The 25 Best Restaurants In Dallas 2024 – Dallas

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The 25 Best Restaurants In Dallas 2024 – Dallas

Dallas has cowboy hats, football fanatics, big hair, and a food kingdom that stretches far and wide. You can find al pastor with pineapple butter from one of the coolest Mexican restaurants in town, excellent noodles in a strip mall spot that doubles as a watch repair, and tender BBQ meats cooked to fall-off-the-bone perfection.

Texans have operated the classics for decades, and over the past few years, more chefs have been coming in from LA, London, and NYC. All of this has turned the Big D into one of the more exciting places to eat your way through right now. Whether you’re looking for smoky brisket, duck fat-fried chicken, or bolognese made with wild boar, these are the restaurants to prioritize.


photo credit: Phillip Lim

El Carlos Elegante is from the same team behind Dallas heavy-hitters Sister, The Charles, and Cafe Duro. The atmosphere feels like a high-end Mexico City restaurant—there’s a brilliant mezcal menu, killer cocktails, and they make their masa using Indigenous techniques.. Their specials change seasonally, but a recent stand out was the lengua-filled quesadilla with Oaxaca cheese and caramelized vegetables. They also have a fantastic pork al pastor complemented by tangy pineapple butter. When you need some alone time, come here solo and order plates like the garbanzo sope off their single-serving One Hitter menu.

You’ll find this classic BBQ joint smack dab in the middle of Deep Ellum, the live music capital of Dallas. Whether as a visit pre- or post-show, grab the oak-smoked spare pork ribs, pulled pork, and burnt ends. Order à la carte or pick from a two- or three-meat plate that comes with a side (the potato salad and mac and cheese with crispy bacon bits are both stellar, and you’ll be grateful you decided to get both). Don’t leave without trying the homemade peach cobbler—it’s hot, gooey, and topped with a crunchy, toasted crust.

The duck fat-fried chicken at this low-key but elegant Southern restaurant in Farmers Branch is so amazing you’ll randomly think about it while doing the dishes weeks later. But you’re missing out if you don’t also try the gumbo and jerk swordfish, packed with delicious Creole and Cajun flavors. Dinner at Roots Southern Table works for just about any occasion—just make sure you come here with someone who’s down to split it all and still consider dessert. After you’re done, walk a few blocks over to check out Oran Good Park.

Taquero has been around for a few years, but recently moved to a new location in Lower Greenville. The space is an upscale refresh, but the same flavorful and from-scratch menu is still intact. The must-order ceviche comes loaded with red snapper, mayonnaise, avocado, and chile serrano, while the plates of the pío pío chicken tacos and pulpito tacos are also incredible. Test a third date here by seeing if they’re someone who enjoys the taste of cilantro.  

photo credit: Phillip Lim

For over 30 years, Sam’s Pizza and Pasta has whipped up excellent New York City-style pizza in the middle of Texas. The owners often go out of their way to greet every customer in the big space with gingham tablecloths and baseball plaques on the walls. Stop by for a casual dinner—order a large cheese pizza and a slice of turtle cheesecake, and bring a bottle of your favorite wine since Sam’s is BYOB.

photo credit: Gabe Bergado

Petra and the Beast has become a Dallas powerhouse with its experimental pork- and fermented food-heavy menu since its 2018 pop-up days. The restaurant continues to deliver at their new, larger spot in Lakewood. Charcuterie and their perfectly-crunchy pig tails are constants on the perpetually-changing menu, and the bigger kitchen means there’s room for more experiments—like pastas with apple-braised ragout and koji buttermilk emulsion. A six-course tasting option is available on weekends, but the chef’s counter or ordering à la carte at the bar while drinking wine and chatting with the bartender is an excellent way to spend the evening.

photo credit: Phillip Lim

Henk’s has been around for over 50 years, owned and operated by the sons and daughter of its Dutch immigrant founder. They do great Bavarian pastries and German sausages (a rarity in Dallas) and Henk’s daughter, Hanneke, is one of the best waiters in the city—she’ll let you know if the soup of the day is worth getting. There’s no better brunch option on Sundays for beer drinkers, as the cafe has taps from mostly European breweries to pair with schnitzel or sausages.

