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An off white plate is embossed with gold letters that say “Stillwell’s” in cursive. On it is a steak with grill marks and wrapped herbs. A diner cuts into it with a knife.
Dallas is the land of great steaks, and Stillwell’s is among the city’s best.
Samantha Marie Photography

The 38 Essential Dallas Restaurants, Winter 2024

Simply the best restaurants in the Metroplex

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Dallas is the land of great steaks, and Stillwell’s is among the city’s best.
| Samantha Marie Photography

The Dallas-Fort Worth is a sprawling Metroplex of 9,286 square miles. And in that land mass, there are a lot of great restaurants. This list aims to guide visitors and locals alike to great new locations, up-and-coming eateries, and established restaurants at the top of the food game, all at various price points and featuring the numerous cuisines that shine in DFW.

Eater Dallas’s list of the 38 Essential Restaurants in fair North Texas is updated quarterly. This winter’s update includes additions of some long-standing favorites in DFW, including Harvest at its new Masonic Lodge location, the Heritage Table, Georgie and its remarkable new chef, and the renovated dining room and menu at Gemma. It also welcomes a new steakhouse with Stillwell’s and the much-lauded Smoke’N Ash BBQ.

Check out the Eater Dallas Heatmap for the newest restaurant openings any given month.

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Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process.

Harvest at the Masonic

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Harvest has been a favorite on the Square in McKinney for quite some time, and has been a leader in the Metroplex for serving hyper local food from North Texas farmers. It moved to a new, bigger location that is a must-visit. Owner Rick Wells oversaw the renovation of a former Masonic Lodge and created a three-floor experience at Harvest that must be enjoyed to be believed.

A serve holds a salad plate up from a tray. Also on the tray are plates of steak, chicken fried steak, another salad, and a salmon.
Eat locally at Harvest at the Masonic.
Kathy Tran

The Heritage Table

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If sustainability in food is important to you, then owner and chef Rich Vana’s menu is one that must be experienced. Order the Whole Beast, a dish he created to move towards a minimal waste kitchen. It incorporates leftover pieces of proteins, noodles, and produce to make sure every part of the animal gets used, along with as much of everything else that works.

A plate of beef short ribs is served on sweet potato buckwheat risotto with red onion sauerkraut jam.
Beef short ribs at the Heritage Table.
Kathy Tran

Ari Korean BBQ

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The fun of Korean barbecue is all in cooking it yourself. But the craft of it is in the meat the restaurant uses. Ari Korean BBQ has locations in Carrollton and Plano, both worth traveling to eat at, and has some of the best cuts around. Try the bulgogi, marinated short rib, and thin-sliced prime brisket. And in Carrollton, there’s a new upstairs lounge with cocktails and DJs.

Kirin Court

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If dim sum is what you crave, Kirin Court is the classic go-to for DFW. Get the full experience here, with banquet-sized tables, push carts of dim sum, and white tablecloths. Go for the all-you-can-eat style grab a basket dim sum or order from the lunch and dinner menus for entrees. It’s a blast.

Partenope Ristorante

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Looking for Neapolitan-style pizza in Dallas? This is option No. 1, at it’s new location in Richardson or in Downtown. Its hearty, it folds, and its topped with some of the best Italian ingredients. It’s also an excellent spot for Italian dishes, from amazing meatballs to fettuccine alla bolognese that will spoil you for other bolognese sauces.

A Napoli style pizza sits on a plate.
When all you want is your own damn pizza.
Partenope

Roots Southern Table

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At chef Tiffany Derry’s restaurant, prepare to be tempted by the cast iron cornbread and pimento cheese toast, staples in any Southern kitchen. Then, dive into some inventive main courses, including jerk swordfish, a lamb curry named for her mentor Bobby Flay, and grilled hen of the woods mushroom. And the duck fat fried chicken and gumbo are longtime signature dishes that are great items to start with.

A bowl of gumbo with shrimp is served over white rice.
My Mother’s Gumbo is a staple and a must-try at Roots.
Kathy Tran

Desta Ethiopian Restaurant

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Just inside the loop on Greenville Avenue is a family-style Ethiopian restaurant. Head in for traditional dishes including tibs (beef or lamb cooked with sauteed vegetables), doro wot (chicken legs in berbere hot sauce), and firfir (injera — an Ethiopian flatbread — in tomato sauce).

