Food & Drink

The Best Places to Eat in Dallas Right Now

Published On 10/03/2017 Published On 10/03/2017
KEVIN MARPLE
Flickr/44 BUILD

Henry's Majestic

Highland Park

This gastropub's consistency at cranking out solid elevated tavern eats has kept the spotlight on it years after its debut -- no small feat in the fickle Dallas dining scene. And as if the burgers, steak, small plates and weekend breakfast don't already keep folks coming in droves, Alex Fletcher, the bar master behind the stick, keeps palates pleased with excellent cocktails to complement brunch, lunch, and dinner.

Courtesy of Kevin Marple

Rapscallion

Lower Greenville

Before you get your straw ready to sip on what sounds like a cocktail, know that this dish is actually the Southern-flavored gastro-tavern’s spin on Nashville hot chicken. Don’t be shy, though, and double up the heat with some shakes of the Fresno chile sauce on the table. And round out that plate: Rapscallion excels at openers like ribeye carpaccio and decadent sides like fried sorghum and "Gammy’s baked mac."

Dan Gentile/Thrillist

El Come Taco

East Dallas

From beginners just starting to dive into the city’s street taco scene, to old hands who know their cabeza from their cecina, this Fitzhugh Ave hot spot draws all levels of taco lovers. And with fillings ranging from brisket to crispy grasshopper, it's bound to have something for you to swoon over.

CBD Provisions

CBD Provisions

Downtown

Executive chef Richard Blankenship continues pushing this modern American restaurant’s menu forward. Case in point, fascinating additions like chargrilled broccoli sprouts, “grits” made of rice and house-made merguez sausage over creamy corn. But if you simply can’t bring yourself to venture past the super-popular pig’s head carnitas or grass-fed beef cheeseburger, we can’t blame you.

off-site kitchen

Off-Site Kitchen

West Dallas

With its move from tiny Design District digs to a lofty, kitschy space on the edge of Trinity Groves, this burger joint has more room to fit in its rabid devotees. Your chances of sitting down while eating any of OSK’s sandwiches, American cheese-topped burgers, tacos, and fries may actually be better, too.

Knife Dallas

Knife Modern Steak

Mockingbird Station

Chef John Tesar’s meatropolis brought to Dallas a much-needed modernization of the classic steakhouse, with enough trappings of the latter to sate Dallas appetites. Special cuts of meat (culotte, tri-tip) and steaks-to-be-shared (28oz sirloins and bone-in ribeyes) beg to be paired with traditional sides, but also unique ones like the avocado fries and collard greens.

Courtesy of Sam Rosen

The Grape

Lower Greenville

This charming European bistro has been around since 1972 but feels like it’s always in the current swing of things, with menus that change to reflect what’s fresh, as well as hardcore classics that keep regulars coming back. In addition to the tartines, the famed mushroom soup is as addictive as you’ve heard -- ditto for the uber-popular brunch here.

Lucia Dallas

Lucia

Bishop Arts Dist.

Chef-owner David Uygur’s homage to an authentic Italian cookery is the hardest table in town to snag, but so worth the effort. The kitchen’s biggest hits and points of pride are the handmade pasta and house-cured salumi, though meaty mains that can include seafood, game, and poultry are executed wonderfully enough to be standouts, too.

Flickr/jcalyst

Ten Ramen

Oak Cliff

This much-awaited ramen shop’s opening was delayed after a fire a few months before its hoped-for launch. Happily, the spare, standing-room-only box of a restaurant has risen like a phoenix to the raves of noodle lovers city-wide. In addition to regulars like tonkotsu and shoyu ramen, be on the lookout for rotating specials.

Courtesy of Bread & Butter PR

Madrina

Oak Lawn

Die-hard foodies can’t resist Madrina’s potent mix of French and Mexican cuisines -- as evidenced by the restaurant’s enduring popularity -- while cocktail enthusiasts give the bar program and tequila & mezcal lists high marks. Anyone who digs on both would do well to stop in at happy hour, when the entire food menu is half off.

