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With its compelling eats and cozy setting, Crushcraft Thai is the cream of the fast-casual crop.
With its compelling eats and cozy setting, Crushcraft Thai is the cream of the fast-casual crop.
Garrett Hall [EDFW]

The 13 Best Fancy Fast Food Spots In Dallas

Where to eat well when you're in a hurry.

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With its compelling eats and cozy setting, Crushcraft Thai is the cream of the fast-casual crop.
| Garrett Hall [EDFW]

If there's one term that accurately describes the direction of the restaurant industry, it's "fast-casual." This growing trend has swept the country, bringing fresh, high-quality food to diners with short wait times and comfortably casual settings.

If you don't have time to cook at home or indulge in fine dining but also don't want to be relegated to the drive-thru line, fast casual fare is a compelling alternative. But where do you find this better fast food?

The answer is simple: everywhere. Dallas is now home to dozens of fast-casual concepts, many of which are homegrown and looking to expand to other markets. These thirteen fast-casual eateries range from upscale breakfast fare to casual sandwiches, but they're all equally excellent.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Banh Shop

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Banh mi is traditionally a street food in Vietnam, and it gets the fast-casual treatment at Banh Shop. The menu here was influenced by Malai Kitchen’s Braden and Yasmin Wages, resulting in a decidedly high-quality sandwich, if not totally inauthentic. Pile your baguette high with grilled pork meatballs, tofu, or steak, and plenty of those crisp pickled veggies.

C'Viche Tequila Bar

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Ceviche isn’t the type of food normally served in a fast-casual setting, but C’Viche has somehow figured out a way to do it well. Choose your fresh seafood, like tuna, shrimp, or a rotating market special, and a style (aguachile with lime, jalapeno and pico de gallo, or “Island style,” which features pineapple, coconut water, and orange) and you’ve got yourself a healthy lunch that won’t set you back more than about $15. For just $2 more, add greens to make it a salad.

Crisp Salad Company

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Assemble-your-own salad spots are popping up across the country and Greenville Ave’s Crisp Salad Co. is among the best. Get your superfood on with the Killer Kale, packed with greens, quinoa, and walnuts, or get creative with the curry Waldorf made with tea-soaked raisins. You can also turn your salad into a wrap or bowl and add veggies and other accoutrements to your heart’s content.
Crisp Salad Company

Crushcraft Thai Street Eats

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This take on Thai street food brings authentic dishes prepared with excellent (frequently local) ingredients on the cheap and in a hurry. If you’ve got more than about 15 minutes to grab a great lunch, head to Crushcraft for legit drunken noodles, impossibly delicious green curry, or a piping hot bowl of tom kha gai if you’re still fending off last night’s hangover.

Dugg Burger

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This “Chipotle of burger chains” allows burger fanatics to top their burger with just about anything you can think of, including a rotating “Lucky 13” offering. Choose a cheese, and your patty will start sizzling on the grill. Then, watch as a burger artist scoops out the bun and fills it with everything from grilled onions to roasted jalapenos and sauteed mushrooms. $10 will get you a burger, fries, and a drink, which isn’t too far away from what you’ll spend at Whataburger.

Fast Furious Japanese Cuisine

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Pre-packed sushi doesn’t generally come with the highest freshness expectations, but Fast Furious Japanese in Addison has figured out the formula. The sushi here is made on-premises every day, and if that’s still not something you’re comfortable with, hit the “ignition” section of the menu, where meats are freshly grilled before being piled atop rice, noodles, or a salad.

Modern Market

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Whether you’re feeling a veggie-packed salad or an oven-fired pizza, Preston Hollow’s Modern Market is an excellent stop for a quick lunch. For the particularly health conscious, calorie counts are listed under each menu item, and each option can be customized to suit a variety of dietary needs. If you’re really in a hurry, order online and pick up your order in less time than it takes to wait in line at Chipotle.

Project Pie

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When you’ve got a ripping hot fire deck oven, turning out excellent pizza in under two minutes is easy. At Project Pie, you can top your crispy thin crust with as many toppings as you like for no extra charge, or stick with one of the restaurant’s numbered options, like a prosciutto pie topped with caramelized onions.

Rollngo

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This uber-cheap fast-casual Asian fusion spot on Greenville Ave is a great place to pick up a cheap lunch in a hurry. Spring rolls, vermicelli bowls, and pho are all on offer, in addition to smoothies and boba tea for the perfect quick mid-afternoon pick-me-up. You can also download RollNGo’s app to order online for even faster service.
Most of the time, going through the drive-thru probably means you’re not going to be making the healthiest of choices, but Start is a whole ‘nother kind of fast food restaurant. The meats are grass-fed, the burger buns can be gluten-free, and the eggs are free-range. Stop by in the A.M. for a killer breakfast sandwich or feel better about having a burger for lunch. Either way, don’t skip the tater tots – they’re baked in the oven, so they won’t totally kill your diet.
Start

Super Chix

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This Chik-Fil-A lookalike certainly exceeds its fast-food counterpart. At SuperChix, a Yum! Brands concept, the chicken is impossibly crisp, the fries are fresh and salty, and the housemade custards are just the cherry on top. You’ll spend a few more minutes here than at Chik-Fil-A, but the rewards will be oh so worth it.

