With Dallas quickly becoming one of the trendiest and most dynamic cities in the US, it’s no surprise that there are eateries as far as the eye can see. In fact, narrowing it down to just this list was incredibly challenging because, well, Dallasites really love food.
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Seeking places for dining in Dallas? Here’s the inside scoop on where to grab the best grub to satiate just about any craving you may have.
Dining in Dallas: BBQ & Tex-Mex
We’d be remiss if we didn’t start the list with the foods that have basically put Texas on the map. But while you’ve probably already noticed there seems to be a BBQ or Tex-Mex place on every corner, they’re not all created equal. So to save you some time (and possible gastrointestinal distress), here are a few of my personal Tex-Mex favs for dining in Dallas:
Open for lunch on Thursdays and Fridays between 10:30 am and 2 pm and the 1st Saturday of the month from 10:30-3:00. Believe us, though, it’s worth fitting it into your schedule. Try some mouthwatering, smoky barbequed meats and a piece of “crack” cake (the name says it all).
Craving some authentic Tex-Mex style cuisine? Manny’s is the place to be for breakfast, lunch, dinner and happy hour. Savoury brisket tacos, puffy sopapillas and, of course, ice-cold margaritas have put this place on the map. Is it the best Tex-Mex in town? You be the judge.
Rated by Zagat as one of the hottest bars in Dallas, this unique eatery gets its name from a combination of “torta” and “taco.” They’re serving up specialty tacos that include creative ingredients like truffle steak and diablo shrimp, along with hand-toasted tortas and authentic mezcal cocktails you won’t find anywhere else. Certainly, a must-visit if you’re looking for dining in Dallas.
Craving some good old-fashioned smokehouse barbeque? Stop in at the Smoky Rose. The chef, a native Tennessean, sure knows how to smoke a piece of meat. From brisket to pork to fresh, veggie-packed salads, you certainly won’t leave this place feeling hungry.
Mena’s Tex-Mex Grill
Located in the “burbs” of Carrollton, Mena’s is worth the short trip. Guest favourites here include the authentic enchiladas, slamming good rice and beans, sizzling fajitas and the house special, salsa verde. Wash it all down with one of their famous guava margaritas.
Dining in Dallas: Casual Fare
Want to “come as you are?” Check these places…
In the mood for some comfort food? Head over to The Porch – they won’t disappoint. Their extensive menu includes chilli and chicken to steaks and pasta dishes. Then, venture off the beaten path and try one of their unique menu items, like smoked ham mac & cheese casserole or pimento cheese dip appetizer.
Pie Tap Pizza Workshop
You may have heard a rumour that Dallas doesn’t have any great pizza, but one visit to Pie Tap will change your mind. Slamming good dough, creative toppings and made-from-scratch pasta dishes are sure to cure any craving, while their impressive selection of craft cocktails is there to wash it all down. So Dine-in or have it delivered (including the booze).
The extensive menu offers everything from small plate options and burgers to steaks and fresh oysters (try the Texas “pho” bowl). In addition, two large bars are serving up a broad selection of wine and beer from 24 taps. Locals particularly love the breakfast here.
Who doesn’t love a good, greasy burger? Well, Shake Shack is the place to be if you want to enjoy one, and they’re pretty darn creative too. Along with traditional house-specialty cheeseburger (aka the “ShackBurger”) and fries, there’s also hotdogs, chicken and, of course, their signature shakes.
Tip: try the Link Burger (griddled Pecan Lodge jalapeño cheese sausage link, pickles and ShackSauce). Grab a seat outside, play a game of bocce and sip an ice-cold beer.
When a mouthwatering burger is the only thing that will satisfy your appetite, head on down to Off-Site Kitchen (or OSK, as it’s often referred to). This local favourite’s motto is “Come on. Eat with your hands”. Don’t worry if you’re not into the whole burger scene. There are many items to choose from, including mile-high sandwiches and tasty tacos.
One last sacrifice to the pizza gods, Social Pie is superb, not just because their pizzas taste great. They’re also super socially conscious (hence the name), offering what they call “donation by consumption,” through which they donate 5% of every sale to charity. Customers can choose from three different charities, which are changed out every few months. So eat good, do good.
