Best of Dallas®

Best Of 2019


  • + Abilene
  • + Addison
  • + Allen/McKinney
  • + Amarillo
  • + Arlington
  • + Austin
  • + Baton Rouge
  • + Big Bend National Park
  • + Brownwood
  • + Bryan/College Station
  • + Carrollton/Farmers Branch
  • + Carswell AFB
  • + Cedar Creek Lake Area
  • + Cedar Hill
  • + Central Texas
  • + Cockrell Hill
  • + Coppell
  • + Corpus Christi
  • + Corsicana
  • + Crandall/Combine
  • + Denton
  • + Downtown/Deep Ellum
  • + Duncanville/DeSoto
  • + Durant
  • + Dyess AFB
  • + East Dallas & Lakewood
  • + East Texas
  • + El Paso
  • + Ennis
  • + Fair Park
  • + Far North Suburbs
  • + Far South Dallas Suburbs
  • + Far South FW Suburbs
  • + Forney
  • + Fort Worth
  • + Frisco
  • + Gainesville
  • + Galveston
  • + Garland & Vicinity
  • + Glen Rose
  • + Goodfellow AFB
  • + Granbury
  • + Grand Prairie
  • + Grapevine
  • + Gulf Area
  • + Houston
  • + Huntsville
  • + Irving/Las Colinas
  • + Kaufman
  • + Killeen
  • + Lake Dallas
  • + Lancaster/Balch Springs
  • + Lancaster/Wilmer/Hutchins
  • + Laredo
  • + Laughlin AFB
  • + Lavon Lake Area
  • + Lewisville
  • + Louisiana
  • + Lubbock
  • + Manchester
  • + Mesquite/Balch Springs
  • + Mexia/Groesbeck
  • + Mid-Cities (H-E-B)
  • + Midland/Odessa
  • + Nacogdoches
  • + New Braunfels
  • + New Orleans
  • + North Dallas
  • + North Texas
  • + Northeast Dallas
  • + Northeast Texas
  • + Northwest Dallas
  • + Oak Cliff/South Dallas
  • + Oklahoma
  • + Out of Town
  • + Panhandle
  • + Paris
  • + Park Cities
  • + Plano
  • + Reese AFB
  • + Richardson & Vicinity
  • + Royse City
  • + San Angelo
  • + San Antonio
  • + Sheppard AFB
  • + Sherman/Denison
  • + Shreveport/Bossier City
  • + South Fort Worth Suburbs
  • + South Texas
  • + Southeast Suburbs
  • + Tennessee
  • + Texarkana
  • + Tyler
  • + Unknown
  • + Uptown/Oak Lawn
  • + Waco/Temple & Vicinity
  • + Waxahachie
  • + Weatherford/Mineral Wells
  • + West Dallas
  • + West Texas
  • + White Rock Lake Area
  • + Wichita Falls
  • + Wylie
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Arts & Entertainment

Food & Drink

Shopping & Services

Readers' Choice

Keep Dallas Observer Free

Best Of :: Food & Drink

Best Burrito

One of the most 'grammable burritos in the nation can be found in the Dallas Farmers Market at Brunchaholics, as reported by the Food Network. Jessie Washington's soul-food burrito made national news when the foodie channel included it as one of "the most over-the-top burritos in the country." Washington says the burrito was the result of a craving, and he originally only made it to post on Instagram. But after the swaddled trio of fried catfish, smoked turkey collard greens, and mac and cheese started showing up on news feeds, the composition took on a life of its own. Now Brunchaholics draws lengthy lines on the weekends, and food is typically sold out in a couple of hours. Washington's aim is to give Dallas brunch the revival that it needs, and he is doing just that. Check their website for new pop-up locations.

Best Barbecue Restaurant
Cattleack Barbecue Critics' Pick
Cattleack Barbecue
Chris Wolfgang
A Texas feast at Cattleack

It's 10:15 in the morning on an ordinary Friday that's otherwise indistinguishable from any other weekday. Your plan to swing in early to Cattleack Barbecue, however, is shared by the 50 or so people already in line when you arrive. Picking our Best of Dallas winners is by no means a popularity contest, but it's no coincidence that the lines form early for Cattleack's spectacular barbecue. And it's not just the excellent fare on the regular menu; each week, Cattleack cranks out a special item or two that will instantly elevate your meal (and for that matter, the rest of your day) from ordinary to out-of-your-mind amazing.

13628 Gamma Rd., Farmers Branch, 75244
Best New Restaurant
Homewood Critics' Pick
Alison McLean

Homewood is a comfort food spot for ultra-seasonal eaters with Mediterranean leanings. Want to know what produce is in season right now? Swing by Homewood and sample heirloom snow peas or morel mushrooms at their best in an array of pastas, crudos and sharing plates. The radishes, edible flowers or herbs like lime basil probably came from the raised garden beds in the restaurant's patio. And the kitchen, led by Matt McCallister, uses sleight-of-hand tricks to intensify flavor, like tossing grilled mushrooms in a compound butter that contains, yes, more smoked mushrooms. Save room for desserts by this year's Best Pastry Chef, Maggie Huff.

