Ian Froeb's STL 100

Photo by Christian Gooden (Post-Dispatch)

Salt + Smoke

The past year has seen Salt + Smoke double its footprint, with locations opening in St. Charles and the Central West End. The barbecue restaurant isn't finished growing, either. In 2020, Salt + Smoke will open in the new One Cardinal Way residential tower at Ballpark Village. We have passed the point where St. Louis' barbecue boom alone can explain this rapid expansion. Salt + Smoke is thriving because it delivers consistently excellent barbecue from pitmaster Haley Riley — brisket above all else, but don't overlook the pork ribs and pulled chicken — as well as top-notch sides, sauces and appetizers. Add the table-service model that makes dining here more like an experience than a cafeteria line, and even in St. Louis' crowded barbecue field, Salt + Smoke stands out as unique and essential.

Hours: Lunch and dinner daily

Last year's ranking: Rest of the Best

Opened: 2014

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