Ian Froeb's STL 100 (2018 archive)

Photo by Robert Cohen (Post-Dispatch)

Gioia's Deli

Hill institution Gioia’s Deli enters its centenary year with its recently bestowed “America’s Classic” award from the James Beard Foundation in hand and plans to open a third location this spring in Creve Coeur. The reason for Gioia’s acclaim and, in recent years, expansion, is the inimitable hot salami. “It’s our No. 1 product,” owner Alex Donley told the Post-Dispatch in a 2017 interview. “It’s like Hodak’s fried chicken. You can go in and get a salad, but why the hell would you do it?” Really, the only dilemma is whether to get the hot salami by itself or paired with roast beef or mortadella or coppa and bacon or ...

Hours: Hill: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday; Downtown: 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Monday-Friday

Last year's ranking: Rest of the Best

Opened: 1918

Must order: Hot salami sandwich ($9)