Best Of Food & Drink
Best New Restaurant
When you dine out, how often do you receive a bonus side of feel-good? Chad Houser's Café Momentum has been a long time coming, and now that the official restaurant is open, diners don't have to chase pop-up events from neighborhood to neighborhood. Café Momentum employs at-risk, non-violent youths, giving...
This town needed a shake-up. Not only has Dallas' dining scene been overrun with meat and potatoes, but the most notable chefs have often been men. Enter Misti Norris, whose kitchen at Small Brewpub is turning out the most innovative bar food Dallas has ever seen. While folks at watering...
Best Food Truck
For the longest time, the term slider was reserved for thin-pattied mini-burgers you could down in one bite. They were bready and dry and only slightly better than the alternative of having no burgers at all. Then Easy Slider came around and the slider was turned on its head. Forget...
Best Barbecue Restaurant
With so much focus placed on brisket in matters of Texas barbecue, it's easy to forget there are other cuts of meat that benefit from some time in a hot, smoky environment. A perfectly smoked sausage, for instance, is a thing of true beauty, especially when the links are expertly...
Best Place for Breakfast
A morning trip to CBD Provisions is worth it for the oatmeal alone. Each bowl is topped with nuts, drizzled with sorghum and finished with a dollop of crème fraiche. You'll never be able to go back to Quaker again, and all of the morning options here are good enough...
Best Burger Restaurant
The buns for the burgers are baked on-site daily and the meat is ground on-site several times more. If the burger component can be produced on-site, at Hopdoddy it probably is, and still the finished burgers somehow cost less than $7. No wonder there's a line out the door. Add...
Best Chicken-Fried Steak
Babe's Chicken Dinner House
The undisputed heavyweight champion of fried mountains of meat, Babe's has been serving plates of golden brown and delicious things in the Dallas area for decades. If you want a chicken-fried steak that is guaranteed never to disappoint, Babe's is your place if only because they plate up orders by...
Best Chinese Restaurant
You can drop by Mr. Wok without any notice and have a delicious Chinese food experience. Your stomach will be much better served, however, if you remember to call and make a reservation in advance — a move that grants access to more prized items on the menu. Call one...
Best Coffee Shop
Remember when a cup of coffee was just a cup of coffee, and a coffee shop was just a quaint, quirky place to get such a cup? Murray Street keeps things simple in an environment where tattooed, mustachioed coffee geeks obsess over the floral notes in a single-origin, organic, Costa...
Sure, the sign says cafe, but the burgers, gyros, shortstack pancakes and other breakfast plates scream diner all the way. John's has been plating up the classics for more than 40 years now, and the place has loads more character than the 24-hour chain diners that blanket the Dallas area...
Best Hot Dog
Luscher's Red Hots
Do you have trouble getting out of bed on Saturday mornings? If you do, Luscher's Red Hots could be the greatest enhancement the Dallas culinary scene has experienced in ages. Before Luscher's, the only way to get the best hot dog in Dallas was to visit the White Rock Local...
Best Indian Restaurant
Indian restaurants lend themselves to communal dining. Bringing friends with you to places like Mughlai is the only way to sample a little of everything the kitchen has to offer. With a table of six or more, you can share several curries and rice dishes, and breads to soak them...
Best Fried Chicken
Fried chicken doesn't have to be served at a picnic in the park with a side of potato salad and sweet tea. Sometimes fried chicken with a little more character is in order. Sometimes you want crispy fried chicken drizzled with a sweet, spicy glaze and served with pickled daikon...
Best Italian Restaurant
A reservation at Lucia has been a difficult score for more than four years now. One reason? While chef David Uygur presides over Dallas' very best Italian cooking, there's more to Lucia's allure than what is on the plates as they cross the pass. The walls of this Oak Cliff...
Best Kids Restaurant
Nothing says kid-friendly dining more than pizzas and a patio, which Cane Rosso has in spades across multiple locations. Throw in a third "P" for prosecco and you've got the makings of a relaxed family evening that won't break the bank — not to mention there's rumor of buried treasure...
Best Sandwich Restaurant
Stand at the counter at Bolsa Mercado and you'll be filled with a sense of potential. The mercado serves as a commissary of sorts for next-door neighbor Bolsa, and there's house-smoked turkey and house-cured pastrami up for grabs. These are the building blocks of great sandwiches, flanked by some equally...
Best Sushi Restaurant
Dallas had to wait years for Uchi to make its way to Dallas, but now that the Maple Avenue location is open for business, the wait has proved worth it. The Austin-based Japanese restaurant, which has received multiple nods from the James Beard Foundation, offers a new spin on sushi...
