Best Of Dallas

Ten Best Local Food Stories of 2022

The Roy-Al with Cheese at Roy G's.
The Roy-Al with Cheese at Roy G's. Lauren Drewes Daniels
With the New Year approaching, we like to look back on our local food and restaurant coverage that struck a chord and, hopefully, served as inspiration for dozens of burgers, bowls of queso and plates of chicken-fried steak.

In 2022, we had some new discoveries of old places, like a South Dallas corner store and tavern-style pizza from Chicagoland. Our page views also showed us that some things never get old: namely, comfort food. And a new (to us) grocery store north of Dallas sure caused a lot of ruckus. Speaking of ruckuses, a baker in Flower Mound cooked one up.

Our guide to the Top 100 Restaurants in Dallas reigns supreme. That said, below are the 10 most-read articles for 2022.


10. Best Date Night Restaurants in Dallas

By Angie Quebedeaux
It's wonderful to see romance trending in the City of Ate. Angie Quebedeaux's round-up of best places to woo a date came in at No. 10, covering places like Ellie's, with its magnificent setting including a Steinway piano that serenades diners almost every night of the week. And who doesn't love the intimate Gorji's, where no kids are allowed and the chef personally greets every diner? One restaurant on the list did close, however, Modest Rogers.


9. Best Chicken-Fried Steak

By Angie Quebedeaux
Last year, this was our top article. Guess we're moving on? Haha, no way. Dallas knows its way around a good chicken-fried steak. CFS used to be found primarily in homestyle diners, like Mama's Daughters' Diner and Norma's Cafe, but this dish is now found at upscale restaurants too. Check out our favorite spots here. Oh, and we're already working on our 2023 list. Our work here literally never stops.


8. Big Daddy's Convenience Store Keeps the Tradition of Corner Stores Alive with Inexpensive Meals

By Hank Vaughn
click to enlarge
Fried pork chop basket, with fries, toast, jalapenos and pickles from Big Daddy's.
Hank Vaughn
It's good to see we still value the place down the street on the corner. Big Daddy's isn't just a corner store, however; there's lots to eat here, including chicken, burgers, pork chops, sandwiches and salads. The fried pork chop basket with fries, toast, jalapenos and pickles was one of writer Hank Vaughn's favorites. If you haven't experienced Big Daddy's yet, we hope 2023 is your year.


7. DFW Airport's Swank New Flagship Lounge Is a Traveler's Dream, or Yours for $150

By Lauren Drewes Daniels
Honestly, this was a surprise because it's a restaurant that is so hard to access. Wait. So, does this mean we want the things that we can't have? If you find yourself stuck in Terminal D at DFW Airport and are on a specific international flight or have attained some elusive qualifying credentials, you can enjoy American Airlines' Flagship Lounge with a restaurant, bar and top-notch amenities. Or you can just buy your way in for $150 per person. You'd probably spend that at the Chili's bar anyway, right?


6. Tavern Style Pizza: Chicago’s Forgotten Slice and Where to Get it in North Texas

By Hank Vaughn
It's always fun to have a Chicagolander (or two) on the team, as they're able to explain weird things like Malort and different styles of pizza from the Windy City. And the L. Or is it the El? Hank Vaughn journeyed across North Texas eating square upon square of cracker-crust pizza to rank the best lesser-known tavern-style pizzas in Dallas. We're hoping the Malort piece is filed any day now.


5. 12 Best Italian Restaurants in Dallas

By Angie Quebedeaux
This year was a big year for Italian restaurants in Dallas. From Monarch to Carbone, some big names moved into town. Sassetta opened at the Joule, and La Stella Cucina Verace debuted in the Arts District. And, don't forget, Olive Garden still passes out free breadsticks and salad. And while we're sad that Carbone's is closing soon, we're excited for whatever Julian Barsotti has on tap for version 2.0. Read about our favorite Italian spots from 2022.

4. Hive Bakery Carves Out Progressive Niche in MAGA-Heavy Flower Mound

By Tyler Hicks
The icing on the cake at a Flower Mound bakery stirred some big emotions this year. Haley Popp told us, “We’ll make cakes for fucking anybody," and some of her neighbors didn't appreciate that. But many across the state showed up in support. She told us recently the year worked out quite well for her. Here, Tyler Hicks talks to Popp about her "My Body My Choice" cake movement.

3. Six H-E-B Items Worth the Wait in Line

By Leslie Chatman
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The brisket queso has yellow and orange cheeses, smoked brisket and pico de galllo.
Lauren Drewes Daniels

H-E-B opened two new stores in North Texas this year. The lines at the stores in Frisco and Plano made headlines (people camped out). Leslie Chatman spoke to the creators of the North Texas H-E-B Fanatics Facebook page about the six items they're willing to wait in line for. And with that brisket queso, we get it. Party tip: mix it with Shiner Bock.


2. Shaq Brings Big News and Big Chicken to Texas

By Chance Townsend
Last spring, NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal announced a multi-unit deal to bring Big Chicken to Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Austin. People were big excited. Despite Shaq's taking up residence in Dallas and doing plenty of good deeds, there's been no subsequent announcement for a store in Dallas. So, what gives? Feels like a tease.


1. The Best Burgers of Dallas 2022

By Angie Quebedeaux and Lauren Drewes Daniels
Turns out 2022 was a burger kind of a year. Our list of best burgers in Dallas was our most clicked-on local food story, and we really hope it worked out well for many of you. From The Ozersky at Knife to the Roy-Al with Cheese at Roy G's, this town is full of amazing burgers. Thanks for staying hungry, Dallas.

So, chicken fried steak reigned in 2021, and burgers in 2022. What are we thinking for 2023? Enchiladas? We'll get to work on that right away.  
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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.

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