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Blistered baby artichoke with cornichon and herb aioli from Written by the Seasons
Written by the Seasons

The 38 Essential Dallas Restaurants

Where to eat juicy birria tacos, perfect pizzas, top-notch barbecue, and so much more

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Blistered baby artichoke with cornichon and herb aioli from Written by the Seasons
| Written by the Seasons

It’s officially time for an update of the Eater 38, a guide to the city’s essential restaurants. At these standout establishments, diners will find a wide variety of price points and cuisines, ranging from the city’s finest barbecue destinations to its excellent date night spots and everything in between. From iconic locations that have become a part of the city’s DNA to new restaurants that are making a splash.

To be clear, Dallas-Fort Worth restaurants are still struggling in light of the pandemic. Many are understaffed, and that’s something diners should take into consideration when making their reservations. You may have to wait a little bit longer for your meal sometimes, but the wait is worth it at each and every one of these spots.

Without further ado, use this map as a guide to reacquaint yourself with Dallas’s massive dining scene, or explore it for the first time. Go forth and plan to eat well, tip heavily, and embrace all that Metroplex dining has to offer.

Looking for the hottest new restaurants in Dallas? Find those on the Eater Dallas Heatmap.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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1. Cattleack Barbeque

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13628 Gamma Rd
Farmers Branch, TX 75244
(972) 805-0999
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Waiting in line is usually a requirement at this Dallas barbecue favorite, where the brisket is juicy and the hours are limited. Only open for lunch on Thursdays and Fridays, plus the first Saturday of the month, Cattleack’s smoked meats and traditional sides are worth a little standing outside.

Gloved hands slicing brisket on a wooden board Kathy Tran/EDFW

2. Roots Southern Table

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13050 Bee St Suit 160
Farmers Branch, TX 75234
(214) 346-4441
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Chef Tiffany Derry is the only James Beard Award finalist in DFW for 2022. That’s reason enough to see what she’s up to at Roots Southern Table in Farmer’s Branch. Be tempted by the cast iron cornbread and beet salad, staples in any Southern kitchen. Then, dive into some inventive main courses, like jerk lamb chops and the Texas redfish prepared with harissa. Crafty Texans know they should finish it off with a piece of German chocolate cake. 

3. TJ's Seafood Market & Grill Preston Royal

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6025 Royal Ln #110
Dallas, TX 75230
(214) 691-2369
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TJ’s Seafood Market has long been where landlocked Dallas turned for its fish fix, whether it’s chowing down on oysters or grabbing top-quality filets to cook at home from the market counter up front. The fish tacos here always hit the spot, especially during happy hour, as does the butter-drenched lobster roll.

4. Royal China Restaurant

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6025 Royal Ln #201
Dallas, TX 75230
(214) 361-1771
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For over 40 years, Royal China has won over Dallas’s notoriously fickle diners with its hand-pulled noodles, its delicate soup dumplings (xiao long bao), and its best-in-city renditions of Chinese-American classics such as kung pao chicken.

5. Resident Taqueria

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9661 Audelia Rd #112
Dallas, TX 75238
(972) 685-5280
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This East Dallas taqueria is known for its perfectly prepared proteins and seriously creative ingredient combinations. Order the smoked chicken taco, stuffed with salsa macha, crushed peanuts, and tangy pickled sofrito, or consider caramelized cauliflower that’s served with pepitas and a zippy lemon-epazote sauce.

6. RM 12:20 Bistro

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9850 Walnut Hl Ln Suite 305
Dallas, TX 75238
(214) 238-2919
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There are some lovely French cuisine options in Dallas, but this Lake Highlands neighborhood bistro is one of the frequently overlooked gems of the food scene. They get everything right on their limited seasonal menu, giving diners an experience that feels distinctive, intimate, and rustic. All the things French food is supposed to be. And right now is the ideal time to go and order the mussels with butter, garlic, shallots, herbs, and lemon.

7. Keller's Drive-In

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10554 Harry Hines Blvd
Dallas, TX 75220
(214) 357-3572
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Skip every pricey burger in town and head to this more than 50-year-old drive-in establishment for paper-thin burgers on poppy-seed buns, crispy onion rings, spoon-thick milkshakes, and the friendliest car-hops in town. Nothing here is over $5, but don’t forget to bring cash or be prepared to withdraw from the on-site ATM.

