Food & Drink

  • Best Breakfast

    Breadwinners

    It's not so much that Breadwinners has the kind of coffee that could turn a three-toed sloth into a crazed New York commuter within three sips. It isn't even so much that Breadwinners has the kind of fresh-baked muffins, sweet rolls, cakes and fresh breads that make you almost fall in love with the cellulite and spare Firestones they will… More >>
  • Best Sunday Brunch

    Greenville Bar and Grill

    Brunch is a natural for a venue whose first name denotes a street bar--a natural disaster, that is. But Greenville Bar and Grill, a white-tablecloth retrofit of a once gunked and grimed watering hole that's been hovering around Greenville Avenue since 1933, beats the odds. Greenville's eggs Benedict is like no other. Slathered in a smooth, tangy hollandaise sauce, the… More >>
  • Best Seafood Restaurant

    9 Fish, Asian Fusion Sushi and Robata Bar

    Frisco is a long way to travel for good seafood. But hell, so is the ocean, and it's much harder on pickup trucks than the asphalt and browned prairie grass of the northern most reaches of the metroplex. 9 Fish, so named because the number means good luck in much of Asia, is a fascinating clash of highly disciplined culinary… More >>
  • Best Sushi

    Sushi Kyoto II

    If clones are going to attack, let them do it with weapons of flaccid tuna slices, gooey uni and fluffy tobiko in shades that would make a Day-Glo palette wince. That's what Sushi Kyoto II does. A replica of Sushi Kyoto I in Coppell, the Kyoto clone along this SMU pavement strip bombards you with buxom scraps of fresh raw… More >>
  • Best California Roll

    Sushi on McKinney

    How simple. How healthful. How easy to like, even for those few souls who haven't been initiated into the ways of sushi. The California roll--tuna, avocado, rice and a light coating of roe--is sort of a basic building block of American sushi dining. This is starter sushi, as much American as Japanese. Some would say it's passé, but not us.… More >>
  • Best Sole Food

    Organicity and Nikolini

    It could happen to you, and it probably has: You're shopping, you're trying on, taking off, and you haven't been successful. What's more, you are now in a state of shopping fever. Sweat has formed on your upper lip, your stomach is growling louder than you can and you haven't found anything fresh in which to clothe yourself. Take a… More >>
  • Best Indian Restaurant

    India Palace

    Not many places in Dallas serve goat. Only one that we know of allows you to enjoy your goat (the bovid ruminant kind, not the leering lecher type) with a mango margarita. India Palace is such a place. But India Palace is more than just a herder's handiwork laced with tequila. It's a cornucopia of mysterious Indian flavors such as… More >>
  • Best Fishmonger

    TJ's Seafood Market

    There can be no argument that the fish is fresh at TJ's Seafood Market--it's flown in two to three times a day from exotic ports of call. A regular United Nations of fish, you've got your Dover sole from England, your sea bass from Chile, your tilapia from Ecuador. Swimming closer to home are shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico,… More >>
  • Best Place To Get Real Mozzarella

    The Mozzarella Company

    The Mozzarella Company's whole-milk mozzarella gives the gunk sold in grocery stores a really bad name. The company, located in Deep Ellum, is celebrating 20 years of making cheese. Grocery store shoppers may not generally know that the cheese that's sold in plastic bags with far-off expiration dates would hardly be called mozzarella in Italy. It would probably be called… More >>
  • Best Chinese Restaurant

    Chef Hsu

    Dallas doesn't have a Chinatown. It has a Koreatown. And there's a Cowtown to the left. But no Chinatown, no parades with dragons and firecrackers. Perhaps that's why most Chinese cuisine in Dallas is forgettable: heavy, dry, greasy and sticky--with dumb fortunes. Chef Hsu busts that mold with a fat bronze Buddha (they have a nice collection on the bar).… More >>
  • Best Meat Market

