While most bucket lists focus on things you have to do before you die, our primary concern is that you at least go out well fed. That shouldn’t be a problem in Dallas, with so many excellent meal possibilities. From queso to Corny Dogs, here’s the ultimate list of 50 must-have foods for every Dallasite.
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Pecan Lodge (address and info)
Texas is known for good BBQ, but Pecan Lodge is the holy grail of BBQ, and it doesn’t get much better than this. Order the brisket, or pretty much anything. Be sure to bring some water for the wraparound lines on the weekends. Yes, it’s that good.
2. 240-day dry-aged ribeye
Knife (address and info)
Exec Chef John Tesar doesn’t do anything half-assed, but he will take half a year to age this buttery cut of steak so rich, it’s sold by the inch. Bring your favorite sugar daddy/mama to indulge in this limited-edition entrée.
3. Whiskey Cake
Whiskey Cake (address and info)
If you’re going to order a dessert here, or anywhere for that matter, ordering the one that the whole dang restaurant is named after is probably a fairly safe bet. There is a lot you could say about this, but, in short, it’s a perfectly moist toffee tort that is topped with bourbon anglaise, spiced pecans, and as much house-made whipped cream as your arteries will allow you to have. It is about as close to perfect as a dessert can come with all of its different textures and flavor profiles.
4. Quatros Leches Cake
La Duni (address and info)
This milk-soaked dessert comes in a super-decadent square that just begs for an accompanying cup of joe. Although it’ll have you wondering why you ordered such a big entrée, you won’t regret finishing every bite nonetheless.
5. Chicken-fried steak
Bubba’s Cooks Country (address and info)
This old-fashioned Southern food joint gets raves for its incredible fried chicken, but the epic chicken-fried steak, always served piping hot, deserves major culinary kudos, too.
6. Sweet potato casserole
The Slow Bone (address and info)
In a world (read: Texas) where brisket is all anyone seems to talk about at BBQ joints, it’s refreshing to find a spot that not only has amazing meats, but sets the same standards for its sides as well. The sweet potato casserole at The Slow Bone is a destination-worthy side, which is rare in the BBQ game.
7. Shrimp & grits
Hattie’s (address and info)
It used to be you had to travel to New Orleans to get really good shrimp & grits, but not no mo’. Hattie’s kills this dish, and all you have to do is travel about 10 minutes south of Dallas.
8. Country Breakfast
Norma’s Café (address and info)
Breakfast doesn’t get more Texan than when you can chow down on a mammoth hunk of chicken-fried steak alongside eggs and hash browns. You should feel quite like Big Tex once you’re done.
9. Honey Bastard
Cane Rosso (address and info)
Jay Jerrier of Cane Rosso and Zoli’s is a marketing mastermind; he pitted his two pizza spots against one another and threatened to charge $1,000 for a side of ranch. He also makes the best piece of pizza in Dallas. For the Honey Bastard, they take their already amazingly chewy and flavorful dough, add cheese, then top it with hot soppressata (a spicy Italian cured meat, similar to pepperoni), bacon jam, and then douse it with habanero honey.
10. Fried chicken and mashed potatoes
Babe’s Chicken Dinner House (address and info)
No, it’s not the name of a new Dallas “breastaurant,” but it is one of the best fried chicken joints in town. Sure, there are other items on the menu, but what you want is fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and biscuits. You live in the South, act like it for once.
11. Queso poblano
Meso Maya (address and info)
Arts District, Preston Hollow
When it comes to Dallas’ favorite cheese-based appetizer, this relative newcomer does it best. No cheez with a "z" here, just a blend of all-natural varieties melted with poblanos to gooey perfection. No one will fault you for double dipping between this and the bowl of salsa.
12. Ribeye fajitas
Banditos Tex Mex Cantina (address and info)
This Austin-style Tex-Mex restaurant does everything really well, but the fajitas are just a notch above the rest, especially the ribeye fajitas. The tender meat complements the fresh, soft tortillas, pico de gallo, and guacamole. You’ll wonder why you haven’t been cutting your steak up and putting it in a tortilla before.
13. The Drunken Nut
Emporium Pies (address and info)
It’s not shocking that the best pie shop in Dallas also makes the best individual piece of pie. With this being Texas and all, pecan pie reigns supreme, and Emporium Pies takes that idea and, speaking straight to a Texan’s heart, adds bourbon to it to take it up a notch or three.
