Best Bartender 2022 | Patience Ndzimandze | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer
Kathy Tran

It's bold to work behind a bar with no menu. It means every customer who walks up is either very set on what they want or you've got a small therapy session on your hands: "Well, what do you feel like?" A pony. But Patience Ndzimandze is all in. We found her late one night at the speakeasy Atwater Alley making her own spins on classic cocktails, all ears with a big smile, pouring subtle and smooth drinks. Just three quick questions and it's like she knows your dark little parched soul better than you do. So much cheaper than therapy.

The Biscuit Bar
Hot hot chicken biscuit

When it comes to breakfast sandwiches, everything is better on a biscuit. The Biscuit Bar hit the Dallas dining scene in 2017, and they now have five locations in the area and one lone ranger in Abilene. Their menu offers options as simple as a plain buttermilk biscuit ($3.20) to the Rough Night ($13.80), which has Southern fried chicken, a burger patty, ham, turkey, pulled pork, crispy bacon, tots, cheddar and house-made sausage gravy in between buttermilk biscuits. They also offer a variety of tots, including breakfast, fully loaded, taco and Southern style.

Lauren Drewes Daniels

If Dallas has 99 problems, a brunch cocktail is not one. Brunch is Dallas' quintessential meal, so this is not an easy city in which to be a standout bloody Mary. When we're looking to get healthy and buzzed all at once we are partial to the Moth's because of the beer chaser that comes with it soothes out some of the briny edges. And it doesn't hurt that the Moth has a superior craft beer selection.

Anisha Holla

A bubble tea brand hailing from Taiwan, OneZo now serves its award-winning tea in Carrollton. OneZo isn't your ordinary bubble tea shop, though. The brand is the first in the world to make all of its boba fresh in-store. OneZo's boba pearls encompass flavors ranging from your typical honey boba to the more unusual black sesame boba. Whether you try a mango smoothie or the flaming tiramisu milk tea, the boba pearls are the star of the show. Don't be afraid to wander outside your typical boba order here; that's exactly what the menu was made for.

Hank Vaughn

Boulevardier is the cozy French-inspired bistro brought to you by the brothers responsible for Veritas, Hillside Tavern and the defunct Rapscallion. While many delectable treats and drinks await one at Boulevardier, the bone marrow is especially good, arriving on the plate as two sections of roasted marrow topped with onion marinade, peppercorns, garlic and lemon gremolata. This savory layer of goodness does not distract but rather adds to the marrow experience, and the toasted rustic bread provided is no slouch, either.

Lauren Drewes Daniels

Nestled in the strip of retail shops on Lower Greenville in the space that used to house Mudsmith is a unique two-for-one concept. Husband and wife team Amy and Casey La Rue offer a coffee and pastry establishment in the morning and a five- or 12-course tasting menu in the evening. The pastries are nothing short of fantastic. Try the pain au chocolat or the honey white wine poached pear Danish to start your morning. If you prefer savory, the chicken poblano croissant or the mushroom and cheddar quiche will do the trick.

Ascension Coffee

You can find Ascension Coffee locations all over Dallas-Fort Worth. It's a good thing, too, because that means you're never too far from one of their Aussie Bacon and Egg Rolls. It's a simple sandwich with four main ingredients: a roll, egg (usually cooked over easy), some strips of bacon and just the right amount of sweet and smoky barbecue sauce. When you bite into it, the sauce might gush out the sides, the egg yolk might pop and the sandwich's innards may drip all over you. You won't realize the mess you've made until the Aussie Bacon and Egg Roll trance fades away and you slip back into reality. Even then, you'll just want to go back for more. You may need a napkin.

Chris Wolfgang

Community Beer Company, without question, is producing some of the best local craft beer. But that's not the only thing that makes a brewery great. While most of the world shut down during the worst of the pandemic, Community was busy working on a new brewery. In a time when plans were thrown out the window, trying to get this brewery completed and open was almost impossible. For a while, things got rough. But, good beer always prevails. Now Dallas has a large stunning brewery that is a monument to how far the local craft beer game has come in just one decade.

Jacob Vaughn

Two tall glass towers brew a small but exceptional cup of joe at most, if not all, Ascension Coffee locations. Ascension Coffee's Kyoto Towers resemble something out of a Breaking Bad episode, and odds are you'll see one in action when you stop by one of their locations. That's because they're used to make the coffee shop's cold brew, which requires about 12 hours. Ice water is poured into a top glass chamber. A bed of coffee grounds sits between the top and bottom chamber. Gravity takes it from there, slowly dropping the water through the coffee grounds and into the bottom chamber until it's full. The end product is a strong-as-hell coffee concentrate. It's used for Ascension's regular cold brew (which has water added to it) or their Doki Doki, the shop's nitro brew.

Lauren Drewes Daniels

There's no shortage of standup burgers in Dallas, but recently Michelin-starred chef Bruno Davaillon helped to reinvent Up On Knox into a French bistro, appropriately called Knox Bistro. The previous concept had a good burger, but this new iteration is all oo-la-la. A thick patty that's cooked to order comes smothered in a creamy peppercorn sauce and topped with caramelized onions. Don't try to dig in with your hands, this is a cutlery burger. Order fries with an extra side of that peppercorn sauce. Then sit in a corner and dig in.

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