A bowl of meat sits in a piece of injera surrounded by sauteed vegetables.
Sit down for a family-style meal at Desta.
Desta

TJ's Seafood Market & Grill Preston Royal

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It’s hard to beat a lobster roll from TJ’s. Matter of fact, it’s hard to be any seafood from TJ’s. The restaurant refreshed its menu early in the fall with 15 new dishes, including Oysters Rockefeller, salmon ceviche, coconut fried jumbo shrimp, and warm lobster dip. But a classic dish of salmon over broccolini continues to be a solid order here.

There are few dining experiences in Dallas as beautiful as the one at Jose. The unique facade, the indoor/outdoor patio, and the light in the dining room paired with rich color palette of Mexican-style decor are all eye-catching. The menu absolutely rivals the setting. Featuring Jalisco-style cuisine, diners can enjoy an array of tacos, seafood dishes, and enchiladas with a cocktail menu that is not just “The Usual.”

Toasted corn elotes sit in a blue and white bowl, topped with Tajin and limes.
Elotes in one of the gorgeous bowls from Jose.
Jose

Georgie

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Georgie has undergone a shift in direction this year, following the departure of Curtis Stone. It got a new chef, RJ Yoakum, who came to Dallas from a position at the French Laundry under Thomas Keller. And the restaurant’s menu has transitioned from steakhouse to what is best described as incredible American cuisine. Of late, Yoakum’s style seems to veer towards taking the idea of a dish, deconstructing it, and creating all the elements in a new style that is evocative of the flavors while boggling the mind with unusual textures and construction. Want to know what that means? Go in and order the French onion soup.

A single oyster sits on a white plate. There is frozen granata in it, along with chile oil.
A small peek into what’s new at Georgie.
Courtney E. Smith

Barsotti's

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Oak Lawn lands a renovated Italian joint after Barsotti’s underwent a facelift. Now it’s homier than ever. This red sauce-style restaurant offers dinner and lunch, with its version of Sunday gravy, veal served in the styles of veal parmesan or veal piccata, and sausage and peppers. 

A white plate holds chicken parmesan with pasta and red sauce, with melted mozzarella on top.
Chicken parm done Barsotti style.
Daniel Barsotti

Gemma Restaurant

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If it’s been a minute since you were in Gemma, it’s time to go back. The dining room has had a style overhaul, turning it into a dark and sexy neighborhood bistro with European vibes. The menu has changed too, and now touts an entire section devoted to proteins paired with frites, an incredibly juicy chicken breast, a butcher’s corner of huge cuts of beef and pork, and an assortment of remarkable pasta dishes.

A plate holds a cut chicken breast resting on top of polenta with spinach and au jus on the side.
French chicken breast with semolina polenta and spinach.
Courtney E. Smith

Ngon Vietnamese Kitchen

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Soups with rich broth and delicious noodles. Shaking tofu rice. Rice paper rolls. Vietnamese coffee. Sangria with a kick of Hennessey. These are a few delights waiting in Nong Vietnamese Kitchen on Lowest Greenville. Owner Carol Nguyen named the place for her mother and intends to introduce Dallasites to the best of Vietnam. 

Sop by and order the pork belly lollipops and the Icelandic hot dog, the latter of which does a bang-up job of recreating the flavors of a street food dish with elevated ingredients. The vegan chile relleno is also well executed. Rye added lunch and brunch to it’s offerings, and the chicken sandwich is a hit.

Duroc pork belly lollipops rest on a board and each meat pop is held up on a stick. Char and a charred orange decorate the bottom. At Rye in McKinney.
First timers have to try the duroc pork belly lollipops.
Rye

Mot Hai Ba

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Chef Peja Krstic has one of the most interesting culinary minds in Dallas. His Lakewood restaurant serves French-Vietnamese fusion, ostensibly, with some dishes that are more obviously one of the other, but even that fusion feels like a limited way to describe the dishes. It also features a heavy Texan influence and features a good amount of seafood from the Northeast. Even the dining room is something between an intimate French bistro (by way of New Orleans) and a homey, family-owned restaurant. It’s Krstic and his particular version of coloring outside the lines more than it’s any one thing.

