Best Sandwich Shop 2017 | C. Señor | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer
Kathy Tran

Less than two years ago, Dallas' most underrated eatery swung open its window. The red banner above the ordering window still read "comederia" in chunky white letters from the former taco stand. A chalkboard hanging in front announced the menu: a Cubano, coffees, sides, a roasted turkey sandwich and a Cuban burger made with a beef and chorizo patty, homemade spiced ketchup, pepper Jack and crispy potato strings on a soft roll. Now, and here's the kicker, every sandwich at C. Señor can be ordered as a taco. What more do we need to say?

Readers' Pick: Jimmy's Food Store

This beautiful monstrosity of a bloody mary found inside a Watauga gas station leaves nothing to be desired. Topped with more than a meal's worth of food (think bacon, a blistered jalapeño, jumbo shrimp, a slider, waffle fries, a piece of fried chicken and all the traditional garnishes), it'll let you leave with a full tank of gas and a full stomach.

Readers' Pick: Anvil Pub

Firestone and Robertson

Leonard Firestone and Troy Robertson launched Firestone & Robertson, maker of TX Whiskey and TX Bourbon, in 2010, long before a distilling boom brought other distilleries to DFW. It started with the original flavor that had delightful vanilla notes and has branched out to offer a bourbon. To answer demand, it'll soon be opening a new distillery.

Readers' Pick: North Texas Distillers

Austin Marc Graf

This Uptown food, drink and nightlife mainstay keeps us interested with seasonal cocktail menus and intriguing new flavors. Luckily, its happy hour — 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday — lets us try some drinks for just $5. Oh, and it offers some of the food from its scratch kitchen for the same low price.

Readers' Pick: Happiest Hour

Kathy Tran

An airy patio has it all: fans, a view, natural light and, of course, a great happy hour menu to enjoy some of its specialties for a bargain. The patio at Top Knot, the playful Modern American-meets-Pan-Asian restaurant above big sister Uchi, isn't large, so if you want to dine al fresco, be ready for a bit of a wait. And since Top Knot offers half-price rosé on Sundays, you know where to find us at least one day a week.

Readers' Pick: Katy Trail Ice House

Melissa Hennings

This impressive cocktail bar has massive windows and bubbly drinks that enliven and light up the whole neighborhood. While the bar uses chemistry-heavy drink prep, most of the necessary equipment — such as centrifuges, roto-vaporizers and lasers — is kept in the back to prevent it from coming off as gimmicky. The bar has an impressive selection of prebottled cocktails, carbonates others right in front of you and serves craveable bites such as ahi poke-stuffed tacos. In 2017, Hide locked down its strip of Elm Street as a worthy drink destination and ushered in a new wave of cocktail openings (such as IdleRye and Shoals) that we're excited to watch.

Brian Reinhart

Never did we think Hungarian goulash would become our favorite Dallas bar food, but here we are. Armoury D.E. in Deep Ellum has great drinks, sure, but we're also huge fans of its homestyle eats. Its goulash — a traditional stew made with meat, potatoes and paprika — is a drinking-food standout, along with its veal schnitzel and traditional palacsintas, crêpes filled with meats, veggies and paprika sauce. Stopping in for a goulash nightcap after a long night of boozing is like stumbling into your grandma's kitchen for some early morning soul food. Armoury leaves the range hood light on for ya.

Eggs, cream, butter and flour. When combined just so, these humble ingredients can be transformed into something magnificent. The Kimbell Museum in Fort Worth knows a thing or two about this transformation. It has been baking quiches for lunchtime buffets for a few decades. While the flavor components change — an herby mélange one day, spinach and roasted garlic the next — the quiche remains the same. With more cream and milk than eggs, the custard bakes up incredibly light and silky, practically melting when it hits your tongue. A cheesy interior layer and a deeply brown, buttery crust make for a quiche that is a work of art in its own right.

Kathy Tran

In Italy, drinking is an all-day affair. People don't do it to get drunk, but to improve their eating experiences. They sip low-ABV apéritifs such as Campari before meals to stimulate their appetites and digestifs such as grappa after meals to aid digestion. Americano, a casual Italian restaurant in the Joule Hotel downtown, highlights the intuitiveness of this kind of ritualistic drinking with its light and bitter cocktail menu, which pairs beautifully with its food menu. Here, you can find Italian classics such as the Americano (Campari, sweet vermouth and club soda) and the Aperol Spritz (Aperol, prosecco and soda), plus a few surprising Texas twists such as the Lone Star Sbagliato (Campari, sweet vermouth and Lone Star lager). At Americano, you might not even bother leaving between meals.

Alison McLean
Chilaquiles rojo

Bacon gelato. Bacon-washed cocktails. Bacon foam on miniature bacon macarons. By making bacon into a marketable idea of a food rather than a simple ingredient, we have perhaps lost sight of just how good a simple BLT can be. But not Nova. This Oak Cliff eatery with a retro-chic vibe makes an old-fashioned, soul-restoring BLT. The components that make this sandwich shine include toast that is sturdy without being tough, a generous slather of ranchy mayo and an entire Okja's worth of applewood-scented, thick-cut bacon that's cooked just right — a little crisp, a little chewy. Spring for a fried egg to push this BLT into full-on sandwich orgasm territory.

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