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The 17 Hottest Restaurants in Dallas, December 2021

Find massive dry ice-infused cocktails, high-end Korean barbecue, and so much more at these exciting new dining destinations

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The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t over just yet, but now that more and more Texans are getting. vaccinated and restaurants can operate at full capacity, many diners in Dallas and beyond have fully returned to restaurants.

In this month’s update of the Eater Dallas Heatmap, find a Korean steakhouse with all the bells and whistles from the CEO of Smoothie King, a chain outpost that specializes in over-the-top milkshakes and gigantic cocktails, and so much more.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Hutchins BBQ

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1301 N Tennessee St
McKinney, TX 75069
(972) 548-2629
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This McKinney barbecue favorite just made a comeback after a lengthy shutter caused by a fire, and it made a major hire during the closure. Acclaimed Texas pitmaster John Mueller is now in charge of the smokers here, and is introducing new offerings like peach-habanero sausage alongside the barky brisket and super-tender ribs that Hutchins fans have come to love.

2. Sushi Kushi

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2680 Old Denton Rd
Carrollton, TX 75007
(469) 758-0129

There’s a new option for all-you-can-eat sushi priced at just $35. Sushi Kushi opened quietly in September, but its classic sushi favorites like seared salmon nigiri and fried tempura rolls have already made an impression online, thanks to a visit from food YouTuber Mikey Chen.

3. Koryo Korean BBQ

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2560 Royal Ln #105
Dallas, TX 75229
(214) 272-7486
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This longtime Koreatown staple closed for months during the pandemic, and just reopened under new ownership. Fortunately, diners can look forward to the same beloved recipes for slow-simmered Korean soups and top-quality meats grilled over charcoal.

4. Nuri Grill

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2254 Royal Ln
Dallas, TX 75229
(972) 241-3900
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To open the high-end Nuri Grill, Smoothie King’s CEO enlisted Michelin Guide-recognized chefs Minji Kim and Ben Lee to create a menu that offers traditional American steakhouse with a Korean touch. Expect to find tabletop grills and cocktails with ingredients like yuzu liqueur.

5. Anise

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5630 Village Glen Dr
Dallas, TX 75206
(469) 659-6376
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The latest restaurant to debut at the newly revamped Village development, Anise boasts sleek Mediterranean eats and sommelier-selected wines. Snack on crispy octopus served with pimenton aioli, roasted lamb flatbread, or whole-roasted cauliflower served with green tahini sauce. 

6. La Mina

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5630 Village Glen Dr
Dallas, TX 75206
(469) 659-6375
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A below-ground entrance leads to La Mina, a new option for Mexican cuisine in the Village, helmed by Petra and the Beast alum Tony Ibarra. Try dishes like Norteño-style braised beef or Market Fish Veracurz cooked in banana leaves and end the meal with chocoflan with cherries for dessert.

1920 Greenville Ave
Dallas, TX 75206
(972) 803-3391

A second outpost of the McKinney original, Rye is now slinging inventive fare on Greenville Avenue. The menu is packed with small, shareable dishes that range from crispy fried artichokes to charcuterie boards and stunning seared scallops. Don’t sleep on the cocktails, either — there’s a solid espresso martini on the menu.

8. Thunderbird Pies

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7328 Gaston Ave #110
Dallas, TX 75214

A pandemic-era pop-up that grew into its own standalone restaurant, Thunderbird Pies is now slinging its Detroit-style pies in East Dallas. Not familiar with the style? Think thick, focaccia-like crust, Wisconsin brick cheese, and toppings like cupping pepperoni.

9. Loro

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1812 N Haskell Ave.
Dallas, TX 75204
(214) 833-4983
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This much-anticipated collaboration between pitmaster Aaron Fraklin and sushi whiz Tyson Cole has finally made its debut in East Dallas. The wide-ranging menu includes dishes like crispy chicken karaage, curried brisket rice, and smoky meats like bavette or oak-smoked salmon.

10. Cry Wolf

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4422 Gaston Ave
Dallas, TX 75246
(214) 272-3066
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This long-awaited Old East Dallas spot, from chef Ross Demers, has finally opened and is serving seasonally-inspired, elevated bar food in an ultra-intimate space. Think dishes like razor clams, steaks from 44 Farms, and parilla-grilled fish, all paired with classic cocktails.

11. Elephant East

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2850 N Harwood St Suite 120
Dallas, TX 75201
(214) 256-4151
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At Pan-Asian eatery Elephant East, chef Thomas Griffin serves everything from bao with pork belly to Korean-style popcorn fried chicken with soy-garlic sauce. Find this new outpost in Harwood’s La Rue Purdue, the European-inspired alleyway or “hidden street.”

