Ian Froeb's STL 100

Photo by David Carson (Post-Dispatch)

Crown Candy Kitchen

When talking about Crown Candy Kitchen, I struggle not to focus on the outsize examples. The Heart Stopping BLT. The infamous challenge to drink five malts in 30 minutes — or, for that matter, the challenge to finish just one malt. The irascible online persona of owner Andy Karandzieff. I try to remember that — like its fellow centenarian on the STL 100, Gioia's Deli — Crown Candy Kitchen remains an everyday restaurant, where you squeeze yourself into a booth in proximity to fellow St. Louisans and tourists alike and steal a few minutes of pleasure. Maybe that means the bacon feast of the Heart Stopping BLT. Or maybe it is a single scoop of the black-cherry ice cream, velvety with butterfat.

Hours: 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday (closed Sunday)

Last year's ranking: Rest of the Best

Opened: 1913

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