$ Entrées less than $10
$$ Entrées $10–20
$$$ Entrées more than $20
Most Eco-Friendly Restaurant: Terrene ($$$, 33 N. Sarah St., 314/535-5100, www.terrene-stlouis.com ) gets all of its food from local farmers, and the restaurant’s eco- consciousness translates into some of the freshest, most delicious fare in town. Just how dedicated is Terrene to the environment? The chef gives the restaurant’s used cooking oil to neighbors who power their motorbikes with the stuff.
Best Brewpub: The world may know St. Louis as the hometown of Anheuser-Busch, but folks in the know favor the Schlafly Tap Room ($$, 2100 Locust St., 314/241-2337, www.schlafly.com ). Pair Schlafly’s excellent microbrews with homemade soft pretzels, a bratwurst sandwich, or the best fish-and-chips in town. If you’re visiting St. Louis during the winter, don’t miss the Coffee Stout.
Best Soul Food: A former backup singer for Ike Turner, Robbie Montgomery opened Sweetie Pie’s ($, 4270 Manchester Ave., 314/371-0304, Tues.–Sat. 11 a.m.–8 p.m., Sun. 11:45 a.m.–8 p.m.) in Forest Park Southeast in 2003. Offerings change daily and include pork steaks, okra, mac ’n’ cheese, and an oxtail stew that would give any high-end joint a run for its money.
Best Gourmet Experience: Mention Niche ($$$, 1831 Sidney St., 314/773-7755, www.nichestlouis.com ) to any St. Louis foodie, and brace yourself for rapturous descriptions of what very well might be the best restaurant in town. Gerard Craft isn’t afraid to make dishes like pork cheeks with bacon ice cream — and Food & Wine didn’t hesitate to name him one of the Best New Chefs of 2008.
Best Place for a First Date: With its sultry lighting, abundant red roses, and decadent desserts, Baileys’ Chocolate Bar ($, 1915 Park Ave., 314/241-8100, www.baileyschocolatebar.com ) is the perfect first-date spot. Indulge in dark-chocolate martinis, or nibble on a variety of truffles. Romance comes easy at this Lafayette Square gem.
Best Pizza: Fistfights have probably started over St. Louis pizza — that’s how loyal St. Louisans are to their favorite pie. For perfectly crisp thin-crust pizza, try Pizza-A-Go-Go, ($, 6703 Scanlan Ave., 314/781-1234, http://pizzaagogo.blogspot.com ) a homey BYOB spot near the city’s south side. If you crave a thicker crust, stop by the legendary Blackthorn Pizza & Pub ($, 3735 Wyoming St., 314/776-0534, www.myspace.com/blackthornpizzaandpub ).
Best Burgers: Get your burger with a side of nostalgia at Blueberry Hill ($, 6504 Delmar Blvd., University City, 314/727-4444, www.blueberryhill.com ), where owner Joe Edwards’s collection of Americana covers both levels of this Delmar Loop landmark. The burgers are perfectly seasoned (don’t miss the onion rings). The burgers at super-friendly Irish pub Seamus McDaniel’s ($, 1208 Tamm Ave., 314/645-6337, www.seamusmcdaniels.net ) rival those at Blueberry Hill, and in the summer you can enjoy your meal on Seamus’s huge patio.
Best Bistro: Bistros have popped all over town in the past five or six years, but Atlas ($$$, 5513 Pershing Ave., 314/367-6800, www.atlasrestaurantstl.com ) does bistro fare best. The seasonally changing menu features classic dishes like gravlax, steak frites, and cassoulet. Be sure to save room for dessert — the marjolaine cake alone is worth a trip to this West End bistro.