    Kuby's Sausage House

    Without a doubt, Kuby's has always been the best of the wurst--the best bratwurst, knockwurst, even bloodwurst, if you're gutsy enough to try it. But their vast array of meats goes beyond sausage and incorporates some of the choicest cuts of beef found this side of the Rhine. Try the tenderloin, the T-bone, the sirloin strip--all cued up and displayed… More >>
  • Best Hamburger

    Keller's Drive-In

    A Dallas institution, Keller's offers a hamburger dining experience like none other. The drive-in joint, in all its tattered glory, conjures up Happy Days memories with a grown-up twist. On a recent weekday evening, a line of cars formed in the drive-thru, where six-packs of Coors Light were the item du jour. Oh, and its hamburger is pretty good, too.… More >>
  • Best Indian Lunch Buffet

    Madras Pavilion

    The traditional South Indian, all-vegetarian restaurant offers a lunchtime buffet that stretches the width of the restaurant, with both sides of the long, heated serving table offering dishes to sample as you circle it. This industrial utopia offers standard buffet items such as fruit and vegetable salads, and the ethnic dishes are thoughtfully labeled. But, more important, the trays are… More >>
  • Best Vietnamese Restaurant

    Green Papaya

    The spring rolls at Green Papaya are like little pieces of heaven wrapped up in rice paper. Stuffed with vermicelli, lettuce and cilantro, these rolls come with your choice of shrimp, chicken or pork--known as goi cuon tom, goi cuon ga and goi cuon heo, respectively--and they're served with a dish of peanut sauce that makes these appetizers even more… More >>
  • Best Use of Spinach

    Taj Express

    Popeye's straight-from-the-can approach to spinach has nothing on Taj Express' creamed spinach, and neither does any other spinach dish we've tried. Almost always available on the buffet, this spinach creation isn't bitter or oily and is mixed with chunks of soft cheese. We prefer it slathered on Taj's warm nan. Fortunately for those who dare not like the steamed greens,… More >>
  • Best Steak

    Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar - CLOSED

    It isn't one of the swankier steer temples. It isn't showered in the kind of swarthy wood paneling you thought was only used in confessional booths. It's well lit so that you can tell the difference between the creamed spinach boat and the iceberg lettuce wedge without tripping over the fork. It has 105 wines by the glass that can… More >>
  • Best Lunch Deal

    Chef Hsu

    There's a lot of all-you-can-eat lunch buffets out there, the kind that let you dump ladle upon ladle of quick-set cellulite mix onto a plate and then go back for more after you've licked it to a sheen. The pity is that these places don't offer forklift service to your car when you've exhausted the "all" part of the you-can-eat… More >>
  • Best Early-early-morning Cup 'n' Crepes

    Café Brazil

    Café Brazil now has a half-dozen locations, but this location is our favorite spot to stop for a pile of crepes and a bottomless cup of coffee for those nights when you're not quite ready to go home after the bars close. Come 2 a.m., especially on a weekend night, the place is wall-to-wall with people. The band may be… More >>
  • Best Cajun Restaurant

    Chez Willie's Cajun Hideaway

    It's a long drive at highway speeds (35 or so miles south of Dallas). But that pales when you consider how difficult it is to complete a New Orleans jaunt without a head hum and a humiliating struggle with a Tylenol childproof cap. Chez Willie's is in Ennis, home of the "ultimate drag racing facility," otherwise known as Texas Motorplex,… More >>
  • Best Non-chain Sub Shop

    Cero's Heros

    Now in its fourth decade, this sandwich shop's longevity speaks to just how good its product is. Around the noon hour you can usually see a dozen or more people standing around drooling while they wait for their sub to be prepared. There is no indoor dining, but the shop provides school desks and some shade from an awning that… More >>
  • Best Restaurant for Kids

    Tin Star at the Village on the Parkway

    You are probably thinking Balls or Ez's or the Purple Cow--something more kid-driven than kid-friendly. But we are thinking food locales that may cater to kids but actually target the adults of the family, those over the age of, say, 5. The new Tin Star on Belt Line Road meets our criteria down to the last available chip. You've got… More >>
  • Best Late-night Restaurant

