2015 was an excellent year for new restaurants in St. Louis.
Which means assembling this year’s STL 100 was a pain in my barbecue-cushioned butt.
But after much eating, thinking, nursing of bourbon and a little more eating, here are the 100 restaurants that best represent St. Louis dining circa 2016 — the restaurants that are setting the standards, pushing us forward, introducing us to important new voices and reminding us about the voices we might have forgotten.
This is the 2016 STL 100.
Sidney Street Cafe
Stone Soup Cottage
Randolfi's Italian Kitchen
Guerrilla Street Food
Brasserie by Niche
Fork & Stix
Quincy Street Bistro
Three Flags Tavern
- The STL 100 is divided into the Top 25 and the Rest of the Best. No great gap exists between the two sections. Determining what distinguishes No. 50 from No. 51 from No. 52, etc., would be infinitesimal hairsplitting.
- Though you’ll find several expensive restaurants clustered at the beginning of the Top 25, the STL 100 is, in general, an egalitarian exercise, with representatives from inexpensive everyday eats to once-a-year splurges.
- As with my weekly restaurant reviews, I make every effort not to announce my presence at a restaurant (e.g., reservations under false names). However, after writing about St. Louis dining for a decade now, I'm recognized by many chefs, especially those who run or have run multiple venues.
- Though I want the STL 100 to be as current as possible, I also can't chase down every new restaurant right up to my final deadline. Restaurants that opened after Oct. 31, 2015, weren't eligible for the 2016 STL 100.