Where to Eat in Dallas Right Now

We’ve got lots of new Italian spots, plus global fried chicken, all-day brunch, and more.

Kathy Tran | Sfuzzi
Kathy Tran | Sfuzzi

If you had any doubts about the restaurant industry rebounding after a tumultuous two years of closures, labor shortages, and ever-changing safety guidelines, you need only look at the 2022 openings across Dallas-Fort Worth as proof that things are back to normal. And in many cases better than ever. Sure, some COVID-era setbacks still exist (such as finding talented staff both front and back of house), but the sheer volume of new restaurants making their debuts in the past six months has been nothing short of overwhelming for those of us who live, breathe, and overindulge in the North Texas food scene. Among the can’t-miss new openings vying for your reservations: a new scratch-made Italian concept in West Village, the rebirth of an old-but-beloved Italian concept on Henderson Avenue, a downtown brasserie with French and Asian influences, an all-day brunch spot out of Houston with two new locations in the burbs, and a fried chicken concept that explores southern, Japanese, and Korean versions of the comfort dish from a food hall in the AT&T Discovery District. In total, we rounded up a baker’s dozen of new places to eat and drink that are well worth a visit.

District Food & Wine
Kathy Tran | District

District

Addison
$$$$

The first in Texas, this northern California import focuses on globally inspired shareables paired with beverages from extensive wine and whiskey lists—all in a rustic-yet-refined space with exposed brick and cozy conversation areas that make the whole affair undeniably welcoming. Menu highlights include crispy squash blossoms with goat cheese filling, Moroccan-spiced lamb meatballs, and creative cocktails using local ingredients, such as the Come and Take It made with Texas Ranger Whiskey, Heering cherry liqueur, Amaro Nonino, and fresh orange.

Available for Reservations
Fiatto
Kathy Tran | Fiatto

Fiatto

West Village
$$$$

Everything’s made from scratch (including bread, pasta, cheese, sauces, and stocks) at this American-Italian joint with monthly menu updates based on seasonal ingredients. The bright, cheery space will put a smile on your face the moment you walk through the door. The menu changes often, but past standouts include the fresh agnolotti stuffed with butternut squash, Brussels, hazelnuts, brown butter, and Pecorino Romano, as well as the 24K Risotto, a decadent dish loaded with limoncello lobster and gold puffs. On the cocktail side, the Resting Spritz Face features rosé prosecco, Aperol, strawberries, and blood orange Pellegrino for the perfect day-drinking cocktail on the sidewalk patio.

Available for Reservations
The Mexican
The Mexican

The Mexican

Design District
$$$$

Easily one of the most gorgeous restaurants to debut in 2022, The Mexican is billed as a love letter to Mexico and it’s apparent from the moment you walk in that the beautiful country to our south has a special place in the hearts of the owners. Each room is designed after a different region of Mexico and ranges from intimate private dining spaces and a cigar lounge to spacious dining rooms and a multi-level outdoor patio. There’s a strict dress code, too, so make sure to review before arrival. All your favorite dishes are here (guacamole, ceviche, tacos, and enchiladas) with a fine-dining sensibility and pricing—this place isn’t cheap. But the quality and attention to every detail elevate everything to a level that justifies the far-higher-than-your-neighborhood-Mexican-joint tab at the end of the night. Seek out the beef tenderloin and bone marrow tacos, jumbo scallops and shrimp with ajillo sauce, and the A Bar N Ranch Wagyu Ribeye Tomahawk for a real meaty showstopper. Work your way through the robust tequila collection for elegant sips or shots, or splurge on their $250 (single-serving) Pancho Villa margarita if you’re out to impress.

Available for Reservations
Sfuzzi Bar-Pizza-Pasta
Kathy Tran | Sfuzzi

Sfuzzi

Knox/Henderson
$$$$

The iconic neighborhood Italian hot spot that made a splash in the ‘80s has made its second comeback in recent years, this time in the bustling Knox/Henderson restaurant and bar district. Featuring a great patio and a sophisticated-yet-casual dining room, it’s a place that’s equal parts dining destination and neighborhood drinking hangout, especially late at night. Pizzas are top-notch, so plan to try the Sausage Rustica made with local Jimmy’s Italian sausage, caramelized onions, and roasted peppers. At brunch, the Eggs Benedict with a layer of fresh green pesto is a real standout. And, of course, it wouldn’t be a proper visit (nostalgic or otherwise) without their signature drink, the Original Frozen Sfuzzi, a timeless riff on a classic bellini.

Available for Reservations
The Toasted Yolk
The Toasted Yolk

The Toasted Yolk

Southlake
$$$$

North Texans love their weekend brunches, but two area locations of the Houston-based eatery debuted this year for all-day, everyday brunching options. Decadent twists on classic breakfast and brunch dishes abound. The favorites list features churro donuts with caramel dipping sauces, a hearty handheld in the Cordon Bleu Sandwich, and multiple Eggs Benedict options (or Arnolds as they refer to them with a nod, we presume, to Benedict Arnold) including a version with hand-battered chicken tenders and sausage gravy. And it wouldn’t be brunch without a boozy addition such as a Bloody Maria or Spiked Cold Brew with just the right amount of vodka kick.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or join the waitlist online.

Toussaint
Kathy Tran | Toussaint

Toussaint

Downtown Dallas
$$$$

This modern interpretation of a classic French brasserie brings together culinary techniques from France and Vietnam (as well as other parts of Asia) for elevated fare in a casual space that looks straight out of Paris. The on-site market offers quick-serve and grab-and-go bakery items along with espresso drinks. Mingle with friends over hors d’oeuvres including steak tartare with carrot coulis and pea tendrils, East Coast oysters with mignonette and Saigon sauce, as well as classic Boeuf Bourguignon and Lobster Thermidor with a red curry twist. A well-appointed list of wines by the glass (including several French favorites) makes for easy (and tasty) pairing possibilities.
How to book: Stop by for marketplace eats and drinks, or make reservations for brunch and dinner.