Top Knot

Top Knot

Uptown

Uchi’s upstairs spin-off features a less buttoned-down feel and a more wallet-friendly price point than the sushi superstar, with the same top-notch culinary pedigree. The Asian-inspired eats include shareable snacks, crudos, and a few mains, as well as the craft cocktail list, which is what sets Top Knot most apart from its sake-forward downstairs neighbor.

Filament

Filament

Deep Ellum

Badass chef Matt McCallister’s down-home sequel to FT33 is a must-visit, thanks to modern takes on Southern classics. Think zesty shrimp & grits, a regional version of okonomiyaki, and fried catfish done up “Nashville hot”-style. Don’t miss any of the fine drinks from the outstanding cocktail menu.

Street's Fine Chicken

Street's Fine Chicken

Oak Lawn

The folks behind beloved, locally grown homecooking chain Black Eyed Pea have mined their homestyle roots again with this fried chicken concept set in the old BEP on Cedar Springs. In addition to brined fried bird, you can dive into roast chicken, chicken tenders and a peri peri chicken that’s been marinated in hot pepper sauce. There’s a shortlist of beer, cocktails and decadent side dishes, all served in the shadow of the restaurant’s cheeky wall of cocks (that is, a wall of framed painting of chickens. What were you thinking?).

Courtesy of Robert Strickland

Trompo

Oak Cliff

Birthed from the popularity of local pop-up parties, this OC storefront’s main attraction is the Mexican-style spit-roasted pork that’s sliced, griddled, then folded into tacos and quesadillas. There’s also bistek on hand, as well as veggies and paneer for vegetarian palates, but the rotisserie signature is the can’t-miss menu feature by far.

Courtesy of Flora Street Cafe

Flora Street Cafe

Arts District

One of Dallas' favorite sons in the biz is back with this fine arts-influenced take on Texas cuisine. And this restaurant's Flora St location -- right across from the Meyerson and Winspear performance facilities -- is just ripe for indulging in artistic culinary expressions from Stephan Pyles. Seafood, steak, game, and desserts get loving treatment from the top-notch kitchen team.

Shake Shack

Shake Shack

Uptown

This New York-born burger joint brought its instant-classic eats to Uptown in late August, to the delight of food enthusiasts all over DFW. Now Dallas can line up for the house-specialty cheeseburgers, fries, and dogs as well as an edible, smoked-meat collab with Pecan Lodge. Complete your order with the famed crinkle fries and some local brews before seating yourself at a lawn table and Instagramming your meal.

Mesa - Oak Cliff

Mesa

Oak Cliff

It's no wonder big-name stars of stage and screen (Beyoncé, Conan O'Brien, and many more) pop into this cozy, family-owned Mexican restaurant -- the Veracruzan specialties are legit. Taste the Reyes family love poured into every mole dish and each plate of ropa vieja... and definitely pair those with beer or one of Mesa's irresistible cocktails. Come November 2016, do it all again at Mesa's second location, in Grapevine.

nattanan726/Shutterstock

Montlake Cut

University Park

Neighborhood Services wizard Nick Badovinus strikes again with another inspired, upscale destination for the Park Cities. With Montlake Cut, Badovinus aims to evoke the feel and flavors of his former Pacific Northwest digs. Think seafood and more seafood, including seasonal raw bar selections, in a nautical-themed space. That said, the Tillamook cheeseburger has gotten all kinds of buzz, as has Montlake Cut's extensive wine list.

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1. Henry's Majestic 4900 McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX 75205

At Henry's Majestic, you'll find a somewhat fancy-yet-welcoming ambiance befitting its Highland Park location, but more importantly, you'll find well-crafted, interesting cocktails like the Sanchez Gimlet (blanco tequila, fresh arugula, lime, lemongrass). Also important: the food you'll be enjoying with said cocktails. Look for maple bourbon meatballs with fennel slaw, a "marrow-spiked" burger, and bowls of Texas pho.