14. Street tacos
El Come Taco (address and info)
Whether you go for tacos de la casa or tacos tradicionales, your taste buds are bound to love you for popping into this authentic Fitzhugh Ave storefront. Looking to zig from the zag of chicken, pork, or beef? Try the chapulines (crispy grasshopper) tacos if they’re available.
Herrera’s Cafe (address and info)
No matter your preferred variety -- sour cream chicken, cheese, beef -- this famed family-owned spot with deep roots in Dallas will make your heart sing. Be sure to dine in to feast on the equally beloved bean soup that comes with every entrée.
16. Butcher’s meatballs
Neighborhood Services (address and info)
Meatballs are good, but meatballs served with Neighborhood Services' Voodoo peppercorn sauce are almost a religious experience. You could probably put the sauce on a Goodyear and you’d still ask for seconds, but fortunately for you, it’s delicious meatballs that are served with it and not rubber.
17. Bacon cheddar tots
Public School 214 (address and info)
These scratch-made little nuggets of potato, cheese, and bacon are blended together in perfect harmony and then deep-fried. They are then served hot in a skillet with a side of house Sriracha ketchup. Make sure you order these when you go, in fact, you might want to save some time and order two.
Lucia (address and info)
Your first hurdle will be actually getting a reservation to this restaurant, the next will be pronouncing items on the menu. But after your first bite, you’re not concerned about details: Chef/owner David Uygur’s menu doesn’t disappoint. Try the taglierini, it’s quite delightful.
19. Green chile & bacon burger
Off-Site Kitchen (address and info)
First of all, if you haven’t tried a burger from Off-Site Kitchen, get there, now. Second of all, if you haven’t tried green chile, (the flavorful New Mexican pepper), do so, now. What we’re really telling you is to visit Off-Site Kitchen and order the green chile bacon burger, and yes, there’s bacon too.
20. Lobster fajitas
El Bolero (address and info)
One taste of these briny babies, and you’ll wonder why every Tex-Mex joint doesn’t serve them. El Bolero hosts Lobster Friday, where until 2pm, $15 gets you a 6oz tail and all the fajita fixin's.
21. Breakfast tacos
Cool & Hot (address and info)
The tasty and uber-economical breakfast tacos here are a terrific way to wake up your face. Chorizo, potato, sausage, bacon, or ham can be whipped into eggs and rolled into a tortilla starting at 6am.
22. Cheese Fries Surprise
Rodeo Goat (address and info)
The Mount Everest of the spud world, the Cheese Fries Surprise at Rodeo Goat is enough food to keep you and your entire Facebook network of friends satisfied, but you won’t want to share with all of them, because let’s be real, you don’t like most of them anyway. This cornucopia of appetizer glory starts out with heaps of freshly made fries, tons of melted cheese, chili, bacon, and jalapeños for some spice. Make sure to ask for a gallon of ranch and a bottle of Tums.
23. The Angry Dog
Angry Dog (address and info)
It’s not often you walk into a restaurant and want to order a hot dog, unless said restaurant is Angry Dog, in which case that’s exactly what you do.
24. Italian Stallion
Jimmy’s Food Store (address and info)
Jimmy’s is the Italian food mart you never had or never realized you had until now. The butcher in the back creates amazingly fresh and authentic Italian sandwiches wrapped in white butcher paper. Order the Italian Stallion and then refrain from doing a Rocky impression.
25. No. 8 chili burger
Keller’s Drive-In (address and info)
This Dallas carhop is virtually unchanged since its opening nearly 50 years ago. But some things you don’t have to change, like the No. 8 chili burger with onions, cheese, and a fresh grilled patty on a toasted poppy seed bun. The prices here almost seem unchanged, too, and don’t forget the beers to go. Yes, to go.
26. Tom kha gai
Pakpao (address and info)
This traditional chicken soup with a creamy coconut broth is best savored to the very, very last drop. Go ahead -- ask for a straw. You won’t want to miss one bit of the nutty brew with a pleasant hint of sour.
27. Pork chop
Boulevardier (address and info)
Eleven times out of 10, steak > all other meats, but Boulevardier has created something magical with its Berkshire pork chop. Its chefs somehow get it impossibly tender, like, it sort of just falls apart as soon as your knife gets near it and then it is served with greens and its natural juices; it really is a spectacularly crafted dish.