Best Seafood Restaurant
20 Feet Seafood Joint
20 Feet has been a great place to get a lobster roll since it opened in 2013, but the recent addition of a covered patio complete with climate control makes this East Dallas seafood shack a great place to pass some time. The restaurant is BYOB, which can save you...
Best Turkish Restaurant
Zeytin Mediterranean Grill
Zeytin is a Turkish restaurant in disguise. It wears the unassuming mask of a generic suburban Mediterranean lunch buffet, with hummus and chicken for all. Come at dinner time, though, and you'll find Zeytin executes thoughtful interpretations of Turkish standards. The borek appetizer, a pastry of feta and parsley, is...
Best Treehouse Bar
OK, OK. So maybe there's only one treehouse bar in Dallas, but it's still the best. At this adult playground with a laid-back atmosphere, you can kick back with a beer, a mighty fine cheesesteak and even buy snacks for the squirrels. From this bird's-eye vantage point, the people-watching is...
When Graham Dodds arrived at Hibiscus, the old-school steakhouse got an infusion of youth and integrity. The local food movement that's guided Dodd's cooking in several kitchens around Dallas upgraded the ingredient sourcing and his creative takes on classic dishes brought a thoughtful update to much of the menu. Come...
Best Sunday Brunch
With plates like duck confit with farm eggs, and a massive burger, Boulevardier is also in the running for brunch most likely to induce an afternoon nap. Even the steak and eggs here features a 14-ounce rib eye, and the plates are always filling. But after a weekend of excess,...
El Come Taco
Every few months something else seems to improve at this East Dallas taqueria, and if the killer paint job, stylish tables and massive projection-screen TV weren't enough, El Come Taco recently earned a license to sell alcohol. Not that there was anything wrong with a fizzy bottle of Topo Chico...
It was a sad day when news broke that Herrera's on Maple Avenue would close. Teary-eyed customers streamed out of the restaurant wondering where they'd go for their beloved sour cream enchiladas. Herrera's had moved plenty of times, but this go around there was no new location on the horizon...
Best Thai Restaurant
Kyla and Angel Phomsavanh might very well be the hardest-working couple in the entire restaurant industry. If their Thai restaurant Sakhuu is open, one or both of them are likely working inside, whether during lunch service, dinner service or the late evening hours when the kitchen needs cleaning. The hard work pays...
Best Vegetarian or Vegan
Afrah Mediterranean Restaurant and Pastries
The best vegetarian meals are based on dishes that are inherently, you know, vegetarian. A mushy, flavorless veggie burger will never stand a chance against a bowl of hummus and some grilled eggplant with freshly baked flatbread. Afrah is a treasure-trove for vegetarian diners, with dishes such as tabbouleh and...
It surely rubs some diners the wrong way that Urban Taco charges for the snack most Tex-Mex restaurants give away with enthusiasm. But as soon as the chips and salsa land on the table, you quickly learn that you get what you pay for. The chips are sturdy, well seasoned...
Joyce and Gigi's
Margaritas made with lime juice and mixes can be had at nearly every restaurant around Dallas. What makes the drink at Joyce and Gigi's special is the same thing that makes every drink at their bar stand out — freshly squeezed juices from fruits you may or may not have...
People who really love bread secretly harbor fantasies that everyone is just like them, that everyone wakes up each morning craving a perfect croissant and wouldn't think of coming home without a freshly baked baguette in tow. Bread people are weird like that, but they're onto something, because drinking wine...
Best Icy Treat Shop
Steel City Pops
You can't deny the line streaming out the door of Steel City Pops. It's long, and it's always present, turning the corner past the patio out front, leading down the sidewalk and sometimes around the block. The pops coming out of this small storefront take paletas to places they've never...
Sitting at the bar at Remedy is like taking a trip through time and space. The old-school soda fountain serves up egg creams and other freshly mixed sodas and desserts that could easily make a whole meal. If you're in the mood for ice cream, check out the sundaes made...
Best Farmers Market
Good Local Market
White Rock Local Market is all grown up these days, with three major markets in the Dallas area on both Saturday and Sunday. What started off as a small, homespun alternative to the massive market downtown has become one of the best collections of local farmers and producers in the...
Nobody in Dallas makes ramen better than the team of cooks at Ten. The subject is not even up for debate. They deliver hot bowls of soup on the fly, filled with perfectly cooked noodles and fresh garnishes that truly elevate your ramen experience. What's better is the whole restaurant...
Best Bloody Mary
The bloody mary is a powerful elixir. One glass of this vodka-toting liquid salad can render a hangover cured and change an entire afternoon. Even a bad bloody mary can be restorative if you're desperate enough, and a good one can be a thing of true beauty. Add a miniature...
