While Austin and Houston have some of the best food in Texas, Dallas’ food scene is quickly drawing attention from foodies in the state and even across the country. From barbecue to Japanese, this city has a little bit of everything, and our tried-and-true guide will walk you through some of the best restaurants in Dallas. Whether you’re a local, on a work trip, or here to visit family, any of the restaurants below will offer a worthwhile meal at a local restaurant.
Your Guide to the Best Restaurants in Dallas
Touted as the new special occasion hotspot, Monarch is the fine dining experience complete with dreamy views of Dallas. Two Michelin Star Chef Danny Grant is the brains behind this Italian-inspired menu and space that opened in March 2021. Monarch is perfect for your anniversary, a nice birthday dinner, or to celebrate a big promotion. Start every meal with an order of their crispy bread and whipped ricotta with honey and truffle oil. For entrees, choose from an impressive array of mouthwatering house-made pastas, wood-fired steaks, or even an entire Alaskan King Crab, all while looking out the floor-to-ceiling windows at the incredible Dallas skyline. Monarch’s popular dishes include the short rib bolognese and cacio e pepe, but the showstopping comte crusted filet mignon, dover sole, and creamy polenta mascarpone are not to be missed. Dress your best and be ready to eat!
13. Delucca Gaucho Pizza & Wine
Dallas is home to the best authentic Brazilian pizza rodizio you’ll experience in the US and is easily one of the best restaurants in Dallas. Delucca Gaucho is newer to the Dallas food scene but has already opened multiple new locations in the greater Dallas area (our favorite is the Design District location). If you’re not familiar with the glorious dining concept of “rodizio”, picture servers constantly gracing every table with freshly-grilled all-you-can-eat offerings. You’ll start with an arugula salad, kobe meatballs perpared in San Marzano sauce, lobster bisque, and crispy bread. Wood fire-oven pizzas come next – they are fresh out of the oven and served in smaller slices so you can try a variety of flavors. Don’t snooze on the garlic picanha, four cheeses truffle, dulce de leche toasted coconut, and the Italian nutella. Truly delicious, carb-y heaven on earth!
12. Food From Galilee
Located right by SMU campus, Food From Galilee is a true hole-in-the-wall, family-run hidden gem that has been serving up authentic, reasonably-priced Arabic food for decades. Additionally, they excel in the take-out department, landing Food From Galilee firmly on our guide to the best restaurants in Dallas. Among starters, the kubbi (with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice), meat or veggie grape leaves, and minty fettouch salad are deliciously refreshing. Indulge in a Maza Tray and try a little bit of everything, from tabouli to falafel. Our favorite entrée is the lamb and beef gyro – the salty meat nestled in a soft pita topped with creamy cool gyros sauce make for the ultimate combo. Honestly, you can’t go wrong with any of the kabobs or platters, either. Don’t leave without a piece of pistachio baklawa for dessert – they’re small but oh so mighty and are the perfect balance of crunchy and chewy.
11. Cane Rosso
Cane Rosso started as a humble mobile catering oven and has grown into one of the best restaurants in Dallas. They specialize in wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas, made with crushed San Marzano tomatoes and fresh, never frozen dough made with “00” flour imported from Italy. Pizzas cook in under 90 seconds at 900 degrees. The wildly popular Honey Bastard pizza is a local favorite: house made mozzarella (pulled daily from scratch), hot soppressata salami, bacon marmalade, and a drizzle of habanero pepper-infused honey. Need we say more? Other equally amazing options include La Flama Blanca, CBF, and Roni One. A huge plus: Cane Rosso offers several gluten free dough options that actually taste good.