28. Fletcher’s Original State Fair Corny Dog
State Fair of Texas (address and info)
Fair Park (only during the State Fair of Texas)
Don’t you dare call it a corn dog! This bastion of fried goodness forms the basis of an annual tradition for thousands upon thousands who come to the State Fair. Get in line and pay your respects with a mustard-drizzled classic or jalapeño-and-cheese dog.
29. Pork belly poutine
Blind Butcher (address and info)
Like a fat kid’s dream come true, the pork belly poutine at Blind Butcher takes some of the finest things life has to offer and puts them all conveniently into one bowl. Big hunks of potato are deep fried in duck fat, then topped with pork gravy, cheese curds, and house-made pork belly. And for the love of God man, put an egg on top of it!
30. Pig’s head tacos
CBD Provisions (address and info)
This dish became a buzzed-about hit around town just about the minute it hit the menu. And it’s well worth enduring this little piggy’s stare. You’ll forget every bit of trepidation with your first bite of tender pork wrapped in a tortilla.
31. Cream of mushroom soup
The Grape (address and info)
Chef/Owner Brian C. Luscher has described the near-panic that ensues when he has taken this dish off the menu, and it’s with good reason guests clutch at their chests. This bowl is the creamy soup equivalent of a drug: instantly addictive and stuck in the crave center of your brain forever. Leave it be, chef!
32. Spicy beef noodle soup
Monkey King Noodle Company (address and info)
Copious amounts of handmade and stretched noodles rest in a spicy, oily, flavorful broth alongside melt-in-your-mouth pieces of beef shank. Grab some chopsticks and slurp away at the best bowl of noodles this side of the Atlantic.
33. Bacon lollipops
The Meddlesome Moth (address and info)
Do you like steak? Do you like bacon? This is Texas, America, so of course you answered yes to both. Well, what if those two things hit it off and made a baby? That would be the bacon lollipops at The Meddlesome Moth, a thick-cut slab of the best bacon of all time, served on a stick with a homemade funnel cake and maple hollandaise sauce.
34. Beer biscuits and gravy
Barbec's (address and info)
This venerable spot on Garland Rd has seen better days, but its signature breakfast dish of creamy gravy ladled onto fluffy beer biscuits remains a must-have that keeps fans coming back for more.
35. Crispy beef
Yao Fuzi (address and info)
There is no shortage of Asian food in Dallas, but there is a shortage for very quality spots/dishes. This is not the case at Yao Fuzi -- while many things are superb, the crispy beef stands out as a must-try dish.
36. Pastrami sandwich
LUCK (address and info)
There can obviously be a lot of debate about the best sandwich in a city, but what is not debatable is that this sandwich would at least be in that conversation. This isn’t the pastrami you pick up at the grocery store, this is “Texas Brisket Style,” which translates to it being house-cured for three days and then smoked for 15 hours before being slapped onto sourdough with Swiss cheese, stone-ground mustard, and caramelized onions.
37. Dumpling bar
Royal China (address and info)
Dumplings are good to order anytime, but when there’s a whole bar of them available, you take advantage of it. Which is what you should do, as often as possible.
38. Nontraditional tacos
Torchy’s Tacos (address and info)
When taco authenticity is thrown to the wind and you just want a mess of insanely good combinations of ingredients stacked into a tortilla, this Austin-born chainlet should be your jam. Case in point: recent monthly taco specials have featured (not all together) fried plantains, coconut-battered shrimp, bacon, habanero-peach jam, crushed peanuts, and mint.
39. Dry-rubbed spare ribs
Lockhart Smokehouse (address and info)
Ribs are great, but they’re even better dry-rubbed, especially when said ribs are from Lockhart Smokehouse. The lines around the building are enough to prove it. Make sure to wash it down with an ice-cold Texas beer while you’re there.
40. Beef Deluxe Pho
Pho Envy (address and info)
The sublime house-made beef broth in this soup will have you jonesing for it even in the dead of summer. Numerous iterations of pho are on the menu, but the Beef Deluxe -- with slices of tendon, filet, brisket, and meatballs -- is the tastiest bang for your buck.
41. Fried baloney sandwich
Maple & Motor (address and info)
OK, we know it sounds a little like something you would make in your college dorm room when times were rough (which they always were), but we can guarantee you it’s not. The fried baloney is thicker with a deep crust, and the lettuce and tomato give it a nice finish.
