Restaurant Guide–Dallas/Fort Worth

Restaurant Guide Main Index


Texas

Austin | El Paso | Houston | San Antonio


  • Date indicates the most recent update of the restaurants listed
  • Bold indicates my recommendations; others come from what I consider to be good sources (see bottom of page for further explanation)

Addison

Kenny’s Wood Fired Grill–5000 Belt Line Rd. (Steakhouse) Open Daily.  The reviews here are excellent, and it is not over the top in price (steaks are about $35 and other entrees, such as salmon, are about $25). Has other choices besides steak, such as a Seattle style smoked salmon. Side dishes are very good, as are the complimentary popovers. This looks like a worthy special occasion restaurant. (10-12-17)

Arlington

Fork in the Road–1821 S. Fielder Rd. (American) Closed Sun & Mon.  Positive reviews, and people especially like the burgers, sandwiches (such as Ruben) and mac and cheese. Many people say these items are the best they have ever tasted. (5-23-17)

Havana Bar & Grill–3701 Cooper St. (Cuban) Open daily (late night Thu-Sat).  Reviewers say this is legit Cuban food, and is a very good place to get a Cuban sandwich. The setting is very downscale, though (too much for some)–this happens mainly after 8 pm when they turn down the lights and go into “night club mode” with Spanish language TV playing. (5-23-17)

Ocean Chinese Seafood–1510 New York Ave. (Chinese) Closed Mon.  Seems to be the best choice in the Mid-Cities for authentic Chinese food (also has Americanized items on the menu). Is a little bit fusion with Vietnamese fire pot and Vietnamese coffee. (5-23-17)

Taste of Europe–1901 W. Pioneer Pkwy. (Russian) Lunch Sat & Sun; Dinner Wed-Sun.  I was looking for German restaurants, but this one had better ratings, and seems worth a visit.  All food is made from scratch, and takes a while to prepare. (5-23-17)

Thai Basil Leaf–805 W. Park Row Dr. (Thai) Closed Sun.  Seems to be an authentic Thai restaurant in an area where authentic food is less well known or appreciated, but local people do appreciate how delicious it is (according to most reviews).  For very spicy items they warn you about it and give you a chance to order it less spicy. (5-23-17)

Carrollton

Cuban Dulceria–2662 N. Josey Ln. (Cuban) Open Tue-Sat 9 am to 7 pm.  One of several good Cuban restaurants in the city, but reviewers especially like this one.  It is a hole in the wall market and grocery with limited hours, but sandwiches and guava pastry are especially good. (3-29-17)

A1 Chinese BBQ–1927 E. Belt Line Rd. (Chinese) Open Daily.  They used Formerly First Chinese BBQ-reviews indicate that the new restaurant is even better. Authentic Cantonese style food. (10-12-17)

Hong Kong Royal–3030 N. Josey Ln. (Chinese) Open Daily.  Authentic Cantonese food. Serves dim sum during the week. (10-12-17)

Secret Recipe–1404 W. Hebron Pkwy. (Malaysian) Open Daily.  Seems to be the best place in Dallas for Malaysian food. Has two menus–I’m not sure if the Malaysian menu is the “secret” one (the other menu is American style). Note: there is also a location at 2304 Coit Rd. in Plan0. (10-12-17)

Dallas

Avila’s–4714 Maple Ave. (Tex-Mex) Open Daily.  Very popular Tex-Mex (but you can get authentic items also). (3-29-17)

Banana Leaf–17370 Preston Rd. (Thai) Open Daily.  Many say it’s the best Thai in Dallas (I am suspicious of this because it is located in an upscale neighborhood, while the authentic places are usually hole-in-the-wall places). Nevertheless, it gets very good reviews. (10-12-17)

Caribbean Cabana–920 S. Harwood St. (Trinidad and Tobago) Open daily 10 am to 6 pm.  With all the other Caribben restaurants in town, there is still room to put this on the list because the food is so good (according to reviewers, and I would say based on the photos also). Located in the Farmers Market, it has some tables but all orders are served in to-go containers. (3-29-17)

