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The moutsayhang at Khao Noodle Shop is filled with char-grilled pork patty, omelette-style egg, fresh cucumber, and sticky rice.
Kathy Tran

13 Essential East Dallas Restaurants

Where to dine on the east side of Big D.

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The moutsayhang at Khao Noodle Shop is filled with char-grilled pork patty, omelette-style egg, fresh cucumber, and sticky rice.
| Kathy Tran

Depending on who you ask, the boundaries that define the wildly diverse neighborhood of East Dallas are all over the place. Whether or not you consider Lakewood, Lake Highlands, Casa Linda part of East Dallas, they're at least close enough to grab dinner for anyone that’s on the east side of the city.

The neighborhood boasts an impressive number of eateries, ranging from casual sandwiches to wacky donuts and excellent Vietnamese cuisine. Whether new to the neighborhood or an East Dallas old timer, these 13 restaurants are essential additions to any dining rotation.

Did we miss an East Dallas classic? Shout out your favorite neighborhood restaurants in the comments if you're willing to share your secrets.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Petra and the Beast

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Chef Misti Norris’s offal-obsessed experiment in East Dallas has become such a hit, it’s earned her acclaim from national critics and locals too. An ever-rotating chef’s board serves up delights using ferments, foraged ingredients, and all parts of the animal, such as pig ear cotechino and tripe-infused ‘nduja spread.

Khao Noodle Shop

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Recently deemed one of the best new restaurants in the nation, Khao Noodle Shop is knocking the socks off diners and critics alike with its modern take on traditional Laotian dishes like tripe chicharrones, sukiyaki, and boat noodles spiked with pork blood.

Kathy Tran

Jimmy's Food Store

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This East Dallas market is the stuff of legends, an Italian oasis in an otherwise Dallas neighborhood. Beloved sandwiches like the meat-stuffed Italian Stallion await, or grab pasta, imported tomatoes, housemade sausage, and a bounty of deli meat to dine at home.

Jimmy's Food Store/Facebook

Mot Hai Ba

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A hidden gem in East Dallas, chef Peja Krstic serves some of the city’s most innovative Vietnamese fare. Find excellent banh xeo (sizzling pancakes), grilled duck hearts, and an endlessly creative menu of chef’s specials that changes constantly.

Gold Rush Cafe

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After the loss of its founder, Gold Rush Cafe is still going strong as one of DFW’s best destinations for a plate of huevos rancheros or a patty melt.

Annie N./Yelp

Lakewood Landing

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This East Dallas haunt is best known for classics like burgers, BLTs, and perfectly greasy tater tots — or perhaps the jukebox that still pumps out the hits. Order a few cheap beers and swing by during the late-night hours for jalapeño corn dogs.

Tacos La Banqueta

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Frequently mentioned as one of Dallas’ best taquerias, find Mexico City-style tacos and perfectly spicy salsa verde at this Gaston Avenue institution. Steak, chicken, cabeza, and pastor are all solid protein choices, especially when showered in plenty of salsa.

Hypnotic Donuts

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No trip to East Dallas would be complete without a visit to one of the city’s most famed doughnut shops, which is also an excellent destination for an gigantic fried chicken biscuit sandwich. Need to satisfy an ice cream craving? Wander next door to Hypnotic’s ice cream themed sister shop, Hypnotic Emporium, for an ice cream-stuffed donut.

Kathy Tran/EDFW

Haute Sweets Patisserie

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Colorful French macarons in flavors like lemon and strawberry are a favorite at this East Dallas bakery, but that’s not the only sweet on offer. Consider the red velvet brownies, or keep it healthy with vegan chocolate cake or a paleo-friendly cookie.

Haute Sweets Patisserie/Facebook

Lounge Here

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Lounge Here earned the title of Eater Dallas’s Best Bar of 2017 with its compelling cocktail program dreamt up by some nightlife heavyweights, but it’s the food that keeps locals coming back night after night, according to owner Julie Doyle. Her impressive kitchen staff turns out an always-compelling assortment of dishes on its ever-changing menu with current standouts like goat cheese and crab toast, borracho mussels, and pan-seared halibut with seasonal succotash.

Goodfriend Beer Garden and Burger House

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A great patio, excellent burgers, and a solid beer list make Goodfriend a beloved neighborhood haunt. Split a basket of cheese fries with a group of friends, then chow down on burgers topped with everything from fried goat cheese to smoked brie and a sunny-side-up egg.

Goodfriend Burger Bar/Facebook

20 Feet Seafood Joint

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New England-style seafood shines at this East Dallas institution, where fried Ipswich clams and Blue Point oysters are abundant. Even though it’s not a seafood dish, the pork ramen at 20 Feet is one of the city’s best bowls.