42. Lobster mac & cheese
Nick & Sam’s Steakhouse (address and info)
You can’t possibly think about digging into your bone-in ribeye here without ordering this ridiculously decadent side -- it’s behavior unbecoming of a Dallasite!
43. Italian beef
Jimmy’s Food Store (address and info)
The Italian Stallion gets all of the love at Jimmy’s, but the Italian beef just might be the better sandwich. A soft and spongy loaf of bread is loaded with thinly sliced beef, melted provolone and giardiniera mix, then as much gravy as you can handle is ladled over the top.
44. The Kure
Jonathon’s Oak Cliff (address and info)
Hunger Kure? Hangover Kure. Our best guess is that this behemoth of biscuit, eggs, sausage, gravy, and pico is meant to cure pretty much anything that’s bothering you.
45. Brisket cornbread hash
Smoke (address and info)
The marriage of breakfast and BBQ is a beautiful matrimony in this circumstance. Smoky brisket is folded into a cornbread hash and then placed atop crispy potatoes, then topped with a poached egg and what you quickly realize is not enough of the chili rajas sauce (read: ask for an extra side).
46. Rustica pizza
Olivella’s Pizza (address and info)
Going back over 100 years to Naples, Olivella’s has perfected the perfect pie. Order the Rustica pizza, perfectly baked in its iconic brick oven, and then thank us later.
47. Sweet & Lowdown
Easy Slider (address and info)
Combine a fresh beef patty, some zesty goat cheese, and a dollop of strawberry jam on a slider bun and you’ve got a burger worth chasing a food truck around town for.
48. Brisket tacos
Avila’s (address and info)
Brisket is good stand-alone but even better in a flour tortilla taco stuffed with cheddar cheese, fresh pico de gallo, sour cream, and guacamole. Of course, no taco is complete without a frozen margarita, so follow suit.
49. Grandma pizza
Zoli’s NY Pizza (address and info)
This pizza is smack-dab between the thin-crusted New York pie and the hefty-bottomed Sicilian pie and totally meant to harken back to homemade pizza of days past. Enjoy it by the slice, or grab a whole custom-made or house-specialty pie.
1. Pecan Lodge2702 Main St, Dallas
2. Knife Modern Steak5300 E Mockingbird Ln, Dallas
3. Whiskey Cake3601 Dallas Pkwy, Plano
4. La Duni Latin Kitchen & Coffee Studio4264 Oak Lawn Ave, Dallas
5. Bubba's Cooks Country6617 Hillcrest Ave, Dallas
6. The Slow Bone2234 Irving Blvd, Dallas
7. Hattie's418 N Bishop Ave, Dallas
8. Cane Rosso2612 Commerce St, Dallas
9. Bandito's Tex-Mex Ice House4700 W Park Blvd, Plano
10. Emporium Pies314 N. Bishop Ave., Dallas
11. El Come Taco2513 N Fitzhugh Ave, Dallas
12. Herrera's Café4024 Maple Ave, Dallas
13. Public School 2143700 McKinney Ave, Dallas
14. Lucia408 W 8th St, Dallas
15. Off-Site Kitchen331 Singleton Blvd, Dallas
16. El Bolero1201 Oak Lawn Ave, Dallas
17. Cool & Hot930 E 8th St, Dallas
18. Rodeo Goat1926 Market Center Blvd, Dallas
19. Angry Dog2726 Commerce St, Dallas
20. Jimmy's Food Store4901 Bryan St, Dallas
21. Pakpao Thai1628 Oak Lawn Ave , Dallas
22. Boulevardier408 N Bishop Ave, Ste 108, Dallas
23. The Blind Butcher1919 Greenville Ave, Dallas
24. CBD Provisions1530 Main St, Dallas
25. The Grape2808 Greenville Ave, Dallas
26. Monkey King Noodle Company3014 Main St, Dallas
27. The Meddlesome Moth1621 Oak Lawn Ave, Dallas
28. Barbec's8949 Garland Rd, Dallas
29. Yao Fuzi4757 W Park Blvd, Plano
30. LUCK (Local Urban Craft Kitchen)3011 Gulden Ln Ste 112, Dallas
31. Royal China6025 Royal Ln, Dallas
32. Lockhart Smokehouse400 W Davis St, Dallas
33. Pho Envy8611 Hillcrest Ave, Dallas
34. Maple & Motor Burgers & Beer4810 Maple Ave, Dallas
35. Nick and Sam's3008 Maple Ave, Dallas
36. Jonathon's Oak Cliff1111 N Beckley Ave, Dallas
37. Smoke2408 Preston Rd, Plano
38. Olivella's3406 McFarlin Blvd, Dallas
39. Avila's4714 Maple Ave, Dallas
40. Zoli's NY Pizza Tavern202 W Davis St, Dallas
41. Fearing's2121 McKinney Ave, Dallas
This always-bustling, 4,500 square-foot bbq restaurant with a patio overlooking Main Street graces plates with some of the best smoked meat around -- a bold statement for Texas, where the smoker reigns king. The mesquite charred brisket, ribs, and pulled pork stand fine on their own but they're also killer on a sandwich, and in the event you can't decide which meat to get, there's always The Pitmaster, a behemoth of a sandwich with every single one along with coleslaw, bbq sauce, and fresh sliced jalapeños.
