slinger at fleur stl in downtown st. louis photo by david kovaluk

2023 Best New Restaurants // No. 6 Fleur STL

The 2020 closure of longtime St. Louis fixture Eat-Rite Diner left a hole in the downtown culinary scene. But when Fleur STL opened in that iconic building in the final weeks of 2022, it was clear that chef-owner Tim Eagan had brought something even better to the table.

Fleur’s menu contains echoes of its predecessor’s diner fare, but a more upscale approach is evident in everything from the classy renovation of the space to the food itself. Eagan’s continual presence ensures a high degree of quality control. “It’s neat here because we’re actually making the food in front of you from start to finish,” Eagan said. “It’s me, the chef, doing all the prepping and cooking – no one else cooks your food.”

Nearly every component of each dish is made from scratch in-house. The fried Brussels sprouts are roasted, flash-fried for a super crispy finish, and seasoned perfectly with bacon, shallots and a sweet-and-sour apple cider reduction that takes a full day to reduce from a gallon to a mere 16 ounces. Attention to detail is clear throughout the menu: The tall stack of hand-breaded onion hay atop Fleur’s slinger is shatteringly crisp and adds a unique touch to the diner classic. Even the fries are special – hand-cut, brined overnight and blanched in the morning, they’re fried to order and coated in a delicious house seasoning that is used in other menu items like Fleur’s highly popular burger. Another standout item is the deviled eggs with a light-as-air whipped filling topped with candied bacon and flash-fried jalapeno.


cory stieb and fleur stl chef-owner tim eagan // photo by david kovaluk


The succinct menu also features well-made classic cocktails, including an Old-Fashioned, a bloody mary with housemade mix and candied bacon, and an espresso martini with housemade coffee liqueur.

In addition to breakfast and lunch service, Fleur hosts pop-up dinners a few evenings each month (tickets are available online as dates are released) that showcase a wider array of offerings than the daytime menu. “It’s an opportunity for me to be creative,” Eagan said, adding that he occasionally makes items that have been featured at the evening pop-ups if guests request them during Fleur’s regular hours.

Having worked in many large-scale kitchens around town, returning to a smaller format has been a breath of fresh air for Eagan. “I’ve been so used to working in hotels and doing large volumes that I haven’t necessarily seen the people I’m serving,” he said. “It’s been rewarding to get to watch people actually enjoying my food.”