Ian Froeb's STL 100

Fork & Stix and Kiin Essentially Thai

If you asked me to name a “dish of the decade” for St. Louis, I would be tempted by the khao soi at Fork & Stix. The dish of egg noodles and chicken in a curry broth with red onion and pickled mustard greens put Phatcharin Wanna's tiny Delmar Loop restaurant on the map, which in turn introduced many St. Louis diners to the other northern Thai fare that Fork & Stix serves: hung lay curry, sai oua, naam prik nuum. (It has since opened a second location downtown, Kiin Essentially Thai.) Fork & Stix was a forerunner of one of the past decade's most important dining developments, as more chefs looked to regional or otherwise more specifically defined cuisines instead of conforming to Western ideas about what any one cuisine “is.”

Hours: Fork & Stix: Lunch and dinner Tuesday-Sunday (closed Monday); Kiin Essentially Thai: Lunch and dinner Monday-Saturday (closed Sunday)

Last year's ranking: Rest of the Best

Opened: Fork & Stix: 2012; Kiin Essentially Thai: 2018

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