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A toast to our top 5 most-read food stories of 2021

St. Louis' food scene got a lot of national (and international!) love in 2021. Here are the five biggest headlines stuffed with openings and big-time rankings.
Credit: KSDK

ST. LOUIS — St. Louis sure does love its food scene – and for good reason! The city and surrounding metropolitan area have diverse, growing and internationally recognized restaurants, eateries, concepts and kitchens. 

That's why it's no surprise stories about food, drinks and restaurants did well this year on KSDK.com.

We gathered up the five most popular stories, so you can relive St. Louis' tasty side of 2021, and maybe make some meal plans for 2022. Two common themes you'll notice: new openings and big rankings.

Let's dive in!

5. Gulf Shores Restaurant opening a third location this fall

Credit: Gulf Shores

St. Louisans love their creole food, which is why they went crazy over the news that Gulf Shores Restaurant and Grill was opening another location.

The cajun/creole seafood joint decided to venture into St. Charles County and officially opened its doors in St. Peters on Dec. 22.

“St. Charles County has been on our radar and we thought we would be there as soon as we could. It’s always been on our list. We have quite a few customers from St. Charles County, so we said we are going to take advantage of this and open up in St. Peters,” said owner Harry Parker.

Gulf Shores first opened in Creve Coeur 17 years ago and followed up with a second location in Edwardsville, Illinois, 10 years later.

4. St. Louis County restaurant makes list of best places to eat in 2021

Yelp asked its users to weigh in on their favorite restaurants. That feedback led to the list of Top 100 Places to Eat in 2021 – and you know a St. Louis area restaurant had to be included.

Olive + Oak landed at No. 50. The popular Webster Groves spot was the only restaurant in all of Missouri to make it onto the fan-generated list. St. Louis food fans rave about Olive + Oak’s blue crab gratin, beef tenderloin, burger and cloud cake.

3. OpenTable names St. Louis restaurant among best neighborhood gems

Credit: KSDK

The city is home to so many colorful neighborhoods offering a diverse menu of food options, but there was one restaurant that stood out above the rest this year, at least according to OpenTable.

Trattoria Marcella, in Lindenwood Park, was featured on a list of 100 best “neighborhood gems” for 2021 in the U.S. They also were the only Missouri restaurant to make the cut.

LISTEN: Subscribe to the Abby Eats St. Louis podcast

2. St. Louis County doughnut shop named best in Missouri

Food & Wine Magazine gathered up where to find the best doughnuts in each state – and of course, St. Louis earned a spot on the list.

The Donut Stop in Lemay was named the best place to grab a doughnut in Missouri. The family-run shop has been in business for 68 years.

Food & Wine said customers love the cherry fritters, fry pies, French crullers and cinnamon globs.

1. St. Louis restaurant wins world’s best burger

Credit: World Food Championship Instagram

The St. Louis food scene got some international love with our top food news story of the year.

In November the World Food Championships crowned Hi-Pointe Drive-In as having the best burger in the world.

Owner and chef Mike Johnson said he created the burger using two items from the restaurant’s menu: the cowboy burger and Impossible burger. St. Louis food fans eager to try the award-winning smashburger should keep an eye on Hi-Pointe’s social media pages. They plan to feature the creation as a recurring daily special at their three locations.

But it wasn’t the only win for the Lou, another local chef also brought home the bacon.

Chef Jack MacMurray, of the Old Hickory Golf Club in St. Peters, won the title of world bacon champion. His winning dish was a bacon-wrapped and chocolate-lined pork belly over a bacon chocolate chip pancake.

Want more tasty food stories?

Subscribe to the Abby Eats St. Louis podcast

Abby Llorico tells the story of St. Louis based on what’s on the table. From the hunger for local ingredients to the booming brunch scene and the craving for creative cocktails, Abby dives into the nitty-gritty of how St. Louis grew to become the foodie town that it is.

Abby Eats St. Louis is available for free on all podcast apps. Make sure to subscribe to get the latest episode as soon as it drops.

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