Ian Froeb's STL 100 (2017 archive)

Post-Dispatch file photo

Big Baby Q and Smokehouse

Good barbecue is everywhere in St. Louis now, so you need a reason to try 2016 newcomer Big Baby Q and Smokehouse, which is located in a no-frills Maryland Heights shopping strip and is open only on weekdays. OK, how about this: Big Baby Q isn’t just good, but very good, and the brisket, ribs, pulled pork and turkey here, smoked over oak and cherry wood, can stand with the barbecue from St. Louis’ best joints. Pitmaster Ben Welch runs Big Baby Q alongside his father, Bennie, and the playful interaction between the two as they work the line together is a highlight of any visit here.

Hours: 11 a.m. until sold out Monday-Friday

Last year's ranking: new

Opened: 2016

Must order: Brisket platter (with two sides, $14)