Restaurant Guide–Dallas/Fort Worth

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  • 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. Both lunch and dinner menus start at about $15 for entrees. Side dishes are very good, as are the complimentary popovers. This looks like a worthy special occasion restaurant. Map (Dining room is open 12-14-21)

Allen

A Bite of Lao and Thai–945 W. Stacy Rd. (Lao & Thai) Closed Mon (and closed from 3 to 4 pm weekdays).  Reviews are good and they say the spice level is good. Menu is extensive, and the selection of Lao food looks good. Map (Dining room is open 12-14-21)

Arlington

Fork in the Road–1821 S. Fielder Rd. (American) Open 11 am to 8 pm (closed Sun-Tue).  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. Map (Dining room is open 12-14-21)

Halo Hawaiian BBQ & Poke–2613 W. Park Row Dr. (Hawaiian) Closed Mon.  Reviewers say the food is very good, and the choice of items seems to be very large compared to the typical Hawaiian restaurant. Map (Dining room is open 1-3-22)

Havana Bar & Grill–3701 Cooper St. (Cuban) Open daily (late night 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. Map (Dining room is open 12-14-21)

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. Map (Dining room is open 12-14-21)

Taste of Europe–1901 W. Pioneer Pkwy. (Russian) Lunch Fri-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. Map (Dining room is open 12-14-21)

Thai Basil Leaf–805 W. Park Row Dr. (Thai) Open daily (closed from 3 to 4:30 pm).  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. Prices seem very good and menu is fairly extensive with some less common dishes such as papaya salad. Map (Dining room is open 12-14-21)

Bedford

Jan Thai Kitchen–313 Harwood Rd. (Lao) Closed Tue (and closed from 3 pm to 4 pm).  Reviewers say it is Lao style (not Thai) and that it is so good it is a “must try.” Papaya salad, tom yum soup, and curry are recommended, but reviewers order a wide range of items and seem to like them all. Map (Dining room is open 12-23-21)

Burleson

Jamaican Summers–217 W. Renfro St. (Jamaican) Dinner only (open Wed-Sat).  Jerk chicken is the most well know dish in Jamaican cuisine but reviewers seem to like everything here. Map (Temporarily closed 1-3-22)

Rice Master–1185 N. Burleson Blvd. (Korean) Closed Mon.  Reviewers say this is very good Korean food served in an inexpensive and casual setting (I think it doesn’t have the side dishes served in traditional Korean restaurants). Map (Dining room is open 12-23-21)

Carrollton

A1 Chinese BBQ–1927 E. Belt Line Rd. (Chinese) Closed Mon. Formerly First Chinese BBQ-reviews indicate that the new restaurant is even better. Authentic Cantonese style food. Roast duck and roast pork are a couple of the biggest sellers, but it has a full menu of Cantonese food. Map (Dining room is open 1-3-22)

Cuban Dulceria–2662 N. Josey Ln. (Cuban) Open Tue-Sat 9 am to 5 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 (the food menu is limited to sandwiches). (Dining room is open 8-17-21)

Taste of Chengdu–2532 Old Denton Rd. (Chinese) Open daily 11 am to 10 pm.  This appears to be authentic Sichuanese food. Most really like the food provided they can find the right spice level. This is a relatively new restaurant with only a few reviews, but it appears that a good approach is to find an interesting looking dish (all of them seem to be good) and be very conservative on the spice level until you know you would be comfortable with it being higher (which would require return visits). Map (Dining room is open 12-23-21)

Cockrell Hill

El Mana–4448 W. Jefferson Blvd. (Salvadorean) Open 8 am to 9 pm (closes 5 pm on Sun). Reviewers say the pupusas here are the real deal, and many others are Americanized (and also say that these are better). Map (Dining room is open 12-23-21)

Dallas

400 Gradi–2000 Ross Ave. (Italian) Lunch Wed-Sun; Dinner Wed-Sat (closed Mon & Tue).  Looks like the most authentic Italian food in Dallas, and prices run from quite expensive for large meat items to really reasonable for some of the more modest dishes. However, its biggest draw may be the authentic Neapolitan pizza that is VPN certified. Patrons get 2 hours of validated parking at the Harwood Garage (and I think reservations are recommended) Note: Partenope is the other VPN restaurant in Dallas and is a few blocks away on Main St.. Map (Dining room is open 12-14-21)

