When you think of foodie travel destinations in the United States, Dallas Texas probably doesn’t typically appear on the list. Dallas doesn’t really have a foodie reputation, often seen as a lesser culinary juggernaut than its southern neighbor of Austin. You’ll typically see Dallas’s culinary scene described as “up-and-coming” without many restaurants of note.
I found that Dallas’s restaurant scene isn’t coming—it is up! I’m sure there will be more and more options as the city continues to try to attract newcomers, but during my last two visits to Dallas, there were lots of great restaurant options to choose from. I think the Dallas food scene is wholly underrated! With a little bit of effort to find the gems, there are plenty of delightful restaurants, bars and cafes to explore in Dallas, Texas.
Here are 8 foodie restaurant recommendations for Dallas, Texas!
In the land of Tex-Mex, it can be surprisingly challenging to find traditional Mexican food. Taqueria La Ventana solves that problem with their traditional Mexican street tacos which could be straight off a corner in Mexico City. At $1.95 a piece, opting for multiple flavors like lengua, barbacoa, or carnitas is a no-brainer. The meat is juicy and flavorful, but the tortilla is the real star of the show. Like any good Mexican spot, there are several sauce options which you can use to top of your tacos to your taste.
The coastal-California-meets-European-cafe design at Sixty Vines won me over immediately. I couldn’t stop snapping pictures of this stunning northside restaurant. Housed in a massive space, Sixty Vines has over 50 wines on tap and delicious food options throughout the day. I tried their brunch where the breakfast sandwich with avocado, brie, bacon and a fried egg on sourdough made for the best start to a day that I could ask for.
Located in the center of Deep Ellum’s main stretch, Independent Bar & Kitchen offers a European gastropub menu with Texas-sized portions and a few globally inspired twists. The scotch egg is one dish they are well-known for, and the curried poutine is top-notch. The deep wood paneling, 20+ European beer taps, and live music add to the comforting ambiance.
Tucked in a quiet corner of the design district, Meddlesome Moth offers diners a robust beer list with over 200 options and a diverse range of delicious New American small plates. The Moth Balls (cheesy ricotta gnocchi), and the Pig & Fig are both must-try dishes. I was really impressed with their Thai curry mussels and don’t miss their rotating bread pudding dessert option. With a killer music selection, you are sure to cozy up in one of their leather booths for hours.
Texas BBQ is an experience all visitors need to try at least once while in Dallas. Every Texan will have a different suggestion of their favorite place (so maybe try a few spots), but one suggestion we loved was Off the Bone. An under-the-radar contender, Off the Bone serves up pecan-smoked cuts like brisket or ribs that do exactly as the namesake says. Their sides are also on-point — I dream of that mac n’ cheese “con queso”.
Fine pies for fine folks is the motto of this adorable bakery. With locations in Deep Ellum and the Bishop Arts district, you must have a piece of pie at Emporium before you leave Dallas. They offer staple pies, like their Drunken Nut (bourbon pecan) or Lord of Pies (Apple Streusel), all year round as well as rotating seasonal options. All pies have the option for ala-mode, and I would recommend it — they use a local creamery to source their rich vanilla ice cream. I opted for the Merry Berry (cranberry pecan) ala-mode and it was something so, so special.
In a controversial renovation, the Dallas Farmer’s market and surrounding neighborhood recently underwent a massive multi-million facelift. It now resembles a modern, sprawling market like the Public Market in Seattle or Milwaukee with several buildings including a food hall, a covered Shed, and an outdoor community space. Despite complaints I had read online about the renovation, I really enjoyed my visit to DFM. We went on Saturday to find the Shed full of local food, meat and cheese vendors, and I ate some DELICIOUS food inside the year-round market space. With live music and nitro cold brew options abound, it seems as though this part of town is in the throws of gentrification and it is actively redefining what the Dallas Farmer’s market is.
Another popular BBQ joint, Katy Trail Ice House makes their BBQ fresh each day and sells until it runs out. You have to get here pretty early to sample their sliced brisket! Both of their locations have massive beer gardens where you can see the smoking process in action. Definitely get an order (or 2 or 3 orders) of the brisket nachos — they are delightfully good.