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Drink and dine at Barley & Board
Drink and dine at Barley & Board
Sara Button/EDFW

Dining In The 'Burbs: 15 Essential Spots For Burgers, BBQ & More In Denton

Don't sleep on Little D's emerging dining scene.

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Drink and dine at Barley & Board
| Sara Button/EDFW
The rapidly growing restaurant scene in Denton is not something to sleep on. The vast majority of conversations surrounding Dallas' restaurant scene may focus on establishments that operate within the city limits, but there are an incredible amount options for folks who don't necessarily want to drive to Dallas for a great meal.

Denton is best known for its legendary music scene and for being home to two universities (the University of North Texas and Texas Woman's Unversity), but the ever expanding food selections inside little D keep growing. From chocolate milk on tap to killer tacos and burgers, Denton has plenty of excellent dining options. These 15 are among the best. 

Don't see your favorite Denton dining spot on the list? Drop it in the comments.
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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Barley & Board

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100 W Oak St
Denton, TX 76201
(940) 566-3900
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Barley & Board brought a much needed brewpub to active patrons of the Downtown Denton eating scene in August 2015. Since opening, the restaurant has gotten plenty of praise and has lived up to it’s expectations, too. Barley & Board is like the perfect pair of boots - you can dress it up, or dress it down. Come in for a burger & beer, or go all out with the brazen two-faced quail and a glass of 16-year-old Lagavullin. They also offer an excellent brunch menu full of frittatas, scrambles,and mimosas.
Barley & Board/Facebook

2. Keiichi Japanese Restaurant

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500 Elm St
Denton, TX
(940) 382-7505
Keiichi may be one of the best kept secrets in Denton. Such a secret, in fact, that if you’re not looking for it while you drive down Elm St, you may miss it. The menu changes daily, depending on what's fresh from the market. The fish-averse can also find something to enjoy, like a nice cut of steak paired with truffle-scented potatoes. Innovative and rare, Keiichi may be one of the more pricey places in Denton, but always worth the splurge. You can make your reservations by calling the restaurants, but note that Keiichi is closed on Mondays.
Keiichi/Google

3. Hoochies

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214 E Hickory St
Denton, TX 76201
(940) 808-0315
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As if fresh Gulf delectables weren’t enough in the heart of downtown, you can get a $1 Lonestar beer on tap all day, every day, too. The menu pricing is dictated by the season, and the shrimp and crawfish boils are super fresh and fulfilling. If sucking heads or peeling shrimp isn’t your scene, enjoy street tacos and an equally diverse assortment of freshly fried wonders. You can sit inside where the kitchen is on display as well as several TV’s, or you can sit at the recently updated outside area and people-watch.
Hoochies/Facebook

4. Thai Ocha

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1509 Malone St
Denton, TX 76201
(940) 566-6018
Hands down, this is the best Thai spot in Little D. Three words: crispy pad thai. Thai Ocha is a BYOB establishment that dishes up curry and traditional Thai cuisine. The atmosphere inside is welcoming and although a little dated, the collection of Thai decorations are eye-catching and you have the option of watching something on one of the television screens if dining alone.
Thai Ocha

5. Cartwright's Ranch House

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111 N Elm St
Denton, TX 76201
(940) 387-7706
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Located conveniently on the square downtown, Cartwright’s offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner options and a seriously killer chicken fried steak. Ranch-style breakfast options, including a dizzying array of omelets and a variety of takes on steak and eggs, Cartwright’s is perfect for pretty much any meal.

6. Frosty's

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1002 Fort Worth Dr
Denton, TX 76205
Frost Drive N, also known at Mr. Frosty’s, is a Denton legend. This old school burger joint is a blast from the past. The food is fresh, they make a mean chocolate malt, and the staff is dressed in 50’s style diner attire. Their homemade root beer is perfect treat for a person of any age. Seating inside is limited, so be prepared to snag a table at one of the outdoor picnic tables.

7. Greenhouse Restaurant & Bar

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600 N Locust St
Denton, TX 76201
(940) 484-1349
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A Denton staple since 1998, GreenHouse offers intimate indoor seating options and a comfortable covered patio dining experience. The open-fire mesquite grill serves up a robust selection of unique Denton-inspired burgers, including the Pops Carter that plops crispy sweet potato & ginger slaw, avocado and wasabi garlic aioli on top of a juicy half pound Kobe Beef burger. The shareable desserts are a nice accompaniment to an after-work drink, too.

