Best of Dallas®

Best Of 2020

Neighborhoods

  • + 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
Map It

Arts & Entertainment

Food & Drink

Shopping & Services

Readers' Choice

MORE
^
Keep Dallas Observer Free

Best Of :: Food & Drink

BEST BEER SELECTION

This spot on the edge of Deep Ellum has hot dogs we love along with a solid list of beer on tap. There's a wide selection, with much of it local, whether it's Deep Ellum Brewing Co.'s Easy Peasy IPA, Martin House's Pils or Peticolas' Golden Opportunity golden ale. Even more is available on a list of canned beer. Whatever you get, a cold beer here is a perfect place to be.

3600 Main St., Dallas, 75226
MAP
214-370-9301
BEST COFFEE SHOP
Davis Street Espresso
Getty Images

Good coffee, a solid pastry program and friendly staff are the foundations of an appealing coffee shop. Add in just the right vibe, and it becomes a place we can't get enough of, whether for sitting alone working on a laptop, meeting a friend (pre-pandemic) or spending time with a household member (in today's times). Davis Street has the right combination of all of this with some of the best chocolate chip cookies in town and beans from the ever-reliable Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters.

819 W Davis St, Dallas / Fort Worth, 75208
MAP
214-929-6752
BEST BLOODY MARY
The Uptown at Fearing's Restaurant
Fearing's at the Ritz Carlton

This bloody mary isn't the cheapest, but you're at the Ritz, and it's worth every penny of its $14 price tag. The server may warn you of spiciness, but it's not too much. In fact, feel free to request more even if there is a giant jalapeño sticking out of the glass. This drink is balanced and smooth, just as all the other bloody mary cocktails in town want to be. It's versions like this that make drinking in the morning acceptable.

2121 McKinney Ave., Dallas, 75201-1873
MAP
214-922-4848
BEST SHAVED ICE
Ruby's Sno-Balls
Taylor Adams

There are decades-old places serving the classic, syrupy shaved ice that hits the spot on a hot summer day. Then there's Ruby's, where you can get snow-like ice filled with bright, fresh flavors made with real fruit. This Old East Dallas place has flavors we want all year long, like cool watermelon, decadent Vietnamese coffee and refreshing coconut.

1605 N. Haskell Ave., Dallas,
MAP
469-403-6121
BEST LOCAL COFFEE ROASTER
Noble Coyote Coffee Roasters
Taylor Adams

This South Dallas spot is our No. 1 place for its well-balanced roasts, whether it's the seasonal firefly blend, the special blend for Bisous Bisous Patisserie or the Ethiopia roast. While we love to have a cup of coffee inside, these days the shop has easy online ordering for curbside pickup to keep us caffeinated.

819 Exposition Ave., Dallas, 75226
MAP
214-321-4321
BEST CHEF
Luis Dominguez
courtesy the Dominguez family

Countless diners have been able to enjoy Luis Dominguez's work during his 20 years in the Dallas restaurant industry in a career that spanned restaurants in nearly every neighborhood in town: Tillman's, Hattie's, Smoke, Chicken Scratch and, most recently, HG Sply Co. Dominguez helped create some of Smoke's most popular dishes, adding Southwestern spice and Mexican tradition to chef Tim Byres' barbecue. Dominguez died of COVID-19 July 22.

BEST PLACE FOR BREAKFAST
Zaguán Latin Cafe & Bakery
Taylor Adams

The arepa is reason enough to wake up: The savory pocket, similar to a gordita, has enormous flavor. You'll see sun-yellow corn and cloud-white salt. Queso blanco fuses to the walls of the seared envelope. Zaguán began like an over-the-counter neighborhood bakery, with four glass cases of crackly breads (made in-house) like the cachito stuffed with minced ham and cheese and powdered-sugar pastries. Eighteen years after opening, they host more comfort than ever: Egg, ham, and cheese on cloud bread and a just-pulled espresso is stunning.

2604 Oak Lawn Ave., Dallas, 75219
MAP
BEST PANDEMIC SAFETY RESPONSE
Sandwich Hag Critics' Pick
Sandwich Hag
courtesy Reyna Duong

A few months into the pandemic, we had restaurants fully complying with safety measures (most of them, anyway). But there was one that stood out from the beginning, when we started asking restaurants what they were doing before the city reacted to the pandemic. Reyna Duong, owner of Sandwich Hag, was already screening her employees, making food pickup contactless and insisting on hand sanitizer. When someone on staff contracted COVID-19, they shut down and cleaned thoroughly. Protocols heightened as months progressed, communication was transparent and constant via social media as those escalated, and no exceptions were made. Sandwich Hag is an example of how to do it right.

1902 S. Lamar St., Dallas,
MAP
214-484-5971
BEST CHICKEN-FRIED STEAK
Jonathon's Oak Cliff
Sara Kerens

Pounded, tender meat, the perfect crisp batter that isn't too thick but doesn't easily flake off and perfectly seasoned gravy: There's a lot that goes into a proper chicken-fried steak, and the folks at Jonathon's know how to do each step. Anything fried here is good, as is anything with gravy. But if you're hunting for the best CFS in town, it's right here in North Oak Cliff.

1111 N. Beckley Ave., Dallas, 75203
MAP
214-946-2221
BEST COCKTAIL BAR
Shoals
Melissa Hennings

When the happy day comes that we can again spend our evenings sitting elbow-to-elbow with fellow humans, one of our first stops will be Shoals. From the kind and intentional staff to the expert cocktails and vegan food menu, this Deep Ellum spot has our hearts forever.

2614 Elm St., Ste. 110, Dallas, 75226
MAP
469-677-0176
BEST BUTCHER
Rudolph's Meat Market
Chandler Gibson

As this is written, Rudolph's is taking call-in orders only, which we're fine with because it's good to call anyway. After all, Rudolph's is a great first place to visit when you're cooking something that requires a specific cut of meat that may be hard to find. If they don't have it on hand, they can usually get it for you. And there's no better bacon than that pepper bacon they have in the cooler.

2924 Elm St., Dallas, 75226
MAP
214-741-1874
BEST CURBSIDE PICKUP
Haute Sweets Patisserie

We appreciate everyone who's doing curbside pickup these days, and it's especially smooth and easy at Haute Sweet Patisserie. Order online through Square, select your pickup time and head to the Lake Highlands-area shop at that time. You can't miss the phone number posted all over the windows: Call, and your sweet treat is handed through your window in a minute.

10230 E Northwest Highway, Dallas, 75238
MAP
214-856-0166
X

BEST BEER SELECTION: Cold Beer Co.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.