Keller’s Garrett Hall/EDFW

8. CAFEMANDU - Flavors of Nepal

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3711 N Belt Line Rd
Irving, TX 75038
(469) 647-5067
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This Nepalese eatery in Irving is definitely worth the drive, thanks to its positively perfect momos, or dumplings. Order the steamed momos, stuffed with chicken or pork, or try a deep-fried vegan version. Regulars know to ask for extra cups of Cafemandu’s spicy, garlicky dipping sauce to slather all over the momos.

9. Jose

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4931 W Lovers Ln
Dallas, TX 75209
(214) 891-5673
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This Mexican eatery helmed by acclaimed chef Anastacia Quinones is excellent for lunch, brunch, or dinner. The coconut ceviche, made with Texas redfish, makes for a refreshing starter before moving on to the creamy shortrib enchiladas, carnitas tacos, or a farro bowl loaded with veggies like roasted beets.

Melissa Hennings/EDFW

10. Mr Max Cafe Nippon

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3028 N Belt Line Rd
Irving, TX 75062
(972) 255-8889
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Tucked into a nondescript space off Belt Line Road in Irving, Mr. Max has quietly been one of DFW’s best Japanese restaurants for years. The vibe is classic Japanese izakaya, with hearty ramen and snacks like takoyaki on offer alongside excellent sushi and rice bowls.

11. Bubba's Cooks Country - Dallas

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6617 Hillcrest Ave
Dallas, TX 75205
(214) 373-6527
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A Highland Park stalwart for decades, stays packed with folks looking to soothe their nerves with copious amounts of fried chicken. You may have to wait a while, but these homestyle plates of crispy chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, and baked beans are the definition of comfort food.

12. Sachet

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4270 Oak Lawn Ave
Dallas, TX 75219
(214) 613-6425
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This luxe eatery in Highland Park is a go-to for diners obsessed with its Mediterranean dishes. Start dinner with mezze options like Gordal olives marinated in citrus and garlic, then indulge in the decadent Ibirico Secreto, a steak-like cut of acorn-fed Spanish pork that’s one of the best meat dishes in the city.

A selection of bright, fresh mezze at Sachet
A selection of bright, fresh mezze at Sachet
Kathy Tran/EDFW

13. Homewood Restaurant

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4002 Oak Lawn Ave
Dallas, TX 75219
(214) 434-1244
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With a scratch-made menu and tons of preserved ingredients from chef Matt McCallister, Homewood is one of the city’s most compelling neighborhood restaurants. Try the potato focaccia, then dig into smoked pork collar, coal roasted trout and more inventive entrees.

14. Beverley's Dallas

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3215 N Fitzhugh Ave
Dallas, TX 75204
(214) 915-8840
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This chic neighborhood bistro offers a welcoming vibe that’s perfect for brunch, date night, or a special occasion dinner. Dig into aburrata mozzarella with seasonal accouterment, splurge on caviar-topped latkes, and dig into well-prepared proteins including grilled whole branzino and juicy lamb chops served with salsa verde. 

15. Carte Blanche

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2114 Greenville Ave
Dallas, TX 75206
(214) 434-1538
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Carte Blanche opened and immediately took the Dallas dining scene by storm. It offers a tasting menu and chef’s full tour, each put together daily based on availability of ingredients, so you’re putting your taste buds in the capable hands of the staff. It’s a journey worth taking. But, if that’s not for you, the bakery items, all ordered 48 hours in advance, are also phenomenal and great for a special weekend treat.

16. Rye

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1920 Greenville Ave
Dallas, TX 75206
(972) 803-3391
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Rye’s latest outpost brings Dallas into the bespoke small plates game. 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 masterfully executed.

17. E Bar Tex-Mex

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1901 N Haskell Ave. #120
Dallas, TX 75204
(214) 824-3227
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Dallas is replete with excellent Tex-Mex restaurants, and E-Bar is among the finest. This East Dallas stalwart’s enchiladas, queso, and carne asada are reliably good, and the margaritas are always nice and strong.