Abyssinia Grocery–9191 Forest Ln. (Ethiopian) Open 7 am to 7 pm (closed Sun evening).  Grocery store where they also serve food platters that have really good reviews. They say the food is spicy. Map (Dining room is open 10-30-21)

Avila’s–4714 Maple Ave. (Tex-Mex) Open Daily.  Very popular Tex-Mex (but you can get authentic items also). Map (Dining room is open 12-14-21)

Baboush–3636 McKinney Ave. (Moroccan) Open Daily.  Very good reviews. Tajine is recommended. Map (Dining room is open 12-14-21)

Banana Leaf–17370 Preston Rd. (Thai) Closed Mon.  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. Map (Dining room is open 1-3-22)

Caribbean Cabana–920 S. Harwood St. (Trinidad and Tobago) Open 11 am to 7 pm (closes 6 pm Sat) (closed Mon).  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. People say the price is a little steep, though. Map (Dining room is open 1-3-22)

Celebration–4503 W. Lovers Ln. (American) Open daily (closed from 2:30 to 5:30 pm).  Said to be good southern style food. Chicken fried steak, chicken fried chicken, rosemary chicken, banana pudding. Farm to table restaurant–open since 1971. Map (Dining room is open 12-14-21)

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. Map (Dining room is open 12-14-21)

Havana Cafe–1152 N. Buckner Blvd. (Cuban) Open Daily.  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. Map (Dining room is open 12-14-21)

Ka-Tip Thai Street Food–1011 S. Pearl Expwy. (Thai) Closed Mon (and closed from 2-5 pm except weekends).  This is Isan style Thai street food from a Farmer’s Market food stall. One reviewer says he does not like the made up version of Thai at some restaurants but the authentic Thai served here is amazing. Another reviewer says this is better than the Thai food in New York City. (I think they have both indoor and outdoor dining 9-25-21)

Khao Noodle Shop–4812 Bryan St. (Lao) Open Wed-Sat (closed from 3 to 5:30 pm).  Tapioca rice noodles are made by hand, and is generally considered to be one of the better Lao restaurants with an award winning chef. Map (Dining room is open 12-14-21)

Meso Maya–1611 McKinney Ave. (Mexican) Open Daily. Authentic Yucatan food (reviews are very good). Prices are $20 and up for their special dishes, but plenty of choices are available that are less expensive (but many of these may not be Yucatan style). Has several locations in the Metroplex (including Ft. Worth). The one on McKinney has the best reviews on Yelp. Map (Dining room is open 12-14-21)

Partenope–1903 Main St. (Italian) Closed Sat lunch & Sun (and closed from 3 to 4:30 pm).  A few blocks from the other VPN certified pizza restaurant (400 Gradi) but this one is Southern Italian style, has more inexpensive choices on the menu, and appears to be more casual. Like 400 Gradi the Neapolitan pizza is the big star here, and the pizza is about the same price at both places–it is probably a matter of whether you want your other dishes to be the Southern Italian here or the more upscale (I think both Northern and Southern Italian) that are served at 400 Gradi. Their web site tells where recommended parking is located, including free on-street parking after 6 pm. Map (Dining room is open 12-14-21)

Pecan Lodge–2702 Main St. (BBQ) Open 11 am to 8 pm (11-3 on Mon).  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. Food seems to be more consistent than at many BBQ restaurants. Sausage is German/Czech style. Warning: may have to use pay parking to find a parking spot. Another warning: they often sell out of some items before the closing time. Map (Dining room is open 12-23-21)

Pupuseria Los Gemelos-116 S. Carrol Ave. (El Salvadoran) Open daily except Mon evening & Tue evening. 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. (Dining room is open 8-17-21)

Veracruz Cafe–408 N. Bishop Ave. (Mexican) Open Daily. 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. Prices I have seen are by far the best of the Dallas authentic Mexican restaurants. (Dining room is open 12-14-21)

