Food & Drink

  • BEST NEW RESTAURANT

    Stampede 66

    “I would like to do an in-your-face Texas concept,” Stephan Pyles said when he was interviewed in the Observer about the state of Dallas dining in 2010. “Maybe it’s a little Disneyland-like.” Pyles lamented the lack of “Texas” in local Texas cooking and suggested that Dallas chefs had gotten off track. As he spoke he was sowing the seeds for… More >>
  • BEST BARBECUE

    Meshack's Bar-B-Que

    Barbecue is a humble art, and there's something special about brisket procured from a barbecue shack on the side of the road. Trouble is, most of the ramshackle joints across Texas don't serve very good smoked meats — that is until Travis and Donna Mayes first fired up their brick smoker in 2009. They've been serving up exceptional barbecue in… More >>
  • BEST BARBECUE TURKEY

    Lockhart Smokehouse

    You're finally up to order at Lockhart and despite how much time you spent in line you still haven't figured out what you want to eat. So you ask the guy taking orders because he works here and his epic beard conveys a lot of authority about meat. He tells you that if you're going to try anything today it… More >>
  • BEST BARBECUE DOUBLE ENTENDRE

    The Slow Bone

    Get it? Because you smoke barbecue slowly, and ... OK, you get it. Fortunately, the meat is even better than the innuendo, with brisket that can be falling-apart tender and smoky, great sausages and ribs, and daily specials that can be hit-or-miss but always creative. Also noteworthy for those who aren't solely focused on the meat, the sides — often… More >>
  • BEST HOT DOG

    Luscher's Post Oak Red Hots

    It looks like a hot dog, even though it's too long and too skinny. It smells like a hot dog too. But as soon as your teeth snap through the casing on a Post Oak Red Hot, you're bathed in endorphin rush that's transformative. It's as if all your childhood memories — the dog your old man bought you at… More >>
  • BEST BURGER

    Off-Site Kitchen

    Something weird has been happening to burgers over the past few decades. They've gotten bigger, cheesier and more obnoxious, and for the most part, they aren't any better for it. Leave it to Off-Site Kitchen to counter the trend and return the burger to more restrained proportions. Yet they somehow keep the flavor turned up to 10. The meat clocks… More >>
  • BEST TURKEY BURGER

    The Gobbler at Goodfriend

    Anywhere else the turkey burger is a second-stringer. It's what you choose because you're trying to be healthy, or because you just exercised and you don't want to feel guilty about really, really indulging yourself. So you skip the regular burger and go for the turkey. Not as rich, not as juicy, but at least it's leaner. But Goodfriends' Gobbler… More >>
  • BEST SANDWICH SHOP

    East Hampton Sandwich Co.

    The people behind Subway and Jimmy John's should be strung up. They've reduced the greatest ingredient delivery system to a mere commodity. Lucky for you, East Hampton Sandwich Co. rights all wrongs. They may even take the humble sandwich to places it has never been before. You've likely had many chicken sandwiches, but East Hampton's version with tender roast chicken… More >>
  • BEST SANDWICH

    Hot Italian sausage at Jimmy's Food Store

    This year the sandwich crown goes not to some arugula-strewn, aioli-slathered bistro creation but to an honest-to-God, no-bullshit Italian sandwich. Jimmy's Food Store's hot Italian sausage sandwich will make a New York transplant feel, if only for a moment, like they've come home. It's loaded with Jimmy's ubiquitous Italian sausage, sweet peppers, onions, stringy gobs of mozzarella and a tangy… More >>
  • BEST LOBSTER ROLL

    20 Feet Seafood Joint

    If flavors were sounds, the lemon in Marc Cassell's lobster roll would be the faintest whisper. The subtlety should be noted. In a city that has turned lobster rolls into a fetish, most restaurants create versions with way too much noise. Mayonnaise is often used in excess, or they're weighed down with butter. Sometimes the lobster meat comes in frozen.… More >>
  • BEST HOAGIE

    Carbone's

    It's hard to understand, if you haven't spent sufficient time (it doesn't take much) in Pennsylvania or New Jersey. The hoagie is more than a sandwich; it's a way of life. And once you've learned to love the hoag, its absence will cause a persistent and dull ache for the rest of your life. You'll miss things like shredded lettuce… More >>
  • BEST BREWERY

    Peticolas Brewing Co.

