Food & Drink

  • Best Macaroons

    Rush Patisserie

    Crisp pastel meringue filled with vanilla, pistachio lavender or raspberry paste, these are macaroons from heaven above. Nothing wrong with traditional macaroons, but the macaroon can be so much more than a wad of coconut. Every country has its own variation. Be glad you're not a Scot (think in terms of leftover mashed potatoes). Now, Oak Cliff has its own… More >>
  • Best Martini

    Inwood Lounge at the Inwood Theatre

    James Thurber once said "One martini is all right. Two are too many, and three are not enough." And we couldn't agree with him more. This year's top pick for best martini goes to Inwood Lounge, part of the art deco Inwood Theatre off West Lovers Lane. Why? Well, it just happens to be a full-service martini bar. Wait. That's… More >>
  • Best Hamburger

    Angry Dog

    Dallas has no shortage of great burgers, and we've eaten most of them—The Stodg at The Porch, Twisted Root, Wingfield's...we could go on and on. But for sheer consistency, the half-pound Angry Dog Burger gets the nod every time. It's always there for you. No bullshit lunch-only hours, no Sunday and Monday only availability (we're looking at you, The Grape),… More >>
  • Best Sunday Morning Coming Down

    Barbec's

    You get the feeling that many of the regulars at Barbec's have been coming there since Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson first played "Sunday Morning Coming Down" together 30 some-odd years ago. It's a testament to the East Dallas mainstay's good old-fashioned, no-frills country-style breakfast. No frills, that is, until you take the first bite of Barbec's famous beer biscuits.… More >>
  • Best Assassination Coffee

    6th Museum Floor Café and Store

    The Sixth Floor Museum has expanded into the 501 Elm Building across N. Houston Street from the museum, with administrative offices upstairs and a really cool new café and store on the ground level. The café, with food from La Duni and excellent coffee, looks out on the site of the city's great shame, the event that labeled us "The… More >>
  • Best Place to Dig On Swine

    Artisanal Style Pork Ham at Smoke

    Get it with brunch—a pile of these dry ham flakes on the side—and you'll wonder why you bothered ordering anything else. The ham has a way of taking over. Smoked out back with a blend of mesquite, pecan, cedar and oak, or in the hundred-year-old smokehouse indoors, a taste of chef Tim Byres' ham is like discovering a whole new… More >>
  • Best Desserts

    Crème De La Cookie

    When our sweet tooth takes over and we're craving something more than an ordinary, run-of-the-mill dessert, the first place we think of is Crème De La Cookie. The Snider Plaza treat boutique bakes up irresistible cookies, cake balls, cupcakes, bars and brownies, as well as signature offerings like the whoopie pies with marshmallow butter cream (a gourmet take on a… More >>
  • Best Bar Food

    The Lakewood Landing

    Sure, we can appreciate an aesthetically pleasing cheese board with locally sourced artisan meats and gherkins, a platter of Thai-inspired steamed mussels and other fancy-pants gastropub fare. Still, when we think of bar food, we're thinking cheap, crispy and brown. And with its beer-battered onion rings, jalapeño-topped cheese fries and tasty burger, it's clear that the cooks at the Landing… More >>
  • Best Sushi

    Zen Sushi

    Chef Michelle Carpenter doesn't just have casual fans; she has devotees. The half-Japanese/half-Cajun sushi expert is known for her elaborate Omakase dinners, which grant her the freedom to serve whatever she feels like making (get ready to be wowed by such items as popcorn-sized fried octopus, smoked apple and bacon yakitori and a miso-marinated black cod that's worship-worthy). Her sushi-making… More >>
  • Best Caterer

    Pappasito's Cantina

    Let's say you have the sudden need to throw a party for 50 at your home and most of the guests are from the East Coast where the chance of them experiencing genuine Tex-Mex is not only unlikely, it's unheard of. You are short on time, and your spouse is no damn help, so you call Pappasito's Cantina and book… More >>
  • READERS' PICK BEST HOME-STYLE RESTAURANT

