The Fasties: Kat Thompson Mukbang
Hungry suburbanites can't get enough of the big portions of decadent Italian-American food at this low-key ristorante. In addition to pizza and sandwiches like Italian beef and veal Parm, saucy pasta dishes and house specialties like the zesty Chicken Murphy and the chicken-and-sausage-dotted Frisco Speciale keep locals returning regularly.
Frisco and Southlake
American fare gets a delicious dose of Mediterranean influences at this casually swank, neutral-toned wine bar/restaurant with two local branches. An expert cocktail list accompanies diner favorites on the well-priced seasonal menu, which includes an uber-popular crab dip, pizzas, pastas, and seafood.
The thoughtful menu at this restaurant tucked into a shopping center reflects a mix of comfort food classics with Southern touches and innovative dishes showing off the flair of FnG’s chef co-owners. Think homey classics like deviled eggs, bourbon French toast, and fish & chips, as well as hearty sandwiches and a satisfying brunch, with as many ingredients sourced from local purveyors as the dedicated chefs can get their hands on.
Modern Italian-American food and cocktails dreamed up by some of the area’s best bartenders have given Frisco diners a ton to cheer about. New instant classics include the Sunday prime rib special for $22, and Sunday brunch, chock-full of zesty frittatas, rich stuffed pasta, and traditional breakfast plates.
Irving and McKinney
This two-branch mini-chain tends to get overlooked in discussions of True Neapolitan Pizza Association-certified pie makers, which is a miscarriage of justice. With imported Italian flour and mozzarella, San Marzano tomato sauce, and a 900-degree brick oven, Cavalli’s pizza chops stand up to any pie place in Dallas, whether you dine at the full-service restaurant in McKinney or the quick-serve corner in Irving. And bonus: Cavalli is a BYOB operation, so be sure to bring along the perfect vino for your pie.
This Mid-Cities burg claims one hotel restaurant that’s trying to elevate the genre -- no easy feat anywhere, let alone the ’burbs. But executive chef Marcelo Vasquez’s Southwest-influenced cuisine spotlights the best of the season from local producers, from the Mozzarella Company in Dallas, to Gloria’s Premium Tortilla Co. The kitchen’s wood-burning oven is put to great use turning out from-scratch pizzas, which, along with nicely balanced specialty cocktails, make a terrific prelude to a game at the sports venue right down the street.
Frisco and McKinney
The award-winning, pecan wood-smoked meats at this casual, rustic spot make it a draw for ’cue fanatics who live nowhere near the two branches. It’s rare that one BBQ joint excels at brisket, ribs, sausage, chicken, and pulled pork, but Hutchins gets them all just right, mastering the balance between char and juiciness as well as offering up excellent iterations of all the classic sides and a killer sauce. Don’t miss the amazing fried catfish, only served in McKinney.
Sushi ranking sometimes seems a bit silly here in our landlocked neck of the woods, but, boy, do we dive right in anyway. This is definitely one category where a lot of diners believe Dallas holds the best of the best, but sushi freaks in the know flock to this nearly hidden gem for expertly prepared sashimi, nigiri, and maki served on traditional Japanese tables. SUSHI SAKE is also one of a handful of places in Dallas to enjoy omakase, the multi-course meal that leaves your entrée picks completely in the hands of the chef. Expect a wait on the weekends.
Locals swear by the Hawaiian and Polynesian plates served up by the restaurant’s namesake, herself a Hawaiian export. The stripped-down strip mall eatery offers island staples, including kalua pork and Hawaiian BBQ chicken, as well as coconut shrimp, fried fish, and mahi-mahi; Tongan entrees are on offer from Monday to Friday. It’s a special treat to find SPAM musubi in DFW, so definitely relish the two-sided version that’s a specialty at Ana’s.
Part restaurant, part dinner lounge, this dimly lit, date-friendly space in Coppell delivers Israeli- and Mediterranean-inspired meat and poultry, seafood, pasta, and salads. Happy hour is a prime time to check out the spot, with cocktails and wine on discount, and hearty bar bites like the signature hummus and Shiner Bock-battered shrimp tempura going for $8 and up.
When you enter this spare, brightly lit eatery, dive into the fragrance of chicken, beef, and lamb shawarma and just try not to order a mess of it with some feather-light pitas. The list of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean specialties goes on, and includes falafel, kafta, and kebabs. Can’t decide what to order? Pop in at lunch, when the buffet offers menu highlights for you to try as little or as much as you like. It’s also served at Afrah’s newer outpost in Irving, but we’re partial to the OG in Richardson.
If the vintage charm of this restaurant and retail shop doesn’t bowl you over, the local, seasonally inspired food will. The brainchild of a chef, interior designer, and retailer, Patina Green has built its tasty rep on award-winning lunchtime sandwiches, expanding in recent years to host ticketed five-course dinners of locally sourced goods. If you’re keen on a midday visit, the grilled cheese on sourdough and the BOB (brisket on biscuit) are local legends.
Actor Jason Lee has come a long way from the Mallrats food court to come on board as a partner at this hip New American eatery with an industrial feel. At this, the city's first brewpub, beer-friendly eats are definitely in the spotlight, from curated cheese boards to salads, steaks, and a burger that's been the buzz of this university town and beyond. In addition to beers on tap and in bottles, craft cocktails get some love, as does a decadent brunch featuring porridge, pancakes, and eggy dishes.
Globally influenced American classics get localista cred from Texas ingredients at this chef-owned bistro. Imagine goat cheese salad tossed with Texas peaches, and venison-stuffed quail with braised collards. Then imagine the perfect wine pairing to whatever you're in the mood for, because Trio is BYOB. Before you drive over, note that the restaurant closes for a few hours between lunch and dinner.
This refined, rustic, chef-co-owned restaurant brings a keen focus on local dairy, meats, and produce to Flower Mound, offering modern American entrees with an Eastern European touch. If the egg-topped schnitzel doesn't have you drooling, house-made pierogies, a duck pot pie, and an assortment of flatbreads should do the trick. Cocktails, wines, and local beers beg to be paired with any and all of the above.