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The Best Dishes Eater Dallas Ate in May

A life-changing chicken sandwich, spicy poke, and strawberry shortcake are on the list

On a silver tray lined with white and orange paper sits a fried chicken sandwich on a brioche bun, a paper container of cole slaw with purple and green cabbage, and a biscuit.
Soul Bird opened a Dallas location for some life-changing chicken.
Courtney E. Smith
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 amount of excellent food available in Dallas is dizzying, yet mediocre meals somehow keep worming their way into our lives. With your Eater Dallas editor dining out frequently, that means coming across lots of standout dishes and drinks that need to be shared.


On tray is a can of diet Coke in the top left, a fork, a napkin, and a large bowl of poke with tuna, sliced jalapeno, cucumbers, red onion, and red chili thread.
Spicy chili tuna poke bowl from Malibu Poke in Oak Lawn.
Courtney E. Smith

Malibu Poke

A quick lunch at Malibu Poke in Oak Lawn yielded a fresh, tangy, spicy poke bowl on top of riced cauliflower. The spicy chili tuna bowl was not kidding around about the spicy part. The gorgeousness of the threaded red chili makes this bowl stand out, as does the liberal use of jalapenos. This one packs a lot of heat, but no regrets.


A white dish holds two tins with large baked oysters covered in parmesan cheese.
Oysters Beatrice are a play on baked oysters.
Courtney E. Smith
A plate is stacked with shortcake, whipped cream, and sliced strawberries. Behind it is a Mason jar water glass and a glass of white wine.
Had to get some strawberry shortcake in while its seasonal.
Courtney E. Smith

Restaurant Beatrice

A stop by this Oak Cliff restaurant yielded a whole meal of Gulf seafood. First up was the Oysters Beatrice, made with Barrier Beauties oysters farmed off the coast of Galveston and (not pictured) a crawfish boil before the season was over. The baked oysters are available in sets of two, a half dozen, or more and are covered with cooked greens and parmesan cheese. And speaking of the season, the table next to me ordered the strawberry shortcake, tempting me. It was sweet, buttery, and summer-y.


A bagel with cucumbers and schmear is in a brown to-go box. Above it is an iced latte with a blue straw. They both sit on a piece of cement.
The cucumber sandwich at Starship Bagel.
Courtney E. Smith

Starship Bagel

On a morning stroll Downtown, it is worth braving the line at this bagel stand to order. Pair the cucumber sandwich with a scallion spread for a kick of flavor on top of an excellent bagel. Also pictured: the lavender iced latte, which was well balanced.


A bowl of Frito pie, covered in chili and cheese, sits on the bottom right. Next to it is a salad with tomatoes and carrots. Both are on a diner table top with squiggly designs.
Frito pie: it’s for vegans, if you head to Spiral Diner.
Courtney E. Smith

Spiral Diner

Frito pie is a favorite, so while in Fort Worth in May, I popped into Spiral Diner and couldn’t resist ordering its vegan interpretation. The flavors of its red chili are all there, and the cheese holds up to the salty flavors of the chili and chips very well. It would be great if more places offered a side salad with their Frito pie.


On a silver tray lined with white and orange paper sits a fried chicken sandwich on a brioche bun, a paper container of cole slaw with purple and green cabbage, and a biscuit.
This chicken sandwich is life-changing, as promised.
Courtney E. Smith

Soul Bird Chkn Shack

Soul Bird finally opened its Dallas location on Walnut Hill at the end of 2022, and I finally made it in midway through 2023. The eponymous chicken sandwich with house-cut pickles and a side of Soul Slaw was so close to perfect that I may never eat another Popeye’s sandwich again. I added on a spicy cheddar biscuit, which usually comes with its wings. Incredible.

Spiral Diner & Bakery

1314 West Magnolia Avenue, , TX 76104 (817) 332-8834 Visit Website

Soul Bird Chkn Shack

8031 Walnut Hill Lane, , TX 75231 (214) 276-6316 Visit Website

Malibu Poke

3888 Oak Lawn Avenue, , TX 75219 (469) 250-7074 Visit Website

Restaurant Beatrice

1111 North Beckley Avenue, , TX 75203 (469) 962-2173 Visit Website