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A plate holds beef short ribs in au jus sauce, mashed potatoes, and greens.
The 72-hour beef short ribs at Ellie’s Restaurant and Lounge.
Ellie’s

The 38 Essential Dallas Restaurants, Winter 2023

Simply the best restaurants in the Metroplex

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The 72-hour beef short ribs at Ellie’s Restaurant and Lounge.
| Ellie’s

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 fall’s update sees a nearly complete overhaul, ushering in a fresh list of places to go and delights to taste. The latest updates see some old school favorites on the map for winter, including Tolbert’s Chili in Grapevine, the restaurant at Rosewood Mansion, and the return of Neighborhood Services for some great comfort food. And welcome to Sadelle’s, the new reigning queen of brunch in big D, and Ellie’s Restaurant and Lounge, whose newest chef makes a big impression.

Call ahead to ensure each restaurant is open and for updates on current offerings, as these things change constantly. Wear a mask when required, tip well, and try to order directly from the restaurants if you’re ordering delivery.

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

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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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Dim sum in this Richardson Chinese restaurant is served on pushcarts, from which the diner can select from 45 dishes. Go with what looks and smells the most delicious on any given day. That might be old favorites such as fried pork spring rolls and soup dumplings, or it might be a more adventurous choice — shrimp paste stuffed eggplant and pork and preserved egg congee makes that list. Bring enough friends to fill a big banquet table or share your table with strangers, but don’t feel like you need to stop with dim sum. Chinese mains, from Mongolian beef to Kung Pao chicken, are also available.

Tolbert's Restaurant & Chili Parlor

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Plenty of folks drive up to Grapevine around the holidays for all the lights and decorations (and shopping). But winter is the perfect time to make a trip to Tolbert’s, if it’s been awhile, for a bowl of Texas red chili. The folks here perfected the dish, literally writing the book on it and starting the Terlingua Championship Chili Cook-Off in 1967.

Roots Southern Table

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Chef Tiffany Derry was 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. 

Mike's Chicken

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Some days just call for excellent fried chicken. Mike’s, at it’s original location near Oak Lawn or at the new North Dallas location, always delivers. The crust is crispy and the biscuits are flaky — and while that’s all great, Mike’s lands on this list because it is kind enough to offer a plethora of dipping sauces for every kind of preference and because the mac and cheese is chef’s kiss perfect.

Rex's Seafood and Market

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No matter the season, Rex’s Seafood and Market has what diners crave — and has it so fresh they can buy right out of the case. If grilled salmon, fresh oysters, blackened redfish, or tucking into a plate of hot fish and chips sounds good, Rex’s is the move.

Jia Modern Chinese

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In the Park Cities, find Chinese food with Szechwan influence at Jia, plus sushi and a touch of Thai. It’s cloth napkin fancy, but owner Jia Huang wants guests to hang around awhile, so the hospitality is front and center. The menu is small and curated without being Americanized. Try out the Chinese Garden Feast, a vegetarian meal made with yams, black mushrooms, snow peas, celery, and lotus root or the crispy beef. The chicken lettuce wraps are also worth raving about.

Meridian

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The best new restaurant of 2021 remains one of the top dining destinations in the city. Chef Junior Borges has only gotten better since this modern Brazilian destination opened. Take your time with a meal there; start with a cocktail at the bar and do some people watching. It’s worth the wait to land a reservation on the outdoor deck when the weather is just right. The service is beyond compare, so don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations — but one must-have here is grilled “beach cheese” on a stick appetizer, and the Rohan Duck Breast is so enticing. 

Goodfriend Beer Garden & Burger House

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While the Bourdain burger, a simple double patty smash burger, and the Frito pie might be predictable orders at this neighborhood burger joint, they’re part of the always reliable, always delicious menu that keeps folks coming back. The other secret ingredient at Goodfriend in East Dallas is the vibe: it feels good to be here.

Shug's Bagels

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There simply aren’t a lot of quality bagel shops in DFW. Shug’s is the best, hands down. It’s worth the wait in a line that goes out of the front door most days to get a dozen mixed or an egg, bacon, and cheese on a plain bagel. Try the egg bagel as well. Getting the crust and crunch on those just right isn’t easy, but Shug’s nails it.

Sadelle's Highland Park

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When is brunch not just brunch? When it’s as excellent and vibey as the experience Sadelle’s Highland Park provides. For most of us, this is a real treat yo’ self spot with soft interiors and a bagel tower option that will make diners feel like they aren’t just having brunch, but have conquered a small country and brunch is the reward. Go back and try every iteration of the eggs Benedict as well, because its worth it.