    The exponential growth of Dallas' beer scene has added so many breweries to the city and surrounding area that it is really hard to narrow the contenders down to a single best. Even better, there's not a bad one in the bunch. Perhaps that's because navigating Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and city regulations is such a hassle that only the… More >>
  • BEST PUPUSA

    La Pasadita

    Tiny little Pasadita might be the smallest restaurant in Dallas. Ana Ortiz makes papusas in a postage stamp kitchen in the back of a convenience store on Carroll Street. This might not be exceptional but for the fact that Ortiz's pupusas are the very best in Dallas. For evidence, look at her curtido first. The lightly fermented cabbage slaw has… More >>
  • BEST BAR FOOD

    Ten Bells Tavern

    The term pedestrian is often used to describe humble dishes. Burgers, wings and sandwiches are all pedestrian foods. They are common, familiar and soothing. Too often, though, what is pedestrian often tastes stepped on. The ubiquitous snacks served at countless bars and restaurants are prepared carelessly with frozen ingredients. It was almost unthinkable that a bar would actually hire a… More >>
  • BEST CHICKEN TACO

    El Taco del Rincon de Villa

    You'd given up on them, hadn't you? Chicken tacos are dry, mealy and miserable — the absolute bottom of the taco echelon and suitable only for the drunkest of drunk food. Steady yourself. El Taco del Rincon de Villa is a small taco house on Greenville Avenue, and its chicken tacos will completely revive the genre for you. Tinga de… More >>
  • BEST FRANKENSNACK

    Tacos La Banqueta's Suaqueso

    Suaqueso, like Texarkana, is what happens when you run out of names for things and just start squishing words together. Fortunately, suadero and queso are extremely complementary. Not only do the words have a nice ring when assembled, but the ingredients they describe taste delicious in tandem too. Picture the best quesadilla you've ever had and then throw that thought… More >>
  • BEST CEVICHE

    Joyce and Gigi's

    If you've had enough of ceviche swimming in a saucy concoction with too many embellishments, you should get to Joyce and Gigi's soon. It may be the only place in Dallas where you can get such a hefty portion of Chilean sea bass treated so respectfully. The rich, firm-fleshed fish is perfect for this preparation, and the appetizer is a… More >>
  • BEST COFFEE SHOP

    Ascension Coffee

    They're almost insufferable with their coffee nerdery at Ascension Coffee. They even admit on their website: "We are fanatics!" You'll almost want to smack them till you have a sip of pour-over brew expecting it to taste like your coffee at home. Now you're in trouble. Now you're talking about single-origin beans, water ratios and extraction times. You better figure… More >>
  • BEST MARTINI

    Louie's

    What in God's name happened to the martini? You remember James Bond? It wasn't long ago that your only choice was gin or vodka and whether you wanted it shaken or stirred. If you were in a fancy place you might have had the choice between an olive, an onion or a twist of citrus peel. Now martinis come in… More >>
  • BEST CHICKEN-FRIED STEAK

    Babe's

    If you've been to any other Babe's but the original, you're going to need to start all over. They're all great, sure, but the Roanoke location is exceptional. It's not just the customers waiting out front, drinking beer while they wait on a table (though that's not a bad thing). It's the that this particular location boasts unparalleled specialization. When… More >>
  • BEST SUSHI

    Sushi Sake

    Sushi Sake dwells in the house that uni built. After a solid run in a Richardson strip mall, the popular sushi restaurant moved to a large standalone building that's become a temple to raw fish. You're more than welcome to come and order all the spicy tuna rolls you can fit in your belly, but you'd be doing yourself a… More >>
  • BEST CHEF

    Matt McCAllister, FT33

    What does it take to have a nationally recognized restaurant scene? A collection of restaurants that offers something you can't get elsewhere. Dallas needs more chefs and restaurateurs who are willing to sculpt the local dining scene and take it in a new direction. Chefs like Matt McCallister, who has shown he's willing to take some risks with his restaurant… More >>
  • BEST BEER

    The Temptress, Lakewood Brewing Co.