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."
This rustic, high-windowed warehouse-style joint features communal tables, plaid sofas, rocking chairs, and a stacked firewood partition that is set off by industrial touches like Edison bulbs. Sink your teeth into Texas comfort foods like pulled pork sliders, thick burgers, smoked BBQ, and fried chicken. Don’t be surprised by some of the more interesting items like the Thai Cashew Pork Baguette and Pork Belly Ramen … Whiskey Cake whips up fresh comfort foods that you can’t get at grandma’s. Indulge in a long list of national craft brews whiskey flights, and whiskey cocktails like Little Rye Lies (rye whiskey, black tea syrup, and orange and angostura bitters). Yes, you can enjoy actual Whiskey Cake on a porch next to a fireplace if you’re so inclined.
Perfectly blending the European and Latin American traditions, La Duni is definitely the only place in Dallas where you can start off with a Pastel Gloria (a Danish-style pastry) and finish with the Asado Brasilero (seared picanha steak with chimichurri salsas). Plus, all of their pastries are baked in house and they've got killer cocktails and coffee.
In an old Texaco-turned-art-deco-counter-serve, Bubba’s Cooks Country is a Southern comfort food mainstay in University Park, and has been providing Dallas with some of the area’s best down-home cooking since 1981. Family recipes rule the menu, with a simple menu boasting traditional dishes like chicken-fried steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, homemade yeast rolls, peach cobbler, and of course, the crispy, golden, buttermilk-fried bird that made Bubba’s famous. Step up to the counter or drive through any day of the week for a taste of Bubba’s buttery, Southern creature comforts.
There is no shortage of barbecue restaurants in Texas. You'd be hard-pressed to find one that hasn't been awarded some accolade for its tender and juicy burnt ends or fall-off-the-bone ribs. The Slow Bone is one among the masses, and is a Dallas-based force to be reckoned with. The brisket is tender and juicy, and the ribs do fall off the bone, but have you ever had golden, expertly fried chicken to accompany your rack of baby backs? The Slow Bone is known for its barbecue, yes, but don't leave without at least a bite of the fried chicken... you didn't wait in line to miss out.
This upscale American bistro takes good ol’ fashioned down home-style cookin’ and low-country cuisine and makes it decidedly high class. With linen-colored walls, huge windows, a mix of antique and modern furniture styles, and colorful centerpieces, the atmosphere is as pleasantly bright and refreshing as the cuisine is rich and satisfying. While brunch is a big hit at Hattie’s, their lunch and dinner menu’s look just as enticing with options like Fried Green Tomatoes (no, Kathy Bates didn’t make them), Low Country Shrimp and Grits, and Bacon-wrapped, Jalapeño-stuffed Quail.Go for a classic cocktail or one with more of a southern kick like the Sweet Tea or Key Lime martinis.
This Texas pizza chainlet (it has locations across the Dallas, Fort Worth, and Houston areas) serves quality Neapolitan pies that stick to the rules of the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, aka Neapolitan pizza's governing body. There are a ton of pizzas to choose from, from standard marinara and margherita to the Paulie Gee, an ode to the eponymous Brooklyn pizzeria. The menu also includes Italian sandwiches and a few pasta dishes. Ranch dressing lovers beware: owner Jay Jerrier has famously banned diners from ordering it on the side.
