75 Reasons to Love St. Louis

For as long as anyone around here can remember, the RFT’s Best of St. Louis issue has followed a standard format: We deem a person, place or thing the best in a category, and then we explain why. Simple, judgmental, useful.

But not everything that’s wonderful about St. Louis fits into such a taxonomy. We love both Left Bank Books and Subterranean Books, for different reasons. Why should we have to pick just one? Oh, and we love the Novel Neighbor, too — is the best solution really a three-way tie?

After thinking about that this year, we opted for major change, scrapping the neat little categories and embracing the messiness of life. Now, rather than “Best This” or “Best That,” we give you 75 reasons to love St. Louis — personal recommendations, essays and explorations of the things in this city that our writers and editors adore.

Some of these things are book stores. Some are restaurants, clubs and theaters. One is (yes!) a gin bucket (we’re thirsty that way). And while they don’t always fit into bite-size pieces, we think they collectively provide a portrait of this complicated, screwed-up, wonderful place we call home.

Check out our enthusiastic recommendations in City Life, Things to Buy, Arts & Entertainment, Things to See and Do, Food & Drink, Bars & Nightlife, and last but never least, the Music Scene. You’ll find 75 tributes to the people, places and things in St. Louis that have us most excited right now — our hope is that, reading along, you’ll be excited too.

Longing for the sort of clear-cut award system we previously published? We’ve still got a series of Best Of awards, all voted by our readers. Check out their picks, too.

Happy reading!