As 2016 finally — and mercifully — winds down, it’s the perfect time to look back at what’s happened in the Dallas dining scene over the last twelve months. As is tradition, we’re wrapping up 2016 by asking local critics, industry types, bloggers, and friends of Eater what they loved (and hated) about eating in Dallas in 2016.
First up? The city’s best new restaurants. A last-minute shutter shook up the list for a few of our experts, but most agree that this was a pretty solid year to be an eater in Dallas.
“On the Lamb has been a favorite new spot of mine, and one of the few places where I know I'm in for a meal featuring things I've never experienced before. Lamb pate? Duck ham? Incredibly beautiful desserts from pastry chef Francisca Lang? I've never had a disappointing bite at this place, and as a charcuterie-lover, I love how often their charcuterie program changes and evolves.”
(Note: On The Lamb closed its doors after this survey was completed. Still, folks really were across-the-board impressed with what Chef Ross Demers did in the kitchen at this now-shuttered Deep Ellum haunt.)
Nancy Nichols, D Magazine senior editor & former dining critic
“Since I am not the lead dining critic at D Magazine anymore, I don’t dine out as much as I used to. I am also gluten intolerant. I love everything about Stocks and Bondy. It’s the most unique spot to open this year. I like Wayward Sons, although I worry about its ability to keep the massive dining room full. It’s not really a newcomer, but Eight | 11 wine bar in Frisco has new ownership. It’s a funky Victorian house with a lovely patio and an interesting list of wines.”
Rachel Pinn, blogger & Eater contributor
“I'd have to go back to the beginning of 2016 when we welcomed Uchi's little sister, Top Knot, to Dallas. Consistently delicious and surprising, I'm consistently impressed with what I find there. And I'm pretty much always craving Chef Hernandez's chicken karaage, too.”
Brian Reinhart, Dallas Observer food critic
“My personal top five faves, in order: 1. Tacos Mariachi 2. On the Lamb 3. Sprezza 4. Wayward Sons 5. Hon Sushi (Carrollton). Honorable mention to Laili at the Dallas Farmers Market.”
It's strange to think of Trompo as new. Their time underground had them producing some crazy eats, but their brick-and-mortar spot opened this year has made its mark on the local and national restaurant scene. It's well-deserved. I look forward to the second location opening. Mr. Chamorro Taco Sobrimex has been opened for mere months and is serving some of the best carnitas around.
Teresa Gubbins, CultureMap senior editor
“Wayward Sons, Pie Tap Pizza Workshop, Sixty Vines, bbbop Seoul Kitchen Oak Cliff.”