    Cuba Libre - CLOSED

    There's nowhere in Dallas to get a better hit of post-debauchery nutrition than Cuba Libre, a Latin rumba of pulsing pecs, flirty lips, slinky dresses and herbs and spices lewdly dispersed over various protein platforms hopped up on mom-approved vitamins and minerals (even prowling club lizards need virility maintenance). The latter is assembled by Nick Badovinus, a crafty chef who… More >>
  • Best Iced Cookies

    Celebrity Cafe and Bakery

    Throughout the year Celebrity Bakery does these great seasonal and holiday iced cookies, always fresh and moist, with delicious decorations for everything from Christmas to Bastille Day. Any holiday at all is a great excuse for biting into one of these little works of art.… More >>
  • Best Greasy Spoon

    Metro Diner - CLOSED

    Metro is an old roadside slinger within spit shot of Dallas' downtown skyline. It's an archaic, rudimentary grub hut, one whose only modern amenity is a jukebox packed with CDs. Griddle sizzle is the constant din; ice machine whirs the constant hum; smoke clouds and grill gusts the incontinent weather. Booth seating is covered in deep red vinyl embedded with… More >>
  • Best Bean Burger

    Legal Grounds

    It's not every day you come across a good burger. Much less a non-meat burger. Even rarer are the chances of it being a good burger if it's made out of beans. But we're here to tell you the best bean burger in the city limits, maybe in the state, is found at Legal Grounds. Served on a toasted, cracked-wheat… More >>
  • Best Margarita (tie)

    Blue Goose, Frankie's Margarita at Monica's Aca y Alla

    There may be better-tasting margaritas in town. There may be more authentic margaritas in town. But with a Blue Goose margarita, you will get 2 full ounces of tequila in your luscious, lime-kissed adult beverage, which means you will more quickly get lit--and that is, quite frankly, the point when drinking margaritas. No one says, "Honey, let's have a light… More >>
  • Best Waitstaff

    Maguire's

    Maguire's owner Mark Maguire laments that his North Dallas New American restaurant is a little too upscale for his tastes; his customers seem to keep pushing the check average up while he wrestles them by dropping prices. Maybe Maguire is a little off in that way. Maybe he doesn't understand that if you train your service staff to sincerely treat… More >>
  • Best Salsa

    Four-Chili Salsa at La Duni Café

    La Duni bills itself as the ultimate "Mestizo experience," a blend of "European traditions with Latin American soul," and nowhere is the blending more mysteriously seductive than in the chip salsa La Duni puts on the table. Made with fresh poblano, chipotle and serrano peppers and mixed dried chilies, all grilled with tomato, onion, garlic, lime and cilantro, the mojo… More >>
  • Best Root Beer Float

    Prince of Hamburgers

    Prince of Hamburgers has a certain low-tech charm rarely found in fast-food restaurants, what with pneumatic tubes at Chick-Fil-A and TollTag drive-throughs at McDonald's. At Prince, you simply roll into a space, turn on your headlights for service and a carhop will kindly assist you. The menu is replete with drive-in staples such as several varieties of burgers, fries and… More >>
  • Best Gyro Sandwich

    Z Café - CLOSED

    Better than a year-round Greek festival, the Z Café's gyro sandwich is amazingly pleasing, and well it should be. Owner Nicholas Zotos (he couldn't be Greek by any chance, could he?) apparently makes sure his gyro sandwich has the kind of texture and flavor that made people start loving this sandwich in the first place. The Greek flat bread is… More >>
  • Best Mexican Restaurant

    Ciudad

    Lots of spaces in Dallas ply the fused stuff, the culinary caulk known as Tex-Mex. A few places ply genuine Mexican food, some even going so far as to represent the varied and distinct cuisines from around that nation. But no one in Dallas creates Mexican cuisine with the dazzle and verve of restaurateur Monica Greene and chef Joanne Bondy… More >>
  • Best Cocktail