Street's Fine Chicken

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Fine fried chicken is quite the find to make. Street’s chicken is brined for 24-hours and fried to a golden crisp. the biscuits with honey butter are a must to add-on, and among its sides the collard greens combine savory broth and a vinegar tang, and the brie mac and cheese is baked with a nice crisp layer of cheese on top while it’s melty, and cheesy, inside.

A wooden table holds plates of fried chicken, greens, mashed potatoes.
When it’s time for a table full of fried chicken, head to Street’s.
Street’s Fine Chicken

Namo in the West Village sources most of its products from Japan, encompassing sushi, sake, and whiskies — and they’re excellent. But the warm vibes of the tiny sushi bar inside make it memorable. It feels unpretentious and cozy and is built in a way that guarantees the crowds are small (it holds 12) and that eating is a shared experience. Drop by for its special events, including a weekly omakase service. 

An Omakase sushi chef prepares behind a counter made of light blonde wood butchers block.
Omakase service shines at Namo.
Namo

The Mansion Restaurant

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Step into old school Dallas with a night at the Rosewood Mansion restaurant or bar. This kitchen is famous for being home to a number of Dallas’s most notable chefs over the years, and some of their work sticks around to this day, including Dean Fearing’s tortilla soup which is always available as an off-menu order.

Poco Fiasco

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Pizza and martinis: it’s hard to name a more iconic duo. This Harwood District spot offers excellent and varied options for each. Stop in all day and night for thin, crispy pizza with vegetarian-friendly possibilities and a good place to catch a game. It also offers a handful of other Italian dishes. Pair that order with a martini from the clever menu, or build your own. Or opt for wine or beer if that’s the vibe.

A green tabletop holds various pizzas.
Pizza on pizza on pizza.
Kathy Tran

Kalachandji's

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This spot is the longest-running vegetarian restaurant in Dallas, going strong since 1982, and among the best Indian food in the city. Food is served buffet style and the prices are very reasonable, at just shy of $15 for lunch and $18 for dinner. Feast on black-eyed pea curry, mixed vegetable sabzi in a gravy loaded with spices, or pakora (fried vegetable fritters).

Stillwell's

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Folks come to Dallas expecting to eat great steak. One of the city’s new steakhouses, Stillwell’s in the Hotel Swexan, is that great steak. It serves cuts from the in-house, proprietary Harwood Beef program, which are remarkable. It has one of the city’s most extensive wine lists. And it’s a tiny, luxurious room — which lends the experience of eating there an air of quiet luxury.

A table holds a decanter with wine, a wine glass, a wine bottle with a red wax top, a white plate with a steak, a copper globe, and part of a plate with a baked potato.
Wine and steak at Stillwell’s.

The Peak Inn

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Looking for the perfect burger? It’s at the Peak Inn in East Dallas. This dive bar grinds its meat in house and serves up the actual platonic ideal of a burger. It’s so good you’ll cry, guaranteed. Best consumed with a beer or a whiskey, water back.

A burger and fries sit in a basket with red checked paper.
The perfect burger.
Courtney E. Smith

El Carlos Elegante

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This Mexican fine dining spot draws inspiration from Indigenous cultures, Mexico City street foods, and the family recipes of its kitchen staff, who hail from all over Mexico. Pro-tip: tell the server your budget and if you have any preferences, and let them curate your plates and drinks. They’re well-trained and fully capable.

A mans hand uses a blade to slide into a long machete, with a mole dipping sauce in a ramekin on the side.
Fall into the machete.
Kathy Tran

Ellie's Restaurant & Lounge

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Ellie’s is one of those if you know you know hotel restaurants. Located in the Arts District, it gets a lot of traffic from hotel guests and folks going to the symphony or AT&T Performing Arts Center but its worth treating as a destination of its own. Executive chef Anthony Hsia is among the city’s best and has evolved the menu from Napa-inspired to global options that are seafood-forward.

Billy Can Can

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If you’re looking for a taste of Dallas, it’s hard to hit the mark better than this Victory Park spot. It’s fine dining in a saloon environment and a menu loaded with wild game. No need to dress up fancy, but you can if you like. The menu will be packed with seasonal dishes that start with the idea of a traditional Southern dish but have the flair of culinary brilliance. The assorted deviled eggs, a half dozen in different styles, and Texas venison tartare are must-orders — and that’s just from the appetizers menu. It only gets better from there. 