18. Loro

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1812 N Haskell Ave.
Dallas, TX 75204
(214) 833-4983
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Austin’s Aaron Franklin, of Franklin Barbecue, and James Beard Award winner Tyson Cole brought their smokehouse merger of meat and Japanese food together for high-quality food in a comfortable, easy atmosphere —which describes Dallas to a T. No reservations necessary to get a plate of sweet corn fritters or oak smoked salmon.

19. Uchiba

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2817 Maple Ave Floor 2
Dallas, TX 75201
(214) 855-5454
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Boasting one of the best happy hours in Dallas and a menu of super-fresh sushi, Uchiba is an ideal spot for dinner with friends or date night. Share snacks like dumplings and hot fried chicken bao, then order an a la carte sushi feast.

20. The Charles

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1632 Market Center Blvd
Dallas, TX 75207
(469) 917-9000
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Chef J. Chastain’s innovative Italian cuisine ranges from charred octopus with mint pesto over cannelini bean puree to lemon ricotta gnudi with sage, brown butter honey, and hazelnuts.

21. Fearing's Restaurant

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2121 McKinney Ave
Dallas, TX 75201
(214) 922-4848
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A stalwart of Dallas’s dining scene, Fearing’s remains one of the best special-occasion dining destinations in the city, thanks in part to its luxe home at the Ritz Carlton Dallas. Helmed by legendary chef Dean Fearing, the restaurant’s famed tortilla soup is a must-try, as is the juicy Prime beef filet served with a chicken-fried lobster tail.

22. Petra and the Beast

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601 N Haskell Ave.
Dallas, TX 75246
(318) 935-0906
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Chef Misti Norris’s funky East Dallas eatery is back in all its glory. The charcuterie board, an ever-rotating selection of meats cured by the chef, is an absolute must. The pasta is not to be missed either, with options that rotate seasonally — making returning again and and again to see what Norris has cooked up a must.

23. Tei-An

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1722 Routh St #110
Dallas, TX 75201
(214) 220-2828
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Chef Teiichi Sakurai’s Tei-An remains a beloved Dallas dining destination more than a decade after its debut—and it is home to what is arguably Dallas’s finest sushi and soba. An omakase that boasts A5 wagyu beef and fish shipped in fresh from all over the world makes for a worthy splurge, but more casual diners can stop by during lunch for top-notch nigiri and soba served a la carte.

24. Sloane's Corner

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2001 Ross Ave Suite 125
Dallas, TX 75201
(214) 484-1395
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This cheery bistro excels with cozy dishes such as braised lamb rigatoni and Berkshire pork served with petite mustard greens. Save room for a peek at the dessert menu, which boasts a decadent triple chocolate bundito covered in espresso caramel, hazelnut crumble, and vanilla chantilly.

25. El Fenix

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1601 McKinney Ave Downtown #1
Dallas, TX 75202
(214) 747-1121
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Nothing says Dallas quite like a trip to the original El Fenix in the Arts District. They’ve got all the beloved Tex Mex favorites, thick and heavy margarita glasses, and the heavy wood decor that will transport you back in time.

26. AllGood Cafe

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2934 Main St
Dallas, TX 75226
(214) 742-5362
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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 a wonderful community that’s see the neighborhood, and the local music scene, through 20 years of history.

27. Elm & Good

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2551 Elm St
Dallas, TX 75226
(469) 498-2525
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Elm and Good is a veggie lover’s paradise. Options like sunchoked pâté and mushroom paella await, along with grass-fed burgers, steak, and duck egg carbonara with foie gras for the omnivores.

28. Revolver Taco Lounge

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2701 Main St #120
Dallas, TX 75226
(214) 272-7163
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This Deep Ellum taqueria serves some of the best and most inventive tortilla-wrapped dishes in the city. Tacos stuffed with tender pulpo (octopus), seared pato (duck breast), and ruby red trout are generously portioned and perfectly balanced, especially when paired with a fizzy Topo Chico.

29. Cafe Momentum

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1510 Pacific Ave
Dallas, TX 75201
(214) 303-1234
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This nonprofit restaurant employs at-risk young people to prepare a menu of stellar dishes crafted from locally sourced meats and produce, such as spicy glazed ribs, fried green tomatoes with Texas caviar, and sweet tea-bried pork chops. Don’t sleep on Cafe Momentum’s smoked fried chicken, either — it’s a local legend. 

