Dallas has long claimed to have more restaurants per capita than any other city in the United States. While that’s been disputed, KCWS Kansas reported in 2017 that its population of nearly 1.3 million has a selection of 2,666 dining establishments, – a number that’s likely increased since and will continue to do so. Of course, what’s truly important is the number of quality dining options, and that it indisputably has.
There is an endless list of top-notch eateries to choose from in this sprawling Texas city. In fact, with so many you might just want to search for your ideal home among the houses for sale in Dallas so that you can embark on a food adventure to sample them all. In the meantime, you may want to start with a few of the very best, including these.
Bread Winners Café
A brunch staple, the Bread Winners Café, located uptown in a converted historic home, often ranks among the top breakfast eateries in the city, if not No. 1. It’s also a great spot for lunch and dinner too. Somehow, it’s managed to do fresh, unique, creative and delicious all-in-one, a feat few others can accomplish. You’ll have an interesting choice when it comes to where to sit as well, 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, with locals often packing the place on weekends for the chance to savor specialties like Fried Chicken and Waffles, a dish made up of crispy chicken, a rich cream gravy, hot sauce and maple syrup over jalapeno bacon cheddar waffles. If you’ve partied a little too hardy the night before, try pairing it 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 really does change every day.
What makes Smoke a standout is not what is cooked, but how it’s cooked. Set in the trendy Belmont Hotel in Dallas’ Oak Cliff neighborhood, 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.
Barbacoa Estilo Hidalgo
Often referred to as the “best Taqueria you’ve never heard of,” Barbacoa Estilo is a place you probably won’t just bump into, and if you did, you probably wouldn’t give it a second look as it shares a block with salvage yards and auto shops, without another dining establishment in sight. Of course, hidden spots like these are often where you find some of the best gems.
Hidalgo specializes in the lamb barbacoa typical of Eastern Mexico’s state of 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. The signature dish takes hours and hours to make and begins by searing huge hunks of lamb over smoldering wood. The meat 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.