Tatsu Dallas

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Chef Tatsu is a master of simple treatments of nigiri that highlight both the quality of the fish (almost everything he serves is flown in from Japan) and his culinary skill as a sushi chef. The small dining room at this restaurant makes it challenging to land a reservation, but it’s worth the effort. And worth the price tag to enjoy an omakase service here.

A man’s hand places a piece of sushi onto a black serving plate.
The city’s top sushi is found at Tatsu.
Tatsu

AllGood Cafe

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Visit a piece of Deep Ellum history and see some live music while you’re at it. Dallasites of a certain age know that not only is this a great spot to get a chicken fried steak smothered in gravy, but it’s home to a wonderful community that’s seen the neighborhood, and the local music scene, through 20 years of history.

A fried chicken sandwich sits on a plate.
It’s the chicken sandwich, y’all.
Courtney E. Smith

Revolver Taco Lounge

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Revolver has expanded its offerings with a gastro taco lounge next to the Deep Ellum taqueria. But the wonderful tacos here haven’t changed a bit. Stop in for fresh-made wagyu steak, duck breast, and whatever tacos the Rojas family cooks on any given day. And the Sunday brunch served buffet style is not to be missed.

Plates of tacos sit amid drinks on a white table.
Eating tacos in Dallas means heading to Revolver Taco.
Kathy Tran

Starship Bagel

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The lines are often long, but the wait is worth it. A morning (or mid-morning or lunch) bagel from the Starship stand downtown will perk up any day. Don’t expect to get eggs and bacon or any other breakfast style bagel, however — it’s strictly lox, veggies, and schmear for these purists. With the wide array of flavors, of both bagels and schmear, it’ll take ages before any bagel lover worth their salt (bagel) will even miss ‘em.

The Millenial Falcon bagel sandwich features avocado, tomato, pickled onion and sprouts on your choice of bagel with your choice of schmear.
Standing in line at Starship is totally worth it.
Paul Torres

Crown Block

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Crown Block took up residence in Reunion Tower in April of this year, sliding into an iconic space that Dallasites and folks visiting this town have frequented for special events and great views since it opened in 1978. It is led by James Beard Award nominees Elizabeth Blau and chef Kim Canteenwalla, featuring steak and seafood with one of the city’s top raw bars. Don’t miss out on ordering Society Cake for dinner, a signature dish loaded with rich layers of chocolate. It has added a splashy brunch service as well, that is part extravagant buffet and part table service.

A steak sits in a silver dish.
Steak and seafood are the menu at Crown Block.
Kathy Tran

Restaurant Beatrice

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Eater Dallas’s best restaurant for 2022 was also one of the best new restaurant finalists in the James Beard Awards for 2023. Go there for shrimp and grits, fried chicken, vegan gumbo — all the Cajun staples. In a kitchen helmed by Michelle Carpenter of Zen Sushi and chef Terance Jenkins, who worked in New Orleans kitchens including Commander’s Palace, Louisiana favorites are a step above newspaper-on-the-table casual but never stuffy. 

On a dish, fried chicken with red pepper jelly is served on one side, with pickled jalapenos on the other.
Mamaw’s fried chicken is a perennial favorite at this spot.
Kathy Tran

Don Artemio Restaurant

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Don Artemio opened its first U.S. location in Fort Worth, serving the cuisine of Northern Mexico. The menu highlights traditional Aztec and Mexican dishes, serving mussels in chipotle sauce, seared sea bass with mole, and grilled ribeye with porcini sauce.

It’s probably been too long since the last time all of us visited Nova, the little midcentury gem in Oak Cliff. This is where your trusted hospitality service industry folks head after a hard day at work, as well as a neighborhood favorite. And the team are constantly adding new dishes — so try out the seared duck breast, a new favorite, or stick to the Moroccan half chicken, an old fave.

Taco Y Vino

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On the outskirts of Bishop Arts lies Taco Y Vino, a spot for clever tacos, Mexican-inspired dishes, and a great deal. The chile relleno taco and the tuna crudo tostada will impress. But it’s hard to do better than the deal of the century: six tacos with proteins of the diner’s choice and a bottle of wine for $40.

