If you’ve ever been to Dallas or have any friends here, you know that the main things to do on a trip to D-town are “eat and drink”. Between that fact and the fact that I don’t love to cook, I’ve taste tested a lot that the city has to offer.
While there are plenty of fine dining establishments, most of my favorite dishes can be found at hole-in-the-walls. I am by no means a food critic and I never took an etiquette class so take this for what it’s worth, but these are what I consider to be THE BEST dishes in Dallas!
Note: I am not saying these are the best restaurants in Dallas, so if you go, you really gotta order the item recommended or you can’t hold it against me.
The 10 Best Dishes in Dallas
Beef Rib at Pecan Lodge
Texas barbecue is a whole thing, so when visiting the Lone Star State, you’ve definitely got to try some and this is THE place to do so in Dallas. The beef rib is beyond. When you order, they’ll go check in the back (to see if there are even any left), weigh it, and report back, confirming that you’re okay with the size. Whatever it is, say yes. (It’s usually about one pound, though often a bit more). When it comes out, you’ll wonder if you are suddenly in an episode of The Flintstones. For a perfect order, get the beef rib plus some brisket and the mac and cheese.
Buttermilk Popsicle at Steel City Pops
You’re just going to have to trust me on this one. The best way I can describe it is tangy. All you need to know is that I recommend it to everyone we take there and most back out but then taste mine and wish they had gotten it. I’m always right.
Italian Stallion Sandwich at Jimmy’s Food Store
The best damn sandwich you’ll ever eat. Located in an authentic Italian market that will have you thinking you’ve transported across the Atlantic, this sandwich is piled HIGH with every Italian meat you can think of – plus some you likely wouldn’t think to name. I’m talking prosciutto, pepperoni, soppressata, mortadella, capicola *and* porchetta plus provolone and mozzerella cheeses. All of that is topped off with shredded lettuce, pickles, tomato, chopped cherry peppers and romano cheese. You thought it couldn’t get any better? Think again because the best part is the footlong will only put you back roughly $9 so it’s basically the same price as Subway but can feed a small family. Talk about a cheap date.
Churro at La Ventana
It’s stuffed with cajeta, need I say more?!
Basically Everything at Si Tapas
But in particular the sirloin with blue cheese sauce (trust) and the cauliflower. Wash it all down with the best sangria you’ve ever tasted and leave buzzed and happy. There is a reason this is by far my favorite restaurant in Dallas!
Beef Pad Thai at Malai Kitchen
On the menu it is listed as “Shrimp Pad Thai” but you can easily ask them to sub beef instead. It’s the best pad thai I have ever had; not dry but not too wet either, the consistency is just right and it’s packed with flavor.
Spicy Basil Chicken Wings at Uptown Thai
Spicy and sticky and juicy all at the same time, buffalo wings will never again compare.
Sirloin Street Tacos at El Come Taco
Dallas loves their street tacos (and I’ve tested a LOT) – these ones are hands-down my favorite. Add a little green salsa on top and you’ll see it’s the best $2 money could buy! Order three for a full meal.
Chocolate Kouign Amann at Village Baking Co
I swear these pastries weigh roughly five pounds, and it’s all butter and carbs – sign me up! They make a few varieties of the kouign amann: chocolate, vanilla, and raspberry, plus some seasonal offerings like peach during the Summer months. All are fantastic but the chocolate has my heart.
Chicharron Burritos at Mami Coco
In all honesty, I had to move #10 to an honorable mention below because of these burritos and tacos. I don’t know how we missed this taco joint during our time in Dallas, but we only discovered it in our final weeks. What a shame because this place is INCREDIBLE.
*Note that the “burritos” come 3 to an order and are more like deluxe tacos – they’re on the left barely even in the photo because I’m professional*
Per the owner’s recommendation, we went with the chicharron. I’m not normally a pork gal but trusted the owner and he did. not. let. us. down.
And an honorable mention…
Lunch in the cafeteria after Mass at one of the local Hispanic churches. To be completely fair, these aren’t necessarily the best dishes in Dallas, but they are the best experience bar none.
Here’s the story: one Sunday morning we landed at DFW coming back from some trip and we needed to get to Mass so we looked at masstimes.org to see if there happened to be any nearby that we could pop into on the drive home. To our delight, there was!
The real treat came at the end of Mass when they announced that there would be lunch served in the cafeteria afterwards. We decided why not check it out and what we found was so special: Mexican women and grandmas in the kitchen cooking up and serving authentic Mexican food for a small donation, the men of the parish working on drinks and manning the register, and kids running all around. It was like being invited into someone’s home and having them cook for you – can’t beat that.
The best we had was at St. Luke in Irving but our most frequently visited was Our Lady of Perpetual Help in West Dallas (our first foray into these after-Mass specials).