    Stoli Doli at The Capital Grille

    Understand something: The best cocktail isn't necessarily the one we drink every night. Then the winner in this category would be "Whatever alcohol is brown, in our cupboard and you can pour over ice." No, this category is reserved for the sort of drink that men and women can consume and say to themselves, "My, this is a refreshing way… More >>
  • Best Coffeehouse (Without the Coffee)

    New Amsterdam Coffeehäus

    Well, they do actually serve coffee here, but unlike the mass confusion of corporate coffeehouses, they've pared it down to five or six delicious choices. But you won't miss the coffee once you notice the fully stocked bar. New Amsterdam manages to maintain the relaxed intimacy of a coffeehouse while providing a good selection of beers and liquors. Unlike the… More >>
  • Best Breakfast Deal

    Waffle Way

    No, it isn't the waffles, though they're damn good. It's this little killer deal known as The Hearty Breakfast. For $5.45, Waffle Way will stuff your plumbing with two eggs, bacon or sausage and all the pancakes you can hold without busting or turning a shade of green that only Andy Warhol could love. They'll give you all the butter… More >>
  • Best Fried Mushrooms

    Snookie's Bar & Grill

    The fried mushrooms at Snookie's are everything they should be: plump, juicy and not too greasy. These lightly battered balls of goodness are also just the right size--not so small that all you can taste is the crust, and not so large that the 'shroom overpowers. They're served with ranch dressing and horseradish sauce and extra-long toothpicks, which aid in… More >>
  • Best Date-on-a-Shoestring

    Taco Loco Express and Deep Friday

    So this may not be what she thought when you told her "dinner and dancing." But with prices like this, you can afford to buy her flowers, too. Dining al fresco, as is the situation at Taco Loco, is always exciting, especially on a bustling Deep Ellum street. Taco Loco offers 17 kinds of tacos, including a few vegetarian choices,… More >>
  • Best New Restaurant

    Mirabelle - CLOSED

    Mirabelle isn't exactly new. It was forged from the leftovers of Francois and Catherine Fotre's La Mirabelle. Though the name is a retread as is largely the interior, the food is not. Gone is La Mirabelle's French fare, and in its place is a New American hybrid (and what New American sortie isn't a mongrel?) cobbled together from an odd… More >>
  • Best Dining Al Fresco

    Celebration

    If only we had a placid lake or high mountain setting to linger over in Dallas, this category might be flooded with possibilities. But most outdoor dining here overlooks a parking lot or busy intersection, and oppressive heat and smog alerts cure even the most incurable romantics among us. One restaurant that is really trying to alter the landscape is… More >>
  • Best Home-style Restaurant

    Babe's

    Like Mom's cooking, Babe's doesn't mess with frills. If it doesn't fix gut plumbing like J-B Weld (Drill it! Grind it! Machine it!), then fry, boil or roast it until it does. In addition to fried chicken that could scare a body-fat scale into weather service, Babe's has sinfully rich pot roast, bitchin' big chicken-fried steak with killer gravy, chewy… More >>
  • Best Middle Eastern Restaurant

    Café Izmir

    Lots of eateries in Dallas capture the cuisine tucked between the near and far of East. But only Café Izmir does it with a dazzling display of poise. The wine list is broad but simple, with a handful of Greek and Lebanese wines included. Dolmas are fresh and supple. Salads are cheek-slap fresh. Tabouli is dazzlingly brisk. Lamb roll is… More >>
  • Best Guacamole

    Casa Rosa

    When the folks at Casa Rosa say their guacamole is fresh, they mean it. This tasty avocado appetizer is made at your table, before your very eyes, and the quality is undeniable. Compared with the typical cooler-wilted guacamole you'll find at many other Mexican restaurants, Casa Rosa's version is superb. The fact that you get to choose your own ingredients… More >>
  • Best Meal with a Marxist