Celebration–4503 W. Lovers Ln. (American) Open daily (closed from 2:30 to 5:30 pm).  Good southern style food. Chicken fried steak, chicken fried chicken, rosemary chicken, banana pudding. Farm to table restaurant–open since 1971. (10-12-17)

Cuzco–9220 Skillman St. (Peruvian) Closed Mon.  Authentic and very good Peruvian food. (3-29-17)

El Corazon de Tejas–110 W. Davis St. (Tex-Mex) Closed Sun evening & Mon.  An old style Tex-Mex restaurant that is still owned by the Cuellar family (founders of El Chico). Has good reviews, as I think any restaurant would have that serves “real” Tex-Mex food. (3-29-17)

El Fenix–1601 McKinney Ave. (Tex-Mex) Open Daily.  This is a sentimental favorite of mine because it is where I went for Tex-Mex when I lived in Dallas. Reviewers say the food has not changed (for better or worse), but I’m glad one of the original Tex-Mex restaurants is still serving the same food. (10-12-17)

Havana Cafe–1152 Buckner Blvd. (Cuban) Open daily except Sun evening.  High priced for what you get, but this seems to be the place to come in Dallas where you will be assured of getting food as it would be served in Miami. (3-29-17)

Highland Park Cafeteria–1200 N. Buckner Blvd. (American) Open Daily.  Home cooked taste in food.  It is like the old-time cafeterias because it has been around since the 1920’s. Chicken & dumplings, fried chicken. Chicken fried steak is also popular. (3-29-17)

Meso Maya–11909 Preston Rd. (Mexican) Open Daily.  Authentic Yucatan food (reviews are very good).  However, it is an upscale setting in an upscale neighborhood, so I am afraid the prices will make it a special occasion restaurant only. Has two other locations. (10-12-17)

Nazca Kitchen–8041 Walnut Hill Ln. (Latin American) Open Daily.  Upscale South American food (from Peru, Brazil, and other countries). I usually find this kind of fusion restaurant to be a bust, but reviewers say the flavors are excellent. Listed as $$ but I would be a little afraid of the prices charged. (3-29-17)

Pecan Lodge–2702 Main St. (BBQ) Closed Mon; Lunch Tue-Sun; Dinner Fri & Sat.  There seems to be a consensus that this is the best BBQ in Dallas. Many people stand in line and wait for it to open at 11 am. Brisket, pork ribs, mac & cheese, hot mess potato. Sausage is German/Czech style. Warning: may have to use pay parking to find a parking spot. (10-12-17)

Pera–17479 Preston Rd. (Turkish) Open Daily.  Very good reviews and very interesting menu. Has Turkish salsa (which I love with a chicken kabob, but so far I’ve only had it at a Persian restaurant). This seems to be a very good place to get a taste of Turkish food. (10-12-17)

Pink Magnolia–642 W. Davis St. (Modern American) Closed Mon; Dinner Tue-Sun; Brunch Sat & Sun.  Serves American favorites, but they will probably be more healthy and better tasting here than at other restaurants. (10-12-17)

Pupuseria Los Gemelos-116 S. Carrol Ave. (El Salvadoran). According to reviews, is a great place to get authentic El Salvadoran food and also a great place to save money compared to other Latin American restaurants. (3-29-17)

Veracruz Cafe–408 N. Bishop Ave. (Mexican) Open Daily (closed from 2:30 to 5:00 pm).  Authentic food of good quality–a nice change from typical Tex-Mex food. Food comes from various towns in Veracruz. Pipian chicken, mole, adobo de puerco, and pescado veracruzano are some of the specialties. (3-29-17)

