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Apr 2, 2007 03:01 PM

What are the must try places in Dallas for people visiting Texas for the first time?

My family and I will be visiting Dallas, Texas for the first time next week. Would appreciate all your suggestions for restaurants that we have to try. Things we need to consider are: we will be with 3 children ages 6 - 12 years old, and we would prefer the really, really good hole-in-the-wall joints.

Thanks in advance!


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  1. Is there a specific area, or type of food you are looking for?

    1 Reply
    1. re: MarcusB

      Any type of food. As to the area, I would say more on the Northern part of Dallas.

    2. I'd put BBQ and Tex-Mex high on your list. They're both foods that you can't really get in LA, and they're kid-friendly, too. For Tex-Mex, I'd recommend Matt's Rancho Martinez; with the weather as pleasant as (I'm told) it is, their outdoor patio should be especially pleasant. Another very good bet is Mia's. If those are too far afield, Luna de Noche is pretty good in a pinch.

      Unfortunately, there's no stellar Texas BBQ in Dallas. But you can get very good ribs, and pretty decent brisket, at Baker's Ribs. There's one on Greenville right near the Central Market, which, though not a restaurant, is a worthwhile food destination.

      Brother's Chicken or Bubba's would be good bets for some fried chicken - the chicken livers at Brother's are tremendous (you squeeze the jalapeno on the liver, and wrap it in a little greasy white bread...). Or if you have the time and inclination you could try to find your way out to Babe's for fried chicken, chicken fried steak, and fried catfish.

      Lunch at Vern's is worth the trip, especially if you like banana pudding.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ratatosk

        Thank you ratatosk! I am going to print this out, and mark all these place in my map!

        1. re: kajtf

          Also, for great Chicken Fried Steak (what else screams Texas more than Chicken Fried Steak), try Babe's Chicken Dinner House. The Carrollton location is fairly convenient to north Dallas visitors and is all about the Texas kitsch.

      2. i recommend some crawfish because that is tough to find elsewhere in the country. i always get it from big easy up in plano but the dallas observer recommends aw-shucks on greenvile. maybe somebody else has more up to date recommendations.

        7 Replies
        1. re: luniz

          You know, I once dined with a Bay Area Californian who marvelled at the crawfish etouffe at Pappadeuax. Go figure!


          1. re: TexasToast

            Well I had the three crawfish dinner there and it was good but not great. The etouffee was probably the best part. But if that's the only crawfish you will have all year, it's worth eating at a chain for imo. Especially in season. It's not like Pappadeux is a bad restaurant. Just a little expensive imo. But a lot of people are opposed to any sort of chain, even a "local" one.

          2. re: luniz

            Well you have to really like eating crawfish in the rustic style, but as much as I dislike the eating area, Nate's in Addison has the best crawfish in town. Ask for turbo when you order it.


            1. re: Scagnetti

              This place really looks interesting! What is it that you don't like with their eating area?

              1. re: kajtf

                I should have been more specific. We like to sit in the bar area and eat ourselves sick with boiled crawfish. The bar area can be loud, smokey, and crowded. The few times I've been in the dining area was fine.

              2. re: Scagnetti

                Nates has great seafood and very yummy bread. But sorry folks this time of year the best place to eat bugs is Pappadeux. They have crawfish for $2.95 a pound on Monday and Tuesday's throughout April. There is no place in Dallas that has that great a price for really good quality crawfish.

                1. re: irodguy

                  Nate's does good gumbo as well (as good as it gets in the DFW area).


            2. I've lived in Dallas for 20+ years and have a 6.5 year old, so I feel qualified to answer this:

              SNUFFER'S. Great hamburgers, salads and they are known for their Cheese Fries. A good lunch place with several locations.

              I agree that Dallas is one of the best cities in the world for Tex-Mex. Problem is, I live in Park Cities (Central Dallas) and not North Dallas, so I don't really know any hole-in-the-wall places up North.

              Good luck and have a great trip!

              1. Mia's!!! Try the brisket tacos...unreal!
                Sonny Bryan's bbq.