Dallas claims to have more restaurants per capita than any other American city, but whether or not that stat is accurate, what’s more important is how many quality dining options are available. The reality is, there is practically an endless list. So how to choose? If you’re looking for some of the local favorites, don’t miss these especially outstanding eateries.
Bread Winners Café
This restaurant is a brunch staple in Dallas, and often ranks at the top or among the very best breakfast eateries in the city, but it’s a great place for lunch and dinner too. Somehow Bread Winners has managed to do fresh, unique, creative and delicious all at once, a feat few others can accomplish. Located uptown in a converted historical home, you’ll have an interesting choice when it comes to where to sit too, from the cozy living room, to the shaded patio or the hidden interior courtyard greenhouse.
If you come for brunch, arrive early to avoid the crowds of locals. They tend to pack the place on the weekend for the chance to savor specialties like Fried Chicken and Waffles which includes jalapeno bacon cheddar waffles, crispy chicken, cream gravy, hot sauce and maple syrup. Dishes can be paired with one of the multiple “Hangover Elixers” too, which include everything from traditional mimosas to the Bloody Diablo with jalapeno bacon.
If you’re short on time, breakfast on the weekdays is just as indulgent and rarely comes with a wait. The dinner menu includes favorites like house meatloaf, free-range roasted chicken and pan-seared salmon, while lunch features a wide range of salads, soups, sandwiches, burgers and more. And, unlike many places, the daily specials menu actually changes every day.
What makes Smoke a standout is not what is cooked, but how it’s cooked. Set in the hip Belmont Hotel, it may have a simple name, but Smoke offers an eclectic experience with more of an upscale vibe than most classic Texas BBQ eateries, including some creative non-traditional offerings like coffee-cured brisket. All meats are smoked right onsite, and breakfast, lunch and dinner are all served. Morning entrees include items like Smoke Brisket Cornbread Hash with a poached egg, green chili and onions, while lunch is focused around Scantron-ordered BBQ, including pulled pork and Beer Can Farm Chicken. Dinner favorites are The Big Rib and Pulled Whole Hog.
Smoke also offers on-tap brews, a good wine list and a host of signature drinks.
Joyce and Gigi’s
If you don’t plan on heading to South America anytime soon, perhaps you’ll want to take the opportunity to sample cuisine you may not be able to try back home. Joyce and Gigi’s focuses on South American cuisine with a modern twist. Gigliola Aguilera, a Bolivian native and cook, partnered with her mother, Joyce Stenvall to offer this unique fare to the Dallas dining scene. Not soon after, it was constantly found among lists like “Best New Restaurant of 2013” Dallas’ “Most Interesting Restaurants.”
The fare is decidedly different, offering a fresh approach from the typical chicken-fried this and chili-crusted that with a side of smoked something or other. Instead, you’ll find items like the majadito, a risotto reddened with chili paste and filled with rich duck confit, a poached egg and fried plantains on top, and the brilliant escabeche of sea bass. This delectable entrée is brightened with apple cider vinegar, with currants, fennel and onions sitting alongside beef-, duck- or cheese-filled empanadas.
Barbacoa Estilo Hidalgo
There are times when you’ve just got to have a taco, but this eatery isn’t the place to go for a fast meal, it’s a true event. Barbacoa Estilo Hidalgo specializes in the lamb barbacoa typical of Eastern Mexico’s state of Hidalgo. Its signature dish takes hours and hours to make, and begins by searing huge hunks of lamb over smoldering wood. The mean is then roasted for nine hours over a bed of chickpeas which collects the juices that drip. The result is meat that is so incredible tender it falls apart. It’s wrapped in maguey leaves and the dish is ordered by the pound, accompanied with handmade tortillas, a variety of garnishments and salsa.