Ian Froeb's STL 100

Photo by Christian Gooden (Post-Dispatch)

The Stellar Hog

Now more than a decade old, the great St. Louis barbecue boom continues to produce new restaurants. In terms of quality, though, there has been a leveling off. I can name plenty of restaurants with good barbecue. Great barbecue that compels me to return? The list is brief. The Stellar Hog, Alex Cupp’s restaurant on the Bevo Mill-Holly Hills line, compels me to return. Here you will find two of the best smoked meats in town: beef brisket (coffee- and spice-rubbed, smoked for 14 hours) and corned beef brisket (a weeklong brine and then a 14-hour smoke). That is enough to set the Stellar Hog apart, but Cupp also delivers excellent pork ribs and pulled pork, the latter with just the right zing of vinegar.

Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday (bar only open Monday, closed Tuesday)

Last year's ranking: Rest of the Best

Opened: 2016

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