the team at menya rui, from left: jason karcher, chef-owner steven pursley and erika pursley photo by greg rannells

St. Louis' Best New Restaurants of 2022

These are the 8 restaurants that won our hearts this year.

No. 1 Menya Rui
Consistency and earnestness of execution are a running theme across any meal at this compact noodle shop in Lindenwood Park, habits that sit at the core of everything Menya Rui does.

No. 2 Jalea
If one aspect of “new” is the thrill of discovery, Jalea is genuinely a revelation. St. Charles’ historic Main Street may be an unlikely setting for a Peruvian bistro, but this is a restaurant worth crossing the Missouri River for. And be sure to bring others along for the journey – even your apathetic “Isn’t it a bit far?” friends will thank you.

No. 3 Bistro La Floraison
Take Root Hospitality co-owners Tara and Michael Gallina know a lot about opening a restaurant. What's remarkable about this restaurant is the staff and the expertise they bring to their roles, from food to beverage to service. 

No. 4 Bar Moro
For the past 10 years, restaurateur Ben Poremba has provided St. Louis’ diners a culinary tour of the Mediterranean. His latest installment, Bar Moro, ferries us across the Strait of Gibraltar to Spain and Portugal. Poremba's curatorial touch is visible not only in the restaurant’s decor, but in its appreciation of the region’s fine ingredients and deep knowledge of its culinary history and traditions.

No. 5 Bowood by Niche
The challenge – and opportunity – of the restaurant space attached to aspirational garden store Bowood Farms is crafting a dining experience that matches the shop’s upscale-yet-cozy, au naturel vibe. Niche Food Group’s Bowood by Niche strikes just the right note with a superlative brunch program and a vegetable-forward dinner menu focused on locally sourced, seasonally available ingredients.

No. 6 Taqueria Morita
Once you start eating at Take Root Hospitality’s Taqueria Morita, it is difficult to stop. Its menu is largely inspired by northern Mexican cuisine, designed by chefs experienced at executing at a high level, who are applying those skills to a culinary tradition with which they are intimately acquainted.

No. 7 Fordo's Killer Pizza
For as much pizza as you can get in this town, Fordo's Killer Pizza has few rivals. 2022’s second concept from Gerard Craft's Niche Food Group merges time-honored pizza-making technique with inventive ideas. 

No. 8 Tiger Soup Dumplings
Tiger Soup Dumplings really knows how to show and tell. The centerpiece of the bright, minimalist dining is the large glass window into the kitchen, giving guests a peak into the meditative process behind the menu’s star dumplings.