Available for Reservations
Cafe Duro
Stephen Karlisch | Cafe Duro

Cafe Duro

Lower Greenville
$$$$

Lower Greenville gets a tiny European-style café with the debut of this casual concept offering a walk-up espresso counter and a quaint, even-tinier patio that’s perfect for people-watching along the busy street. Housemade pastries, Italian paninis, pasta, and bottles of wine are among the highlights. Signature items include the Mia Nonna Sausage Kolache, pickled blueberry danish, mortadella muffalettas, vegan artichoke paninis, and pepperoni and burnt honey pizzettas. Pair with espresso drinks by day, and wines by the glass at more respectable hours.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Dirty Bones
Dirty Bones

Dirty Bones

Victory Park
$$$$

Dirty Bones is a lively sports bar with late-night eats on weekends. The location was chosen to be a hangout during televised games, pre-gaming before a concert or live sporting event at the American Airlines Center a short walk away, or simply a place to come eat and drink with BFFs. All the sports pub faves are here, from burgers and chicken sandwiches to wings with 17 sauce choices and six dry rubs. Outside-the-box starters include fried pickles battered in Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, Dirty Tots, a Shoestring Onion Tower with a duo of dipping sauces, and a Lone Star variation on poutine with tater tots, jalapeño cheese curds, queso, bacon, scallions, and Texas chili. Meanwhile, cocktails by the yard and buckets of beer keep thirsts quenched.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating; or order delivery and takeout from Uber Eats.

Blind Barber
Photo courtesy of Travel Texas

From mouthwatering food to the great outdoors, Texas is a vacation destination unto itself. Breathtakingly diverse landscapes, like Big Bend National Park and Guadalupe Mountains National Park in West Texas, offer a natural respite for outdoor enthusiasts while the San Antonio River Walk is a 15-mile oasis for the urban explorer. No matter your interests, the Lone Star State is waiting to be explored, so, plan accordingly.

Federales
Victoria Gonzalez | Federales

Federales

Deep Ellum
$$$$

One of the newest additions to the Deep Ellum entertainment district, Federales originally hails from Chicago and this is the first Texas location. The open-air concept features a gigantic, dog-friendly patio that’s completely adaptable to the weather. If it’s too cold, hot, or rainy, they can close the roof and the windows. If it’s nice, then voila! Instant fresh air all around. Tacos are the big draw with lamb quesabirria (available on Wednesdays and Sundays only), spicy fried chicken, and beer-battered cod among the popular choices, plus our favorite: the Gringo Taco Supreme, an upgraded (far superior) take on classic Taco Bell crunchy tacos. Margaritas and a trio of Mexican variations on the Old Fashioned are also go-to options.

Available for Reservations
Birdie
Alison Taylor | Birdie

Birdie

Downtown Dallas
$$$$

Chef Joshua Harmon serves all-natural, non-GMO, free-range fried chicken three ways: Southern, Japanese, and Korean. It’s one of the newest vendors at the Exchange food hall in the AT&T Discovery District downtown, offering a variety of flavors from Crispy Chicken Steam Buns to Korean Spiked Hot Honey Chicken. Sides include Hawaiian-style macaroni salad based on the chef’s grandma’s recipe as well as a warm potato salad of his that was featured on Food Network. Come on Sundays for the daily special, a chicken biscuit, and different flavors of Kool-Aid slushies to temper the heat from some of the spicier dishes.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Swig

Fairview
$$$$

The Texas debut of a Dirty Soda drive-thru chain based in Utah. Dentists all over North Texas are planning their new vacation homes based on the sugary treats sold here. Cookies and pretzel bites are the only food options, but most people are here exclusively for the sweet, carbonated drinks, such as the Dirty Dr Pepper (with coconut syrup), the Endless Summer (Mountain Dew, pomegranate, grapefruit, and fresh lime), or the Shark Attack (Sprite, lemonade, blue raspberry, and a gummy shark)
How to Book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Darna Mediterranean Market
Darna Mediterranean Market

A Euro-Mediterranean bazaar and eatery where the sights, sounds, and aromas of a Moroccan-style market. The store side of the business will sell high-quality spices, oils, and ingredients necessary to create your own Med masterpieces at home. The restaurant has full-service dining, as well as a coffee bar and grab-and-go deli. Nearly every Mediterranean dish you crave can be found here. Start with the Drana Mezza Sampler with tahini hummus, zaalouk, muhammara, spicy Greek feta, marinated olives, and house pickles. The Moroccan-spiced lamb phyllo cigar is a big hit, as well as the Iskandar Kofta Kebab made of ground beef and lamb that’s been spiked with Moroccan spices and herbs. Then grab a slice of Kinafa Cheesecake for dessert with a classic Turkish coffee or a drink from the full bar.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Thirsty Lion Gastropub
Thirsty Lion Gastropub

This isn’t the first location in North Texas of the English-style sports and gastropub, but it’s the first-ever in the brand to feature a double-decker layout with large open spaces, including a huge balcony patio and a gigantic front yard greenspace with games. They’re also known for great acoustics that allow people to have fun—and a conversation. Everything you’d want in an English pub can be found here, from classic Scotch Eggs enveloped in pork sausage and breading before being fried to IPA-battered fish and chips. But they also have pretty much every bar food imaginable, too, including big burgers, Asian favorites like Kung Pao Chicken (and sushi!), plus four types of entrée-size mac-and-cheese. From the tap, you can get a traditional Guinness Stout, but also a vast selection of Texas brews.

Steven Lindsey is a contributor for Thrillist.