garlic cheese bread, pizza, and chickpea dip with pizza bread at rockwell beer garden in st. louis photos by david kovaluk

St. Louis' Best New Restaurants of 2021

These are the 9 restaurants that won our hearts this year.

No. 1 Root Food + Wine
Nestled among the backroads and small homes and businesses of Augusta, deep in wine country, lies Root Food + Wine. It's the most exciting kind of restaurant, one that’s always searching and changing, always trying to keep up with the environment around it. And just to be explicit: It’s worth the drive.

No. 2 Tai Ke Shabu Shabu
With Tai Ke’s relaunch this year as Tai Ke Shabu Shabu, the beloved Taiwanese spot has fully realized the potential it’s been working toward for years. It succeeds in fusing a masterful menu we fell in love with years ago together with an exciting new dining experience. 

No. 3 Songbird
St. Louis has long needed more places like Songbird, a metropolitan but farm-to-table-leaning spot where people can stop through for top-notch coffee (in this case, Sump) and a killer meal that satisfies on every level. 

No. 4 Pizzeria Da Gloria
It’s a sign of a great restaurant when everyone you know has a different favorite dish there. Regardless of who you are, Pizzeria Da Gloria is a lighthearted, cool place with its own spirit and plenty of great ideas. And that should please anybody. 

No. 5 Rockwell Beer Garden
We’re happy to say that Rockwell Beer Garden – Rockwell Beer Co.'s highly anticipated pizza-centric outpost in the middle of Francis Park – is a more-than-worthy sophomore spot.

No. 6 Chez Ali
Chez Ali’s brings a compact selection of Afro-Caribbean favorites to the City Foundry STL’s food hall. The sampler plate is the edible version of a greatest hits album packed with back-to-back hits. 

No. 7 Chicken Scratch
With his new fast-casual Chicken Scratch walk-up stall, located in the recently opened City Foundry STL food hall, Chef Nate Hereford focuses on one thing: spit-roasting chicken. The simplicity is its strength and Hereford has truly found his own niche.

No. 8 Clara B's Kitchen Table
While there are many great things on the menu at Clara B’s Kitchen Table, it was chef-owner Jodie Ferguson’s perfectly prepared grits that brought actual tears to our eyes the first time we tried them. With some of St. Louis’ best grits and biscuits already firmly under her belt, we can’t wait to see what she does next.

No. 9 Chuck's Hot Chicken
When the name of the food you’re eating is in the name of the restaurant, it better be phenomenal. And at Chuck’s Hot Chicken, it certainly is.