For many diners, the restaurant that matters most is their neighborhood restaurant – the one that is nearby, that they frequent regularly, the one that is a reflection of their neighborhood and almost an extension of their own home.
For these reasons and many more, we include neighborhood restaurants as one of the categories in our CultureMap Tastemaker Award, celebrating the best of Dallas food and drink. In our editorial series, we feature nominees in all categories: top Michelin-starred chefs, top bartenders, top bars and top restaurants – chosen by a jury of former CultureMap Tastemaker Award winners and local food and beverage experts, who have helped reduce the final list to 10 finalists.
Who will win? Find out at the Tastemaker Awards party on August 19 at the Fashion Industry Gallery, where we dine on bites from nominated restaurants while the emcee CJ Starr reveals the winners. Buy your tickets here.
Ambitious restaurant in Irving is from Sara Nam, whose aunt owns Edoko Sushi & Robata in Frisco and Richardson and has kindly allowed her to use the name Edoko; and Chef Keunsik Lee, who had worked at Nobu, Japanese by Morimoto in Chicago and Wasabi Sushi in Fort Worth. They opened in March 2020, perhaps the worst month in history to open, but they have attracted an audience with their “omakase” offer, in which diners leave the order to the chef. No question of putting them on the gourmet menu, but their menu Also offers a plethora of affordable sushi options and lunch bento boxes – just what you need to woo the locals.
Bill and Johnnie Katz weren’t the first to open a restaurant or bar in downtown Dallas when they opened Frankie’s on the ground floor of the Davis Building (now Drakestone) in 2015. And it didn’t. was not like downtown needed a sports bar. But Frankie’s had perfect timing, arriving just as the inner city resident population merged into a community, with a friendly vibe that fulfilled its wish to become “the downtown lounge.” It has draft beers, good affordable food and stays open late. It has enough space to meet a variety of needs, with a lower level basement for meetings and gatherings. There is a brunch.
Gold Rush Cafe
The base at Lakewood offers a heartwarming respite from the upmarket that devours much of East Dallas. Open since 1980, this is a small place – there is a rush hour wait – with a reliable breakfast and lunch, including chicken fried steak and John Wayne breakfast with hash apples. of earth, eggs in the sun, cheddar and salsa on a flour tortilla, served with bacon. And owner George Sanchez keeps pricing under control, such a blessing in a world where it seems like everyone is looking to rip you off for an extra dollar. It’s definitely a neighborhood favorite, but you also meet all kinds of people at this classic, local Dallas institution.
Not all neighborhood favorites have to be local moms and dads. This California gourmet sandwich shop opened two stores in Dallas: one in downtown in March 2020 and another in Addison in March 2021. They make sandwiches and salads, but using ingredients and gastronomic techniques; their decadent “vegan” Reuben, with vegan corned beef from Ms. Goldfarb’s Unreal Deli, was one of our top 5 tastes for 2020. They have an almost down-to-earth attitude to their high quality – like , of course, it should be good – it’s so sophisticated, and their chic and friendly dining rooms make them the perfect gathering place for coworkers, friends, and families.
The Colorado-based chain has gone through two ownership changes, but it continues to diligently execute on its mission of making real, good food, from scratch, convenient and delicious. Dallas was their first foray outside Denver, and they wisely picked places, including Preston Hollow Village, next to Trader Joe’s, where their healthy entrees and thin crust pizzas are a big hit, along with half portions. convenient and inexpensive prices, including $ 2 of wine by the glass.
Dallas-Fort Worth has small Italian restaurants dotted around every small town, but this newbie who opened at Village at Allen with New York ties: Called Numero 28, he’s part of an Italian group that operates restaurants in New York. York, Miami Beach, and Austi. Some of their recipes have been passed down from generation to generation, including the North Italian-style pasta, as well as pizza baked in a brick oven. The Allen restaurant is overseen by Leo Gravina, a native of Italy with his own credentials, including a decade of working for the Bice Group, the famous Italian catering company originally founded in Milan in 1926.
The Harwood neighborhood, between Uptown and Victory Park, is now packed with restaurant concepts from Harwood Hospitality Group including Mercat Bistro, Happiest Hour, and more, but Saint Ann’s was one of the first and therefore remains a sentimental favorite. The menu includes fun items such as dates stuffed with chorizo ââand a braised rib sandwich, with cocktails and plenty of wine by the glass, and in true Harwood form, it has an amazing patio, which is become an essential element in these times of pandemic.
Tapas has become a buzzword in recent years, but Si Tapas is the real deal: a Spanish restaurant with authentic Spanish tapas – think potato and chicken omelet in saffron sauce – with a big menu. of wine and sherry. Open since 1980, they’re almost like a hidden secret, tucked away in a tiny house in the State-Thomas neighborhood with an enclosed back patio. They offer amazing happy hours, attentive European-style service, and understated charm.
The restaurant and bar aim to please as a destination for a business lunch or a reunion with family and friends, with a beautifully decorated interior, great food and delicious cocktails like their blood orange margarita, and a rooftop patio offers stunning views of downtown Dallas. They would be considered too fancy for the former Deep Ellum, but this place is long gone and Stirr does a good job of representing the neighborhood as it evolves.
Chef Omar Flores’ restaurant concept started out as a chicken place, way ahead of its time, and chicken is still the thing. But chicken has grown from a niche to an entire category of restaurants, and Whistle Britches has become a neighborhood concept with three locations in Dallas, Plano, and Southlake – not so much a “chicken restaurant” as a casual place to get. fried chicken, sides and drinks.