8. La Tortilleria Sabrocita

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201 Dallas Dr
Denton, TX 76205
(940) 382-0720
Homemade salsas, tortillas, guacamole, and a plethora of authentic Mexican food options, Tortilleria La Sabrocita is a hole in the wall in Denton you won’t want to miss. The interior isn’t at all fancy and the serivce is casual, but the food more than makes up for that. Even sweeter, this spot is open 24 hours on the weekends, and you can order meats by the pound for to-go fajitas and tacos all week long.

9. West Oak Coffee Bar

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114 West Oak Street
Denton, TX 76201
(940) 218-2667
Visit Website
Any place that serves chocolate milk on tap is essential. At West Oak Coffee Bar, you can enjoy a variety of bistro items (gluten-free options are available), ten different Texas beers on tap, wine-in-a-can, and so much more. The kitchen is under the direction of the incredible creative head chef Amanda Potter, and as far as we are concerned, she is a pie-wielding angel. As far as the coffee is concerned, West Oak’s creative concoctions, like a horchata cold brew, are unrivaled.

10. Komodo Loco

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109 Oakland St
Denton, TX 76209
Holy ramen, North Texas! Komodo Loco, housed in the former Flatlanders Taco's location across from Oak Street Draft House, has been on a roll since opening last year. In addition to their selection of fresh sashimi, nigiri, and sushi, Komodo offers a menu chock full of Asian fusion deliciousness, including the toothsome kimchi totchos. Imagine: gobs of kimchi on top of a bed of tater tops, drizzled with queso and chipotle aioli. Komodo recently started opening for lunch, which means you can have one of the signature cocktails or a sake while you get your lunchtime nosh on.
Komodo Loco/Facebook

11. Juicy Pig Barbecue

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708 N Locust St
Denton, TX 76201
Juicy Pig, Denton's newest barbecue joint, opened a little over a year ago and is still maintaining it's meat smoking badassery. Despite the food not being managed by chef Pam Chittenden anymore, the menu flavors are still popping and definitely ranks up on the charts as a Denton favorite. You can walk up to the to-go window and order a brisket sandwich and a beer and pig out in front of Denton's largest (and debatably most interesting) mural.
Juicy Pig/Facebook

12. Antojitos El Rey De La McKinney

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805 E McKinney St
Denton, TX 76209
Looking for authentic Mexican snacks in Little D? From mangonada's to clamato served with shrimp, and much more, Antojitos El Rey De La McKinney is - hands down - home to the best elotes in Denton. The mangonada's (some refer to them as chamango) are a perfect solution to the Summer's heart and are made with chamoy sauce, locally grown mangos, fresh lime juice, and for a litle kick, chili powder.
Antojitos El Rey de la Mckinney/Facebook

13. The Chestnut Tree

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107 W Hickory St
Denton, TX 76201
(940) 591-9475
Visit Website
A Denton brunch tradition, The Chestnut Tree has been serving Dentonite's delicious bites since 1994, way before the downtown food scene became popular. With plenty of vegan and vegetarian dishes to offer, The Chestnut Tree is well known for their eggcellent omelet options. After 11 AM they offer a bistro menu that includes some of the best sandwiches and wraps in Denton. Pro tip: pick up a sleeve of macaron's (freshly imported from Macaron Cafe in New York) on your way out.
The Chestnut Tree/Facebook

14. Seven Mile Cafe

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529 Bolivar St
Denton, TX 76201
(940) 808-1400
Visit Website
Serving up brunch realness, Seven Mile Cafe is a Denton staple. From smoothies to pancakes to chicken and waffles, Seven Mile is Denton's brunch haven. If you've ever wished that Denton had a breakfast delivery service, wish no more. Breckies, Seven Mile's online breakfast and brunch delivery service, has all of your early morning and afternoon brunch and coffee needs' covered.
Seven Mile Cafe/Facebook