To believe in the raves that Lucia consistently gets is to eat there, and this year the James Beard Awards took notice and put it in the finalists for Best Restaurant. The cozy atmosphere, the personable staff, and most significantly, the inventive twists on Italian food, which are not too far from the original but just different enough to make it an experience, are worth putting your name on the reservations waitlist to experience. 

Written by the Seasons

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Bishop Arts has quickly become a favorite neighborhood for Dallasites to explore, and Written by the Seasons is one of the best people-watching restaurants in the area. This spring and summer, take advantage of its menu of sharable bite-sized dishes, an impeccable wine list, and as many cocktails as you can handle while watching the crowds amble by in the indoor/outdoor dining area that’s set back from Davis Street.

A pair of hands clink two glasses of wine at an outdoor table at Written by the Seasons.
Grab a glass of wine and enjoy the people watching in Bishop Arts along with a great meal.
Kathy Tran

Smoke'N Ash BBQ

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This Ethiopian smokehouse has been racking up accolades, from Texas Monthly to the New York Times, as a great fusion. Since it opened in 2018, owners Patrick and Fasicka Hicks have really hit a groove by incorporating traditional Ethiopian dishes into traditional Texas barbecue. The Tex-Ethiopian options include a huge platter with injera, injera nachos, awaze meats, and firfir migas.

A plate holds Ethiopian barbecue.
A Tex-Ethiopian barbecue platter.
Smoke’N Ash BBQ

Goldee's Barbecue

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Goldee’s became the must-try barbecue spot in the Metroplex after some prominent mentions in the press. And it delivers. Head on out and get in line one morning for brisket (you can buy a whole one and cut the line), ribs, sausage, and turkey with all the traditional sides. Nothing fancy, just great barbecue.

Hands use plastic forks and knives to scoop of potato salad and brisket from a platter at Goldee’s.
Prepare to stand in line at Goldee’s — bring a book and plan on eating great barbecue.
Kathy Tran

Harvest at the Masonic

Harvest has been a favorite on the Square in McKinney for quite some time, and has been a leader in the Metroplex for serving hyper local food from North Texas farmers. It moved to a new, bigger location that is a must-visit. Owner Rick Wells oversaw the renovation of a former Masonic Lodge and created a three-floor experience at Harvest that must be enjoyed to be believed.

A serve holds a salad plate up from a tray. Also on the tray are plates of steak, chicken fried steak, another salad, and a salmon.
Eat locally at Harvest at the Masonic.
Kathy Tran

The Heritage Table

If sustainability in food is important to you, then owner and chef Rich Vana’s menu is one that must be experienced. Order the Whole Beast, a dish he created to move towards a minimal waste kitchen. It incorporates leftover pieces of proteins, noodles, and produce to make sure every part of the animal gets used, along with as much of everything else that works.

A plate of beef short ribs is served on sweet potato buckwheat risotto with red onion sauerkraut jam.
Beef short ribs at the Heritage Table.
Kathy Tran

Ari Korean BBQ

The fun of Korean barbecue is all in cooking it yourself. But the craft of it is in the meat the restaurant uses. Ari Korean BBQ has locations in Carrollton and Plano, both worth traveling to eat at, and has some of the best cuts around. Try the bulgogi, marinated short rib, and thin-sliced prime brisket. And in Carrollton, there’s a new upstairs lounge with cocktails and DJs.

Kirin Court

If dim sum is what you crave, Kirin Court is the classic go-to for DFW. Get the full experience here, with banquet-sized tables, push carts of dim sum, and white tablecloths. Go for the all-you-can-eat style grab a basket dim sum or order from the lunch and dinner menus for entrees. It’s a blast.

Partenope Ristorante

Looking for Neapolitan-style pizza in Dallas? This is option No. 1, at it’s new location in Richardson or in Downtown. Its hearty, it folds, and its topped with some of the best Italian ingredients. It’s also an excellent spot for Italian dishes, from amazing meatballs to fettuccine alla bolognese that will spoil you for other bolognese sauces.

A Napoli style pizza sits on a plate.
When all you want is your own damn pizza.
Partenope

Roots Southern Table