1010 S Pearl Expy, Dallas, TX 75201, USA
The lines are long (expect to wait at least an hour) at this young barbecue joint tucked inside the Dallas Farmers’ Market—but the tender, perfectly smoked meats are worth the wait says Daniel Vaugh, barbecue editor of Texas Monthly. “They have incredible brisket and giant beef ribs,” he says. Watch for a brick-and-mortar outpost slated to open this spring—menu standbys like bacon-and-chile-flecked mac and the “trough” meat-sampler, pictured here, are sure to make an appearance.
5505 Belt Line Rd, Dallas, TX 75254, USA
A stalwart on the Dallas burger scene, Jakes Hamburgers entices would-be customers with flair. Exhibits A and B: the spicy grilled chicken sandwich, christened ‘The Flaming Rooster,’ and the jalapeño bacon burger, named the ‘The Hot Cowboy.’ Talk about mouthwatering—pair those bad boys up with tater tots and call it a night. Pop in during happy hour for some delicious deals.
4123 Cedar Springs Rd #110, Dallas, TX 75219, USA
(note: Cedar Grove restaurant is formally known as Dish) Dish made a veritable splash upon entering Dallas’ dining scene in 2009, and the fact that it’s remained a culinary bright spot since is a testament to its fantastic reinventions. The consistently updated menu stays seasonal and fresh, though diner favorites, such as the jumbo sea scallops and the braised BBQ short ribs, always have a home here. A completely revamped patio invites you to sit and sip, enjoying the terrific people-watching in and around the bustling Ilume Apartments.
2001 Flora St
It seems wrong to call this Renzo Piano–designed complex a museum—it’s more like a “sculpture safari,” on which you get to experience the pieces in their intended habitat. Opened in 2003, the Nasher Sculpture Center is a two-acre homage to modern and contemporary sculpture that was founded upon the private collection of the late Raymond and Patsy Nasher, then grew to include new acquisitions and special exhibits on loan from other institutions. Wander the peaceful indoor and outdoor galleries and gardens to spot works by artists like Giacometti, Moore, Serra, Rodin, Picasso, Calder, and de Kooning; many of the larger pieces invite interaction. The lush setting and bold pieces create an idyllic backdrop for the center’s year-round calendar of events (which include movie nights and family-friendly fun)—and make it a top pick for weddings, too.
1617 Hi Line Drive
In its modern, warm wood-accented digs with retro design touches, FT33 serves up the most talked-about dishes in Dallas. Executive chef Matt McCallister’s profile has grown immensely on the strength of his hugely creative farm-to-table menu, inventive cocktails and well-curated wine list. With each dish as mind-blowingly unique as the next, it’s best to round up a few friends and sample from each others’ plates for a heady culinary adventure!
9780 Walnut St #140, Dallas, TX 75243, USA
With a great atmosphere and a packed room of locals, if you’re in the mood for Vietnamese food, you won’t go wrong here. Some swear by the pho and others by the gloriously crusty banh mi sub sandwiches, which come heaped high with grilled pork, herbs, salad, and a few slices of chili to add heat. And if you’re feeling greedy, I say do both.
5959 Royal Ln #707, Dallas, TX 75230, USA
Lauded for its outstanding desserts and for being one of Dallas’ new, hip restaurants, this Italian-food source quickly developed a loyal following of diners. And why not? Between Princi’s robust brunch, lunch, and dinner menus, the ambience at the Preston Road dining spot is at once cool and elegant. Best visit a few times to take it all in!