For the past nine years, our Feast 50 Awards have spotlighted our readers’ favorite people and places across the region, from burger joints and taco shacks to fine-dining institutions. Tens of thousands of votes are cast in our poll each year in St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield and Columbia, and it's our honor to share the results with you in Feast each summer.
This year, though, things feel a lot different. When COVID-19 hit our region this spring, dozens of restaurants across the region were forced to temporarily close their dining rooms and, sadly, some of them won't return. As a staff, we debated how to proceed, as our dining scene today looks vastly different than it did at the beginning of the year when readers cast their ballots. Nearly all of this year's Feast 50 winners and runners up reconfigured their operations amid the pandemic, including shifting to curbside pickup, carryout and delivery, or suspending operations altogether, and many of the chefs and bartenders who serve as the backbone of these businesses have been furloughed or laid off.
Ultimately, in this uncertain time for the food and beverage industry, we feel that this year's winners and runners up deserve this recognition – perhaps now more than ever before. We hope that this year's Feast 50 Awards can serve as a small glimmer of hope for these chefs, restaurants, bartenders, brewers, winemakers and other industry professionals. After, all, who doesn't need a little something to celebrate right now?
With that in mind, we're excited to present this year's Feast 50 Awards, as voted by you, our readers. Scroll down to find out who took top honors this year, and remember that there are many ways to continue supporting these local businesses, including dining out, ordering takeout or buying a gift card to use at a later date. Cheers to this year's winners!
For updated lists of restaurants offering dine-in service, click here:
For updated lists of restaurants offering curbside pickup, carryout and delivery, click here:
Written by Jordan Baranowski, Ren Bishop, Kasey Carlson, Tessa Cooper, April Fleming, Juliana Goodwin, Rachel Huffman, Heather Riske, Jessica Vaughn Martin and Jenny Vergara