Knox Bistro

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Wondering where to brunch? Keep Knox Bistro in mind, and get a sticky pecan bun for the table. French fare, from the Croque Madame to the French omelet with Boursin to the perennial favorite of hanger steak with eggs and pommes frites, will delight. This is also a nice lunch and dinner spot, but brunch is where the bistro mood fires on all cylinders. 

Sister Restaurant

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A little Italian, a little Mediterranean, a lot of great design and delicious food — that’s Sister in a nutshell. Pop into this Greenville Ave. location one evening and try the branzino, the roasted eggplant parmesan, and the olive oil cake. Then linger over one of the signature cocktails, either in the big, comfy booths or sitting on the patio out front. That’s the whole point of a restaurant with a neighborhood vibe: eating great food and checking out the neighborhood.

Trying everything on the Spanish gin and tonic menu is reason enough to visit Sachet on Oak Lawn. But this Mediterranean restaurant from co-owners Allison Yoder and Stephen Rogers is so much more than a great wine and cocktail menu. It’s easy to make a meal of small plates, from shawarma spice ribs to mushrooms cooked in a wood-fired oven with bean puree. But the entrees, especially the grilled Aleppo quail and cauliflower steak, are symphonic. 

Carte Blanche

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Carte Blanche opened and immediately took the Dallas dining scene by storm. It offers a tasting menu put together daily based on availability of ingredients, so whichever option you choose, 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 of which need to be ordered 48 hours in advance, are also phenomenal and great for a special weekend treat.

Neighborhood Services

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Winter is as good a time as any to tuck into some comfort food, and for lunch or dinner get a little of what sounds good in American and European fare. Wedge salad? Of course. Steak frites? Got it. Personal pizza with crispy pepperoni cups? Naturally. Schnitzel? Why not.

Jalisco Norte

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For those in search of authentic Mexican food, it’s hard to beat the classics at this spot. The pollo con mole, carne asada with molcajete sauce, and beef short ribs served birria-style are all home runs.

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. 

Rye has been making big moves since it opened, pushing the boundaries of creative fare. Recently, the restaurant announced a program to add 3% to the bill, not as a cost of product increase but to offer the staff benefits, including healthcare. It deserves a lot of support. So stopy 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.

Shoyo opened on Lower Greenville during the pandemic and, with only 13 seats, it is still somewhere many in the city haven’t visited simply based on the limited number of reservations available. It’s worth sitting online to land one when they’re released at the start of each month. The Omakase-style menu for each meal is selected by the chefs, and what you’ll get varies widely based on the availability of fresh ingredients. Put yourself in their more than capable hands.

Liberty Burger

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For a fast casual burger, it’s hard to beat this family-owned local chain. There’s something for every type of burger one could desire: a classic? Sure thing, it’s called the Liberty Burger. Fancy ingredients stacked up high? Go for the Napa. Delicious enough to border on gluttonous? That’s the Wild West, with its cheese, bacon, and barbecue sauce. Tired of beef? The ahi tuna burger and the Jackie O, a lamb and feta burger, will do you. Plus, those delicious skinny fries and shakes, boozy or not, are a great way to cool down.

Thunderbird Pies

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Over the glut of thin crust pizza sweeping the city? It’s time to indulge in the Detroit pizza craze. The thick, moist crust with crispy burnt cheese edges on this Lakewood spot’s pizzas is another side of enjoying a pizza. Brought to you by the folks behind Cane Rosso, it shares some menu options — so get the Honey Bastard with hot soppressata, bacon marmalade, and habanero honey on a very fluffy crust. There are also options with pineapple for those who swing that way and straight veg for the non-meat eaters. 

The Mansion Restaurant

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Step into old school Dallas with a night at the Rosewood Mansion restaurant or bar. The Mansion has a new chef and new head of its bar program, so a lot of changes are happening on the menu — while some long-standing favorites (yes, we mean the tortilla soup) remain. One luxurious must-order is the charred octopus with pepita pesto and cilantro — it’s a perfect bite.

Small, sharable dishes are all the rage in Dallas dining and Loro is one of the leading spots serving exactly that up. For a fun time on a group hang, this is the destination. The barbecue doesn’t skimp, nor does the novelty of putting an Asian-inspired spin on it.

INVASION

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A chicken sandwich named after Cardi B, a “notorious” burger, and a banana pudding called the In My Peelings? Yeah, Invasion’s got jokes and love for hip hop. Stop into this Old East Dallas spot where chef Airric Heidelberg is cooking up something berry special - and by that, we mean the Berry Good Burger, which finds halal beef filled with homemade strawberry jam and goat cheese and topped with roasted strawberries and basil. 