    Rich, dark, strong, sweet and silky-smooth, imperial milk stout The Temptress embodies the best qualities of stouts and then doubles them. It's a 9.1-percent ABV dessert in a glass that implores you to savor the deep, luscious chocolate and caramel malts, the milkshake-thick body and the slight coffee-like bitterness at the finish. It's a complex beer, yet we see people… More >>
  • BEST CHINESE RESTAURANT

    Royal Sichuan

    There's so much more to Chinese food than orange chicken and beef with broccoli, and Royal Sichuan is the best restaurant in Dallas to get you out of that mold. Try the ma pao tofu if you want to get to know a new flavor that you won't find at many Chinese restaurants. It's packed with Sichuan peppercorns, which have… More >>
  • BEST INDIAN RESTAURANT

    Mughlai

    If you're bored with casual, suburban Indian restaurants, you'd do well to check out Mughlai. Yes, it's still in a strip mall of sorts, but the similarity to other Indian restaurants stops right there. Inside, a spacious modern dining room is filled with diners and energy. Eating here is like a celebration. The more friends you bring, the more of… More >>
  • BEST ITALIAN RESTAURANT

    Urbano

    If you're expecting red-check tablecloths, you should know that Café Urbano's Italian cooking is anything but traditional. This is the un-Italian Italian restaurant, and the dishes are all the better for it. You can get an amazing Bolognese if that's what you're craving, but there are other items on the menu that will challenge your perceptions of what dishes belong… More >>
  • BEST THAI RESTAURANT

    Sakhuu

    Good service is always important in the restaurant business, as customers take home memories of the staff they interact with just as often as they do the food. The relationships you build with a wait staff or a chef are what keep a customer returning to a restaurant again and again. That's why if you step foot in Kyla Phomsavanh's… More >>
  • BEST GREEK RESTAURANT

    Stratos Greek Taverna

    Everything about Stratos lets you know that you're in for something that is over the top. The building that holds the restaurant is massive and wrought iron gates painted in sky bird blue jump out from the white exterior walls. The website for the restaurant fills your office with festive music while you check out the menu, and there's just… More >>
  • BEST MIDDLE EASTERN RESTAURANT

    Afrah

    Afrah may be one of the most well-known Middle Eastern restaurants in the Dallas area — a fact that can likely be attributed to its origin as a sweets shop when it first opened in Richardson. The restaurant that followed, though, is anything but a run-of-the-mill kebab house. The breads are freshly baked on-site and arrive warn and soft, while… More >>
  • BEST PIZZA

    Il Cane Rosso

    Consider Il Cane Rosso a pizza dynasty. Not even Jay Jerrier himself could top his original creation. His newest pizza shop in Oak Cliff does its best to bring a slice of New York to Oak Cliff, but Zoli's still can't top the carefully prepared Neapolitan pies Jerrier built his name on. The pizzas at Cane Rosso are light, soft-crusted… More >>
  • BEST TEX-MEX RESTAURANT

    Manny's Uptown

    Unfortunately for Dallas there aren't a lot of provincial foods that locals can hang their hats on. There's good food, sure, but not much we can call our own. Except brisket tacos, which are said to have been created at Mia's Tex-Mex before taking over the Tex-Mex world. Regardless of origin, they're done nowhere better than Manny's in Uptown, where… More >>
  • BEST BREAKFAST

    Jonathon's

    You wish you had a restaurant like Jonathon's in your neighborhood. Unless, of course, you live in Oak Cliff, and then you're thankful to have a restaurant like Jonathon's in your neighborhood. (The rest of us hate you.) Jonathon and Christine Erdeljac have turned a tiny house on Beckley Avenue into a staple for neighborhood locals, who now see a… More >>
  • BEST FRIED CHICKEN

    Henderson Chicken

    The best way to assure you'll get good fried chicken is to order it from a place that does little else. Henderson on Abrams Road is just this type of takeout chicken joint. The menu may look large, but it really just offers an endless array of chicken parts, assembled in two-piece, three-piece and other-piece combinations. While rookie fry shacks… More >>
  • BEST BEER TO GO