    Mama's Daughters' Diner

    Mama's Daughters' Diner… More >>
  • READERS' PICK BEST CHINESE RESTAURANT

    P.F. Chang's China Bistro

    P.F. Chang's China Bistro… More >>
  • READERS' PICK BEST PIZZA

    Picasso's Pizza & Grill

    Picasso's Pizza & Grill… More >>
  • READERS' PICK BEST MARTINI

    Inwood Lounge

    Inwood Lounge… More >>
  • READERS' PICK BEST CUP OF COFFEE

    Starbucks Coffee Company

    Starbucks Coffee Company… More >>
  • Best Fried Seafood Basket

    Aw Shucks

    This Gulf-style seafood shack is about as basic as they come—especially in this neighborhood—with a counter-service interior that's so cramped that the patio's picnic tables can look attractive on even the hottest of days. The menu isn't much more complicated than the design, offering only a few items (seafood cocktails, gumbo and, of course, raw oysters) that don't get a… More >>
  • Best Wine List

    Pappas Bros. Steakhouse

    There is no doubt that Pappas Bros. Steakhouse leads the market in dedication to wine. With four staff members (one master, one advanced and two certified sommeliers) dedicated to its wine program, the Houston based steakhouse considers wine a priority for its customers. Pappas Bros. also has a weekly continued education program in wine for its staff members. Pappas stocks… More >>
  • Best Barbecue

    Mike Anderson's BBQ

    Sure, it's possible: You could drive an hour and a half to a small town or distant suburb and find better barbecue. But if you're gonna drive that far you might as well keep on truckin' to Lockhart. For those seeking a barbecue lunch without needing a whole tank of gas, Mike Anderson's will be there waiting, serving up the… More >>
  • Best Breakfast

    Gold Rush Cafe

    Breakfast is not a leisurely meal. Breakfast is not a social hour. Breakfast—says it right there in the name—is when you wake your arse up and put something in that rumbling tumbly of yours so that you can get your day rolling. If you want to spend four hours languishing over eggs that got cold three hours and 57 minutes… More >>
  • Best Indian Restaurant

    Pasand Indian Cuisine - CLOSED

    For Pasand, you'll have to trek to Campbell and Coit. There are closer Indian lunch buffets and full-service dinner offerings, but if you have the time it's worth the drive. When it comes to samosas (both vegetarian and lamb) and dosa (fermented rice and lentil crepe) stuffed with savory veggies, there's just no better. The service? The service is simply… More >>
  • Best Combination Plate

    Victor Tango's

    If you're in the mood for something out of the ordinary, Victor Tango's aims to please with a menu that includes roasted bone marrow (sounds disgusting but is quite good). Not feeling daring? Then we suggest the chicken and waffles, paired together as one delicious dish at Victor Tango's. The history of the unlikely pairing is murky at best, with… More >>
  • Best Cajun Restaurant

    The Alligator Cafe

    The Alligator Café doesn't serve hurricanes, New Orleans' most popular cocktail. The chef-owned Cajun restaurant only serves beer and wine, but that's a Big Easy indiscretion easily overlooked because the food is always so damn good. Chef Ivan Pugh has crafted a spot-on menu of Cajun and Creole staples with a few unfamiliar surprises. We like to start with an… More >>
  • Best Pizza

    Oak Cliff Pizza & Pasta

    There's a time and place for fancy gourmet thin-crusts or pricey wood-fired pies with goat cheese and pine nuts. But when you just want a simple, New York-style big, floppy, chewy slice with house-made sauce and fresh high-quality toppings, Oak Cliff Pizza is the place to go. Be sure to get sausage, as the place offers nice thick slices of… More >>
  • Best Suburban Eatery

    Artin's Grill

    Tracking down a memorable place to eat outside the friendly confines of Dallas proper can be tricky, but we've finally found a place worthy of a short trip at The Shops at Legacy in Plano. The hickory smoke-filled Artin's Grill is the perfect place for a business lunch or dinner with that special someone, with a dining area that features… More >>
  • Best Seasoning Shack

    Penzeys Spices

    Browsing Penzeys Spices' selection of more than 250 different herbs, spices, seasonings, sprinkles and blends from around the world is enough to make one's head spin. Especially while trying to choose between numerous different peppercorns, chili powders or cinnamon (they stock more than a half-dozen different varieties of each), but, luckily, as you sniff your way around the store, the… More >>
  • READERS' PICK BEST DESSERT

