Additional reporting by Julie Blacklidge, Brittany Edwards, Ryan Mendenhall, Spencer Michlin, and Troy Slonecker

Dallas is a diner’s dream city. We’ve got some of the country’s better restaurants, and per capita we’ve got more than New York City. But the home cook, sadly, has had fewer choices. For years, “ethnic” in Dallas was synonymous with “Hispanic.” A generation ago, lamb and veal were exotic meats, and pork rectums were virtually unobtainable.

No more. In the new Dallas, markets are as plentiful and diverse as restaurants. Shopping for groceries has become a true shopping experience. Food, like clothing, has become a status symbol. Central Market is to grocery stores what Neiman Marcus is to department stores—an educational, global, sensual adventure. In today’s Dallas, you can get almost anything you’d care to eat—and a lot of stuff you probably wouldn’t. We know, because we looked. Here’s what we found.

MARKETS

Meat Markets & Butchers

Central Market Plano

The Neiman Marcus of the grocery business specializes in aged, premium Choice Angus beef. Corn-fed cattle are raised according to strict specifications; fresh, air-cooled chicken is shipped directly to the stores; and Central Market carries 60 signature sausages. Attention time-misers: there’s a great selection of no-prep, vacuum-sealed marinated beef, pork, or chicken. Butchers gladly cut or trim to your satisfaction. 320 Coit Rd., Plano. 469-241-8300. Multiple locations. www.centralmarket.com.
 
David’s Meat Market Garland
David and Pat Harris run this meat-and-more market that specializes in Iowa beef. David’s sirloin patties are a regular staple for many customers on low-carb diets. But the big deal here is the quality and quantity of house-made sausages: Italian, smoked Polish, hot links, chorizo, bratwurst, and andouille, to name a few. David also processes game. 4010 N. Jupiter Rd., Garland. 972-495-8315.

Ham I Am Murphy
There is no store, but Ham I Am delivers. And the products from this small company are worth the wait. Ham, hogwash (a yummy sauce for ham), and the best peppered bacon you’ve tasted are smoked in the Ozark mountains. 972-424-0127 or www.hamiam.com.

Hirsch’s Specialty Meats Plano
Special orders don’t upset the folks behind the counters here. This popular market has provided great custom cuts of Choice and Prime meats since 1992. Hirsch’s also carries purebred Hereford cattle beef—it’s leaner than Choice, but the flavor is consistent with more marbled cuts. The market also custom-smokes your turkey, ribs, and briskets. Patience please—everything is cut to order. 1929 W. Parker Rd., Ste. 109, Plano. 972-964-5593.

La Michoacana Meat Market Carrollton
This is the place to find real Spanish-speaking carniceros (butchers). Besides a vast array of Latin American produce, groceries, chilies, and spices, the market has the lowest prices in town—meat and veal liver are only 99 cents a pound. Fajita-style meat and beefsteak rubbed with lime and seasoned with garlic, salt, and cayenne are real finds, as are oxtail, bone marrow, sweetbreads, and tripe. 1963 E. Belt Line Rd., Carrollton. 972-416-3632.

Market Street Colleyville
The new kid in the high-stakes, high-end grocery business is brought to you by United Supermarkets, a Texas-based retail grocery chain that traces its roots back to 1916. The meat counter is a carnivore’s dream. It offers all grades of beef, including all-natural, dry-aged Prime Wagyu/Kobe beef, Certified Angus, the Foreman’s Choice, and B3R all-natural beef raised in Texas. Expert butchers can cut to your exact specifications, or you can pick up a cut that’s seasoned and ready for your grill or oven. 5605 Colleyville Blvd., Colleyville. 817-577-5020.

Lou, Marsha, and Dickie Grant
Old Town Market Lewisville
Dickie Grant and his wife Lou have been selling meat in the old section of downtown Lewisville for 40 years. No grocery store attitude here. Dickie wants to be your butcher for life, and chances are, if you’ve been here once, he’ll greet you by name when you return. Daughter Marsha is the master butcher, and the market carries just about every cut of beef (ground daily). Every package leaves the store double-wrapped, ready for freezing. The family also sells righteous barbecue to go. 301 S. Mill St., Lewisville. 972-436-6742.