Denton

Boca 31–207 S. Bell Ave. (Latin American) Closed Sun.  According to Yelp reviewers this is the best restaurant in Denton, and one of the best in DFW. Empanadas are especially popular, but has other items (and they are good as well). (5-23-17)

Thai Square–209 W. Hickory (Thai) Closed Mon (and closed from 3 to 5 pm).  Good reviews, especially for the curries and noodle dishes.  Sometimes I think Thai restaurants get good reviews because they make the food sweet for American tastes. I could not tell if that was the case here, but someone said the Thai tea was not too sweet, so I am assuming that the food is the same way. In any case, it looks like a good choice for Denton dining. Some say the panang curry is the best (better than red or green). (5-23-17)

Flower Mound

Currys Indian Cafe–1901 Long Prairie Rd. (Indian) Closed Mon.  Authentic South Indian food (dosa, biryani, etc.). Also has northern food such as chicken tikka masala (reviewers like this as well). (2-19-16)

Fort Worth

Cannon Chinese Kitchen–304 W. Cannon St. (Chinese) Lunch Tue-Fri; dinner Mon-Sat.  This places looks pretty authentic, and even if it’s not, it looks very good.  Upscale dishes (mainly popular for dinner rather than lunch).  Dumplings, pork ribs, fried rice, and stir fried duck are popular. (3-22-16)

Cousin’s BBQ–6262 McCart Ave. (BBQ) Closed Sun.  Winner of the Red River BBQ Shootout.  Brisket, ribs, chicken. (11-27-15)

El Asadero–1535 N. Main St. (Tex-Mex) Closed Tue.  Reviewers say it’s as good as Joe T’s at half the price. Enchiladas poblanas, asado de puerco (I think it is Tex-Mex combined with some traditional items). (3-29-17)

El Merendero–3000 South Freeway (Honduran) Open Daily.  I’m reluctant to put this on the list because it has so few reviews, but how they describe the food is why it’s on the list. Serves traditional Honduran food (several items look like food that is not typical of any other Central American country). (3-29-17)

Enchiladas Ole–901 N. Sylvania St. (Tex-Mex) Lunch Mon-Sat; dinner Thu-Sat.  From the reviews I gather that this is very good Tex-Mex (good quality with good flavors), and is known for the beef (the beef is actually from a friend’s barbecue restaurant). Serves mole enchiladas (which reviewers say has an excellent flavor). (3-29-17)

Esperanza’s–2122 N. Main St. (Mexican) Open daily 6:30 am to 7 pm.  Down home style Mexican restaurant that is known for its breakfasts. It is also a bakery, so pan dulce is popular. Lunch items (enchiladas, etc.) appear to be Tex-Mex style. (3-29-17)

Gia Phu–913 E. Berry St. (Vietnamese) Open Daily.  Normally people think of the best Vietnamese restaurants as being in Haltom City, but this one is very good, located on the south side of town, and has a varied menu which includes pho, vermicelli bowls, and pork chop.  It’s in a small bldg. with a divey atmosphere, but the food looks as good as anyplace. (3-22-16)

Greenwood’s German–3522 Bluebonnet Cir. (German) Lunch Thu & Fri; dinner Tue-Sat.  Most reviewers say this is the best German restaurant in Ft. Worth.  What I like are the comments that they concentrate just on the food and not on a “show” (like German music) or the atmosphere.  What I don’t like are what they say it costs for a dinner.  However, they say it is good and authentic.  There is a different special every night, but rouladen on weekends is very good. (3-22-16)

Joe T. Garcia’s–2201 N. Commerce St. (Tex-Mex) Open daily (closed from 2:30 to 5 pm weekdays). Good food, but maybe not up to level of the best places in San Antonio and Houston. Very long running restaurant, and I assume it still has old style Tex-Mex. (3-29-17)

Mariposa’s Latin Kitchen–5724 Locke Ave. (Latin American) Lunch daily; dinner Wed-Sat.  Upscale restaurant with high quality food. I’m not sure if it specializes in any type of cuisine, but people say they go because they really enjoy the food (it seems to be mostly Mexican, though). One source say each month they choose a Latin American country and make the dish as a special. (3-29-17)

