Thursday, November 19, 2015

The 10 Best Fast-Casual Restaurants in St. Louis

Posted By on Thu, Nov 19, 2015 at 6:00 AM

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TAZÉ MEDITERRANEAN STREET FOOD | MABEL SUEN
  • Tazé Mediterranean Street Food | Mabel Suen
6. Tazé Mediterranean Street Food
626 Washington Avenue, downtown
Just opened this year, Tazé Mediterranean Street Food caters to downtown residents and workers with a healthy, made-from-scratch, fast and affordable menu that is always tazé (Turkish for “fresh”). The dishes are based on the flavors and cooking techniques of Morocco, Turkey, Greece, Israel, Spain and other countries on the Mediterranean Sea. Each meal starts with either house-made pita or a bowl of saffron rice and greens. Next is a choice of chicken or beef and lamb gyro, chicken or beef tandoor, or falafel or portabella mushrooms. These are topped with unlimited fresh vegetables and one of four sauces – mango, harissa, tzatziki, or tahini. Salads, hummus, dessert, wine and beer are also available.

CRUSHED RED | PHOTO COURTESY OF CRUSHED RED
  • Crushed Red | photo courtesy of Crushed Red
7. Crushed Red Urban Bake and Chop Shop
8007 Maryland Avenue, Clayton
Crushed Red Urban Bake and Chop Shop first opened in St. Louis in 2012 and now includes two more locations in the city and one in Denver, Colorado. The service is described as “artisan fast” – healthy food, made from scratch, with a focus on quality. Twelve inventive pizzas are available, as well as a great “craft your own” pizza with a comprehensive list of toppings. A well-curated list of creative salads also includes a craft-your-own with 51 ingredients and ten dressings to choose from. Tapas, soups, wine and beer round out the menu. A member of the St. Louis Green Dining Alliance, Crushed Red is committed to producing very little waste as a way to look after its community and the environment.

See also: Crushed Red Opens Its Third Location in Creve Coeur

URBAN EATS | PHOTO COURTESY OF URBAN EATS
  • Urban Eats | photo courtesy of Urban Eats
8. Urban Eats
3301 Meramec Street, Dutchtown
Urban Eats is at a healthy, fast-casual restaurant and community space that is committed to revitalization of the local community. The concise menu is customizable, centered around paninis, wraps, flatbread pizzas and rice bowls. Organic ingredients are offered whenever possible, much of it vegetables and eggs from chickens from the backyard garden. A fully stocked bar features fresh juices and infused cocktails, beer and wine, including several sustainable and organic options.

LULU'S LOCAL EATERY | MABEL SUEN
  • Lulu's Local Eatery | Mabel Suen
9. Lulu’s Local Eatery
3201 South Grand Boulevard, Tower Grove
The Lulu’s Local Eatery food truck debuted in 2012 and a storefront on South Grand followed just two years later. Both were inspired by organic farm work in Australia and New Zealand, which instilled a desire to provide sustainable vegetarian food that is affordable and accessible. And yes, the food is vegetarian here, but even carnivores will leave happy. Popular menu items include the loaded nachos with jackfruit carnitas and house-made butternut squash cheese sauce, the mac n cheese with gluten-free noodles and butternut squash cheese and walnut parmesan, and the mushroom stroganoff. The restaurant sources from more than twenty local farms and producers, uses packaging that is 100 percent biodegradable and compostable and is certified by the St. Louis Green Dining Alliance.

See also: Lulu's Local Eatery New Restaurant Prepares Plant-Based Fare on South Grand

CRAZY BOWLS AND WRAPS | BCAST ADVERTISING & MARKETING
  • Crazy Bowls and Wraps | BCAST Advertising & Marketing
10. Crazy Bowls and Wraps
Multiple locations, including 3852 Lindell, Midtown
Crazy Bowls and Wraps might be the original fast-casual spot in this city — it opened its first store in St. Louis in 1994 and now boasts twelve locally, with more locations in Illinois and California.The menu is composed of healthy salads, bowls of rice, noodles and quinoa, and flour wraps ... so, basically just like the name says. If you are looking for organic, hormone-free, free-range, GMO-free, wild, whole grain, vegan, high fructose corn syrup-free and gluten-free, you'll be right at home here. In fact, a detailed allergen guide is offered for those with dietary restrictions seeking guidance. Fresh vegetables and from-scratch recipes are the backbones to the build-your-own menu, with plenty of tried and tested creations for those looking for tried and tested customer favorites.

Follow Sara Graham on Instagram and Twitter at @engagetaste. E-mail the author at sara@engagetaste.com.

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