Denton

Boca 31–207 S. Bell Ave. (Latin American) Cunch only (closed Sun & Mon).  According to Yelp reviewers this is one of the best restaurants in Denton, and in the entire DFW area. Empanadas are especially popular, but has other items (and they are good as well). (Dining room is open 8-17-21)

Thai Square–209 W. Hickory (Thai) Closed Mon (and closed from 3 to 5 pm weekdays).  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 and masaman curry are best (better than red or green). Map (Dining room is open 12-23-21)

Everman

Madea’s Down Home Cooking–1019 W. Enon Ave. (Soul Food) Open 11 am to 7 pm (Closed Sun evening & Mon).  Seems to be higher quality than mosst other soul food places and ratings are very good. Meat loaf, oxtail, and catfish are some of the recommended items. Map (Dining room is open 10-30-21)

Fate

Four Czechs Bakery–104 E. Fate Main Pl. (Czech) Open until noon (closed Mon & Tue).  Reviewers say these are some of the best kolaches they have ever had. Has both fruit and sausage varieties. Located between Rockwall and Royce City. Map (Dining room is open 10-30-21)

Flower Mound

Curry’s 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). Map (Dining room is open 1-3-22)

Rustico Wood Fired Grill–3701 Justin Rd. (Pizza) Dinner only (closed Sun).  Known for it wood fired pizza, but has a pretty large menu of upscale dishes (steak, etc.). Has a number of Italian dishes but is not exclusively Italian (it is more like New American). I think this is part of a chain that had a restaurant in El Paso that I never got to try, but many people said it was the best pizza in El Paso. (Dining room is open 9-25-21)

Forney

Stiky Ribz BBQ–9705 Helms Trail (BBQ) Open Thu-Sun (Sun open to 5 pm only).  Good reviews in an area of the country where people are very particular about BBQ. Brisket and beef ribs are particularly recommended. Mac & cheese and banana pudding are said to be excellent. (Dining room is open 8-17-21)

Fort Worth

Cousin’s BBQ–6262 McCart Ave. (BBQ) Open 11 am to 9 pm (closed Sun).  Winner of the Red River BBQ Shootout. Brisket, ribs, chicken. 2 other locations in SW Ft Worth. Map (Dining room is open 1-3-22)

Del Campo Empanadas–10724 N. Beach St. (Argentinian) Open daily except Sun evening.  Serves Argentina style empanadas. Chimicurri is also popular (it is a sauce they serve on an Angus beef empanada, sausage, or other items. Empanadas come with meat, vegetable, and sweet options. (Dining room is open 9-25-21)

El Merendero–3000 South Freeway (Honduran) Open daily 8 am to 10 pm.  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). Not spicy like Mexican food, but reviewers say it tastes good. Also in Dallas. Map (Dining room is open 12-23-21)

Enchiladas Ole–2418 Forest Park Blvd. (Tex-Mex) Closed Sun.  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). Map (Dining room is open 12-14-21)

Esperanza’s–2122 N. Main St. (Mexican) Open daily 6:30 am to 6:30 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 (this is a spin-off from Joe T. Garcia’s). Map (Dining room is open 12-14-21)

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. (Dining room is open 8-25-21)

Heim Barbecue–1109 W. Magnolia Ave. (BBQ) Open daily 7 am to 9 pm.  One of the highest rated barbecue restaurants by Yelp reviewers. This is traditional Texas BBQ. Many people like the meat combo, but brisket and ribs are particularly recommended. Map (Dining room is open 12-14-21)

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. Map (Dining room is open 12-14-21)

Little Germany–6737 Camp Bowie Blvd. (German) Open Daily.  Seems to be the highest rated German food in the Ft Worth area. Small restaurant where you are paying for the food and not the atmosphere or the “show” they sometimes have in German restaurants. (Dining room is open 8-25-21)

Los Asaderos–1535 N. Main St. (Tex-Mex) Closed  Mon & Tue (and closes at 7 pm Wed & Thu).  Reviewers say it’s as good as Joe T’s at half the price. Enchiladas poblanas, asado de puerco, fajitas (I think it is Tex-Mex combined with some traditional items). Map (Dining room is open 12-14-21)

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. Also in Burleson. Map (Dining room is open 12-14-21)

