Where to Eat in Dallas Right Now
2020 has been full of surprises, most less than welcome -- but the ever-expanding roster of new restaurant openings around Dallas is the exception. Local establishments need your support now more than ever, and the vast majority continue to offer their food (and cocktails!) in a variety of ways to enjoy at home or in their dining rooms with social distancing, masks, and other enhanced safety protocols. Below, you’ll find a list of restaurants you need to know about that debuted this year, followed by some new classics.
The gist: From the team behind The Woolworth and nearby Smithy, this new Tex-Mex originally opened in March to close shortly after, but it has since reopened.
The food: Classic dishes, including guacamole, queso, tacos and enchiladas, feature mostly traditional interpretations with a few nice twists such as many vegan and vegetarian options, including roasted cauliflower fajitas.
The cost: Starters are $4-14, tacos, enchiladas, fajitas and other entrees run $8-18. Margaritas and cocktails are $8-13, beer is $5-10, Mexican wine is $10 per glass and $40 per bottle.
How to order: Order online or call 214-471-5117 for takeout and curbside pickup.
Xoxo Dining Room
The gist: The highly Instagrammable spot opened briefly just before restaurants were forced to close in March, complete with an enforced “stylish” dress code and booths with a button for champagne on demand.
The food: The menu is loaded with shareables, including lobster shooters, chilled calamari, and grilled avocado with trout roe, making it ideal for groups of friends or a romantic date night.
The cost: Starters are $10-19, entree salads with protein and main courses are $24-70. Specialty cocktails run $15, wines by the glass from $10, bottles from $30, and champagne from $125 per bottle.
How to order: Takeout and delivery coming soon.
The gist: Agon Raka and Airric Heidelberg, a former bodybuilder, created this concept to provide popular dishes with high-quality ingredients -- local and organic whenever possible.
The food: Flights of wings, gourmet sandwiches, loaded veggie bowls with protein options and a variety of rice crispy treats fill the quick-serve menu that’s perfect for people with the munchies.
The cost: Appetizers are $4.99-15.99, sandwiches are $9.99-11.99, bowls are $7.99 with protein add-ons a few bucks more, and plates are $10.99-$15.99. Bottled drinks are $1.50-3.
How to order: Call 214-272-7312 for takeout or order delivery from Uber Eats and Favor.
The gist: The massive, 4,400-square-foot multi-level dining space also features a 10,000-square-foot patio for partaking in creative Texas fare and creative cocktails in the heart of the new AT&T Discovery District.
The food: Classic Southern dishes such as loaded queso, Texas chili, Gulf shrimp boils, burgers, and BBQ get an upscale makeover alongside draft cocktails and a vast selection of draft beers.
The cost: Starters are $5-12, shrimp boils are $17 per half pound, sandwiches are $12-14, entrees are $19-27, and BBQ family pack that serves four is $75. Draft cocktails are $10, draft beers are $5-$7.50, wine and sparkling are $8-14 per glass and $29-53 per bottle.
How to order: Order online or call 214-838-1422 for takeout or order delivery from Caviar.
The Salty Donut
The gist: The Miami-based, family-owned artisan donut shop chose Dallas for its first outside-of-Florida location, and locals here are obsessed.
The food: The donuts start with a buttery 24-hour brioche recipe, but things get amped up quickly thanks to creative flavors such as horchata, ruby red grapefruit curd, maple and local bacon, and jalapeño jelly. Gluten-free corn donuts are also a hit.
The cost: Donuts are $2.50-4.25 and coffee/tea drinks are $3-5.25.
How to order: Order online or call 972-707-9889 for takeout or order delivery from Uber Eats.
The gist: One of several food-and-beverage outposts at The Statler, this latest concept brings quick-serve Italian to Downtown.
The food: The focus here is on spherical food (hence the name, pronounced “sphere-co”) such as six different kinds of balls (meat, pork, chicken, burnt ends, crab and veggie) available as starters or on pastas and sandwiches. The menu does feature plenty of non-sphere items, too, including lasagna, salads and pizzas with plenty of vegetarian and vegan options.
The cost: Starters are $6-12, sandwiches are $9-12, pastas are $11-15, pizzas are $16, and a trio of balls with sauce are $9. Cocktails are $9-11 and $16-38 for home kits, beers are $7, and wine runs $18-26 for splits and $34-$48 per bottle.
How to order: Order online or call 469-320-8999 for takeout or order delivery from Uber Eats and Grubhub.
The gist: Authentic, New York-style kettle-boiled bagels have arrived in Dallas from a native New Yorker and SMU alum.
The food: Everything you need from a bagel shop is here: build-your-own breakfast sandwiches, bagels and three kinds of lox, as well as chicken cutlet sandwiches and composed bagel creations.
The cost: Bagels are $2 ($4 with cream cheese), breakfast sandwiches are $7, lox and bagels are $14. Coffee and other drinks are $2-4.
How to order: Website will be updated soon to offer online ordering, call-in orders and delivery options.
The gist: Head to Preston Center for posh dining experience focused on elegant Italian fare and a wonderful wrap-around patio.
The food: The sophisticated menu offers a fresh take on classic dishes from the northern Italian-skewing kitchen where everything is scratch-made. Can’t-misses include limited-availability fried baby artichokes, massive beef-lamb-and-pork meatballs, a spicy gemelli with creamy vodka sauce, and to-die-for Mediterranean sea bass topped with a refreshing mint gremolata.