30. Partenope Ristorante

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1903 Main St
Dallas, TX 75201
(214) 463-6222
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Excellent Neapolitan-style pizzas and pasta reign at this Downtown eatery helmed by chef Dino Santonicola. Order the traditional, slow-cooked ragu pasta, or consider the bacon-wrapped calzone. For the vegans, there’s a margherita pizza made with vegan cheese that definitely won’t disappoint.

pizzas Emily Loving for Partenope

31. Ka-Tip Thai Street Food

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1011 S Pearl Expy #190
Dallas, TX 75201
(214) 238-2232
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This Thai restaurant at the Dallas Farmers Market has quickly become one of the city’s best destinations for larb gai, pad thai, and tender chicken satay skewers. For dessert, the pandan custard served with sticky rice is an absolute must.

32. El Palote Panaderia

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2537 S Buckner Blvd
Dallas, TX 75227
(972) 807-2673
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This beloved Pleasant Grove taqueria eschews meat, and even the most devoted of carnivores don’t seem to mind. The plant-based proteins here are chopped and spiced to uncannily resemble carne asada, carnitas, and crispy chicharon, then tucked inside tender tortillas and served alongside excellent salsas. Tortas, tamales, and nacho fries are also on the menu.

Vegan tacos, beans, and rice at El Palote Panaderia El Palote Panaderia [Official Photo]

33. Del Sur Tacos

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720 E Jefferson Blvd
Dallas, TX 75203
(972) 982-0004
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Now with multiple locations in DFW, as well as outposts in North Dallas and McKinney, Del Sur Tacos has grown into one of the city’s best taco destinations. Score trendy birria tacos served with hearty consome, solid fish tacos. And try Del Sur’s iconic chile relleno taco, which involves a cheese-stuffed pepper tucked inside a tortilla, then showered in crema and pomegranate airils. 

34. Lucia

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287 N Bishop Ave
Dallas, TX 75208
(214) 948-4998
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This iconic Dallas Italian restaurant is as busy as ever. The menu changes frequently, but hits have included grilled lamb sausages skewered with bay leaves, tagliatelle in ragu, and hay-roasted pork shoulder with petit rouge peas and rapini. Note: Reservations are required and difficult to come by.

35. Written by the Seasons

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380 Melba St
Dallas, TX 75208
(469) 580-1185
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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 their menu of sharable bite-sized dishes, an impeccable wine list, and as many cocktails as one can handle while you watch the crowds amble by in their indoor/outdoor dining area that’s set back from Davis Street.

Spring vegetables including bright pink radishes, green peas, yellow lemon wedges, and mixed greens with pea puree, Meyer lemon cream, and goat cheese at Written by the Seasons. Served in a blue clay bowl and plated on a wooden table.
Spring vegetables with pea puree, Meyer lemon cream, and goat cheese at Written by the Seasons
Vincent Holland

36. Hurtado Barbecue

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205 E Front St
Arlington, TX 76010
(682) 323-5141
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This Arlington joint got its start as a weekend pop-up trailer, and has since blossomed into a bonafide barbecue destination. The brisket is juicy and perfectly barky, the beef ribs are massive and tender, and the freshly made tortillas make for a much better vehicle for all these meats than a plain ol’ slice of white bread found at most Texas barbecue spots.

37. Heim Barbecue

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1109 W Magnolia Ave
Fort Worth, TX 76104
(817) 882-6970
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When Fort Worth native Heim Barbecue landed in Dallas, it became a standout of the city’s smoked meat scene. From bacon burnt ends to succulent, juicy brisket, the menu here is a meat-lover’s paradise. Check out its two locations in Fort Worth.

38. Shinjuku Station

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711 W Magnolia Ave
Fort Worth, TX 76104
(817) 923-2695
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Think Fort Worth isn’t known for its sushi? You just haven’t been to Shinjuku Station. Their izakaya (stay-drink-place, a.k.a. get comfortable and stay away) includes a well-curated menu of Japanese favorites, including okonomiyaki, often described as a Japanese pizza; takoyaki, a tempura ball of octopus fritters; and extensive sushi options.

