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The nighttime exterior of Akira Back in The Colony, featuring a sign with the restaurant’s name in black cursive lettering that is underlit with L.E.D. lights. The sign is mounted on a wall painted with a mural of abstract pattern designs that end with a woman’s face in the upper right corner. The color palette is green, brown, orange, red, and pale yellow. To the left is the restaurant’s oversized wooden door entrance.
Akira Back in The Colony
Akira Back

The 10 Hottest Restaurants in Dallas, May 2022

A Michelin-Star chef comes to town, Cajun cooking with a mission, and fine dining in Fort Worth

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Akira Back in The Colony
| Akira Back

New restaurants are opening at a rapid clip in Dallas, and this map answers the very vital question: “Where are the buzziest places to eat right now?”

In this month’s update of the Eater Dallas Heatmap, it’s been a very busy spring in terms of openings (with more to come in the following months). New destinations include a Michelin-star chef in The Colony, Cajun cooking in Oak Cliff and two exciting fine dining restaurants in Fort Worth.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Akira Back Dallas

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5765 Grandscape Blvd
The Colony, TX 75056

The snowboarding champ turned Michelin Star Chef Akira Back opens his first namesake restaurant in Texas with a location in The Colony on May 6. The menu features Asian food with an American influence, including his famous Japanese pizzas, a Cow-Wow Roll that mixes braised short rib and Asian slaw, and a signature mystery box for two called the Nazo 9 that contains a mix of the chef’s selection of sashimi and sushi. The last is noted as being for adventurous diners.

The mystery box at Akira Back: a black bento box full of customized sashimi offerings.
The mystery box at Akira Back
Akira Back

2. Café Hunan

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5600 SMU Boulevard Ste 101
Dallas, TX 75206
(214) 754-4747
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For the old-school Dallasites who remember Hunan Express in Uptown, this offshoot is its new iteration. The interior is a significant upgrade, and the food will be familiar to fans, and Mark Carey is back with this new location at SMU with some recipes from the O.G. spot. 

3. Casa Rosa Restaurante

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5622 Lemmon Ave
Dallas, TX 75209
(214) 484-2997
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For fans of the underdog, this Tex Mex restaurant is returning to Dallas after being gone for 20 years. Inside what was previously an El Fenix on Lemmon Avenue, its new location is bringing back fajitas and a family-run business. 

The exterior of Casa Rosa Tex Mex, an off-white plaster exterior with a sign displaying the restaurant’s name in red cursive letters.
Casa Rosa returns to the West side.
Casa Rosa Tex Mex

4. Knox Bistro

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3230 Knox St #140
Dallas, TX 75205
(469) 250-4007
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It’s a good time to revisit one of the city’s fine brassieres. Chef Bruno Davaillon and the crew at Up on Knox are making some changes — from the restaurant’s name to what’s on the menu to the addition of Executive Chef Joshua Sutcliff, formerly of FT33 and Filament. Adventurous French food lovers can order the sweetbreads, while the mussels gratin and chocolate soufflé may be more palatable to those just dipping their toes in.

A burger on a brioche bun sits on a white plate in the foreground, speared with a toothpick and with red onions and a pickle to the left. In the background sit a couple of silver containers with fries and a glass of white wine.
The burger at Knox Bistro.
Beckley Co. for Knox Bistro

5. Darkoo’s Chicken Shack

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4812 Bryan St
Dallas, TX 75204

Hoping to up the spice in the fried chicken game? In the now-shuttered Khao Noodle Shop location, chef Donny Sirisavath and Niwa Japanese BBQ’s Jimmy Niwa have opened up an Asian chicken spot featuring 24-hour brined chicken and loads of dipping sauces such as Yuzu kosho aioli and “DJ Sauce,” a mix of house-made aioli and fish sauce. Their side game is strong, too, with options including pickled daikon, chicken skin (with a vegan option), and Lao cucumber salad. 

6. Carbone Vino

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1617 Hi Line Dr
Dallas, TX 75207
(469) 290-6009
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If you still can’t get into Carbone, one of April’s hottest restaurants, Carbone Vino next door is saving room for walk-ins. Vino is more about the indoor/outdoor vibes and lighter fare than its sister restaurant and an extensive wine list.