Reata–310 Houston St. (Steaks) Open daily (closed from 2:30 to 5 pm).  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). Map (Dining room is open 12-14-21)

Swiss Pastry Shop–3936 W. Vickery Blvd. (Sandwiches) Food served to 3:30 but bakery is apparently open until 5 pm (closed Sun & Mon).  German themed sandwiches and hamburgers are served for lunch. Most people, though, especially like the pastries. The black forest is popular. Map (Dining room is open 12-14-21)

Frisco

Chennai Cafe–3301 Preston Rd. (Indian) Closed Mon (and 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. Map (Dining room is open 12-14-21)

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. Map (Dining room is open 12-14-21)

Sweet Rice–252 W. Stonebrook Pkwy. (Lao) Open Daily.  Seems to have the real deal Lao food. Curry is a favorite (as it has been with me when when I have gone to Lao restaurants). Restaurant says they mostly serve Lao street food. Also in Allen, Carrollton, Mansfield, Tacoma, WA and Auburn, WA. Map (Dining room is open 12-14-21)

Garland

Gloria’s Indian Kitchen–1546 Rowlett Rd. (Indian) Open Daily.  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. (Dining room is open 9-25-21)

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. Meat is cooked on pecan wood. Ribs and beef are recommended (my rule of thumb is to get chopped beef if you like lots of sauce and sliced beef otherwise). Map (Takeout only 6-19-21)

Mi Pueblito Colombiano–2030 W. Buckingham Rd. (Colombian) Closed Mon.  Small restaurant that is not well known, but reviewers say they put out excellent food. Map (Dining room is open 1-3-22)

Grapevine

Cafe Italia–2647 Ira E. Woods Ave. (Italian) Open Daily.  Based on the reviews I think both this and Ristorante Mulino in Southlake are excellent, but this seems to be a little more upscale. Map (Dining room is open 12-14-21)

Tommy Tamale–1689 W. Northwest Hwy. (Mexican) Open 10 am to 7 pm–open to 8 pm Fri & Sat (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. Map (Dining room is open 12-14-21)

Weinberger’s Deli–601 S. Main St. (Sandwiches) Open 11 am to 7 pm (closes at 6 pm on Sun).  Northeastern style deli with a wide selection of excellent sandwiches. Map (Dining room is open 12-14-21)

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. Map (Temporarily closed 12-14-21)

My Lan–4015 E. Belknap St. (Vietnamese) Open 10 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). Map (Dining room is open 12-14-21)

Sikhay–3301 NE 28th St. (Lao) Open Daily.  Seems to be good and authentic Lao food. Map (Dining room is open 12-14-21)

Hurst

Sweet Basil Thai–977 Melbourne Rd. (Thai) Open Daily.  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). Menu has Lao dishes, and I think some of the Thai dishes may be Lao style. Map (Dining room is open 12-23-21)

Irving

Cuzco–1910 N. Story Rd. (Peruvian) Closed Mon. Said to be authentic and very good Peruvian food. Photos indicate that it has a very large variety of dishes. Map (Dining room is open 12-14-21)

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). (Dining room is open 8-17-21)

Fortune House–8150 N. MacArthur Blvd. (Chinese) Open daily (closed from 3 to 5 pm).  Google Maps says it has Shanghai style dim sum. Specializes in soup dumplings (xiao long bao), other dumplings, buns, etc. Quite a few choices on the menu. Map (Dining room is open 1-3-22)

Nalinh Market–1716 E. State Hwy. 356 (Lao) Open 11 am to 7 pm (closed Mon). Small hole in the wall with Lao food that is said to be very good. When eating in the restaurant it appears to be serve yourself and sit at a long table. Map (Dining room is open 10-30-21)

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). Map (Dining room is open 1-3-22)

Justin

The Cafe in Justin–417 N. Sealey Ave. (American) Open 7 am to 2 pm (closed Sun).  Home style cooking, but ratings are higher than most similar cafe/diner type restaurants. Chicken fried steak is popular, but the menu has just about everything (and reviewers like all of them). (Dining room is open 9-25-21)