1. Cattleack Barbeque

13628 Gamma Rd, Farmers Branch, TX 75244
Gloved hands slicing brisket on a wooden board Kathy Tran/EDFW

Waiting in line is usually a requirement at this Dallas barbecue favorite, where the brisket is juicy and the hours are limited. Only open for lunch on Thursdays and Fridays, plus the first Saturday of the month, Cattleack’s smoked meats and traditional sides are worth a little standing outside.

13628 Gamma Rd
Farmers Branch, TX 75244

2. Roots Southern Table

13050 Bee St Suit 160, Farmers Branch, TX 75234

Chef Tiffany Derry is the only James Beard Award finalist in DFW for 2022. That’s reason enough to see what she’s up to at Roots Southern Table in Farmer’s Branch. Be tempted by the cast iron cornbread and beet salad, staples in any Southern kitchen. Then, dive into some inventive main courses, like jerk lamb chops and the Texas redfish prepared with harissa. Crafty Texans know they should finish it off with a piece of German chocolate cake. 

13050 Bee St Suit 160
Farmers Branch, TX 75234

3. TJ's Seafood Market & Grill Preston Royal

6025 Royal Ln #110, Dallas, TX 75230

TJ’s Seafood Market has long been where landlocked Dallas turned for its fish fix, whether it’s chowing down on oysters or grabbing top-quality filets to cook at home from the market counter up front. The fish tacos here always hit the spot, especially during happy hour, as does the butter-drenched lobster roll.

6025 Royal Ln #110
Dallas, TX 75230

4. Royal China Restaurant

6025 Royal Ln #201, Dallas, TX 75230

For over 40 years, Royal China has won over Dallas’s notoriously fickle diners with its hand-pulled noodles, its delicate soup dumplings (xiao long bao), and its best-in-city renditions of Chinese-American classics such as kung pao chicken.

6025 Royal Ln #201
Dallas, TX 75230

5. Resident Taqueria

9661 Audelia Rd #112, Dallas, TX 75238

This East Dallas taqueria is known for its perfectly prepared proteins and seriously creative ingredient combinations. Order the smoked chicken taco, stuffed with salsa macha, crushed peanuts, and tangy pickled sofrito, or consider caramelized cauliflower that’s served with pepitas and a zippy lemon-epazote sauce.

9661 Audelia Rd #112
Dallas, TX 75238

6. RM 12:20 Bistro

9850 Walnut Hl Ln Suite 305, Dallas, TX 75238

There are some lovely French cuisine options in Dallas, but this Lake Highlands neighborhood bistro is one of the frequently overlooked gems of the food scene. They get everything right on their limited seasonal menu, giving diners an experience that feels distinctive, intimate, and rustic. All the things French food is supposed to be. And right now is the ideal time to go and order the mussels with butter, garlic, shallots, herbs, and lemon.

9850 Walnut Hl Ln Suite 305
Dallas, TX 75238

7. Keller's Drive-In

10554 Harry Hines Blvd, Dallas, TX 75220
Keller’s Garrett Hall/EDFW

Skip every pricey burger in town and head to this more than 50-year-old drive-in establishment for paper-thin burgers on poppy-seed buns, crispy onion rings, spoon-thick milkshakes, and the friendliest car-hops in town. Nothing here is over $5, but don’t forget to bring cash or be prepared to withdraw from the on-site ATM.

10554 Harry Hines Blvd
Dallas, TX 75220

8. CAFEMANDU - Flavors of Nepal

3711 N Belt Line Rd, Irving, TX 75038

This Nepalese eatery in Irving is definitely worth the drive, thanks to its positively perfect momos, or dumplings. Order the steamed momos, stuffed with chicken or pork, or try a deep-fried vegan version. Regulars know to ask for extra cups of Cafemandu’s spicy, garlicky dipping sauce to slather all over the momos.

3711 N Belt Line Rd
Irving, TX 75038

9. Jose

4931 W Lovers Ln, Dallas, TX 75209
Melissa Hennings/EDFW

This Mexican eatery helmed by acclaimed chef Anastacia Quinones is excellent for lunch, brunch, or dinner. The coconut ceviche, made with Texas redfish, makes for a refreshing starter before moving on to the creamy shortrib enchiladas, carnitas tacos, or a farro bowl loaded with veggies like roasted beets.