    Tiff's Treats

    Tiff's Treats… More >>
  • READERS' PICK BEST NEW RESTAURANT

    Mextopia - CLOSED

    Mextopia… More >>
  • READERS' PICK BEST STEAK

    Bob's Steak and Chop House

    Bob's Steak and Chop House… More >>
  • READERS' PICK BEST WAIT STAFF

    Enchilada's

    Enchilada's… More >>
  • READERS' PICK BEST LUNCH DEAL

    Quesa-D-Ya's

    Quesa-D-Ya's… More >>
  • Best Place to Take a Date

    Bolsa

    We could have given Bolsa tons of awards. Best flatbread. Best mussels. Best bartender. Best bartender with muscles. You get the picture. But it's really all those other bests that make it simply the best place to take a date because when you're on a date, you want the best of everything, right? After absorbing the ultra-cool ambiance created by… More >>
  • Best Thing That Sounds Disgusting But Is Actually Quite Tasty

    Victor Tango's Roasted Bone Marrow

    If you're in the mood for something out of the ordinary, Victor Tango's aims to please with a menu that includes surprisingly scrumptious roasted bone marrow. It tastes like the fat from a juicy rib-eye steak, which might not sound very appealing either, but trust us on this one, if there ever was a time to pull the trigger on… More >>
  • Best Mexican Restaurant

    Avila's

    When Avila's closed for several months following a nasty family spat that resulted in a dramatic court case and a new splinter restaurant across town (Ricardo Avila's Mextopia), we at the Dallas Observer openly wept. Whether it was the Number One Enchilada Special—seriously, these are the best cheese enchiladas in town—the Anna Maria Plate (one soft cheese taco, one cheese… More >>
  • Best Brunch

    Hattie's

    Hattie's is one of Oak Cliff's best restaurants, with a clean, inviting interior and a menu full of delicious, upscale Southern comfort food. But it's their occasional brunch special, the chicken and waffles, that keeps us coming back. The giant buttermilk fried chicken breast dozing on the plate-sized Belgian waffle will bring tears to any true Southerner's eye, and the… More >>
  • Best Burrito

    Freebirds World Burrito

    Before you Chipotle Mexican Grill lovers claim that Freebirds stole the concept of made-to-order burritos from Chipotle, we'll kindly point out that Freebirds was born in 1987 in California—six years before the first Chipotle opened in Colorado. Not only was Freebirds first with the idea, they do it best by offering better ingredients and more of them. Start out with… More >>
  • Best Soup

    Turtle Soup at Perry's Steakhouse & Grille

    After successful endeavors in Houston and Austin, Perry's (not to be confused with The Place at Perry's) finally found its way to Dallas in April, adding yet another upscale steakhouse to a crowded market, not to mention another restaurant named Perry's. While we've found plenty of reasons to dine at Perry's regularly, no menu item has us coming back as… More >>
  • Best Cup of Coffee

    Danny's Motor Oil at Coffee Co.

    When it comes to getting a major jolt from a single cup of straight, black coffee, there's really nothing around town that gives you a bigger caffeine bang for a buck than a 12-ounce Styrofoam cup of "Danny's Motor Oil." And the only place to get a cuppa the stuff is at Coffee Company Incorporated, a Lakewood-area coffee roaster and… More >>
  • Best Use Of A Blowtorch

    Blowtorch Salmon at Nova

    This gastropub in Oak Cliff in the former Kavala location just opened its doors, and chef Kelly Hightower made a big impression on us on the first night of business. The blowtorch salmon with yuzu miso glaze on the "Small Plates" menu was a standout item. Fresh fish was coated with the sweet and savory Japanese sauce and torched to… More >>
  • Best Salsa

    Gun Barrel Hot Sauce

    The folks at Gun Barrel Hot Sauce appear quite proud of their roots 60 miles southeast of Dallas, which would be Gun Barrel City, of course, where the company began in 1989. But we're most proud of Gun Barrel's move to Dallas, where it makes the best hot sauce you'll find in a city with no shortage of options. While… More >>
  • Best Place To Request A Craft Beer Or MD 20/20 Variety

    Corner Stop

    With its sign boasting "ATM Lotto Money Order Cigars" and rack of spank mags near the front door, it looks like just another crummy, run-down convenience store where you're more likely to find Steel Reserve malt liquor and thinly veiled drug paraphernalia than a decent beer. But check out the back cooler and you'll be surprised by the selection of… More >>
  • READERS' PICK BEST ITALIAN RESTAURANT

