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Best Dallas restaurants

Just because I like to stir things up, what are your top 5 Dallas area restaurants and why? I know, I know, there are probably quite a few posts like this, but I thought I'd start a new one. By the way, there are no other criteria to this game other than Dallas area (including burbs) restuarants only (no Fort Worth please) and list why you're putting it on your list. Any price, any cuisine. I visit Dallas often and plan to use this list to expand my vacation restaurants.

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  1. 1. Nonna is my current favorite. Of course, you can barely get a table right now because it only seats 40 and it just got a great review. Since we returned from Rome last fall it's the closest I've had to the food in Italy.

    2. Bijoux. It is incredible. Another small venue. I really just can't say enough about how wonderful the food and experience are here. The dining room looks a little stuffy, but everyone is so nice. I want to try their full tasting menu with wine pairings. I'm saving up for that one.

    3. Abacus. Across the street from Sushi on McKinney, we often go there for dessert after sushi. The dessert and wine costs more than our dinner. But, it's a treat for us. Their dinner menu is fabulous, too. And I just got to watch Kent Rathbun, their chef, on Iron Chef last night.

    4. On the cheaper side, Campania Pizza. You can bring your own wine and the pizza is far superior to 90% of what you can get in Dallas. Nice salads, too.

    5. The Porch. Best grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup I've ever had for $13. I guess you could call it comfort food. It's open at 11:00 in the morning until pretty late every day. So, that's really convenient.

    Those are my top five for today. You can find the locations, websites and phone numbers for all of the above on Guidelive.com. Have fun eating! Be sure to come to town during Restaurant Week when you should be able to try many of the above for a $35.00 three course meal. It falls in mid August and is a great way to try some of the pricier restaurants in town.

    12 Replies
    1. re: margiehubbard

      Thanks! The Porch sounds like a great place for lunch! I may have to try that out when I come in April.

      1. re: debbie421

        I went to the Porch and had the grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup and thought it was terrible. The sandwich tasted of rancid grease. The soup was okay but I think the tomato soup at the Wolfgang Puck cafe at the Nasher Sculpture Center is MUCH tastier.

        1. re: debbie421

          Do not go to Abacus.. It has recently gone down hill and it's extremely overpriced. It used to be on my favorite list as well but it is no longer.

          1. re: neiladammcginnis

            I never much like Abacus, even though it's just a few blocks from me. The menu seemed schizophrenic. No real cohesion. Plus, I didn't think that food was that good.

            1. re: Mike C. Miller

              I could deal with the schizophrenia but when my steak is tough and the risotto is crunchy, and this is my return visit after expressing to them my unhappiness and this was the dinner with which they were supposed to make it right. At that point i realized they can't help their bad food so they try to make up for it with good customer service. The cocktails also are like 15 dollars and i can get better drinks for 10 dollars at nickel & rye, anyday.

              1. re: Mike C. Miller

                My food there has been good, but nothing really special ... the prices made it memorable. I remember the bartender being really nice to us.

                1. re: foiegras

                  I have never met the bartender because I always had a baby with me so never been to the bar area (yea i know not the greatest place for a kid) lol
                  Abacus and Kenichi first got me interested in gourmet food but since then my tastes have out-grown these places I suppose. Sometimes it's hard to know when the restaurant changed or when it was just me evolving my palette.

          2. re: margiehubbard

            Thanks Margie. I'll try Nonna this week !

            1. re: margiehubbard

              Thank you debbie421 for your top five suggestions. We will be in Dallas the first week of June and will definitely check out these restuarants.

              1. re: dobbsk1

                dobbsk1 - This thread is from 2008. Many of the places listed on this thread are no longer in business or may not be a top destination any more.

                1. re: Webra1

                  Thank you for writing my exact thoughts.

                  1. re: twinwillow

                    lol. i just realized this was an old thread. i thought it was new.

              1. re: debbie421

                Here's some cheap places in Plano I frequent:

                Big Easy (75 & Park): Consistent, good seafood (including crawfish)
                Jasmine Thai (Spring Creek & Custer): Consistently good to great food, inconsistent (almost annoyingly so) service
                Little Sichuan (75 & Legacy): Menu recently changed. Easier to order in Chinese. Simple dishes but occasionally come out amazing.
                Iravat India Bistro (75 & Legacy): Haven't been here for a while, very good lamb dishes, service was getting better..
                Sheik's (Old downtown, 15th): Inconsistent salt usage, otherwise food has been very good on my 3 visits. Diner atmosphere.

