Since opening in late 2011, Peticolas Brewing Co. has been producing some of Dallas' most recognizable beers. Good luck trying to find a local beer nerd who hasn't imbibed a few hundred Velvet Hammers, and Golden Opportunity may be this city's most drinkable beer. Maintaining a style that holds balance in the highest regard, Peticolas produces beers that sip easily and will sometimes set you on your ass. Fold in a series of special releases with festive tapping events, and Dallas' best maker of beers is obvious.

This robust IPA is hoppy in a big way, but a hefty dose of malt helps keep things light, while a rich amber color and white, fluffy head make for an attractive glass of beer. Community's Mosaic IPA is bitter and brash, but it's also somehow smooth; the drinking experience won't bore you and an ABV of 8.6 percent will keep you on your toes. If you're a fan of American lagers commonly served from a can, Mosaic might be a little much for you, but if you're a true hophead you may have found your perfect beer.

La Huasteca Tacos y Tortas is a popular spot among locals in its East Dallas neighborhood. The best deal is the torta, a Mexican sandwich. Just $5 delivers a meaty torta on light, fluffy bread, accompanied by a huge pile of french fries. Request a side of orange sauce for a sweet and spicy chipotle flavor to dip the fries in. The tortas come out slightly different each time, depending on who is making them. Sometimes they're flavored with more mayonnaise, other times they're heavy with black bean spread or avocado. But the meat remains consistent. There's always a lot of it, enough to make half of a torta a sorta filling dinner.

Knox Street Pub

It's the little things that make a plate. All over Dallas, wings are served up under-fried, timidly sauced and paired with terrible garnishes. It's enough to make you want to stick with the bar nuts. At Knox Street Pub, the wings come out with a satisfying crispness, and they're sauced with pure Frank's Red Hot, straight out of the bottle for a fiery punch. Even the garnishes are solid, with chunky blue cheese, celery that's crisp and vibrant and whole baby carrots with a satisfying crunch. There's enough veg on this plate that you could trick yourself into believing it's healthy. Don't.

Rudolph's Meat Market

A lot has changed on Elm Street over the past year. The sidewalks are wider, parking your car is a little easier and from landscaping to paint everything has had a serious facelift. Through it all, Rudolph's hasn't changed a bit, which is a very good thing. The butcher shop has been selling paper-wrapped steaks, sausages and other cuts of meat for more than a century, and anyone who has shopped here hopes things stay just as they are for as long as they can. A trip to Rudolph's is a trip back in time — a time when the guy behind the counter could tell you how to roast the top round you just purchased, and your meat was raised sensibly.

JD's Chippery
Alex Scott

Cookies are so good, most people don't notice much difference between a fresh cookie; one that's a little old, moist and dry; and a commercial cookie with a chemical aftertaste. But cookies baked with care from scratch taste better, and family-owned JD's Chippery carefully bake theirs in small batches at their quaint shop in Snider Plaza. They excel in the classic chocolate chip, a little crunchy on the outside and soft and melty on the inside.

Think of Whole Foods grocery store as a city unto itself, where the salad bar functions as the "downtown." It's where the natives hunt and gather for the quick pick-up of ready-made meals. Get there early, however, for the healthiest option on the to-go table, the popular raw kale and avocado (with purple onion) salad. It contains no meat, no salad dressing —nothing cooked. How do you make a salad without dressing taste good? By smothering the chopped kale and crisp onion with creamy, squished-up fresh avocado. It's pitched to people on the stringent "raw food" diet, but for anyone's menu, it's a light, refreshing, healthy bowl o' green.

In most cases, the idea of doughnut as sandwich roll is overwhelming. It's a gimmick, trotted out by the likes of minor league baseball teams trying to kill you with a full-size Krispy Kreme double cheeseburger. Easy Slider, with a little help from Deep Ellum's Glazed Donut Works, takes advantage of its staple's diminutive size to make a sweet, savory concoction of beef, cheese, bacon, pickled jalapeños and doughnut that falls deliciously short of being a gut bomb. It's available from 1 to 4 p.m. the first Sunday of the month, when the Easy Slider truck can be found at the Doublewide in Deep Ellum.

Cold Beer Co.'s pimento cheese bears no resemblance to the neon orange stuff your grandmother used to keep a tub of in the fridge. It's a decadent combination of Gouda, cheddar, mayo and just a hint of jalapeño. Topped with bacon and spread between two pieces of sourdough, it makes a sandwich you'll tell your grandkids about.

Norma's Cafe

Two biscuits smothered in gravy, three scrambled eggs, hash browns and melted cheddar cheese topped with sausage, bacon, jalapeños and tomatoes. That's Norma's Ol' Number 7. A giant, dense, gooey mess that will take care of the physical ramifications of whatever horrible things you drank last night. It won't help with your paleo diet, but it sure does help heal a hangover.

Best Of Dallas®

Best Of