Angie Quebedeaux

If you have an adventuresome spirit and enjoy trying bold and flavorful dishes, then Hawker's should be on your must-visit list. It's located in Deep Ellum, and the food and the atmosphere are equally interesting. We recommend ordering from the small plates menu so you can try different things. Favorites include the roti canai, Sichuan wontons and Korean twice-fried wings. If you're not in the mood to share, the curry laksa ramen or the steak and kimchi fried rice are great options. While this may sound strange, be sure to check out at least one of the four bathrooms.

While Pie Tap Pizza Workshop + Bar is primarily known for its Neapolitan-style pizzas, the brunch options on the weekend should be noted as well. If you have a sweet tooth, the glazed cinnamon rolls are a meal by themselves. If a brunch pizza is on your mind, then try the smoked salmon pie topped with Icelandic smoked salmon, ricotta, red onion, dill, capers, a house-cured egg yolk and lemon zest. If you prefer more traditional breakfast fare, the chicken and biscuit or the breakfast sandwich is the way to go. Whatever you do, order the roasted Calabrian potatoes with spicy ketchup.

Hank Vaughn

A quiet North Dallas restaurant in a brick-clad strip mall, Sushi Robota will feel like your own secret discovery. The sushi is delicious, with standard rolls and sashimi that amaze with their freshness and are beautiful to look at. Sushi Robota's ramen game is on point, with silky and salty broth and noodles in miso, soy or pork varieties. Service is warm and attentive, and the cozy and modern dining room adds to the enjoyment.

Elizabeth Lavin

Chef Olivia Lopez knows a thing or two when it comes to tamales and tortillas. She makes them from nixtamalized heirloom corn that she sources directly from several small communities in Mexico. She sells her products via her Instagram account (@molino_oloyo) and operates out of a commercial kitchen in the Design District. She has also started doing pop-ups at various breweries throughout the city. Her goal is to open a brick-and-mortar where she will be able to serve these tamale and tortilla creations to a broader audience. In the meantime, do yourself a favor and send her a message via Instagram to place your pickup order and experience the magic that she is bringing to the Dallas food scene.

Brian Reinhart

This Tijuana-inspired taco stand, which previously did business as Tacos Mariachi, in Trinity Groves, serves a seafood-heavy menu of tacos, but the costra de salmon — smoked salmon wrapped and toasted in asadero cheese — is a show-stopper. Someone should put one in a vault to be preserved. It's Dallas' Luka of tacos. Also try the mole fries topped with crema fresca and carne asada. Or put a big pink heart on every Wednesday on your wall calendar to remind you of the Wednesday brisket taco special, a carryover from the original location that was finally revived this summer.

Hank Vaughn

DL Mack's is a slightly upscale eatery that likes to think of itself as a Chicago tavern, but unlike a tavern, reservations are usually required. They do, however, nail the thin-crust tavern-style Chicago pizza that has been the true pizza of choice for Chicagoans and ex-pats alike. Their version comes in only one size and is a bit pricy, but it hits all the marks in ingredient size and amount, sauce flavor and thinness and crispiness of crust.

Cindy Ju Vaughn

Tea at TASCHEN, located in The Joule, is an experience and an event, with seatings at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The Joule even provides complimentary valet parking, and as a gift you get a TASCHEN art book to take home. Several varieties of teas are provided, including occasionally a Texas chile chai, along with a bevy of savory and sweet nibbles such as avocado toast, smoked salmon rillette, the de rigueur cucumber sandwich and sundry cakes, shortbreads, macarons and scones. Sign up for the newsletter to be informed when the next installment will take place.

Alison McLean

Odelay opened earlier this year, and diners are already coming to it in droves. Maybe they come for the Tex-Mex classics prepared with high-quality ingredients like Berkshire pork and Rosewood Ranch beef. Maybe they come for the atmosphere, with a lively bar stocked with plenty of tequila and a hacienda-style dining room that's vibrant and fun. Whatever the reason, Odelay proves that our love of cheese-soaked Tex-Mex knows no bounds.

Hank Vaughn

Thai restaurants are plentiful in Dallas and can seem pretty similar to one another, but Thai Spice shines in its consistency and customer service. The tom kha soup is spot on, and curry dishes such as the ocean curry are flavorful and presented well. The best offerings might be the Thai fried rice, which is offered with many protein choices as well as styles such as krapow, yellow curry or pineapple cashew, but we keep coming back to the delectable crab fried rice.

Angie Quebedeaux
Spicy fish soup

Even your most adventurous foodie friends might turn their nose up at the thought of eating "sour fish soup." If they do, they will be missing out. The "sour" comes from pickled mustard greens, and this rich, sour, oily, velvety and spicy dish is nothing short of spectacular. The broth is full of ribbons of pickled mustard greens, ginger, dried chiles and Szechuan peppercorns. Delicious fresh chunks of fish (flown in live each morning from a farm in Iowa) or beef rise to the top of the broth. To order, choose the flavor of the soup: classic, spicy or vine pepper numb. Next, choose the size (S, M, L) and your main ingredient: tilapia, largemouth bass, wagyu beef or a combination of tilapia and beef. Then pick the add-ons, which include options like tofu, potato slices, enoki mushrooms, lotus root, rice noodles, luncheon meat, bean curd sticks or chewy cellophane noodles. The bowl arrives with a side of rice and you spoon the soup on top of the rice and get ready for the party to start in your mouth.

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