Food & Drink

The Best Lunch Spots in Dallas, by Neighborhood

Published On 10/06/2015 Published On 10/06/2015
John Carlos Escalona Viva/Nasher Cafe

Arts District

Nasher Cafe by Wolfgang Puck (address and info)

What you’re getting: Sandwich combo; pick your favorite sandwich and soup/salad

A bonus at this spot is besides slightly upscale and fresh picks from the restaurant, you are also able to enjoy a spectacular view of the Nasher Sculpture Center while you chow down on your pear and Brie sandwich with French double cream Brie, Asian pear, baby arugula, grain mustard, and local honey. It’s a lesser-known spot, but well worth sneaking away for a tranquil lunch.
 

Bishop Arts

Bolsa Mercado (address and info)

What you’re getting: Turkey sandwich

Could anything sound more boring than a turkey sandwich? No. However, Bolsa Mercado doesn’t do anything boring -- its turkey is served on ciabatta with an avocado spread, cheddar cheese, bacon, and a pepper relish. Everything on its lunch menu is, of course, solid, but the turkey sandwich is a must-try.

Flickr/EatThisBeef

Cedars

Lee Harvey’s (address and info)

What you’re getting: Burger and fries

One of the diviest dive bars in all of Dallas also serves up some pretty solid food. If it’s my 10 bucks here, I’m going with a good old-fashioned burger and adding cheese, bacon, a side of fries, maybe onion rings, maybe a half order of each; the sky's the limit! Also, depending on how late you sneak away for lunch, its happy hour starts at 3pm… so maybe you can stretch it out for a two-for.

Monkey King

Deep Ellum

Monkey King Noodle Co. (address and info)

What you’re getting: Hot spicy beef noodle soup + pork dumplings

Picking a favorite lunch spot in Deep Ellum is like picking a favorite kid, with many terrific spots like Uncle Uber’s, Angry Dog, Pecan Lodge, Cane Rosso and Twisted Root… whew, the list goes on. It is very hard to narrow down to one spot, but with the dinner availability of most of them, the heaviness of some of the meals, and the line at Pecan Lodge, Monkey King Noodle took the cake. While it is open for dinner Thursday-Saturday, lunch is its jam. You can sit up on the roof or watch your noodles being hand stretched in front of the window. The food is always hot and fresh and while it’s very flavorful, it’s also fairly light, so when you’re heading back to work you might not want to take a nap.
 

Design District

The Slow Bone (address and info)

What you’re getting: Three-meat plate and sweet potato casserole

Only open for lunch, Slow Bone serves up some of the finest BBQ in all of Dallas. The meats are all phenomenal, however, might we suggest the three-meat plate comprised of brisket, ribs, and fried chicken. The sides are out-of-this-world good, there’s an amazing condiment station, and unlike Monkey King, a nap might be in order afterward.

The Metropolitan Cafe

Downtown

The Metropolitan Café (address and info)

What you’re getting: Greek salad or crab cakes

Lunch should be quick, simple, really good, and cheap. It’s a no-frills meal that you don’t want to spend a lot of time and energy on. At Metropolitan Café, you get the best of all of these qualities -- clean, fresh, simple food that powers you through the day. The Greek salad has feta, tomato, onion, olives, cucumbers, and Greek dressing and make sure to grab an order of crab cakes on Wednesday. The best part about this place is you can grab some caffeine before you go to power through the last few hours of work.

East Dallas

Jimmy’s Food Store (address and info)

What you’re getting: Italian Stallion OR Italian beef

Sometimes you need options in life, and depending on your mood, one tends to make different decisions. The Italian Stallion is an iconic Dallas sandwich; it’s bold, salty, has some spice, and is surprisingly refreshing if you want something lighter. Then there’s the Italian beef, where they load up a white bun with thin beef, flavorful gravy, and top it off with provolone and spicy giardiniera; maybe get this one on a Friday to be safe.

Ariel Wakeland/Mot Hai Ba

Lakewood

Mot Hai Bai (address and info)

What you’re getting: Grilled pork belly bánh mì

A toasted bun with flavorful little bits of pork belly resting underneath pickled vegetables and fresh herbs. If that doesn’t sound like a winning lunch, then…well, what is? It’s a very laid-back spot and each dish is loaded with flavor. If you’re craving Vietnamese food, look no further.

BBBop

Lower Greenville

bbbop Seoul Kitchen (address and info)

What you’re getting: Build your own bop

What’s a bop?! Glad you asked. It’s a bowl of goodness where you drop in your favorite protein; then either rice, noodles, or greens; then three different vegetables; and then top it with things like egg rolls, extra meat, or a fried egg. You are then able to add a scratch-made sauce. If you don’t feel like making all those decisions, you can roll with other entrees and rice bowls.

