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Top Ten in Dallas?

Greetings Chowhounds - I would like your opinions please. What do you consider the top ten restaurants in Dallas? I am about to embark on a cuisine oddysey and would like to visit the best restaurants in Dallas. List your favorites - 10, 5, 12 it doesn't really matter - just want to know which ones you consider the best of the best.

Thanks and happy dining!

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  1. Do you have any restrictions to this? My top ten isn't going to feature anything in Uptown so it will be quite different. So I want to get your guidelines for this before we all start chiming in.

    1 Reply
    1. re: LewisvilleHounder

      No restrictions at all - as a matter of fact the more unknown the better in my opinion...I love funky, hole-in-the wall places!! And there is no food I won't at try, so anything goes!! I used to take a vacation a month - albeit often just a long weekend - but in this economy I have been forced to scale it down. I have decided this is my new 'vacation' - 4 restaurants a month that I have never tried!

    2. And my top 10 would have a lot of hole-in-the-wall ethnic places. Are you looking for fine dining only?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Carrollton Foodie

        No not at all - love, love, love hole-in-the-wall ethnic places! Don't get me wrong, I love fine dining too -- but this is an odyssey so anything goes!!

        Thanks so much!!

      2. Rosewood Mansion, French Room, Nana, Aurora, York St, Bijuoux, Abacus, Craft, Stephen Pyles and Fearings FTW!

        5 Replies
          1. re: nakina

            Lola - fine dining (closing soon)
            Yutaka - sushi
            Wingfield's - burger
            Jasmine Thai
            Ali Baba - Mediterranean (lunch buffet)
            Kirin Court - Sunday dim sum
            Taqueria El Fuego - Mex-Mex
            Lito's - Mex-Mex
            Pho Bac - Viet
            Jimmy's - Sandwiches
            Empire Baking Co

            In FTW:

            Lanny's - fine dining
            Railhead Smokehouse - BBQ

            1. re: amokscience

              YUM! These all sound great...thank you so much for the diversity!! They are going on my list.

                1. re: amokscience

                  Ali Baba is a great lunch buffet - so satisfying!

                  Ali Baba Cafe
                  1901 Abrams Pkwy, Dallas, TX 75214

            2. Not a list fan, so many wonderful places get snubbed for the wrong reason. But I will toss out a group of places I enjoy and the reasons why (no order):

              la Calle Doce: think seafood. Paella, Shrimp Rellenos, and ceviche. The best, but in Oak Cliff. I drink with one of the waiters (owners nephew) at Step Up Lounge and he offers menu advice and when to come for the best paella.

              Craft: Huge assed menu with delightful things not normally seen in Dallas. Wonderful collection of oysters and even better host of mushrooms. A can't lose place for anyone.

              Jimmy's Food Store, Zinsky's, and Deli News: Sandwich heaven and the two latter greatness on matzo ball soups.

              Kirin Court: Dim Sum everyday, but favorite day is Saturdays. Wonderful selection and during week its CHEAP.

              Steel: All around good Asian fare including sushi. I like Nobu for the high end nights when you are out to impress (awesome menu, great scenery!)

              Kalachandji's: freaky delicious Vedic vegetarian.

              Grimaldi's and Campisi's: Pizza done the way I like it.

              Lanny's Alta Cocina: It's Fort Worth, but lets not allow that to deter us. Nice tapas menu that is heavy on lobster and foie gras. Best rabbit treatment I have ever had, and a delightful sea bass. I remember awesome gnocchi's too.

              Stephan Pyles: Damn him. Shows up on my freaking list! Gotta love his bone-in ribeye and the ever popular crab custard tamale tart that he is so famous for. His tapas are weak, and will only anger you. Do not do anything that requires management intervention, the worst.

              La Me: You will see this name tossed around quite a bit on Dallas Chow lists of any sort. Ban Mi to levels unknown. They also have the best Pho around and WiFi (important for me at solo lunches).

              Mias and Herreras: Local tex-Mex done right. Mia's brisket taco was featured on that silly Julie's blog (of the Julia/ Julie fame). And Herreras is just over all good and with thick chewy tortillas (think Jimmi's Special) Also love Escondido's for their beef enchilada's. Will also note that I drink with the owners from two of the three places at Step Up as well, but has no bearing on my rec.

              Super H Mart Food Court: Cheap, easy and tasty Korean food. Great for hangovers.

              I don't know how many that is. I have many other favorites. These are done often and very go to for me. I reserve the right to add to this list. Did I say Taco Joint? Funny, I drink with a lot of restaurant owners at Step Up. Many of them didn't get mentioned., but eh...

              4 Replies
              1. re: DallasDude

                So when does La Calle Doce have the best paella?