photo credit: Nancy Farrar

Jinya Ramen is one of the chillest places in town to slurp a bowl of hot noodles. Since you’re close to both downtown and Uptown, you’ll find 9-5ers dressed in tucked polo shirts having a quick lunch, and Gen-Zers grabbing a relaxed, early-evening bite before bar-hopping. The vegan red fire opal ramen, a yuzu-tinged hot and sour broth, is so good you’ll drink all the liquid before getting to any of the tofu or bamboo shoots. Take a seat at one of the tables, or sit up at the bar to eat your ramen while watching whatever football game is on the TV screens.

photo credit: Nancy Farrar

El Ranchito is at the top of the city’s Tex-Mex ecosystem, with excellent food in a charming restaurant buzzing with Southern hospitality. It’s the type of down-to-earth spot that you can show up to in sweatpants, and yes, you will see a mariachi band play no matter what day you stop by—the restaurant's tagline is “fiestas, mariachis, y cabrito,” after all. There are a ton of Tex-Mex options in Oak Cliff, but El Ranchito’s fajitas, mole, and pechuga make it a place to prioritize.

This strip mall spot is the place to go when you want Lao and Thai food that blows everything else in Dallas out of the water. Classics like pad thai and pad see eew are good here, but heat lovers should go for the larb or the herb-stuffed Lao sausage. To make things even better, every dish is under $15. Oh, and apparently you can also get a watch repaired here, too.   

photo credit: Phillip Lim

Expectations were high when Sister opened in the former location of The Grape, a long-time Dallas staple. But the restaurant quickly developed a reputation for its cool interior and next-level pastas. If you have to choose between all the options, go with either the wild “boaranaise” with its perfectly creamy sauce or the clams vongole with garlic, white soy, and hijiki. It’s a great spot for a special occasion, like taking your favorite sibling out for a birthday dinner where you’re picking up the bill.

There’s no dining experience quite like Uchi, whose mini-empire started in Austin and has expanded to Houston, LA, Denver, and Miami. They make some of the best sushi in Dallas, and you’ll find that everyone else in town agrees when you attempt to make a reservation. The menu is long—as in 80+ options, Infinite Jest long—but the hama chili, a couple of plates from their toyosu section, some nigiri and sashimi, and the fried milk dessert will set you up for a fantastic dinner. There’s also a solid Happy Hour menu if you’re not dining with a corporate card or a Dallas Maverick.

Dallas’ Uptown neighborhood is where you’ll find historic Victorian homes, trendy cocktail bars, and some of the city’s best fajitas. When it comes to carne and Negronis, Las Palmas doesn't play around. Both are staples of this Tex-Mex establishment, which features moody lighting, bull horns, and framed pictures of vaqueros. The wagyu fajitas that come doused in bone marrow butter sauce are so juicy that you just might find yourself right back in the same seat the next day—or the other cool booth under the giant flags of Texas and Mexico you were eyeing across the restaurant.

photo credit: Nancy Farrar

Dallas micro-celebrities like food influencers, Real Housewives, and underground rappers all come to Villa Azur to keep the night going after Mavs games at the American Airlines Center. That’s to say: you’re coming here for the vibes, so settle into a cushy booth with a fancy cocktail and take it all in. The meats here are solid, but the standout is the branzino filet that’s prepared tableside with sun-dried tomato paste and lemon brulée. After your meal, follow the partiers to the real afters at the W hotel next door.

In a state known for barbecue, this is some of the best. Terry Black’s started in Lockhart and now has locations in Dallas and Austin as well. Bring your high school BFFs for a reunion and to feast on a bunch of the meats and sides. This spot is pricier than most barbecue joints in town, but it’s well worth the money (sliced brisket goes for $34.98 a pound, whereas others are typically around $20). People come here for the beef, and damn do they deliver with its deep smokiness. All the sides are delicious, especially the cream corn, which has the exact right amount of spice. There’s also a rooftop to hang out on if it’s nice out.

photo credit: Nancy Farrar

The pastas at Monarch are good, but the views of downtown Dallas from the 49th floor of the National take this spot to another level. While you wait for your shrimp scampi ravioli, you can look out onto the city and gaze over at the shiny glass prism that is the top floors of Fountain Place. This restaurant is where lawyers and city councilmen come to have hushed conversations over plates of lasagna and Old Fashioneds, which means when you come here on a date night, you’ll be debuting as a power couple among the city’s bigwigs. 

