Moving to a new city is always challenging. And a large part of that challenge is looking for a place to live. There are so many things to consider when weighing your options-house styles, neighborhood safety, quality of schools, the convenience of location-it all can be quite overwhelming. That’s why we’ve researched 5 of the best neighborhoods in Saint Louis, just for you.

(and by the way of introduction, we’re Bellhop—your friendly Saint Louis movers). We’ve examined what it’s like living in each of these highlighted neighborhoods. And we’ve created in-depth guides with insider scoops on close-by, popular destinations. Soon, you’ll be living like a local.

The 5 Best Neighborhoods in Saint Louis Bellhop Blog

A Little About Saint Louis and its Neighborhoods

Saint Louis is the second largest metro area in the state of Missouri. Its signature 630-foot Gateway Arch monument stands on the river, welcoming newcomers. (The arch commemorates its role in pioneer times as the starting point for wagon trains, and Thomas Jefferson’s bargain buy of the Louisiana Purchase). The city’s low cost of living with houses ($167,000) at about half the cost of the rest of the country is a bargain too. The city’s strong job market, and super low unemployment rate (2.7%) have made Saint Louis a reassuring place for many professionals and families to live.

At the heart of the city, Saint Louis’ bustling downtown features green lawns, walkable pathways, and art installments between the towering city buildings. Dozens of restaurants, taverns, venues, clubs, and casinos are scattered throughout the city and cluster around the historic Soulard neighborhood. Venues and museums display the city’s cultural and historical past and present.

Today, Saint Louis’ 285,000 residents are wonderfully diverse, with locals from Germany, Italy, Ireland, Poland, Bosnia, Ethiopia, Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The city’s melting-pot-feel is one of its greatest features. And the numerous cultural traditions of its residents have been incorporated into dozens of Saint Louis’ annual celebrations and festivals.

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Saint Louis is home to 79 officially recognized neighborhoods, many with their own vibe, culture, and offerings. With so many growing and popular neighborhoods, you may be wondering where to start. Look no further. Below we’ll explore the 5 best neighborhoods in Saint Louis to get you started on your search for your new home.

Central West End

This grand residential area, tucked against Forest Park, is one of the most extravagant neighborhoods in the city. Close to downtown and midtown, this neighborhood is popular among a diverse group of residents. Locals range from young students to families and empty nesters.

What’s Happening in Central West End

The nearby major hospitals serve as major employers for many residents living in the area. Both Saint Louis University and Washington University in Saint Louis are just a skip away as well.

The Central West End blends its beautiful and historic homes with trendy businesses along Euclid Avenue. Its local and large library and 24-hour coffee shops sit around the corner from historic mansions, high-rises, and antique stores. Locals are constantly running errands on foot.

City fixtures like the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis (with its largest mosaic collection on the globe), the World Chess Hall of Fame, and the Chase Park Plaza Cinema call Central West End home. Nearby restaurants run by world-renowned chefs, like The Preston Restaurant, the Chase Club, an inventive gastropub, and Vicia, known for its farm-to-table experience are great bets. Then wander among the area’s local salons, art galleries, boutiques, bars, and cafes.

Schools near Central West End

This area of the city has a long list of well-rated schools. These include New City School, the small Biome Charter School, Stevens Middle School, Loyola Academy of St. Louis, Rosati-Kain High School for girls, Metro Academic and Classical High School, and St. Louis University High School. Read more about Schools in St. Louis.

Homes near Central West End

Central West End’s homes will make anyone want to retire rich. The beautiful houses of this area are framed by trimmed green lawns. Here you’ll find stunning historic brick homes, Victorians, updated townhomes, and modern apartments.  Zillow shows an average home price of $304,000 with condos at $279,000. Renting? Expect to pay around $1,900 monthly for a chic apartment according to RentCafe.


Saint Louis’ bustling Downtown features several small parks. Its walkable streets weave between towering city buildings. This incredibly foot-friendly city center allows for its close-by residents to be able to do everything nearby. Locals can get to and from work, run errands, and reach some of the city’s best entertainment just by strapping on a pair of sneakers.

What’s Happening in Downtown

Out of all its neighborhoods, Saint Louis’ downtown is the most walkable. Here, locals live just blocks away from restaurants, nightclubs, coffee shops, and the Cardinals and Blues home games. The urban core of Saint Louis, downtown is home to the area’s most known destinations. Visit the Gateway Arch, City Museum, Ballpark Village, and Kiener Plaza and its popular Winterfest. If you’re a baseball fanatic, come live near Busch Stadium and cheer for the Cardinals.

The pedestrian-friendly city center also offers public transportation options. Millions of people ride the St. Louis MetroLink system each year. This system includes the MetroBus lines and MetroLink light rail trains. Seniors ride at half price. Buy a 1-day Adventure Pass for $5.00 to explore the city.

Biking is also common in Saint Louis’ downtown. Many of its streets include protected bike lanes. Additionally, downtown offers electric e-scooters that you can pick up and ride for a small per-minute fee. They’re meant to be used on streets and paths, but not sidewalks with a mobile app.

Schools near Downtown

Downtown’s schools include some great options including Mason Elementary School, Marian Middle School, Soldan High School, and Collegiate School of Medicine and Bioscience.

Homes near Downtown

Housing in Downtown is dominated by renovated, towering industrial lofts with exposed brick walls and buffed cement floors. Roof side pools and massive windows are a few common features among Downtown’s modern flats. You have a lot of choices in these made-over popular old buildings. Condo prices average $184,000 on Zillow with spectacular and larger spaces going a lot higher.