    Craft and Growler

    With the craft beer movement exploding in Dallas, your options are bubbling up like the head on a farmhouse saison. Of course you're having a hard time choosing your beer, which is why you should make haste to Craft and Growler in Fair Park. Husband and wife owners Kevin Afghani and Catherine Kinslow are here to make sure you end… More >>
  • BEST TAQUERíA

    Los Torres Taquería

    Every popular taquería has a most celebrated taco. There's always a filling they pull off with a little more flair than their taco-making counterparts. But when Los Torres Taquería opened and offered several noteworthy taco types, something special happened. Your order will be larger than you're used to here, and there's little you can do about it. How can one… More >>
  • BEST VEGETARIAN OR VEGAN

    Chennai Café

    It's a hike from Dallas, but it's worth the trip to find what is undoubtedly the best vegetarian restaurant in the area. Chennai's dals, vegetable curries and chutneys are delicious, and their South Indian menu promises an almost endless array of vegetarian choices. Don't miss the masala dosa. It's stuffed with potatoes, onions and cashews, yellowed with turmeric and flavored… More >>
  • BEST MAC AND CHEESE

    Pecan Lodge

    Mac and cheese is one of those dishes that is all over the map. There are highbrow versions made with mascarpone and obscure aged cheese, and there are the versions we all grew up on that came out of a cardboard box. There are baked versions that will cause your heart to flutter and there are versions that will cause… More >>
  • BEST FAST FOOD

    Start

    The shame of bad drive-thru starts with the heavy sack. Sometimes it's a plastic bag that's dense in the center like a full diaper. Start is not baby dump. Someone has finally figured out a way to make drive-thru food not shitty. It's this place called Start, and the food isn't all quinoa troughs and garbanzo bean tubs. You can… More >>
  • BEST SEAFOOD RESTAURANT

    Spoon

    There are so many seafood restaurants in Dallas, and a lot of them are very good, but if you were looking for a fine dining experience built on ingredients from the sea, you were out of luck until Spoon Bar and Kitchen opened. John Tesar's Preston Center dining room is sleek and cool, and the plates that grace his tables… More >>
  • BEST STEAKHOUSE

    Dunston's

    Since when did the steakhouse become the domain of freshly polished Bentleys, sky-high heels and ... is that a caviar bar? Not everyone can drop a Benjamin when they want a seared hunk of beef, and sometimes you just want to sit in a dark, old-school meat den without waiting for your date to get a mani-pedi. Enter Dunston's, the… More >>
  • BEST SALAD

    Papaya salad, Mot Hai Ba

    Salads do not have to comprise wilted iceberg lettuce, shredded carrots with the moisture of toothpicks and dressing weighed down with xanthan gum. Yes, some of them can be bright and refreshing. Take the papaya salad popularized in Vietnamese cooking. It's loaded with crunchy fruit, the bright acidity of lime juice and the funky pungency of fish sauce. Mot Hai… More >>
  • BEST MARGARITA

    Mariano's

    If frozen margaritas are your thing, Mariano's is where you want to be. Owner Mariano Martinez invented the drink, after all, so he should know a thing or two about its construction. Behind the bar, four frozen margarita machines spin like race car wheels, hypnotizing you while whipping frozen tequila and sugar into a velvety froth. Served in a pint… More >>
  • BEST BAR SNACK

    Chips and Dip with "Bleu" Cheese Crumbles at Stackhouse Burgers

    Ice-cold beer and a big basket of crisp potato chips scrambled with nuggets of blue cheese, indoors in the A.C. or up on the roof in front of the giant-screen TV: You've never felt this good this close to Baylor Hospital. It all works. Salty chips, savory cheese, washed down with beer. Why don't we have this stuff for breakfast?… More >>
  • BEST ONION RINGS

    Peggy Sue BBQ

    There's really only one thing to know about onion rings. Fresh? Or frozen? At Peggy Sue they slice their own fresh onions, batter them up and deep fry them right there in the kitchen, so they taste like sliced battered deep-fried onions instead of chemically enhanced Mylar. Everything at Peggy Sue is pretty much that way. The onion rings stand… More >>
  • BEST BEER SELECTION

