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Aug 28, 2011 05:39 PM

Headed to Fort Worth for Labor Day weekend..never been. List the top 5 restaurants I must hit!

Hi Chowhounds,

I've read numerous posts on some of the best restaurants in Fort Worth. Can anyone give me a concise list of their top picks. I don't care about the type of cuisine, I just want quality food and flavor. Ideally, I'd like a pick from the following cuisines..but I'm open to other suggestions: Best Seafood restaurant, Best Tex-Mex restaurant, American-Contemporary, Italian, and Casual Cafe/Deli.


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  1. Did you come up with any of these while you were reading? Otherwise, run them through your searches: Grace, Nonna Tata (doubt they'll be open though), Lambert's, Lanny's, Fred's Texas Cafe. Could do the Rahr brewery tour if you are interested - just don't eat at Jesus BBQ after.

    Also The Usual for cocktails, and hit one of these places for BBQ:

    Fred's Texas Cafe
    915 Currie St, Fort Worth, TX 76107

    Nonna Tata
    1400 W Magnolia Ave, Fort Worth, TX 76104

    1 Reply
    1. re: air

      +1 for Nonna Tata. They're BYOB so don't forget to bring your own wine.

      Nonna Tata
      1400 W Magnolia Ave, Fort Worth, TX 76104

    2. Since you have never been to Fort Worth my favorites may not be others favorites, but here are my suggestions:

      1. Joe T. Gonzales for Tex-Mex. I know a lot of board posters do not like the place but I like the
      enchiladas and the atmosphere. Cash only. I also like the Mexican Inn for basic Tex-Mex.
      Their chips are made in-house and are more like Frito's corn chips than the usual chips
      found in Fort Worth Mexican restaurants. Main Street between Downtown and the
      Stockyards has a lot of mexican restaurants to choose from.

      2. I like Bonnell's, Lonesome Dove, and Reata for upscale "Texas" style food. Bonnell's is my
      favorite of the three.

      3. Angelo's is my favorite BBQ in Fort Worth.

      4. For a good hamburger. I like Kincaid's. I did not like Love Shack as much as some on this
      board do. I did not like the Love Sauce they put on their burgers.

      5. Sardine's may not have the best Italian food to many, but I like their take on basic old
      fashioned Italian with live jazz music most evenings.

      6. For steak and an old west atmosphere, I like Cattlemen's Steakhouse in the Stockyards.

      These are just a few suggestions. They are based on where I like to go in Fort Worth, not necessarily what the foodie types like.

      Bigray in Ok

      1 Reply
      1. You're in the wrong part of the country for seafood, unless you're talking about the lake kind. ;) If so, give Zeke's a try for very good fried catfish or fish (cod) 'n chips. (Camp Bowie)

        Make a drive along Magnolia Ave and take your pick of restaurants in FW's Near Southside - an area of eclectic restoration and new development.

        American-Contemporary - Ellerbe's Fine Food or Lili Bistro's. (Magnolia Ave)

        Italian - Nonna Tata, but they have odd hours, Tues-Fri only. VERY small, cash/check only and BYOB. Closed Fri, Sat, Sun. (Magnolia Ave)
        If you can't make their hours, Taverna Pizzeria and Risotteria gets very good head nods. (Downtown Sundance Square)

        Casual Cafe/Deli - the best and only choice for a deli is Carshon's Deli near TCU - open only through lunch, 2pm-ish and closed Sunday. Very good (NY style) deli sandwiches, but limited menu.
        For a cafe - The Star Cafe - lunch and dinner (Stockyards); Cowtown Diner for breakfast (Downtown Sundance Square), just don't be in a hurry.

        Best burger (even if you didn't ask!) - Love Shake (Stockyards) is my favorite, but other popular burger spots include Star Cafe, Dutch's, and Fred's Texas Cafe. As to Fred's - there's inside seating and there's outside seating on a very large deck inside the stockade fencing - live music Tues-Sun nights. The inside can be kind of claustrophobic (IMO), but with the temps we've been having......

