You know those local gems that are so great you can't stop telling everyone you know about 'em? Father and son-run Greek food truck Feta's is one of those places. When out on the town in Denton, catch them parked outside the ever-excellent Oak St. Drafthouse. Their signature feta fries are so memorable that you'll dream about them for days, and their mouth-watering classic gyros never cease to amaze with their bold, authentic flavors. Whether you pair your meal with a brew or swing by solely for the fantastic food, Feta's is the perfect pit-stop.

The Metropolitan Cafe

This quaint cafe in Downtown Dallas is a timeless classic. Famished 9 to 5-ers will find comfort in Metropolitan Cafe's down-home menu and nostalgia-laced ambience. Whether you're there to grab a quick cup of coffee or staying for a leisurely bite, Metropolitan has you covered. In-the-know diners gravitate toward the spot's decked-out paninis and breakfast croissants, and their decadent desserts and on-point specials never fail to please. On top of everything else, Metropolitan Cafe happens to have the perfect location: right next door to the Dallas Observer's headquarters. Thanks for always making our stomachs happy, neighbor.

Best Brunch
Courtesy of Alamo Club

If you haven't brunched on the Alamo Club's badass patio, you've been doing it wrong. This Lower Greenville treasure will cure even the meanest hangover lickety-split. Be sure to share some excellent appetizers with your closest buds — the decadent deviled eggs are an absolute must. With brilliant twists on brunch classics, Alamo Club's comfort food will have your tastebuds firing on all cylinders. Wash everything down with a carafe of blood orange mimosas, which are so dang effervescent that you'll probably cry a few tears of unbridled joy. You'll have no trouble remembering the Alamo Club.

Best Vegan Restaurant
Amanda Albee

Opened by famed tattoo artist Oliver Peck, Tiki Loco Deep Ellum is a godsend for health food fans and coffee lovers alike. With a 100% plant-based kitchen offering badass tacos, this Tex-Mex and Hawaiian-themed casual spot turns tired vegan stereotypes on their head. When it's hot out and you're in serious need of a vacation, treat yourself to a Blue Hawaiian shaved ice inside Tiki Loco's colorful dining room. And morning commuters can stop by to relieve their red eyes at White Rock Coffee's first franchise, serving up some of the best beans out there.

Best Bakery
Kathy Tran

Straight outta St. Tropez, this small bakery in downtown adjacent to The Joule opened in 2020 and is pushing out some of the most delectable from-scratch pastries in the city. Originally founded in 1955 on the French Riviera, the spot was discovered and made famous by Brigitte Bardot while filming And God Created Woman. This Dallas outpost is the first and only LTT outside of France. Their signature pastry — a brioche-style bread filled with a light pastry cream — sits like a crown in their downtown storefront window. The many options are light and bright. They also have European-style sandwiches for a grab-and-go lunch and a full coffee bar.

Midnight Rambler

The past year and a half hasn't been the easiest for bartenders. Especially for Gabe Sanchez, who shuttered his own beloved bar, The Black Swan, in 2020. But, a pandemic can't keep a good barkeep down. Sanchez was swooped up by The Midnight Rambler, where he quickly found his sea legs and re-energized the bar program inside their swank subterranean speakeasy. To sample his art, look no further than the Rambler House Old Fashioned made with a 70/30 bonded bourbon and rye blend, sugar and topped off with a house bitters blend. Years ago Sanchez told us that the bar industry is all about how you treat people; he's living up to it, which is why we're still writing about him a decade later.

Best Beer Selection
Lauren Drewes Daniels

After a career in the paint industry, Jim Waskow has spent his "retirement" tracking down the best of the best in the craft beer world, which is no easy task. Lucky for Dallas, we get to enjoy Waskow's post-retirement career perhaps more than he does. Craft Beer Cellars is a quaint retail store with a bar inside that is a craft beer lovers' paradise. Not sure if you want to commit to a four-pack of that obscure sour? Try it on for size right there; they'll break apart any pack in the store. Feet tired from walking up and down the aisles? Well, take a seat at the bar and imbibe one of the 16 beers they keep on tap. Cheers to retirement.

Best Brewery
Adrian Cotten

Situated on the ground floor of the historic 1931 art deco Dallas Power and Light Building, this brewery is an outpost for the main brewery located in the Design District. It's also one of the most beautiful places in Dallas to enjoy a local beer. Much of the original decor was preserved when brewery owners Will and Adrian Cotten refurbished the space last year. Take a seat at the bar in the center of the taproom, try a flight or grab a table on the patio and watch downtown hustle. Old school games throughout the space offer a nostalgic bit of entertainment.

No, we're not saying that if you want to let your kids run wild at a restaurant you should take them to Fort Worth, but, sure, why not? Zoli's is a dream for tired parents who desperately need to sit down to a nice meal with a strong drink as their kids are entertained within sight, but not necessarily within reach. The large playground is almost as big as the restaurant with brightly colored balls for throwing at strangers and all sorts of good monkeying around. What's better is that parents can use the adjacent Tipping Cow Creamery as a bribe for well-behaved children.

Ruins

A walking taco is a Tex-Mex version of a Frito pie; slice open the top of a single-serving bag of chips then load it up with any manner of spicy meats, cheese, maybe sour cream, jalapeños and salsa. Then you walk away to eat it in a corner where no one can see you. Ruins in Deep Ellum has an entire section on their menu dedicated to walking tacos called Dorilocos. The Prawn Star comes loaded with shrimp, queso blanco, cilantro and spicy toppings. The Sin Miedo comes with crispy moronga blood sausage, mezcal onions, chile Colorado, cilantro and avocado.

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