New to Dallas? Here’s Where to Eat.

These are 10 of the city’s best and most exciting restaurants

August 11, 2023 6:47 am
mashed potatoes in gravy with meat and vegetables piled on top
From Korean BBQ to sushi, here's where to eat in Dallas
Mia Valdez

Dallas is a big, vibrant city with a diversity that surprises many visitors blinded by outdated tropes of big hats and oil. That extends to its food. Because while Dallas is homebase to many corporate chains, it’s also sporting a talented pool of chefs and some of the state’s most exciting restaurants.    

Eat your way across the city, and you’ll find plenty of restaurants worth your time and money, including great steakhouses and enough barbecue and tacos to keep you busy for a year. But the below lineup features 10 of the best and most interesting spots in town — yes, including a couple that serve barbecue and tacos. These restaurants provide a true taste of Dallas, with options that extend well beyond the chains and other usual suspects. Dig in, and then keep your head on a swivel for more good food inside the city limits, in nearby Fort Worth, and in the surrounding suburbs.


A longtime anchor in the Bishop Arts district, Lucia continues to put out some of the city’s best handmade pastas and house-cured salumi. The chef-owned Italian restaurant is as relevant today as it was a decade ago, with a frequently changing menu that features creative small plates, pastas, meat and seafood dishes outside the box that many area Italian spots operate in. To complement the food, Lucia has a thoughtful wine list, stocks an assortment of vermouths, aperitifs and amari, and makes a mean Negroni.

287 N. Bishop Ave. (map

Revolver Taco Lounge and Purépecha Room's pulpo al pastor.
Revolver Taco Lounge and Purépecha Room’s pulpo al pastor.

Revolver Taco Lounge and Purépecha Room

In the front, Revolver serves a great spread of tacos, including the pulpo al pastor that was featured on the Netflix show Taco Chronicles. But the back room, dubbed Purépecha, is an entirely different dining experience. Make a reservation for the seven-course tasting menu that highlights dishes from chef Regino Rojas’s home state of Michoacan, Mexico. The menu changes regularly but might feature bright ceviches, tacos on handmade heirloom corn tortillas and charcoal-grilled meats. With its tucked-away locale and a culinary team that includes the chef’s mother and aunt, each meal feels like you’ve been invited to a special family dinner.

2701 Main St. #120 (map

Interior of Meridian
Interior of Meridian


Dallas isn’t a hotbed of Brazilian food, but that might be why Meridian feels so vital. The sleek restaurant includes favorites and modern interpretations from chef Junior Borges’s native Brazil, with dishes available à la carte or via a tasting menu. If you’re ordering for yourself, start with some fresh baked bread and the playful “beach cheese,” a grilled hunk of white cheese covered in honey. You can’t go wrong with any of the seasonal vegetable dishes, which provide a good ramp up to the larger plates, like the tilefish with charred plantains and coconut broth, or the wagyu picanha with potato pavé, chimichurri and smoked leeks. The cocktails get equally thoughtful treatment, and the service is always on point.

5650 Village Glen Dr. (map

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Petra and the Beast

Petra and the Beast upended the common notion that high-end food has to be served in a high-end setting. The restaurant opened in a 1930s-era gas station in East Dallas with bare decor, animal skull centerpieces and shelves of jarred pickles, and it invited diners to trust chef Misti Norris and her unique viewpoint. The handmade charcuterie, pastas, charred vegetables and other dishes proved to be some of the most exciting food in town, and the BYOB-fueled fun lasted for five and a half years. Petra recently moved to new, larger digs in Lakewood, complete with a bar, so things are changing. But now, Norris and her staff will have a roomier kitchen to operate and experiment in, which can only mean more excitement for diners.

1901 Abrams Rd. (map

Cry Wolf

Cry Wolf is small, with a single row of tables opposite the open kitchen and adjacent bar. The decor is best described as the cozy curios room of a cat lover. And the culinary team is putting out one of the most interesting menus available right now. That menu changes often, but recent dishes include ​​blue crab with truffle vinaigrette, fava beans, English peas and summer truffles, and Jidori chicken thigh with figs, chanterelles and hen glace. The wine list is small but mighty, with bottles you won’t find many places around town.

4422 Gaston Ave. (map)

Sushi from Tatsu
Sushi from Tatsu


When Tatsu debuted on the edge of Deep Ellum in May 2022, it marked one of the biggest openings in this young decade. Chef Tatsuya Sekiguchi plied his trade at some of New York’s best omakase restaurants before decamping to Dallas and bringing that same level of meticulous detail to his new 10-seat sushi counter. The Edomae-style omakase menu runs about 17 or 18 courses most nights, featuring fish that’s been lovingly cured and preserved according to tradition, but the chef still manages to surprise diners with the occasional well-placed pop of spice or citrus. Tatsu builds on the tenured success of Tei-An and the more recent Shoyo, not to mention the many great sushi joints in the Dallas suburbs, further showing that Dallas deserves its growing reputation as a sushi city.

3309 Elm St., Ste 120 (map

mashed potatoes in gravy with meat and vegetables piled on top
Roots offers southern meals inspired by Derry’s family
Mia Valdez

Roots Southern Table

Tiffany Derry has reached full celebrity chef status, and you’re likely to see the James Beard Award finalist on TV anytime you scroll through the usual networks. None of that’s changed her mission at Roots. The restaurant is inspired by the family meals that Derry grew up eating in the south, and the menu features her famous duck fat-fried chicken, cast-iron cornbread, braised oxtails, duck and foie gras boudin, seasonal vegetables and other things you want to eat. Bring a few friends, and order as much as you can fit on your table.

 13050 Bee St., Farmers Branch (map)

Tray from Cattleack BBQ
Tray from Cattleack BBQ
Cattleack BBQ

Cattleack BBQ

Currently ranked number six on Texas Monthly’s 50 Best BBQ Joints list, Cattleack has become a marquee stop on the state’s increasingly long barbecue trail. Open since 2010 in an assuming North Dallas strip, Cattleack is only open Thursdays, Fridays and the first Saturday of every month for lunch — a comically short duration for a spot that draws in local devotees and road trippers to sample its excellent smoked meats and sides. Get the brisket and a massive beef rib first, then you can start filling the extra space on your tray with sausages, whole hog pulled pork, burnt end beans and Hatch chili mac and cheese.

13628 Gamma Rd. (map


Whether you want tacos, seafood, mole or a great margarita, José hits all the marks. The pretty space includes a welcoming bar, hand-painted tiles and eye-catching fixtures, but it’s the food that keeps diners coming back. Chef Anastacia Quiñones-Pittman applies her classical training to the Guadalajara-inspired restaurant, making fresh masa for tacos, sopes and flautas, cooking up excellent chicken mole and carnitas and showing off her seafood prowess with crudos, ceviches, seared redfish and salmon al pastor. When it’s time for a drink, you can spend hours working through the well-curated list of mezcals, tequilas and other agave distillates.

4931 W. Lovers Lane (map

Meat from Ari Korean BBQ
Ari Korean BBQ
Kathy Tran

Ari Korean BBQ

With two Koreatowns — one in the Asian Trade District and one in Carrollton — there’s an abundance of great Korean restaurants to choose from. It’s worth exploring both neighborhoods and checking a bunch of them off your list — but if it’s grilled meats you’re after, it’s hard to beat Ari. The comfortable restaurant serves reliably high-quality beef and pork, which you can grill on the grates in front of you, as well as soups, banchan, soju and beer. Bring a group, fill your table with a variety of proteins and extras, and keep the grill going for hours. 
2625 Old Denton Rd., Apt 800, Carrollton (map)


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