    The Meddlesome Moth

    Captain Keith Schlabs, Meddlesome Moth partner and beer guru, precedes the craft-brew revolution. His Flying Saucer was serving up the best beers available in the area before "craft brew" or even the now antiquated-sounding "microbrew" were terms that merited USA Today trend pieces. Flying Saucer, which has blossomed into a formidable chain of franchises in the South, may have more… More >>
  • BEST BRUNCH

    Bread Winners

    A good brunch is a balancing act that has to take a variety of things into account. There’s more involved than just sweet and savory, though these elements are of the highest importance. A good brunch has to cure a hangover while keeping things a little fruity and wholesome. It also has to appeal to the church crowd while being… More >>
  • BEST RESTAURANT WITHIN 50 FEET OF A JUNK YARD

    Barbacoa Estilo Hidalgo

    It is an unlikely place for an eatery of any sort, but if you were going to pick a restaurant to open up on this little strand at the end of Lake June Road, it would probably be a taco place. Lucky for you, Barbacoa Estilo Hidalgo isn't just any taco restaurant, but a really good one. They likely make… More >>
  • BEST MOM AND POP

    Los Torres Taquería

    The term "mom and pop" is as overused as the word "hipster." It's heaped on every restaurant that's not a Chili's or a Cheesecake Factory. Mom and pop should indicate an actual set of parents is at the heart of the business. It should be reserved for family-owned restaurants, like Los Torres Taquería in Oak Cliff, where Ramiro Torres, wife… More >>
  • BEST CAESAR SALAD

    Oak

    This upscale Design District restaurant isn't new to winning awards or earning "best" nods for its cuisine in these pages or in other publications. Last year, Oak walked away with Best New Restaurant and Best Chef awards from us, and for good reason. We've yet to be let down when dining there. The menu at Oak is constantly changing, especially… More >>
  • BEST LYCHEE MARTINI

    Truluck's

    Chances are that while sifting through the bar menu at Truluck's (which is half off during happy hour) you'll feel like a kid in an alcoholic version of a candy shop. The menu is filled with drinks ranging from savory to sweet, among them the tiramisu martini made with Vincent Van Gogh double espresso vodka and walnut liqueur, the Red… More >>
  • BEST TOM KHA

    Si Lom Thai Asian Fusion

    The restaurant formerly known as Thai Express received an upgrade of sorts when it moved from its strip-shopping-center location on Inwood Road to the new spot on Oak Lawn Avenue (underneath the offices at 3300 Oak Lawn Ave.) and re-branded itself as "Si Lom Thai Asian Fusion" in late 2012. While the menu offers a variety of scrumptious options, from… More >>
  • BEST EGGS BENEDICT

    Sundown at the Granada

    Do yourself a series of favors. First, go to brunch at Sundown. After you've pounded your requisite (and delicious) mimosas and bloody marys, take a look around. You'll see the same dish ferried to most every table: Sundown's insanely delicious, heavenly choir-inspiring eggs Benedict. You will want to order them. Quickly. They'll come with Shiner brisket for the meat eaters,… More >>
  • BEST SALSA

    Bombero salsa, Tacos Y Mas

    Tacos Y Mas gets most things right. Every taco offered there is delicious, naturally, as are the queso, the guacamole and the chips, all of which they turn out from a tiny kitchen wedged between a car wash and a Walgreens. But the bombero salsa is, truly, their crowning achievement. The adobe-brown concoction is house-made, never watery and goddamn hot.… More >>
  • BEST EATING CONTEST

    Brass Knuckles Corndog Beat-Down

    Five years into the tradition, The Libertine Bar's annual July 4 celebration of gluttony, excess and cheap processed meat — all the things that make America great — is getting better and better without changing a thing. The prizes are fairly lucrative by local eating-contest standards, offering gift certificates of $100 and $50 for first and second place and $25… More >>
  • BEST GROCERY STORE

    H Mart

    Few things can make us drive north of the George Bush Turnpike other than a trek to H Mart. This Asian-inspired grocery store opened its first location in Queens in the early 1980s and has since expanded across North America and even opened a location in Carrollton. According to its website, H Mart is short for "Han Ah Reum" or… More >>
  • BEST YES WE CAN