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2. Rapscallion 2023 Greenville Ave Ste 110, Dallas, TX 75206

Updated Southern fare takes the stage at Rapscallion, Lower Greenville's 2,300sqft neighborhood bistro from the team behind the beloved Boulevardier. Expect dishes like dry-aged rib eye carpaccio, pickled Gulf shrimp, Hominy cheddar grits, and Nashville-style hot chicken. Double down on heat with a few shakes of the Fresno chile sauce on the table. Cocktails are crafted with house gomme syrups and shrubs, and the spirits are whiskey-focused. Try one of the made-to-order house mules with your choice of whiskey, rum, gin, mezcal, or vodka, and packed to the brim with ginger spice.

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3. El Come Taco 2513 N Fitzhugh Ave, Dallas, TX 75204

El Come Taco focuses on simply prepared street tacos made with corn tortillas and filled with brisket, sirloin, or if you're craving a crunch, crispy grasshopper. The add-ons are minimal (most tacos are topped with nothing more than cilantro and chopped onion), letting the juiciness of the meat and the grainy texture of the tortillas speak for themselves.

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4. CBD Provisions 1530 Main St, Dallas, TX 75201

This handsome Downtown modern Texas brasserie, adjacent to The Joule Hotel, is dressed completely in wood, exposed brick, marble, and vintage lighting, with an attractive menu to match. Treat yourself to the family-style Wagyu Rib Steak or the Pig Head Carnitas, and pair it with something from their unique cocktail menu.

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5. Off-Site Kitchen 331 Singleton Blvd, Dallas, TX 75212

With a passing glance at Trinity Park's Off-Site Kitchen, which on the outside appears to be any hold abandoned, vine-covered house, you'd be stunned to find its modern, lofty interior and mural-lined back patio that puts others to shame with its bar game selection. Locals stay for pitchers of domestic drafts and a game of pool, but the reason they flock in the first place is for a bite of the cheap "Murph-style" burger, an angus patty stacked with jalapenos, bacon relish, cheese, and the ultra-secret house sauce.

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6. Knife Modern Steak 5300 E Mockingbird Ln, Dallas, TX 75206

From James Beard-nominated Chef John Tesar, Knife Modern Steakhouse is a sleek, elegant update on the classic steakhouse. Dedicated to using only the highest-quality ingredients with local Texas roots, Knife sources its meat from the nearby 44 Farms in Carmen, Texas. Classic cuts like a bone-in rib eye or filet mignon are what you can expect to see on the restaurant's "Old School" menu, and more adventurous selections, like Waygu, Akaushi and Tri-Tip steaks, wood-fired over an open flame, are decidedly "New School."

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7. The Grape 2808 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX 75206

Helmed by Chef/Owner Brian Luscher (of Luscher's Red Hots fame), The Grape was originally opened in 1972 and has served approachable, European influenced fare at affordable prices ever since. The menu changes monthly, though, so the Grape never feels stodgy or old-guard. The charming, bistro-like interior and homestyle fare (blueberry pancakes, shrimp and grits) make The Grape a great brunch option

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8. Lucia 408 W 8th St, Dallas, TX 75208

It's hard to snag a table at this neighborhood Italian restaurant in the Bishop Arts District, but if you can, it's totally worth it. Chef David Uygur describes the eclectic menu of this cozy spot as “doing what an Italian would do with the list of ingredients that he can get in Dallas.” That means locally sourced game, handmade pasta, and bold, flavorful ragus. Favorites include the ramp and ricotta tortellini, mustard green gnudi, and Texas wagyu coulotte.

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9. Ten Ramen 1818 Sylvan Ave, Dallas, TX 75208

This Oak Cliff ramen joint is pretty bare bones, but don't let that dissuade you from stopping by. Yes, there's no seating; yes, you will be standing in line, then standing while you eat. But, c'mon: these springy maze-men noodles swimming in milky shoyu broth with chopped pork, a gloriously runny poached egg, topped with fried garlic seriously make it well worth the effort.