    Nonna

    Nonna… More >>
  • READERS' PICK BEST BARBECUE

    Dickey's Barbecue Pit

    Dickey's Barbecue Pit… More >>
  • READERS' PICK BEST SUSHI

    The Blue Fish

    The Blue Fish… More >>
  • READERS' PICK BEST TAKE OUT

    Quesa-D-Ya's

    Quesa-D-Ya's… More >>
  • READERS' PICK BEST FANCY RESTAURANT

    Morton's The Steakhouse

    Morton's The Steakhouse… More >>
  • Best Dinner Masquerading As Lunch

    Friday Pork Chops at Perry's Steakhouse & Grille

    Go to any farm within 100 miles of Dallas on any Friday before lunch and you will witness high anxiety stirring within the pig population. That's when Perry's begins serving its massive pork chop special, where men, mostly, even those who attempt to follow the dietary laws of their religion, can't resist the hot off the grill, cured, roasted and… More >>
  • Best Bagels

    Einstein Bros. Bagels

    Year after year we have been reluctant to give best bagel props to Einstein Bros. Bagels (though we did in 2004), not so much because they didn't bake up a good bagel, but rather because they did. See, we figured good wasn't good enough—not when we were seeking the best...of. Like lox spread on a sesame bagel, we wanted to… More >>
  • Best Margarita

    Gloria's

    Choosing a margarita isn't as easy as you'd think. If we're gonna pull the trigger, rest assured it won't be for some overpriced Slurpee with a shot of tequila. Gloria's not only has the best-priced margaritas in the city at only three bucks, but at 11 ounces, they don't skimp you on size. They also pour in enough Manik tequila… More >>
  • Best Use of a Shroom

    Portabella Trance at Cosmic Café

    Cosmic Café has been providing a peaceful and inviting atmosphere for diners who are looking for a vegetarian meal option for more than 20 years now. They also offer complimentary yoga upstairs on various days of the week and Zen poetry readings every Monday night, among other classes and events. But let's concentrate on one specific thing, shall we? If… More >>
  • Best Oyster Preparation

    Central 214 (inside Hotel Palomar)

    With chicken-fried oysters and spicy fried lobster on the menu, it might appear as though chef Blythe Beck turned Central 214 into the State Fair, but her innovative creations have instead transformed it into one of the city's finer restaurants. Even for someone who isn't much of an oyster fan, it's worth the 14 bucks for the appetizer to try… More >>
  • Best Late-Night Snack

    Corny Dogs

    Take this honor with a small grain of salt, Lakewood Landing. See, we've never been sober when we've had the corny dogs that you serve late at night. But, when drunk? Holy crap, those things are the greatest dogs we've ever eaten. They're just so amazing—and warm, too—and, honest, we've started to no longer mind that you close your kitchen… More >>
  • Best Late-Night Restaurant

    Pizza Lounge

    Pizza Lounge opened its doors late last year at the corner of Exposition Park Boulevard and Parry Avenue (across the street from the DART Rail Green Line's Fair Park Station), and the pizzeria and lounge quickly made a name for itself in the Expo Park area thanks to its made-from-scratch gourmet pizza pies, with names like the Sofa King and… More >>
  • Best Appetizer

    Oyster Nachos at Fish City Grill - CLOSED

    Scene: Fish City Grill Time: Any "R" month Dad: "Son, it was a brave man who ate the first oyster." Son, giving it right back: "It was a brave man who ate the first anything." Dad, smiling: "True." Waitress: "Here's your Oyster Nachos. Enjoy." Dad digs in to an ample appetizer plate; Son, not so much. Each fried oyster is adorned with pico de gallo perched… More >>
  • Best Middle Eastern/Greek Food

    Fadi's Grill

    The food here is served "push-along" style, with diners shoving trays in front of glassed-in troughs filled with Greek and Middle Eastern goodies. On the veggie counter are traditional dolmas, kibbie rolls, falafel, tabouli, baba ghanooge (that's how they spell it), Egyptian okra and fresh salads piled with tomatoes and onions, Mediterranean-style. The cranberry-mushroom salad and the couscous are light… More >>
  • Best Way To Keep Track Of Oak Cliff Restaurant Happenings

    Go Oak Cliff

    Go Oak Cliff is a nonprofit neighborhood news and advocacy operation with a mission to "develop North Oak Cliff as the most livable community in the nation." Judging by the website's news coverage, it seems that the single most important factor in livability is restaurants. There's some truth to that in Oak Cliff for sure, as dining destinations such as… More >>
  • READERS' PICK BEST VIETNAMESE RESTAURANT