4931 W Lovers Ln
Dallas, TX 75209

10. Mr Max Cafe Nippon

3028 N Belt Line Rd, Irving, TX 75062

Tucked into a nondescript space off Belt Line Road in Irving, Mr. Max has quietly been one of DFW’s best Japanese restaurants for years. The vibe is classic Japanese izakaya, with hearty ramen and snacks like takoyaki on offer alongside excellent sushi and rice bowls.

3028 N Belt Line Rd
Irving, TX 75062

11. Bubba's Cooks Country - Dallas

6617 Hillcrest Ave, Dallas, TX 75205

A Highland Park stalwart for decades, stays packed with folks looking to soothe their nerves with copious amounts of fried chicken. You may have to wait a while, but these homestyle plates of crispy chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, and baked beans are the definition of comfort food.

6617 Hillcrest Ave
Dallas, TX 75205

12. Sachet

4270 Oak Lawn Ave, Dallas, TX 75219
A selection of bright, fresh mezze at Sachet
A selection of bright, fresh mezze at Sachet
Kathy Tran/EDFW

This luxe eatery in Highland Park is a go-to for diners obsessed with its Mediterranean dishes. Start dinner with mezze options like Gordal olives marinated in citrus and garlic, then indulge in the decadent Ibirico Secreto, a steak-like cut of acorn-fed Spanish pork that’s one of the best meat dishes in the city.

4270 Oak Lawn Ave
Dallas, TX 75219

13. Homewood Restaurant

4002 Oak Lawn Ave, Dallas, TX 75219

With a scratch-made menu and tons of preserved ingredients from chef Matt McCallister, Homewood is one of the city’s most compelling neighborhood restaurants. Try the potato focaccia, then dig into smoked pork collar, coal roasted trout and more inventive entrees.

4002 Oak Lawn Ave
Dallas, TX 75219

14. Beverley's Dallas

3215 N Fitzhugh Ave, Dallas, TX 75204

This chic neighborhood bistro offers a welcoming vibe that’s perfect for brunch, date night, or a special occasion dinner. Dig into aburrata mozzarella with seasonal accouterment, splurge on caviar-topped latkes, and dig into well-prepared proteins including grilled whole branzino and juicy lamb chops served with salsa verde. 

3215 N Fitzhugh Ave
Dallas, TX 75204

15. Carte Blanche

2114 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX 75206

Carte Blanche opened and immediately took the Dallas dining scene by storm. It offers a tasting menu and chef’s full tour, each put together daily based on availability of ingredients, so you’re putting your taste buds in the capable hands of the staff. It’s a journey worth taking. But, if that’s not for you, the bakery items, all ordered 48 hours in advance, are also phenomenal and great for a special weekend treat.

2114 Greenville Ave
Dallas, TX 75206

Related Maps

16. Rye

1920 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX 75206

Rye’s latest outpost brings Dallas into the bespoke small plates game. 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 masterfully executed.

1920 Greenville Ave
Dallas, TX 75206

17. E Bar Tex-Mex

1901 N Haskell Ave. #120, Dallas, TX 75204

Dallas is replete with excellent Tex-Mex restaurants, and E-Bar is among the finest. This East Dallas stalwart’s enchiladas, queso, and carne asada are reliably good, and the margaritas are always nice and strong.

1901 N Haskell Ave. #120
Dallas, TX 75204

18. Loro

1812 N Haskell Ave., Dallas, TX 75204

Austin’s Aaron Franklin, of Franklin Barbecue, and James Beard Award winner Tyson Cole brought their smokehouse merger of meat and Japanese food together for high-quality food in a comfortable, easy atmosphere —which describes Dallas to a T. No reservations necessary to get a plate of sweet corn fritters or oak smoked salmon.

1812 N Haskell Ave.
Dallas, TX 75204

19. Uchiba

2817 Maple Ave Floor 2, Dallas, TX 75201

Boasting one of the best happy hours in Dallas and a menu of super-fresh sushi, Uchiba is an ideal spot for dinner with friends or date night. Share snacks like dumplings and hot fried chicken bao, then order an a la carte sushi feast.

