BEST ITALIAN RESTAURANT
Alison McLean
Margherita pizza at Partenope

Reliable pizza dough, bountiful salads and craving-fulfilling pastas are just what we needed downtown. "When I cook something for you, I want to remind you of your childhood. If you've been somewhere and you had a dish, I want this dish to take you back there," owner Dino Santonicola says. "I've got people who drive here from Frisco because they've been to Naples, and they had a dish there and say, 'This is exactly what it tasted like in Naples.' That's the best compliment."

BEST ICE CREAM SHOP

Owner Suzy Batlle brought her Miami ice cream business to Bishop Arts, and we're more than grateful to get to experience the Cuban approach to this dessert. Fresh guava makes for ice cream we want more of than we should have, and the regularly rotating menu makes it worth visiting regularly.

BEST FRIED CHICKEN
Beth Rankin

We love the barbecue, but this Design District restaurant has fried chicken that outdoes other attempts. As our contributor Chris Wolfgang notes: "It's a chicken with enough smoke flavor to be noticed, but not so much as to overpower. The crust on Slow Bone's fried chicken has the perfect amount of crunch, whether you eat it right away or take some to go. In fact, you should order enough to do both."

BEST THAI/LAO RESTAURANT
Alison McLean
Geng kyow wan gai

The Dallas Farmers Market got a wonderful addition last year in this small place with bright yellow umbrellas out front. Try the fried wontons that have an impressively perfect quail egg inside or the spicier yum woon sen — glass noodles with shrimp, onion, ground chicken, celery, tomato and black mushroom. Flavors here take us straight back to Bangkok, and we love it for that.

BEST KIDS RESTAURANT

This West Dallas spot has plenty of treats for parents and kids. Next to the parking lot is a grassy area for kids to run around, which means they're not running among diners who may not have arrived with or ever want to be around kids. There's pizza for the kids (and adults) but there's also plenty of wine to choose from. Sounds like a win-win.

BEST LOCAL BREWERY

As far as taprooms to hang out, Deep Ellum is our go-to with its spacious outdoor seating and reliable brews. The staff is accommodating and friendly, making it a spot to become your home bar if you live in the area. We hear there's a new chef in the kitchen, too, who's upping the game on the food menu.

Jose
Alison McLean

A fresh margarita on a spacious, breezy patio is the respite we need. It may be the enchiladas or those margaritas that have you going to José, but for us, it's mostly that beautiful patio that has us yearning to go back. It's dog-friendly, the staff is prompt and knowledgeable and the retractable cover offers shade alongside the sound of the fountain in the middle.

La Popular Tamale House
Taryn Walker

This category is a tough one — salsa for what? Tacos, tamales, chips, eggs? So we looked for something comprehensive: It's a tossup over whether the red or green salsa is the best here, but this Old East Dallas spot is a go-to for salsa that's good on so much. It's made fresh and sold by the pint so you can take it home to last you the week.

TJ's Seafood Market
Kathy Tran

Dallas' seams aren't exactly bursting with seafood options, so we certainly celebrate this one that's constantly good. Fresh items — whether you're taking from the market or ordering off the takeout or dine-in menu — are what make us come back for more. Take dinner to go or grab some staples like a fish dip to have on-hand at home.

BEST VIETNAMESE RESTAURANT
Kathy Tran

This one's an easy choice: Lá Me has been a long-time favorite for good reason. Even if you take it to go, flavors and textures hold up for meals that are some of our favorites in all of Dallas. Try the shaken beef, any of the vermicelli plates and absolutely the egg rolls. Don't forget a Vietnamese iced coffee while you wait for your food.

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