    Mai's Vietnamese Restaurant

    Mai's Vietnamese Restaurant… More >>
  • READERS' PICK BEST FRIED CHICKEN

    Babe's Chicken Dinner House

    Babe's Chicken Dinner House… More >>
  • READERS' PICK BEST SALSA

    Quesa-D-Ya's

    Quesa-D-Ya's… More >>
  • READERS' PICK BEST RESTAURANT FOR KIDS

    Purple Cow - CLOSED

    Purple Cow… More >>
  • READERS' PICK BEST GREASY SPOON

    Metro Diner - CLOSED

    Metro Diner… More >>
  • Best New Restaurant

    The Green Room

    Shiny, new and surrounded by buzz: Dallas restaurants love being all three, and with a sprawling metroplex in which to spread out, classy strip mall dining isn't even an oxymoron these days. But we promise we're not just being contrarian when we give this year's best new restaurant award to an old one—The Green Room. Throughout the '90s and early… More >>
  • Best Thai Restaurant

    Naga Thai

    You remember Victory Park don't you? (Crickets chirp.) In Dallas? Downtown? Going to remake the city? Remember? (More crickets chirp.) C'mon, it's that place you walk through to get to a Mavs game (a sudden burst of "oohhh"). OK, so things haven't quite worked out for the shiny—and frequently empty—development. But now there's a reason to go down there that… More >>
  • Best Cheese Stretch

    Fried Port Salute Cheese at the Porch

    Most places that serve fried cheese offer the same tired, chain restaurant examples of the dish straight out of the freezer, but the Porch elevates this, the trashiest of apps, into something fantastic and, dare we say it, highbrow. They start with a creamy and mild Port Salute cheese, doing the French monks that first produced it proud with an… More >>
  • Best Mac and Cheese

    Tillman's Roadhouse

    Although there are several notable dining spots in the Bishop Arts District, Tillman's Roadhouse—an Oak Cliff staple since it opened as Tillman's Corner in 1992—is one that's sure to lasso you in. The décor and menu are about as Texan as it gets, which is nice for those of us who, well, love Texas. You see, Tillman's knows Texans can… More >>
  • Best Hummus

    Cafe Izmir

    You won't find many bottles of Listerine in the bathroom of a restaurant, but after a taste of the hummus at Cafe Izmir, you know exactly why it's there: The hummus is packed with so much garlicky goodness that only a true aficionado can appreciate it. But rest assured that if the garlic is too much for you, "date night"… More >>
  • Best Cupcakes

    Society Bakery

    This is no boutique cupcake—it's not your wedding cake, there's no handmade paper wrapper and it won't even cost you six bucks. These cupcakes look great, but they look natural—a little uneven around the frosting, one lip of the cupcake spilling over a little more than the other. The frosting may stick to the wax paper in the box. This… More >>
  • Best Steak

    Pappas Bros. Steakhouse

    Dallas is known for its houses of steak, great big palaces of mahogany, marble and tucked leather inviting beefeaters to engage in the overtly masculine ritual of flesh searing, tearing and eating. Despite the economy, many seem to thrive—you can tell as much from the hordes of businessmen who cluster around white tablecloths, platinum cards at the ready, as they… More >>
  • Best Chicken-Fried Steak

    AllGood Café

    In August, the AllGood Café celebrated 10 years of bringing its Deep Ellum regulars the Austin dining treatment, which, as the menus proudly proclaim, thankfully comes "without having to go through Waco!" But while we sure do enjoy the Austin vibe, the collection of concert posters that cover the walls and the adorable mass of origami birds that hang from… More >>
  • Best French Fries

    Burger House

    This category could so easily go the frou-frou fry way, whether they be the thin crunchy matchsticks at Urbano or Toulouse, the salt & vinegar fries at Oceanaire or the chips served with malt vinegar at just about any bar with the word "tavern" in its name. But it's the good ole reliable "Jack fries" at the original Burger House—the… More >>
  • Best Convenience Store Eats

    Big E's Food & Beverage - CLOSED

    Since opening in April, Big E's Food & Beverage has transformed itself from your average beer, toothpaste and snacks shop into a great place to grab lunch with its addition of a deli. This should ensure that the old building at the corner of Gaston Avenue and Oak Street doesn't sit vacant as it had for months following the short-lived… More >>
  • READERS' PICK BEST THAI RESTAURANT

    Royal Thai

    Royal Thai… More >>
  • READERS' PICK BEST HAMBURGER

    Twisted Root

    Twisted Root… More >>
  • READERS' PICK BEST LATE-NIGHT RESTAURANT

    Café Brazil

    Café Brazil… More >>
  • READERS' PICK BEST SEAFOOD RESTAURANT (TIE)

