Local Eats

Not every restaurant in Dallas can be as well known or popular as El Fenix, Campisi's or Javier's. But just because it's not well known doesn't mean it's not amazing and delicious. Visit any of these hidden gems once and you'll quickly become a fan for life.

 

DISTRICT 1

Coco's Fire & Ice

Tucked in the back of the 410 Market in the Bishop Arts District, Coco's Fire & Ice is a small yet vibrant restaurant. Aptly named, Coco's serves spicy Mexican cuisine and refreshing cocktails to help you cool off.

 

Greek Café & Bakery

Take a step away from the district's main attractions in Bishop Arts and find yourself at this local favorite. The sweet potato Greek fries are a must, as is the sampler platter with hummus, baba ganoush and tzatziki.

 

Cheesesteak House

The unassuming restaurant along Davis Street is a family affair, with several generations of the Padilla family working behind the scenes. The cheesesteaks are top-notch and come with a heaping serving of steak and onions, Swiss-American cheese blend and other toppings of your choice.

 

DISTRICT 2

Turkey Leg Paradise

Located in the Cedars/Southside neighborhood, Turkey Leg Paradise features, well, turkey legs flavored with everything from Cajun spices and honey chipotle to Sriracha BBQ and Garlic Parmesan. Even if you're not into turkey legs, the restaurant has other options like Po' Boys and chicken wings.  

 

Jimmy's Food Store

The neighborhood Italian restaurant has been a go-to spot for authentic Italian wines, sandwiches and sweets. Jimmy's also offers educational wine tastings on Saturdays.

 

Sandwich Hag

Sandwich Hag specializes in Bánh Mi - a Vietnamese sandwich made from the freshest ingredients and prepared from scratch. Enjoy four choices of meats, like the Vietnamese Pork Sausage, and various Vietnamese specialty drinks like iced coffee or Boba tea.

 

DISTRICT 3

South Dallas Café

This South Dallas restaurant has served delicious soul food for over 20 years. Bring your stretchy pants, as this café serves big portions, a rotating menu of meat selections every day, and classic Southern-style sides.

 

Delta Charlie's Bar & Grill

Structured like an upscale flight, Delta Charlie's Bar & Grill offers a beautiful view of the city and delicious meals and desserts. Enjoy the "pre-flight" snacks before indulging in one of their juicy steaks or American dinner classics like meatloaf or chicken fried steak.

 

DISTRICT 4

Recipe Oak Cliff

Recipe Oak Cliff specializes in plant-based, healthy vegan plates, with options like tacos, zoodles and hummus. Stop by for a pick-me-up smoothie or juice made with all organic fruits and veggies.

 

Rudy's Chicken

Rudy's Chicken is a Dallas staple and serves fried chicken and Southern-styled sides seven days a week. Come ready to wait as the line is always long, but the food is always worth it!

 

Record's Bbq

Record's is a drive-in restaurant serving mouth-watering barbecue since the 1960s. Popular dishes include the loaded baked potato (jalapenos, pulled pork, cheese and more of the works!) and their massive turkey legs.  

 

DISTRICT 5

El Palote Panderia

Offering genuine Mexican cuisine, El Palote Panderia lets you build your own taco plate served with your choice of meat or its weekend-only famous tamales. Plus, as the home of the Original Vegan Taco, the restaurant is well known for its delicious vegan creations.

 

Los Molcajetes

The restaurant's modern establishment sets the mood for authentic Mexican cuisine. If you're lucky enough to stop by on the weekend, order the menudo or pozole. Both are only available on the weekends. For something a little lighter, try one of the del mar (seafood) options.

 

John's Seafood

Ordering the fried catfish is a no-brainer at this East Dallas hidden gem. The only question is do you want two or three fillets? Better get three just to be safe. And don't worry about your wallet. Most lunch specials are under $10.

 

DISTRICT 6

Cindi's N.Y. Delicatessen Restaurant & Bakery

Cindi's has you covered if you're looking for New York deli-styled food without the fuss of visiting NYC. The restaurant offers authentic New York Reuben sandwiches, fresh bread, stews and a great selection of comfort foods. Bonus: Cindy's also has an all-day breakfast menu!

 

Koryo Kalbi Korean Bbq

You might want to invite your friends and family if you're planning a trip to Koryo. The Korean BBQ restaurant features large, shareable plates. You can also grill your own dish for a truly authentic, hands-on dining experience.

 

DISTRICT 7

Two Podners Bar-B-Que & Seafood

Two Podners is a cafeteria-styled restaurant that serves tasty meals all year round. Try the ribs or order the Pittsburg, TX hotlinks. Plus, with its proximity to Fair Park, you are steps away from various museums and attractions.

 

Elaine's Jamaican Kitchen

Located in Southern Dallas, Elaine's is a great spot to try authentic flavors. The vibrant restaurant serves classic Jamaican dishes like fried plantains, jerk chicken and oxtails.

 

Southside Steaks & Cakes

With 20 different cheesesteaks, party wings with 30 sauce options and funnel cakes you have to taste to believe, this South Dallas favorite will quickly be your home away from home.

