Photo by Roberto Rodriguez

Vincent Van Doughnut

You don’t need me to tell you about St. Louis’ proud history of independent doughnut shops. It isn’t history, either. Last year, I included two of them in the inaugural STL 100. Who will carry this legacy into the future? Increasingly, I think the answer is Vincent Van Doughnut, which Vincent Brian Marsden launched as a truck in 2013. Last year, he opened a brick-and-mortar location in Clayton, and it has joined the short list of St. Louis restaurants where on any given day there’s a real possibility that the restaurant will have sold out if you don’t get there as early as possible. For a food often associated with Homer Simpson’s Pavlovian drool, the doughnuts here are strikingly elegant. A glazed doughnut I sampled back in June, with the flavors of lemon and Cointreau, showed a lighter, smarter touch than the desserts at many upscale restaurants.

Last year's ranking: New

Opened: 2013 (truck), 2015 (restaurant)

Must order: Vanilla glazed doughnut ($2)