Best Cover Song 2023 | Joshua Ray Walker Does Lizzo | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer
David McClister

For most musicians, the idea of covering Queen Lizzo must feel pretty daunting. Joshua Ray Walker, Dallas' consummate country king, was clearly up to the challenge. In Walker's take on "Cuz I Love You," his majestic vocal range is on full display, sending chills up listeners' spines. Damn, that man can hold a falsetto note like no one's business. The banger's black-and-white music video was directed by Walker, who captivates on screen in a gender-bending outfit complete with a feather boa. We've said it before, and we'll say it again: Walker is destined to become country royalty.

Courtesy of Netflix

We love it when North Texans get to strut their talents on TV, and that's exactly what Anthony "Lanky" Langston did on Secret Chef. The bartender-cum-home chef — who also works at the ever-delectable Ten : One Artisanal Cheese Shop in Denton — recently took home the top prize on the Hulu cooking competition, brought to viewers by executive producer and famed restaurateur David Chang. Langston's smarts and culinary creativity set him apart from the pack, and he ultimately wound up winning the $100,000 grand prize.

Did y'all know we have a five-time Grammy Award-winning violinist in our midst? A recent addition to the city, Tixier is an incredibly accomplished violinist. Originally from Paris, he moved to New York some years ago. Lucky for us, his next move was to our little old city. He's played with Stevie Wonder, Adele, Hans Zimmer, Beyonce and many more insanely famous people. He's also a professor at UNT. So, yeah, he does a lot. You can Google him; he has his own Wikipedia page and one hell of a resume. You may even stumble across a performance of his at a random party if you're very lucky (or know the right people). He's obviously one of the coolest people in Dallas, and he is super nice too. Some people really do have it all.

Best Late Night Korean and K-Pop Video Spot


Beth Rankin

On the edge of Old Koreatown is a spot whose interior looks like any well-worn Dallas dive, a dimly lit room full of dark wood-paneled walls and tables covered in graffiti. But the bar has a TV blasting K-pop videos, there's a fridge stocked with Soju in every flavor and the kitchen slings a full menu of hot, delicious Korean food. For the most immersive experience, we suggest sitting at the bar, drinking an alcoholic boba with a side of K-pop fries and taking in the high-value production of the music videos by bands like BTS and BLACKPINK that paved the way for K-pop to take the world by storm.

Jon Kopaloff/Getty

Dallas-born actor Jesse Plemons is a friggin' chameleon. He effortlessly goes from playing a villain in Breaking Bad to a bumbling affair-haver in HBO's Love & Death. Plemons' drama chops earned him an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor in the 2021 Western psychological thriller The Power of the Dog. The thespian's dedication to on-screen truth telling is apparent, and his nuanced takes on complex characters set him apart from the rest of young Hollywood. It's only a matter of time before Plemons brings home an Oscar.

Courtesy of Apple TV+

Dallas native Cooper Raiff wrote, produced, directed and starred in Cha Cha Real Smooth, which premiered at Sundance in early 2022 and started streaming on Apple TV+ that June. The dramedy has generated positive reviews — including an 85% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes — and has a formidable cast, including Dakota Johnson (Suspiria, 50 Shades of Grey) and Leslie Mann (The 40-Year-Old Virgin). Raiff, 26, was a pupil at Greenhill School and the Dallas Young Actors Studio, and last year he was named one of Variety's "10 Directors to Watch."

Can Turkyilmaz

Dallas is big, so figuring out what to do on a night out can be a daunting task. Lower Greenville is a standout option, as you can quench your thirst for a tried-and-true Texas experience while also exploring everything else the city has to offer. Get your BBQ at Son of a Butcher, have an "Italo Texano" dessert at Botolino, bar hop down the street or watch live music at Sundown at Granada. However you choose to customize your time on the block, it will be worth it.

Queer icon Jo Sappho has been keeping Barb's Burlesque absolutely bumping the third Wednesday of every month, producing an evening of gender-bending acts, drag kings and queens, special guest performers and a healthy dose of comedy for packed houses at the beloved Oak Cliff dive known as Barbara's Pavillion, a true LGBTQ+ gem. You might be wooed by some of the hottest burlesque performers around, such as Mina Montenegro, Vivienne Vermuth and Sodi Moore, or even catch a glimpse of the rugged pistol-packing cowboy, the notorious naked hot dog vendor or any one of the personas Sappho sports that totally blow the doors off traditional burlesque and keep it sexy, fun and did we say queer?

Located in the heart of Deep Ellum, Third String Entertainment produces hundreds of concerts each year for bands of all sizes. Since 2004, the entertainment company has grown to promote two annual music festivals in the area: Unsilent Night at Gilley's Dallas and the So What!? Music Festival in Fair Park. While each of those festivals brings in dozens of bands and thousands of fans, where Third String really stands out is the daily concerts it books across Texas. This is a company that strives to grow the local music scene, whether by sending local acts across the country or pairing them with the national acts that come through town. While North Texas remains the company's biggest market, it has expanded into Houston, San Antonio and Austin, and it has big plans for the Midwest.

Andrew Sherman

Whenever a hip-hop-loving Dallasite is asked who the best rapper in DFW is right now, BigXThaPlug is the 9-out-of-10 immediate response because of his unified, organic support from the music industry, radio stations, peers and, most importantly, fans. This year has been one of milestones for the larger-than-life star, with opening tour spots for rap superstars Key Glock and Kevin Gates. The runaway success of Plug's No. 1 debut album, AMAR, spawned an appearance on the Fast X soundtrack, a sold-out nationwide tour and a shared appearance alongside the rap icon Eminem as BigX walked out DFW boxing star Errol Spence Jr. in the fight of the decade. It all happened in front of a sold-out T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and 650,000 pay-per-view fans worldwide.

Best Of Dallas®

Best Of