The last time we published this list, back in February, you could still get a slumpy burger at the Village Kitchen. Turns out you can't do that anymore, which makes it a pretty good time to revisit the 10 Dallas restaurants you should be spending your money in right now.
This go-round has some newcomers, but every restaurant here is tried and tested. Look out for ceviche on the patio, a lovely formal dining experience and a whole lotta meat.
Crush Craft (Pictured above) Get over the paper bowls that give this place a Chipotle-esque feel. The food here is serious and it's cooked to order, not assembled by a series of scoops and drizzles on an assembly line covered in aluminum foil.
Pro tip: Check out the butcher paper menu as you walk in the door. It contains chef's specials that are far more interesting than the standalone menu. And considering how good the regular menu board is to start, the specials are almost guaranteed showstoppers.
CBD Provisions Every time I bring up CBD Provisions in conversation, I'm asked about the pig's head carnitas. "Is it really that good?" some ask. "Yes!" I reply. "Is it just a gimmick dish?" others inquire. "No!" I exclaim. The carnitas is just as I described in my review: Fatty, tender pork lies beneath that super crispy face that only a porky mother could love. Grab a tortilla and get ready to battle your tablemates for the cheek. It's worth the fight.
Gemma "Lovely" is probably the best word to describe Gemma. The dining room, the staff, and most of the cooking is refined and pleasant. With a focus on fresh, quality ingredients and a pastry chef who knocks dessert out of the park, you can't go wrong with a night here.
Blind Butcher With a young, boisterous crowd, Blind Butcher isn't a place for a quiet meal on a weekend evening. But if you're up for some fun, and you're in love with meat in almost abusive quantities, you have to check this place out. Get a liter of beer at the bar and the bangers and mash to start, then work through the special sausages that constantly rotate, and finish the meal off with charcuterie and cheese plates that pack impressive cuts of spicy sausage and homemade ricotta.
The Establishment I haven't completely figured out what's going on at The Establishment, but I'll tell you this: The kitchen is plating up some seriously creative cooking at bottom bin prices. Expect plates loaded with quirky ingredients served in an industrial dining room. Oh, and a hot crowd.
FT33 A meal at FT-33 speaks for itself. This was arguably the hottest reservation in Dallas the last time we published this list, and it still is now. Vegetarians rejoice: Matt McCallister's treatment of produce can sway even the most devout of carnivores, and summer's bounty is here.
El Come Taco The last time I visited El Come Taco, on a Saturday afternoon, the place was a zoo, with customers waiting nearly 30 minutes for their tacos. They waited this long because the tacos are that good. Don't sleep on the tripas. They're some of the best in the city.
Monkey King Noodle Co. I have a feeling this Deep Ellum takeout is going to be a focal point this summer. Every time I pass someone is ordering food, and there are always a few chopsticks-wielding noodle fanatics hanging about. Get a few orders of dumplings and make your way up to the roof deck. Consider it your summer routine.
Zoli's The path to happiness at Zoli's is in a New York-style pizza ordered extra crispy. Tell the guy not to hold back; You want your pie with black blisters and all. Grab a few cans of beer from the counter and dig in. Hope you don't have plans later; a nap is coming soon.
Palapas Seafood Bar You can't miss this place if you drive by it on Lower Greenville Avenue. Just look for the thatched roof patios that jut out from both sides of the restaurant. The ceviches are the best use of your time. Start with the shrimp served on a tostada shell and a cold beer and see where your evening takes you.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.