The exterior of Carbone Vino, a midcentury design building with all windows separated by partitions every few feet and an overhang. The neon sign reads in block letters Vino Carbone. A wooden door that’s slight off center marks the entrance.
Carbone Vino in the Design District.
Major Food Group

7. Restaurant Beatrice

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1111 N Beckley Ave
Dallas, TX 75203
(469) 962-2173
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Sushi Zen owner and executive chef Michelle Carpenter opens a Cajun food restaurant in Oak Cliff. She’s brought on New Orleans native and a former chef at Commander’s Palace, Terance Jenkins, as the restaurant’s executive chef. Freshly pickled veggies and preserved fruits line the bar while tables full of dark meat fried chicken, vegan green gumbo, and duck andouille await.

Mammaw’s Fried Chicken: on a wooden table, four white plates. The largest is in the back right of the frame and holds a few pieces of dark meat fried chicken with microgreens and aioli. In the foreground are three smaller plates of sides. From left to right: dirty rice, greens, and pickled vegetables.
Mammaw’s Fried Chicken at Restaurant Beatrice.
Kate Voskova

8. Don Artemio Restaurant

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3268 W 7th St
Fort Worth, TX 76107
(817) 470-1439
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Fort Worth sees and addition of a fine dining establishment to its Mexican food scene with Don Artemio. Try the cactus tacos with bacon and heirloom maiz or the seared sea bass in mole negro. The restaurant is dedicated to the preservation of Mexican heritage and Chef Juan Ramón Cárdenas explores traditional dishes, specifically from Saltillo, the capital of Coahuila in Mexico.

9. La Pesca

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311 Jefferson Blvd
Dallas, TX 75208
(214) 418-5026
Visit Website

The team behind Yellow Rosa in Deep Ellum opened this Oak Cliff market focused on Northern Mexican flavors, including numerous seafood dishes and traditional Mexican fare. The deep-fried red snapper is the way to go for the adventurous. The salsa comes in multiple flavors and levels of heat, which is a real treat. Unlike the usual Tex Mex places, there are no margaritas — instead, they offer a michelada bar with nine options. 

Various Northern Mexican dishes at La Pesca Market, presented on a wooden tabletop, all on rich blue plates. From left to right, clockwise: guacamole and tortilla chips, shrimp tostadas, a michelada, a partial plate with rice and freshly sliced tomatoes, a partial plate with chicken.
Northern Mexican seafood and more at La Pesca Market.
La Pesca Market

10. The Beast & Company Fort Worth

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1010 W Magnolia Ave
Fort Worth, TX 76104
(817) 945-1461
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The no-frills dining room doesn’t exactly give away how great the food at this spot in Fort Worth’s Near Southside district is. Its global fare is inspired by owner Dustin Lee’s world travels as an oil and gas exec. Chef Michal Arlt has developed a Southwest-inspired menu that traces the origins of food and blends cultures. That leads to what might seem like unusual food combinations and an adventurous list of options for mains worth exploring.

1. Akira Back Dallas

5765 Grandscape Blvd, The Colony, TX 75056
The mystery box at Akira Back: a black bento box full of customized sashimi offerings.
The mystery box at Akira Back
Akira Back

The snowboarding champ turned Michelin Star Chef Akira Back opens his first namesake restaurant in Texas with a location in The Colony on May 6. The menu features Asian food with an American influence, including his famous Japanese pizzas, a Cow-Wow Roll that mixes braised short rib and Asian slaw, and a signature mystery box for two called the Nazo 9 that contains a mix of the chef’s selection of sashimi and sushi. The last is noted as being for adventurous diners.

5765 Grandscape Blvd
The Colony, TX 75056

2. Café Hunan

5600 SMU Boulevard Ste 101, Dallas, TX 75206

For the old-school Dallasites who remember Hunan Express in Uptown, this offshoot is its new iteration. The interior is a significant upgrade, and the food will be familiar to fans, and Mark Carey is back with this new location at SMU with some recipes from the O.G. spot. 

5600 SMU Boulevard Ste 101
Dallas, TX 75206

3. Casa Rosa Restaurante

5622 Lemmon Ave, Dallas, TX 75209
The exterior of Casa Rosa Tex Mex, an off-white plaster exterior with a sign displaying the restaurant’s name in red cursive letters.
Casa Rosa returns to the West side.
Casa Rosa Tex Mex

For fans of the underdog, this Tex Mex restaurant is returning to Dallas after being gone for 20 years. Inside what was previously an El Fenix on Lemmon Avenue, its new location is bringing back fajitas and a family-run business. 