    Pappadeaux's and The Oceanaire Seafood Room

    Pappadeaux's and The Oceanaire Seafood Room… More >>
  • READERS' PICK BEST MEN'S CLUB

    The Lodge

    The Lodge… More >>
  • Best Wait Staff

    Al Biernat's

    The real test of a restaurant's wait staff isn't how it handles a noisy group of birthday partiers or a pompous wine connoisseur: It's Restaurant Week. Discount-driven diners and massive guest counts make Restaurant Week a nightmare for even the most disciplined restaurants, and wait staffs usually make sure customers know it. Not so at the always-elegant Al Biernat's, the… More >>
  • Best Fried Chicken

    Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen

    Yeah, that's right. We said Popeyes. You wants to makes something of it, swabby? Look, we know Babe's and Bubba's are good and all, but the fact is that when we want something hot, greasy and spicy (to eat, not pay-per-view), Popeyes is our chicken choice, and not because we're trashy. Or rather, we may be trashy, but Popeyes is… More >>
  • Best Suburban Pizza

    Pizza Villa

    We're certain this pick will elicit a fair amount of folks telling us that we didn't have to travel to a suburb to find top-notch pizza, and those people are right. There's plenty of it right here in Big D. But when we want the best pizza around, we know it can be found in the old shopping center just… More >>
  • Best All-Occasion Tamales

    Luna's Tortillas

    No need to wait for New Year's or spend valuable afternoons waiting outside supermarkets for the lady with the cooler. There are perfectly wonderful tamales waiting for you at the easily located Luna's Tortillas. In each of Luna's soft, hand-twisted husks, the filling is ample, the masa tender and well seasoned. Pork tamales are available every day while supplies last,… More >>
  • Best Vegetarian Restaurant

    Kalachandji's Palace and Restaurant

    When you tire of listening to your teenage cousin who's just discovered factory farming yammer on and on at Christmas dinner about how meat is murder (when you know he'll be best buds with Oscar Meyer again come baseball season), recharge at Kalachandji's, the East Dallas Hare Krishna palace with the best vegetarian buffet in town. Kalachandji's isn't about self-righteous… More >>
  • Best Cuppa Yo'

    Yumilicious

    By now we know this new-wave frozen yogurt is healthier for you than ice cream—low-calorie, non-fat, good for your complexion. We've heard all that before, but this new-wave yogurt explosion continues to leave a lasting mark on the face of Dallas. Beyond the novelty of the fro-yo trend, though, there's room to appreciate the yogurt ritual's finer points: a firm… More >>
  • Best Sandwich

    Meatball Sub

    Northeasterners, as a general rule, like to complain that there's no good pizza—and no good Italian food as a whole—to be found south or west of Pennsylvania. But while Greenville Avenue Pizza Company's pizza capably shuts the haters up, offering them delectable pies with crispy crusts and a wide array of fresh toppings, the restaurant's real treat comes with its… More >>
  • Best Cheese Board

    The Libertine Bar

    As skilled as the cooks are at this pub, sometimes it's nice to just order a big, shareable platter of cheese that you can leave at the table and eat at your leisure. It's easy to customize and choices change weekly as new artisan meats and cheeses are available. The servers are knowledgeable about suggesting something to go with whatever… More >>
  • Best Seafood Restaurant

    Oceanaire Seafood Room

    Where to begin? There is so much to love at Oceanaire, the debonair seafood restaurant that makes you feel you are eating on a 1930s luxury ocean liner in the Mediterranean at the behest of Conrad Hilton—OK, maybe his great-granddaughter Paris. Take the crab cakes, for example—no heavily breaded microscopic crab meat these, but chunks so large you can almost… More >>
  • Best Bloody Mary

    Smoke

    Barbecue joints aren't frequently known for their cocktail prowess, but pseudo-posh meat-house Smoke isn't exactly your typical barbecue joint, anyway. Yeah, they serve cold draft beer and potato salad, but alongside their unrivaled brunch offerings, the Oak Cliff hilltop restaurant serves the finest Bloody Mary in Dallas, possibly in the entire land. Thick and tomatoey, Smoke's homemade Bloody Mary mixer… More >>
  • READERS' PICK BEST MIDDLE EASTERN RESTAURANT