Rudolph’s Meat Market & Sausage Factory Deep Ellum
The Andreason family has served custom-sliced veal, pork, and beef in this cozy market since 1895. Czech-style kielbasa, spicy Polish sausage, spicy or sweet Italian sausage, and frankfurters in casing are the best in town. Rudolph’s also smokes turkey, ham, and pork chops; makes four types of bacon; and carries sweetbreads, beef hearts, oxtails, and pork brains. 2924 Elm St. 214-741-1874.

Texas Meats Supernatural Downtown
Three local farms—Rehoboth Ranch in Greenville, Windy Meadows in Campbell, Truth Hill Farm in Farmersville—operate this stall located in the heart of the Farmers Market, across from Shed No. 2. It’s not your usual meat market. The traditional cuts come vacuum-packed and frozen, but the quality is superb. All the meat—including lamb, beef, pork, and chicken—is grass-fed, hormone-free, and raised on organic pastures. Texas Meats is open for business only on Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dallas Farmers Market, 2017 Taylor St. 214-760-7774.

Ye Ole Butcher Shop Plano
The Sparks family has run this bustling shop in downtown Plano since 1986. Mother Wanda and son Jeff handle the day-to-day operations, and the shop specializes in Choice beef, smoked brisket, turkey, and ham. Plus, the family happily processes deer. The Sparks have a little restaurant on the side and sell buffalo burgers every Tuesday and Thursday and elk burgers on Wednesday. 926 E. 15th St., Plano. 972-423-1848.

Whole Foods Highland Park
The grocery-industry leader in retail natural and organic foods offers a wide variety of “humanely raised” meat with no artificial ingredients or hormones. The meat cases are crammed with beautiful beef cuts, game, duck, sausage, range-grown turkey, and natural chicken. Meat cutters are always prepared to answer questions and discuss cooking techniques like pro chefs. 4100 Lomo Alto, Highland Park. 214-520-7993. Multiple locations. www.wholefoods.com.

Fish Markets

Captn Dave’s Seafood Market Plano
The secret recipes of owner David Conger keep customers coming back for more. Here you’ll find uncooked seafood staples, such as fresh shrimp, scallops, tuna, crab, and swordfish, as well as alligator tail and alligator sausage. Try the smoked salmon—you’ll be hooked. 700 Alma Rd., Ste. 104, Plano. 972-424-3474.

Central Market Dallas
Come with your mind made up; the selection of more than 100 varieties of salt- and freshwater fish and shellfish is staggering. Seafood experts cut steaks and fillets from whole fish, and they’ll steam or marinate them while you shop. The store also carries house-made crab and fish cakes and stuffed seafood. 5750 Lovers Ln. 214-234-7000. Multiple locations. www.centralmarket.com.

Fresh Water Fish Market Oak Cliff
Choose from a wide variety of fresh shrimp, tilapia, and crab legs from the display case, but don’t leave without the house specialty: catfish. Looking for something exotic to wow your dinner guests? Grab a couple pounds of alligator and fry it up for an uncommon feast. 825 Vermont Ave. 214-946-3474.

Fiesta Market North Dallas
This full-service Latin grocery has a large inventory of fresh fish at bargain prices. We picked up fresh tilapia for only 99 cents a pound. Fiesta also sells whole red snapper (someone can take the scales off, if you prefer), king fish, salmon, fresh catfish, and crabs. This is the spot for great calamari. 8060 Spring Valley Rd. 972-783-8255. Multiple locations.

TJ’s Fresh Seafood Market Preston Hollow
Caren and Pete Alexis run a tight ship. They rotate 17 types of fresh fish daily, including salmon, swordfish, sea bass, trout, sushi-grade tuna, tilapia, catfish, halibut, crawfish, mussels, oysters, lobster, and clams. The Mexican brown shrimp is the best in Dallas. And here’s a secret find: tenderloin stuffed with lobster meat. Order it raw, cooked, or seasoned. Call after breakfast and TJ’s will prepare your seafood dinner, complete with salads and sides. The couple caters, too. 11661 Preston Rd. @ Forest Ln. 214-691-2369. 

Whole Foods Richardson
In the beautiful display case, fresh whole fish and filleted salmon, halibut, and yellowfin tuna rest next to more exotic octopus, Scottish lox, sturgeon, and mussels. Some Whole Foods locations feature fish flown in fresh from the chain’s own seafood facility and processing plant in Gloucester, Massachusetts. 60 Dal-Rich Village, Richardson. 972-699-8075. Multiple locations. www.wholefoods.com.