Unleavened Fresh Kitchen

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This “refined fast casual” spot brought chef-inspired fare to Lakewood with zero pretense. The dips, wraps, and salads at Unleavened can be customized to your dietary preferences (read: it’s gluten-free, Paleo, and vegan-friendly) and offer a healthy alternative to the drive-thru. Treat yo’ self to an uber-healthy acai bowl for breakfast for a Gwyneth Paltrow-approved way to start your day.
Kevin Marple

Whisk Crepes Cafe

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In the U.S., crepes are frequently considered to be too fancy for a casual setting, but in France, they’re an incredibly common street food. Whisk Crepes Cafe sort of blends those two notions, offering up fast service in a chic atmosphere. Fill your thin pancake with savory (egg, cheese, BBQ pork) options or sweet (Nutella, banana, cinnamon apples) and feel totally bourgeois without breaking the bank.

Banh Shop

Banh mi is traditionally a street food in Vietnam, and it gets the fast-casual treatment at Banh Shop. The menu here was influenced by Malai Kitchen’s Braden and Yasmin Wages, resulting in a decidedly high-quality sandwich, if not totally inauthentic. Pile your baguette high with grilled pork meatballs, tofu, or steak, and plenty of those crisp pickled veggies.

C'Viche Tequila Bar

Ceviche isn’t the type of food normally served in a fast-casual setting, but C’Viche has somehow figured out a way to do it well. Choose your fresh seafood, like tuna, shrimp, or a rotating market special, and a style (aguachile with lime, jalapeno and pico de gallo, or “Island style,” which features pineapple, coconut water, and orange) and you’ve got yourself a healthy lunch that won’t set you back more than about $15. For just $2 more, add greens to make it a salad.

Crisp Salad Company

Crisp Salad Company
Assemble-your-own salad spots are popping up across the country and Greenville Ave’s Crisp Salad Co. is among the best. Get your superfood on with the Killer Kale, packed with greens, quinoa, and walnuts, or get creative with the curry Waldorf made with tea-soaked raisins. You can also turn your salad into a wrap or bowl and add veggies and other accoutrements to your heart’s content.
Crisp Salad Company

Crushcraft Thai Street Eats

This take on Thai street food brings authentic dishes prepared with excellent (frequently local) ingredients on the cheap and in a hurry. If you’ve got more than about 15 minutes to grab a great lunch, head to Crushcraft for legit drunken noodles, impossibly delicious green curry, or a piping hot bowl of tom kha gai if you’re still fending off last night’s hangover.

Dugg Burger

This “Chipotle of burger chains” allows burger fanatics to top their burger with just about anything you can think of, including a rotating “Lucky 13” offering. Choose a cheese, and your patty will start sizzling on the grill. Then, watch as a burger artist scoops out the bun and fills it with everything from grilled onions to roasted jalapenos and sauteed mushrooms. $10 will get you a burger, fries, and a drink, which isn’t too far away from what you’ll spend at Whataburger.

Fast Furious Japanese Cuisine

Pre-packed sushi doesn’t generally come with the highest freshness expectations, but Fast Furious Japanese in Addison has figured out the formula. The sushi here is made on-premises every day, and if that’s still not something you’re comfortable with, hit the “ignition” section of the menu, where meats are freshly grilled before being piled atop rice, noodles, or a salad.

Modern Market

Whether you’re feeling a veggie-packed salad or an oven-fired pizza, Preston Hollow’s Modern Market is an excellent stop for a quick lunch. For the particularly health conscious, calorie counts are listed under each menu item, and each option can be customized to suit a variety of dietary needs. If you’re really in a hurry, order online and pick up your order in less time than it takes to wait in line at Chipotle.

Project Pie

When you’ve got a ripping hot fire deck oven, turning out excellent pizza in under two minutes is easy. At Project Pie, you can top your crispy thin crust with as many toppings as you like for no extra charge, or stick with one of the restaurant’s numbered options, like a prosciutto pie topped with caramelized onions.

Rollngo

This uber-cheap fast-casual Asian fusion spot on Greenville Ave is a great place to pick up a cheap lunch in a hurry. Spring rolls, vermicelli bowls, and pho are all on offer, in addition to smoothies and boba tea for the perfect quick mid-afternoon pick-me-up. You can also download RollNGo’s app to order online for even faster service.

Start

Start
Most of the time, going through the drive-thru probably means you’re not going to be making the healthiest of choices, but Start is a whole ‘nother kind of fast food restaurant. The meats are grass-fed, the burger buns can be gluten-free, and the eggs are free-range. Stop by in the A.M. for a killer breakfast sandwich or feel better about having a burger for lunch. Either way, don’t skip the tater tots – they’re baked in the oven, so they won’t totally kill your diet.
Start

Super Chix

This Chik-Fil-A lookalike certainly exceeds its fast-food counterpart. At SuperChix, a Yum! Brands concept, the chicken is impossibly crisp, the fries are fresh and salty, and the housemade custards are just the cherry on top. You’ll spend a few more minutes here than at Chik-Fil-A, but the rewards will be oh so worth it.

Unleavened Fresh Kitchen

Kevin Marple
This “refined fast casual” spot brought chef-inspired fare to Lakewood with zero pretense. The dips, wraps, and salads at Unleavened can be customized to your dietary preferences (read: it’s gluten-free, Paleo, and vegan-friendly) and offer a healthy alternative to the drive-thru. Treat yo’ self to an uber-healthy acai bowl for breakfast for a Gwyneth Paltrow-approved way to start your day.
Kevin Marple

Whisk Crepes Cafe

In the U.S., crepes are frequently considered to be too fancy for a casual setting, but in France, they’re an incredibly common street food. Whisk Crepes Cafe sort of blends those two notions, offering up fast service in a chic atmosphere. Fill your thin pancake with savory (egg, cheese, BBQ pork) options or sweet (Nutella, banana, cinnamon apples) and feel totally bourgeois without breaking the bank.

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