    Goff's Charcoal Hamburgers

    Red Square McDonald's aside, we never expected to eat lunch with Lenin. And if we ever did, we expected it to be, of course, during some strange Bill and Ted-esque time-travel adventure. Yet, right in front of Goff's stands a life-size statue of Lenin, sternly glaring as you bite into a juicy Goffburger and ponder political economics. Or simply wonder… More >>
  • Best Fancy Restaurant

    The Mercury - CLOSED

    It's a little confusing, this heavy metal bandying about by Mico Rodriguez (The M Crowd, Restaurant Life) and company. The Mercury used to be a casual fine dining experience in a strip mall at Preston and Forest. But that shingle got changed to Mercury Grill. The new "The Mercury" (a tribute to Orson Welles' and John Houseman's Mercury Theatre in… More >>
  • Best Chili

    Highland Park Pharmacy

    What is it about a bowl of piping-hot red that enables it to create a culture all its own? Chili cook-offs, chili championships, chili parlors, chili with beans or without. What's the best chili, the hottest, the reddest, the meanest? Texas chauvinism aside, none of these is an easy question, and weighing into the great chili debate about what constitutes… More >>
  • Best Hair of the Dog with Hollandaise

    Bronx Restaurant & Bar

    When you're a tad disheveled from the night before and need a good breakfast, or brunch if you wake up when we do, head to the Bronx. It's safe to say you won't find better service or better food on a Sunday morning. The waitstaff is so on the ball you'd think they'd stayed at home the night before to… More >>
  • Best Soup

    Metropolitan Café

    It's the kind of mouthwatering soup that would make Seinfeld's Soup Nazi (admit it, you watch the reruns) jealous with rage. Only it's prepared by a soft-spoken, gentle mom (Christine Vouras), using family recipes that she once served at one of Dallas' swankiest restaurants, Chateaubriand (1958-1982). Her only problem is selecting two soups a day from among her 21 recipes… More >>
  • Best Lesson on the Middle East

    Ali Baba Café

    Opened in 1990 by two brothers from Syria, Ali Baba has been gathering continuous good reviews for its rice, tabbouleh, hummus, falafel, dolmas and gyros. Meat lovers with $10 to spare can't go wrong with the Mashwi shish, a plate of marinated beef or lamb grilled with onions, mushrooms and tomatoes, all seasoned with saffron and thyme. It comes with… More >>
  • Best Use of Tofu in Fast Food

    Tofu Delight at Lover's Eggroll

    Tofu is a scary thing. It's spongy; it takes on the flavors of the food it's cooked with. It kind of looks like chicken. It requires special storage. Nothing about it seems like "fast" or "food." But, in about the time one would spend in a drive-through at lunch, Lover's Eggroll can serve up tofu delight, a plate of chunked… More >>
  • Best Burrito

    Chipotle Mexican Grill

    The burritos at Chipotle look normal enough. Well, they do if you're used to a burrito the size of your thigh and a little bit heavier. But that's not what's so great about them, though, obviously, getting a complete Mexican dinner wrapped inside a delicious flour tortilla is pretty fantastic. What's great is that every single ingredient--the fluffy rice flecked… More >>
  • Best Chinese Food Mainstay That Never Gets Old

    Royal China

    We'll admit it: We're partial to this place because it's one of the few places--OK, the only place--in town where we feel, well, a little special. Not that we are or anything (even our own mama tells us we're not daily), but Kai-Chi Kao, known to regulars as "George," has a way of making us feel like Dean Martin at… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Restaurant in Any Neighborhood

    Café Expresso

    We've been frequenting this place for a decade, and save for the turnover in waitstaff nothing changes; it's still owned by Dieter Paul, an elegant man running a swellegant Italian bistro, where the wine's as fine as the pastas you can mix and match with the sauces of your choosing (we prefer pesto, and pronto). The pizzas are divine--as thin… More >>
  • Best Crab Legs