2817 Maple Ave Floor 2
Dallas, TX 75201

20. The Charles

1632 Market Center Blvd, Dallas, TX 75207

Chef J. Chastain’s innovative Italian cuisine ranges from charred octopus with mint pesto over cannelini bean puree to lemon ricotta gnudi with sage, brown butter honey, and hazelnuts.

1632 Market Center Blvd
Dallas, TX 75207

21. Fearing's Restaurant

2121 McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX 75201

A stalwart of Dallas’s dining scene, Fearing’s remains one of the best special-occasion dining destinations in the city, thanks in part to its luxe home at the Ritz Carlton Dallas. Helmed by legendary chef Dean Fearing, the restaurant’s famed tortilla soup is a must-try, as is the juicy Prime beef filet served with a chicken-fried lobster tail.

2121 McKinney Ave
Dallas, TX 75201

22. Petra and the Beast

601 N Haskell Ave., Dallas, TX 75246

Chef Misti Norris’s funky East Dallas eatery is back in all its glory. The charcuterie board, an ever-rotating selection of meats cured by the chef, is an absolute must. The pasta is not to be missed either, with options that rotate seasonally — making returning again and and again to see what Norris has cooked up a must.

601 N Haskell Ave.
Dallas, TX 75246

23. Tei-An

1722 Routh St #110, Dallas, TX 75201

Chef Teiichi Sakurai’s Tei-An remains a beloved Dallas dining destination more than a decade after its debut—and it is home to what is arguably Dallas’s finest sushi and soba. An omakase that boasts A5 wagyu beef and fish shipped in fresh from all over the world makes for a worthy splurge, but more casual diners can stop by during lunch for top-notch nigiri and soba served a la carte.

1722 Routh St #110
Dallas, TX 75201

24. Sloane's Corner

2001 Ross Ave Suite 125, Dallas, TX 75201

This cheery bistro excels with cozy dishes such as braised lamb rigatoni and Berkshire pork served with petite mustard greens. Save room for a peek at the dessert menu, which boasts a decadent triple chocolate bundito covered in espresso caramel, hazelnut crumble, and vanilla chantilly.

2001 Ross Ave Suite 125
Dallas, TX 75201

25. El Fenix

1601 McKinney Ave Downtown #1, Dallas, TX 75202

Nothing says Dallas quite like a trip to the original El Fenix in the Arts District. They’ve got all the beloved Tex Mex favorites, thick and heavy margarita glasses, and the heavy wood decor that will transport you back in time.

1601 McKinney Ave Downtown #1
Dallas, TX 75202

26. AllGood Cafe

2934 Main St, Dallas, TX 75226

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 a wonderful community that’s see the neighborhood, and the local music scene, through 20 years of history.

2934 Main St
Dallas, TX 75226

27. Elm & Good

2551 Elm St, Dallas, TX 75226

Elm and Good is a veggie lover’s paradise. Options like sunchoked pâté and mushroom paella await, along with grass-fed burgers, steak, and duck egg carbonara with foie gras for the omnivores.

2551 Elm St
Dallas, TX 75226

28. Revolver Taco Lounge

2701 Main St #120, Dallas, TX 75226

This Deep Ellum taqueria serves some of the best and most inventive tortilla-wrapped dishes in the city. Tacos stuffed with tender pulpo (octopus), seared pato (duck breast), and ruby red trout are generously portioned and perfectly balanced, especially when paired with a fizzy Topo Chico.

2701 Main St #120
Dallas, TX 75226

29. Cafe Momentum

1510 Pacific Ave, Dallas, TX 75201

This nonprofit restaurant employs at-risk young people to prepare a menu of stellar dishes crafted from locally sourced meats and produce, such as spicy glazed ribs, fried green tomatoes with Texas caviar, and sweet tea-bried pork chops. Don’t sleep on Cafe Momentum’s smoked fried chicken, either — it’s a local legend. 

