Where to Eat in Dallas Right Now
From nuclear hot chicken to creative lobster rolls.
In a year full of surprises, it sure was nice to have some good ones. Even as restaurants shuttered in record numbers in 2020, numerous places made their Dallas-Fort Worth debuts despite the added challenges of various pandemic-related restrictions and behavior changes. For all of us completely over the whole cooking-at-home novelty, having new go-to spots for traditional Italian classics, mouth-watering barbecue, red-bunned burgers, nuclear hot chicken, and creative lobster rolls saved us from takeout monotony. Below, check out 14 of the most exciting restaurant openings since July 2020 to add to your own must-visit list.
The gist: This neighborhood joint near White Rock Lake brings diners all-American comfort food in a space reminiscent of 1950s New York saloons, including a 40-foot coppertop bar and a patio debuting this spring.
The food: Secret-recipe wings, Clams Casino, burgers, meatloaf sandwiches, and salmon fish and chips highlight a menu filled with twists on traditional crowd-pleasers.
The cost: Starters are $5 - $13, soups and salads are $10 - $16, sandwiches are $10 - $18, entrées are $18 - $20, draft beers are $8, wine is $9 - $18 per glass, and signature cocktails are $12.
How to order: Call 214-924-3742 or order online for takeout.
The gist: Come for traditional Argentinian fare in a quirky space with wine bottle chandeliers, colorful murals, and Evita movie memorabilia.
The food: Grilled meats with an emphasis on beef, a variety of vegetarian and meaty empanadas, Argentinian-style pizzas (including one with spicy Calabrian salami), and a handful of pastas and milanesas round out the menu.
The cost: Starters are $6 - $12, salads are $7 - $12, pastas and milanesas are $16 - $21, grilled meats are $21 - $42, pizzas are $16 - $20, beers are $5 - $6, wine is $8 - $16 per glass, and signature cocktails are $12 - $13.
How to order: Call 469-906-6098 for takeout.
The gist: Enter this massive 46,000-square-foot Italian marketplace (the first in Texas for the global chain) and prepare for sensory overload from more than 10,000 local items and Italian imports, including a variety of chef-prepared items from bakery to butcher, multiple restaurants and patios, and every conceivable ingredient to create your own Italian meals at home.
The food: You’ll find every classic Italian dish imaginable in the market and restaurants, plus many you’ve likely never heard of, including several unique shapes of pasta and deep-fried pizza.
The cost: Marketplace items can be found at any price point, pastas are $14 - $29, pizzas are $13 - $23, entrees are $20 - $52, signature cocktails are $13 - $18, wines are $12 - $29 by the glass, and beers are $7 - $10.
How to order: Call 469-759-2800 for takeout from one of the restaurants, shop online for market goods or order delivery Instacart and Mercato, or order restaurant delivery from Uber Eats.
Elm & Good
The gist: The latest restaurant led by chef Graham Dodds finds a home inside the historic Pittman Hotel with an emphasis on fresh farmhouse fare.
The food: Comfort food rules from start to finish with crave-worthy dishes including East Texas hushpuppies studded with okra and pimento cheese, grilled east coast oysters, blackened gulf coast redfish, pork schnitzel, and a small selection of 44 Farms steaks.
The cost: Starters are $10 - $20, soups and salads are $10 - $12, entrées are $17 - $42, beers are $5 - $9, wine is $12 - $18 per glass, and signature cocktails are $13 - $15.
How to order: Call 469-498-2525 for takeout or order delivery from Postmates or DoorDash.
LaVui Vietnamese Restaurant
The gist: From the owners of local sushi favorite Oishii, this no-frills Vietnamese joint specializes in spring rolls, banh mi sandwiches, and noodle and rice dishes.
The food: Spring rolls are a must for presentation as much as flavor with each served in pieces like a sushi roll, but with peanut sauce for dipping and fillings you’ve likely never seen in a spring roll. Everything seems tailor made for takeout, too.
The cost: Spring rolls are $10 - $19, appetizers are $6 - $17, sandwiches are $8 - $16, signature dishes are $14 - $19, and pho and vermicelli bowls are $12 - $14.
How to order: Call 469-776-8212 for takeout or order delivery from Postmates.
The gist: We can’t wait for spring weather when the garage doors can open up and let the sun shine in at this rustic-chic neighborhood eatery where chef Matt Balke has committed to dishes that highlight a single ingredient with simplicity, consistency, quality, and execution.
The food: The adventurous menu includes elevated versions of iconic dishes, including beef cheek pastrami with pimento cheese, a Reuben-style flatbread, grain risotto with braised rabbit, and goat tacos with local tortillas.
The cost: Starters are $8 - $17, salads are $11 - $12, flatbreads are $15 - $16, entrées are $20 - $36, beers and hard seltzers are $4 - $10, wine is $9 - $24 per glass, and signature cocktails are $12 - $15.
How to order: Call 469-620-3644 or order online for takeout.
The gist: Unlike the image that typically comes to mind, this British Isles-inspired neighborhood pub features a food-forward approach, but doesn’t shy away from booze as evidenced by its robust whiskey program.
The food: Imaginative pub fare is the name of the game, with beer-cheddar soup, roasted bone marrow served with a shot of whiskey, beer-battered fish and chips, London broil, and stout-soaked lady fingers in the Beeramisu dessert.