Cattleack Barbecue

North Dallas

Cattleack Barbeque (address and info)

What you’re getting: Brisket 

It is actually a little bit painful writing this one; Cattleack is somewhat of a hidden BBQ gem, but with all the press it has been getting lately and the fact that it possibly has the best brisket in the state of Texas (which would also mean the world), the secret was bound to get out. While that is a huge claim, it’s one that is founded on years of BBQ research and countless pounds of consumed brisket. It is seriously something special and know we are only sharing this because we love our readers. Selfishly, we would like to keep this under wraps.
 

Oak Lawn

Maple and Motor (address and info)

What you’re getting: Cheeseburger

Yes it’s obvious. We know you know about Maple and Motor, but for the sake of thoroughness, here it is. You know about it, you have (hopefully) had it, and it’s one of the best honest-to-goodness burgers around.

Alberto Gamero/Wingfield's

South Dallas

Wingfield’s Breakfast & Burger (address and info)

What you’re getting: Double cheeseburger

After receiving scorn and shame for not including Wingfield’s in the best burger by neighborhood piece, we have learned from our mistake and ask that you humbly accept this as an olive branch. If you work in South Dallas, you definitely need to be there, or if you don’t, it’s worthy of a commute to get this very inexpensive bit of burger greatness into your belly.

Luck

Trinity Groves

LUCK (address and info)

What you’re getting: Signature pastrami 

One could argue that Off-Site Kitchen deserves this title, but that person might not have had the pastrami sandwich at LUCK. It is a perfectly juicy, Texas brisket style that is house cured and smoked for 15 hours, then served on a crispy sourdough bread with stone-ground mustard, caramelized onions, and Swiss cheese. You can wash it down with a local or three and turn it into a “working” lunch.
 

University Park

Kuby’s Sausage House (address and info)

What you’re getting: Schnitzel sandwich

University Park is sort of like this utopian destination for lunch spots -- there are a few more businesses and shopping areas there than some of the trendier spots that are built more for a dinner crowd, but it has this lunch thing down! It’s actually very hard to pick a spot here because of all the amazing contenders: there’s Rafa’s, Eatzi’s, East Hampton Sandwich Co., Hopdoddy, R+D Kitchen, True Food Kitchen, a Nick and Sam’s Grill... the list truly goes on. However, there can only be one king of lunches in University Park and that honor goes to Kuby’s Sausage House. Its thin, crispy batter wraps like a blanket around the tender pork creating a divine experience. Also, don’t forget to grab a side of applesauce, and after your meal, you can grab some sausage to go for dinner.

Royal Thai

Upper Greenville

Royal Thai (address and info)

What you’re getting: Spicy noodles

Royal Thai is one the go-to spots for many a Thai food fan in DFW. It is known for its spicy noodles and Golden acks appetizer, but honestly you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. It knows Thai food and it does it right; it makes for a quick lunch and you would feel comfortable enough grabbing something by yourself or having a lunch meeting there as well.

Uptown

S&D Oyster Company (address and info)

What you’re getting: Fried shrimp, a side of gumbo, and oysters of course

S&D is the place to go for casual seafood in Dallas; it has been around forever and, frankly, knows how to do things right. The fried shrimp are crispy, buttery, and have a great consistency; the cocktail sauce is near perfection; and the place has a very cool charm about it. Also, a nice bonus is that it has two parking lots, so getting to lunch on McKinney doesn’t turn into a complete nightmare.

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Jason Moore is a writer and realtor in Dallas/Fort Worth follow him @IAmCalledJason.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
1. Cafe Nasher By Wolfgang Puck 2001 Flora St, Dallas, TX 75201 (Arts District)

This litte cafe is full of soups, salads, and sandwiches to snack on after visiting the Nasher Sculpture Center. It's in a beautiful garden surrounded by a lot of artwork so there is plenty to gaze upon while you dine.

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2. Bolsa Mercado 634 W. Davis St, Dallas, TX 75208 (Oak Cliff)

The OC resto's owners & chefs have installed a hyper-local organic market two doors down in the old Kemp Garage, now outfitted with a sculpture made outta the building's original HVAC, an Edison bulb'd tin roof, a cozy seating area with chairs backed in burlap coffee sacks, and, on the brick walls, music and event posters from Texas Tech graphic design prof Dirk Fowler, a Nowitzki/Chris hybrid who could call his own highlights if he played tight end for SMU.

