Dallas shines this season thanks to the many diverse cultures and communities that exist in our city. Over the years, African-American chefs, bakers and caterers have built an iconic reputation for some of Big D's tastiest bites. Here are four of our faves:
1820 West Mockingbird Lane Dallas, TX 75235
Smokey John's Bar-B-Que & Home Cooking first opened its doors for business in 1976 on the corner of Lemmon and Mockingbird under the name of "Big John's." Soon, the busy intersection was filled with the alluring aroma of burning hickory. This hickory smoke became a staple of the neighborhood, enticing customers to stop by and experience the delicious home cooking. Owner John Reaves earned the nickname "Smokey John" and the restaurant soon followed. This Dallas favorite was also named a 2016 Big Tex Choice Award Winner by the State Fair of Texas.
Menu Must-Have: Take a break from holiday cooking with Smokey John's delicious catering services. You can't go wrong with their flavorful brisket or succulent ham.
3011 Gulden Lane, Suite 117 Dallas, Texas 75212
The Cake Bar, located in Trinity Groves, is a bakery and retail shop where you can enjoy a large selection of traditional, southern-style made from scratch cake and confections on the spot, or take them to go. You can feast on 16 different made-from-scratch cakes, a variety of pound cakes, quick breads, cookies, ice cream and assorted beverages. Longtime baker Tracy German's passion for baking inspired her to open up shop with the help of the Trinity Groves incubator program. "Making food for people is a very personal thing, and it connects you to every person," she says.
Menu Must-Have: German's Red Velvet Cake. The moist red cake with a mild chocolate flavor, iced with cream cheese frosting is unforgettable and the perfect addition to your holiday meals this season.
309 W Jefferson Blvd, Dallas TX 75208
Dallas' famous Jamaican Kitchen and Bar, The Island Spot, has expanded beyond its Carrollton location to a second spot at The Jefferson Tower development in Oak Cliff. Patrons can expect even more of the award-winning jerk chicken that has quickly morphed into a DFW staple. With the new installation of a wood fire grill, the crowd favorite will be as authentic to Jamaican jerk chicken than one can get outside of the island. The pimento wood and smoke techniques are similar to those found at Boston Bay Jerk Center in Jamaica – the home of the original jerk chicken.
Menu Must-Have: An Island favorite, the Fried Plantains are sliced and fried golden to capture a crispy, sweet flavor.
Soulgood, a new vegetarian and vegan fast food restaurant, is now serving healthy organic foods to North Texans in a fresh and unique way. Chef Cynthia, a mother of three and cousin to Grammy award-winning gospel recording artist Tamela Mann, infuses her southern roots and her family's love of art into her meal creations. She carefully sources and selects local produce and ingredients from organic farmers and suppliers. She only selects the best organic or responsibly grown whole ingredients for her recipes – from her Italian Po' Boy sandwiches to her Soulgood Street Tacos.
Menu Must-Have: Chef Cynthia's homemade vegan cupcakes affectionately called Fruitcups.