1510 Pacific Ave
Dallas, TX 75201

30. Partenope Ristorante

1903 Main St, Dallas, TX 75201
pizzas Emily Loving for Partenope

Excellent Neapolitan-style pizzas and pasta reign at this Downtown eatery helmed by chef Dino Santonicola. Order the traditional, slow-cooked ragu pasta, or consider the bacon-wrapped calzone. For the vegans, there’s a margherita pizza made with vegan cheese that definitely won’t disappoint.

1903 Main St
Dallas, TX 75201

31. Ka-Tip Thai Street Food

1011 S Pearl Expy #190, Dallas, TX 75201

This Thai restaurant at the Dallas Farmers Market has quickly become one of the city’s best destinations for larb gai, pad thai, and tender chicken satay skewers. For dessert, the pandan custard served with sticky rice is an absolute must.

1011 S Pearl Expy #190
Dallas, TX 75201

32. El Palote Panaderia

2537 S Buckner Blvd, Dallas, TX 75227
Vegan tacos, beans, and rice at El Palote Panaderia El Palote Panaderia [Official Photo]

This beloved Pleasant Grove taqueria eschews meat, and even the most devoted of carnivores don’t seem to mind. The plant-based proteins here are chopped and spiced to uncannily resemble carne asada, carnitas, and crispy chicharon, then tucked inside tender tortillas and served alongside excellent salsas. Tortas, tamales, and nacho fries are also on the menu.

2537 S Buckner Blvd
Dallas, TX 75227

33. Del Sur Tacos

720 E Jefferson Blvd, Dallas, TX 75203

Now with multiple locations in DFW, as well as outposts in North Dallas and McKinney, Del Sur Tacos has grown into one of the city’s best taco destinations. Score trendy birria tacos served with hearty consome, solid fish tacos. And try Del Sur’s iconic chile relleno taco, which involves a cheese-stuffed pepper tucked inside a tortilla, then showered in crema and pomegranate airils. 

720 E Jefferson Blvd
Dallas, TX 75203

34. Lucia

287 N Bishop Ave, Dallas, TX 75208

This iconic Dallas Italian restaurant is as busy as ever. The menu changes frequently, but hits have included grilled lamb sausages skewered with bay leaves, tagliatelle in ragu, and hay-roasted pork shoulder with petit rouge peas and rapini. Note: Reservations are required and difficult to come by.

287 N Bishop Ave
Dallas, TX 75208

35. Written by the Seasons

380 Melba St, Dallas, TX 75208
Spring vegetables including bright pink radishes, green peas, yellow lemon wedges, and mixed greens with pea puree, Meyer lemon cream, and goat cheese at Written by the Seasons. Served in a blue clay bowl and plated on a wooden table.
Spring vegetables with pea puree, Meyer lemon cream, and goat cheese at Written by the Seasons
Vincent Holland

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 their menu of sharable bite-sized dishes, an impeccable wine list, and as many cocktails as one can handle while you watch the crowds amble by in their indoor/outdoor dining area that’s set back from Davis Street.

380 Melba St
Dallas, TX 75208

36. Hurtado Barbecue

205 E Front St, Arlington, TX 76010

This Arlington joint got its start as a weekend pop-up trailer, and has since blossomed into a bonafide barbecue destination. The brisket is juicy and perfectly barky, the beef ribs are massive and tender, and the freshly made tortillas make for a much better vehicle for all these meats than a plain ol’ slice of white bread found at most Texas barbecue spots.

205 E Front St
Arlington, TX 76010

37. Heim Barbecue

1109 W Magnolia Ave, Fort Worth, TX 76104

When Fort Worth native Heim Barbecue landed in Dallas, it became a standout of the city’s smoked meat scene. From bacon burnt ends to succulent, juicy brisket, the menu here is a meat-lover’s paradise. Check out its two locations in Fort Worth.

1109 W Magnolia Ave
Fort Worth, TX 76104

38. Shinjuku Station

711 W Magnolia Ave, Fort Worth, TX 76104

Think Fort Worth isn’t known for its sushi? You just haven’t been to Shinjuku Station. Their izakaya (stay-drink-place, a.k.a. get comfortable and stay away) includes a well-curated menu of Japanese favorites, including okonomiyaki, often described as a Japanese pizza; takoyaki, a tempura ball of octopus fritters; and extensive sushi options.

711 W Magnolia Ave
Fort Worth, TX 76104

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