Ellie's Restaurant & Lounge

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This fall, Ellie’s in the Hall Arts Hotel got a new chef. Anthony Hsia is working wonders with the menu, bringing innovative cuisine to the Napa-inspired spot with notes of Scandinavia, Asia, and Middle Eastern cuisine — still all rooted in pairings with great California wines and a Napa-esque dining experience.

Joe T. Garcia's

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How long has it been since you revisited this Fort Worth Tex Mex staple? Not many establishments have held on since 1935, so it’s worth a revisit if it has been a while for you. For those who don’t know the drill, go into it knowing there will be a waiting line to get in — reservations aren’t an option. For dinner, the options are beef or chicken fajitas, the family-style dinner of cheese nachos, cheese enchiladas, rice, beans, two beef tacos, and guacamole. The menu is a little more extensive for lunch and brunch when you can get excellent Chile Rellenos and tortilla soup, among other options. And the courtyard full of fountains is a dreamy place to eat.

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.

Revolver Taco Lounge

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Revolver has expanded its offerings, with a new outpost in Exchange Hall in Downtown and a gastro taco lounge coming soon, next door 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 is cooking up on any given day. 

Beto & Son

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Trinity Groves has struggled to find its identity after moving on as an incubator for new restaurants. Beto & Son is one of the lasting success stories of the location — so much so that Julian Rodarte (the and son of the place) has taken over as CEO of the Trinity Restaurant Group. And it’s one of the best Mexican food places in Dallas. Order a queso fundido chorizo skillet for the table, and try the 12-hour barbacoa tacos and an order of the green chile pork enchiladas. 

Off the Bone Barbeque

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The smell of barbecue, which wafts all up and down the block, will get you. The pecan smoked baby back ribs keep many people coming into Off the Bone down in Cedars. But the blue cheese and bacon cole slaw and the honey spiced baked beans are awfully special, as are the wings.

Restaurant Beatrice

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Shrimp and grits. Fried chicken. Vegan gumbo. Duck confit. Down in Oak Cliff, a Cajun feast is on the fire. Restaurant Beatrice, which comes from Michelle Carpenter of Zen Sushi and chef Terance Jenkins, who worked in New Orleans kitchens including Commander’s Palace, offers an take on Louisiana favorites that is a step above newspaper on the table but never stuffy.

Don Artemio Restaurant

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Don Artemo 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.

To believe in the raves that Lucia consistently gets is to eat there. 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 wait list 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.

Recipe Oak Cliff

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Dallas has some excellent vegan restaurants, and this to-go deli with a juice bar down in Oak Cliff feels like one of the overlooked up-and-comers in that space. Try its Zoodles, zucchini noodles with mushrooms, sun-dried tomato, shallots, basil, and sweet peppers or the vegan tacos made with barbecue jackfruit and chipotle walnut taco meat.

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 smoking.

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

Dim sum in this Richardson Chinese restaurant is served on pushcarts, from which the diner can select from 45 dishes. Go with what looks and smells the most delicious on any given day. That might be old favorites such as fried pork spring rolls and soup dumplings, or it might be a more adventurous choice — shrimp paste stuffed eggplant and pork and preserved egg congee makes that list. Bring enough friends to fill a big banquet table or share your table with strangers, but don’t feel like you need to stop with dim sum. Chinese mains, from Mongolian beef to Kung Pao chicken, are also available.

Tolbert's Restaurant & Chili Parlor

Plenty of folks drive up to Grapevine around the holidays for all the lights and decorations (and shopping). But winter is the perfect time to make a trip to Tolbert’s, if it’s been awhile, for a bowl of Texas red chili. The folks here perfected the dish, literally writing the book on it and starting the Terlingua Championship Chili Cook-Off in 1967.

Roots Southern Table

Chef Tiffany Derry was 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. 

Mike's Chicken

Some days just call for excellent fried chicken. Mike’s, at it’s original location near Oak Lawn or at the new North Dallas location, always delivers. The crust is crispy and the biscuits are flaky — and while that’s all great, Mike’s lands on this list because it is kind enough to offer a plethora of dipping sauces for every kind of preference and because the mac and cheese is chef’s kiss perfect.

Rex's Seafood and Market

No matter the season, Rex’s Seafood and Market has what diners crave — and has it so fresh they can buy right out of the case. If grilled salmon, fresh oysters, blackened redfish, or tucking into a plate of hot fish and chips sounds good, Rex’s is the move.