4002 Oak Lawn Ave., Dallas, 75219
Best Steakhouse
Nate's Seafood and Steakhouse

14951 Midway Rd., Addison, 75001
Best Fine Dining
Kathy Tran
Bullion, all that glitters

There's no Dallas restaurant entrance as grand as Bullion's spiral staircase wrapped around an enormous sculpture in the shape of a dangling necklace. Upstairs, the dining room is inside a literal gold bar on the side of a skyscraper. But unlike many tower restaurants, the views aren't the thing, and unlike many restaurants with their own sculptures, the food actually lives up to the setting. Bullion's elegant French cooking has no rival in the region; look out for the daily specials list, which includes some of the star dishes: grilled whole fish, Provence-style rabbit or lobster thermidor. Save room if you can, because pastry chef Ricchi Sanchez serves up some of the region's finest temptations.

Best Steakhouse
Bob's Steak & Chop House

On what could be called the fiercest turf in the world for steakhouses, Dallas is divided between two teams: old school and new school. For this year's award, we're taking it to the old school, all the way back to 1993 when Bob Sambol opened the flagship store on Lemmon Avenue. Since then, Bob's has evolved into a nationwide chain with corporate ownership, and after years working to develop Trinity Groves, Sambol bought back his original location last March. The broiled Prime steaks with seared crusts and perfectly red centers are as good as they've ever been. Even in 2019, Bob's California-heavy wine list is ranked second in DFW by Wine Spectator, and we kind of like the fact that we don't have to risk knocking over a Ducati on the way to the table. Also, we love a couple of free sides, namely that massive glazed carrot, when paying $45 or more for a steak.

4300 Lemmon Ave., Dallas, 75219
5760 Legacy Dr., Plano, 75024
Best Salsa
Mango habanero salsa at Tacos Mariachi

First things first: It's not that spicy. If your idea of the best salsa is a flame war, look elsewhere, like the salsa at El Taxqueno, or the peanut and chile de arbol salsa at La Salsa Verde. The purpose of Tacos Mariachi's mango habanero salsa is different. This two-store chain specializes in seafood tacos, and the fruitiness of both mango and the habanero pepper are a perfect pairing with the octopus, shrimp and fish that feature here. Almost every one of the tacos at Tacos Mariachi is better with a squirt of tropical fruit and heat imparted by this salsa. It's the perfect marriage of condiment and taco.

602 Singleton Blvd., Dallas, 75212
Best Healthy Restaurant

Unleavened is a fast-casual restaurant with four locations in the area serving healthy takes on classics. Much of their menu is dedicated to wraps and salads packed with vegetables and high-quality proteins, like house-roasted turkey, tuna, bourbon-glazed pulled pork and grilled fajita steak. Unleavened serves breakfast wraps, hashes and smoothies as well. They also recently started serving warm bowls: lemon pesto, mole verde and cashew sesame.

1900 Abrams Parkway, Dallas, 75214
Best Pizza

The pizzas at Social Pie are served on thin, flavorful crust. If you choose a pie loaded with toppings, you might want to grab a fork to dig in. Build your own or choose from one of 10 flavors, like sausage and arugula, barbecue chicken, wild mushroom or the Tony, with garlic oil, chicken, spinach, Kalamata olives, goat cheese and pickled jalapeño. You can also order a few flavors by the slice, but beware — a slice here is more like a quarter of a pizza.

5855 Maple Ave, Dallas, 75235
Best Juice Bar

Manna Juice Bar is a family-owned shop in Mansfield run by Kristi and Dominick Andrew. When the couple, made up of a former athlete and pharmacist, noticed there was no cold-pressed juice near their home, they decided to create one. From juices to cleanses to shots, Manna Juice Bar is bringing healthy options to the area, while educating customers in the process.

3806 E. Broad St., Suite 128, Mansfield,
Best Beer Selection

While LUCK — an acronym for "local urban craft kitchen" — may not have the biggest beer selection, it certainly has the best. The Trinity Groves restaurant only carries beers brewed within a 75-mile radius to ensure every pour is fresh as can be. Look for a curated selection from local breweries including Peticolas, Revolver and Lakewood, and a complementary menu of upscale bar bites created to pair with craft beer, and in many cases, created with craft beer as an ingredient.

Gulden Lane, Dallas, 75212
Best Bartender
Gabe Sanchez, Black Swan Saloon

Sometimes all you want is a cold beer and a shot at a quiet bar. But for those nights when you want a real bar experience, seek out veteran barman and owner of Deep Ellum's Black Swan Saloon, Gabe Sanchez. If his perfectly shaken daiquiri doesn't get you, his bar skills and ridiculously quick wit will. Take a quick taste of the infusions he makes fresh in-house, and you'll be even more impressed that he somehow makes these delicious tipples and doesn't even drink.

2708 Elm St., Dallas, 75226

Best Burrito: Brunchaholics

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