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Best Of Dallas® 2013

No, no, no: Our 2013 Best of Dallas® issue is not an endorsement of the "plushie" or "furry" lifestyle, even if we do fully support our fellow man's right to pursue happiness in the stuffed-animal costume of his choosing. Instead, it's about our ongoing quest to put down our "phones," table our tablets and get wild.

Because we're all just animals under the skin (or faux fur). We forage. We graze. We hunt and we gather. Sometimes, if things work out well, we even mate. In a chipmunk suit? Why, sure, if that's your thing.

Think of this year's Best of Dallas® as a wilderness guide to all the best spots to bag a meal, decorate your nest, find kindred animal spirits, dress up your plumage and kick back at a cool watering hole ... well, we say watering. More like fluid holes, really. But great ones.

We had a lot of help putting this guide together. Thousands of readers chipped in over the past few weeks to help winnow down the lists of great restaurants, bars, shopping and art venues that flourish in Big D's concrete jungle, so if you take our picks or theirs, you're (almost) certain to avoid any pitfalls. So get out there and explore, Dallas. And if, while you're at it, you happen to run across a 6-foot-2, 185-pound chipmunk, tell him his friend at the Observer says to call.

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