Have a Malt, Sundae or BLT at Crown Candy Kitchen

St. Louis' Oldest Soda Fountain is a Popular Destination

The Crown Candy BLT
Photo by David O'Brien

Crown Candy Kitchen is one of the nation's oldest surviving soda fountains. Although opened in 1913, the interior seems frozen in the 1950's, right down to the tabletop jukeboxes and original Coca-Cola memorabilia on the walls. The menu has also defied change. Crown Candy's homemade malts, sundaes and chocolate candy have been legendary in St. Louis for generations. Non-sweets are also a big draw, although limited to sandwiches, franks, chili and a couple of simple salads. The BLT, with its doctor-defying amount of bacon, enjoys an almost cult following. 

Crown Candy Kitchen is located at 1401 St. Louis Avenue in Old North St. Louis. It's open Monday - Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday - Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

A St. Louis Gem

Crown Candy Kitchen is a true diamond in the rough, and in more ways than one. First, it's one of St. Louis' favorite destinations for lunch or dessert, yet it sits nearly alone in a part of town with dilapidated buildings and boarded up shops. Second, it's an almost 100-year-old soda fountain thriving in an era when such places are seen only in old movies. And finally, it's a restaurant that has remained unfazed by health food trends or the urge to cut corners and costs. It proudly serves BLTs stacked aggressively high with bacon, and its ice cream is still homemade with 14 percent butterfat. In other words, Crown Candy is still the restaurant loved by your parents, grandparents and even great grandparents.

Today, Crown Candy is packed every lunch by the young, old and in-between. For first-timers, the draw is the vintage decor and atmosphere. But return visitors come for the food (although the decor's still half the fun). Sandwiches, like the homemade egg salad or classic Reuben, are simple but taken seriously. Desserts, on the other hand, have a bit more flourish. Many diners order a malt with their sandwich, but at 24 ounces (3 scoops of ice cream), they have to choose which part of their meal to finish. Each malt is served in a chilled metal mixing cup that will refill your glass two to three times. If you're not a malt fan, Crown Candy offers plenty of variations on the sundae, as well as straight up servings of its signature ice cream.

Don’t Leave Without Candy

Crown Candy’s other claim to fame is its homemade candy. Its solid chocolate Easter bunnies are a tradition kids will cherish, and its assorted chocolates are perfect for Valentine’s Day. But it doesn’t have to be a holiday to take home a pound of peanut clusters or dark chocolate caramels. Besides, your parents, grandparents and great grandparents would certainly approve. For more information on candy and dining options, see the Crown Candy website.

For more ways to satisfy your sweet tooth, see St. Louis' Top Chocolate Shops and Ted Drewes Frozen Custard.

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