Ian Froeb's STL 100

Photo by Laurie Skrivan (Post-Dispatch)


Balkan Treat Box

Balkan Treat Box isn't the first St. Louis food truck to open a brick-and-mortar location, nor did the truck need a traditional storefront to earn local or national praise. Still, the restaurant Loryn and Edo Nalic opened last year in Webster Groves is a revelation. Loryn and her kitchen crew showcase an even greater range at the grill and wood-fired hearth, coaxing deep flavors from eggplant (patlidzan) and fish (balik ekmek) alongside the truck's classic pide and cevapi. And the breads! From the somun cradling cevapi, patlidzan and balik ekmek to the flatbreads that are the base of the pide and the stunning lahmacun, Balkan Treat Box is as great a bakery as it is a restaurant. Though a counter-service operation, it evinces greater warmth and hospitality than many fancier, table-service restaurants. Call Balkan Treat Box a new St. Louis classic — and, more vitally, a new way forward.

Hours: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (or until sold out) Wednesday-Sunday (closed Monday-Tuesday)

Last year's ranking: Rest of the Best

Opened: 2016 (truck), 2019 (restaurant)

Many St. Louis-area restaurants are closed or limiting their dining options during the coronavirus pandemic.