    TX Canning

    Deep Ellum Brewing Co. founder John Reardon was ahead of the craft-beer curve in Dallas, creating the first in a wave of new breweries in the city limits of Big D. With his new venture, he and DEBC event planner Zack Fickey are once again reading the hop leaves to foresee the future of craft beer. Canned beer is becoming… More >>
  • BEST SAMPLER PLATTER

    Ojeda's

    That old problem: Which sounds better, an order of queso, some quesadillas or a plate of nachos? If you can't figure out which Tex-Mex appetizer you'd like to munch on with your first margarita after a chaotic day at the office, Ojeda's has you covered. The botanas platter has every cheese-filled and fried finger food imaginable; a pile of nachos,… More >>
  • BEST TACO SALAD

    Mia's

    We've tried pretty much every variation of taco salad offered from East Dallas to Oak Cliff, and if you want a fresh and affordable take on the traditional "healthy option" while eating at a Tex-Mex joint, then this one wins our vote for a much tastier option without the temptation of that fried outer shell. Rather than a pile of… More >>
  • BEST NACHOS

    Spiral Diner

    Nachos can come loaded with everything from ground beef, veggies, chicken, brisket, lobster, beans and even pulled pork smothered in barbecue sauce, but there's one ingredient that is integral to the delicious appetizer from menu to menu: cheese. So, how can the nachos from vegan restaurant and bakery Spiral Diner be the best in town (FYI for all you carnivores,… More >>
  • BEST BLT

    Maple and Motor

    Jack Perkins' spot is known for its slabs of cow. Seared to a crisp in that old diner style, the meat's crust always has that excellent crunch. It's a damn good burger, one of Dallas' best. Their BLT (that's bacon, lettuce and tomato, of course), however, is Gladiator good. The bacon comes crispy and thick, with that perfect salt balance… More >>
  • BEST HANGOVER CURE

    The Foundry

    The equation is perfect. Take the Foundry's patio, add the wooden stools firmly placed in the gravel, add some hair of the dog and multiply that by a biscuit sandwich the size of Giada De Laurentis' head. On the other side of the equation? A future nap and a dead hangover. Go for the restaurant's namesake sandwiches: The Foundry has… More >>
  • BEST BAR GUILTY PLEASURE

    The fried tacos at The Loon

    Ditch Jack and the Box. Their deep-fried tacos are a cult favorite, but they're trash compared with these crispy gems. Food snobs turn away; these are not real taquería tacos. They come with heavy shredded cheddar, iceberg lettuce and diced lipstick red tomatoes. The cook uses toothpicks to keep the tortillas together when they're fried. Pour some green salsa onto… More >>
  • BEST DATE SPOT FOR DINNER AND DRINKS

    The Cedars Social

    Something about The Cedars Social is perfect. It may have something to do with the fire pits with the polished rocks, the late-night oysters, brioche-bun burgers and succinctly astounding cocktails. No, hang on. That’s not it. No. The Cedars Social is awesome because it has somehow managed to completely own a Secret Agent/007 theme. The menu comes out like a… More >>
  • BEST DATE SPOT FOR JUST DRINKS

    Smyth

    You walk into Smyth, and you're immediately transported. Not to an island in the Caribbean, or Fiji, but to a plane. You're on the second floor of James Bond's private jet. There are only a few seats, but the way Smyth is carpeted and decorated it's a certainty you're in a deleted scene from Dr. No. Here's why it's great:… More >>
  • BEST BLOODY MARY

    Anvil Pub

    There simply isn't enough room here for the philosophical discussion necessary to suss out when, in the process of garnishment, a bloody mary ceases to be a bloody mary. At what point does it become something else entirely? Perhaps the mixologist (chef?) who concocted "Fuck Brunch" can better answer this question. All you need to know is that when you… More >>
  • BEST PIES

    Emporium Pies

    It must have taken some brass balls to open up a shop that sells nothing but pies at the tail end of the Great Recession, so if supporting the gumption of the lovely young ladies behind Emporium Pies isn't enough to get you in the door of their Victorian bungalow on Bishop Avenue, perhaps the "Smooth Operator" will. It has… More >>
  • BEST BEER DINNER