    Big Shucks

    We couldn't contain our excitement when Big Shucks, the big brother of Aw Shucks on Lower Greenville Avenue, opened last year. As its name implies, the new location is bigger, offering more outdoor seating for cool nights and indoor seating during the dog days. The one thing that hasn't changed is the crab legs, which are as scrumptious and fresh… More >>
  • Best Wine List

    Steel Restaurant & Lounge

    Steel's Vietnamese/Japanese cuisine is not necessarily the easiest chow to mate with wine. But the 40-plus by-the-glass list (embracing sparkling, white, red and dessert wines) includes an easy reference guide with tasting notes and pairing suggestions to coach you through the dining experience. Tethered to this is a list of more than 65 sakes, also with tasting notes and pairing… More >>
  • Best Pappadam (That's Right, Best Pappadam)

    Buddha's Special at Cosmic Café

    Buddha's Special is possibly the most authentic dish at this Indian-inspired vegetarian restaurant on Oak Lawn Avenue. And it offers a sample of the more traditional dishes with a serving of basmati rice, a dish of curried vegetables (whatever is the day's special, but usually involving spinach or potatoes), pappadam (a lentil wafer), dahl (a lentil soup), a piece of… More >>
  • Best Appetizer

    Spinach and Artichoke Queso at Pappasito's Cantina

    The spinach and artichoke queso at Pappasito's Cantina is the best of two very different worlds. We've had some pretty decent spinach and artichoke dip, and we've had some pretty decent queso. But never, until Pappasito's added this appetizer to its menu, have we had the two served up as one big tasty dish. It's a great combination, and Pappasito's… More >>
  • Best Dish Name

    Square Meal at Dream Café

    This ain't no misnomer. You've got your brown rice; you've got your organic black beans. It's a virtual one-two punch of grains and legumes, providing the protein needed without using meat. Then there's the pile of steamed veggies, fresh and crunchy, satisfying the colorful part of the food pyramid, and a cup of Dream Café's tahini miso sauce, a tangy,… More >>
  • Best Cachapas and Other Things Filled with Cheese and Caramel

    Zaguán World Bakery & Café

    Venezuelan Carlos Branger is an evil, evil man, and we love him for it. Since opening a few months ago, this Latin restaurant-bakery on Oak Lawn Avenue has become our go-to restaurant whenever we crave sweet corn tortillas filled with meat and cheese...and cheese; this is a delicacy called cachapas, incidentally, which we believe is Venezuelan for "happy heart attack… More >>
  • Best Use of Caffeine

    The Mochasippi at CC's Coffee House

    Unlike Starbucks, which seems to have a station on every other block, CC's Coffee House hasn't made much progress in the quest for world domination. But maybe the world hasn't tried the Mochasippi yet. This refreshing beverage is a frothy espresso treat that's perfect when you need a caffeine kick on a hot day. Despite its name, there is no… More >>
  • Best Fresh Beans

    Pat's Pea Patch

    It's just a fact: You cannot buy really fresh lima beans or speckled butter beans in a supermarket. Fresh, they have no shelf life. That's why we buy them here, from Pat Sherlock, a farmer/dealer who trucks fresh-picked beans by the bushel from his fields in Canton and sells them by the pint to grateful city folk. His beans are… More >>
  • Best Fried Chicken

    Bubba's Cooks Country

    Opened in 1981 in a 1927 Texaco station, this fried-chicken sibling to the Babe's Chicken Dinner Houses in Garland and Roanoke is a no-frills art-deco temple to biddy crunch. And it's like no other. The chicken is juicy, firm, well-seasoned (but not too much) and greaseless (damn near, anyway). Each piece of Arkansas chicken is marinated for 24 hours. It… More >>
  • Best Hot Dog

    Angry Dog

    Considering that they named their restaurant for their hot dog, it had better be good, right? Well, it is good. Split in half and served open-face with mustard and piled high with chili, cooked onions and a heap of American cheese, the Angry Dog's Angry Dog is actually something that you'd order at a ballpark if it were served there.… More >>
  • Best Martini

