St. Louis food scene is full of surprises, from Paris-worthy pastries to daring microbrews

Manchester Road, part of former Route 66, threads through Maplewood and Kirkwood to the west, where acclaimed pastry chef Nathaniel Reid runs his 2-year-old eponymous bakery from a sunlit storefront. The Joel Robuchon alum and former Pastry Chef of the Year per the U.S. Pastry Competition chose Kirkwood for its sense of community, demonstrated by a stream of customers interrupting an interview to say hello.

“We take the lowly and elevate it,” says Reid, who does everything from chocolate-dipped pound cake to delicate macaroons and flaky pastries. “If you can make a turkey sandwich stand out, you’re really doing something.”