Best Kids Meal That's Also Free 2018 | Cafe Brazil | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer

Parenting is a constant balancing act. And the scales don't seem to tip in our favor often enough. Never is this more evident than at dinnertime. Between ongoing negotiations over how many bites of green beans to eat before the kids can leave the table and what exactly constitutes a bite, giving up and outsourcing dinner is an option we can all get behind. Enter Cafe Brazil. The Dallas mainstay is primarily known for its flavor-rich, quasi-Brazilian menu options and a coffee selection that never disappoints. But battle-weary parents and children are likely to find common ground with Cafe Brazil's free dinner for kids under 12 with the purchase of an adult entrée, Sunday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. You'll be in and out just in time for bedtime negotiations to begin.

Africa is an expansive, breathtakingly beautiful and diverse continent, and it has a wealth of natural resources to boot. Distilling the majesty of the land where the human race got its start down to "Best African Food" seems a little blasphemous, even when it comes to food — OK, especially when it comes to food. Nonetheless, Dallas isn't exactly teeming with dining options from the Motherland. That's why we consider ourselves blessed to have a taste of East Africa in Addis Ababa Ethiopian Restaurant. Wat, injera, lamb, lentils and greens are only a few of the traditional Ethiopian dishes that are served daily, and until very late on most days. And of course, some of the best coffee in the world is found in Ethiopia — and lucky for us, at Addis Ababa in Richardson too.

If you are somebody who just can't give in to the inclination to become a gluten-free, trailer-dwelling vegan who happens to be allergic to pistachios, cedar dust, and aluminum, the Brazilian-style churrascaria (that's Portuguese for "meat haven") Texas de Brazil exists to satisfy your every craving. Just sit down, and servers in baggy pants carrying massive slabs of various meats will flock to your table, asking you questions like "picanha medium well?" and "three or four sausages?" Eat until you're full, and also take advantage of their diverse salad bar — the best of the area churrascarias, which gives Texas de Brazil the nod over its competitors. And if you go home feeling hungry, you've done something wrong.

Beth Rankin
Local Press & Brew

This category gets stiffer competition every year, but it's hard to beat Local Press' coconut nitro cold brew. At $6.50, this is a pricy caffeine jolt, but in the middle of an endless Texas summer, it's well worth it. Smooth cold brew gets a dose of creaminess from the nitrogen, then a touch of sweetness and even more creaminess from Local Press' Nut Party, a juice made from coconut meat and water blended into a delectable beverage that's equally as good on its own.

Beth Rankin
Communion Cooperative

One of DFW's most innovative coffee shops isn't in Dallas proper — it's in Richardson. This former auto garage is now Communion Cooperative, a coffee shop, cafe, cocktail bar, event space and co-working hub, and this place has great energy. During the hot summer months, don't miss the cold-brew coffee slushie or the lightly caffeinated take on the Arnold Palmer, the Cascara Palmer.

Melissa Hennings
Las Almas Rotas' take on a gin and tonic is made with agave gin.

The Dallas cocktail scene is finally growing up, which means we've got a few bars that specialize in everything from specific spirits to unconventional bar tools like roto-vaporizers. Our favorite specialty bar by far is Las Almas Rotas, the Expo Park mezcaleria that bills itself as "a shrine to the spirits of Mexico." Learn about independent mezcal and sotol producers when distillers come in for demos, catch barbecue pop-ups out front or just dive into a massive menu of mezcals that you can sip straight in flights to help compare flavors. If you know nothing about this Mexican spirit, don't feel put out: You're Las Almas Rotas' favorite type of customer.

This Dallas roastery, an arm of Houndstooth Coffee, is serious about sourcing and sustainability. We love their Foxtrot, a citrusy, chocolatey blend made with beans from Guatemala and Nicaragua. Tweed develops great relationships with its growers, which makes us feel good about snagging a pound of this coffee during morning coffee runs to Houndstooth.

Readers' Choice:White Rock Coffee

In true Texas fashion, we subscribe to the idea that bigger is better — and Anvil goes big. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., during Anvil's F**k Brunch, you can eat a brunch's worth of garnish off this Bloody Mary for a cool $20. Imagine 32 ounces of beverage topped with a bacon cheeseburger slider, pepperoni, shrimp, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, sausage and whatever else they can find in the kitchen. Just make sure to leave room for the baby beer that comes on the side and get there early, because they do sell out.

Brian Reinhart
Jose's patio is the perfect spot to sip their margarita.

Looking for killer, authentic margaritas? West Lovers Lane Guadalajaran restaurant José offers some of the best you'll find in the city. There are only three margaritas on their core list: traditional, skinny and frozen. With fresh ingredients and skilled preparation, they turn out authentic, well-made margaritas.

Melissa Hennings
Shoals' cosmo.

This Deep Ellum industry darling hits all the sweet spots: perfectly executed classic cocktails, crave-worthy bar food like that obscene bologna sandwich and a cool, understated vibe with vinyl playing over the speakers. Visit at the right time, and you might catch some live jazz to enjoy with a perfect Bloody Mary.

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