26 Best Restaurants in Dallas, Dallas and Fort Worth

Fearing's

$$$$ | Uptown Fodor's choice

Dallas celebrity chef Dean Fearing has been winning over new fans with his namesake restaurant in the Ritz-Carlton with three graciously designed rooms: friendly, bustling Dean's Kitchen, the more formal Gallery, and an airy glassed pavilion. Fearing's creations hint at his Southwestern roots, but rely more on his adventurous spirit and relationships with regional and global producers. The maple-marinated buffalo tenderloin is pleasantly sweet, nestled near jalapeño grits and a butternut squash taquito. Every plate reveals a similar layering of flavors, colors, and textures, such as cod atop hijiki rice, stacked with tempura-fried herbs and surrounded by a complex miso-clam broth. For dessert, butterscotch pudding and whipped cream are served next to hot apple fritters and a scoop of praline ice cream.

Mansion Restaurant

$$$$ | Turtle Creek Fodor's choice

Here at Mansion Restaurant, simple flavors are layered to produce complex results, such as slow-braised short ribs, poached lobster with risotto, and porcini-crusted filet mignon. Count on dining with DFW's most moneyed folks, who relish the legendary service and exquisite surroundings. The interior design successfully marries contemporary furniture, fixtures, and artwork with the grand, historic feel of the Italian Renaissance–style residence built in 1925. Lunch is less expensive but still fashionable. Views of the landscaped grounds are lovely from the veranda. The outdoor seating is also open at night, lending a more casual feel to one of Dallas's most revered institutions.

Abacus

$$$ | Uptown

This high-profile restaurant fits the "everything's bigger in Texas" image. The interior is as spectacular as it is warm. The menu, which changes frequently, depending on the best seasonal options, melds Southwestern and Asian cuisines, resulting in creations like lobster shooters flavored with red chili and sake. People come back for the sushi.

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AllGood Cafe

$$ | Deep Ellum

It doesn't get much more laid back in Dallas than the AllGood Cafe, which doubles as a live-music venue on weekends. Local and Texas music is a big deal here, and tunes take precedence over decor. The kitchen turns out breakfast standards like omelets, giant pancakes, and migas (Mexican-style scrambled eggs), until 3 pm. The lunch and dinner menus include just-right chicken-fried steak and the spiciest, most filling version of King Ranch Chicken (a layered, gooey mess of corn tortillas, chicken, peppers, cheese, beans, and more) in town. Giant windows allow a great view of the street life of Deep Ellum, and there's a little room for outdoor seating.

Avila's

$$ | Medical District

This quintessential family-run Tex-Mex joint in an old home dishes up fresh versions of all the tried-and-true favorites, including cheese enchiladas, brisket tacos, and gorditas, and rice and refried beans. It attracts a loyal crowd that relishes the quick, personable service.

Blue Mesa Grill

$$ | North Dallas

Southwestern and Tex-Mex flavors rule at this lively restaurant across a busy street from the fashionable NorthPark Center. Try painted desert soup (a harmonious blend of corn chowder and black-bean soup in one bowl), beef tenderloin tacos, or goat-cheese enchiladas. The bar is a popular spot for professionals most weeknights. There's a children's menu, and brunch is served on Sunday.

Bob's Steak & Chop House

$$$$ | Oak Lawn

Fans rave about the steak at Bob's, aged for four weeks and served in manly portions—22-ounce bone-in ribeye, 22-ounce bone-in strip, 28-ounce porterhouse. Rack of lamb is also popular. Entrées are served with a giant glazed carrot and the potato of your choice. Additional sides include creamed corn and creamed spinach.

Bread Winners Cafe and Bakery

$$$ | Uptown

The in-house bakery at this café turns out fresh breads and pastries. Regulars love the raspberry–chipotle chicken sandwich for lunch; the buttermilk pan-fried chicken breast is a good choice for dinner. Sunday brunch is popular with the young professionals who live nearby. The large, popular patio offers an excellent view of foot traffic.

Café Brazil

$ | Deep Ellum

The eccentric menu here draws eccentric diners all hours of the day. Locals appreciate the bottomless cups of coffee (with several choices at a self-serve bar), extensive omelet and crepe offerings, Tex-Mex inspired entrées, and decadent baked goods. Standouts include crepes stuffed with chicken, spinach, and mushrooms, and French toast covered with fruit, raspberry sauce, and crème anglaise. Breakfast is served all the time, and they're open 24 hours on weekends.