Jia Modern Chinese

In the Park Cities, find Chinese food with Szechwan influence at Jia, plus sushi and a touch of Thai. It’s cloth napkin fancy, but owner Jia Huang wants guests to hang around awhile, so the hospitality is front and center. The menu is small and curated without being Americanized. Try out the Chinese Garden Feast, a vegetarian meal made with yams, black mushrooms, snow peas, celery, and lotus root or the crispy beef. The chicken lettuce wraps are also worth raving about.

Meridian

The best new restaurant of 2021 remains one of the top dining destinations in the city. Chef Junior Borges has only gotten better since this modern Brazilian destination opened. Take your time with a meal there; start with a cocktail at the bar and do some people watching. It’s worth the wait to land a reservation on the outdoor deck when the weather is just right. The service is beyond compare, so don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations — but one must-have here is grilled “beach cheese” on a stick appetizer, and the Rohan Duck Breast is so enticing. 

Goodfriend Beer Garden & Burger House

While the Bourdain burger, a simple double patty smash burger, and the Frito pie might be predictable orders at this neighborhood burger joint, they’re part of the always reliable, always delicious menu that keeps folks coming back. The other secret ingredient at Goodfriend in East Dallas is the vibe: it feels good to be here.

Shug's Bagels

There simply aren’t a lot of quality bagel shops in DFW. Shug’s is the best, hands down. It’s worth the wait in a line that goes out of the front door most days to get a dozen mixed or an egg, bacon, and cheese on a plain bagel. Try the egg bagel as well. Getting the crust and crunch on those just right isn’t easy, but Shug’s nails it.

Sadelle's Highland Park

When is brunch not just brunch? When it’s as excellent and vibey as the experience Sadelle’s Highland Park provides. For most of us, this is a real treat yo’ self spot with soft interiors and a bagel tower option that will make diners feel like they aren’t just having brunch, but have conquered a small country and brunch is the reward. Go back and try every iteration of the eggs Benedict as well, because its worth it.

Knox Bistro

Wondering where to brunch? Keep Knox Bistro in mind, and get a sticky pecan bun for the table. French fare, from the Croque Madame to the French omelet with Boursin to the perennial favorite of hanger steak with eggs and pommes frites, will delight. This is also a nice lunch and dinner spot, but brunch is where the bistro mood fires on all cylinders. 

Sister Restaurant

A little Italian, a little Mediterranean, a lot of great design and delicious food — that’s Sister in a nutshell. Pop into this Greenville Ave. location one evening and try the branzino, the roasted eggplant parmesan, and the olive oil cake. Then linger over one of the signature cocktails, either in the big, comfy booths or sitting on the patio out front. That’s the whole point of a restaurant with a neighborhood vibe: eating great food and checking out the neighborhood.

Sachet

Trying everything on the Spanish gin and tonic menu is reason enough to visit Sachet on Oak Lawn. But this Mediterranean restaurant from co-owners Allison Yoder and Stephen Rogers is so much more than a great wine and cocktail menu. It’s easy to make a meal of small plates, from shawarma spice ribs to mushrooms cooked in a wood-fired oven with bean puree. But the entrees, especially the grilled Aleppo quail and cauliflower steak, are symphonic. 

Carte Blanche

Carte Blanche opened and immediately took the Dallas dining scene by storm. It offers a tasting menu put together daily based on availability of ingredients, so whichever option you choose, 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 of which need to be ordered 48 hours in advance, are also phenomenal and great for a special weekend treat.

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Neighborhood Services

Winter is as good a time as any to tuck into some comfort food, and for lunch or dinner get a little of what sounds good in American and European fare. Wedge salad? Of course. Steak frites? Got it. Personal pizza with crispy pepperoni cups? Naturally. Schnitzel? Why not.

Jalisco Norte

For those in search of authentic Mexican food, it’s hard to beat the classics at this spot. The pollo con mole, carne asada with molcajete sauce, and beef short ribs served birria-style are all home runs.

Ngon Vietnamese Kitchen

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. 

Rye

Rye has been making big moves since it opened, pushing the boundaries of creative fare. Recently, the restaurant announced a program to add 3% to the bill, not as a cost of product increase but to offer the staff benefits, including healthcare. It deserves a lot of support. So stopy 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.

Shoyo

Shoyo opened on Lower Greenville during the pandemic and, with only 13 seats, it is still somewhere many in the city haven’t visited simply based on the limited number of reservations available. It’s worth sitting online to land one when they’re released at the start of each month. The Omakase-style menu for each meal is selected by the chefs, and what you’ll get varies widely based on the availability of fresh ingredients. Put yourself in their more than capable hands.