Keller

Sea Siam–940 Keller Parkway (Thai) Closed Sun & Mon (and closed from 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm).  Dining room looks very small (so don’t come here for the atmosphere). Most popular items are drunken noodles, coconut soup, and yellow curry. I have found a very good coconut soup to be very hard to come by, so I think it would be worth coming here for this. Down side is that curries other than yellow do not have great reviews. Map (Dining room is open 12-23-21)

Lewisville

Inlay Burmese–500 E. Round Grove Rd. (Burmese) Open 11 am to 9:30 pm (closed Sun).  Family owned, and reviewers say you get home cooked Burmese food here. Tea leaf salad is an iconic Burmese dish that they have here. Chicken curry, chili chicken, and anything with coconut or basil are popular. Map (Dining room is open 12-23-21)

Maia’s Asian–1890 S. Old Orchard Ln. (Cambodian) Open 2:30 pm through dinner time (closed Mon).  Has some Thai and more familiar dishes, but reviewers seem to like the Cambodian food the best (such as the noodles). This and Rumdoul in Rowlett seem to be the highest rated Cambodian restaurants. Map (Dining room is open 10-30-21)

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. (Dining room is open 7-5-20)

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. Another location in Frisco but in Jun 2020 it is takeout only. (Dining room is open 6-12-20)

Noodle Wave–2775 S. Central Expwy. (Thai) Closed Mon (and closed from 3 to 5 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. There are 4 locations in the north Dallas area. Map (Dining room is open 12-23-21)

Mesquite

Jamaica Cook Shop–2033 Military Pkwy. (Jamaican) Open daily except Sun evening.  Counter service that serves food in to-go containers (but there are tables in the restaurant). Jerk chicken and stew chicken are popular. I think most items come on a plate with side dishes, and this seems to be the best Jamaican food experience for most people. (Dining room is open 9-25-21)

Plano

Boxochops–8500 Ohio Dr. (Nigerian) Open 11 am to 7 pm–8 pm on Fri & Sat (closed Sun & Mon).  I do not automatically put all ethnic food on this list, but I do when they have almost a 5 star rating. Many like the “snack box” with a variety of items. Much or all of the food is something you eat with your hands but they are not snacks–this is the real food that Nigerians eat. (Dining room is open 9-25-21)

Kumar’s–1301 Custer Rd. (Indian) Open daily to 10 pm (closed from 2:30 to 5:30pm). Most items on the menu are South Indian–has both vegetarian and meat items. Thali for weekend lunch. Advertise that food is organic and never frozen. Sat & Sun noon to 3:30 pm has a South Indian style meal served on banana leaves (is all you can eat). Map (Dining room is open 1-3-22)

Latin Pig–3131 Custer Rd. (Cuban) Open Wed-Sat (closes at 7 pm on Wed &Thu-8 pm Fri & Sat).  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). (Dining room is open 8-17-21)

Little Sichuan–240 Legacy Dr. (Chinese) Open Daily 11 am to 9:30 pm. Unlike many restaurants that serve Sichuan food, reviewers say this is authentic and has the proper spice level (but does have Americanized dishes if you want them). Get a white board special. Has a picture menu to show you what you are ordering. Map (Dining room is open 1-3-22)

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. (Dining room is open 8-15-20)

Secret Recipe–2304 Coit Rd.. (Malaysian) Open daily to 8:30 pm (closed from 2:30 to 5 pm). Seems to be the best place in Dallas for Malaysian food. Menu is very large and it may be hard to know what to order or whether you are ordering one of the best dishes (my experience in Seattle is that there is no such thing as a bad dish when it comes to Malaysian food). Note: there is also a location at 1404 W. Hebron Pkwy. in Carrollton. Map (Dining room is open 12-23-21)

Wu Wei Din–2909 W. 15th St. (Chinese) Closed Mon.  Authentic Sichuan style food. Some recommended items are mapo tofu, Singapore noodles, dan dan noodles. Some say it is Taiwanese, but if true this goes along with the spicy Chinese food they serve. (Dining room is open 9-25-21)

Richardson

Bambu–1930 N. Coit Rd. (Thai) Closed Sun.  Isan style Thai. I think this is the real deal. Check out the blackboard specials. Map (Dining room is open 1-3-22)