                  1. First Chinese BBQ in Richardson. Any Mexican restaurant on Jefferson Avenue in Oak Cliff. Preferably, Gonzalez, Lito's or La Palapa Veracruzana. And I can't leave out Hattie's on Bishop in Oak Cliff or, Nonna on Lomo Alto in Highland Park. Oh yes, Teppo on Greenville and, Sushi Sake in Richardson. I might as well add Natsumi gelato on Henderson. Those are some of MY favorites.

                    1. Don't forget Local in Deep Ellum. I love the place, and it's especially good if your eating adventure is solo, as you can eat at the bar without a reservation. Also, Cafe San Miguel for Mex-Mex. Or Vera Cruz in Oak Cliff for another regional Mex-Mex. After originally dissing Dallas Fish Market because of awful service, on recent visits the service has been fine, and the chow has always been great. If the temperature is acceptable (the place does not have a/c) have jerk chicken and/or goat curry at Elaine's on MLK, and get her seaweed drink -- I think it's called Irish Mist. Elaine's serves awesome Jamaican Chow (this is a real dive, but you must try it). For amazing soul food, South Dallas Cafe or Sweet Georgia Brown.

                      Dallas really is a great place to be if you're hungry.

                      1. (Not in any order)

                        *Stephan Pyle's
                        *York Street
                        *Taqueria El Si Hay
                        *Al Biernat's
                        *Zen Sushi

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: dfwtexex

                          Agree with Local and Babe's Roanoke, and I didn't see Rise mentioned here. Definitely on my top 10 ... top 5.

                        2. This is a big question. I am also assuming you are meaning DFW and not just Dallas proper.

                          In not particular order and for all different reasons...

                          Hibiscus (Dallas)
                          Reata (Fort Worth)
                          Hong Kong Royal (Carrollton)
                          Babe's (Roanoke)
                          Al Biernat's (Dallas)
                          Tolbert's (Grapevine)
                          Zen Sushi (Dallas)
                          La Duni (Dallas- McKinney Ave location)
                          Clarks BBQ (Tioga)
                          Twisted Root (Dallas)

                          This is hard because I had to leave off some great ones for the sake of room. Mai's for thai, and Jimmy's and All Good Cafe, and then there needs to be a mexican option on there but I couldn't decide between Mia's, Manny's, Carolina's, Matt's, or Ojedas. I like them all for different reasons.

                          1. Replying to this thread slipped my mind! I wouldn't call this an overall top 10 list, more of the places I immediately think of for certain things. Also I don't spend much time inside 635, but there are a lot of real good places mentioned in this thread that are in town as well as Bishop Arts.

                            Taqueria El Fuego: the tacos and the buffet

                            Sushi Robata for izakaya style
                            Keiichi (yeah, yeah, Denton) for sushi. Don't forget about Italian food there.
                            Tei An: soba, and other stuff that Keiichi may or may not be able to get

                            Golden Joy BBQ: the more I work through their menu, the more I like them over First Chinese
                            King's Noodle: three words, zha jiang mein.

                            Nam Hua: they're unlike a typical viet place that excels at mediocrity, they have a lot of good items on the menu. LH, I haven't been to Bon Mua yet, hopefully can do that soon. Didn't think good mi quang existed in DFW but I admit I wasn't looking too hard.
                            Pho Bang / Doan Restaurant: depends on what I'm looking for in terms of pho.
                            La Me: My favorite is banh mi #5, and they've got the best avocado shake in town.

                            Last, I recently got to try Samar, which doesn't fit into any particular category, and I was very impressed. Spanish, Mediterranean, and Indian are all executed well.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: air

                              Was at Samar again last evening. Simply fantastic. The mussels are without a doubt the best I have ever had, and want the recipe for that lush creamy broth. The foie gras flan, one of the tres vasos, is worth ordering several. The haloumi cheese stuffed squash blossoms are lightly crisp and packed with flavor, served with a relish of sorts made of pomegranate.

                              Everything was enjoyable, and I noticed the serving sizes are larger than my previous visit. The service is scary greatness. I had a conversation with a local food editor in town today and he thinks the service is possibly too much, so if you do not like as much attention as they can provide do not sit at the chef's bar and ask for a quiet table.

                              Samar definitely makes my top ten, and it is very economical for the quality and service.

                              Agreed on the Kings Noodles. Damn, I need to go there now and warm up.

                                1. re: steakrules85

                                  Chinese placescould add a few things: First Emperor for Taiwanese, Royal Sichuan for Sichuanese, Hong Kong Royal for dim sum .

                                  Miso ramen was recently added to Tei An's specials menu, and it had a more robust, more tangy miso flavor on my second try. The heat was locked in, which was similar to the bowls of ramen I've had at Santouka, a ramen shop inside the Mitsuwa Japanese grocery in LA. Little puffs of steam rise up as you wade your chopsticks into the hearty broth and the thick, chewy noodles. The pork was easy to tear into and melts in your mouth.

                                  Hong Kong Royal Restaurant
                                  3030 N Josey Ln Ste 130, Carrollton, TX 75007