Liberty Burger

For a fast casual burger, it’s hard to beat this family-owned local chain. There’s something for every type of burger one could desire: a classic? Sure thing, it’s called the Liberty Burger. Fancy ingredients stacked up high? Go for the Napa. Delicious enough to border on gluttonous? That’s the Wild West, with its cheese, bacon, and barbecue sauce. Tired of beef? The ahi tuna burger and the Jackie O, a lamb and feta burger, will do you. Plus, those delicious skinny fries and shakes, boozy or not, are a great way to cool down.

Thunderbird Pies

Over the glut of thin crust pizza sweeping the city? It’s time to indulge in the Detroit pizza craze. The thick, moist crust with crispy burnt cheese edges on this Lakewood spot’s pizzas is another side of enjoying a pizza. Brought to you by the folks behind Cane Rosso, it shares some menu options — so get the Honey Bastard with hot soppressata, bacon marmalade, and habanero honey on a very fluffy crust. There are also options with pineapple for those who swing that way and straight veg for the non-meat eaters. 

The Mansion Restaurant

Step into old school Dallas with a night at the Rosewood Mansion restaurant or bar. The Mansion has a new chef and new head of its bar program, so a lot of changes are happening on the menu — while some long-standing favorites (yes, we mean the tortilla soup) remain. One luxurious must-order is the charred octopus with pepita pesto and cilantro — it’s a perfect bite.

Loro

Small, sharable dishes are all the rage in Dallas dining and Loro is one of the leading spots serving exactly that up. For a fun time on a group hang, this is the destination. The barbecue doesn’t skimp, nor does the novelty of putting an Asian-inspired spin on it.

INVASION

A chicken sandwich named after Cardi B, a “notorious” burger, and a banana pudding called the In My Peelings? Yeah, Invasion’s got jokes and love for hip hop. Stop into this Old East Dallas spot where chef Airric Heidelberg is cooking up something berry special - and by that, we mean the Berry Good Burger, which finds halal beef filled with homemade strawberry jam and goat cheese and topped with roasted strawberries and basil. 

Ellie's Restaurant & Lounge

This fall, Ellie’s in the Hall Arts Hotel got a new chef. Anthony Hsia is working wonders with the menu, bringing innovative cuisine to the Napa-inspired spot with notes of Scandinavia, Asia, and Middle Eastern cuisine — still all rooted in pairings with great California wines and a Napa-esque dining experience.

Joe T. Garcia's

How long has it been since you revisited this Fort Worth Tex Mex staple? Not many establishments have held on since 1935, so it’s worth a revisit if it has been a while for you. For those who don’t know the drill, go into it knowing there will be a waiting line to get in — reservations aren’t an option. For dinner, the options are beef or chicken fajitas, the family-style dinner of cheese nachos, cheese enchiladas, rice, beans, two beef tacos, and guacamole. The menu is a little more extensive for lunch and brunch when you can get excellent Chile Rellenos and tortilla soup, among other options. And the courtyard full of fountains is a dreamy place to eat.

AllGood Cafe

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.

Revolver Taco Lounge

Revolver has expanded its offerings, with a new outpost in Exchange Hall in Downtown and a gastro taco lounge coming soon, next door 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 is cooking up on any given day. 

Beto & Son

Trinity Groves has struggled to find its identity after moving on as an incubator for new restaurants. Beto & Son is one of the lasting success stories of the location — so much so that Julian Rodarte (the and son of the place) has taken over as CEO of the Trinity Restaurant Group. And it’s one of the best Mexican food places in Dallas. Order a queso fundido chorizo skillet for the table, and try the 12-hour barbacoa tacos and an order of the green chile pork enchiladas. 

Off the Bone Barbeque

The smell of barbecue, which wafts all up and down the block, will get you. The pecan smoked baby back ribs keep many people coming into Off the Bone down in Cedars. But the blue cheese and bacon cole slaw and the honey spiced baked beans are awfully special, as are the wings.

Restaurant Beatrice

Shrimp and grits. Fried chicken. Vegan gumbo. Duck confit. Down in Oak Cliff, a Cajun feast is on the fire. Restaurant Beatrice, which comes from Michelle Carpenter of Zen Sushi and chef Terance Jenkins, who worked in New Orleans kitchens including Commander’s Palace, offers an take on Louisiana favorites that is a step above newspaper on the table but never stuffy.

Don Artemio Restaurant

Don Artemo 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.

Nova

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.