The 18 Best Restaurants in the Dallas Suburbs

Korean BBQ superstars, game-changing taco trucks, and so much more.

Ebesu
Photo courtesy of Ebesu

With more than 7.5 million people, DFW is the fourth largest metro area in the country. Naturally, that many people require a robust dining scene. Good food can be found all over Dallas, but dozens of stellar restaurants are tucked into the surrounding suburbs, doling out everything from top-notch barbecue and tacos to an incredible array of Asian cuisine.

If the thought of whittling down all those options into a coherent dinner plan is making your head spin, don’t fret—these are 18 of the best restaurants in the Dallas suburbs. Use this guide as a starting point, and know there are plenty more tasty discoveries lurking just around the corner.

Roots Southern Table
Roots Southern Table | Photo by Alyssa Vincent

Roots Southern Table

Farmers Branch

A full-fledged follow-up to her quick-serve Roots Chicken Shack concept, chef Tiffany Derry’s latest project is an ode to modern Southern cuisine. The dining room is bright and airy, and the menu is filled with regional favorites dressed up with Top Chef twists. The family-style Duck Fat Fried Chicken is a must, so make that your centerpiece, and surround it with sides like Duck Fat Fried Potatoes (you can never have too much duck fat), Cast-Iron Cornbread, and Stuffed Zucchini Flowers.
How to book: Reserve via Tabit.

Cattleack BBQ
Photo courtesy of Cattleack BBQ

Cattleack BBQ

Farmers Branch

Saunter up to this unassuming strip mall barbecue joint, and then stop—because there will be a line. That’s provided you remembered that it’s only open on Thursdays and Fridays, plus the first Saturday of every month, for lunch only. Once you’ve made it inside, choose from a mouth-watering menu featuring Brisket, Burnt Ends, Pork Ribs, and a Flintstone’s-size Beef Fib that makes a great photo souvenir before you devour it.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Ari Korean Bbq
Ari Korean BBQ | Photo by Kathy Tran

Ari Korean Bbq

Carrollton and Plano

Dallas’s original Koreatown is a great place to dine, but you’ll find even more fantastic Korean restaurants in Carrollton. Ari is a go-to for grilled meats, which you’ll cook to perfection right on your table. The menu is loaded with high-quality cuts of beef and pork. Pour out some soju, load up on glistening meats, and snack on the banchan (complimentary side dishes) that accompany your order. Each dinner feels like a celebration.

Available for Reservations
Ebesu Sushi & Robata
Photo courtesy of Ebesu Sushi & Robata

This modern Japanese bistro serves well-executed sushi, sashimi, and rolls alongside charcoal-grilled meats in a handsome, wood-heavy Downtown Plano storefront. Sit at the bar, which sports a full liquor display, and sip a cocktail or some sake as the chefs hand-press sushi and lovingly tend to the fiery binchotan charcoal. Keep your head on a swivel for nightly specials that range from lesser-known fish and fresh sea urchin to creative preparations on the robata grill.
How to book: Reserve via TableCheck.

Kumar's

Plano

One of DFW’s most lauded South Indian restaurants, Kumar’s serves an extensive menu of soups, small plates, goat, chicken, and fish curries, rice dishes, flaky breads, and more, all packed with flavor. Buffet-style weekend lunches arrive on a banana leaf, and if you want to fit in with the crowd, eat it with your hands. Need more Biryani? Just flag your server and they’ll keep it coming until you get your fill.
How to book: Reserve via Yelp.

Pangea

Garland

Chef Kevin Ashade’s ambitious endeavor pulls its name from the ancient supercontinent, so you know he’s not messing around here. The diverse bill reflects the chef’s experience—he’s lived in the States., the UK, and Nigeria—and includes everything from steaks and Suya (meat skewers popular in West Africa) to Jerk-roasted Lamb Shank and Jalapeño Grits. Don’t leave without ordering the Coq Au Vin, the very dish that helped Ashade take home the gold on Beat Bobby Flay.

Available for Reservations
Saigon Block
Photo courtesy of Saigon Block

Saigon Block

Richardson

Sure, you can dabble with the vermicelli bowls, but leave plenty of room on the table, because you’re here for the Baked Whole Catfish. Bring some friends and gather round the beautiful river monster, then dive into the crispy-skinned swimmer while whipping up DIY Spring Rolls heaped with pickled vegetables and fresh herbs. Then again, maybe you’re here for Seven Courses of Beef, an aptly named order that nets you seven different meaty preparations, including a beef-laced salad, charcoal-grilled beef, and beef-topped porridge. Come hungry.
How to book: Call 214-575-6400 to reserve.

