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The Biggest Dallas Food News of 2023

Looking back on a year of wild lawsuits, chefs moving to town, and supreme croissants

A Chicago-style hot dog from Portillo’s lies in relief, next to an order of fries and dipping sauce. In the foreground, a hand holding a phone places an order.
It’s all about the hot dogs. The Portillo’s hot dogs.
Courtney E. Smith is the editor of Eater Dallas. She's a journalist of 20 years who was born and raised in Texas, with bylines in Pitchfork, Wired, Esquire, Yahoo!, Salon, Refinery29, and more. When she's not writing about food, she co-hosts the podcast Songs My Ex Ruined.

The past year was a wild ride for food and drinks in Dallas. We got some great new chefs, great new restaurants, and cool food trends. For once, the good, new, and cool outdid the bummer news from Eater Dallas readers — so we’re guessing everyone needs a little more happiness in their lives. We’ll take that energy with us into 2024. But for now, let’s look back at what was a hit in 2023.

10. Supreme croissants hit Dallas

In July, we spoke to Le Rêve Gelato & Pâtisserie owner Andy Pham after his gorgeous supreme croissants flooded our social media feeds. Apparently you loved them too. Consider this a gentle reminder to go have more or try them for the first time. Pham is still serving them right now, in creme brule, chocolate hazelnut, pistachio, and coffee.

9. Vandelay Hospitality CEO Hunter Pond wanted in Colorado

What else is there to say about this but yikes — big yikes? Other than after this report, it was discovered the Pond spit into the face of the woman involved in this case and yelled profanities at her. His lawyer disputed the accounts in both stories.

8. The founder of Chili’s opened a new barbecue spot in DFW

We asked if Loop 9 BBQ might be the next big chain to launch out of the Metroplex in this profile of Larry Lavine and his latest venture.

7. Chef David Bull leaving Austin for Mineral Wells

Chalking the success of this one up to gloating that someone finally left Austin to come north. Perhaps it’s wild because he’s a James Beard-nominee and brought his Second Bar + Kitchen concept to this tiny town. Or maybe everyone is just curious about Mineral Wells? All of the above?

6. Graham Elliot comes to Fort Worth

When a recognizable face from TV comes to town, everyone wants to know what he’s up to. And Elliot is still hard at work opening a huge slate of restaurants in Fort Worth and points further west.

5. What to eat at Portillo’s

So, you’re really into hot dogs. But like, really.

4. Our guide to omakase services in Dallas

And you’re really curious about where to spend your hard earned money at the flood of omakase services in town, which is relatable.

3. Our guide to the new foods at the State Fair of Texas

And you wanted to know if you should eat the Fruity Pebbles covered pickle (probably no, yes for a select few).

2. The James Beard finalists in DFW

This was a huge year for James Beard nominees in DFW. We didn’t have any winners, but we had a lot of restaurants and chefs in the semifinals and in among the nominees. Traffic says we’re all proud!

1. SluttyVegan opening its first Texas restaurant

If you’re surprised to see this story at number one, then we’ve gotta tell you: the searches for vegetarian and vegan food hitting Eater Dallas this year have been skyrocketing. Expect even more in 2024.

SluttyVegan Dallas

2707 Main Street, , TX 75226 (214) 396-5556 Visit Website

Second Bar + Kitchen

200 Congress Avenue, , TX 78701 (512) 827-2750 Visit Website

Loop 9 BBQ

2951 South State Highway 161, , TX 75052 (469) 789-5182 Visit Website

Portillo's the Colony

4560 Destination Drive, , TX 75056 (254) 233-2111 Visit Website

Le Rêve Gelato & Patisserie

12817 Preston Road, , TX 75230 (469) 372-5913 Visit Website