Ian Froeb's STL 100

Photo by J.B. Forbes (Post-Dispatch)


Nippon Tei and Ramen Tei

While the attention and excitement surrounding chef Nick Bognar's meteoric rise has followed him to his ambitious new restaurant Indo, his influence remains strong at the restaurant his mother, Ann Bognar, opened in 2001. Nigiri sushi is the highlight of the menu he has developed since taking over as Nippon Tei's executive chef in 2017. Look for fattier cuts, such as salmon toro. Better yet, look to the day's nigiri specials or the nigiri omakase, the day's five best pieces for $25. (Up from $18 last year but still a great value.) Meanwhile, the adjacent Ramen Tei, which the Bognars opened in 2015, has matured into a fine spot for a bowl of hearty tonkotsu ramen.

Hours: Nippon Tei: Dinner Tuesday-Sunday, lunch Tuesday-Friday (closed Monday); Ramen Tei: Dinner Tuesday-Sunday, lunch Tuesday-Saturday (closed Monday)

Last year's ranking: No. 7

Opened: 2001

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