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10. Madrina 4216 Oak Lawn Ave, Dallas, TX 75219

Madrina, an upscale, yet approachable concept spot in Oak Lawn doles out a popular French-inspired Mexican menu and beverage program. Its imaginative dishes range from rabbit rillettes, to roasted goat tacos, to chilaquiles with duck confit. You don't want to miss out on what's up for grabs here; stop in during happy hour (Tuesday through Friday, 4:00-6:30pm) for an almost unheard of deal-- everything on the food and cocktail menus is half-off.

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11. Top Knot 2817 Maple Ave, Dallas, TX

Born from the popularity of local pop-up parties, Trompo’s main attraction is the Mexican-style spit-roasted pork that’s sliced, griddled, then folded into tacos and quesadillas. There’s also bistek (beef) on hand, as well as pablanos and paneer for vegetarian palates, but the signature rotisserie is the must-eat menu feature. Beneath the bright fluorescents, there is no ambiance and no tables, so you’ll want to take your house-made sauce drenched meal to-go.

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12. Filament 2626 Main St, Dallas, TX

Filament is serving up Southern fare with a twist in the heart of Deep Ellum. The menu is focused on wood-fired, Texas-style dishes, each with a globally influenced accent. Here, traditional down-home dishes get a modern makeover -- like the smoked ham Johnny cake okonomiyaki with bonito flakes for a Texas-meets-Tokyo mash-up, or fried country meat pies reminiscent of Asian technique and spice. Mason jars line the whiskey-centric bar, and are full of chow chow, Filament's Southern-inflected version of kimchi. Cocktails keep it local, with a bottled Sazerac for two, or the sorghum-chicory Old Fashioned.

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13. Street's Fine Chicken 3857 Cedar Springs Rd, Dallas, TX 75219

The folks behind the beloved, locally grown home cooking chain Black Eyed Pea have mined their homestyle roots once again with Street's Fried Chicken, a fried chicken concept set in the old BEP on Cedar Springs. In addition to brined, fried bird, you can dive into roast chicken, chicken tenders, and a peri peri chicken that’s been marinated in hot pepper sauce. There’s a shortlist of beer, cocktails, and decadent side dishes, all served in the shadow of the restaurant’s cheeky wall of cocks (a wall of framed painting of chickens, what were you thinking?).

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14. Trompo 839 Singleton Blvd, Dallas, TX 75212

Birthed from the popularity of local pop-up parties, this OC storefront’s main attraction is the Mexican-style spit-roasted pork that’s sliced, griddled, then folded into tacos and quesadillas. There’s also bistek on hand, as well as veggies and paneer for vegetarian palates, but the rotisserie signature is the can’t-miss menu feature by far.

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15. Flora Street Cafe 2330 Flora St, Dallas, TX 75201

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.

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16. Shake Shack 2500 N Pearl St, Dallas, 75201

The first Dallas location of Shake Shack opened in September 2016 in the Crescent Hotel Court, the third Texas outpost of the New York-born international burger chain. All the standbys, like the signature American cheese-topped ShackBurger, and the bacon and chopped cherry pepper SmokeShack burger are available, as well as the site-specific Link Burger; the Dallas-only cheeseburger comes with jalapeño-cheese sausage from Pecan Lodge, two pickle slices, and the Shack sauce.

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17. Mesa 118 W Jefferson Blvd, Dallas, TX 75208

With wood clock paneling, painted white brick walls, and mahogany-wash cement floors, Mesa's take on the Latin dining experience is far more rustic than most. And the food itself far more modern: presentation is minimal but that doesn't mean its small selection of enchiladas, carne asada, and fresh seafood are any less flavorful. Nor are the cocktails, which draw Latin influences (it's either mezcal or tequila here) and use flavors like lime, mint, peppers, and cinnamon.

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18. Montlake Cut 8220 Westchester Dr, Dallas, TX 75225

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.