Park Avenue Coffee

Bakery | Coffee House
One of the best

Gooey butter cake really is gooey and buttery, like a cross between yellow cake (which forms its underside) and moist fudge. Exactly how the St. Louis signature dessert first was created remains a mystery, most accounts speculating that some forgotten cake baker added the wrong proportion of ingredients to a recipe, but liked the soft, sweet, crisp-edged pastry that emerged from the oven. Until fairly recently, gooey butter cake remained a stealth specialty known only to St. Louisans, but it has hit the radar of traveling foodies; and a handful of restaurants far beyond the city have begun to offer it as a novelty.

To taste gooey butter cake in its glory, there is no better place than Lafayette Square’s Park Avenue Coffee, where 76 varieties are made, about a dozen every day, from Amaretto and Apple to White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookie Dough. I’ve very much enjoyed Turtle, Lemon Raspberry, and Red Velvet, and look forward to sampling Funky Monkey (chocolate and banana) and seasonal Eggnog; but the one listed as Mom’s Traditional is my favorite — the unbeatable original formula of eggs, butter, cream cheese, and powdered sugar baked until the edge gets chewy but the middle stays gooey. This is one grand coffee companion!

As you’d surmise from its name, coffee is not an afterthought in this place. Park Avenue roasts its own — light and dark, flavored and decaf — and serves a wide array of espresso drinks, iced and hot.

Cakes are sold as 9×9-inch squares, 9×13-inch rectangles, large and small hearts, and nice-size single portions for eating on premises in plush arm chairs or at cozy bare tables in the front room or out on the sidewalk.

There are three other Park Avenue Coffee locations: 4240 Duncan Ave.;  417 N. 10th St.; and 5105 Columbia Ave. That last one, in The Hill, is where beans are roasted.

What to Eat
Park Avenue Coffee, Traditional Gooey Butter Cake
Traditional Gooey Butter Cake
Traditional gooey butter cake: a plain and perfect collage of chewy, gooey, and crisp.
Park Avenue Coffee, Turtle Gooey Butter Cake
Turtle Gooey Butter Cake
Chocolate and caramel are the fine duet that defines turtle gooey butter cake.
Park Avenue Coffee, Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cake
Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cake
The red velvet part of this red velvet gooey butter cake has just the right chocolate oomph, and the cream cheese frosting is inspired. For sweet tooths only!
Park Avenue Coffee, Lemon Raspberry Gooey Butter Cake
Lemon Raspberry Gooey Butter Cake
Lemon raspberry gooey butter cake: sweet, tart, and fruity-tangy
Directions and Hours
closed now
This restaurant is featured in the following eating tours.
5 stops | 33 MILES | 54 min

One day to taste St. Louis's best Roadfood? Not counting the enigmatic St. Paul (an egg foo yung sandwich sold in Chinese restaurants), toasted ravioli (which has gone national), and ultrathin-crust, Provel-topped pizza (get it in a bar), this itinerary provides a wide-ranging taste of The Mound City's edible treasures. Essential eats range from fantastic…

Open Year Round
Meals Served
Breakfast, Dessert, Late Night
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

Other Nearby Restaurants

  • Allin’s Diner

    Saint Charles, Missouri

    For a great St Louis slinger, head to Allin’s Diner in St. Charles, which also offers a wide variety of homemade soups every day for lunch.

  • Nathaniel Reid Bakery

    Kirkwood, Missouri

    A splendid French bakery in suburban St. Louis? Nathaniel Reid Bakery, an unexpected spot off Route 66, offers tasty treats for all sweet tooth needs.

  • Cafe Osage

    Saint Louis, Missouri

    Located next to a functioning greenhouse in St. Louis, Cafe Osage is a locals’ favorite for brunch, featuring dishes made from natural produce at its best.

  • Riley’s Pub

    Saint Louis, Missouri

    Riley’s is a St. Louis corner tavern with a full pub menu that includes the city’s unique style of pizza with cracker-thin crust and topping of Provel cheese.

  • Crown Candy Kitchen

    St. Louis, Missouri

    St. Louis’ Crown Candy Kitchen serves lunch, but its main attraction is the soda fountain, where specialties include glorious from-scratch malted milk shakes.

  • Chris’s Pancake & Dining

    St. Louis, Missouri

    3 meals a day are served, but breakfast stars. Local foodies know Chris’s for its “Top of the Hill,” a version of the outlandish kitchen-sink St. Louis slinger.