5622 Lemmon Ave
Dallas, TX 75209

4. Knox Bistro

3230 Knox St #140, Dallas, TX 75205
A burger on a brioche bun sits on a white plate in the foreground, speared with a toothpick and with red onions and a pickle to the left. In the background sit a couple of silver containers with fries and a glass of white wine.
The burger at Knox Bistro.
Beckley Co. for Knox Bistro

It’s a good time to revisit one of the city’s fine brassieres. Chef Bruno Davaillon and the crew at Up on Knox are making some changes — from the restaurant’s name to what’s on the menu to the addition of Executive Chef Joshua Sutcliff, formerly of FT33 and Filament. Adventurous French food lovers can order the sweetbreads, while the mussels gratin and chocolate soufflé may be more palatable to those just dipping their toes in.

3230 Knox St #140
Dallas, TX 75205

5. Darkoo’s Chicken Shack

4812 Bryan St, Dallas, TX 75204

Hoping to up the spice in the fried chicken game? In the now-shuttered Khao Noodle Shop location, chef Donny Sirisavath and Niwa Japanese BBQ’s Jimmy Niwa have opened up an Asian chicken spot featuring 24-hour brined chicken and loads of dipping sauces such as Yuzu kosho aioli and “DJ Sauce,” a mix of house-made aioli and fish sauce. Their side game is strong, too, with options including pickled daikon, chicken skin (with a vegan option), and Lao cucumber salad. 

4812 Bryan St
Dallas, TX 75204

6. Carbone Vino

1617 Hi Line Dr, Dallas, TX 75207
The exterior of Carbone Vino, a midcentury design building with all windows separated by partitions every few feet and an overhang. The neon sign reads in block letters Vino Carbone. A wooden door that’s slight off center marks the entrance.
Carbone Vino in the Design District.
Major Food Group

If you still can’t get into Carbone, one of April’s hottest restaurants, Carbone Vino next door is saving room for walk-ins. Vino is more about the indoor/outdoor vibes and lighter fare than its sister restaurant and an extensive wine list.

1617 Hi Line Dr
Dallas, TX 75207

7. Restaurant Beatrice

1111 N Beckley Ave, Dallas, TX 75203
Mammaw’s Fried Chicken: on a wooden table, four white plates. The largest is in the back right of the frame and holds a few pieces of dark meat fried chicken with microgreens and aioli. In the foreground are three smaller plates of sides. From left to right: dirty rice, greens, and pickled vegetables.
Mammaw’s Fried Chicken at Restaurant Beatrice.
Kate Voskova

Sushi Zen owner and executive chef Michelle Carpenter opens a Cajun food restaurant in Oak Cliff. She’s brought on New Orleans native and a former chef at Commander’s Palace, Terance Jenkins, as the restaurant’s executive chef. Freshly pickled veggies and preserved fruits line the bar while tables full of dark meat fried chicken, vegan green gumbo, and duck andouille await.

1111 N Beckley Ave
Dallas, TX 75203

8. Don Artemio Restaurant

3268 W 7th St, Fort Worth, TX 76107

Fort Worth sees and addition of a fine dining establishment to its Mexican food scene with Don Artemio. Try the cactus tacos with bacon and heirloom maiz or the seared sea bass in mole negro. The restaurant is dedicated to the preservation of Mexican heritage and Chef Juan Ramón Cárdenas explores traditional dishes, specifically from Saltillo, the capital of Coahuila in Mexico.

3268 W 7th St
Fort Worth, TX 76107

9. La Pesca

311 Jefferson Blvd, Dallas, TX 75208
Various Northern Mexican dishes at La Pesca Market, presented on a wooden tabletop, all on rich blue plates. From left to right, clockwise: guacamole and tortilla chips, shrimp tostadas, a michelada, a partial plate with rice and freshly sliced tomatoes, a partial plate with chicken.
Northern Mexican seafood and more at La Pesca Market.
La Pesca Market

The team behind Yellow Rosa in Deep Ellum opened this Oak Cliff market focused on Northern Mexican flavors, including numerous seafood dishes and traditional Mexican fare. The deep-fried red snapper is the way to go for the adventurous. The salsa comes in multiple flavors and levels of heat, which is a real treat. Unlike the usual Tex Mex places, there are no margaritas — instead, they offer a michelada bar with nine options. 

311 Jefferson Blvd
Dallas, TX 75208

10. The Beast & Company Fort Worth

1010 W Magnolia Ave, Fort Worth, TX 76104

The no-frills dining room doesn’t exactly give away how great the food at this spot in Fort Worth’s Near Southside district is. Its global fare is inspired by owner Dustin Lee’s world travels as an oil and gas exec. Chef Michal Arlt has developed a Southwest-inspired menu that traces the origins of food and blends cultures. That leads to what might seem like unusual food combinations and an adventurous list of options for mains worth exploring.

1010 W Magnolia Ave
Fort Worth, TX 76104

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