Best Vietnamese Restaurant 2018 | Saigon Block | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer
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.

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.

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