Jeng Chi–400 N. Greenville Ave. (Chinese) Open daily (closed from 3 to 4 pm).  Soup dumplings (xiao long bao).  Ask server which dumplings are the best seller. Pork with garlic sauce is also an excellent choice. Map (Dining room is open 12-23-21)

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 (I liked the tofu and assorted meat hot pot). (Dining room is open 6-19-21)

Roanoke

Doc’s Street Grill–200 James St. (Caribbean) Dinner Tue-Fri; Lunch Wed, Fri, & Sat (closed Sun & Mon).  Check their web site for exact hours because it is kind of complicated. Reviewers say this is really good (and actually addictive) Jamaican food, but it is takeout only (and not just because of Covid). Map (Takeout only 1-3-22)

Rockwall

Curry Express–2014 S. Goliad St. (Indian) Closed Mon (and closed from 2:30 to 5 pm).  Reviews are so good, I get the impression it is worth the drive from other parts of the Dallas metro. Prices are good (they have a lunch special with limited choices but especially good prices). It is small and seems to be basic (I don’t know if they have Indian pickle for added flavor to the food) but reviewers say the food is so flavorful you don’t need anything else. (Dining room is open 6-19-21)

Rowlett

Rumdoul–8602 Lakeview Pkwy. (Cambodian) Closed Sun & Mon (and closed from 2 to 5 pm).  Reviewers say the lemongrass chicken, lemongrass tofu, red curry, loc lac beef, caramelized pork, and many others are must-tries. Has excellent reviews, not only for the flavor but also the freshness of the food. Map (Dining room is open 10-23-21)

Sabaidee Lao & Thai–5701 President George Bush Hwy. (Lao) Open daily 11 am to 10 pm.  This is a Lao & Thai restaurant, but the word “Sabaidee” is a greeting in the Lao language, and this tells me which type of food is really the specialty here (although reviewers like both of them). Small restaurant with limited table space (it might be best to go during the “off” hours). It is said to be “street food,” but if you order curry, pad thai, etc. the orders are full size. Also at 5200 Lemmon Ave. in Dallas. (Dining room is open 6-19-21)

Southlake

Pho B.A.E.–2120 E. Southlake Blvd. (Vietnamese) Open 11 am to 8:30 pm  (closed Sun).  Pho, banh mi, and vermicelli bowls with very good reviews. Has Mie Goreng (an Indonesian dish), pad thai, and several Chinese dishes, but mostly it looks like authentic Vietnamese food. Map (Dining room is open 12-14-21)

Ristorante Mulino–1125 Davis Blvd. (Italian) Dinner Tue-Sun; Lunch Fri-Sun (closed Mon).  Reviewers say it is authentic and very delicious, and BYOB (this is a good thing for most people). Chicken parmesan and chicken marsala are recommended. Customers also like the brick oven pizza. Map (Dining room is open 12-14-21)

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. Map (Dining room is open 12-14-21)

 

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.

Note About “50 States, 50 Cuisines” (Condé Nast)

Condé Nast published an article on Sep. 14, 2020 explaining how they set out to go beyond a previous article that had identified the signature dish for each state, and to find food that goes beyond the classics and “to highlight a cuisine worth traveling to each state for, much of which you truly can’t get anywhere else.” For Texas it was Lao cuisine, as a result of a large number of refugees settling in
Texas–primarily in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Many restaurants offer authentic flavors that are uncompromised for Western palates, although the one mentioned in the article is now closed. Khao Noodle Shop in east Dallas has both Lao food and Texas cuisine (such as tripe chicharrones).

My note: there is another concentration of Lao restaurants in the northeast suburbs of Fort Worth

 

Sources:

Chowhound (Dallas-Fort Worth)

City-Data (Dallas)

Condé Nast Traveler (50 States, 50 Cuisines: The Food Worth Traveling For in Every State)

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Google Maps

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

VPN Americas (Texas)

Yelp (Dallas)

Zomato (Dallas)

 

2 thoughts on “Restaurant Guide–Dallas/Fort Worth

    • Yelp and Google Maps report that Vegvana is permanently closed, but the web site is still up. I have removed it from the list, but if the report of its closing is incorrect I will put it back.

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