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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5 Ferguson Restaurants You Should Visit This Week

Growlers at Ferguson Brewing Company. | Pat Kohm

With so much bad news coming out of Ferguson this week, it's reassuring to see people building up the community and supporting each other. In that spirit, we'd like to suggest five of our favorite Ferguson restaurants that could use some love.

See also: Ferguson: An Updated Guide to Restaurants Along Florissant Road

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10 Classic Missouri State Fair Foods to Inspire the Drive to Sedalia

Concessions at the Missouri State Fair

The 113th Missouri State Fair opened yesterday in Sedalia with over 100 acres filled with amusement rides, concerts, tractor pulls, car racing, art and crafts, camping, livestock and produce competitions and contests of skills of all kinds. But plenty of people come just for the food -- check out these ten items you won't want to miss at this year's fair. They pack it all in for the year on August 17.

See also: 10 Local Urban Farms We Love

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10 Local Urban Farms We Love

Caroline Yoo

When you think of a "farm," you likely imagine a sweeping vista of corn, soybean and wheat fields. And this is, in fact, what you see on much of Missouri's more than 27 million acres of rural farmland. However, there is rapidly growing interest in producing food closer to where we live, in the urban cores of our major cities. Previously abandoned lots and underutilized rooftops are being transformed into productive "foodscapes" in St. Louis.

In just the past couple of years, we've witnessed an explosion in urban agriculture, led by city residents who want to increase local access to fresh food, to serve as an example for healthy eating, and provide a model of self-sufficiency. Here are ten of Gut Check's favorites.

See also: 10 St. Louis Restaurants Growing Their Own Food

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The 5 Best Menus at Downtown Restaurant Week 2014

Inside Hiro Asian Kitchen downtown. | Jennifer Silverberg

If you haven't been downtown in a while for anything other than a ball game, here's your chance. Downtown Restaurant Week celebrates all the food the neighborhood has to offer. From August 11 to 17, 25 downtown restaurants are offering three courses (sometimes more) for just $25. It's pretty impossible to hit that many places in just a week, so we've picked the five menus we think are the most promising.

See also: Two for Peru: Mango sallies forth from Shrewsbury with a loft-district outpost

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The 10 Best Restaurant Bathrooms (AKA the Finest Loos in the Lou)
Nathalie's | Caroline Yoo

Every detail of dining out -- from the food to the staff to the music -- subtly, or not so subtly, affects your overall impression of a restaurant. So it's safe to say we can all appreciate a little style when we need to go, ahem ... talk to a man about a horse.

Be sure to check out the "loo chic" of these ten St. Louis restaurants the next time you visit.

See also: 10 of the Best (and Most Beautiful) Salads to Try This Summer

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10 of the Best (and Most Beautiful) Salads to Try This Summer
Juniper's "Mr. Macgregor's Garden Salad." | Caroline Yoo

While temperatures have cooled this week, the mercury is set to soar again before long. A scorching St. Louis evening is not the ideal time for a heavy, hot, stick-to-your-ribs kind of meal. You're more likely to go looking for a beautiful, light and fresh salad. And just because it's good for you doesn't mean it has to be boring.

Gut Check called around to some of our favorite spots and found ten salads we think are must-tries before the season is over.

See also: 10 Places to Take (and Impress) Your Visiting Foodie

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10 Places to Take (and Impress) Your Visiting Foodie

A feast for eyes and stomach at Niche. | Greg Rannells

Many have said that St. Louisans have an inferiority complex about our fair city, but there's nothing to be ashamed about when it comes to the culinary clout in our kitchens. St. Louis is increasingly being recognized nationally for its chefs and burgeoning restaurant scene. What better way to help spread the gospel than to do it up big when your friends and family come to stay.

If your summer out-of-towners are foodies, they'll want you to show them what we have to offer beyond great barbecue (although our barbecue is unbeatable, let's not forget). Here are Gut Check's picks for the restaurants that are sure to impress your guests' palates and send them home talking us up.

See also: 10 St. Louis Restaurants Growing Their Own Food

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