Best of St. Louis 2020 Food & Drink | Food & Drink

If there’s one thing this terrible pandemic has taught us – aside from the fact that our president * is a semi-sensitive garbage fire – it is how much eating out means to us. A once joyful activity, the simple act of sitting in a restaurant and feeling the passion of those who bring the dining experience to life seems like a fond memory that we wonder if we can relive it.

Times around the world are full, uncertain and downright sad. Gastronomy is at the center of this sentiment, which has been horribly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak since March. As such, it feels strange to celebrate anything, especially when you weigh the thought of helping an industry in serious trouble against the reality that eating out may not be the best thing to do to contain the spread of this terrible virus .

That balance has influenced our coverage of the St. Louis food scene for the past seven months, and we kept it in mind when we put together the 2020 Best of St. Louis Food and Drink. We chose to view this issue as a celebration of the bright spots in an otherwise dark time, and luckily it wasn’t hard to find. For each winner, however, we asked ourselves a series of questions: Are we comfortable with the company doing its best to address the health and safety challenges the pandemic poses for both its customers and its employees? Would we feel safe patronizing the winner? Do we think the winner grasps the severity of the current situation and understands the changing food landscape in a way that affects every decision they make?

This year’s Best of St. Louis is sure to be a problem, but it’s also a joy to watch the unbreakable spirits of each and every one of these winners as they refuse to give up, no matter how difficult the times are. That we can still have such moments of joy thanks to their commitment is the hope we need to get by.

– Cheryl Baehr

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