        Here are the concentrated restaurant pockets in Fort Worth:

        West 7th - Trendy, new, urbane intermixed with established -
        Near Southside/Magnolia Ave - Eclectic renovations -
        Downtown/Sundance Square -

        Fred's Texas Cafe
        915 Currie St, Fort Worth, TX 76107

        Nonna Tata
        1400 W Magnolia Ave, Fort Worth, TX 76104

        1 Reply
        1. re: CocoaNut

          Fred's Texas Cafe is a hoot. Friday night I saw the re-run of the Diners, Drive -ins and Dives show that featured it. I Googled it, and low and behold there was a Hatch chili roast there Saturday. I'm new to Dallas, but Fred's was worth the drive to Fort Worth. I met the owner and some real characters, had a great portobello burger w/cheese and green, a few frosties, and carted home 12 lbs of fresh roasted Hatch.

          Fred's Texas Cafe
          915 Currie St, Fort Worth, TX 76107

        2. No one's mentioned Cat City Grill ... you can get a really good burger there, and they have a special Hatch burger at the moment. I also like Love Shack (and the Love sauce isn't mandatory--I'm not in Love with it either and have them hold it).

          I'm one of the many who doesn't like Joe T's. For Tex-Mex, my sentimental FW favorite is the Mexican Inn on 8th Ave. They make their own masa, tortillas, and chips daily--that's the best part. Salsa, queso loco, arroz con pollo, nachos, quesadillas, taco salad (I ask for half beef half beans off menu) are all good.

          Kincaid's has lots of character (if you go, go to the original location on Camp Bowie), but the burger is definitely old school.

          I've also had less than positive experiences at Ellerbe's, Nonna Tata, and Fred's. And Lambert's--just a spotty service issue there. Ellerbe's & Nonna Tata were food issues, Fred's was major attitude from clientele & servers (they were harassing a table of people they had decided were from Dallas, and I was seated between the 'Dallasites' and the angry mob).

          Lonesome Dove (same chef-owner as Love Shack) is in the stockyards & is arguably the most professional operation in FW.

          I'm planning to go to Brownstone for the first time that weekend--they are serving their Restaurant Week menu exclusively through the Labor Day weekend for $35/person. (That menu is posted on their website.)

          Also like Carshon's and Dutch's (but prefer Love Shack or Cat City for burgers).

          Nonna Tata
          1400 W Magnolia Ave, Fort Worth, TX 76104

          3 Replies
          1. re: foiegras

            PS How could I forget! When you're on Magnolia (Cat City Grill, Lili's) or nearby on 8th (Mexican Inn, Carshon's), be sure to stop in at Avoca for a taste of Dude, Sweet Chocolate. My favorite is the blackstrap fudge ... so leave a piece for me ;) There's an outpost of Yucatan Taco Stand down the street as well.

            1. re: foiegras

              what's your favorite steak place?

              1. re: fahy

                Pappas Bros, which is not in FW ;) I would suggest Lonesome Dove (which I see I mentioned above), which is very good. Bonnelle's is also well worth a visit. I haven't tried Grace yet--it's on my list. Not sure what its Restaurant Week dates are, but it is participating, as is Lonesome Dove (official RW only I believe--at any rate, just a week).

            2. Thanks for all your looks like there is some great selections here. One last question, I'm arriving in Fort Worth late on Friday night---and wanted to grab a drink and an appetizer with my bf. Unfortunately, neither of us like beer but we are huge winos...any ideas?

              1 Reply
              1. re: Ally123

                Suggest Sapristi!, which is a wine bar that serves country French food. Mussels are a specialty--they usually have them several ways. Frites are very good. Love the bread pudding. Service is leisurely for food. They also sell wine at half the wine list price if you find something you like.

                2418 Forest Park Blvd, Fort Worth, TX 76110