Cho Dang Village
Photo courtesy of Cho Dang Village

This casual Carrollton outpost specializes in Sundubu-Jjigae, a spicy stew featuring soft tofu. Request it laden with pork, kimchi, or seafood and let its fiery broth awaken your senses, whether you’re hungover or simply sleepy from a long day of work. Crack an egg into the stew and give yourself over to its powers—don’t fight it. Then dive into some noodles, rice dishes, barbecued meats, and banchan to round out your meal.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Vaqueros slings grub out of a trailer at Hop & Sting brewery, so it definitely still counts. The menu of Tex-Mex-style barbecue spans always-popular smoked meats like Brisket and Beef Ribs, but don’t miss the Cochinita Pibil, Barbacoa, and impossibly delicious Birria Tacos served with a side of indulgent consommé. It’s one of the better meals you’ll ever have standing outside of a brewery.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

SpicyZest

Farmers Branch

North Texas doesn’t have many Sri Lankan restaurants, so it’s an impressive feat that Spicy Zest has managed to establish itself as one of the most compelling eateries—of any cuisine—in the Dallas area. The menu, which also includes Thai and Indonesian influences, is loaded with exciting dishes like Egg Hoppers (a savory crepe with egg and chili) and Lamprai (fried rice wrapped in a banana leaf with sambal and meat). The laid-back space is relatively no-frills, but there is a full bar and even a mini grocery store in the back (so, some frills), where you can have a drink while perusing hard-to-find condiments.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Mr. Max has been serving up izakaya staples since before the recent spate of izakaya openings brought ramen and skewered meats to neighborhoods all over Dallas. Grab a seat at the sushi bar on your left, or otherwise remove your shoes and fold yourself under one of the low-lying tables on the right. Start with the Chef’s Choice Appetizer Combo that sees three small plates—plus an ice cold beer—brought to your table for just $10. Then load up on fresh sushi and sashimi, flame-grilled meat and fish, udon, and bowls brimming with soulful Japanese curry.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Haywire
Photo courtesy of Haywire

Haywire

Plano

Yes, there’s now an offshoot in Uptown, but Haywire gets the nod for its original Plano location, which serves Marfa vibes over multiple levels. Enter to find a whiskey-focused bar on the first floor, move up to the dining room on the second floor, then keep going for some fresh air on the rooftop patio. Start with a cocktail or glass of bourbon, then make your way through the Texas-y menu, with dishes like Mini Elk Tacos, Shrimp Cocktail Tostadas, Low & Slow Chicken, or one of the many steaks on hand. If you’re extra hungry, you can’t go wrong with the 33-ounce Wagyu Tomahawk Ribeye—but you can go very, very right.

Available for Reservations
Gorji Restaurant
Photo courtesy of Gorji

Gorji has only a small handful of tables. There are no TVs, no children allowed, and a no tipping policy, so you’re free to zone in on the food and whoever’s sitting across from you. The prix-fixe menu changes weekly and showcases Mediterranean fare, with three options each for appetizers, salads, entrees, and desserts. A recent edition featured Grilled Baby Octopus dressed with watermelon, feta, and mint, and Venison Loin doused with Cognac sauce and accompanied by gnocchi. The wine list highlights lesser-known producers from Lebanon, Turkey, and Greece. Bring a date, settle in, and let your polished server take care of everything.
How to book: Call 972-503-7080 to reserve.

Zoli’s

Addison

Part of Jay Jerrier’s pizza empire (Cane Rosso, Thunderbird Pies), Zoli’s is a fun-loving New York-style pizza joint that dishes up a lot more than just pizza. Sandwiches, pastas, and a surprisingly great burger round out the menu. But, that being said, get some pizza—the perfectly chewy crust and thoughtful toppings turn bad days into good days and good days into better days. Options include round or square pies topped with everything from local Luscher’s sausage and soppressata marmalade to habanero honey, or choose your own adventure and build one to your very own specifications.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

Hurtado BBQ

Arlington

What started as a pop-up before growing into a food truck is now a bonafide brick-and-mortar restaurant in Arlington. Hurtado cranks out slow-smoked Central Texas-style ‘cue with a Tex-Mex touch, featuring crowd-pleasers like Brisket, Ribs, and hand-stuffed Sausages, plus Smoked Quail, Hatch Chile Mac and Cheese, Street Corn, and Texas Twinkies (AKA bacon-wrapped jalapeños stuffed with brisket and pimento cheese). Pro tip: Order online the day before to skip the line.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

When you enter this brightly lit eatery, you’re immediately hit with the aromas of chicken and beef shawarma cradled in buttery-soft pita. The list of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean specialties goes on, and includes Falafel, Kafta, and succulent Lamb Kebabs. Can’t decide what to order? Pop in at lunch, when the buffet offers all the hits, so you can try a little bit of everything—or a lot of everything.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Hutchins BBQ

Frisco and McKinney

The award-winning, pecan wood-smoked meats at this rustic spot make it a major draw for barbecue fanatics, even those who live nowhere near its two locations. Hutchins plays the jams, with Brisket, Ribs, Sausage, Chicken, and Pulled Pork, mastering the balance between caramelized char and utter juiciness. They also serve excellent iterations of classic sides as well as a killer sauce. Don’t miss the Fried Catfish, only served in McKinney.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Barley & Board
Photo courtesy of Barley and Board

Barley & Board

Denton and The Colony

Actor Jason Lee has come a long way from the Mallrats food court. He’s now a partner in this Denton gastropub, stationed inside a historic building dating back to 1858. Thirty-six Texas-fueled taps line the bar, and beer-friendly eats play a starring role, from an extensive selection of charcuterie presentations to sandwiches, pastas, and a standout burger. Barley & Board also does a fine brunch on weekends, with Shakshuka, Cinnamon Roll Pancakes, and Chilaquiles among the many enticements.

Available for Reservations
Kevin Gray is a freelance writer and editor covering all things food, drinks, and travel.