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Dallas Food Writers Dish On Their Favorite Restaurant Standbys Of 2016

With so much new, it’s almost hard to pick a favorite

Bbbop’s second outpost proved a hit with local critics.
Amy McCarthy is a reporter at, focusing on pop culture, policy and labor, and only the weirdest online trends.

Considering the veritable bounty of new restaurants that opened their doors in Dallas over the past years, finding a solid standby can be tough with so much new to try. Fortunately, that’s where your favorite food writers and critics come in.

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, we asked this group of experts about their favorite new restaurants. Now, we’re searching for their favorite restaurant standbys, a.k.a. the places where they actually spend their own money when they’re not working.

Beth Rankin, Dallas Observer food editor

I moved to Dallas in January, so everything about this incredible city has been a new experience for me this year, which I love. When I first moved here, I set a goal for myself: Don't eat at the same place twice for the first six months. I broke that rule several times over at Bbbop (that fried chicken!), Local Press + Brew (that toast!), Bocce (I cannot tell you how many times I Caviar'd that sweet pea carbonara on a Sunday afternoon) and Monkey King Noodle Company (my xiao long bao addiction is very real). Small Brewpub is definitely my neighborhood hang spot, even with the new chef and menu, and Jettison is the romantic neighborhood cocktail bar I've always dreamed of.

Brian Reinhart, Dallas Observer food critic

I'm gonna answer this question wrong on purpose. "Comeback Player of the Year" award: Kitchen LTO for returning from closure even better than ever, Komali for executing a refreshing menu redesign, and Sabaidee for switching from a run-of-the-mill Thai takeout to legit Laotian street food. That takes a lot of trust in your customers.

Nancy Nichols, D Magazine senior editor & former dining critic

My regular, on-my-own dime spots are T.J. Seafood in Preston Royal, Roman Cucina (lots of gluten free pasta), La Perla, Mughlai, Mudhen Meat & Greens, Take out: Snap Kitchen, Stocks and Bondy.

Amy McCarthy, Eater Dallas Editor

Neighborhood Services is always my go-to for a nice dinner or an excellent burger that isn’t fast food, but I probably went to The Halal Guys for a quick, cheap, and easily-delivered lunch more often than not.

Rachel Pinn, blogger & Eater contributor

Cane Rosso White Rock is almost in my backyard. My twins call it "Red Piggy" because of the big red pig out front, and we can often be found enjoying a couple of pies and a salad there. Whether or not Jay Jerrier wants to admit it, the White Rock location is great for date night, groups or –GASP!– even families.

José R. Ralat, taco writer & Cowboys & Indians food editor

I don't really go out for fun, per se. Going out is for work, but when I want to spend quality food time with my family, the lot of us went to Bbbop in Oak Cliff, Tacodeli at Sylvan Thirty or a Paciugo location. When it's just my wife and I, we often went to Cibo Divino.

Teresa Gubbins, CultureMap senior editor

Cane Rosso, Spiral Diner, the bar at CBD Provisions.