BEST CHINESE RESTAURANT
Alison McLean

Chile peppers are the name of the game at Hunan Bistro, where dishes can be buried in chopped peppers that are the deep, dusky color of a Dallas sunset. But don't let them intimidate you and don't be worried by the enormous menu, either. Look for red-braised pork, spicy pig ears and whole fish. If the spice is too much, turn to milder but equally good fare such as pork spare ribs, dry-fried green beans or ultra-savory eggplant. There aren't many Hunanese restaurants in North Texas, and it's hard to top the rustic but high-intensity flavors here.

We've ordered from countless restaurants for takeout in 2020, and every restaurant using Square is making it easier on us. When you're craving one particular meal, Square's user interface is easy and quick to load, and noting the exact time for pickup makes it even better.

Boulevardier
Kathryn DeBruler

This Bishop Arts District restaurant has been temporarily closed throughout the pandemic, but memories of sitting at the bar enjoying freshly shucked oysters still haunt our dreams. This is an ideal spot for brunch or dinner, but either way, get wine and oysters while you take in the vibe of the space. This is one place we really can't wait to see reopened.

BEST WINE SHOP
Philip Kingston

This Knox-Henderson wine shop is the perfect place to meet friends on the patio for a glass of wine and a meat board — whenever it's safe to meet with people. During the pandemic, it's been a good go-to for ordering our favorite wines. If they don't have it, see if they'll bring it in for you — then enjoy a glass from their list on the patio while you're picking up.

BEST BAKERY
courtesy Bisous Bisous

Sure, the lemon meringue cruffins are beautiful. The precision of every drip, dollop and sprinkle on the house-made cakes may bedazzle you. And the strawberry-basil macarons and framboise cakes are so light in touch and bright in flavor they're hard to forget. But, the true mark of a baker is creating magic with the basics: flour, butter and sugar. Don't sleep on these at Bisous Bisous. The croissants and kouign-amanns will ruin you. Let it happen.

BEST BARBECUE
Chris Wolfgang

In these trying times, Slow Bone is the barbecue hero we need. We may not know when the urge for barbecue will strike, but Slow Bone has us covered at lunch any day of the week. We may not know if we have enough time to grab some barbecue, but Slow Bone's line moves quickly, when it's there at all. We may not know how we'll recapture Slow Bone's brilliant flavor at home, but their vacuum-sealed meats deliver the goods. Like many other establishments, they've adapted quickly in the time of coronavirus. Sure, we miss sitting down and eating from their pastel trays, but the goodness of Slow Bone still shines, no matter where we partake.

Ocean Prime

McEuen took over Ocean Prime's bar this year and has upheld the high level of service. She's a consummate professional who knows her drinks and a handful of jokes and jabs to make her guests feel like family. Ocean Prime's cocktail pro hasn't stopped mixing it up since the world shut down. She took the chance to travel around and challenged various bartenders and civilians to Instagram Live mix-offs and taught us all how to mix up some classic cocktails along the way. Find her in the newly remodeled OP bar and ask her which whiskey or wine she recommends.

BEST COCKTAILS TO-GO
Susie Oszustowicz

Las Almas Rotas flat-out killed it on the to-go game this year. Its program, led by Reid Lewis, mixed up some unique options that are just as delightful from a deli cup as they would be behind their bar. The mezcal bar next to Fair Park has done more than just the cocktails well. They also made a drive-thru experience in the alley next to the bar with a doorbell to order.

Whether you're fluffing out a blanket to go on grass, sitting on a bench overlooking the wate or wanting a picnic table that's fully shaded any time of day, this park in North Oak Cliff is ideal. There's a loop around the lake to work off your meal, too, and the views of the lake and the skyline are unbeatable.

BEST CORN DOG
Patrick Michels

One sign that you're going to have a stellar meal, a truly Dallas meal, is a bag of takeout that's got wooden sticks poking out of it like a bat with nails in it. Lakewood Landing's sharp corn dog holders can't be contained by a to-go sack, so they jab out as dangerous as a medieval weapon. Inside are Dallas treasures: long Rudolph's Market dogs (from the oldest butcher shop in Dallas) armored by a charred orange batter. Frozen corn dogs have a batter that tastes burnt and a frank that has a sickly tinge; Lakewood Landing knows better: Their hot dogs sing with beef flavor and send juices into the salty-crunch of its casing. Immerse corn dogs immediately in French's yellow mustard. This is iconic bar food in our city.

Best Of Dallas®

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