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3. Lee Harvey's 1807 Gould St, Dallas, TX 75215 (Downtown)

The combo of "Lee Harvey" and "Dallas" isn't recalled fondly in a historical sense, but this joint is certainly doing well to give itself a good name. There's just something incredibly relaxing about sitting around a fire pit with a cold beer on a warm night (especially with live music) and that's Lee Harvey's finest asset. And if you can't find a sitter for Rover, bring him too. They're dog-friendly as long as yours is.

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4. Monkey King Noodle Company 3014 Main St, Dallas, TX 75226 (Deep Ellum)

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.

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5. The Slow Bone 2234 Irving Blvd, Dallas, TX 75207 (Design District)

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.

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6. Metropolitan Cafe 2032 Main St, Dallas, TX 75201 (Downtown)

This little, quiet cafe is a great spot to get a quick bite to eat and a coffee. Try the crab cakes when you go in; local diners here rave about them. It also helps that they run a great lunch special.

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7. Jimmy's Food Store 4901 Bryan St, Dallas, TX 75206 (East Dallas)

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.

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8. Mot Hai Ba 6047 Lewis St, Dallas, TX 75206 (Lakewood)

Mot Hai Ba is a new Vietnamese foodery from the Good 2 Go taco team, and features bowls of pork belly, frog legs, and more authentic South Asian eats.

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9. BBBop Seoul Kitchen Suite 130, 2023 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX 75206 (Knox Henderson)

This fast food stop offers quick Korean dishes like rice bowls, fried chicken and Asian beers & cocktails. Be sure to order the "Not Your Momma's Chicken" and wash it down with their soju cocktail—straight ethanol and water.

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10. Cattleack Barbeque 13628 Gamma Rd, Dallas, TX 75244

As Cadillac is to high-quality vehicles, Cattleack is to top-notch smoked meats. This take-out barbecue joint is notorious for melt-in-your-mouth cuts of pork, all of which are roasted in a massive, on-site BBQ pit, and expertly doused in house BBQ sauce. Hungry carnivores can either choose from a list of available sandwiches like the famous Toddfather (brisket, pulled pork and hot link-sausage), or select a cut of hot, seasoned meat (anything from beef ribs to brisket to homemade sausage). While the spot mainly offers take-out and catering services, it arranges early afternoon seating on Thursdays and Fridays for those who want to bask in the heavenly aroma of roasting red meat while they feast. Oh, and lastly (but most definitely not least,) guests are offered a cold FREE beer, while they await their glorious meals.

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11. Maple & Motor 4810 Maple Ave, Dallas, TX 75219 (Oak Lawn)

This Oak Lawn shack has an unassuming exterior appearance and a heavy-hitter presence in the Dallas burger scene. The off-kilter space, inside an old gas station wth dilapidated vintage decoration, sets the scene for a burger that's simple -- a medium-sized patty with a little crunch and a tender inside with basic fixings (tomato, lettuce, onions, pickles) -- but just plain, damn good. There's no fuss ordering one with a side of freshly fried onion rings and a local draft beer at this delightfully unpretentious spot.

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12. Wingfield's Breakfast & Burgers 2615 S Beckley Ave, Dallas, TX 75224 (The Cedars)

This simple yet cherished Cedars spot serves up some of the best burgers in the city from behind its humble blue counter. Ordering here is easily done -- a single, double, or triple patty burger topped with cheese and, if you insist, bacon -- and it'll never cost you more than 10 bucks. There isn't any seating here, but the yellow paper wrappers make them easy to carry with you or sit in the passenger seat until you reach your next spot (maybe the nearby Beckley-Saner park?).

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13. LUCK (Local Urban Craft Kitchen) 3011 Gulden Ln Ste 112, Dallas, TX 75212 (Trinity Groves)

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.

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14. Kuby's Sausage House 6601 Snider Plz, Dallas, TX 75205

Kuby's Sausage House is pretty much as authentic as German food in Dallas can get; it traces its Teutonic roots back to Kaiserslautern in 1728, and serves up some of the best brats in the city.

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15. Royal Thai 5500 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX 75206 (Upper Greenville)

This Thai restaurant with super cozy and warm decor dishes up some Thai favorites like tom kha gai soup and yellow curry. They are very popular for lunch so be prepared to look around for a parking spot when you get there.

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16. S&D Oyster Company 2701 McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX 75204 (Uptown)

This BYO Dallas staple has been open for more than 30 years, and you can still hit them up for super-fresh oysters, shrimp, and other delicious sea critters.