              2. First of all my list is more appealing to the general pouplation (i.e. everyone can get into the place w/o reservations, they are affordable, they are usually not ranked outside of Texas, if Dallas)

                Chinese - First Chinese BBQ - Carrollton location (NEC Josey @ Beltline - Next to Pho Pastuer)
                see thread for reasons http://www.chowhound.com/topics/495290. Putting on the list because there are so many dishes to try, native eat there, food is excellent (compared to restaurant in the same price range) and the prices are so cheap.

                Mexican - Taquerias El Fuego - Richardson (SWC of Plano Rd @ Campbell Rd). Just take a browse through other threads an it will show up. Again affordable, freshly prepared food, handmade tortillas, salsa is actually hot and has fresh ingredients, resonable prices, actually have some taboo dishes (huitlacoche - corn fungus) and native show up there!

                Vietnamese - La-Me - Dallas (NEC of Audelia @ Walnut) - Place is next door to a wonderful fish shop, across the parking lot from Bistro B, Sing Kee BBQ (where I tried great chinese for the first time and before I found FC BBQ) and Hong Kong Supermarket is the anchor tenant, with that much diversity in one shopping center it is hard to avoid. Two dishes that will change you life Bun Cha Ha Noi and Bahn Mi. This place hands down has the best of both. Bun Cha excellent flavor profile (unlike anywhere else) small BBQ pork patty floated in a sweet and salty broth and combined with a huge salad plate and bun (rice vermicelli - rice spaghetti basically). Bahn mi perfect crusty bread filled with any of your choice of meat fillings topped with fresh carrot, cucumber, sometimes cabbage, jalapeno, cilantro and sweet vinegar sauce.

                Thai/Viet - Zoom (NEC of Fankford & Tollway) - I have liked this place since it first opened and the owner and I have become good friends. Food is awesome everytime I go (cept for the valentines set menu), relatively cheap, better than Asian Mint, more diverse menu, and they can actually give you a hot (spicy) dish when you ask for it.

                Actually have a tie for German/Austrian - Jorg's Cafe Vienna - Downtown Plano, Kuby's - Snider Plaza - Dallas and Metzler's in Denton. Jorg's for the best schnitzels, price is kinda high, live entertainment, small cozy atmosphere, great beer. Kuby's for the consistent flavor on the brauts, age of the location and recipes, and the great grocery store. Metzler's on Londonderry Ln in Denton has the best pick-your-own beer selection probably in the Metroplex, best brats from Muenster delviered fresh every other day, fresh strudels from Bayern's in Muenster (you won't like any others if you try this one), all around relaxed atmosphere, great wine selection for a small shop in Denton County, and cheap prices.

                All of these are significantly different than the usual Pyles, York St, Lola, etc. etc. If I expect to pay alot I would expect to eat very well. If I expect to get a cheap eat and it is great...the person in the kitchen is passionate about serving great food and making sure the general population can try it also. That is a big difference.

                9 Replies
                1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                  do they always have huitlecoche? I've been wanting to try out Lanny's in Ft Worth, and it looks like he makes use of it often. It would be interesting to compare the difference between the fine dining and taqueria application. Do you know of anywhere else serving it?

                  1. re: kindofabigdeal

                    Kindof,

                    It is always on the menu. If I find a place in south Dallas or along Maple I will let you know.

                    http://taqueriaselfuego.com/ for $1.95 gonna be hard to beat! $3.00+ a gallon and who knows how much it will be at Lanny's.

                    1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                      I was reading that as huitlecoche for 3.00 a gallon, and I couldn't figure out why anyone would buy a gallon, let alone why they would sell it that way. Long day. I'm glad to see the flor de calabaza on the menu too. I should have moved to Richardson. Have you been to Mr. Borrego on Maple? They have a diverse menu so you never know, but I've only gotten the goat.

                      1. re: kindofabigdeal

                        Nope.....I will try it when it gets a bit nicer outside! They didn't have the sqaush flower last time so it is probably seasonal. Also before you go take the owner some of the Korean mini sardines (someone chime in with the Korean name please!!!!) tossed with chili. I had asked her if she knew of a place for chapulines (crickets tossed with chilis) or escamoles (ant larvae-she hated these). She said in a long conversation that she liked mini sardines that she had in Mexico. I told her I would exchange mini sardines for chapulines (or a name of a source). You will really like the owner she is very friendly of El Fuego. Richardson/Plano area seems to be the best place if you are a true Dallas foodie.

                        1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                          I braved the weather to head up to taqueria el feugo today. It was worth it. I got two quesadillas. huitlecoche and pumpkin flower. It was my first experience with huilecoche. I was surprised how mild it was. The flavor reminded me most of dried oregano. The pumpkin flower was a generous portion and both were in very good corn tortillas. It's interesting that you mention the korean sardines, because the hot sauce reminded me of a spicy kimchee brine. I think the best part of the trip was the conversation I had with one of the workers there. I guess he's not the owner, because you say it was a female, but he was someone important. He obviously takes quite a bit of pride in the restaurant. I look forward to going back and trying some more stuff.

                          1. re: kindofabigdeal

                            It was one of her sons. I think she has two or three that work the restaurant when they don't have to go off to jobs of their own. I know one was a personal trainer (he had his gym shirt on). Quite a haul up there but I think it is a pretty awesome place. I told you they are friendly there!! Perhaps a CH meeting there on a Saturday??

                            1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                              problem with a meet there is they probably can't make us all the corn tortillas we'd want :)

                              1. re: luniz

                                I bet if we warned them about 2 weeks in advance they could have some extra masa on hand...heck I would go grind if I needed to just to get some fresh corn tortillas!

                            2. re: kindofabigdeal

                              If it was a young good-looking guy :-), he's the owner's son. Yes, we'd like to get together there on a Sat, but I don't think kindofabigdeal can make it on Sat, or can he?

                              I think they can make enough tortillas for us. The restaurant is packed on the weekends for breakfast/lunch and has no problem supplying tortillas. We won't be more than 10 and won't fill the restaurant.

                  2. We don't go to fancy places in Dallas that much -- we generally save that for when we travel -- so these are affordable places we eat at frequently. Not listed in any particular order. All are close to downtown.

                    1. Cafe San Miguel. Great Mexican food (not Tex-Mex). Wonderful home-made corn tortillas and guac. Excellent margaritas. And I love the crabmeat enchiladas.

                    2. Kavalla. Tasty and well-executed Mediterranean food. Everything I've had there has been wonderful.

                    3. Jimmy's. Not a restaurant, an Italian food store with some tables where you can eat their sandwiches, which are the best in town. (Other than the pastrami at Katz's in NYC, this place makes the most transcendent sandwiches.) They make their own sausages and meatballs, so those sandwiches are fantastic, but the Cuban and Italian Stallion and tuna panino are wonderful, too.

                    4. Twisted Root. My favorite burger place (although I'm also partial to Lee Harvey's). The buffalo burger is fantastic. Fries and o-rings are top of the heap. Also, they make their own ice cream, so the shakes and floats are primo.

                    5. Local. This is the priciest of my list, but it's not as expensive as other top restaurants. The food here is as good as at just about any of the best restaurants in town, and we really like the casual urban ambience. Also, if you don't have a reservation, you can walk in and eat at the bar.

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: Dallas Alice

                      Dallas Alice,

                      Off topic but how does Kavalla stack up against Afrah in Richardson? I know Afrah beats everyone in Dallas on baklava.

                      1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                        I can't say - I haven't been to Afrah (yet).

                      2. re: Dallas Alice

                        This is such a difficult question. Often, the natural tendency is to gravitate towards the higher end restauarant in answering these types of questions. Since I am permanenly leaving Dallas for Houston in a few months, I have been thinking about the spots that I am going to miss most when I have moved. I think that you, Alice, have hit on some excellent places that wouldn't necessarily be on the top of everyone's list when they think of the best restaurants in Dallas.

                        While Jimmy's is not a restaurant, I will sorely miss it once I move. I have always been partial to Local (even though many can probably justifiably argue that their prices are a little steep). If I ever owned a restaurant, I would love to have a spot like Local. I was just there this past weekend and was disappointed that the restaurant was more than half empty. I do enjoy Cafe San Miguel but I think it would fall outside of my top 5 (maybe it would make my top 10). Other restaurants that I would include:

                        - Hattie's -- never had a bad meal there in the many times I have been

                        - Nana - great food done with an innovative flair. I think that if chef Bombaci wasn't in a "hotel restaurant", more people would appreciate just how good his food can be.

                        Olivella -- I am a pizza fiend and these are some of the best pies I have had in Texas.

                        1. re: Bhutani

                          All I can say is Danhole and Brucesw will now be your CH friends. Both are very knowledgeable on the Houston scene. I know b/c I have posted quite a bit (borther lives there). You will be missed....perhaps we can work out a trade.....Phoenicia spices and shwarma for Jimmy's sandwiches, meatballs, and Italian sausage. I will even thorw in some Mozza Co. smoked scamorza!

                          1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                            That definately sounds like a tempting offer! I live very close to Mozza Co and I guess I take for granted having an artisanal cheese maker in my hood. Thanks for the tips on whose posts to look out for.

                            1. re: Bhutani

                              So this question is like, "if Dallas only had 5 restaurants, which ones could you live with?"

                              That's tough -- just pairing down to 5. I'll give it a shot...

                              I've never been a fan of "the higher the price tag, the better the meal." So while I appreciate the fine-dining experience from time-to-time, there's nothing better than digging into a plate from one of the kitchens and counters that have been part of the Dallas landscape longer than the freshly painted facade of the next celebrity chef's flash in the pan.

                              1. Aw Shucks - Lower Greenville. Why? Consistently great and cheap seafood served up many different ways -- all with a regional flair. Atmosphere is funky, kinda dining indoors but yet outdoors, great people-watching spot. Mexican-style shrimp cocktails are signature, as well as the oysters on the half-shell are consistently fine. Crawfish in season, is done very well. Boiled crabs, fried catfish and more along with a ice-cold, serve yourself beer and an honor system. It's like going to a party and it won't empty your wallet.

                              2. El Taquito Cafe - Samuel @ Grand. Why? The absolute hottest and best salsa in Dallas, combined with cheesy-greasy good ol' Tex Mex that will cure anything from a hangover to a broken heart. Plus the price tag and service make it one of my favoritas.

                              3. Jimmy's - Bryan @ Fitzhugh. Why? Great sandwiches and deli. It's like driving to Chicago without having to drive through Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, and the lower two-thirds of Illinois.

                              4. Louie's - Henderson near Ross. Why? The powerful combination of the best pizza, calzones, and greek salads on the planet and the coolest old bars. It's a local thing, you probably wouldn't understand.

                              5. The All Good Cafe - Main St., Deep Ellum. Why? Inventive home-cooking, some of the best breakfasts and lunches you could imagine, and one of the best local live music venues at night. It's like driving to Austin without having to drive through Waco. This place is truly, "all good!"

                              1. re: DiRotiman

                                I adore Louie's. Excellent food, excellent pizza, excellent drinks. The service can be hit or miss if you aren't a regular, but you don't go to Louie's for the service.

                              2. re: Bhutani

                                Houston Dairy Maids will be your local cheese source as is La Vaquita - fresh queso fresco and is an awesome brand. I put together a list of pretty much all the cheese makers in Texas on this thread....and a bunch of people chime in with the same answer for fresh cheese source - Houston Dairy Maids and sometimes Spec's. I believe the one on Westheimer out close to Phoenicia and in Downtown. The dairy maids will be at the only two Farmers Markets. Don't expect the scale and organization of the Dallas Farmers Market. It is basically folks selling produce, fruits and cheese out of the back of their cars or some small booths. St. Arnold will be the local brewery and is an awesome tour to take on a Saturday. I believe St. Arnold's has some program if you save your empty case you get something free when you bring it to the tour, free beer at the end of the tour! Let me know what part of town you will be in and I will round up some recs from my bro and his friends. He works at British Petroleum, so it is a multi national group there! B4-u-eat will be your Guidelive without pictures and the also without the extraneous info that is worthless to a foodie

                                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/92762
                                http://www.b4-u-eat.com/

                            2. re: Bhutani

                              I second Hattie's, that place is always terrific,

                          2. Well, I have a high end restaurant bias I suppose, and I view excellent wine as an essential accompanyment to any decent meal, but here are my current favorite five.

                            1. Lola. Very good food, but it's pushed over the top by the amazingly deep and well priced wine list. As good a list as any restaurant between New York and Los Angeles.

                            2. Bijoux. Food is extraordinarily well done and very French influenced in technique while still remaining American in ingredients. Service is good and unobtrusive and the wine list is improving.

                            3. York Street. The closest you can get in Dallas to pure seasonal regional ingredient driven cuisine. Sharron Hage is the chef in Dallas who is most philosophically in tune with local seasonal ingredient revolution of Alice Waters, and that's a good thing, especially in the summer. Wine list is well selected, but rather limited. Service is less polished than one would expect given the quality of the food.

                            4. Charlie Palmer. Rather embarrassing to have a chain outpost on the list, but my meal at Charlie Palmer was that good. They were really hitting on all cylinders with the food and the wine list is fairly deep and well priced. Service was flawless.

                            5. Fearing's. Dean is back. And he's been unshackled somewhat, too. A few old favorite dot the menu, but the food is much more creative that he was allowed to be back at the Mansion. I've not had a bad meal here in five or six visits. Service is good, and the wine list, while somewhat pricey, is well selected and moderately deep. Down sides include a chaotic mess at the valet stand, and having to wend your way through the bar to get to the restaurant. Whoever thought of that ought to be shot.

                            1. Of course I thought about this post and wanted to just list the major players...York St, Local, Lola, Bijoux but I am not made of money. Ha! So, here are the places I will truly miss if I moved out of Dallas...

                              1) Cafe Madrid - This Spanish Tapas place is one of my favs since moving to Dallas in the 90's and one place that has been consistent and heck - still around after all these years! (definitely not a fad restaurant). You can take anyone here and they will have a good time. Priced right. Some place we can go anytime.
                              2) Rafa's - for my Tex-Mex fix. In fact, we tend to go there right from the airport when we come home from a trip. It's not cheap and it's not upscale either. It's a good neighborhood restaurant. Sit in the bar and chill. (The restaurant part has way too many rude adults and unruly children)
                              3) Arcodoro/Pomodoro - Best Italian in Dallas. Has some items on menu you won't just see anywhere. Wait a minute...this place has been around a long time too. hmmm.
                              4) Bijoux - OK, I just had to add my absolute favorite for a 'big' night out.
                              5) Olivellas - words can not describe how good this pizza is. Best in Dallas/Texas. The pasta is amazing too - homemade and just like grandmas. (Speaking of....After reading all the posts on Nonna, I am thinking that will become my favorite too..but that is just a side note!).

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: pizzaQTpie

                                PizzaQT,

                                Off topic- Rafas is in UP/HP...what do you expect! Try working/walking/driving in Preston Center...very risky business. Besides what is good there that you get consistently?

                                Cafe Madrid....I would put on my list also but I stick by my five....I just remember the old days when Cafe Madrid was packed for their international nights. So it has slipped a bit :(

                                1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                                  Oh yes, those international nights where the best. They should bring those back!

                                  As for Rafas - never had a bad meal - no matter what we get. I also love the service and seeing Rafa himself. Very personable - i guess that makes the experience even better. If you go, get the Margaritas del Sol with Patron (i think that is what they are called). They are shaken on the rocks - smooth! Have a few - makes for lots of laughs at the UP/HP crowd's expense. : )

                                  1. re: pizzaQTpie

                                    I'm really,really curious what it is you get at Rafa's. I have the unfortunate please of having to go there at least once a month for the past 10 years. I've not found anything eatible except maybe puffed tacos. All of us HP types aren't that bad. If you want a differnt scene, go to Primos.

                                    1. re: J.R.

                                      I really think I have a lot of different things there. I don't get the same thing every time. Enchiladas, tacos, baked fish, shrimp, fajitas, salads, even quesadillas, soup, whatever. Why don't you like it? It's just funny how everyone likes their 'own' restaurant when it comes to Tex-Mex. : )

                                      BTW: primos sucks. I know the HP/UP crowd is not all bad. I used to live there. : )

                                      1. re: pizzaQTpie

                                        Ok, I can't stand the chips. Thin and greasy. Salsa's good, howevers. I've tried the whole dang menu, I think. Quail is passable. The fajitas are cooked on a gas and tast like it. Fajitas salad have huge glops of guac and sour cream. I just can't get passed those dang chips... You ever had the spinach enchiladas or suizas at Primos? Not bad.

                                        1. re: J.R.

                                          Yikes man, you really need to stop going there! Went there this weekend with a group whose never been and everyone loved it and plates were licked clean! So i don't know what's up? I had the shrimp fajitas this time- they were so fresh and they always have a great seasoning on them (and it's not gas). I think we went through two bowls of those chips too! Oh well, to each his own.

                                          1. re: J.R.

                                            I can't remember exactly what it is called on the menu but it is chicken on a skewer served with rice. The chicken and veggies have amazing flavor. Granted its not TexMex but you should try it. Its light and healthy but very flavorful. I drive from Keller to eat it!

                                2. What an incredible list! I have some serious internet research to do. I need to map out a restaurant plan and 3 or 4 of these will definitely make the list. Does anyone count Doughmonkey as a favorite? I was going to try to stop by there as well for a baked goods fix.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: debbie421

                                    If I were to make a list i would include it. I don't consider myself knowledgable enough to give an educated list. Plus, it's re-opening was so recent, we need to see if the quality holds up.

                                    1. re: debbie421

                                      I went this past weekend to Doughmonkey. And although I love baked goods if you don't like baked goods with chocolate on them you are out of luck :(. The chocolate eclairs there are awesome, the black chai cheesecake with poppy seed cookie was also good, but the rest was I would say average. The peanut brittle to me needs a bit more kick from the chipotle or cayenne to make me happy. I am not to big on cookies either so I always skip those. I am not sure if they just have a small customer base or where all their pastries go, but for a space that size in Snider Plaza the items in the cases should be plentiful IMHO. Perhaps they just sell to other outlets. The quality of ingredients is good and has not gone down any from what I have tasted.

                                      1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                                        They do much more wholesale business. They don't divulge many of those, but that is where most of the business is focused. You make a good point about the chocolate, as the owner is quite the chocoholic. I haven't been awed by everything, contrary to how my posts have sounded. I thought the chai was fabulous, because it had such a real chai flavor. The chocolate ganache on top kind of puzzled me though, totally unnecessary. I haven't had the eclair, but it must be fabulous because it has an entire chocolate bar melted on it. They really excell in things that have textural variation and benefit by being less sweet. This week, if you go by, I'd recommend trying the caramel marshmallows. Very unique flavor and texture.

                                    2. I don't have time for a proper list, but here are a couple:

                                      1. Tei Tei - It is near the top in terms of sushi quality and diversity of menu (the grilled items are simple and spectacular) and the ambience/decor/staff combine for a fantastic meal.

                                      2. El Ranchito - My favorite Mexican in town. It's loud, raucous and delicious. I went a couple Saturdays ago and had the goat - tender and delicious.

                                      3. The Grape - To me, it defines neighborhood bistro. Brian Luscher gets and A++ in my book for completely revitalizing the place. It rocks.

                                      4. Asian Mint - Little Thai Fusion cafe that is quite tasty.

                                      5. Hattie's - Great value to price ratio.

                                      6. Central Market - I LOVE their sandwiches. I had the Meatloaf Sandwich yesterday. D-Lish!

                                      7. Vickery Park - Lots of tatoos, lots of lovely ladies, great musical playlist and some pretty good bar food. The late night soft tacos are really good as is the Chicken Sandwich.

                                      8. Yutaka - I think it is the finest sushi in town. Tiny, cramped and super expensive but if you're looking for sublime super toro, it's the place.

                                      9. Aw Shucks - Don't ask me why, but I love this place. It's a shytehole of a seafood shack, but there's something about it.

                                      1. Here is my list. Broken down into two parts. The first five are expensive. The next 5 are more casual.

                                        Pricier:

                                        1. The French Room. I feel this is by far the best restaurant in Dallas. Just an amazing meal with really excellent wine pairings.

                                        2. Suze. Great food...the chef keeps things simple but is very talented. The fish of the day is always wonderful and the venison is one of my favorite dishes in dallas.

                                        3. Mercury Grill. Another under-stated yet wonderful restaurant. I always leave thinking how good everything was. I am partial to their carbonara and crab taco.

                                        4. Nonna. By far the best pure italian food in dallas. Every wine we have ever had there is really good too.

                                        5. Fearings. Been twice...liked it the first time and loved it the second time. The bbq shrimp taco followed by the buffalo is pretty solid. Abacus with lobster shooters and buffalo is equally is good.

                                        Casual:

                                        1. Cafe San Miguel. My favorite mexican food in dallas. Great margaritas...great tacos (the snapper and al pastor)...great guacamole...great chips/salsa. Everything is just good to very good. I ate at pepe and mitos last night and it is also excellent mexican food.

                                        2. Flying fish. Amazing gumbo. Love the po-boys. Great okra. High Quality oysters. I dont love the grilled fish, but everything else is just really good cheap seafood.

                                        3. Twisted root. Best burger in dallas. I personally get the buffalo burger with grilled onions and jalapenos.

                                        4. Campagnia/Olivellas. Really like the pizzas at both places but havent been to Grimaldis yet. Olivellas sometimes burns the crust, but I still enjoy it better than most other things I have had in dallas. Roccos is good for delivery.

                                        5. Taco diner. Just a comforting place for me. Really love their nachos, tacos, and the "cobb" salad.

                                        1. MEDDLESOME MOTH
                                          Crisp Sweetbreads- 5/5 (Best fried sweetbreads in DFW)
                                          Crispy Duck Wings- 5/5 (Not much meat but tasty)
                                          TX Vintage Steak Tartare- 5/5 (Best beef tartare in DFW)
                                          Chicken Skin Chips- 5/5 (Get the sauce on side!)
                                          Bacon Lollipops- 4/5 (Greasy but good)
                                          Deviled Eggs- 2/5 (Very boring and eggs too firm)
                                          Seared Ahi Tuna- 1/5 (Overcooked tuna on a stick)
                                          Curried Pumpkin Soup- 1/5 (Tastes like sauce, not soup)
                                          Oysters on Half shell- 3/5 (Shucked very poorly)
                                          Winter Crisp Cocktail- 5/5 (Very floral and refreshing)
                                          __________________________________________
                                          NICKEL & RYE
                                          -quail wings (sauce on side) 5/5
                                          -cucumber cocktail 5/5
                                          -farmer's mark cocktail 5/5
                                          -lobster quesadilla 4/5
                                          -serrano fig panini 4.5/5
                                          -naan bread pizza 4/5
                                          -house made kettle chips with truffle oil 4.5/5
                                          -fried pork ribs 4.5/5
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                                          -Alcachofas; Crispy artichokes with meyer lemon and a saffron aoli. 5/5
                                          -Fideua; Razor clams with burnt leek aoli. 4/5
                                          -Cordero; Lamb belly with pomegranate molasses. 5/5
                                          -Erizos; Sea urchin on rustic bread with lardo 4/5
                                          -Aceitunas; Spiced olives in oil 3/5 (Best olives I've had but still just olives)
                                          -Pulpo A La Plancha; Octopus 4/5 (I did not think potatoes fit in the dish)
                                          -Leche y Miel; 4/5 (subtle flavors i wish were stronger)
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                                          SI LOM
                                          Pad See Ew; Awesome. Shrimp in rice paper; fried to perfection. Green curry; amazing flavor. Tom Kha; Very good coconut soup. Fried Corn patties; extremely good snack. Fish patties; very good but not as good as corn. Steamed wontons or dumplings were certainly good although I prefer more pronounced flavors in my food whereas this was subtle in this dish. Cucumber Martini is easily worthy of a master mixologist. Fried rice is very well seasoned but I must say that I have had better fried rice at a hibachi place since they used sushi rice instead of regular rice which is what they used here thus I will not get that again because the mouth feel is not superior. Stop wondering if you should go here and just go.. you will not regret it!

                                          1. Hey Debbie heres my List of my five favorite restaurants in the Dallas area. I havent been able to try a lot of different places but from where I have been these are my favs

                                            1.Tei Tei Robata bar - Great Japanese place! The Uni and Salmon Roe bowl is amazing as well as anything off the robata bar
                                            2. Chinese First BBQ - I have only been to the Carrelton Location and usually order the BBQ Duck with some Chinese Broccoli
                                            3. Raquel Garcia's Seafood Shack - Really great seafood for amazing prices. They have daily specials throughout the week
                                            4. Kubys - Tremendous German restaurant
                                            5. Cavalli's Pizza - There are multiple locations and they make really great pizzas!

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: Dumploid

                                              i wrote a few of those down to try.. seafood shack sounds good but i wish it was closer to me (south). I know first chinese is really good. Man you've got to try Si Lom on oak lawn it should be on everyone's list.

                                              1. re: neiladammcginnis

                                                Nice I hope you like the ones you try! Ill give Si Lom a shot when Im in the area but its a bit far from me haha.

                                                1. re: Dumploid

                                                  well just think of me driving all the way from Hillsboro just to get good food and then hopefully you will more appreciate how close you really are. lol
                                                  thanks
                                                  p.s.- try their happy hour mon-fri 3-7PM. appetizers and cocktails are discounted. I usually get out of there for half price of what i normally pay.