10 Best Bakeries and Candy Shops to Score Special Halloween Treats

The "Monster" cupcake at the Cup | Relic Photography

We here at Gut Check International Headquarters are all about helping guide our readers to the very best eats, and come Halloween-time that includes making sure you and your little ones are armed with great trick-or-treating jokes. Food and drink-related ones, at that:

Q: Why did the ghost go into the bar?

A: For the boos.

Q: What's the ratio of a pumpkin's circumference to its diameter?

A: Pumpkin pi

Q: What did the zombie order for take-out?

A: Pizza, with everyone on it!

Now you're all set to score big on Halloween, but if you can't wait that long for spooktacular treats, here's a round-up of some of our favorite sweets available only at this very creepy time of year.

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The 5 Best Restaurants for the Quieter Side of Dining in St. Louis

Prime 1000 | Laura Ann Miller

The hottest spots in St. Louis are hoppin' -- buzzing with conversation and packed with people. It's where to be. But what if you want to have dinner with a special someone, share an intimate conversation or discuss something important? Sometimes we all just need a little quiet and, thankfully, there are options that offer a menu worth celebrating with noise levels conducive to hearing your dinner companions. Here are some of our favorites.

See also: The 10 Bars With the Best Food in St. Louis

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The 10 Bars With the Best Food in St. Louis

The Brezen Board at Urban Chestnut | Sara Graham

What goes best with a drink? Food, of course! We all have our favorites, that perfect snack to pair with beer or cocktail hour. Gut Check has rounded up a top ten that do both extremely well. Some offer the fatty, salty classics that keep us in perfect drinking spirits all night and others offer a little something out of the ordinary that make us rethink the concept of bar food. Either way, we love it.

See also: The 10 Most Beautiful Bars in St. Louis

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The 10 Best Mediterranean Restaurants in St. Louis

Lamb Chops at Aya Sofia | RFT Photo

The next time you get a taste for flavors reminiscent of the turquoise waters and sun-bathed beaches of the Mediterranean, you don't have to travel very far. St. Louis has a wealth of restaurants that feature the cuisines of Greece, Morocco, Italy, Turkey, France and Spain, offering seafood, lamb, beef and chicken and a bounty of vegetables all flavored by olive oil and native herbs and spices. Continue on for our top ten favorites.

See also: #9: Meat Shawarma at the Vine Mediterranean Cafe & Market

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The 10 Best Restaurants for Fresh Pasta in St. Louis

Pastaria | Greg Rannells

Pasta is one of the world's most cherished foods. St. Louisans certainly love their pasta and there is almost one Italian restaurant on every block in some neighborhoods. You may not be surprised to learn that there are several restaurants that offer fresh pasta made daily, going that extra mile to craft every bite of your meal by hand.

See also: The Best Rooftop Patios in St. Louis including Cielo, Three Sixty, Element and More

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What to Do and Eat at Taste of St. Louis 2014

Chefs at work at Taste of St. Louis 2013. | Steve Truesdell

The annual Taste of St. Louis festival is upon us, and for the first time ever, it's out in Chesterfield. Some people are pretty pissed about that and some people are happy -- either way, you're still going to want to check it out. Tons of St. Louis restaurants are participating, top chefs are competing in a battle royale and there will even be big-time Food Network stars on hand. Check out our guide to this year's Taste of St. Louis after the jump.

See also: Taste of St. Louis Owner Says He Was Pushed Out By Summer Rocks

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The 5 Best Oktoberfest Celebrations in St. Louis This Fall

Deutschland und bier! | Jon Gitchoff

One of the great things about St. Louis is its history. We can celebrate Mardi Gras with the best of them, thanks to our French roots, but St. Louis also had a large amount of German immigrants in the 19th century (Anheuser-Busch, anyone?). Today, that mostly means we have some awesome Oktoberfest celebrations starring Germany's best export, beer. There are celebrations all over town, so grab some friends and start drinking. One heads up, though: Belleville, Illinois, won't be having an Oktoberfest this year because of its 200th anniversary celebration, which takes place on the same weekend.

See also: 4 Seasons Bakery's Ksekuchen, A German Dessert That Redefines Cheesecake

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The Best Destination Restaurants Within Driving Distance of St. Louis

Claverach Farm | Rachel Shulman

The kids are back in school, and your vacation time is likely not what it was three months ago. But summer's not quite over yet (according to the mercury). There's still plenty of sunshine and hours in the day left to visit destination restaurants in the St. Louis area. They're all just a mini-road trip away and worth every mile. Here are our ten favorites.

See also: The Ten Best Outdoor Dining Spots in St. Louis

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10 Weird Foods for the Adventurous St. Louis Eater, Including Pig Tails, Brains and Bugs

Crispy pig tails at the Libertine. | Jennifer Silverberg

Sometimes we just want to try something new. And when we do, St. Louis chefs are more than happy to rise to the challenge. We've compiled of some of the stranger local offerings that just might tempt you away from your comfort zone and into an extraordinary taste adventure you're sure to remember.

See also: The 10 Best Seafood Restaurants in St. Louis

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The 10 Best Seafood Restaurants in St. Louis

The Libertine's mussels with lo mein noodles, squid cracklins and coconut milk laksa. | Jennifer Silverberg

With exceptional seafood options like this, it's hard to believe St. Louis is hundreds of miles from the sea. These ten restaurants offer land-locked seafood lovers the variety of fresh and flavorful dishes one often associates with coastal towns just steps away from an ocean full of fish. No need to travel, we've got everything you need right here.

See also: The 10 Best Sushi Bars in St. Louis

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