Dallas foodies really are spoiled for choice. This is a city that thrives on celebrity chefs, gastronomic innovation, global cuisines, and the simple pleasures of local ingredients. Though there are countless Dallas restaurants that deserve recognition, the 10 listed below represent the best of the best, and cover a nice cross-section of the diverse flavors to be enjoyed here. Bon appetit, y’all.
Best Restaurants in Dallas
Arrive hungry. These Dallas restaurants are guaranteed to take you on a true culinary adventure—assuming you can get a table, of course.
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Flora Street Cafe
Chef and restaurateur Stephan Pyles has long dominated the Dallas dining scene thanks to his bold Southwestern flavors. He’s struck gold again with this ode to “elevated modern Texas cuisine.” Regarded as one of the best restaurants in Dallas, Flora Street Cafe takes its cues from its culture-driven Arts District neighborhood, with theatrical design details like an open kitchen and a custom tapestry that acts as a stage curtain of sorts. The splurge-worthy tasting menus all deserve standing ovations, though dishes like lobster tamale pie can also be ordered a la carte. Reservations are essential. Note: Pyles’ other restaurant, Stampede 66 on McKinney Avenue, is also worthy of a visit if you’re amenable to Texan comfort food and stiff margaritas—and who isn’t?
Craving the catch of the day? Chef Nick Badovinus is the brains behind this nautical-chic Dallas restaurant devoted to all things fish, from raw bar options like New England-sourced oysters and Hawaiian ahi crudo to hearty platters of Gulf shrimp, mako shark tacos, and salmon. Tack on a side of mac and cheese or crispy brussels sprouts and treat the table to a bottle from the respectable wine selection, most of which hails from the Pacific Northwest.
File this long-standing, family-owned favorite under Hidden Gem. Despite its somewhat obscure location in Preston Hollow, Royal China is considered the best restaurant in Dallas for Chinese cuisine with a touch of grandeur. Tables go fast, but the plump soup dumplings, hand-pulled noodle dishes, and mix of authentic Sichuan and Chinese-American staples are well worth the wait. Family-style sharing platters ensure you can sample it all.
When in Dallas … seek out a taste of Rome. Oak Lawn may be an unlikely place to find a convincing trattoria, but Julian Barsotti’s Sprezza has won over critics with its warm, inviting atmosphere, soul-nourishing pasta and pizza dishes, and unfussy embrace of the Italian concept of “sprezzatura,” or effortlessness. You’ll appreciate the lack of pretension as you feast on generous antipasti platters, pizza cooked to crispy perfection, and other revitalized Roman classics.
Though the original Uchi resides is Austin, Dallas foodies have been quick to treat this Japanese-inspired transplant as one of its own. The seasonal menu is updated four times a year, but diners can count on modern, flavor-packed approaches to sushi, sashimi, tempura, and hot and cold dishes year-round. The six- and ten-course chef’s tasting menus are ideal for adventurous palettes seeking culinary creativity and a theatrical dining experience. And while the wine list is lengthy, sake is the real star here.
You can’t go wrong with the four-course prix fixe menu, served with or without beverage pairings, at this critically acclaimed farm-to-table restaurant. Chef Matt McCallister treats his locally sourced ingredients with the utmost respect, creating clean, modern flavors and regularly updating his menus according to what’s in season. The Design District eatery has a rustic charm, and vegetarians will be pleased to see that they haven’t been given short shrift.
Any local can easily rattle off a list of casual Tex-Mex places they stand by, but not many Dallas restaurants get upscale Mexican cuisine right. Javier’s commitment to authenticity and sophisticated south-of-the-border flavors and techniques has made it a local staple for more than 40 years. While the menu includes crowd-pleasers like nachos, margaritas, and fajitas (served with black beans rather than refried), the focus remains firmly on Mexico City classics with Mayan, Aztec, and Acapulco influences. The atmosphere is refreshingly relaxed and very social, with an in-house cigar bar and outdoor patio.
Run by local celebrity chef Dean Fearing, this Southwestern-inspired hotspot at the Ritz-Carlton regularly appears in rankings of the best restaurants in Dallas. Spanning several stylish but lively dining rooms, Fearing’s draws celebrities and just about anyone else with a weakness for comfort food that packs a punch. Sunday brunch is especially beloved, with Southern staples like grits, Texas toast, and ruby red grapefruit getting their due. Try to book a coveted seat at the Chef’s Table, or, if the weather is pleasant, a spot on the scenic outdoor patio.
If it’s brunch, it’s at Boulevardier. This Bishop Arts District bistro’s style could best be described as “Paris, Texas,” with Southern staples like grits and pecan syrup getting decadent, French-influenced pairings like oysters and duck confit. Weekend warriors just can’t get enough of the tangy Bloody Marys, and the restaurant prides itself on its fresh, farm-to-table approach. Evenings also have a date night appeal thanks to a great wine selection, craft cocktails, and a dinner menu that’s big on French classics.
There are multiple Mesero locations in DFW, and each one is known for strong top-shelf margaritas and beloved Tex-Mex standards served alongside American comfort food like burgers and chili cheese dogs. Versatility and choice are key; there are no fewer than six salsas to dip into, plus multiple margarita flavors and variations, and queso and guacamole options according to taste. The trendy, colorful decor lends itself to a hip, happening crowd in pursuit of tacos, authentic slow-roasted classics, and potent tequila cocktails.
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– Original reporting by Erin Donnellye
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