Dakota's

$$$$ | Downtown Dallas

Marble tables, dark wood accents, French doors, and an Italian marble floor create a sleek look in this underground restaurant, accessible by elevator. (If you're driving, you can use the complimentary valet service outside the elevator.) The granite outdoor patio, with lunch and dinner seatings, has a five-tier waterfall. By day you'll join the Downtown business crowd; at night the restaurant takes on a more romantic, candelit feel. The menu relies heavily on dry-aged steaks and seafood. The bone-in 16-ounce fillet is a popular choice. Steaks are à la carte; side dishes include creamed spinach, jumbo onion rings, and baked potatoes.

Del Frisco's

$$$$

Regulars have been returning to this Far North Dallas (about 12 mi from Downtown) steak house for almost 20 years. The crowd is primarily button-down corporate during the week and couples and groups out for fun on the weekend. Popular appetizers include baked crab cakes and shrimp cocktail. The real draw is the prime beef, cut off the loin for each order; the filet mignon is another big seller.

Dream Cafe

$ | Uptown

The healthy, organic menu at this laid-back restaurant blends Mediterranean-style cuisine with flavors from the American Southwest. Fabulous breakfast options include cloud cakes (ricotta pancakes with fresh strawberries and crème fraîche) and migas (Mexican-style scrambled eggs). If the weather's nice, ask to be seated on the spacious back patio, where you'll likely spot children playing on the restaurant's lawn and fort.

Gloria's

$$ | Lower Greenville

The food here is Mexican and Salvadoran, with plentiful servings and intriguing desserts; you must try the chocolate flan. Order the Super Special for an excellent overview of Salvadoran treats; the plate features yuca, plantain, and pupusa. Gloria's also has more varieties of margarita than you might have thought possible. The restaurant's interior reflects its Latin American flavor, and it can get loud at peak times. You can sit outside for air and eccentric people-watching.

La Calle Doce

$$$ | Oak Cliff

The most mouthwatering mariscos (seafood) in Dallas, particularly the fish soup, keeps local customers coming back to this relatively undiscovered restaurant in the little blue house in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas. The daily lunch specials are a bargain.

La Duni Latin Cafe

$$$$ | Uptown

Like a culinary tour of Latin America, La Duni's showcases vibrant flavors from Mexico, Central America, and South America, with occasional side trips to Cuba. Citrus-sparked specialty drinks set the mood for roasted chicken napped with a sauce of Champagne and tart oranges or carne asada—beef marinated in lime juice and grilled, all accompanied by caramelized plantains, black beans, and rice. Desserts include the muy rico (very rich) cuatro leches (four milks) cake or chocolate-hazelnut Nutella cake.

Lavendou

$$$$

Escape the nearby strip malls and traffic and spend some down time in this French-styled bistro in Far North Dallas, where folks come as they are. The dining room is decorated with Provençal blues and yellows and floral prints. Try the cassoulet, roasted chicken or duck, or one of many seafood specialties. Leave room for dessert; the menu is almost as extensive as the entrée choices.

Mia's Tex-Mex Restaurant

$ | Uptown

If you're lucky enough to find a parking space in Mia's tiny lot, consider it a sign that you were destined to dine in this colorfully decorated restaurant with legendary status. Diehard fans have been scarfing down brisket tacos and cheese enchiladas here for more than two decades. Other favorites include pinto-bean soup, tamales, and beef chile rellenos. There's nothing relaxing about the experience—the walls are filled with a crazy mix of Christmas lights, roosters, piñatas, paper flags, and other treasures, and the waitstaff hustles to keep the crowds moving.

Nick & Sam's

$$$$ | Uptown

Expect a cozy and sexy vibe in this Uptown steak house. A grand piano sits in the dining room, providing background music nightly beginning at 7. Specialties include Chateaubriand for two, served with forest mushrooms, carmelized onion, and foie gras; the center-cut beef is carved tableside. The steak options are plentiful—10-ounce filet mignon, prime bone-in 16-ounce fillet, prime 22-ounce Cowboy cut (a French-cut bone-in rib eye). Lighter appetites can opt for seafood specialties such as sesame-crusted ahi tuna, diver scallops, or tortilla-crusted Atlantic salmon.