12. Sugar Factory

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1900 Cedar Springs Rd
Dallas, TX 75201
(469) 382-5737
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No milkshake or entree is too over-the-top at Sugar Factory, the Vegas-based chain that opened its doors in Dallas in early November. The restaurant is known for both social-media friendly decor and menu items (like massive 60-ounce goblet cocktails).

13. Harper's

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2525 Elm St Suite #150
Dallas, TX 75226
(469) 998-0013
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This Deep Ellum newcomer brings a showy drinking destination complete with intricately prepared cocktails to the neighborhood. On the food side of the menu, look forward to dishes like Burmese tea leaf salad and massive wagyu steaks, plus cocktails like a seriously over-the-top libation called the Barcelona Pick Pocket that’s made with whiskey and over 30 different spices.

14. Neon Kitten Izakaya & Dimsum House

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2805 Main St
Dallas, TX 75226
(972) 807-2308
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Neon Kitten slings inventive dim sum dishes until 1 a.m. five nights a week. Share plates of shrimp and pork siu mai and charcuterie boards while sipping on cocktails like the Fukuoka, a fall-friendly mix of Japanese whiskey, soy sauce, and vanilla. 

15. Catbird

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205 N Akard St
Dallas, TX 75201
(469) 726-4115
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At this chic new spot inside the Thompson Hotel, chef de cuisine Jeramie Robison has created an eclectic menu of dishes with a range of culinary influences. Start with brussels sprout skewers sauced with chili and lime or pimento pepper dip with jumbo lump crab, then dig into pan-seared filet with pumpkin seed pesto, Japanese fried chicken, or miso-glazed salmon.

16. Milagro Tacos Cantina

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440 Singleton Blvd Ste 100
Dallas, TX 75212
(469) 872-0168
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Head to this Singleton Avenue taqueria for some of Dallas’s finest tacos. Prepared by taquero Jesus Carmona, the taco fillings here range from classic carne asada to octopus, crispy pork belly, and chicharron-style cod. Birria tacos served with consome for dunking are also on the menu, along with burgers, burritos, and plenty of beer to wash down all of the above.

17. Casablanca

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200 N Bishop Ave Suite 113
Dallas, TX 75208
(972) 863-9600
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New Bishop Arts bar Casablanca calls itself a “singeasy,” with private karaoke lounges and an indoor/outdoor space meant to channel the ‘70s. The drinks list leans toward everything tropical and frozen (and includes a Moroccan tea service that’s spiked with rum), while Chef Nick Hurry is serving snacks like cardamom-infused lamb skewers.

1. Hutchins BBQ

1301 N Tennessee St, McKinney, TX 75069

This McKinney barbecue favorite just made a comeback after a lengthy shutter caused by a fire, and it made a major hire during the closure. Acclaimed Texas pitmaster John Mueller is now in charge of the smokers here, and is introducing new offerings like peach-habanero sausage alongside the barky brisket and super-tender ribs that Hutchins fans have come to love.

1301 N Tennessee St
McKinney, TX 75069

2. Sushi Kushi

2680 Old Denton Rd, Carrollton, TX 75007

There’s a new option for all-you-can-eat sushi priced at just $35. Sushi Kushi opened quietly in September, but its classic sushi favorites like seared salmon nigiri and fried tempura rolls have already made an impression online, thanks to a visit from food YouTuber Mikey Chen.

2680 Old Denton Rd
Carrollton, TX 75007

3. Koryo Korean BBQ

2560 Royal Ln #105, Dallas, TX 75229

This longtime Koreatown staple closed for months during the pandemic, and just reopened under new ownership. Fortunately, diners can look forward to the same beloved recipes for slow-simmered Korean soups and top-quality meats grilled over charcoal.

2560 Royal Ln #105
Dallas, TX 75229

4. Nuri Grill

2254 Royal Ln, Dallas, TX 75229

To open the high-end Nuri Grill, Smoothie King’s CEO enlisted Michelin Guide-recognized chefs Minji Kim and Ben Lee to create a menu that offers traditional American steakhouse with a Korean touch. Expect to find tabletop grills and cocktails with ingredients like yuzu liqueur.

2254 Royal Ln
Dallas, TX 75229

5. Anise

5630 Village Glen Dr, Dallas, TX 75206

The latest restaurant to debut at the newly revamped Village development, Anise boasts sleek Mediterranean eats and sommelier-selected wines. Snack on crispy octopus served with pimenton aioli, roasted lamb flatbread, or whole-roasted cauliflower served with green tahini sauce. 

5630 Village Glen Dr
Dallas, TX 75206

6. La Mina

5630 Village Glen Dr, Dallas, TX 75206

A below-ground entrance leads to La Mina, a new option for Mexican cuisine in the Village, helmed by Petra and the Beast alum Tony Ibarra. Try dishes like Norteño-style braised beef or Market Fish Veracurz cooked in banana leaves and end the meal with chocoflan with cherries for dessert.

