St. Louis has a lot of shopping centers! Some of my favorites are Chesterfield Mall in Chesterfield (Southwest of St. Louis), St. Clair Square in Fairview Heights (East of St. Louis in Illinois), The Galleria (West of St. Louis in Richmond Heights), and West County (West of St. Louis in Des Peres). Also, a new shopping center is being built northwest of St. Louis (In Hazelwood), called St. Louis Mills. I believe it is supposed to be completed by november of 03. There is also a shopping mall downtown, St. Louis Centre. It has MANY empty storefronts, and there just isn't much to do there. But, it has a neat layout and many escalators, so it might be something cool to see. But don't plan on shopping there much, as there aren't a whole lot of stores.
Dickies has any sporting good item you can imagine and the kids love to try their luck at the Rock climbing wall.
What to buy: Of course the little girls have to go to Build-A-Bear. At first, when my daughter wanted to go, I thought to myself, "Sierra, you are too old and this is way too expensive for a stuffed animal." But, when I seen her face light up after picking out all the details for her bear, I began to realize how special this would be for her.
West County Mall (also called The Dove Mall - see photo - by locals) was remodled in the last several years and now contains Macy's, Nordstorm, and JC Penny as anchors, and has a Dick's (I think) sporting goods store, along with the usual cast of mall characters - Sephora, The Body Shop, White House / Black Market, American Eagle, etc. etc. It's a big mall. One shop I found refreshing was an independent toy store - Toy Tyme.
There is a food court with the usuals - Sbarro, Auntie Anne's, some teriyaki, etc. And a couple of niceer restraunts, including J Bucks, which is local. There's also an Elephant Bar restaurant right next to, but not in the mall.
What to buy: Clothes, beauty products, toys, etc.
What to pay: Typical Mall Prices
This was budget travel at it's best. We faced parking fees, ticket fees to get in, and, at the Zoo, tickets fees to ride the train. Not to mention food for a small army. The gift shop prices were, well, typical gift shop prices. If this is a major trip and you just have to have something to take back then make use of the shops. Otherwise, skip it.
If you want to find an oriental grocery store then after going to Tachibana's for lunch then go across the side street to the small shopping center, There is a grocery store in the corner of that shopping center. Also a few blocks down on Olive there is another oriental grocery. We buy our japanese rice 20 pounds at a time from one of these places plus all the other ingredients one needs to cook oriental foods at home.
What to buy: Oriental ingredients
What to pay: reasonably priced in comparison to other parts of the country.
The city's largest public market. Just south of downtown on Broadway. A little bit of everything in a historic neighborhood full of great restaurants and bars. The site of the Mardi Gra.