Best Barbecue 2017 | Cattleack BBQ | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer
Brian Reinhart

How is it that the best barbecue in Dallas comes from a place that's only open two days a week for lunch? At Cattleack Barbecue, owners Todd and Misty David wouldn't have it any other way. For just 3 1/2 hours on Thursdays and Fridays, Cattleack serves sublime examples of brisket, pulled pork, housemade sausage and pork ribs. The quality of these basics would be enough to warrant a visit, but each week also features a different special, such as boudin or pastrami burnt ends that are a must-try. Last year, a remodel allowed Cattleack to double the size of the dining room, and it added an extra day of service on the first Saturday of each month. We've sung the praises of Cattleack for years, so when Texas Monthly ranked Cattleack as the third-best barbecue joint in the state earlier this year, we did our best to act surprised. When it comes to barbecue in Dallas, Cattleack is without peer.

Readers' Pick: Pecan Lodge

Scott Reitz

This West Village patisserie is so much more than macarons. From ice cream sandwich pop-ups with fresh-baked cookies to fun hybrid desserts like croissant waffles, Bisous Bisous keeps experimenting in delicious ways. Classic desserts such as chocolate croissants shine, but we particularly love chef-owner Andrea Meyer's quirky collaborations with local chefs such as Brian Luscher, who helped Bisous Bisous create savory "cruffins" (croissant muffins) in flavors like cheeseburger and pizza.

Readers' Pick: Village Baking Co.

Mark Leveno

When Jettison opened late last year in a cozy modern space adjacent to big brother Houndstooth Coffee, we fell in love instantly. Finally, a break from the endless mimosas and Moscow mules that populate every square inch of Dallas. At this West Dallas cocktail den, you'll find a creative menu that plays frequently with sherry and mezcal, two liquors that, in the hands of Jettison's attentive bartenders, make for delightfully complex and intriguing cocktails. The design is modern romance, the glassware is delightfully elegant and you're guaranteed to sip something you haven't had before. Come with an open mind and leave with a new favorite spirit.

Readers' Pick: Black Swan Saloon

Robert Yu

When it comes to Texas coffee shops, few names carry as far as Houndstooth. With the formerly Austin-centric shop's first space on Henderson Avenue (followed by a stunning new modern shop in Sylvan Thirty), owner Sean Henry and his team introduced the city to their clean and sophisticated approach to our morning cups. The coffees served — which include offerings from the brand's sister company, Tweed Coffee Roasters, as well as national favorites such as Roseline from Portland and Durham's Counter Culture Coffee — are as clean and complex as can be, made possible by well-trained baristas with professional respect for their craft in tandem with the most up-to-date technologies the coffee industry has to offer. Houndstooth started in Austin, but with two locations in Dallas, it's now just as invested in this city's coffee culture as any of our stellar native third-wave coffee shops.

Readers' Pick: Ascension Coffee

Beth Rankin

At a time when White Rock Coffee was the only game in town, two of its baristas, Jonathan Meadows and Nathan Shelton, were scheming and dreaming of how to take over the Dallas coffee scene. In 2009, each barely older than 20, the duo took a swing at it and rapidly came to dominate the Dallas specialty coffee market. Cultivar Coffee is the most tenured roaster in town, and eight years after opening, it still has what it takes to be the best around. Cultivar has developed long-standing relationships and familiarity with the coffees it works with and has been able to turn out an outstanding product with unparalleled consistency. It's now able to serve up coffees in cafes in Oak Cliff, Denton and East Dallas.

Readers' Pick: Ascension Coffee

Scott Reitz

This local nonprofit has been expanding around DFW, setting up producer-only markets where you can shop for seasonal produce, snag locally made baked goods and even take a yoga class between purchases. Every Saturday morning, hit up the markets at White Rock, 9150 Garland Road, or Tyler Street, 922 W. Ninth St., or visit the new Thursday night market at Paul Quinn College, 3837 Simpson Stuart Road. The company occasionally hosts special events like vegan pop-up markets.

Readers' Pick: Dallas Farmers Market

Beth Rankin

OK, so maybe you won't be eating dinner here — or maybe you will if you're the fun parent — but it's hard to find a more fun spot to take the kids than Hypnotic Emporium, the old-fashioned East Dallas candy shop, soda fountain and ice cream spot. An offshoot of Hypnotic Donuts next door, this old-timey spot serves stellar ice cream from Denton's Beth Marie. Get the kiddos a hot doughnut ice cream sandwich while you treat yourself to a malt that will make you feel like a kid again, too.

Readers' Pick: Magic Time Machine

Beth Rankin

If it can even remotely be considered a breakfast food, Cindi's serves it. The pancake menu is bigger than some local breakfast joints' entire menus, and the selection of fresh bagels, omelets, latkes and blintzes sweetens the deal. The lox plate is a perennial favorite, but whatever you order, it comes out fast and hits the spot every time.

Readers' Pick: Bread Winners

Beth Rankin

A refreshing departure from the kitschy, sprawling Tex-Mex eateries that feel more like theme parks than restaurants, E Bar is a cozy, low-key spot serving simple but definitely effective Tex-Mex favorites. The margs are solid, the chips and salsa are appropriately addictive, and you can chow down on two enchiladas with beans and rice for less than $9 during lunch.

Readers' Pick: Chuy's

Kathy Tran

Vegetarian and vegan dining are having a serious moment in DFW. With more options than ever, even the staunchest carnivores are going meatless occasionally in the pursuit of fun, plant-based food. At V-Eats, fun is definitely on the menu. From seitan "brisket" to jack fruit chicken-fried "steak," this food is hearty enough to sate even the beefiest Texan and inventive enough to make it one of the city's most interesting restaurants.

Readers' Pick: Cosmic Café

Best Of Dallas®

Best Of