Uptown Urban Market
Not sure what you’re in the mood for? Uptown Urban Market is the area’s first food hall, offering cocktails, pizza, grab-and-go snacks, meals and more all in one convenient locale. So grab a pizza from Fireside, enjoy a decadent pastry from La Duni, or pop over to ILL Minster Pub and throw back a drink or two.
Dining in Dallas: Upscale/Fine Dining
Feeling a little fancy? Parents in town and want to show them you’ve finally made it on your own? These higher-end eateries should fit the bill; Check these 5 options for formal dining in Dallas:
We dig this place because of the creative way the chefs have found to “class up” traditional Southern favourites, such as shrimp and grits or chicken fried quail. It’s as unique as tasty and has been a welcome addition to the Downtown restaurant scene. For a real treat, grab a slice of their Nutella mud pie. Yowza!
What’s a Dallas dinner without a delicious, hand-cut piece of juicy meat? Knife reinvention of the classic steakhouse experience, created by nationally acclaimed “Top Chef” contestant Chef John Tesar. Breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, cigars and cocktails are all on the menu, so take your pick. Are they “the best steakhouse in Dallas?” We think they’re pretty darn close, but you decide.
This place was a long time in the making. Chef Nick Badovinus took nearly two years to officially open the doors to his new Design District restaurant. But, so far, it appears to have been well worth the wait. Wood-grilled meats, as well as an impressive selection of raw bar items (try the oysters), make this unique eatery a must-try (and definitely worth a re-visit).
If you love traditional Southern fare with a bit of a fancier kick, you’ll adore this gem. Filament offers a creative menu with brunch, lunch and dinner options that include such eclectic dishes as fried green tomatoes with crispy pork belly, blackened catfish BLT, shrimp and grits and more. A full cocktail menu is also available.
The Water Grill
It’s hard to get good seafood in meat country, but with The Water Grill around, now you can get your fill anytime you, please. The extensive menu contains jumbo crab claws and Maryland stingray to mahi-mahi and Texas redfish. Raw, chilled and cooked dishes are all available and sure to please even the pickiest of diners.
Dining in Dallas: Ethnic/Specialty
Dallas has a plethora of unique and creative dining options, including authentic ethnic cuisine from around the world and other specialty restaurants. Here is a must-try list:
Gen Korean BBQ House
You haven’t tried anything until you’ve tried the art of Korean barbeque. Every bite contains a mouthwatering marriage of delicious flavours from around the world, expertly paired to make some of the most incredible dishes around. Choose from an all-you-can-eat menu that includes things like beef and pork bulgogi, Cajun shrimp and perfect cuts of meat all grilled – by you- right at your table. It’s an experience not to be missed.
Pōk The Raw Bar
Pōk, the Raw Bar, offers healthy, pure and delicious food that is, as they put it, “re-imagined.” They use only the freshest ingredients gathered from local farmers or flown in daily. So give one of their pre-built bowls a try, like their salmon tossed with Asian pear. Or, build your own bowl of poké, and choose from a wide selection of toppings, like arare, tobiko and kale chips. It’s as delish as it is unique.
V-Eats Modern Vegan
Looking for a good meat-free, cruelty-free restaurant? V-Eats at Trinity Groves has everything you need and more. In fact, you’ve probably never tasted anything quite like the creative vegan dishes they whip up here. They specialise in crafting succulent, plant-based “meats,” using clever ingredients to create the texture and flavour of meat without all the guilt. Check out the vegan brisket – you’ll swear it’s real!
Located in a historic building in the Bishop Arts District, Lucia is a small, chef-owned, authentic Italian restaurant. With a menu chock-full of delicious traditional Italian dishes, including handmade pasta that’s prepared fresh each day, and a rotating selection that changes frequently, you’ll never get tired of this little gem. Check out the hand-crafted, house-cured salumi – it’s out of this world!
Of course, these are only just a few of the ridiculously massive selection of dining options in the Dallas area. Whatever you’re in the mood for, you’re sure to find it, and probably right around the corner. Isn’t Dallas awesome?