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Freshly cracked black pepper

A post shared by Hoai-Nam Nguyen (@suitandpepper) on

Dairy-ette

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Open in Dallas since 1956, the formula at Dairy-Ette hasn’t changed too much in the ensuing decades. Find thin-patty burgers, root beer that’s made at the restaurant, and carhops that take your order in the car after a flash of the headlights.

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Petra and the Beast

Chef Misti Norris’s offal-obsessed experiment in East Dallas has become such a hit, it’s earned her acclaim from national critics and locals too. An ever-rotating chef’s board serves up delights using ferments, foraged ingredients, and all parts of the animal, such as pig ear cotechino and tripe-infused ‘nduja spread.

Khao Noodle Shop

Kathy Tran

Recently deemed one of the best new restaurants in the nation, Khao Noodle Shop is knocking the socks off diners and critics alike with its modern take on traditional Laotian dishes like tripe chicharrones, sukiyaki, and boat noodles spiked with pork blood.

Kathy Tran

Jimmy's Food Store

Jimmy's Food Store/Facebook

This East Dallas market is the stuff of legends, an Italian oasis in an otherwise Dallas neighborhood. Beloved sandwiches like the meat-stuffed Italian Stallion await, or grab pasta, imported tomatoes, housemade sausage, and a bounty of deli meat to dine at home.

Jimmy's Food Store/Facebook

Mot Hai Ba

A hidden gem in East Dallas, chef Peja Krstic serves some of the city’s most innovative Vietnamese fare. Find excellent banh xeo (sizzling pancakes), grilled duck hearts, and an endlessly creative menu of chef’s specials that changes constantly.

Gold Rush Cafe

Annie N./Yelp

After the loss of its founder, Gold Rush Cafe is still going strong as one of DFW’s best destinations for a plate of huevos rancheros or a patty melt.

Annie N./Yelp

Lakewood Landing

This East Dallas haunt is best known for classics like burgers, BLTs, and perfectly greasy tater tots — or perhaps the jukebox that still pumps out the hits. Order a few cheap beers and swing by during the late-night hours for jalapeño corn dogs.

Tacos La Banqueta

Frequently mentioned as one of Dallas’ best taquerias, find Mexico City-style tacos and perfectly spicy salsa verde at this Gaston Avenue institution. Steak, chicken, cabeza, and pastor are all solid protein choices, especially when showered in plenty of salsa.

Hypnotic Donuts

Kathy Tran/EDFW

No trip to East Dallas would be complete without a visit to one of the city’s most famed doughnut shops, which is also an excellent destination for an gigantic fried chicken biscuit sandwich. Need to satisfy an ice cream craving? Wander next door to Hypnotic’s ice cream themed sister shop, Hypnotic Emporium, for an ice cream-stuffed donut.

Kathy Tran/EDFW

Haute Sweets Patisserie

Haute Sweets Patisserie/Facebook

Colorful French macarons in flavors like lemon and strawberry are a favorite at this East Dallas bakery, but that’s not the only sweet on offer. Consider the red velvet brownies, or keep it healthy with vegan chocolate cake or a paleo-friendly cookie.

Haute Sweets Patisserie/Facebook

Lounge Here

Lounge Here earned the title of Eater Dallas’s Best Bar of 2017 with its compelling cocktail program dreamt up by some nightlife heavyweights, but it’s the food that keeps locals coming back night after night, according to owner Julie Doyle. Her impressive kitchen staff turns out an always-compelling assortment of dishes on its ever-changing menu with current standouts like goat cheese and crab toast, borracho mussels, and pan-seared halibut with seasonal succotash.

Goodfriend Beer Garden and Burger House

Goodfriend Burger Bar/Facebook

A great patio, excellent burgers, and a solid beer list make Goodfriend a beloved neighborhood haunt. Split a basket of cheese fries with a group of friends, then chow down on burgers topped with everything from fried goat cheese to smoked brie and a sunny-side-up egg.

Goodfriend Burger Bar/Facebook

20 Feet Seafood Joint

New England-style seafood shines at this East Dallas institution, where fried Ipswich clams and Blue Point oysters are abundant. Even though it’s not a seafood dish, the pork ramen at 20 Feet is one of the city’s best bowls.

View this post on Instagram

Freshly cracked black pepper

A post shared by Hoai-Nam Nguyen (@suitandpepper) on

Dairy-ette

Open in Dallas since 1956, the formula at Dairy-Ette hasn’t changed too much in the ensuing decades. Find thin-patty burgers, root beer that’s made at the restaurant, and carhops that take your order in the car after a flash of the headlights.

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