Cafes in Midtown

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Cini, named for the Italian street food arancini, packs its menu with a variety of these traditional rice balls that are crispy on the outside and packed with fresh veggies and meat on the inside. Guests first pick their cini of choice as their appetizer, with options including the Original packed with sausage and peas, a Primavera cini with zucchini and squash, or the four-cheese rice ball. From there, customers can select a base for their main meal, choosing either a thin-crust wrap called a piadina, a bowl of angel-hair or penne pasta, or a salad bowl of mixed greens. The wrap, pasta, or salad is then topped with a grill item such as meatballs, salmon, or steak and then adorned with a choice of hot or cold sauces such as fresh basil pesto, pomodoro, or creamy parmesan. And for dessert, the meal comes full circle with the addition of a sweet cini stuffed with hazelnut chocolate and sweet arborio rice.

374 S Grand Blvd
Saint Louis,
MO
US

The Fountain On Locust has earned accolades such as St. Louis Magazine's award for Best Restaurant On a Budget in 2012 and an honorable mention as one of Sauce Magazine's favorite restaurants to impress out-of-towners. Described as "luscious" by Sauce Magazine reviewers, the café's ice-cream creations skew toward adults. They may be topped with hand-crafted sauces or blended into champagne floats and eclectic ice-cream martinis. On the menu, these sweets converge with a panoply of vintage cocktails and playful café dishes that include hot roast-beef melts and a turkey BLT "so good you might cry."

The retro cuisine meshes perfectly with the vintage-inspired decor, highlighted by walls of hand-painted midnight-blue murals. Black and white tile floors spread out from a wooden bar lit with art deco-style hanging lamps, much like the kind F. Scott Fitzgerald described in his unpublished novella about Gatsby's electrician. And yet the restaurant's eclectic design isn't limited to the dining space—The Fountain won Cintas' America's Best Restroom Award in 2010.

3037 Locust St
Saint Louis,
MO
US

Step into 6 North Café and sample a variety of offerings from its plentiful menus. Whipping up palatable grub since 2005, this family-owned eatery percolates with a sizeable selection of coffee, breakfast items, and smoothies. Instead of chewing on an old-timey salted leather bootstrap, nosh on a turkey club sandwich with jalapeño cheese and avocado ($6.30), a honey chicken wrap ($6.50), grilled Reuben ($6.96), or a mixed fruit and walnut salad ($6.96). Although scampering atop busses at the crack of dawn in an adrenaline-pumping chase scene is one way to wake up, healthier alternatives include building a breakfast sandwich buttressed by a croissant, bagel, or toast while sipping on a variety of coffee bean brews and Italian sodas. Escape the doldrums of workaday coffee machines and partake in the café's WiFi hot spottery while munching on tasty grub with today’s Groupon.

2 North Sarah Street
St. Louis,
MO
US

In a city where every gooey butter cake claims to be the best, today's deal gets you the bestest, gooiest, butteriest, cakiest cake of them all, as determined in a brutal underground cake-fight tournament as gory as it was gooey. For $10, you get a 9"x13" gooey butter cake at LaFayette Square's Park Avenue Coffee­—a $20 value. You can only get one Groupon for yourself, so buy one for all your friends and rescue their babies from burning buildings so they'll feel obliged to share. You may redeem this Groupon starting Monday, December 14.Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.

1919 Park Ave
Saint Louis,
MO
US

A red brick exterior, spacious sidewalk patio, and delectable café menu highlight the charming European appeal of Rue Lafayette, whose beginnings were documented on a recent episode of Renovation Realities on HGTV. Early-morning strollers, comptrollers, and world-weary street mimes can start their morning of artfully aimless ambling with Rue Lafayette's sweet, flaky croissants imported from France. The chocolate croissant ($2.25) matches particularly well with large cups of the café's drip coffee ($2.25) or frothy cappuccino ($3.55). Lunchers, meanwhile, can feast on the quiche ($6.99) and mix it together in their digestive centrifuge with the sinfully tasty croissant bread pudding ($5.99). Since Rue Lafayette's dishes rotate with the stately dance of the seasons, each polite café employee will cheerfully lay out today's recommendations, tomorrow's libations, and yesterday's neutron radiation gyrations. The café's mad scientists have also combined breakfast and lunch into an unholy (yet delicious) monstrosity known as brunch, which gets unleashed from its chains every Saturday and Sunday.

2026 Lafayette Ave
Saint Louis,
MO
US

Host to regular erotic art shows and sex-positive social events, Shameless Grounds serves up a dose of radical inclusiveness alongside its frothy espresso drinks. Customers 18 and older rappel down the human-sexuality lending library's bookshelves with care so as not to spill foamy lattes (a $3 value) or bold americanos (a $2.55 value) on erotic photography and gender-studies tomes. Alternatively, the S'creamer (a $3.85 value) combines ice cream and espresso with rich chocolate sauce for a dessert easily sipped during rounds of kinky bingo, fetish-themed karaoke nights, and other sex-positive events.

2650 Sidney Street
St. Louis,
MO
US