By Kristina Rowe, NewsCastic
Fresh food? Check. Scratch kitchen, local sourcing? Check. Amazing atmosphere? Check. Local brews, inventive wine list, or clever craft cocktails? Check. It takes all this and a little something extra to make a restaurant “the best.”
We searched some of Dallas and Fort Worth’s well-known foodie neighborhoods for the best restaurants around. Check out some of these fabulous finds. When it comes to food, in DFW, “the best” is all around you.
Smokin’ Hot in Deep Ellum
The quirky Deep Ellum neighborhood in Central Dallas has long been a hot spot for great restaurants. The next big thing has come and gone time and again, but the magnitude of the response to Pecan Lodge is unmatched. They keep smoking that barbecue, and the awards keep rolling in.
It’s the delicious meat that’s truly earned its “rep” and makes Pecan Lodge the hands-down best. Lines wrap around the block, and they close up shop when they sell out for the day. Try some brisket or pulled pork, the stuffed sweet potato “hot mess”, or Aunt Polly’s banana pudding for yourself. You’ll see why we’d be embarrassed to call any other place the best in Deep Ellum.
2702 Main Street, Dallas
A Good Neighbor at this Bistro in Uptown
The Uptown neighborhood in Central Dallas is also known for its considerable collection of restaurants. New and trendy eateries open all the time, so a spot that’s been thriving for more than 30 years surely has something good going.
Parigi, with its neighborhood bistro ambiance, is a perfect fit for one of the most walkable communities in Dallas. Its decidedly elevated food features local ingredients on a menu that changes twice monthly. Add a resident artist and a charming Parisian-style patio and you simply have to call it the best.
3311 Oak Lawn, Dallas
Drink to Good Times in Casa Linda (East Dallas)
Near White Rock Lake in East Dallas, the Casa Linda neighborhood near White Rock Lake, is home to the Dallas area’s oldest shopping center, Casa Linda Plaza. About a half a mile from there you’ll find Goodfriend Beer Garden and Burger House, a relative newcomer to the area that opened in 2011.
The food (mostly burgers and sandwiches) is stellar, and local beers seem to make everything taste even better. What puts this place over the top is its design, which somehow makes hipster casual completely appealing. Grab a seat at the horseshoe bar or on the beautiful open air patio and you’ll “get” why it’s the best.
Goodfriend Beer Garden and Burger House
1154 Peavy Road, Dallas
Savor Some Seafood in University Park
University Park is actually a small city within the Dallas zip code. This area and Highland Park are called the Park Cities and are among the most affluent neighborhoods in Dallas. You’ll find five-star and fine dining options here as well as sandwich shops and casual spots that are popular with the SMU crowd.
Half Shells in Snider Plaza is one of the latter, with a focus on fresh seafood and scratch-made accompaniments. It’s the original restaurant that grew into the Rockfish Grill chain and whose owners are behind Fish City Grill. Its history and its fun (if tiny) location make it special. Oyster Nachos (their signature dish), fresh oysters on the half-shell, and Crab Leg specials make it the best.
6617 Snider Plaza, Dallas
Feast on French Favorites at Cadot in Far North Dallas
Bent Tree is one of dozens of small neighborhood areas in Far North Dallas. A variety of restaurants dot long stretches of both Preston Road and the Dallas North Tollway in this area north of Addison’s famed “restaurant row” on Belt Line.
Cadot offers classic French cuisine in an intimate formal dining atmosphere – a rarity in this part of DFW. Chef/Owner Jean-Marie Cadot produces iconic French dishes (vichyssoise, foie gras, escargot, truffles, duck confit) elegantly. Exquisite food, impeccable service, and inspired presentation make this gem of a restaurant “le meillure,” the best.
18111 Preston Rd #120, Dallas
See a Late Night Star in Bishop Arts (South Dallas)
Foodies are flocking to the Bishop Arts neighborhood of Oak Cliff. Dozens of dining spots line the blocks of Davis and Bishop with offerings from southern comfort food to pizza and everything in between.
The eclectic gastropub, Nova, does a little bit of all of it and does it well into the night. Serving food from 5PM to midnight daily, with brunch on Saturday and Sunday, Nova will astound your taste buds on any given night. They offer small plates and big plates for meat-eaters and vegetarians alike. The brunch offerings and the pizza served in this dreamy lounge make it the best.
1417 W Davis Street, Dallas
Fajitas and Ritas and Beer, Oh My at La Playa Maya in the Fort Worth Stockyards
Not just a neighborhood, but also a national historic district, The Stockyards in North Fort Worth plays home to a big handful of Western-themed food places and watering holes. You can take your pick of steak houses or choose from other cuisines.
Mexican food is the star at La Playa Maya with classic Mexican dishes alongside sensational seafood cocktails and entrees. Their traditional or Cadillac fajitas (made with rib-eye,) cold beer and Mayaritas, and huge portions of tasty food make it this neighborhood’s best.
La Playa Maya
1540 North Main Street, Fort Worth
Edelweiss in Ridglea/Camp Bowie Fort Worth
In the historic Ridglea/Camp Bowie area in West Fort Worth, long-time favorite restaurants sit side-by-side with newer and trendier establishments. Food with a Western flair is to be expected, but you’ll also find British, Japanese, Italian, and Mexican offerings here.
Scnitzel, spatzle, sausage, sauerbraten, sauerkraut – Bavarian dishes dominate the menu at Edelweiss. Live music every night with the full Edelweiss band on weekends add something extra special to this German restaurant that’s been around for about 50 years. It’s not just dinner, it’s a full experience, and that’s what makes it the best.
3801 Southwest Boulevard, Fort Worth
Shinjuku Station in Southside Fort Worth
The Southside neighborhood in Fort Worth has become a haven for indie restaurants. Old world comfort food and new world tacos are just some of the offerings in this hip area with over 30 restaurants, most of them locally owned.
It takes something special to be the best, and Shinjuku Station delivers something the others can’t. With interior design inspired by the busiest train station in Tokyo, it’s not just the food that captures the flavors of Japan. For its happy hour food and drink specials, sushi, and spectacular small plates, this place is simply the best.
711 West Magnolia Avenue, Fort Worth
Pizza Snob at University/TCU Fort Worth
Also in South Fort Worth, the TCU/University neighborhood is crowded with long-running sports bars, sweet shops, sandwich shops, and more. Many of the latest chain restaurants make a home there too, serving Fort Worth families and college students.
In this busy neighborhood, Pizza Snob offers “ridiculously good pizza, ridiculously fast.” If that’s not enough, they give diners exactly what they want. Their “make your own pizza choices” are top of the line – specialty cheeses, housemade sauces, fresh meats, and unbelievable veggie toppings (beer glazed onions, red wine baby bellas) make for pizza that just happens to be the best thing going.
3051 S University Drive, Fort Worth (with a second location in Denton)