10. Bread Winners
Bread Winners in Uptown is a neighborhood bakery and bistro known for their phenomenal breakfast and brunch whether you’re dining solo or in a larger party. Their most popular dish is a twist on the croque madame: grilled rustic bread with ham, swiss cheese, jalapeño cream gravy, and a sunny side up egg. Many locals claim Bread Winners also has the best fried chicken and waffles which features jalapeño bacon cheddar waffles (insanely good!) and crispy fried chicken sitting in a pool of cream gravy topped with hot sauce and maple syrup. It’s hot, sweet, crispy, all-around southern goodness, and we are here for it! The brunch tots and pigs in a blanket are great savory appetizers perfect for sharing, and we are big fans of the nutty sweet bread the waiters bring as a complimentary starter. Bread Winners is busy on the weekends and doesn’t offer reservations for brunch so make sure to go when you’ve got some time to spare and room in your belly- the portions are generous.
9. Pecan Lodge
Texans will never agree on where to find the best barbeque in the state, let alone in Dallas, but no matter who you ask, Pecan Lodge is always going to be high up on that list. As with any good barbeque, there’s always a line, but it goes by quickly and is well worth the wait. Once inside, you’ll find all the classics: from pulled pork to smoked turkey, house-made sausage, and, of course, the coveted smoked brisket. It melts in your mouth, is perfectly salty, and really scratches that itch for true Texas barbeque. We recommend the three meat plate to get a sample of everything + a side. You can’t go wrong with any of the sides; the mac ‘n cheese is the star of the show but the cole slaw and fried okra are excellent as well. While Pecan Lodge has fantastic desserts, we love to hop next door to Emporium Pies for a piece of The Drunken Nut, a.k.a. one of the best pecan pies we’ve ever tasted.
8. Hudson House
Hudson House is a seafood restaurant with some seriously good east coast vibes and is definitely one of the best restaurants in Dallas. While Hudson House definitely excels at all things seafood (anything from the raw bar, the Nantucket chowder, and the lobster roll are all fantastic), locals flock from near and far for the most unassuming item on the menu: the cheeseburger. This burger has two thinner patties, a generous amount of American cheese, pickles, minced onions and Hudson sauce all nestled on a scrumptious sesame seed bun. If you are looking for a perfect, classic cheeseburger, this is it. Do not miss out on the skinny fries, they remind us of the best crispy salted frites straight out of France. The staff at Hudson House is always friendly and the service is top notch – they’ve been known to bring out a bowl filled with berries for an inpatient toddler or two.
7. Meso Maya
Authentic and creative, Meso Maya is a favorite of all, from corporate employees taking a lunch break downtown to families grabbing take-out after a long day. Meso Maya has a unique yet approachable take on interior Mexican cuisine that makes it one of the best restaurants in Dallas. We love their unique take on queso – it’s served with roasted poblano, fresh corn, and nopales making for a creamy, rich, not too spicy, starter to your meal. All of Meso Maya’s enchiladas are amazing, but we recommend the pollo serrano enchiladas. They have a unique, smoky, deep flavor that can’t be beat. Additionally, one of their most spectacular dishes is the Vegetales Budin Azteca. It is composed of housemade soft corn tortillas, chihuahua, monterey jack, and muenster cheeses, and an amazing variety of vegetables all drenched in a lime tomatillo sauce that is to die. It’s rich, acidic, savory, fresh, and absolute perfection.
Touted by The Wall Street Journal as having the “best sushi this side of Japan”, Austin-transplant Uchi has won over the hearts (and taste buds) of Texas locals as well, making it one of the best restaurants in Dallas. Uchi’s menu is extensive and everything is incredible, even their desserts are unforgettable. To start, the lemon chili brussels sprouts are a must – they are crispy, sweet, and tangy and will convert even the staunchest of brussels sprout haters. From the cold tastings menu, we highly recommend the Hama Chili made with yellowtail, ponzu, Thai chili, and orange supreme. It’s a dish that packs quite the citrusy fresh punch – truly delightful. From the hot tastings, the Walu Walu and Hot Rock are top picks. Anything from the sushi and sashimi menu is fantastic and extremely high quality. For the fish averse folks, the karaage chicken seasoned with sweet chili is a must. Last but far from least, is the infamous fried milk dessert – a vanilla custard served with salted fudge and a toasted blondie. There is nothing like it!
