When you think of Dallas cuisine, it tends to bring to mind steak, ribs, and other meaty staples of the Longhorn State. However, it’s easy to overlook the fact that Dallas is a major urban center and has a rich and varied culinary landscape to match. We are here to make it easier for you to sort through all the many dining options in Dallas and find the best restaurants in the city, whatever variety of cuisine tickles your fancy.
If you are looking for a great steak in Dallas, you certainly can’t miss with Pappas Bros. on Lombardy Lane. Featuring a dedicated cigar room, four expert sommeliers to fulfill your wine-pairing needs, a cozy atmosphere, impeccable service overall, and excellent seafood options, Pappas Bros. is without a doubt one of the best steakhouses in Dallas. Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, Nick and Sam’s, and Ocean Prime (particularly for the surf-and-turf minded among us) are other excellent Dallas steakhouse options. You are quite frankly unlikely to find a better steak or a more authentic steakhouse experience anywhere else in the country, so if a prime cut of beef sounds like a dinner plan to you, we strongly recommend you check out one of the better steakhouses in the city while on vacation in Dallas.
Everyone knows that Texas is home to some of the best barbecue in the nation, and Dallas is no exception, although you may have to stray a little bit out of Dallas proper to find the best barbecue joints in the metro area. Eddie and Marilyn Brown’s family-run Off The Bone BBQ in Forest Hill is one of the better hidden gems in the area, and is well worth the drive outside the city if you are looking for some real authentic Texas barbecue. Longoria’s is the place to be for St. Louis style ribs (you might also want to try their uniquely spiced signature beef jerky), while Meshack’s BBQ Shack differs from the usual Dallas hickory-smoked BBQ, opting instead to use the native pecan that grows abundantly in the area. CT’s Real Deal BBQ, Angelo’s BBQ, Baker’s Ribs, and Mac’s BBQ are other excellent choices for the barbecue lovers among us in the Dallas area. There are really so many great options, each with their own unique quirks, that it’s hard to even list, but this will give you a decent head start on your Dallas barbecue journey.
When it comes to Italian food in Dallas, chef David Uygur’s Lucia in the Bishop Arts District is going to be one of your better options. Sample entrees from Lucia include their Madeira Beach grouper with cauliflower puree, broccoli and salsa verde, and their duck breast with Texas shell beans, macerated huckleberries and foie gras butter. Julian Barsotti’s Nonna in Highland Park is another excellent choice, as is cash or check only, bring-your-own-bottle restaurant Nonna Tata in Fort Worth.
As a former part of Mexico, it is not a surprise that Texas is home to some excellent Mexican and Latin cuisine. If you’re looking for great Mexican food in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, consider visiting Maximo in Dallas, featuring authentic Mexican cuisine from various regions of the country such as Puebla, Yucatan, Oaxaca, and Veracruz. If you drink, be sure to try their margaritas which have been voted in D Magazine reader’s polls as the best in the city. Check out Javier’s Gourmet Mexicano for Mexico-City style cuisine, or try Fuel City Tacos (appropriately named as it is literally located inside of a gas station) for a hidden local treasure you would never know is there unless you happened to stumble upon it.
For Asian food in Dallas, Vietnamese restaurant Pho Tay Do is a great choice, obviously (considering its namesake) specializing in popular Vietnamese noodle soup pho, but also serving an excellent, extremely authentic bun bo hue, a lesser-known Vietnamese vermicelli-based soup featuring the prominent flavors of lemongrass and chili. For Thai food, Silk Road in McKinney is an excellent choice, and if you want truly authentic Chinese food try Mr. Wok.
Although Texas may not bring to mind world-class pizza like New York or Chicago might, the big D certainly has some excellent pies to offer. Olivella’s was actually voted by the USA Today as one of the best pizzas in the country, which should tell you something considering the steep competition. Serious Pizza is the go-to location for casual, by-the-slice pizza, best served after a long night of drinking on the town, while Cane Rosso was chosen by the Dallas Observer as the best pizza restaurant in the city for 2011.
Dallas is the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the United States, so don’t think just because it’s located in Texas that means the cuisine is limited to the stereotypical fare often associated with the state. Although you will certainly find all the regional specialties you would expect from any major Texas city, no matter what type of food you are looking for, you will find plenty of suitable options in Dallas.