There is, perhaps, no better encapsulation of the Dallas vibes than the dining room at Town Hearth—there’s a sports car stationed in front of the kitchen, a Ducati behind the bar, a yellow submarine inside a fish tank, and more chandeliers per square foot than there are in the entire Design District. You’ll also find top-tier cuts of (non-barbecue) meat in the city, including the eight-ounce mignon that’s always a perfect medium-rare.

The energy at Vidorra can only be described as an MTV reality television show about a group of people who will never say no to a free shot, so lean in and order a tequila flight. Your table might start scraping it out over the spoon for the flaming fundido, but fight for your right to the last bite of the pollo su crema that’s topped with creamy poblano pepper sauce and lime crema. Once you’ve finished your guava marg, keep the party going at a bar down the street or one of the nearby music venues, like Three Links Deep Ellum or Trees.

photo credit: Sherri Hall

If you’re looking for really great Chinese food, hit up Jeng Chi in Richardson’s DFW Chinatown. The restaurant is known for their steaming soup dumplings and bakery which live up to the reputation, but they also hit home runs with all their chicken dishes, whether you want orange, sweet and sour sesame, or kung pao. The atmosphere is laid-back, perfect for a quick meal or takeout before stocking up on groceries at Good Fortune Supermarket in the same shopping plaza.

photo credit: Phillip Lim

Jimmy's Food Store is a Dallas institution—this Italian deli sells hard-to-find chips, wines, and bread, and has the best soda selection in North Texas. The real treat, though, is the sandwich and delicatessen, which serves made-to-order Italian sandwiches, like the muffuletta, Philly roast pork, and Italian beef. Grab yourself a bag of sea salt chips, a Henry Weinhard root beer, and a Cuban sandwich for under $20.

photo credit: Phillip Lim

Rule number one at El Si Hay: bring cash. This spot stands out from its more high-end neighbors and has received lots of well-deserved buzz for its street tacos. You’ll find day laborers, lawyers, bartenders, artists, motorcyclists, and more at this red, white, and green outpost during the lunch rush, which often has a long line snaking into the parking lot. Which brings us to rule number two: get in line early so you have plenty of time to finish your tacos in your car (there aren’t any tables). But while you wait, you can watch the elote guy dressing their corn like the work of art it is.

This Cedars spot has bánh mì options that include griddled-to-order ginger tofu or chicken, pork, and fried eggs along with specials like chicken curry soup and nem sausage nuggets. Order at the window, grab a seat at one of the outdoor picnic tables under the hanging bird cages, and go to town. While it’s a great lunch spot, swing by before 3pm on Wednesday through Sunday for their Chimlanh cà phê shop. Get one of their Vietnamese coffee drinks but don’t forget one of the sweets like an oatmeal pie or jumbo strawberry rice krispie treat. 

Cattleack is the go-to BBQ spot for catering large groups in DFW, and is open for lunch on Wednesday through Friday (plus the first Saturday of the month for their Whole Hog Day). It’s home to some of the juiciest charred brisket in the state—the portions are massive enough to feed everyone you came with and then some. If you’re the designated table leader, ask for the pork ribs, burnt ends, and their also deliciously-moist turkey. It’s BYOB here, so grab a few Shiners on the way.

photo credit: Kate Voskova

Restaurant Beatrice is a Cajun-style sit-down spot in Oak Cliff that has two different outdoor spaces, bar seating, and a casually elegant dining room. You can bring just about anyone here and have a good meal, whether that’s your grandparents, a new romantic partner, a nowhere-near-new romantic partner, or just little old you for a solo meal at the bar. The menu changes seasonally, but a few current and classic favorites include the gulf shrimp and grits, duck confit, and fried chicken. 

photo credit: Nancy Farrar

When you want to escape the $20 burgers Downtown and get an affordable meal, head here. There’s a slew of special burgers to choose from, but the standard Big Hat burger is the best because it’s simple: two patties, lettuce, tomato, pickles, diced onions, and mustard. Then you can take the rest of your strawberry shake to-go as you get some shopping done at the North Park mall to get the full suburbia experience.


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