A patio'd, garage doored, Willie Nelson-loving spot from the Bandito's Tex-Mex/Katy Trail Ice House folks, BTMIH is tapping the latter's beer selections (from DEBC's IPA, to Live Oak Hefe, to Austin Amber), while running menu items from the former like rib-eye tacos, and a poblano stuffed with fajita-beef-wrapped shrimp, 'shrooms, and cheese they call Bevo's Beach Party, starring Frankie Erwin-lon and Annette Funorakpo.
Pies so good you wouldn't want to waste by throwing 'em in someones face. Choose from scrumptious options like the Drunken Nut with bourbon pecan & shortbread crust, plus the prezel-crusted Smooth Operator with french silk chocolate filling.
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.
Although the original Herrera's building suffered a structural fire and the restaurant had to be relocated, everything else about this place is as authentic as it was the day it opened in the early 1970s. Breakfast is served all day, and certain days of the week confer dinner specials such as Caldo de Res on Monday and Caldo de Pollo on Friday.
Class is in session at PS214. Walk into this lively West Village restaurant at brunch time and leave after sundown with a degree in deliciousness. Serving up Southern favorites alongside tacos, pizza, and burgers. Your brain will thank you for the comfort food. And the cocktails.
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.
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.
Regional Mexican cuisine, made fresh with premium ingredients, is what you can expect to see on the menu at this unique restaurant in the Design District. A sister restaurant to local favorites Pakpao Thai and Oak, El Bolero boasts a similar modern, trendy vibe. Sample their authentic ceviches and lobster fajitas in the colorful, homey dining room while you sip on a spicy, refreshing cocktail.
Sometimes one needs compact wallops of slick beef from the most famous taqueria hidden in plain sight. And best on a weekend morning when regrettable memory-coating greasy eats makes living bearable. Cool & Hot, a converted gas station with an attached car wash on 8th St above I-35 awash in blue and yellow with silly representations of their menu, is just the place for it. Find solace in the tiny, spongy flour tortillas scarfed in the covered eating area.
An outpost of the original and super-popular Fort Worth location, Rodeo Goat has some of the best and most inventive burgers you'll find in Dallas. The creations here are as scrumptious as they are wacky, like the Sugar Burger, made with candied bacon, grilled peaches, caramelized onions, and jalapeño jam. Backing the burgers is a solid, Texas-heavy craft beer arsenal, plus some thick milkshakes that can be made boozy. Be sure to grab a spot on the outdoor patio and bar.
An award-winning burger joint that's been around since 1990 and has some of the best wings in DFW. Another must-try is their Grifter’s Queso, with ground beef, sour cream, guacamole & a side of salsa.
This Dallas mainstay is the go-to local spot for all-things-Italian. Founded in 1996, the specialty food store has been a family-owned crowd favorite for over 50 years. Daily, the staff hand-rolls meatballs and bakes Italian sweets (with old, family recipes, of course) in the back of the shop, while in front, they help patrons select gourmet groceries and bottles from their carefully curated Italian wine selection. Locals can order hefty, fresh sandwiches at the counter, sample house-made olives, and shop for everything from imported balsamic vinegars, to handmade pastas. The imported cheese and meat selections are expansive, the antipasti bar is stuffed, and in true Italian fashion, dollar espresso shots are available all day. And while the folks at Jimmy's offer wine tastings on Saturdays, the wine room tucked behind the store is open to guests all week.
Thai restaurant with French-style plating, from the owners of Oak and Belly & Trumpet.
This French-inspired Bistro uses its wood-fired grill to reinvent some classic dishes from across the pond. In addition to the grub, there's an expansive wine selection that includes more than 120 American and French varietals, as well as a large array of liquors including Whiskeys, Armagnacs and Cognacs.
It’s hard to focus on a single menu item because The Blind Butcher makes their own pickles, hand cranks their own sausages, fries pig ears, makes a mean charcuterie board, and is beloved for their sinfully good poutine. The Butcher features an obscenely large beer list with craft drafts from some of America’s favorite breweries (think Ommegang and Lagunitas), local Texas breweries, and their own house brew. This restaurant has a distinctly industrial, relaxed feel in it’s home in an old warehouse, yet it brings a stylish urban atmosphere that has been described as “New York comes to Dallas.”
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.
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
From a dude who savored on the streets of Taipei and northern China, plus trained with a noodle master in NYC, all before getting his noodle restaurant on, MKNC promises both legit ass noodles, but also a show: the guy pulls noods in the kitchen window, rolling, kneading, slapping, and stretching wheat-and-water dough into those guys you're about to slurp up.