15. Boca 31

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207 S Bell Ave
Denton, TX 76201
Former executive chef of the Royal Palm in Miami, Chef Andres Meraz opened up Boca 31 early last summer, The smell of the Latin street food influenced fare is intoxicating everytime you walk in. They only thing kept in their freezers are ice and palentas; everything is made fresh every morning. The menu changes from day to day depending on the availability of fresh foods. Chef Andres focuses on tacos, empanadas, and stuffed sandwiches.
Boca 31/Facebook

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1. Barley & Board

100 W Oak St, Denton, TX 76201
Barley & Board/Facebook
Barley & Board brought a much needed brewpub to active patrons of the Downtown Denton eating scene in August 2015. Since opening, the restaurant has gotten plenty of praise and has lived up to it’s expectations, too. Barley & Board is like the perfect pair of boots - you can dress it up, or dress it down. Come in for a burger & beer, or go all out with the brazen two-faced quail and a glass of 16-year-old Lagavullin. They also offer an excellent brunch menu full of frittatas, scrambles,and mimosas.
100 W Oak St
Denton, TX 76201

2. Keiichi Japanese Restaurant

500 Elm St, Denton, TX
Keiichi/Google
Keiichi may be one of the best kept secrets in Denton. Such a secret, in fact, that if you’re not looking for it while you drive down Elm St, you may miss it. The menu changes daily, depending on what's fresh from the market. The fish-averse can also find something to enjoy, like a nice cut of steak paired with truffle-scented potatoes. Innovative and rare, Keiichi may be one of the more pricey places in Denton, but always worth the splurge. You can make your reservations by calling the restaurants, but note that Keiichi is closed on Mondays.
500 Elm St
Denton, TX

3. Hoochies

214 E Hickory St, Denton, TX 76201
Hoochies/Facebook
As if fresh Gulf delectables weren’t enough in the heart of downtown, you can get a $1 Lonestar beer on tap all day, every day, too. The menu pricing is dictated by the season, and the shrimp and crawfish boils are super fresh and fulfilling. If sucking heads or peeling shrimp isn’t your scene, enjoy street tacos and an equally diverse assortment of freshly fried wonders. You can sit inside where the kitchen is on display as well as several TV’s, or you can sit at the recently updated outside area and people-watch.
214 E Hickory St
Denton, TX 76201

4. Thai Ocha

1509 Malone St, Denton, TX 76201
Thai Ocha
Hands down, this is the best Thai spot in Little D. Three words: crispy pad thai. Thai Ocha is a BYOB establishment that dishes up curry and traditional Thai cuisine. The atmosphere inside is welcoming and although a little dated, the collection of Thai decorations are eye-catching and you have the option of watching something on one of the television screens if dining alone.
1509 Malone St
Denton, TX 76201

5. Cartwright's Ranch House

111 N Elm St, Denton, TX 76201
Located conveniently on the square downtown, Cartwright’s offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner options and a seriously killer chicken fried steak. Ranch-style breakfast options, including a dizzying array of omelets and a variety of takes on steak and eggs, Cartwright’s is perfect for pretty much any meal.
111 N Elm St
Denton, TX 76201

6. Frosty's

1002 Fort Worth Dr, Denton, TX 76205
Frost Drive N, also known at Mr. Frosty’s, is a Denton legend. This old school burger joint is a blast from the past. The food is fresh, they make a mean chocolate malt, and the staff is dressed in 50’s style diner attire. Their homemade root beer is perfect treat for a person of any age. Seating inside is limited, so be prepared to snag a table at one of the outdoor picnic tables.
1002 Fort Worth Dr
Denton, TX 76205

7. Greenhouse Restaurant & Bar

600 N Locust St, Denton, TX 76201
A Denton staple since 1998, GreenHouse offers intimate indoor seating options and a comfortable covered patio dining experience. The open-fire mesquite grill serves up a robust selection of unique Denton-inspired burgers, including the Pops Carter that plops crispy sweet potato & ginger slaw, avocado and wasabi garlic aioli on top of a juicy half pound Kobe Beef burger. The shareable desserts are a nice accompaniment to an after-work drink, too.
600 N Locust St
Denton, TX 76201

8. La Tortilleria Sabrocita

201 Dallas Dr, Denton, TX 76205
Homemade salsas, tortillas, guacamole, and a plethora of authentic Mexican food options, Tortilleria La Sabrocita is a hole in the wall in Denton you won’t want to miss. The interior isn’t at all fancy and the serivce is casual, but the food more than makes up for that. Even sweeter, this spot is open 24 hours on the weekends, and you can order meats by the pound for to-go fajitas and tacos all week long.
201 Dallas Dr
Denton, TX 76205

