Best of Big D
"What's for dinner?"
That's the question we're always looking to answer. Dallas' restaurant scene's growth is still explosive, and as such, there are more options than ever for the city's diners. This list (in no particular order) is for the staples of Dallas cuisine.
We include restaurants that dish out consistently solid fare across a variety of cuisines, price points, vibes, and settings. Consider this your restaurant bucket list for Dallas restaurants, ranging from low-key delis to upscale seafood and "divey" taqueria shops.
1. Keller's Drive In $
Drive up burger stand? Check. Poppy seed bun? Check. Beer in your car? Check.
Skip the line and sit in your car while friendly burgeristas take your order. Located on NW Hwy, this burger stand exudes character and flavor. Last time we checked - drinking a beer in a motor vehicle is illegal but at Keller's it just one of those overlooked Texas thangs.
Make sure you ditch the credit card because this burger paradise is CASH ONLY.
2. Oishii $$$
Dallas seems to be king of "Best Sushi Restaurants In A Strip Center" superlative and Oishii is at the top of that list.
We'd recommend taking an Uber or Lyft because parking is sparse. Oh and get the Caesar Roll...you won't be disappointed.
3. Javier's Gourmet Mexicano $$$$
Javier's is a bustling, old world Mexican restaurant. Nestled on the edge of
the Park Cities, this spot is chock full of some of the who's who in Dallas.
This restaurant is unique in Dallas because they focus on classic Mexico City cuisine. You can't go wrong with the Filete Cantinflas - essentially a steak that is butterflied, stuffed with hot cheese, and then closed again (drool).
Javier's is also an excellent place for a drink. Check out the Cigar Bar on the north side of the restaurant for a cigar and a Carajillo.
4. Ten Ramen $
If you think you know ramen we've got a newsflash for you. You don't. Well you might, but you don't know ramen like Ten Ramen knows ramen.
Ten Ramen sticks to classic Japanese experiences. Walk in to the restaurant and you'll probably feel like you're actually in Japan because there's no space. Don't expect to be seated because Ten Ramen is counter service, standing room only.
5. Al Biernat's $$$$
Oh hey Zeke Elliott! What's up Dirk?
A celebrity hotspot, Al Biernat's is one of Dallas' top steakhouses. With over a 30 year history, the founder, Al started the restaurant after gathering experience at famous steakhouses in Aspen and Beverly Hills.
We recommend the original location in Oaklawn for celebrity sightings but the new North location is decked out to the nines.
6. Toulouse Café and Bar $$$$
TToulouse is a classic Fin de Siècle Parisian Café. To spare you the Google of that term, Fin de Siècle means End of Century in French.
At Toulouse you'll find an intimate setting paired with some of Dallas' most knowledgable and capable wait staff.
The menu is typically seasonal but the restaurant serves up some of the best Escargot, French Onion Soup, and Duck in the city. It's worth mentioning that Toulouse is a Lombardi Family concept which is typically synonymous with high quality cuisine.
7. Nick & Sam's $$$$
Founded in 1999 by restauranteur Phil Romano, Nick & Sam’s Uptown Steakhouse has become one of Dallas’ most popular and attractive dining destinations. Nick & Sam’s name stems from the son of a friend (Nick) and Mr. Romano’s son (Sam). This restaurant is the culmination of Mr. Romano’s extensive experience in concepting, designing highly successful and original restaurants throughout the United States.
This is such a Dallas staple that they even have a menu item called "The Dirk". Try it! You won't be disappointed.
8. Ichigoh Ramen Lounge $$
Formerly Tanoshii and now Ichigoh Ramen Lounge, this spot in Deep Ellum takes a more traditional approach to the dish. With beautifully executed, simple dishes, Ichigoh provides a ramen experience you'll never forget.
9. Mario Bros Tacos $
The last taco place you'd expect on this list that almost nobody has heard about. Mario Bros is a Lake Highlands staple that features Yelp reviews like "DANK A** TACOS", "This is my absolute favorite taco spot", and "In case you're wondering, The Princess (Peach) was nowhere to be found."
10. Old Monk $$
This is a pub that even the most provincial monk would find cozy.
The Old Monk offers draft beers from England, Ireland, Germany and Belgium, and around 70 bottled beers.
A Dallas staple for over 20 years, you'll find menu items like Fish N' Chips, Hot Pretzels with Pub Cheese (NOM), Frites with Tarragon Mayo (DOUBLE NOM), and a perfectly cooked Reuben.
Hang out here enough and the waiters will greet you by name because it's just that kind of place.
11. Royal China $$
For 40 plus years, Royal China has been dishing out nothing but the finest Chinese cuisine that Dallas has to offer.
Everything on the menu is phenomenal but you're going to definitely want to order the dumplings. If you go at night you'll see the dumpling artisans rolling and stretching the dough right in the middle of the restaurant.
We recommend the Xiao-Long-Biao...you won't be disappointed.
12. HG Supply $$
HG Supply is a bar-restaurant combo that serves up nutriment not bar food. Seriously, that's pretty much what their menu says.
Focused on health, HG Supply features some of the best food around with items like a Kale Caesar with Chickpea Croutons, Street Corn Avocado Toast, and Quinoa Bowls.
After dinner, head upstairs to enjoy the view of one of Dallas' largest rooftop patios.
13. Pecan Lodge $$
Run by husband and wife, Justin and Diane Fourton, Pecan Lodge is one of the quintessential Dallas BBQ spots.
After quitting their corporate jobs, the Fourtons eventually were rated as a top 4 BBQ joint in the world by Texas Monthly.
We recommend the Two Meat Plate with Fried Okra.
14. Rise No. 1 $$$
Introducing Dallas' best soufflé restaurant. Rise No. 1 has an eclectic style that is only outmatched by the food that they serve.
Touted as a soufflé hub, the other menu items are equally appetizing like the Marshmallow Soup, Cheeseboard with Mini Guillotine Cutters, and Seared Ahi Tuna Steak.
Fun Fact: Rise is actually one of George W and Laura Bush's favorite dinner spots. They like it so much that George W actually signed the underside of one of the tables in the restaurant.
15. El Come Taco $
In English, El Come Taco mean "The Taco Eater" and this is exactly what we do when we go at Standard Table.
Nestled in a retail strip center off Fitzhugh Ave in East Dallas, El Come Taco serves up classic Mexican street tacos with cilantro and onion. The tacos are next level but we think the real value actually lies with the appetizers.
They serve up appetizers like Cebollitas (seared green onions), Nopales (sautéed cactus), and Papas that are out of this world.
16. Hatties $$
A classic southern restaurant in Bishop Arts' hipster heaven. So classic that the Dallas Observer even claims that it helped build Oak Cliff. You'll find fried green tomatoes on the menu and definitely should hit up the brunch on Sundays.
17. Meddlesome Moth $$$
A great bar with great food. Meddlesome Moth is located in Dallas' Design District. With a full bar and over 40 beers on tap, the Moth does not disappoint. Don't expect to find any commercialized beers at this locale.
18. Town Hearth $$$$
Yellow Submarines, classic Ducati's, and tapestries. You don't normally hear those words together often but Town Hearth somehow blends those style elements together with incredible food. You're going to want to stop by this spot...trust us.