The cost: Starters are $9-17, entree salads are $13-23, sandwiches are $15-17, and pastas and entrees are $17-45. House cocktails are $15, wine and sparkling are $12-25 per glass, and $38-450 per bottle.
How to order: Call 214-361-0100 for takeout and curbside pickup or order delivery from Alto.
The gist: At one of the city’s newer BBQ joints you’ll find mouth-watering meats prepared and smoked in a repurposed shipping container attached to a cozy dining room.
The food: You’ll find all the usual suspects here (brisket, ribs, turkey, sausage), but keep an eye out for daily specials such as massive wagyu beef ribs, prime rib, and even smoked alligator on occasion. Bacon cookies are a must, too.
The cost: Smoked meats are $7.49-10.49 per half pound ($14.49 for a whole chicken), sandwiches are $6-14.50, and tacos are $4.25 apiece. Craft fountain sodas and iced tea are $2.95.
How to order: Order online or call 972-316-7478 for pickup and takeout from a dedicated walk-up window or order delivery from Grubhub, Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Postmates.
The gist: Thin-crust pizza and southern Italian fare from a Naples-born chef (and Cane Rosso alum) livens up a Downtown corner.
The food: For true happiness, order the Montanara pizza from the regular menu, not only for the unique fried-before-it’s-baked crust, but to brag to your friends that you’ve eaten a gold medal winner from the Pizza Olympics. You’ll also find fresh and imported pastas, as well as a wine list dripping with Italian vintages.
The cost: Appetizers are $8-14, pastas are $14-18, and pizzas are $11-19.
How to order: Order online or call 214-463-6222 for takeout or order delivery from Caviar and Uber Eats.
Ellie's Restaurant & Lounge
The gist: One of the few restaurants in the heart of the Dallas Arts District, this newcomer at the HALL Arts Hotel offers a sleek indoor/outdoor space for dining.
The food: Currently operating with a much more limited menu than normal, Ellie’s still features the signature touches of chef Eric Dreyer, including a refreshing watermelon and feta salad, maple pecan chicken kabobs, or the killer Ellie’s burger with thick-cut bacon and housemade chips. Make sure to try a bottle of wine from the Hall family’s own California vineyards.
The cost: Shareable plates are $6-15, salads and main courses are $10-28. Wine is $11-25 per glass, draft beers are $6-8, and specialty cocktails are $15-17.
How to order: Call 972-629-0924 for takeout.
Red Stix Street Food
The gist: A counter-service restaurant and bar serving Asian bowls & sandwiches with finesse thanks to chef Uno Immanivong.
The food: The vast list of appetizers (crispy rice-wrapped shrimp, chicken egg rolls, and togarashi waffle fries) makes for an easy DIY happy hour with friends, or poke your chopsticks into a bowl of rice or noodles customized to your liking with a variety of sauces, veggie toppings, and proteins. Or leave it to the chef’s creativity with super-spicy Damn Damn Hot Noods or duck-fat fried rice.
The cost: Snacks are $2.45-5.95, while bowls and entrées are $9.90-$12.95. Signature Mason jar and frozen cocktails are $8, beer and wine $5-10.
How to order: Order online or call 972-913-4883 for takeout or pickup from a dedicated walk-up window or order delivery from Uber Eats or Grubhub.
The gist: Chef-driven fare from visionary chef Matt McCallister plus classic cocktails in a sexy space in the even-sexier Virgin Hotels Dallas.
The food: French techniques influence much of the seasonally inspired breakfast, lunch, dinner and brunch menus that rely heavily on the bounty from local farms, while the wood fire grill and rotisserie are the playgrounds for a majority of meaty proteins.
The cost: Starters are $9-18, entrees are $15-44. Wines by the glass are $12-28, signature cocktails are $12-14, and beers are $5-6.
How to order: Call 469-436-7150 to order pickup from a special takeout menu or order delivery from Uber Eats.
The gist: A modern take on an old-school supper club, it’s all about the overall experience here that comes complete with live entertainment, seductive lighting for enjoying classic cuisine, and cocktails. It's romantic enough for two but equally lively for a group of friends. Make sure to check out the rooftop bar and patio.
The food: Tradition reigns supreme on the food menu with starters ranging from shrimp cocktail and foie gras to entrees including dayboat sea scallops, curried cauliflower, and chateaubriand for two with plenty of sides to accompany any craving.
The cost: Starters are $15-23, specialty entrees are $23-37, and grilled meats and seafood are $34-85. Signature cocktails are $13-30, beers are $6-13, and wines are $11-25 by the glass or $41-760 per bottle.
How to order: Call 972-685-5128 for takeout.
The gist: Chef Kent Rathbun takes on sushi and pan-Asian flavors in this sophisticated yet casual spot near American Airlines Center.
The food: Curry-based scallop shooters, Korean-style fried chicken, garlic-crusted angry shrimp, smoking udon with chicken, pork and shrimp, and a prime tomahawk ribeye are among the non-sushi offerings, but we recommend a collection of several dishes for the full experience (or opt for the omakase, which features a minimum of seven dishes selected by the chef).
The cost: Starters are $7-80, rice and noodle dishes are $12-24, entrées are $19-130, and sushi ranges from $10-20. Signature cocktails are $10-16, sake is $7-170, and wine is $10-25 by the glass or $38-560 by the bottle.
How to order: Call 214-257-7777 for takeout or order delivery from Postmates, DoorDash, Grubhub, Favor, or Uber Eats.