9. West Oak Coffee Bar

114 West Oak Street, Denton, TX 76201
Any place that serves chocolate milk on tap is essential. At West Oak Coffee Bar, you can enjoy a variety of bistro items (gluten-free options are available), ten different Texas beers on tap, wine-in-a-can, and so much more. The kitchen is under the direction of the incredible creative head chef Amanda Potter, and as far as we are concerned, she is a pie-wielding angel. As far as the coffee is concerned, West Oak’s creative concoctions, like a horchata cold brew, are unrivaled.
114 West Oak Street
Denton, TX 76201

10. Komodo Loco

109 Oakland St, Denton, TX 76209
Komodo Loco/Facebook
Holy ramen, North Texas! Komodo Loco, housed in the former Flatlanders Taco's location across from Oak Street Draft House, has been on a roll since opening last year. In addition to their selection of fresh sashimi, nigiri, and sushi, Komodo offers a menu chock full of Asian fusion deliciousness, including the toothsome kimchi totchos. Imagine: gobs of kimchi on top of a bed of tater tops, drizzled with queso and chipotle aioli. Komodo recently started opening for lunch, which means you can have one of the signature cocktails or a sake while you get your lunchtime nosh on.
109 Oakland St
Denton, TX 76209

11. Juicy Pig Barbecue

708 N Locust St, Denton, TX 76201
Juicy Pig/Facebook
Juicy Pig, Denton's newest barbecue joint, opened a little over a year ago and is still maintaining it's meat smoking badassery. Despite the food not being managed by chef Pam Chittenden anymore, the menu flavors are still popping and definitely ranks up on the charts as a Denton favorite. You can walk up to the to-go window and order a brisket sandwich and a beer and pig out in front of Denton's largest (and debatably most interesting) mural.
708 N Locust St
Denton, TX 76201

12. Antojitos El Rey De La McKinney

805 E McKinney St, Denton, TX 76209
Antojitos El Rey de la Mckinney/Facebook
Looking for authentic Mexican snacks in Little D? From mangonada's to clamato served with shrimp, and much more, Antojitos El Rey De La McKinney is - hands down - home to the best elotes in Denton. The mangonada's (some refer to them as chamango) are a perfect solution to the Summer's heart and are made with chamoy sauce, locally grown mangos, fresh lime juice, and for a litle kick, chili powder.
805 E McKinney St
Denton, TX 76209

13. The Chestnut Tree

107 W Hickory St, Denton, TX 76201
The Chestnut Tree/Facebook
A Denton brunch tradition, The Chestnut Tree has been serving Dentonite's delicious bites since 1994, way before the downtown food scene became popular. With plenty of vegan and vegetarian dishes to offer, The Chestnut Tree is well known for their eggcellent omelet options. After 11 AM they offer a bistro menu that includes some of the best sandwiches and wraps in Denton. Pro tip: pick up a sleeve of macaron's (freshly imported from Macaron Cafe in New York) on your way out.
107 W Hickory St
Denton, TX 76201

14. Seven Mile Cafe

529 Bolivar St, Denton, TX 76201
Seven Mile Cafe/Facebook
Serving up brunch realness, Seven Mile Cafe is a Denton staple. From smoothies to pancakes to chicken and waffles, Seven Mile is Denton's brunch haven. If you've ever wished that Denton had a breakfast delivery service, wish no more. Breckies, Seven Mile's online breakfast and brunch delivery service, has all of your early morning and afternoon brunch and coffee needs' covered.
529 Bolivar St
Denton, TX 76201

15. Boca 31

207 S Bell Ave, Denton, TX 76201
Boca 31/Facebook
Former executive chef of the Royal Palm in Miami, Chef Andres Meraz opened up Boca 31 early last summer, The smell of the Latin street food influenced fare is intoxicating everytime you walk in. They only thing kept in their freezers are ice and palentas; everything is made fresh every morning. The menu changes from day to day depending on the availability of fresh foods. Chef Andres focuses on tacos, empanadas, and stuffed sandwiches.
207 S Bell Ave
Denton, TX 76201

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