Ol’ South Pancake House–1509 S. University Dr. (American) Open 24 hours.  An independent pancake house (not a chain) that has been around for as long as I can remember. German pancakes are recommended by reviewers. (3-29-17)

Reata–310 Houston St. (Steaks) Open Daily.  Normally I don’t list steakhouses, but considering this is “Cowtown” and is so highly rated, it’s probably worth trying.  Has a number of Mexican or Mexican-inspired dishes such as tamales, tortilla soup, etc. (these are recommended). (11-27-15)

Swiss Pastry Shop–3936 W. Vickery Blvd. (Sandwiches) Closed Sun & Mon (and closed from 3:30 to 5 pm).  German themed sandwiches and hamburgers are served for lunch.  Most people, though, go for the pastries.  The black forest is popular. (3-22-16)

Frisco

Chennai Cafe–3301 Preston Rd. (Indian) Open Daily (closed from 2:30 to 5:30 pm).  South Indian (spicy). Dosa is the specialty. Thali is good (available at lunch and on weekends). I’m impressed by the variety on the menu. Note: moved from Irving. (10-12-17)

Platia–2995 Preston Rd. (Greek) Open Daily.  Reviewers say the Greek food here is the same as can be found in Chicago (which to them is a very good thing).  Prices are reasonable, and menu runs from gyros to more elaborate dishes. (2-22-16)

Garland

Gloria’s Indian Kitchen–1546 Rowlett Rd. (Indian).  Small family run business and Indian market that serves South Indian food from Kerala province.  Not much on decor but you get the “real deal” Indian food. (2-20-16)

Meshack’s BBQ–240 E. Ave. B (BBQ) Open 10:30 am to 5 pm (closed Sun & Mon).  Some of the best barbecue in Dallas, according to locals.  The down sides are that it is take-out only (this is not an actual restaurant), the lines are long, they usually run out of food before closing time, and side dishes (such as potato salad) do not always get good ratings.  Ribs and beef are good (my rule of thumb is to get chopped beef if you like lots of sauce and sliced beef otherwise).  Note: also located in Cedar Hill (the one in Cedar Hill is open until 7 pm, so they must not run out of food as soon as the Garland location does). (2-22-16)

Mi Pueblito Colombiano–2030 W. Buckingham Rd. (Colombian) Open daily except Sun evening.  Small restaurant that is not well known, but reviewers say they put out excellent food. (3-29-17)

My Tho–3325 W. Walnut St. (Vietnamese) Open 10 am to 8 pm (closed Mon).  Many reviewers say they have the best pho and hu tieu (pork based soup) in Dallas. The rest of the menu is authentic as well (not a large menu but several good choices). (2-20-16)

Grapevine

Tommy Tamale–1689 W. Northwest Hwy. (Mexican) Open 10 am to 8 pm (closed Sun).  Has several menu items, but tamales are what reviewers say are best. Located inside a shopping center–has both a restaurant and a market where they sell tamales by the dozen. (3-29-17)

Weinberger’s Deli–601 S. Main St. (Sandwiches) Open Mon-Sat 10 am to 7 pm; Sun 11 am to 3 pm.  Northeastern style deli with a wide selection of excellent sandwiches. (2-19-16)

Haltom City

Bun Dong Ba–4023 E. Belknap St. (Vietnamese) Closed Tue.  This seems to be a Vietnamese restaurant for the adventurous eater–to get things you can’t find in other places.  For pho, reviewers recommend the spicy pho with spices you can’t find anywhere else.  Banh xeo is especially recommended. (3-22-16)

Muang Lao–5111 N. Beach St. (Lao) Closed Sun.  Small place with good food. (11-27-15)

