Ian Froeb's STL 100 (2018 archive)

Photo by Roberto Rodriguez

Comet Coffee & Microbakery

Comet Coffee & Microbakery hasn’t reached “nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded” status yet — and I’ll happily wait in the often long queue here for a cup of coffee and a baked good — but I never count on finding a seat here. The baked goods from co-owner Stephanie Fischer and her team don’t need plates or photo-perfect lighting to impress. Whether you eat a slice of quiche or the pinwheel-shaped croissant with spinach and pine nuts from a cardboard box, or (if you’re me) you scarf a muffin, scone or croissant from a paper bag while you drive to work, it tastes no less delicious.

Hours: 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday (Kirkwood location open seasonally; check website)

Last year's ranking: Rest of the Best

Opened: 2012

Must order: Croissant ($3)