Food News

We’ve Made a Few Updates to Our Top 100 Dallas Restaurants List

Resident Taqueria's Philly cheesesteak taco special. It's worth waiting for.
Resident Taqueria's Philly cheesesteak taco special. It's worth waiting for. Brian Reinhart
click to enlarge Morefan was the only Xi'an-style restaurant in the Dallas area — but it isn't anymore. - BRIAN REINHART
Morefan was the only Xi'an-style restaurant in the Dallas area — but it isn't anymore.
Brian Reinhart
Six months ago, we published our first-ever Top 100 Dallas Restaurants list. It’s been serving our readers as a resource ever since, and we’re going to publish another Top 100 this December.

But there are some updates that can’t wait six more months, so today we’re revising the list slightly. We’re not adding any new restaurants or taking any places off the list. But we are fixing facts in the original Top 100 — unfortunately, it’s now a Top 99 — to reflect new prices, changed addresses, new ownership and other alterations. The revised list is online now, but here is a quick summary of the tweaks we’ve made.

No. 8 Gemma: Early this spring, Gemma went through a full menu rewrite. We haven’t been back to try it yet, but rest assured, we’ll be there soon.

No. 9 Mi Lindo Oaxaca: The new location on Willomet Avenue now accepts credit cards and has a small patio and small, awkward parking lot. The mole and tlayudas survived the move as delicious as ever, but some other recipes are not quite what we remember. The old location on Fort Worth Avenue is now a different restaurant.


No. 13 Tacos Mariachi: Tacos Mariachi’s quality still seems as consistent as ever after the restaurant expanded to a second location on Greenville Avenue late in 2018.

No. 14 Ddong Ggo: Now under new ownership; we haven’t been back yet but will return soon. Brian Chong, the impresario who helped found Ddong Ggo, has a new restaurant across the parking lot called Kurobuta Ramen and Tonkatsu, which we will be reviewing in full later this summer.

No. 32 Zoli’s: The original Top 100 listing complained, “A recent muffaletta pizza special lasted just one night, and we’re hoping that by mentioning it here, we can persuade the good folks at Zoli’s to bring it back.” Success! It is now a Monday night special. Obviously, this means that Zoli’s is now perfect and will move to the No. 1 spot in December.

Restaurants in the 51-100 Range (which were not ranked in order)
Billy Can Can:
Pastry chef Keith Cedotal joined the team to put together a pretty killer new dessert menu.  I especially recommend the cobblers with housemade ice cream. However, I’d advise against sitting at the metal tables on the restaurant’s north wall. During my latest visit, I commented, “These edges are sharp, someone could get hurt,” and then proved it five minutes later by slicing my finger open on the table’s razor-like side.

click to enlarge Resident Taqueria's Philly cheesesteak taco special. It's worth waiting for. - BRIAN REINHART
Resident Taqueria's Philly cheesesteak taco special. It's worth waiting for.
Brian Reinhart
El Come Taco: This taco shop’s owners just launched a mezcal bar, La Viuda Negra, in the same building.

Fortune House: After original owner Lucy Yong sold the restaurant to a Korean family, foodies whispered about a possible dip in quality. But Yong helped the family secure a new noodle and dumpling chef from China, and as of two weeks ago, Fortune House’s soup dumplings are as good as they’ve ever been. (The rest of the menu remains a mashup of Shanghainese specialties and skippable Americanized fare.) We know all of this because Yong sued the new owners over a non-compete clause which she said she signed without anyone explaining to her what it meant. The case was recently settled; Yong’s new business is Dragon House in Southlake.

Jalisco Norte: The menu here has been updated to include a bounty of cheffy street snacks like tacos and huaraches. So far the results are not fully consistent, but they’re mostly exciting. Don’t miss the crab-stuffed hatch chile or the tamal de elote.

Morefan: In the original Top 100, we wrote that Morefan was the only place in metro Dallas to eat foods from Xi’an. There’s now another Xi’anese restaurant in town. We’ll be writing a full, formal review of Morefan’s new competitor later this summer.

Resident Taqueria: Four words: Philly cheesesteak taco special.

Smoke: Smoke is now closed, leaving our Top 100 a Top 99 until December. A new restaurant is in the works for the space, but as for what it will be, the Belmont Hotel ownership group’s lips are sealed. Who knows? It could even be celery-themed.
KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Brian Reinhart has been the Dallas Observer's food critic since spring 2016. In addition, he writes baseball analysis for the Hardball Times and covers classical music for the Observer and MusicWeb International.
Contact: Brian Reinhart