My Lan–4015 E. Belknap St. (Vietnamese) Open 9 am to 9 pm (closed Wed).  There are a lot of good Vietnamese restaurants in Haltom City and the surrounding area, but this is one of the most popular.  People say to get the vermicelli noodle dishes, egg rolls, and boba drinks.  Also can get hard to find items such as banh hoi and tau hu ky (bean curd skin). (3-22-16)

Sikhay–3301 NE 28th St. (Lao) Open Daily.  Seems to be as good as Muang Lao, so take your pick. (11-27-15)

Hurst

Sweet Basil Thai–977 Melbourne Rd. (Thai) Open daily (closed from 2:30 to 5 pm weekdays).  Reviewers say this is one of the top tier Thai restaurants in the Metroplex.  Reviewers like the curry, stir-fried, soups, and noodle dishes equally (it’s good across the menu). (2-20-16)

Irving

Empa Mundo–3977 N. Belt Line Rd. (Argentinian) Open Daily.  Argentinian style empanadas with various fillings. Some say the best ones are the daily specials (check the board behind the cash register). (3-29-17)

Kasbah Grill–2851 Esters Rd. (Moroccan) Closed Mon.  Seems to be a good Moroccan restaurant with a varied menu (the selection of items is what would make it especially attractive for me).  Medina Oven in Dallas has better reviews, but also appears to be more expensive.  I think Medina is better for the quality of meat and is more upscale, but Kasbah has a better variety of Moroccan dishes and flavors. (3-22-16)

Nalinh Market–1716 E. State Hwy. 356 (Lao) Open daily 10:30 am to 7 pm.  Small hole in the wall with very good Lao food.  When eating in the restaurant it appears to be serve yourself and sit at a long table. (2-19-16)

Via Real–4020 N. MacArthur Blvd. (Mexican) Open daily except Sat lunch.  $$ on Yelp, but I think it’s more expensive than this. This is upscale with “Santa Fe” style food. Some dishes look authentic, but they are things like steak, adobo shrimp enchiladas, pork tenderloin, etc (expensive items).  The “Tex-Mex” portion of the menu has items such as squash enchiladas (at a very reasonable price). The food may not be totally authentic, but it appears to be a very big player in the list of upscale Dallas Mexican restaurants (with good reviews of the food). (3-29-17)

Lewisville

Pho One–2305 S. SH 121 (Vietnamese) Open Daily.  Good pho and banh mi.  Menu is not as large as in the Dallas restaurants, but quality is similar.  Reviewers say it’s popular with people from Denton who want to get good food without driving into Dallas. (2-19-16)

VertsKebap–859 SH 121 (Turkish) Open daily 11 am to 10 pm.  Berlin style kebab restaurant–choices are limited to kebap, wrap, or salad (choose your filling, toppings, and dressing). (2-19-16)

Note: Addresses on SH 121 are on Business 121–not the new SH 121

McKinney

Hutchins BBQ–1301 N. Tennessee St. (BBQ) Open Daily. One of the best BBQ restaurants in the Metroplex, but one thing that makes it special is that it is an actual restaurant (and is open until at least 9 pm every day). Long list of good meats–brisket seems to be the most popular. Burnt ends get very good reviews.  There is another location in Frisco. (2-22-16)

Noodle Wave–2775 S. Central Expwy. (Thai) Open daily (closed from 3 to 4:30 pm weekdays). High quality Thai food, although some are not impressed by the fried rice. Reviewers mentioned that there is no alcohol, and they do not allow BYOB. (2-22-16)

Plano

Kumar’s–1301 Custer Rd. (Indian) Closed Tue.  South Indian–has both vegetarian and meat items. Thali for weekend lunch, but I’m not sure if it’s served at other times. Also in Coppell and Frisco. (10-12-17)

Latin Pig–3131 Custer Rd. (Cuban) Open Daily.  Good reviews, and people say it is authentic. Some swear by Havana Cafe in Dallas, but this looks good also (and I believe it’s cheaper–has more of a sandwich shop atmosphere). (3-29-17)

