Best Of Dallas

Dallas' Best Chicken-Fried Steak

If you're near Deep Ellum, head to AllGood Cafe for some of the best chicken-fried steak in the city.
If you're near Deep Ellum, head to AllGood Cafe for some of the best chicken-fried steak in the city. AllGood Cafe
October 26 is Chicken Fried Steak Day in the Lone Star State. Yes, since 2011, there has been a day dedicated to one of the most popular dishes you’ll find in these parts. While you likely won’t get a day off from work to celebrate the occasion, you should certainly loosen your belt buckle a few notches and indulge in the battered and deep-fried steak covered in seasoned cream gravy at one of these great places.

AllGood Café

2934 Main St. (Deep Ellum)
Named the 2022 best chicken-fried steak on the Observer's “Best of” list, the beef tenderloin at AllGood Café is pounded thin, perfectly encased in a seasoned deep-fried batter and topped with a perfect pepper cream gravy. It’s not as large as other versions served around North Texas, but when it’s this good, does size really matter? If you’re there for breakfast, we strongly recommend adding a fried egg. The oozing egg yolk mixed with the peppery cream gravy and the crunch of the chicken-fried steak is the perfect way to start your day.

Babe's Chicken Dinner House

Multiple Locations
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Babe's chicken-fried steak comes with the bonus of as many biscuits as you can eat.
Babe's Chicken Dinner House
Some consider the chicken-fried steak at Babe’s Chicken Dinner House “the Holy Grail” by which other chicken-fried steaks are measured. With 10 locations throughout North Texas, you may want to break out your stretchy pants for this meal because on top of the crispy and tender fried steak and gravy, you will also get endless sides of potatoes, green beans, corn and biscuits. If you’re in the Park Cities area or Frisco, you can enjoy the same great chicken-fried steak at Babe's sister restaurant, Bubba’s Cooks Country.

Jonathon's Diner

1619 N. Beckley Ave. (Oak Cliff)
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No one does brunch like Jonathon's, where the chicken-fried steak is a great hangover cure.
Jonathon's Diner
Looking for a hangover cure? Then head directly to Jonathon’s Diner for a perfect chicken-fried steak with batter that doesn’t fall off when you cut it. It's served with seasoned gravy, two eggs, potatoes and toast and is the prescription to cure all that ails you. We are anxiously awaiting the grand opening of the new location at Forest Lane and Inwood, expected later this fall.

Whistle Britches

Multiple Locations
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Whistle Britches chicken-fried steak is thicker than the standard.
Whistle Britches
Most people expect their CFS to be the size of a human head because it is pounded very thin before before being battered and fried. Whistle Britches, located in North Dallas and Plano, serves a drool-worthy 8-ounce, thick-cut Angus beef fried steak that melts in your mouth, with whipped potatoes, buttered green beans and a seasoned cream gravy.

Ellen's

1790 N. Record St. (West End)
Located in the touristy West End, the chicken-fried steak at Ellen’s has been lauded by some of the best-known food writers in Dallas as one of the finest in the city. Some have said tourists don’t deserve food this good. The place is packed most weekend mornings, and there are no reservations during that busy time, so plan accordingly and get there early. Ellen's location in Allen is a bit less touristy, so put on your elastic-banded bottoms and head north about 25 minutes to indulge.

Intrinsic Smokehouse & Brewery

509 W. State St., Garland
How does this sound: burnt-end gravy over chicken-fried brisket over a huge mound of creamy mashed potatoes? You'll have to head over to Intrinsic Smokehouse & Brewery on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the brunch menu (which, quite honestly, is just a bit nefarious, because it's rude to offer this for only 3 hours each week). For brunch, Intrinsic also offers a country poutine with brisket, and a Texas Breakfast that comes with a half-pound of house-made bacon. Goodness.

Mama's Daughters' Diner & Norma's Cafe

Multiple Locations
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Sometimes, it's the simple things that matter, like a perfectly adorned partitioned plate.
Mama's Daughters' Diner
With multiple locations around the city, Mama’s Daughters’ Diner and Norma’s Café have been serving Dallasites delicious diner food for over 75 years combined. At Mama’s Daughters', the hand-breaded chicken-fried steaks come two per order (because one won’t cover it), along with two sides and, of course, “Mama’s” roll or cornbread. Norma’s serves the eNORMAus, award-winning chicken-fried steak seasoned, double dipped, fried golden brown and smothered with cream gravy.

Ozona Grill & Bar

4615 Greenville Ave.
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Ozona's chicken-fried steak is consistently superb.
Angie Quebedeaux
In addition to traditional chicken-fried steak with gravy, Ozona Grill & Bar offers this staple dish either queso-style or Cowboy-style, with chili, cheese and red onions. If you’re not up for tackling the oval platter-sized steak, you can opt for chicken-fried steak fingers, a chicken-fried steak sandwich or chicken-fried steak sliders.

Oddfellows

316 W. Seventh St. (Oak Cliff)
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The Akaushi chicken-fried steak at Oddfellows is on both the brunch and the dinner menu.
Oddfellow's
If you’re in the Bishop Arts District, be sure to check out the Akaushi chicken-fried steak at Oddfellows. Akaushi, which means “red cattle,” is primarily raised in southern Japan and is one of four breeds of wagyu, known best for its superior marbling and tenderness. During the day, the CFS at Oddfellows is served with two eggs, potatoes and country gravy. In the evening, it comes with mashed potatoes, green beans and a poblano cream gravy.

Haywire

1920 McKinney Ave. (Uptown) and 5901 Winthrop St. (Legacy West), Plano
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Haywire has great chicken-fried steak, and its Uptown location boasts one of the prettiest dining rooms in town.
Photo Courtesy of Haywire
The wagyu beef CFS at Haywire is tender enough to cut with a fork. It's served with buttermilk chive potatoes and crunchy green beans. The jalapeño-sausage gravy gives the dish a nice kick as opposed to the sometimes bland gravy elsewhere. Haywire is also one of our favorite dining rooms to boot.

Tom's Burgers and Grill

1530 N. Cooper St., Arlington
If you like your CFS crust to really crack when you cut into it, this retro diner just off Interstate 30 in Arlington is your spot. Tom's uses Ruffles potato chips in the batter; the chips aren't finely crushed but are added in big, bite-sized pieces that lend a truly crunchy and flavorful exterior. The beer-battered onion rings are also pretty epic here. Finish it all off with a funnel cake. No one said this was going to be easy.

Ugly Heifer Grill

2498 FM 66, Waxahachie
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A chicken-fried steak dinner at Ugly Heifer Grill.
Lauren Drewes Daniels
If you're inclined to lazy road trips past green pastures, head south to the Ugly Heifer Grill in Waxachie to a quaint, family-run, chef-driven diner with a CFS well worth the gas. A thick mound of homemade mashed potatoes and al dente fried okra are great sides here. Consider wrapping up the huge biscuit to warm up in the morning for breakfast. Take note: Ugly Heifer Grill is closed Sundays and Mondays and closes at 8 p.m. the rest of the time. There's a piano at the front of the restaurant where you can play for a free burger and tips. You can also enjoy Henry's Homemade Ice Cream out of Plano, and the deep-fried pimento cheese balls are the best we've had.
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Angie Quebedeaux is a freelance food writer for the Observer. A "ragin' Cajun" from Lafayette, she's been in Dallas since 2002. She is an HR director by day and loves to “laissez les bon temps rouler.”

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