Best Poke 2018 | Malibu Poke | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer
Beth Rankin
Malibu Poke's bonito aioli tuna bowl.

Dallas is swarming with fast-casual poke restaurants, each offering their own take on this classic Hawaiian dish of marinated raw fish. But amidst the cacophony, one restaurant stands out: Malibu Poke. From the same team behind TJ's Seafood, Malibu Poke's menu was developed by former FT33 chef Matt McCallister, and there's serious creativity here. Try bowls like the bonito aioli tuna (serrano pepper, bonito flakes, micro basil, avocado, toasted coconut, crispy garlic) or build your own.

This sweet little West Dallas grocery store is a godsend when you're across the river and in search of organic produce or locally roasted coffee. It's not big, but it makes up for its size in the solid selection of healthy food and ready-made sides and sandwiches. If you can't make a farmers market but want fresh, in-season peaches or tomatoes, Cox Farms is a solid bet.

Courtesy Easy Slider
Easy Slider

So you're stumbling through Deep Ellum late at night and need a bite. You've got options, but not all compare to Easy Slider, the food truck turned brick-and-mortar. You can get these juicy, oh-so-perfect sliders until 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday nights, and if you're feeling especially adventurous, try the crackle shot, a shot of liquor (we suggest tequila) served with a chaser of pork cracklins that crackle when sprinkled with fresh lime juice.

Kathy Tran

Oh, how happy we were when formerly Oak Cliff-based Zoli's NY Pizza popped back up in Addison. Whether you're looking for classic New York-style pies or something more adventurous — or even a foot-long brunch cannoli made with Nashville hot chicken — Zoli's can accommodate. Try the CBR, a pizza topped with mozzarella, roasted chicken, bacon, pickled jalapeños, parsley, jalapeño ranch and an everything-bagel crust.

Kathryn DeBruler

If you're in search of that perfect neighborhood joint — where everyone knows your name and the bar is stocked not just with great cocktails, but all your neighbors — Oak Cliff's Nova is the place to be. Open until late on weekends, it's not uncommon to find drinkers swarming this joint for late-night eats and one last nightcap. This retro-style gastropub serves up great specials, so always ask what's on the menu that night. And don't skip the surprisingly addictive chicken udon.

Chris Wolfgang
Smoky Rose

If you're looking for a patio with a pedigree, East Dallas' Smoky Rose is the place. This gorgeous, verdant patio has sweet little gathering areas and fire pits and offers the same flowery, outdoorsy decadence you'll find at the Dallas Arboretum across the street. The upscale barbecue dishes taste even better with a little fresh air.

Beth Rankin
Snooze an A.M. Eatery

For those craving flapjacks, this Colorado import in Addison is hard to beat. From pineapple upside-down pancakes to buttermilk lemon poppyseed batter and sweet potato cakes, this popular breakfast and brunch spot makes fun variations on this breakfast classic. Not sure which to try? Order a pancake flight, which lets you try three different flapjacks. If you don't want to make the drive to Addison just to wait in line for brunch, no worries: The restaurant is opening locations in Fort Worth, on Walnut Hill Lane and on Oak Lawn Avenue.

Nick Rallo
One90 Smoked Meats, but not salmon. Still good, though.

Some here in this Lone Star State might say mere fish isn't worthy of a starring role, but they should probably visit Lake Highland's hot spot One90 Smoked Meats. See, many equate smoked salmon with lox — which is cold-smoked — and that's delicious, but One90's hot-smoking approach makes for a perfectly flaky and flavorful bite that's never too dry. Salmon-doubters should start with lunch at the counter, ordering the salmon tacos (or a salad if carbs are on the no-list). Sound crazy for a barbecue joint lauded on "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives"? It's not. The salmon is loaded on a warm corn tortilla with red cabbage and a spicy tartar. The correct order is two or more — never just one. When leaving, the newly converted should grab a bag of farm-raised salmon and a container of the most addictive salmon dip.

Kathy Tran
Samantha Rush

Samantha Rush has been serving sweets in DFW for more than 10 years at Rush Patisserie. She specializes in French pastries, so it's the perfect spot to get your fix for macarons, tarts and croissants. If that isn't enough, Rush is now doubling her load after taking over Trailercakes. Both businesses are operating out of her boutique space in Oak Cliff.

Kathy Tran

Since 2015, Amy and Andrew Savoie's Resident Taqueria has prepared some of the most beloved handhelds, and their fans (or residents, as they call them) aren't quiet about it. The small space offers grab-and-go tacos for breakfast starting at 7 a.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. Saturdays, but it would be a mistake not to grab a café-chata to go with. Resident pairs Noble Coyote Nitro Cold Brew on tap with horchata for a frothy boost of caffeine. But while the breakfast dash is a tasty one at Resident, the real treat is snagging a seat at the bar while you wait and watching the culinary choreography of Chef Andrew and team as they create house-made flour tortillas and signature tacos (pecan-smoked chicken, slow-cooked mushroom, braised beef short rib, chorizo, fish tempura and more) as well as weekly specials that offer even more veggie- and seafood-centric options. Resident's Family Taco Meal is a Tuesday by-the-pound, to-go treat for four, six or eight, and they'll even offer curbside service for those with kiddos in the car.

Best Of Dallas®

Best Of