Ian Froeb's STL 100

Photo by Hillary Levin (Post-Dispatch)


You are either a cook or a baker, the conventional wisdom says — an intuitive improviser or a stickler for ratios and recipes. Conventional wisdom should check out the Shaw bakery, restaurant and art gallery SweetArt. Reine Bayoc can bake: cupcakes, cookies and other sweet pleasures, gluten-free and vegan varieties included, all arrayed at the front counter to tempt you. Don't skip right to dessert, though. Bayoc can also cook. Her most famous non-dessert creation is her vegan burger patty, which has been satisfying the meat-averse and vegan-curious since before the burgers Impossible and Beyond came along. She also fashions a tasty chicken sandwich from Chik'n-brand faux chicken, and her coconut-curry lentil soup is a balm of warming spices.

Hours: 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday (closed Sunday)

Last year's ranking: Rest of the Best

Opened: 2008

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