mustard. Also of note, late night is now the home of Five's nationally recognized hamburger, one of the finest in the city at any hour.
5100 Daggett Ave., The Hill, 314.773.5553, fivebistro.com