Ian Froeb's STL 100

Photo by Laurie Skrivan (Post-Dispatch)

Cate Zone Chinese Cafe

If you wanted to introduce visitors to St. Louis’ breadth of regional Chinese restaurants, you could do worse than begin at Cate Zone Chinese Cafe. Here your guests will find a specific regional focus on northeastern Dongbei cuisine (sweet-and-sour pork, sour cabbage with pork belly) and also dishes from other regions (Yangzhou fried rice, cumin lamb, Chengdu spicy chicken). The cooking is technically impressive, from the shattering crunch of the aforementioned sweet-and-sour pork to the precise seasoning of the curry broth with sliced rib-eye and enoki mushrooms. The only downside to beginning your tour of the area’s Chinese restaurants here? You and your guests might be perfectly happy going nowhere else.

Hours: Lunch and dinner Tuesday-Sunday (closed Monday)

Last year's ranking: Rest of the Best

Opened: 2016

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