The cost: Starters are $7 - $14, salads are $12, sandwiches are $9 - $16, entrées are $15 - $28, beers $6 - $16, wine is $10 - $12 per glass, and signature cocktails (including beer cocktails) are $8 - $16.
How to order: Call 214-273-5151 for takeout.
The gist: After years of barbecue envy for the citizens of Fort Worth, Dallas finally got its own outpost from beloved food-truck-turned-BBQ-icons Travis and Emma Heim, located just across the street from Love Field.
The food: They’re famous for their bacon burnt ends, so order those any way you can get them (including breakfast tacos), but don’t overlook the amazing Angus Prime brisket, loaded green chile mac ‘n cheese, and housemade beer batter corn dogs.
The cost: Bar food items are $7 - $13, sandwiches and burgers are $8 - $14, and smoked meat plates are $17 - $25.
How to order: Call 469-397-4346 for takeout.
The gist: Restaurateur extraordinaire Phil Romano debuted another concept at his Trinity Groves complex, this time celebrating the style of pizza his mom made when he was growing up.
The food: Between pours from the honor system jugs of wine on your table, eat your way through some specialty pies, including sausage with vodka sauce, shrimp fra diavolo, and all the great things you love from an antipasto platter on a crust.
The cost: Starters are $6 - $12, pizzas are $12 - $16, sandwiches are $8 - $9, salads are $5 - $11, pastas are $10 - $11, beers are $4 - $12, jug wine is $3 per glass, and signature cocktails are $10 - $14.
How to order: Dine in, call 469-329-0707 or order online for pickup, or order delivery from Postmates, Grubhub, Doordash, or Uber Eats.
Palmer’s Hot Chicken
The gist: Nashville hot chicken comes to East Dallas from a Dallas native and his wife who lived in Nashville for two decades and know a few things about what makes the iconic dish authentic.
The food: Choose your level of spice (from naked to napalm) and apply it to nearly anything on the menu, including roasted or crispy chicken (bone-in or boneless), catfish, gulf shrimp, and tacos, then tack on a few sides ranging from collard greens to pimento cheese grits.
The cost: Salads are $11 - $13 with protein, sandwiches are $9 - $12, chicken, catfish, and shrimp plates are $9 - $13, beers are $4 - $9, wine is $6 - $10 per glass, and signature cocktails are $9 - $10.
How to order: Call 972-863-9366 or order online for pickup
Rise + Thyme
The gist: Located at the Exchange Hall in the new AT&T Discovery District downtown, this breakfast-and-lunch spot from celebrity chef and Chopped judge Amanda Freitag focuses on a grab-and-go model, but also features one of the best patios in the downtown area for dining onsite.
The food: Coffee drinks are a staple, but you should definitely nosh on some items from the all-day menu, which includes egg dishes, loaded toasts, hot sandwiches, salads, and organic chicken or salmon dinners if you’re feeling extra hungry. Definitely try the chicken.
The cost: Egg dishes are $6 - $11, toasts are $5 - $13, sandwiches are $10 - $13, salads are $9 - $15, large plates are $17 - $35, and coffee and tea drinks are $3 - $5.
How to order: Call 972-268-7605 for takeout.
The gist: From the team behind amazing cocktail bar HIDE in Deep Ellum, which remains closed due to Covid-19, this restaurant and bar keeps a sharp focus on craft beverages, but also a menu loaded with crowd-pleasing favorites.
The food: No matter the size of your appetite, you’ll surely find something tempting whether it’s bar snacks (homemade Cheez-It crackers, anyone?), shareables (lobster corn fritters, grilled artichokes), sandwiches (lobster rolls and French dip sandwiches), or hearty entrées (Prime NY strips, chicken schnitzels, and poke noodle bowls).
The cost: Bar snacks and starters are $6 - $16, soups and salads are $5 - $16, sandwiches are $16 - $19, entrées are $16 - $34, wine is $9 - $18 per glass, and signature cocktails are $10 - $15.
How to order: Call 214-736-9010 or order online for takeout and free delivery.
The gist: A historic service station has been transformed into a restaurant and bar from the team behind Single Wide and Double Wide.
The food: It’s nothing fancy, but sure tastes great. Seasoned pork rinds, pimento spread, green onion dip with Ruffles, frito pie, and a really sloppy Sloppy Joe (even a vegan version) make for the perfect pairings to ice cold beer and cocktails.
The cost: Starters are $4 - $12, sandwiches are $8 - $12, tamales every Tuesday are $10 - $12, beers are $3 - $6, wine is $6 - $8 per glass, and cocktails are $8 - $12.
How to order: Call 469-496-2655 for takeout.
The gist: Restaurateur Nick Badovinus brings another killer concept to town, this time shining the spotlight on a quintet of lobster rolls, as well as other seafood dishes.
The food: Start with a platter of east coast oysters and jumbo snow crab claws before moving on to popcorn lobster tacos, steamed clams, or a beef-and-lobster burger aptly named Serious Biz. Of course, the lobster rolls shouldn’t be overlooked, especially the unique Texas-style version with fried lobster, bacon, jalpeño, and buttermilk herb dressing.
The cost: Starters are $13 - $24, tacos are $14 - $23, steamed shellfish is $15 - $31, burgers are $17 - $25, lobster rolls are $27 - $30, entrées are $19 - $34, wine is $9 - $22 by the glass, beer is $4 - $10, and signature cocktails are $9 - $12.
How to order: Call 214-559-4245 for takeout.