Ian Froeb's STL 100

Photo by Sid Hastings

Sides of Seoul

Sides of Seoul is another local, independent, fast-casual restaurant worth your attention, but that doesn't capture exactly why this Overland Korean restaurant is special. Sides of Seoul hits the expected fast-casual marks — affordability and convenience — but the Lee family does so while taking the sort of pains you might not notice during a quick meal: fermenting kimchi for the kimchi jjigae or one of the banchan accompanying your beef bulgogi, spending three days preparing the ox-bone stock for seolleongtang. Not every dish at Sides of Seoul requires so much labor, but each — soups and stews, gimbap, rice bowls — is the product of a kitchen that, while fast and casual, is no mere assembly line.

Hours: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday (closed Sunday)

Last year's ranking: New this year

Opened: 2018

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