    Terilli's Restaurant and Bar

    Martinis are clearly an acquired taste: You can pretty much expect to pay $6 to $10 just to acquire one of them. Even then, you have to get past their somewhat medicinal flavor, which in a badly made martini is something akin to rubbing alcohol. But if done right, they can be a cheap high because they are so damn… More >>
  • Best Vegetarian Restaurant

    Food for Thought

    Meatless in Dallas is sacrilege; like letting your speedometer needle slip below 70 on the Tollway (55 mph is permissible only when pitching change into a toll basket). So vegetarian restaurants are few. Good ones are downright rare. That's why when seeking out meals void of elements that once had supporting roles in Green Acres, it's best to seek out… More >>
  • Best Onion Rings

    Peggy Sue's BBQ

    Every morning, every day of the week, the onion ring guy in the kitchen at Peggy Sue's BBQ cuts the onions into rings, dips them in a special buttermilk sauce and batters them. Then all day he fries each order individually as it comes in from the waitstaff. The end product is the very best freshest crunchiest onion ring on… More >>
  • Best Greek Restaurant

    Ziziki's Restaurant & Bar

    Though it isn't strictly Greek--it's billed as "Mediterranean" with Greek and Italian influences--there are a number of Greek-bred standouts at Ziziki's. Lamb souvlaki, a tasty slew of juicy skewered meat medallions, is served in handmade pita bread with roasted new potatoes and sweet-onion marinade. Then there's pastichio, a.k.a. Greek lasagna, a pie of chopped lamb baked with tomatoes, onions and… More >>
  • Best Pizza

    Pastazio's

    Yes, we're Yankee enough to know what people are talking about when they utter the words "New York" and "pizza" in the same sentence. Thin crust. Big slices. Pizza expertise going back to the days when Uncle Dom came over on the boat. Dallas finally has someone from the old neighborhood making pizza for us prairie dwellers--brash New Yorkers with… More >>
  • Best Place to Thai One On

    Thai Rose

    This strip-mall eatery off Marsh and Forest is deceptive; from the outside it looks like a vet's office, but inside it's as cozy as a down comforter in January (at least if you're willing to overlook the tiny television in the corner that always seems to be tuned to static). And, yeah, there may be better Thai joints in town--everyone… More >>
  • Best Bloody Mary

    Tramontana - CLOSED

    The bar at Tramontana seems more of an afterthought, consisting of a few worn chairs interrupting a walkway to the back dining area, a modest liquor selection--hell, we're not even certain they have a bartender. Their version of the Bloody Mary, however, makes you exceedingly happy that a certain English queen slaughtered scores of Protestants during her bloodthirsty reign. Where… More >>
  • Best Cup of Coffee

    Bottomless Cup of Melvyn's Darn Good Coffee at Einstein Bros Bagels

    Face it: Anyone can singe a coffee bean until it smells like a car driven to Lufkin with the parking brake engaged. It takes deft to tease real coffee flavor out of those beans. Melvyn's does this by delivering piping-hot clean flavors that soothe as they flood the blood with those good old nerve-shredding caffeine jitters. That's when that "darn… More >>
  • Best Barbecue

    Peggy Sue's BBQ

    Sweet and sour is the theme of the baby backs at this Park Cities establishment, which in 13 years has gathered enough adherents to be considered a barbecue shrine. On its ribs, Peggy Sue's smokes on a nice brown sugar crust, using all those mystical slow-cook methods that make good barbecue so mysterious. At the table, you add the spicy,… More >>
  • Best Samosa

    India Grocers

    We would venture that many Dallasites have never had the joy of a samosa (and no, it's not a Girl Scout cookie). Having only recently discovered them ourselves, we felt it our duty to spread the word, and with Texans' love of fried things, this Indian treat already has one point in its favor. Filled with potatoes and peas, wrapped… More >>
  • Best Thai Restaurant

