Best Poke 2017 | Pok the Raw Bar | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer
Beth Rankin

In 2017, poke restaurants spread around Dallas at a feverish pace, saturating the market with bowls of marinated raw seafood and crisp vegetables. Breaking through the cacophony, one spot in particular stood out: Pok the Raw Bar, the superfluously trendy West Village eatery that sources local produce and responsibly fished seafood. Its spicy yuzu salmon bowl on cauliflower rice is one of our favorite low-carb lunches, particularly when paired with a coconut-milk latte from the matcha bar.

Hannah Riding

One of the biggest trends in Dallas dining this year was the health-conscious eatery. From paleo fast-casual spots to raw-food grab-and-go cafes, it was easier than ever to eat clean. Even with all the new concepts flooding DFW, HG Sply Co. continued to exceed our expectations with clean eats that still felt indulgent. Whether you're paleo, vegetarian or slogging through your first Whole30, HG can accommodate. Its stunning rooftop patio and thoughtful cocktail menu make eating healthier a celebratory affair.

Beth Rankin

Some people don't take kindly to the fact that Easy Slider doesn't serve french fries with the juicy, happy little sliders at its new Deep Ellum brick-and-mortar, but anyone who's had its tater tots has long ago forgiven it. Order these crunchy, golden tots loaded, and they'll come heaped with bacon, green onion, cheddar and housemade ranch.

Beth Rankin

Every few weeks when their schedules allow, Dude, Sweet Chocolate's Katherine Clapner and Dallas food photographer Manny Rodriguez host a Sunday morning pastry and cortado pop-up at Rodriguez's stunning West Dallas photo studio. Every round gets better and better, with Clapner baking sweet and savory delicacies such as fig turnovers and Texas tomato-ricotta hand pies while Rodriguez serves both hot and cold takes on the Cuban cortado of his youth. Start your day at this pop-up in Rodriguez's sun-drenched studio, and you'll feel like you've hit the foodie lottery.

Beth Rankin

Joel Mendoza, former sous chef at Pujol in Mexico City, brings Mexico City-style tacos to local events and bars like Truck Yard with La Botana Taco Bar, a colorful food truck serving phenomenal tacos. Try Las Costras, gorgeous tacos on flour tortillas with flank steak, pork or chicken resting atop a beautiful bed of grilled cheese.

Readers' Pick: Easy Slider

Beth Rankin

With flavors such as roasted banana pudding, Thai tea and sweet corn-raspberry, Betty Ringer in Sylvan Thirty became our favorite new ice cream slinger this summer. The shop makes its ice cream from scratch in the French custard style — using only cream, egg yolks, sugar and milk — which creates a creamy, rich frozen treat that perfectly complements the fun flavors.

Readers' Pick: Steel City Pops

Kathy Tran

Some of the best cocktail programs in the city aren't found in dark bars — they're in restaurants. On Lower Greenville, Rapscallion is known for its adventurous cocktails just as much as its Southern fare, thanks in large part to beverage director Ravinder Singh. Rapscallion's weekly tiki night became so popular, Singh rebuilt the menu to focus largely on tiki-inspired drinks, putting Rapscallion at the forefront of the tiki movement that finally took hold in Dallas this year.

Readers' Pick: Gabe Sanchez, Black Swan Saloon

Can Turkyilmaz

Small brews a cadre of fun beers, including adventurous flavored sours and saisons, but it's a pilsner that really steals our heart. Small's Black Pepper Pils, available on draft at bars around Texas, is light and drinkable with an intriguing nose and a punch of subtly spicy but refreshing flavors from black pepper, orange peel and coriander. This flagship brew on Small Brewpub's roster is beautifully drinkable year-round.

Readers' Pick: Dallas Blonde, Deep Ellum Brewing Co.

Valerie Elise Thompson

Now five years old, Lakewood Brewing Co. continues to impress. From Lakewood Lager to its Goatman imperial India black lager, we rarely get bored with its year-round offerings, and the special releases only sweeten the deal. Lakewood is known for its seduction series, which takes its popular imperial milk stout the Temptress and gives it fun updates like French Quarter Temptress (vanilla, bourbon barrel-aged coffee beans, chicory) and Mole Temptress, made with vanilla, chiles, cacao and cinnamon. In an ever-crowded North Texas beer landscape, Lakewood has kept our attention.

Readers' Pick: Deep Ellum Brewing Co.

Beth Rankin

This Far North Dallas doughnut shop makes fun, quirky treats like funnel cake doughnuts, Nutella cronuts and a creme brulee doughnut with a perfectly crunchy exterior. There's tons of variety in these beautifully decorated treats, and we love the limited-time specials in flavors such as Ferrrero Rocher and s'mores.

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