Founded by the guy who brought you Addison's Flying Saucer, The Meddlesome Moth offers up a similar gastropub vibe with a little more class (see: plentiful leather booths, polished red wood trim and suspended strained-glass portraits of Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry and Elvis). Dine here any time of the day from the brunch, lunch or dinner menu (go for the eggs creole benedict, the dogfish head bratwurst or the grass-fed chuck burger) but don't miss out on the 40-draught and 85-bottle beer selection.
While these guys serve a number of delicious options (especially for breakfast) one would be wise to try out their massive Beer Biscuits. They're covered in gravy and made with beer. What more could you want?
This high-end restaurant brings together Chinese cooking and delicious cocktails within a sleek, modern interior. The crispy beef is a must-order menu item.
The Local Urban Craft Kitchen -- another member of the Trinity Groves glutton -- is a smoked meat & gourmet sandwich-type place that's centered on a beer selection that's purely Texas, mostly DFW, and used as an ingredient. So if you don't like beer, you're out of… nevermind.
Royal China, located on Royal Lane, is stocked with royally delicious dumplings, noodles, and all manner of Chinese treats.
This classic Texas smokehouse serves up juicy cuts of meat the old-school way. Walk up to the counter, make your pick, and watch your protein pulled straight off the smoker, wrapped in butcher paper, and placed into your anxious mitts. The brisket is done Central-Texas style and has a delicious peppery, spicy bark.
A Vietnamese noodle-ry that also dishes out goods like Shaken Beef Filet Mignon and a killer banh mi.
Known for celebrating “low class cool,” Maple and Motor distills American comfort cuisine into a ten-item food menu comprised of burgers and sandwiches built upon foundations of bologna, brisket, and bacon. The burger is the menu’s gem; it’s a half-pound of ground beef flat grilled in its own juices, dressed in traditional Texas fashion with mustard, lettuce, red onion, and a dill pickle. Add a side of beer-battered onion rings and a brew, and you’re set. The space is bare bones-cool, with a few black leather booths and photographs in simple black frames lining the walls. The Maple and Motor team doesn’t pretend to be anything other than red meat-loving Americans and we dig it.
An Uptown steakhouse founded by Ray Phil Romano, Nick and Sam's has steak, seafood, and complimentary caviar (!).
With not one but two daily happy hours, a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar, and breakfast served all afternoon, Jonathon's Oak Cliff is pretty easy to love. The popular soul food spot, housed in a charming green clapboard building, serves classic Southern fare all day. While the (literally) award-winning chicken and waffles are the crowd-favorite on the brunch menu, the kitchen serves everything from breakfast tacos to pancake-battered sausages. For dinner, the burgers are the house specialty, ranging from the fresh veggie burger to the famous "Nooner Burger," stacked with bacon, ham, Swiss, and a fried egg. Whether searching for some hearty Southern fare, or a serious hair of the dog, Jonathon's will certainly deliver.
The eclectic Southwestern decor and back patio at Smoke makes diners feel less like they're outside a strip mall in West Plano and more like they're in a adobe home in New Mexico. Quiet suburban crowds gather on the multicolored seating for brunch, lunch, and dinner and leave with loosened belts because they've stuffed themselves to the brim with Latin-inspired and Southwestern fare like bbq spare ribs, coffee-cured brisket, and grilled quail prepared by James Beard Award-winning Tim Byres.
This Dallas pizza mini-chain serves super thin crust Roman style pizza and offers mouthwatering specials like their Rustica pie with sausage & bell pepper over house-made mozzarella. A great spot to bring a group, order a pitcher of sangria and hang out on their spacious patio.
Avila’s has been a Dallas staple for the past 25 years. The home-style dishes taste like they were made by the Mexican grandmother you never had. The salsa is on the spicy side, but you can always wash it down with one of their delicious house margaritas.
Founded as a rebuttal to fancypants pizza places like Il Cane Rosso, Zoli's serves up authentic NY-style slices in a no-frills storefront with a butt-kickin' back patio.
The Ritz-Carlton location of this Victory Park restaurant should tell you more than you need to know about its high-caliber luxury, but its founder and executive chef Dean Fearing is even more telling of what you'll eat here. Fearing, known as the Father of Southwestern Cuisine who wrote best-selling 'The Texas Food Bible,' curates a menu full of modern Southwestern fare like spicy tortilla soups, bbq oysters, and mesquite grilled antelope.