Courtesy of Cedar Grove

Cedar Grove

Oak Lawn

The old DISH on Cedar Springs is no more and in its place this bright, airy, tree-themed bar and restaurant has taken root, courtesy of the same owners. Nature and forestry are inspirations, from the stark white “trees” that spring up from the tables throughout the dining room, to cocktails like the Forest Floor Forager and Above the Treeline. Sharing is a big part of Cedar Grove, too, reflected in an extensive list of shareable plates like crispy wings, deviled eggs, and Swedish meatballs to long communal tables that foster plate-gawking and conversation. Even more shareable: the cocktail punches.

Independent Bar & Kitchen

The Independent Bar & Kitchen

Deep Ellum

Fans of European-inspired comfort food are flocking to this brick-lined tavern for the likes of moules frites, Scotch eggs, and burgers. The patio overlooking Main St is the perfect corner for sampling the bar’s expert craft beer and cocktail list. Weekend brunch offers egg-topped spaetzle, waffle, and drink specials till 3pm.

Sprezza

Oak Lawn

Chef Julian Barsotti is adored locally for his Italian concepts Nonna and Carbone’s Fine Food and Wine, so the admiration for him should grow with this casual Italian eatery tucked into a Craftsman-style house on Maple Ave. The culinary spotlight at this inviting and warm restaurant is on pizzas, pastas, and cocktails.

Knuckle Sandwich Co

Knuckle Sandwich Co.

Lower Greenville

The easygoing tavern that once was Vagabond has now been turned into an easygoing tavern for excellent cocktails and fine sandwiches, courtesy of esteemed barman Eddie “Lucky” Campbell. Don’t let the casual pub feel fool you, there’s serious attention being paid to drinks and eats here, from the ahi tuna sandwich to the namesake sandwich, filled with pork belly and pimiento cheese. Pro tip: stop in for happy hour lunch starting at 11am, for criminally cheap cocktails.

Kevin Marple

Street’s Fine Chicken

Oak Lawn

The Oak Lawn-Cedar Springs area is on fire, with this spot joining Cedar Grove as another major owner-led overhaul of a beloved neighborhood spot. In this case, the old Black Eyed Pea has been redesigned and brightened up into an elevated fried-chicken joint. The menu is Southern as all get-out, with specialties like pimiento fritters and chicken fried steak on offer alongside the classic fried bird. Chicken also comes in tender form and in a spice-marinated grilled version named the Sin Killer.

Black Ship Little Katana

Black Ship Little Katana

Downtown

This offshoot of the local sushi chainlet serves up a selection of pan-Asian specialties in a spacious, lounge-like dining room anchored by a sleek bar framed by flat-screens. The menu is largely Japanese, with maki rolls and sashimi among standouts, but don’t miss the Korean favorites like kalbi and bibimbap. Cocktails do well incorporating the flavors of the region.

Montlake Cut

University Park

Thanks to local restaurant whiz Nick Badovinus, Dallas has a new hub for fresh seafood. Montlake Cut presents fish, a raw bar, and a handful of meat dishes in an upscale, white-tablecloth environment where nautical elements inform the interior design and harken to his former home of Seattle. The wine program curates the finest vino at a variety of price points.

Hash House A Go Go

Hash House A Go Go

Plano

Plano is busting out the stretchy pants now that this popular chain known for belt-busting portions has landed in town. Everything’s gigantic here, from pancakes to the burgers to a chicken pot pie with a dough topping that could easily double as a two-gallon hat; even salads could feed a table of four. The chicken and waffle plate is a legend, as are the imaginative Bloody Marys that go perfectly with it.

Butcher Board

McKinney

Situated right next to its sibling restaurant, Sugarbacon, this quick-service eatery boasts a menu loaded with hand-carved meat sandwiches on Village Baking Co. bread. The offerings may be few, but they’re all chef-crafted and sound incredibly tempting, including the herb-crusted porchetta sandwich and a smoked roast beef sandwich with caramelized onion au jus. We’d say this love child of a barbecue joint, bakery and deli sounds totally worth the trek north.

Courtesy of Flora Street Cafe

Flora Street Cafe

Downtown

Last but certainly not least in the restaurant revamp category, James Beard-honored Chef Stephan Pyles made over his namesake flagship, recently opening this upscale Southwestern cuisine destination with a super-local bent. Expect a sensory experience with each dish, with thoughtful touches like embered lettuce, goat cheese chicharron, and garlic flower fritters. Cocktails and the wine list get the same level of attention and variety.

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1. Cedar Grove 4123 Cedar Springs Rd, Dallas, TX 75219 (Oak Lawn)

Cedar Grove is a casual neighborhood destination with a modern forest motif (the dining room is lined 50-something artificial trees). The menu features casual Southern American fare at an approachable price point, with snacks like country ham pimento cheese and Cheez-It-crusted mac and cheese, and larger plates like a hot chicken sandwich and a mushroom burger (add a fried egg for $2). The communal tables (and those snacks) are conducive to group dining, as is the drink menu with five different punch options that serve anywhere from four to eight people. And if you choose to sit on the back patio, you can beat the Dallas heat with their adult snow cones and other frozen drinks, like the “R-rated Root Beer Float” and frozen Cuba Libre. Stop by on the last Sunday of every month for Drag Brunch, a $35, three-course tasting menu (eggs included).