    Banana Leaf

    Banana Leaf, whose twin mottos are "the leaf that's delicious" and "to-go, or reservation," does all the staples--pad Thai, panang, satay, spring rolls--with skillful aplomb. But it also pinches you with less familiar but well-spiced creations such as waterfall beef (so molten it turns your tear ducts into hydropower channels) and tiger cry (so named because it can turn a… More >>
  • Best Grocery Store Snack

    Salsa at Whole Foods Market

    Most people we see at Whole Foods are buying stuff, so we don't think anyone goes there just to snack on the free samples in the aisles. But around the pineapple-mango salsa bowl, sometimes you wonder. It doesn't stick around long. The unlikely combination of fresh fruit and heat/spice, courtesy of chilies, cilantro and onion, is as refreshing as it… More >>
  • Best Italian Restaurant

    Ferré Ristorante & Bar - CLOSED

    Parked in the West Village, where the tanned and tucked preen and leased BMWs breed like lab bunnies, Patrick Colombo's Ferré is an impeccably dressed Tuscan feedlot--razor-sharp. It's a collection of well-organized shapes and colors (amber mostly) with warming wood struts tempering chilly contemporary gusts such as the back bar, a cubist flourish of blurred glass and metal. Service isn't… More >>
  • Best Non-alcoholic Watering Hole

    Ifs Ands & Butts

    We've said it before and we'll say it again: Ifs Ands & Butts is the best place to wet your whistle without getting a buzz on. This shop sells specialty soda pop that you cannot find at the local grocery store, soda pop you've never heard of and soda pop your granddaddy used to buy you. We're talking about Nehi… More >>
  • Best Dessert

    Paris Vendôme - CLOSED

    There are a lot of bad apple tarts out there: sticky, dry, old and washed-out. It's gotten so it's hard to remember what the thing is supposed to taste (or look, or feel) like. Well, refresh your memories with Paris Vendôme's apple tart (not the only tart there, mind you) galette with caramel ice cream--a simple piece of lively resilience.… More >>
  • Best Ice Cream

    Paciugo Gelato - CLOSED

    Just as the Magnolia (and before it the Angelika Film Center) has exponentially expanded the city's movie-going options, Paciugo Gelato, the "Italian Gelato Renaissance," has broadened the city's snacking horizons. Gelato is another word for ice cream, but Paciugo's gelato is no ordinary ice cream. What makes this ideal after-movie snack so silky is it contains less air and is… More >>
  • Best Bagel

    Bagel Chain

    We were going to give this to Einstein's, but something about handing out this accolade to a chain; readers do that enough anyway (fave burger in years past: Burger King; we kid you not). Besides, we love this venerable establishment, which is the Cheers of local bageltoriums; on any given morning, regulars can be spotted hanging out with owner Herschel… More >>
  • Best Tomato Basil Soup

    Lucky's Café

    Some are flat, some are bilious, some rely mainly on salt for their flavor; Lucky's tomato soup is merely sublime. We've always thought good tomato soup should have nothing to do with low fat--the piquant tomato taste should be gently subdued, but not overpowered, by the smoothness of cream. A real tomato base, evidenced by pureé and pieces, is likewise… More >>
  • Best Takeout

    Eatzi's

    Hate to cook? Don't have time? Then Eatzi's is the place for you. This market and bakery offers chef-prepared meals for people on the go, and the variety is outstanding. Eatzi's offers everything from lasagna and Spanish rice to King Ranch chicken and twice-baked potatoes. Just heat and eat. And if you're too lazy for the heating part, you can… More >>
  • Best Chocolate Chip Cookie

    JD's Chippery

    Crunchy on the outside, chewy in the middle, baked in the store with real butter, real eggs and real vanilla, these are real chocolate chip cookies the way you wish you remembered somebody baking them for you at home. The chocolate is either Guittard or Ghirardelli, and the experience is unforgettable.… More >>

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