Lafayette Square

Although this neighborhood is small, with a population of just over 2,000, it’s one of the most iconic and historic neighborhoods in the city. This stunning neighborhood is full of the city’s more prospering local businesses and residents. Lafayette Square is Saint Louis’ oldest historic district, and its charm is admired throughout the city. It survived the 1896 devastating tornado that destroyed most of the homes, highway encroachment, city neglect, and keeps coming back, a testament to its popularity as a place to live, enjoy a concert at the bandstand, walk in the large park, and shop.

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What’s Happening in Lafayette Square

Families and their pets are commonly seen strolling amidst the ample green space of Lafayette Park: the oldest publicly owned park west of the Mississippi. Local eateries, from high-end restaurants to the charming Square One Brewery, Eleven Eleven Mississippi bistro featuring California wines are walking distance away.

Throughout the year, the community gathers for free summer concerts, local events, and historic home tours. Residents can also stroll through the specialty shops or travel three blocks north to reach downtown.

Schools near Lafayette Square

Some of the best schools near Lafayette Square include Lafayette Preparatory Academy, New City School, Roosevelt High School, and Mallinckrodt Academy of Gifted Instruction, a magnet school, among others.

Homes near Lafayette Square

Lafayette Squares’ gorgeous historic architecture is the eye-catcher of this neighborhood. Multi-colored restored Victorian homes with beautiful wood trim and flowering gardens line each block. Homes average $301,000 but don’t be shocked to see old gems selling closer to $700,000.


Clayton is a hustling, bustling suburb of 17,000 with a downtown business and shopping district packed with high rise, mixed corporate and high-end shopping.  It’s nickname is ‘Manhattan of the Suburbs.’ Clayton resembles Bellevue, Washington and Bryn Mawr, PA, comfortable suburban towns that grew into mini-upscale cites. It sounds bigly, but it’s actually quite walkable. Elegant homes are just a short walk away from the business district.

Clayton offers excellent schools, lower property tax rates, and great parks and recreation centers. This walkable business district has been rated as one of the best suburban neighborhoods in the country.

What’s Happening in Clayton

Clayton has found a formula for business and shopping. There’s a Ritz-Carlton where deal-makers roost when in town. Plus, nationally respected food venues like Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse where the deals get done. You either live here or work here if deals are in your blood.

Sustaining all this are the small retailers, art galleries, boutiques, and antique shops. Neighborhood restaurants provide plenty of cuisine options for Clayton locals. Check out 801 Chophouse, Sushi AI, and The Crossing. Near the east end, local shops, restaurants, and bars cater to a younger culture.

Median household income is 2.5x higher than St. Louis’ – $125,000 versus $52,000.

Schools near Clayton

Clayton is home to a long list of great schools, including Glenridge Elementary School, Ralph M. Captain Elementary School, Wydown Middle School, and Clayton High School, among others.

Homes near Clayton

Homes in this desirable suburb mirror the high-end downtown with average prices of $760,000. Listings easily soar to multi-millions. If you need a mansion to be happy, you’ll find it here. To the east, affordable rental spots for students of Fontbonne University and Concordia Seminary clock in starting at $1,500.


Squeezed between downtown and South City, Soulard is an easy-going section of town graced with a biergarten culture and a free-wheeling market vibe. The nearby Anheuser-Busch brewery is the granddaddy of breweries, founded by Germans and Eastern Europeans in the 1800s who immigrated to the area.

Soulard daytime activities center on the oldest and largest farmers market in the city, which has been operating since 1779. Filled with history and culture, Soulard also packs in over 40 local bars and restaurants. This popular neighborhood also features dog parks, co-op gardens, and some of the best BBQ in the country.

What’s Happening in Soulard

The Soulard section of town was originally owned, then later developed by a French family. ‘Soulard’  is French slang for ‘falling down drunk’ – an occupational hazard to the early Canadian mountain men who returned to town to sell beaver hides, then blow it all. Though frowned upon now, that still can happen here.

The neighborhood is famous for its raucous Mardi Gras (2nd largest after New Orleans) and its happy costumed dog parade. The rest of the year the party continues in cozy clubs, jazz and blues venues, pubs, and cafes. This lively neighborhood is full of shops, eateries, bars, and art galleries. Local fave eateries include Bogart’s Smokehouse for barbecue, Epic Pizza and Subs for wood-fired pies, McGurks Irish public house with its Irish music and outdoor seating, and Goshen Coffee Café combining hand-roasted coffees with house-made breakfast fare.

The farmer’s market is a great sight-seeing venue, a place to buy fresh meat and local produce, and browse locally-made art and crafts. Here also you can dine on spicy international food choices from Vietnam, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, and Japan that point to the city’s diverse population.

Schools near Soulard

In Soulard, families can choose among highly rated schools like The Soulard School, Madison School, Peabody Elementary School, and McKinley Classical Leadership Academy High School, among others.

Homes near Soulard

Housing in Soulard is a mix. Its good location but younger, the urban crowd keeps housing prices in the mid-range for the city. Families fill the area’s charming red-brick townhomes decked with small balconies and courtyards. Zillow quotes an average home value of $300,000 and condos at $200,000. Desirable, classic red-brick homes can go much higher.

There you have it: the 5 best neighborhoods in Saint Louis!

Still undecided about St. Louis? Check out our other St. Louis guides below:

Harrison Stevens