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2. Independent Bar & Kitchen 2712 Main St, Dallas, TX 75226 (Deep Ellum)

This congenial Main St. eatery scores with its menu of European-inspired, gastropub bites and a dope beer menu to pair them with. Crowd-pleasing small plates like fried pickles, scotch eggs, and the Independent's witty take on the onion rings in the form of fried leeks are crave-worthy come happy hour or any time of the day. Enjoy brunch on the spacious patio and be sure to sample the bar’s expert craft beer and cocktail list.

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3. Sprezza 4010 Maple Ave., Dallas, TX 75219 (Oak Lawn)

From Chef Julian Barsotti (Nonna, Carbone's Fine Food and Wine), this bright and friendly Oak Lawn house infuses red-sauce classics with a dose of fresh, seasonal flair, such as Barsotti's Spaghettini Carbonara with pancetta, pecorino, and egg. Beyond the fresh-made pasta dishes, there are thin-crust pies with complex flavor combinations like potato, rosemary, goat cheese crema, and speck. The spacious interior offers plenty of bar seating, where you can sip on inventive craft cocktails, as well as the opportunity to watch your meal come together in the open kitchen.

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4. Knuckle Sandwich Co. 3619 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX 75206 (Lower Greenville)

Be prepared to meet the sandwich of your dreams at this friendly neighborhood Lowest Greenville gastropub. The combination lunch spot and cocktail bar is a match made in heaven (because it's always 5 o'clock somewhere). The sandwich menu runs the gamut from Cubans to hoagies, to burgers, to banh mi inspired sliders. Pair one with a $1 cocktail on weekdays and you're go to good.

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5. Street's Fine Chicken 3857 Cedar Springs Rd., Dallas, TX 75219 (Oak Lawn)

The Southern-fried staple goes upscale at this chic neighborhood eatery popping up in Oak Lawn. The menu takes the comfort food classic and pairs it with French-inspired flavors and culinary techniques; what results are refined and polished reinventions of your favorite share-ables and sides (think pimento cheese fritters, brie mac 'n cheese, and a Southern take on Salade Nicoise).

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6. Black Ship Little Katana 665 s Lamar St Suite 130, Dallas, TX 75202 (Downtown)

East meets West at this boutique sushi spot and cocktail bar that's making waves in Downtown Dallas and beyond. This offshoot of the local sushi chainlet serves up a selection of pan-Asian specialties and citrus-infused libations in a sleek and chic dining area framed by flat-screens. Creative and flavor-packed maki rolls are the main draw, but be sure to also check out Black Ship's hot stone and noodle entrees.

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7. Montlake Cut 8220 Westchester Dr, Dallas, TX 75225 (University Park)

Dallas may not have a port of call, but white-tablecloth restaurant Montlake Cut brings the bounty of the sea to the landlocked port of Preston Center. The restaurant’s nautical décor is synonymous with the majority of its menu, highlighting Pacific Northwest specialties like kumamotos and crudos, as well as composed fish-focused dishes like King Crab fried rice, ceviche, and fish tacos. The wine list is largely domestic, with origins adjacent to the restaurant’s regional cuisine. Montlake Cut is a bicoastal experience, but you can opt to indulge in the steak frites if oceans aren’t your thing.

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8. Hash House A Go Go - Plano 1900 Preston Rd #343, Plano, TX 75093 (Plano)

The Plano outpost of this local favorite chain spot doles out the generously portioned, Southern-fried breakfast fare you know and love: massive waffle towers, barbecued steak and eggs, and a plethora of house made hashes. Go with a group: most portions could easily do double duty as a shareable plate. The chicken and waffle plate is a legend, as are the imaginative Bloody Marys that go perfectly with it.

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9. Butcher Board 216 W Virginia St, McKinney, TX 75069 (Mckinney)

Situated right next to its sibling restaurant, Sugarbacon, this fast-casual deli and eatery boasts a menu loaded with hand-carved meat sandwiches piled onto Village Baking Co. bread. The family friendly menu offers savory takes on deli faves (chili rubbed turkey breast; roast beef with horseradish cream) for the grown-ups and chicken tender sides and grilled cheese for little ones and kids at heart. Get your grub to go or dine in the spacious, industrial dining area.

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10. Flora Street Cafe 2330 Flora St, Dallas, TX 75201 (Arts District)

Flora St. Cafe is a 5,000 square foot fine-dining restaurant in the Arts District serving elevated Southwestern cuisine to anyone lucky enough to secure a reservation. Experience James Beard Award winner Stephan Pyles’ seriously sophisticated dishes through a seven-course tasting menu or a la carte, with wine selections from an impressive, extensive cellar. The artful presentation of the dishes paired with the various art installations (there’s one on the ceiling, and it moves) and the wall draped by a three-dimensional silk tapestry are begging for their debut on Instagram.