    Ali Baba Cafe

    Ali Baba Cafe… More >>
  • READERS' PICK BEST SOUP

    La Madeleine

    La Madeleine… More >>
  • READERS' PICK BEST CAJUN RESTAURANT

    The Alligator Cafe

    The Alligator Cafe… More >>
  • READERS' PICK BEST INDIAN RESTAURANT

    India Palace

    India Palace… More >>
  • Best Home-Style Restaurant

    Norma's Cafe

    When you consider "home-style" food, it can be blue-plate or family-style, but something about it has to place you back in Mom's/Granny's kitchen (not the other rooms where there were creepy paintings and random chores to be done), strategizing how best to eat another roll, another spoonful of starchy side and still have room for pie. Norma's has been around… More >>
  • Best Use of Cheese

    Grilled Cheese at AllGood Café

    Sure, people usually go to this Deep Ellum spot to chow down on the chicken-fried steak and jam out to some local music, but what about the grilled cheese? The magical concoction of cheddar and pepperjack cheeses, green chiles, roma tomatoes and chipotle mayonnaise served on sourdough bread should really receive some recognition. This ain't your momma's grilled cheese served… More >>
  • Best Tacos al Pastor

    Taqueria La Paisanita

    It's really hard to single out one Dallas taqueria as the best, 'cause they all have their strengths (and weaknesses). For example, Fuel City's picadillo tacos are still some of the best in town, but their other varieties, not so much. When it comes to La Paisanita's tacos, we can't speak for anything except the al pastor, because that's all… More >>
  • Best Refresher

    The Domino Fizz, Neighborhood Services Tavern

    Neighborhood Services Tavern has a good thing going with New York import and general manager Jason Kosmas. He knows cocktails—from muddling to infusions, from classics to innovative recipes. In a restaurant where the food is notoriously top-notch, drinks should be just as good. Seems like common sense, but it's not often accomplished as deftly as by Kosmas' hand. The Domino… More >>
  • Best Vietnamese Restaurant

    Mai's Vietnamese Restaurant

    Let's be absolutely clear on this point: Do not touch the sizzling clay pot of curry at Mai's. Yes, it is as hot as it looks. Here's a clue: Your food is still bubbling 10 minutes after it landed on your table. Rice stuck to the bottom of the pot melds into a blackened cake with a satisfying crunch. It's… More >>
  • Best Breakfast Burrito

    La Victoria

    Named for Vicky Zamora, who runs the two-woman operation with the help of her cousin Lupana, La Victoria just celebrated its fifth anniversary. A popular spot for Baylor folks on break, the little restaurant is only open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Expect a crowd on a Saturday morning, but the wait is worth it for… More >>
  • Best Yogurt Shop That Time Forgot

    TCBY

    Surely you've noticed that there has been a veritable explosion of boutique yogurt shops in this city. They have landed here from New York and California and points in between and go by names such as Pinkberry, Yogilicious, Orange Cup, I Heart Yogurt and Red Mango. They are self-serve or counter serve, offering exotic flavors and fresh fruit and decadent… More >>
  • Best Meatballs

    Neighborhood Services

    It's rare that a meatball not of the Italian or Swedish persuasion would rise to the level of a "best" anything, particularly a meatball not swimming in sauce, be it spicy or sweet. But Neighborhood Services defies convention and meatball mentality and brings you its BBQ Spiced Nimon Ranch Brisket Meatballs with crumbled Point Reyes blue cheese. The presentation is… More >>
  • Best Doughnut Shop

    Hypnotic Donuts

    If you haven't heard of Hypnotic Donuts, we don't blame you. There's no sign at the storefront it shares with The Pizza Guy in far North Dallas, and it operates from only 7 to 10 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Heck, even when you find it and it's open, Hypnotic can be frustrating, as it only accepts cash, and owner James… More >>
  • Cutest Couple

    Cutest Couple La Duni’s Taco and Duni Borga love their work and work at their love. By Hanna Raskin • PHOTO BY MARK GRAHAM Espartaco and Duni Borga know they’re not at their cutest when they’re working. But when the pair travels and leaves behind all the stresses that come with running four (soon to be five) locations of their uber-popular Latin… More >>
  • READERS' PICK BEST VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT

