Best Lox That Isn't On a Bagel 2016 | Cindi's New York Deli and Bakery | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer

Houston Street's Cindi's, one in a DFW-spanning chain, is an unsung hero downtown. Located across from Union Station and an easy walking distance from the George Allen Courthouse, the deli does everything it should well. The bagels are some of the best you'll find in a city bereft of options and the deli sandwiches ring true to their East Coast roots. Above all, Cindi's smoked fish stands out, from the whitefish to the sable to, of course, the lox. While Cindi's lox and bagel platter is great, its version of lox and eggs is what really makes the deli worth a trip. Velvety scrambled eggs combine with plenty of rich lox and just enough onion for a Dallas breakfast that's delicious and different.

Courtesy Kumar's

Indian cuisine varies greatly across regions, with many American restaurants featuring either northern Indian dishes or colonial interpretations. It is a rare treat, therefore, to dine on southern Indian food, with its emphasis on dry or soupy curries. Kumar's offers its dishes à la carte during weekdays, letting diners pick and choose from rasam to sambar to curry and dosai. But the real treat comes on the weekends, when diners come for vaazha ilai virundu, or unlimited meals. Served by hand (not buffet-style) on a banana leaf-lined metal try, the non-vegetarian option comes with fish, goat and chicken curries, rice, vathal, pickle and veg, as well as dessert and a glass of spiced buttermilk. Skip the silverware and dig in.

Readers' Pick:

India Palace Restaurant & Bar

A Dallas mainstay for 10 years, Yutaka remains consistently excellent in the ever-growing sushi scene. While other sushi restaurants may rely on crazy rolls or elaborate presentation to distinguish themselves, chef Yutaka Yamoto keeps things simple, choosing to stand out with top-notch, fresh fish and carefully selected seasonal specials like Japanese sardine and baby snapper. Wait with the crowd on Friday or Saturday, or come for a quiet dinner on a Monday night.

Readers' Pick:

Deep Sushi

The gourmet toast movement hit Dallas hard this year, but one spot keeps things simple while simultaneously making some of the best (and most affordable) toasts in town: Local Press + Brew. The healthy Oak Cliff coffee shop and juice bar uses fresh, hearty bread from local bakery Wheat & Sour topped with quality ingredients like Full Quiver Farms cream cheese, locally produced apple butter, cultured grass-fed butter and Himalayan salt. Don't skip their avocado toast — it's made simply with organic avocado, olive oil, red chili flakes and salt on whole wheat bread, but it's the best Dallas take on this trending toast.

Readers' Pick:

Babe's Chicken Dinner House

Rachel Cleaver

Frank Sinatra once crooned of New York: "If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere." When it comes to the culinary world, making it means coming to New York to cook dinner for the James Beard House, an honor bestowed on Hutchins BBQ this year. The praise heaped on the McKinney joint (there's a second location in Frisco) is well deserved; traditional barbecue meats such as brisket, rib and sausage are standout examples of the craft, while the chicken and turkey drip with moist smoky flavor. There's not a weak link among the sides, and regulars know to save room for free peach cobbler. Recognition from the Beard Foundation for Hutchins' barbecue prowess is a high honor, but only confirms something we've known here in Dallas for some time.

Readers' Pick:

Pecan Lodge

The kind of crowd who loves cold-pressed juices are thirsty for all manner of health-conscious beverages, and Roots on Tap knows that. This new juice spot opened this year in Expo Park but offers more than just cold-pressed juices and smoothies. Roots on Tap makes their own nut milks, like cashew, almond and a blend called Almondretto (almond, coconut water, turmeric, vanilla bean and dates) and "spa waters" like the Aloe-ha Colada (aloe, pineapples, oranges) and tea/coffee smoothies. But all the healthy ingredients in the world won't interest folks unless it tastes good, and Roots on Tap has definitely hit the flavor mark. If only clean-eating always tasted this good.

In a city that gets as hot as Dallas, chilled caffeine options become incredibly important. Cold-brew isn't hard to find anymore — it's in just about every coffee shop in Dallas — but one local roaster consistently drips out some of the best cold-brew we've ever had: Noble Coyote Coffee Roasters. Beautifully smooth with hints of chocolate, warm vanilla and toasted marshmallows, Noble Coyote's cold-brew is made with small batch, ethically sourced, fresh-roasted single origin coffee that's been cold-brewed for 16 hours. It's bottled in adorable 16-oz. bottles that are easy to find around Dallas at spots like Whole Foods, Cox Farms Market and on nitro tap at bars like LUCK, Eight Bells Alehouse and Braindead Brewing.

Davis Street Espresso is the coffee purist's coffee shop. Davis Street does coffee their own way: The shop has no Wi-Fi and doesn't use disposable to-go cups, making this the kind of shop where local business owners and families gather to savor coffee and commune with each other. If you don't speak the language of third-wave coffee, Davis Street hosts classes in everything from cupping to cold-brew to help you increase your coffee confidence. Try the cold-brew, served in recycled Topo Chico bottles, or do as the locals do and savor a classic cup of exceptional coffee.

Readers' Pick:

Ascension Coffee

Kathy Tran

It may seem curious that a boundary-stretching Asian fusion restaurant serving Korean food is one of Dallas' best kid-friendly restaurants, but bbbop Seoul Kitchen R&D in Oak Cliff has become a family-friendly mainstay in Oak Cliff. The eatery regularly hosts fundraisers for local school organizations, has a great patio with games like bocce and has become a Thursday night hangout for families with its "Off-Key Karaoke Night," which fills the restaurant with parents and youngsters every Thursday from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Readers' Pick:

Magic Time Machine

In 2016, farm-to-table means little, if anything. It's become a dubious marketing term for most restaurants that tout it, but one McKinney restaurant takes its sourcing seriously: Patina Green Home and Market. Chef Robert Lyford's kitchen is a revolving door of local farmers whose product dictates much of Patina Green's menu. A farmer pops by with 40 pounds of summer tomatoes? Lyford will whip up something with 'em on the fly. Lyford also teaches summer cooking and pickling classes using local produce and is a frequent fixture at McKinney's farmers market. Hand-crafted, minimally produced items in Patina Green's market are meticulously sourced from Texas producers like Windy Meadows Family Farm and Confituras, an Austin jam maker, making this eatery an ideal spot to grab lunch and stock up your pantry.

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