Little Sichuan–240 Legacy Dr. (Chinese) Open Daily.  Authentic. Get a white board special. (10-12-17)

Oceanic Thai–1501 Preston Rd. (Thai) Open daily (closed from 3 to 5 pm weekdays).  People say it is authentic, very good, and reasonably priced (by Dallas standards).  Everything is good–there is nothing reviewers say to skip or is not as good as the other dishes. (3-22-16)

Richardson

Bambu–1930 N. Coit (Thai) Closed Sun (and closed from 2:30 to 5:00 pm).  Isan style Thai. I think this is the real deal. Check out the blackboard specials. (10-12-17)

Cafe de Manila–2122 E. Belt Line Rd. (Filipino) Dinner Mon-Sat; lunch Fri & Sat; open Sun 1:30 pm to 6 pm.  This seems to be the best Filipino restaurant in Dallas.  However, there are several good food stands, mostly in the Arlington & Grand Prairie area, although Palayok in Plano has the best reviews. (3-22-16)

Jeng Chi–440 N. Greenville Ave. (Chinese) Open Daily.  Soup dumplings (xiao long bao).  Ask server which dumplings are the best seller. (10-12-17)

Kirin Court–221 W. Polk St. (Chinese) Open Daily.  Dim sum all day, 7 days a week (but the “special” dim sum is Sun. until 3 PM). People say dim sum is not west coast quality, but it is good. Also serves menu items. (10-12-17)

Southlake

Central Market–1425 E. Southlake Blvd. (Grocery Store) Open daily 8 am to 10 pm.  Reviewers say the cafe inside the store is one of the best places for a meal in the area.  Has inside tables and an outside patio (with live music on Fri & Sat night–weather permitting). (2-19-16)

H&H Noodle–2120 E. Southlake Blvd. (Vietnamese) Open Daily.  Pho, banh mi, and vermicelli bowls with very good reviews. (2-19-16)

Spin Neapolitan Pizza–1586 E. Southlake Blvd. (Italian) Open Daily.  Has a regular Italian menu, but pizza is the specialty.  I think when they say Neapolitan style, this is really true. (2-19-16)

University Park

Bubba’s–6617 Hillcrest Ave. (American) Open daily 6:30 am to 10 pm.  Known for its fried chicken (which is almost universally praised, although some say it is too salty).  The owner of this restaurant also has Babe’s (with several locations throughout the Metroplex), but Bubba’s stands out because the side dishes are better (although at Babe’s you get all the sides you can eat).  Some say the chicken and dumplings are the best dish here.  Banana pudding is good for dessert. (2-22-16)

 

Notes About This List:

This is a “master list” of restaurants that I have seen on the Internet or other sources and would like to try, or that I think would be of interest to others.  I do not mean for this to be an exhaustive list of every good place to eat, but it should represent a good sample of the most interesting or unique restaurants, along with a few that best represent an area’s regional cuisine.  My own recommendations are in Bold.

I am not looking to include:

  • Fine dining (unless they are unique because of regional specialties)
  • Low end restaurants that are popular with locals but may not be of much interest to travelers or people in general (everyone will have to use their judgment on this one)

Extra consideration for the following:

  • The food is organic, fresh, healthy, or farm to table
  • The restaurant serves a relatively hard to find type of ethnic food and reviews are good

In addition to the regular guidelines I try to include:

  • The best Asian restaurants in the area even if they are not totally authentic
  • Particularly good Mexican restaurants (this usually means the food is from a particular state in Mexico or it is one of the best examples of a U.S. regional style)

Please feel free to leave your own comments or suggestions.

 

Sources:

Chowhound (Dallas-Fort Worth)

City-Data (Dallas)

Urbanspoon.com (former web site which I used for preliminary research)

Yelp (Dallas)

Zomato (Dallas)

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *