Ian Froeb's STL 100 (2018 archive)

Byrd & Barrel

The best fried chicken in St. Louis? I’ll pose the question and then back out of the room before the fisticuffs begin. The best fried-chicken nuggets in St. Louis? That’s easy. Byrd & Barrel’s Nugz have redefined the category. Each plump, juicy nugget is buttermilk-brined and dredged in spicy flour before frying. While not scorching, the heat is definite and lingering. The dipping sauces range from expected (ranch, barbecue) to distinct (the Provel Cheez Whiz, Provel for those who think they hate Provel). The Nugz are so good I no longer bother to ask if Byrd & Barrel has sold out of traditional fried chicken.

Hours: Lunch and dinner daily

Last year's ranking: Rest of the Best

Opened: 2015

Must order: Fried-chicken Nugz ($5 and up)