Photo by Christian K. Lee


Guerrilla Street Food

Guerrilla Street Food wasn’t the first St. Louis food truck to open a brick-and-mortar location, but the arrival last year of its small, fast-casual storefront in Tower Grove East felt monumental. Here, for any remaining doubters, is the proof that a truck can be the genesis of some of St. Louis’ most exciting and delicious fare — and that a restaurant shorn of the usual trappings can be destination dining. The Guerrilla storefront lets Joel Crespo and Brian Hardesty serve an expanded menu of their dazzling riffs on Filipino cuisine: the Iron Manok, fried chicken thighs with hoisin sauce and a umami-laden sauce of mango and bagoong (fermented shrimp paste); tocino ribs with banana ketchup and the pickled papaya slaw called atchara; and, of course, the signature Flying Pig, garlicky pulled pork and a one-hour egg over rice. As exciting as Guerrilla Street Food’s growth into a full-fledged restaurant is the prospect of what dishes Crespo and Hardesty will develop next in their new, permanent kitchen.

Last year's ranking: 19

Opened: 2011 (food truck), 2015 (restaurant)

Must order: Flying Pig ($8)