Photo by Roberto Rodriguez

Bridge Tap House & Wine Bar

Bridge Tap House & Wine Bar might be the most unheralded member of Dave Bailey’s ever-expanding restaurant empire. I’ve liked the place since it opened in 2010 but didn’t even think to consider it for the inaugural STL 100 last year. A recent visit served as a corrective. Bridge is a whip-smart concept that would be welcome anywhere, but it’s especially vital downtown, where non-lunch options outside of Washington Avenue and Ballpark Village are so few. Here you can pair a drink from the excellent selection of wine, spirits and especially craft beer (more than 50 usually on tap, with many available to-go in growlers) with fun snacks like spiced popcorn and nuts, charcuterie and a well-curated selection of cheeses, sandwiches and more ambitious fare. If you’re not burned out on tacos, try Bridge’s take, which folds roasted duck, kimchee slaw and jalapeño crema into a freshly pressed tortilla.

Last year's ranking: New

Opened: 2010

Must order: Smoked paprika and sea salt popcorn ($3)