 

DISTRICT 8

D'Ventures Restaurant 

D'Ventures' cozy atmosphere and friendly service make guests feel right at home at this popular restaurant. Diners can enjoy carefully prepared soul food (the fried catfish and ribs are popular dishes) and live entertainment. Just make sure to save room for their famous orange cake.

 

Sweet Georgia Brown

This South Dallas joint serves barbecue and soul food cafeteria-style, so come hungry because the portions are enormous! Also, be sure to get there early because food this good always draws a crowd.

 

Lindy's Restaurant

Lindy's is a popular spot among the locals featuring all your favorite Southern-classic dishes. Not only is the food yummy, but the restaurant offers a cozy and relaxed atmosphere.

 

DISTRICT 9

Hello Dumpling

Located in East Dallas, Hello Dumpling is a modern Asian cafe serving a variety of noodles, dumplings and Boba teas. Local favorites include the Pork with Napa Cabbage Dumplings and the Braised Beef Noodle Soup.

 

One90 Smoked Meats

Come hungry as One90 Smoked Meats offers big portions of every BBQ meat you could imagine, such as brisket, chicken breasts, ribs, duck and more. With its signature sides, especially the chili mac n' cheese, this restaurant will definitely leave you satisfied.

 

Maya's Modern Mediterranean

Located in Casa Linda Plaza, Maya's is a cute and casual eatery with healthy and fresh Mediterranean cuisine. Order the hummus or try any of the pita bread specials!

 

DISTRICT 10

Zato Thai Cuisine

Dallasites love Zato for its rich and traditional Thai cuisine and sushi prepared expertly by chefs. The contemporary ambiance and sleek sushi bar make it a hot spot for date nights or a fun Friday night. 

 

Cedar & Vine Community Kitchen & Cocktails

Enjoy your favorite comfort foods like a Hot Chicken Sandwich, Fish & Chips, Pork Chops and more at this East Dallas establishment. The restaurant is open for brunch, lunch and dinner, with plenty of delicious options to satisfy your appetite.

 

Lalibela

A local Ethiopian eatery, Lalibela offers traditional dishes in a family-style setting. Feast on the Taste of Lalibela or the Vegetarian Combo to share with the table.

 

DISTRICT 11

The Hideaway Bar & Grill

Described as the Southern version of Cheers, The Hideaway has everything you could want in a sports bar. With multiple bar games (think pool and darts), classic American dishes (the Hideaway wings and brisket tacos are the best!) and several beers on tap, The Hideaway Bar is a perfect local hangout for any big sports game.

 

Chop House Gyro

Located near the Galleria Dallas mall, Chop House Gyro serves authentic Mediterranean cuisine featuring Gyro Bowls and Shawarma Rolls as menu highlights.

 

Royal China

Opening its doors in 1974, Royal China has continued to be a staple to Dallasites. Arguably the best Chinese food in town, the menu features traditional specialties and modern creations. And don't forget to order something from the dumpling bar.

 

DISTRICT 12

LEKKA

Equal parts bar, restaurant and retail store, LEKKA is a perfectly wrapped urban oasis. Enjoy Mediterranean salads, soups, sandwiches and desserts while savoring one of their many extensive wines. As a bonus, LEKKA has live music on the weekends and always has unique furniture, candles and art for sale.

 

Banana Leaf Thai Cuisine

Craving Thai food? Look no further than Banana Leaf Thai Cuisine, where every menu item is full of flavor and made with the freshest ingredients. Hop over during lunchtime to take advantage of the $11-and-under lunch specials.

 

Lalo's Fine Mexican Cuisine

Authentic Mexican dishes are what you'll find at Lalo's. Enjoy all your favorite dishes like enchiladas, fajitas, or carne asada, and pair them with one of their signature margaritas.

 

DISTRICT 13

Anthony's Eatalian

Family-owned and operated, Anthony's Eatalian serves Italian and seafood comfort food in a laidback, intimate environment. Try the meatballs - made in-house daily - or savor their authentic Brooklyn-styled pizza.

 

Café Navarro

Many North Dallas locals call this their go-to Tex-Mex stop, and with good reason. Everything dish and beverage - from the margaritas to the generously portioned entrees - are a win. Check out their daily specials menu to make ordering easy.

 

Ginger Thai Restaurant

The papaya salad and herbal chicken are popular dishes at this North Dallas spot. The restaurant closes between lunch and dinner services, so plan accordingly before heading out. Bonus: there's a second location in East Dallas! 

 

DISTRICT 14

Toller Patio

As the name suggests, Toller Patio has a massive patio featuring numerous games, TVs and dog-friendly activities. If that's not enough, the restaurant has multiple refreshing cocktails on tap, some of the best dips and appetizers (try the cheese fries!), and live entertainment daily.

 

E Bar Tex-Mex

The small but mighty spot along Haskell Avenue is almost always busy – find a spot along the bar to enjoy Tex-Mex classics like nachos, tacos and enchiladas. Our favorite? The E-Bar queso -  a cheesy concoction of ground beef, guacamole and sour cream.

 

Fiction Coffee

Fiction's flagship location features some of the best coffee in the city. Located inside a cozy brick building at the corner of Ross Ave. and Hall St, the staff loves the holidays, so expect some festive décor toward the end of each calendar year.