    Pour Man's Beer Dinner at The Common Table

    Beer dinners are becoming a staple of the Dallas dining scene, proving that craft beers can complement fine food just as capably as wine. One of the great things about beer is that it's so much less expensive than wine — you can get 750-ml bottles of some of the world's best beers for less than $20 apiece. But beer… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO EAT LEBANESE CUISINE AND TAKE IN A BELLY DANCE

    Al-Amir

    Lebanese club music throbbed through air tinged with hookah smoke. A comely and curvaceous belly dancer writhed through the restaurant, finger cymbals ringing to the beat of the music. Diners took in this sumptuous visual delicacy as waitstaff brought platter after platter of tender lamb, chicken and steaming rice. They brought bowl after bowl of hummus and olives and creamy… More >>
  • BEST GREASY SPOON

    Norma's Café

    Sometimes, in spite of the advice of doctors, we don't want to eat kale and sustainably caught salmon. Sometimes the only food that can fill our souls (and our arteries, with congestive levels of cholesterol) is served by the greasy spoon. Norma's Café has chicken-fried steak swimming in cream gravy. They've got fried catfish, pot roast, chicken pot pie and… More >>
  • BEST POPSICLE

    Pop Star Handcrafted Popsicles

    On the list of foods destined for artisanal rebirth, ice pops would seem to hover in the vicinity of fish sticks. But John Doumas, with the stand converted from a VW bus, has managed to lift the humble popsicle into the quasi-foodie realm. We say "quasi" because Doumas' take on the frozen treats, which include flavors like cucumber lemon mint,… More >>
  • BEST FLATBREAD

    Bolsa

    It doesn't matter which one you order. Every flatbread at Bolsa is a flavorful and delicious dish that's great for splitting as an appetizer during happy hour or scarfing as a main plate for dinner. The margherita flatbread with amazing smoked tomatoes and fresh basil makes for a safe, favorite starter for any pizza — er, well, flatbread-lover (we all… More >>
  • BEST DUMPLINGS

    Royal China

    The North Dallas Chinese restaurant opened in 1974 and has since won "Best Chinese Food" several times for serving up some of the best food in town. And while most everything on the menu is worth a try, the xiao-long-bao or "soup dumplings" at Royal China especially deserve praise. The handmade morsels come in a handful of varieties. There's the… More >>
  • BEST HANGOVER CURE PREVENTION

    Velvet Taco

    There are two kinds of late night food in Dallas: the kind that you don't need alcohol to eat, and the kind that leaves you contemplating the faulty lock on your workplace bathroom stall come morning. Velvet Taco is very much the former. Get past the lengthy wait time and the "I'm paying how much for a single taco?" attitude,… More >>
  • BEST BEER TOUR

    Lakewood Brewing Co.

    Brewery tours are strange. The name implies a guided exploration through the processes and equipment a brewery uses to produce beer, when in reality the tours provide little more than an excuse to consume it. Not that anyone is complaining. We could probably use a few more excuses. The best “tour” by far can be found at Lakewood Brewing Co.… More >>
  • BEST BEER SHOT

    The Ginger Man

    Really, it’s the only beer shot. Can you think of another in Dallas? But that isn’t the point! Combine two chilly draft favorites, Maredsous 8 and Ace Pear Cider, and you have the crispest, most refreshing beer combo since beer plus your mouth. They tout this mixture as “The Ginger Man Special,” a sweet and sour juncture that takes place… More >>
  • BEST ICE CREAM SANDWICH

    CoolHaus Truck

    To borrow a note from Jeffrey Tambor in Arrested Development, eating an ice cream sandwich should be a love affair. Indulgent, satisfying and sometimes weird. Bizarre even. And in combinations you wouldn't have dreamed of before the options were suddenly placed in front of you. And CoolHaus has more flavors of both cream and cookies than the Kama Sutra has… More >>
  • BEST BAR FOOD SURPRISE

    Cosmo's Bar & Lounge

    Cosmo's is a beautiful mystery. Right next door to one of Dallas' greatest dives (see Lakewood Landing), is a place that can pull off the terms "'80s" and "swank" in the same breath. The drinks are as strong as Terminator here, but are softened by whatever is happening in the kitchen. Their Vietnamese options are surprisingly top-notch. The swift crunch… More >>
  • BEST MAMMOTH SHOTS

