Ian Froeb's STL 100

The Vine Mediterranean Cafe

I have been dining at the Vine Mediterranean Cafe for a decade now, and I don't think the cooking by Ali Mohsen and his team has ever been better. Lately, I have been obsessed with the beef shawarma, which shows the tenderness and depth of flavor you usually associate with braised meat, and also the chicken shatta, marinated, char-broiled and cut with a piquant sauce of tomato, garlic, jalapeño and herbs. The lunch menu, featuring falafel, shawarma, kebab and other sandwiches, is a tremendous value, and the Vine's attention to small pleasures — the day's fresh-baked pita that accompanies the hummus, the warming curry note in the lentil soup — remains one of its greatest charms.

Hours: Lunch and dinner daily

Last year's ranking: Rest of the Best

Opened: 2009

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