Best Beer Selection
One look at the run of taps jutting out from the nickel-covered back-splash, and you'll know that Meddlesome Moth is a serious beer contender. There's even more beer available by the bottle on the menu you'll find at the bar. The local breweries you see at every other craft bar...
Best Local Brewery
Peticolas Brewing Co.
Since opening in late 2011, Peticolas Brewing Co. has been producing some of Dallas' most recognizable beers. Good luck trying to find a local beer nerd who hasn't imbibed a few hundred Velvet Hammers, and Golden Opportunity may be this city's most drinkable beer. Maintaining a style that holds balance...
Best Local Beer
Community Beer Co.'s Mosaic IPA
This robust IPA is hoppy in a big way, but a hefty dose of malt helps keep things light, while a rich amber color and white, fluffy head make for an attractive glass of beer. Community's Mosaic IPA is bitter and brash, but it's also somehow smooth; the drinking experience...
La Huasteca Tacos y Tortas
La Huasteca Tacos y Tortas is a popular spot among locals in its East Dallas neighborhood. The best deal is the torta, a Mexican sandwich. Just $5 delivers a meaty torta on light, fluffy bread, accompanied by a huge pile of french fries. Request a side of orange sauce for...
Knox Street Pub
It's the little things that make a plate. All over Dallas, wings are served up under-fried, timidly sauced and paired with terrible garnishes. It's enough to make you want to stick with the bar nuts. At Knox Street Pub, the wings come out with a satisfying crispness, and they're sauced...
Best Butcher Shop
Rudolph's Market & Sausage Factory
A lot has changed on Elm Street over the past year. The sidewalks are wider, parking your car is a little easier and from landscaping to paint everything has had a serious facelift. Through it all, Rudolph's hasn't changed a bit, which is a very good thing. The butcher shop...
Cookies are so good, most people don't notice much difference between a fresh cookie; one that's a little old, moist and dry; and a commercial cookie with a chemical aftertaste. But cookies baked with care from scratch taste better, and family-owned JD's Chippery carefully bake theirs in small batches at...
Best Salad That's Actually Healthy
Whole Foods' Raw Kale and Avocado Salad
Think of Whole Foods grocery store as a city unto itself, where the salad bar functions as the "downtown." It's where the natives hunt and gather for the quick pick-up of ready-made meals. Get there early, however, for the healthiest option on the to-go table, the popular raw kale and...
Best Brunch Abomination
Easy Slider's Glazed & Confused
In most cases, the idea of doughnut as sandwich roll is overwhelming. It's a gimmick, trotted out by the likes of minor league baseball teams trying to kill you with a full-size Krispy Kreme double cheeseburger. Easy Slider, with a little help from Deep Ellum's Glazed Donut Works, takes advantage...
Best Pimento Cheese Sandwich
Cold Beer Co.
Cold Beer Co.'s pimento cheese bears no resemblance to the neon orange stuff your grandmother used to keep a tub of in the fridge. It's a decadent combination of Gouda, cheddar, mayo and just a hint of jalapeño. Topped with bacon and spread between two pieces of sourdough, it makes...
Best Hangover Cure
The Ol' Number 7 at Norma's
Two biscuits smothered in gravy, three scrambled eggs, hash browns and melted cheddar cheese topped with sausage, bacon, jalapeños and tomatoes. That's Norma's Ol' Number 7. A giant, dense, gooey mess that will take care of the physical ramifications of whatever horrible things you drank last night. It won't help...
Best Eats After 2 a.m.
For all that Dallas' dining scene does well, late-night food service is not a strong point. Beyond the usual pancake joints and freeway greasy spoons, there isn't much to pick from for eats after last call. When Zalat opened this spring, that changed. Five nights a week — Wednesday through...
Best Fort Worth Import
Fort Worth's top contender for the North Texas burger throne proved itself in 2015 as its second outpost took up residence in the Dallas Design District. The Rodeo Goat features a burger named after our mayor — the Irish whiskey cheddar- and candied bacon-topped "Mike Rawlings" — and brought the...
Best Use of Rice Krispies Treats
Carnival Barker's Ice Cream
Aaron Barker's burgeoning Dallas institution, Carnival Barkers, is in a state of flux. The ice cream master lost his lease on his space at the Truck Yard this year, but opened his first stand-alone joint near the Texas Theatre in Oak Cliff. It's a good thing, too, as even the...
Ellen's Southern Kitchen
Weekend brunches at Ellen's are worth the one-hour wait for the perfect scrambled eggs and hash browns, but many would put up with longer queues if all Ellen's served was pancakes. They're less sweet than the flapjacks served at most joints, almost savory, and loaded with tangy buttermilk. A big...