5. HG Sply Co.
Classic Lower Greenville eatery, HG Sply Co., is always busy and for good reason. Music blasts from the rooftop patio that’s great for large groups while the first floor provides a cozier atmosphere for a more intimate date night. HG Sply Co. has a diverse menu filled with seafood, pub-like appetizers, salads, sandwiches, and custom bowls. There’s a little something for everyone and HG Sply Co. delivers so well. Our top recommendation is the ahi tuna poke bowl served with generous portions of avocado, sesame-dressed kale, and the most addictive crispy rice – so, so tasty. The steak bowl with summer corn and brussels sprouts is equally divine. HG Sply Co. also has stellar vegetarian options – the yellow curry, made with sweet potato, loads of veggies, and quinoa “meatballs”, is hearty enough that even a meat eater would be satisfied.
4. Son of a Butcher
From the makers of Velvet Taco, Son of a Butcher offers a variety of sliders using as many local Texas food purveyors as possible, including all their wagyu beef, craft sodas, and buns. Son of a Butcher hits all the flavor notes with a dozen different sliders to choose from (we recommend ordering two or three). The Popper, with fried jalapeño and cream cheese, pepper jam, bacon and rosemary lime aioli, is our favorite beef option with the Burnt Ends a close second. Their waffle fries melt in your mouth, and if you’re into blue cheese, the buffalo bleu fries will be right up your alley. Finish off your meal with one of SOB’s handmade shakes – we recommend the key lime pie, red velvet, or cookie butter. Son of a Butcher also has a great patio complete with water bowls for pups – it really is one of the best restaurants in Dallas!
What do you get when two award-winning chefs (barbecue master Aaron Franklin and Tyson Cole from Uchi) collab on a restaurant? The answer is Loro, an Asian smokehouse located in East Dallas and definitely one of the best restaurants in Dallas. The combination of rich southern barbecue full of smoky meats and bright Asian influences from punchy herbs and refreshing citrus offers a depth of flavors and textures that is so unique. Come to Loro ready to experience quite a variety – we recommend ordering one or two options from each section of the menu. And definitely bring friends, you’ll want to share! The candied kettle corn with brisket burnt ends, crispy potatoes served with a miso mustard, and crunchy sweet corn fritters are excellent starters. Chicken karaage, Char Siew pork belly, and the smoked beef brisket are all incredible meat options. They also have sandwiches, rice bowls, and even a few desserts – you truly can’t go wrong with anything from Loro.
2. Mami Coco
Oh, Mami Coco. This place is the definition of a hidden gem, a true hole in the wall and one of the best restaurants in Dallas. It is located in an odd part of town, the type of place you’ll drive past daily and never notice. But when you take your first bite of their street tacos filled with barbacoa or steak, you’ll suddenly be tempted to stop a couple times a week. Mami Coco isn’t trying to re-invent the street taco wheel – just two corn tortillas filled with your protein of choice, diced white onions, and plenty of chopped cilantro. Simple, yes, but when executed correctly, these tacos are divine. Take things up a notch with the “spicy” and “not that spicy” salsas – ask for both and mix and match to your heart’s desire. Mami Coco has other tasty items on the menu but trust that the tacos are the crowning jewel. Prices are a bit higher compared to other street tacos but Mami Coco tacos are 100% worth it.
1. Terry Black’s Barbecue
Any restaurant guide featuring a city in Texas wouldn’t be complete without at least one barbecue joint, and for our top pick for the best restaurants in Dallas, we cannot be more excited about Terry Black’s Barbecue. Locals debate endlessly over whether Pecan Lodge or Terry Black’s has the best barbeque in town – we love them both! Smoked beef ribs are a bit of a specialty in Texas, and not every barbecue joint does them, so if you’re willing to splurge, Terry Black’s beef ribs are larger than your plate and out-of-this-world good. The brisket is tender, the jalapeno cheddar sausage has that perfect snappy skin with just the right amount of kick, and the cream corn is fantastic. Don’t forget a pint of banana pudding for the road. Terry Black’s is truly a must – a quintessential experience for any visitor to the Lone Star state.