    Cosmic Cafe

    Cosmic Cafe… More >>
  • READERS' PICK BEST FRENCH FRIES

    Snuffer's

    Snuffer's… More >>
  • READERS' PICK BEST GREEK RESTAURANT

    Ziziki's Restaurant

    Ziziki's Restaurant… More >>
  • READERS' PICK BEST BREAKFAST

    Bread Winners

    Bread Winners… More >>
  • Best Fancy Restaurant

    Charlie Palmer at the Joule - CLOSED

    When thinking of a business lunch or a special-occasion restaurant, Charlie Palmer at the Joule, located in a downtown luxury hotel, rises far above the rest. Charlie Palmer offers courses throughout the day, including a hearty breakfast or brunch, and offers a prixe fix lunch option with several choices on a special three-course menu. But the true gem of Charlie… More >>
  • Best Takeout

    Kevin at Sol's Taco Lounge - CLOSED

    If you haven't noticed, Dallas Observer's food blog, City of Ate, has a whole feature dedicated to food delivery service called How 'Bout Them Knockers. So we know Dallas food delivery drivers well. Usually when we order takeout, it's because we want to pretend we're suffering from agoraphobia, but when Kevin from Sol's Taco Lounge delivers our food, we have… More >>
  • Best Tacos Picadillos

    Fuel City

    What with the cute poolside girls, cold Mexican sodas, beer and excellent taquería, it's easy to forget that Fuel City is also a gas station. Most of the tacos are very good, but the standout is the picadillo. Made with beef and tiny cubes of potato and seasoned to salty, greasy perfection, it's heaven on a tortilla. Make that heaven… More >>
  • Best Lunch Deal

    Good 2 Go Taco

    We all know high school kids and grandparents who check Facebook obsessively for FarmVille updates. Why do we do it daily at about 10:30 a.m.? Because we're desperate to see the posted menu photo and find out what Good 2 Go Taco is serving for lunch. The gourmet taco counter, nestled inside The Green Spot and featured on Food Network's… More >>
  • Best Pancakes

    Legal Grounds

    Like the bowling alley in the old NBC series Ed, this Lakewood institution started as a front operation for attorney David Musselwhite's law shop. He and his practice skedaddled years ago, but the coffee shop remains. If you can make it past the trays of muffin tops, it's home to some of the best pancakes in town—sweet and buttery, an… More >>
  • Best Coffeehouse

    The Pearl Cup

    The Pearl Cup Espresso Bar opened its doors on Valentine's Day 2009, and thanks to the coffeehouse's prime Henderson Avenue location, warm décor and popular specialty coffee drinks like the rich and delicious secret-recipe Pearl Latte, the coffeehouse very quickly made its way deep into the caffeine-addicted hearts of a diverse cross-section of Dallas. With plenty of seating inside and… More >>
  • Best Chinese Restaurant

    First Chinese B-B-Q

    Established in 1982, a mainstay of the northern corridor Chinese commercial district, First Chinese B-B-Q is the place to go for traditional Chinese cuisine. Don't miss the flat noodles that arrive at the table with enormous slices of tender beef or the wonderful wonton. But the real reason to visit the First Chinese BBQ is the meat, the meat, the… More >>
  • Best Italian Restaurant

    Urbano Café

    Though the neighborhood is still marginal—bars on windows—the restaurant is anything but. This nine-table, reservation-necessary, hot-house-in-summer Italian restaurant offers little in the traditional Little Italy sense. Rather, you can get intricately sauced and locally seasoned gourmet dishes such as the signature spaghetti Bolognese and delicate appetizers such as prosciutto-wrapped fig bruschetta with Texas honeycomb. Lunch is still a deal—the tasty… More >>
  • Best Interactive Dining Experience

    Tei Tei Robata Bar

    Normally, a big part of why we're out to eat in the first place is that we want someone else to do the work, but Tei Tei's beef on the rock is a do-it-yourself experience that can't be beat. Tei Tei provides six strips of Washu beef—a crossbreed of Black Angus and native Japanese Wagyu—and a ginger soy marinade. You're… More >>
  • READERS' PICK BEST APPETIZER

    Snuffer's

    Snuffer's… More >>
  • READERS' PICK BEST BAGEL

    Einstein Bros. Bagels

    Einstein Bros. Bagels… More >>
  • READERS' PICK BEST ICE CREAM

    Paciugo - CLOSED

    Paciugo… More >>
  • READERS' PICK BEST MARGARITA (TIE)

    Gloria's and Mi Cocina

    Gloria's and Mi Cocina… More >>
  • READERS' PICK BEST SUNDAY BRUNCH

    Blue Mesa Grill

    Blue Mesa Grill… More >>

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