Best French Fries
Poutine at The Blind Butcher
When a restaurant devotes a whole section of its menu to the gooey Canadian delicacy poutine, you know they start with good french fries. The Blind Butcher's executive chef Oliver Sitrin has created intriguing varieties of poutine. A new shrimp poutine just joined the menu, lighter than the duck poutine...
Best Ethiopian Restaurant
Many people aren't aware of Dallas' strong Ethiopian community. About a dozen East African restaurants, many around the intersection of Forest Lane and Greenville Avenue, are delicious proof that it exists. Each restaurant offers a slightly different ambience — some with white tablecloths, flowers on the tables and contemporary art on...
Best Juice Bar
Arrested Development's Buster Bluth would love this place. ("We can have unlimited juice? This party's gonna be off the hook!") Your juice options are pretty close to unlimited at Roots' storefront on Oak Lawn. Cleanses are available if you're the zealous type, but juices such as the Immune Booster, which...
Slow Bone is a case of downtown marries the country. Minutes from downtown on Irving Boulevard, with ample parking, Slow Bone offers classic Texas barbecue in a smartly re-purposed space that's small, clean, bright and arctic air-conditioned. Walk in the door and you're already in a cafeteria-style line, strolling past...
Best Not-on-the-Menu Salsa
The Green Stuff at the Rush
For a while we thought maybe "green stuff" was code for drugs or Cuban cigars, because insiders at the Gold Rush Cafe in East Dallas always drop their voices when they ask for it. George, the proprietor, always looks over his shoulder before he mutters sotto voce whether they have...
Pink, smooth and soft, Love Dip spreads cold on water crackers or rests easily on a chip or crudité. Like an evening cloud wafting across the setting sun, this dip hints hauntingly of things it is not. Of caviar, rosé wine and Provence. In fact it's made in Texas from...
Best Table-Made Remoulade Sauce
S&D Oyster Company
The best thing at Dallas' oldest New Orleans-style oyster house isn't on the menu, but it is on the table if you ask for it. S&D waitpersons are accomplished in the art of table-made remoulade and spicy cocktail sauces, made not simply while you watch but to your order. A...
Best Local Production Bakery
Heartland Bread Co.
The stuff of life, a staple that provides energy, fiber and nutrition. The vehicle for peanut butter. Yet the American industrial grocery complex, with its propensity for refining flour into pulverized sheetrock, has managed to turn most commercially produced bread into tasteless, sugar-filled fluff. The alternative to sweating over a...
Best Alternative to Chuck E. Cheese's
There comes a time in every parent's life when the invitation arrives for a child's birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese's. Kids may love the soggy pizza and animatronic rodent, but it's misery for adults. Amazing Jake's, which occupies an old department store space in Collin Creek Mall, is a...
Best Picnic Plan
Scardello's Monger Picnic Service and Dragon Park
There's a narrow window of time in North Texas when it's not too hot or too cold for a picnic, so if you're going to do it, do it right. This is why we like to leave it to the experts at Scardello. Their "monger picnic service" includes a consultation...
Best Place to Get a Margarita and a Mustache
No, we're not talking about that time you fell asleep at that party in college. Hiding in the corner of the waiting area of Smoke's Plano location is a kooky vending machine that dispenses not only fake mustaches, but also random wildflower seeds and "medals for achievements that have yet...
Best Place to Chase Caffeine with Shaved Ice
You know it for its craft coffee, but Mudsmith has a secret. Tucked away in the back is a booth housing an "Olde New Orleans" shaved ice machine. Order a shaved ice up front at the barista stand and a friendly coffee slinger will escort you there past the hipster...
Best Greek Restaurant
Little Greek Food Truck
The Little Greek Food Truck may not provide tables, chairs or a little old lady who turns every broken plate into a celebration. It doesn't serve any alcohol, either. What this rolling restaurant lacks in amenities, however, it makes up for in portability, making delicious Greek food possible on any...
Best Korean Restaurant
A trip to Seoul Garden is worth it for the kimchi alone. The cabbage is assertively spicy, fresh, vibrant and so crunchy you'll think it's still fresh. But since you drove here, you might as well enjoy the rest of the menu, starting with Korean barbecue that you'll cook yourself...
Best Bone Broth
LA Han Bat
The bone broth trend is taking off in other cities as health nuts praise its rich nutritional value. For the customers who have been patronizing LA Han Bat, though, the murky liquid is just another of many delicious options for lunch or dinner. There are no powders, mixes or shortcuts...
Best Theatrical Drink Presentation
Smoked Ancho Manhattan, Parliament
Parliament is half cocktail bar, half theatrical performance. With a good seat, you can watch the bar's drink experts swirl flames around a glass, shake up a Ramos gin fizz or garnish a cocktail with real deer antlers. But the pièce de résistance is the smoked ancho Manhattan, a spicy...