    Elbow Room

    Here's the scene: You're saddled up to one of Elbow Room's two ancient pool tables and you're about to knock in that critical black ball when shots arrive at your table, ordered by the girl who thought that was a good idea. Clearly she's never had a shot at Elbow Room. At Elbow Room, shots come in squatty cocktail glasses,… More >>
  • BEST ROOFTOP BAR

    Soda Bar at NYLO

    Sitting high atop NYLO Dallas Southside, the city's coolest new boutique hotel, is a bar that either exists on South Lamar Street or is actually some kind of quantum wormhole that transports patrons to Miami. Let's review the evidence. At Soda Bar, there are lounge chairs surrounding an infinity pool that appears to extend out into an unbroken horizon; a… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL FARMER/RANCHER

    Mike and Connie Hale, Windy Meadows Family Farm

    Mike and Connie Hale raise chickens on their farm in Campbell, but not just any chickens. These chickens are hormone-free, antibiotic-free and pastured. The Hales go so far as to house their organically fed ladies in moveable yurts. Yes, yurts. They even process the chickens on-site, which means if you have a question about a Windy Meadows product, Mike Hale… More >>
  • BEST BARTENDER

    Charlie Papaceno, Windmill Lounge

    Bars are always changing. The stools, fixtures and walls might stay the same for decades, but the customers shift like sand. The Windmill Lounge has served all types, but these days it's a drink-maker's bar. Charlie Papaceno is the bartender's bartender, and though he's not behind the wood every night, he's a fixture here too. Don't be high maintenance and… More >>
  • BEST PIÑA COLADA

    El Matador

    They lied to you. You don't have to be caught in the rain to enjoy a piña colada. You just have to make happy hour at a strip mall that shares parking with the Kroger in Denton. If you're ordering the piña colada at El Matador, you don't have to play the sacrifice game that often comes with icy, sugary… More >>
  • BEST REASON TO GET OUT WHEN YOU'RE SICK

    The Hot Toddy at Black Swan

    One of the hardest things to do when you're sick is to put on pants. When your fever is skyrocketing, every second feels like baby beavers have formed a dam in the part of your body that allows happiness to flow. You just have to make it to Black Swan, where you will discover Gabe Sanchez's hot toddy, aka healing… More >>
  • BEST BAKERY

    Village Baking Co.

    Just listen: If it's between the hours of 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., stop reading this and do what we tell you: Go to Village Baking Co.'s retail shop on University just a half a block east Central Expressway, RIGHT NOW. Buy something. Keep doing this every day so this little shop stays open forever because, swear to God, Dallas,… More >>
  • BEST HAPPY HOUR

    Union Bear - CLOSED

    Three hours a day, seven days a week, you can get a $10 pizza and $3 beer and sit on a patio perfectly situated to watch the Beautiful People of the West Village stroll by. And these are great pies and great suds — you'd expect nothing less from the folks who brought you Eno's Pizza Tavern. Normally $14 or… More >>
  • BEST OUTDOOR PATIO/DECK

    The Foundry

    The Foundry, the bar adjoining the outstanding fried-yardbird restaurant Chicken Scratch, is the first watering hole we think of when we want to do some day drinking on a beautiful weekend or sit under the strings of globe lights in the evening cool. It's expansive, with plenty of seating at picnic tables that can hold large parties. Shipping containers shelter… More >>
  • BEST ICE CREAM

    Paciugo

    Our 2012 winner for best ice cream, Carnival Barker, is just now tottering back into business after a successful Kickstarter campaign that helped them acquire a pasteurization machine required by state regulators. Denied our fave during the prime ice-cream-eating months by the heavy hand of The Man, we fell back this summer on our old standby and previous Best of… More >>
  • BEST RESTAURANT FOR KIDS

    The Lot

    Let us stipulate that those with child and those without will forever diverge on whether kids should be permitted to stray from their coloring-book stations at our finer dining establishments. Let us momentarily table the matter, and instead celebrate a beautiful, sandy, sudsy middle ground called The Lot, known to its East Dallas neighbors as Like Elmo On Demand but… More >>

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