If you’re looking for a town with culinary zeal, you don’t have to head to a big metropolis. Tucked away in mountain towns, seaside hamlets and Midwestern cities lie hidden culinary gems, including upscale dining, local coffee shops and delicious microbrews. Food meccas like New York and San Francisco have nothing on these small city food scenes:
The Gateway to the West has earned a place on the map of great food cities. This designation is in part thanks to Chef Gerard Craft, a James Beard Best Chef nominee and owner of Niche, which focuses on the elegant side of Midwestern fare with dishes like celery root soup and filet of beef with acorn squash. At Farmhaus, chef Kevin Willmann and his team offer up amazing creations with fish and market vegetables. Kevin Nashan at Sidney Street Café offers upscale menu items, like the Uni Boillabaise and Black Trumpet and Oyster Mushrooms, in an unpretentious atmosphere. Other picks for a delicious culinary trip include Sump for pour-over coffee, Mai Lee for Vietnamese, and Civil Life or Urban Chestnut for local microbrews.
Sidney Street Cafe is located in a century-old building in St. Louis’s historic Benton Park neighborhood. Sidney Street Cafe
The restaurant’s upscale menu and unpretentious atmosphere is a neighborhood staple. Cardin Photography
Chef Kevin Nashan’s Eel and Uni Bouillabaisse is made with cauliflower puree, uni bottarga, pickled shrimp and rouille crostini topped with backyard kale. Greg Rannells
Featured is the charred Meyer lemon semi freddo. Sidney Street Cafe
Duck is presented on a platter at Sidney Street Cafe in St. Louis, Mo. Cardin Photography