3008 Maple Ave., Dallas, TX, 75201, USA
214-871--7444
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: No lunch, Credit cards accepted

Pappas Bros. Steakhouse

$$$$ | Northwest Dallas

Loyal Pappas fans love the contemporary atmosphere here and the cut and flavor of the dry-aged beef. The dining room is less masculine and better lit than typical steak houses but still feels a bit formal and special. The filet mignon, offered in three weights, is the most popular cut of beef, and au gratin potatoes and creamed spinach are popular side dishes. The wine selection is legendary, as are the cigars offered—60 sizes and brands.

10477 Lombardy Ln., Dallas, TX, 75220, USA
214-366--2000
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun., Credit cards accepted, Reservations essential

RJ Mexican Cuisine

$$$ | West End

The food here is more Mex than Tex, but you'll still find chips and salsa (red and green) and beans and rice, though both are considerably dressier than usual. Try anything made with corn masa, including gorditas de carne deshebrada (sturdy pastry pockets stuffed with chunks of stewed beef, tomatoes, and onions) and tamale de puerco en chile rojo (two giant pork tamales). The squash-blossom soup is creamy; every spoonful yields fresh vegetables. The burnt-orange dining room is warm and cozy, and the patio is a great place for West End people-watching.

Snuffer's

$ | Lower Greenville

Burgers and fries are served in huge portions at this SMU student favorite. Don't miss the cheddar fries, a generous serving of fries covered with melted cheddar, jalapeños, chives, and bacon. The kitchen stays open until midnight during the week and until 2 am Friday and Saturday.

Sonny Bryan's Smokehouse

$$ | Medical District

The original location has been dishing up smoky brisket and fall-off-the-bone pork ribs from the same ramshackle digs since 1958, attracting fans ranging from President George W. Bush to director Steven Spielberg. Locals know to get there early—when Sonny's is out of barbecue, you're out of luck. The restaurant is a good option for folks who are near the medical district.

The Grape

$$$ | Lower Greenville

This unpretentious urban bistro is known for the romantic intimacy of the indoor dining areas and the laid-back charm of its sidewalk tables. The menu, which changes every few weeks based on the availability of regional ingredients, begins with Grape's signature creamy mushroom soup. The menu might offer a marinated hanger steak served with fries and a watercress salad, crispy duck breast with a rice pilaf, or baked black cod with smoked ham, clams, and a white-wine garlic broth. Regulars rave about the crispy flatbread and the fried calamari (not on the menu, so be sure to ask). Brunch is served Sunday.

Tillman's Roadhouse

$$$ | Bishop Arts

Don't let the word "roadhouse" fool you—upscale food is served in a quirky, hip Texas setting at Tillman's. Contemporary music plays (sometimes too loudly) while old black-and-white movies are projected on a wall near the bar. Fussy chandeliers hang over sturdy, wood tables; look closely at the animal trophies—they're actually carved from wood. Meals begin with hot roasted peanuts and popcorn coated in truffle oil and black pepper. Be sure to try the moist cornbread, heavy with cheese, peppers, and corn; the thick, gravity-defying burger; and the chocolate birthday cake (even if it's not your special day).

Twisted Root Burger Co.

$$ | Deep Ellum

The chefs here have culinary school degrees, and they're proud to turn out what some consider to be the best burgers in town. Ingredients are gathered from nearby growers and farmers whenever possible. The menu always includes the basics, half-pound Angus, buffalo, turkey, and veggie burgers. Look for rotating specials, such as a blue cheese and jalapeño burger and a burger topped with green chilies, pepper-jack cheese, and guacamole. Even the ice cream is handmade; it's the base ingredient for adults-only milk shakes spiked with liqueurs.

Ziziki's

$$ | Uptown

The Mediterranean menu here features sophisticated versions of Greek classics like spanakopita, dolmades, moussaka, and souvlaki. The lamb salad is a favorite among regulars. The wine list also garners acclaim. Open-air dining is available on the patio. A smaller dining room can be reserved for special events.