ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis food scene is once again in the national spotlight.
Food & Wine magazine named the Lou as its reader's choice Next Best Food City.
The magazine put the call-out on its social media channels last month, asking readers to weigh in. It received 156 nominations and hundreds of votes, but only one city made it out on top.
"Buffalo, New York, and Auburn, Alabama got plenty of support, but it was St. Louis that our readers love the most," Food & Wine wrote on an Instagram post. "An essential Midwest culinary destination, offering a food and dining scene impressive in its caliber, expansive in its diversity, and uncommon in its breadth, St. Louis more than holds its own as a Next Great Food City."
The Monday announcement came with an ode to the city's food scene written by St. Louis food writer Holly Fann.
"To believe St. Louisans are simply average food enthusiasts, sharing the same level of engagement and knowledge held by diners throughout the rest of the country, would be a profound underestimation," Fann wrote in her Food & Wine piece. "...We are engaged and informed, internalizing an immutable pride, knowing just how outstanding a food city St. Louis is."
Fann acknowledged the influence of chefs like Kevin Nashan and Gerard Craft, gave shoutouts to favorites such as Louie, Seoul Taco and Vicia, and touched on the community's perseverance when the pandemic wallopped the restaurant industry.
"Some of our most talented local chefs found unique ways to be resilient and resourceful, all sharing one common goal — to find ways to offer their food and hospitality to a community hungry for delicious and unique experiences," Fann wrote.
Of course, we didn't need to win any contests to know the world-class eats there are to be had in St. Louis -- but the recognition is well deserved.
Click here to read the full feature on Food & Wine's website.