5630 Village Glen Dr
Dallas, TX 75206

7. Rye

1920 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX 75206

A second outpost of the McKinney original, Rye is now slinging inventive fare on Greenville Avenue. The menu is packed with small, shareable dishes that range from crispy fried artichokes to charcuterie boards and stunning seared scallops. Don’t sleep on the cocktails, either — there’s a solid espresso martini on the menu.

1920 Greenville Ave
Dallas, TX 75206

8. Thunderbird Pies

7328 Gaston Ave #110, Dallas, TX 75214

A pandemic-era pop-up that grew into its own standalone restaurant, Thunderbird Pies is now slinging its Detroit-style pies in East Dallas. Not familiar with the style? Think thick, focaccia-like crust, Wisconsin brick cheese, and toppings like cupping pepperoni.

7328 Gaston Ave #110
Dallas, TX 75214

9. Loro

1812 N Haskell Ave., Dallas, TX 75204

This much-anticipated collaboration between pitmaster Aaron Fraklin and sushi whiz Tyson Cole has finally made its debut in East Dallas. The wide-ranging menu includes dishes like crispy chicken karaage, curried brisket rice, and smoky meats like bavette or oak-smoked salmon.

1812 N Haskell Ave.
Dallas, TX 75204

10. Cry Wolf

4422 Gaston Ave, Dallas, TX 75246

This long-awaited Old East Dallas spot, from chef Ross Demers, has finally opened and is serving seasonally-inspired, elevated bar food in an ultra-intimate space. Think dishes like razor clams, steaks from 44 Farms, and parilla-grilled fish, all paired with classic cocktails.

4422 Gaston Ave
Dallas, TX 75246

11. Elephant East

2850 N Harwood St Suite 120, Dallas, TX 75201

At Pan-Asian eatery Elephant East, chef Thomas Griffin serves everything from bao with pork belly to Korean-style popcorn fried chicken with soy-garlic sauce. Find this new outpost in Harwood’s La Rue Purdue, the European-inspired alleyway or “hidden street.”

2850 N Harwood St Suite 120
Dallas, TX 75201

12. Sugar Factory

1900 Cedar Springs Rd, Dallas, TX 75201

No milkshake or entree is too over-the-top at Sugar Factory, the Vegas-based chain that opened its doors in Dallas in early November. The restaurant is known for both social-media friendly decor and menu items (like massive 60-ounce goblet cocktails).

1900 Cedar Springs Rd
Dallas, TX 75201

13. Harper's

2525 Elm St Suite #150, Dallas, TX 75226

This Deep Ellum newcomer brings a showy drinking destination complete with intricately prepared cocktails to the neighborhood. On the food side of the menu, look forward to dishes like Burmese tea leaf salad and massive wagyu steaks, plus cocktails like a seriously over-the-top libation called the Barcelona Pick Pocket that’s made with whiskey and over 30 different spices.

2525 Elm St Suite #150
Dallas, TX 75226

14. Neon Kitten Izakaya & Dimsum House

2805 Main St, Dallas, TX 75226

Neon Kitten slings inventive dim sum dishes until 1 a.m. five nights a week. Share plates of shrimp and pork siu mai and charcuterie boards while sipping on cocktails like the Fukuoka, a fall-friendly mix of Japanese whiskey, soy sauce, and vanilla. 

2805 Main St
Dallas, TX 75226

15. Catbird

205 N Akard St, Dallas, TX 75201

At this chic new spot inside the Thompson Hotel, chef de cuisine Jeramie Robison has created an eclectic menu of dishes with a range of culinary influences. Start with brussels sprout skewers sauced with chili and lime or pimento pepper dip with jumbo lump crab, then dig into pan-seared filet with pumpkin seed pesto, Japanese fried chicken, or miso-glazed salmon.

205 N Akard St
Dallas, TX 75201

Related Maps

16. Milagro Tacos Cantina

440 Singleton Blvd Ste 100, Dallas, TX 75212

Head to this Singleton Avenue taqueria for some of Dallas’s finest tacos. Prepared by taquero Jesus Carmona, the taco fillings here range from classic carne asada to octopus, crispy pork belly, and chicharron-style cod. Birria tacos served with consome for dunking are also on the menu, along with burgers, burritos, and plenty of beer to wash down all of the above.

440 Singleton Blvd Ste 100
Dallas, TX 75212

17. Casablanca

200 N Bishop Ave Suite 113, Dallas, TX 75208

New Bishop Arts bar Casablanca calls itself a “singeasy,” with private karaoke lounges and an indoor/outdoor space meant to channel the ‘70s. The drinks list leans toward everything tropical and frozen (and includes a Moroccan tea service that’s spiked with rum), while Chef Nick Hurry is serving snacks like cardamom-infused lamb skewers.

200 N Bishop Ave Suite 113
Dallas, TX 75208

Related Maps