Best Vegetarian or Vegan Restaurant 2018 | Recipe Oak Cliff | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer
Paige Weaver
Recipe Oak Cliff

At Recipe Oak Cliff you'll find creative, fresh and affordable vegan food — no heavily processed meat substitutes. Instead, owner Tisha Crear reinterprets the food she grew up with, using homemade, plant-based meat alternatives. Crear opened Recipe with the goal of offering healthy, quick options in the food desert of South Oak Cliff. All food is served to-go, and in addition to vegan options, there are also raw selections available daily. You can order things like a BBQ jackfruit sandwich, zucchini noodles with cashew "cream" or tacos with walnut and sun-dried tomato "meat."

Paige Weaver
Wow! Donuts & Drips

At Wow! Donuts & Drips, the doughnuts are works of art. They are made to order: small batches are baked every few hours, and the toppings and fillings are added on demand. Wow offers more than 120 creative toppings and fillings, from classic chocolate old fashioned or glazed cake doughnut to Nutella Kit Kat, carrot cake, and Elvis, the latter with peanut butter, bananas, chocolate and bacon. Inside, the shop is bright and playfully decorated — it's an Instagrammer's playground. Grab a cup of coffee while you're there; they have a rotating selection of coffees from small roasters all over the world.

Beth Rankin

The blue tile-covered building downtown is a welcome addition for people living and working in the area. While you can get a well-made meal all day, Commissary offers a breakfast daily made with spot-on execution. The smoked salmon bagel is magical with dill-caper cream cheese, and the poppyseed bagel is good enough to eat on its own. And it still gets better with the porchetta egg sandwich. Shaved porchetta, arugula, salsa verde and a fried egg lay in the middle of a freshly baked bun. This little spot filled with mostly two-tops frequently has a line to the door for a reason: The odds of you leaving happy are good with whatever you order.

Kathy Tran
The Market at Dallas Farmers Market is filled with dining options.

In the last couple of years, the Dallas Farmers Market has become not just a good spot to pick up locally grown tomatoes but one of the city's largest tourism draws, which unfortunately shows in the lack of parking. Even still, this farmers market is a blast to visit, and it's easy to lose a day buying produce, eating snacks from local vendors and shopping for everything from local salsa to cowhide rugs. When buying produce, keep an eye on signage: conventionally grown and organic/locally grown goods are identified as such.

Joey Stewart
T.J.'s Seafood Market

When it comes to seafood in 2018, sustainability is the name of the game. Overfishing is killing our oceans, but TJ's Seafood is meticulous about its sourcing. This is a restaurant where you're guaranteed to find something new and interesting (and seasonal) each visit, from wild Alaskan halibut to Vancouver Island wild king salmon. It's not cheap, but if you're in the market for fresh seafood to cook at home, their market has a fun array of cuts that changes daily.

Beth Rankin
Brunch at Bolsa.

It's neither new nor trendy at the moment, but this Oak Cliff mainstay has long made one of the best brunches in the city. An early adopter of the farm-to-table movement, Bolsa keeps brunch fresh with dishes such as breakfast flatbreads, iron skillet quiche and maple-bourbon glazed pork belly. Grab a table early, as this place has a serious brunch reputation.

Gustavo Contrera
La Comida

La Comida is the embodiment of the American dream. Brothers Mario and Ivan Urtecho hail from the Yucatan region and, unlike a lot of Tex-Mex joints, you'll find authenticity and heart in this menu. Whether you want more Mexican fare like tortas or Tex-Mex classics like cheese enchiladas and margaritas, La Comida is likely to impress you. With a combination of Yucatan and Tex-Mex flavors, this restaurant is a departure from the mass-produced Mexican that's so long underwhelmed Texans. Try the empanadas: The Urtechos used to sell them door to door before starting their own restaurant.

Kathy Tran
Saigon Block

If you want to impress someone with a lavish Vietnamese feast, Saigon Block is the way to go. The showstopper whole fish can feed damn near an entire soccer team and comes on a platter filled with fresh, fragrant herbs and everything you need to make your own spring rolls. If you're feeling particularly indulgent, try the Seven Courses of Beef feast. From roasted quail to deep-fried Cornish hens to butter-basted frog legs, this Vietnamese spot will get you out of your pho and banh mi rut.

Beth Rankin
Tribal All Day Cafe

In the ever-expanding world of healthy eats, it's all about plant-based right now. Few Dallas restaurants do it better than Tribal All Day Cafe, the restaurant, juice bar, coffee shop and cocktail bar offshoot of Dallas juice company Tribal. The menu is small but we love all of it, from vegan migas to beet hummus and macadamia vanilla ricotta toast.

Brian Reinhart
Smoked beef tongue and spalla (rolled and cured pork shoulder) with pickled turnips, spicy mustard and a chunky apple butter suffused with winter spices at Petra & the Beast.

When it comes to curing and foraging, Dallas chef Misti Norris is king — er, queen. That's never more apparent than on the menu at her Old East Dallas restaurant Petra & the Beast, where she goes wild with a must-not-miss charcuterie program. Expect your board to be different every time, and let her choose for you if you're feeling adventurous. Past treats have ranged from a pseudo-boudin terrine to whipped lardo and smoked beef tongue.

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