Ethnic Markets

Asian

Asian Grocery North Dallas
Come here for hard-to-find Southeast Asian and Chinese ingredients, such as spices, sushi wrappers, and palm sugar juice. Canned chili sauces from Thailand, including sriracha, please adventurous taste buds. Ask for Toon—she’ll even help you with recipes. 9191 Forest Ln. 972-235-3038.

Bihn Minh Market Old East Dallas
Mind your heads. Roast ducks hang above the meat case in this funky, full-service Asian grocery across from Jimmy’s (see Italian). The market has a great exotic produce section—wing beans, lemon grass, eggplant—and quail eggs are always available. The Vietnamese bread is the best in town. 4823 Bryan St. 214-826-2921.

Hong Kong Market Place Arlington
Go if only for the show on Saturdays, when hundreds of Asians line up around the fish tanks full of eel, lobster, blue crabs, and other exotic fish. If you can’t find it here, chances are you won’t find it in Dallas. Fabulous fresh produce—African yams, chilies, fresh tofu—line the aisles, and the bakery carries more than 60 items. The market also has a nice selection of rice cookers and other cooking equipment at below-market prices. 1816 E. Pioneer Pkwy., Arlington. 817-265-1488; 9780 Walnut St., Garland. 972-437-9888.

Koko’s Asian Market Fort Worth
The aisles of this market are an adventure through Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese, and Japanese delights. Besides having the thinnest dumpling skins anywhere, the store carries just about any spice from the aforementioned countries. 8001 Banger Dr., Fort Worth. 817-244-7571.

Taiwan Supermarket Richardson
When the produce at your local chain supermarket lets you down, head here for a great selection of greens, veggies, and exotic fruit, such as melons and ripe mangoes. We picked up a bag of snow peas, washed them, and ate them like candy. 221 W. Polk St., Ste. 104, Richardson. 972-783-2287.

V.T. Market Oak Lawn
Those in the southwest quadrant of the city no longer need to venture to Arlington or Garland for Asian specialties. V.T. has plopped down on Maple Avenue in a mass of Mexican markets and successfully combined Vietnamese sea bass, Indian mackerel, and Philippine mullet with fajita meat, chorizo, and bisteco suave under one roof. Pick up funky Asian pointy hats along with sun-dried spices, oils, and sauces from the Far East. 4305 Maple Ave. 214-443-9670.

Viet Tofu Garland
This popular takeout spot is also open in Arlington and Fort Worth, making it easy to find dim sum, house-made spring rolls, fish cakes, and sweets. 3555 W. Walnut St. @ Jupiter Rd. Ste. 203, Garland. 972-272-3685; 809 E. Arkansas Ln., Arlington. 817-277-2078; 4045 E. Belknap St., Fort Worth. 817-831-7229.

Vietnam Plaza Market Carrollton
Once you’re inside this authentic market, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported across the Pacific. Be thankful that Ozzy Osbourne never found this place—the meat case is full of pork ears, hearts, uteri, rectum, and spleen. Huge green papayas, fresh lemon grass, chayote, long beans, and fresh tamarind are abundant in the produce section. 1103 S. Josey Ln., Carrollton. 972-416-8931.

British

British Emporium Grapevine
Choose from the largest selection of teas—herb, flavored, green, black—in the area. Shop the frozen meat section for meat pies, sausages, and Irish bacon, or satisfy your sweet tooth with delicious traditional English desserts and chocolate fudge made with the richest cream in the world. 140
N. Main St., Grapevine. 817-421-2311
. www.british-emporium.com.

World Service UK Lower Greenville
Good British food may be an oxymoron, but delicacies such as clotted cream, bangers, scones, and kippers are treats at this mod shop. Pick up a couple of old Monty Python or Ab Fab videos and digestives, and tallyho. 1923 Greenville Ave. 214-827-8886.

Eastern European

Fresh N Tender Richardson
The first thing you notice is the combination of smells—together they provide olfactory evidence that this tiny store is worthy of its second name, Internacional, emblazoned on its window. Purveyors of Halal meats, the Muslim equivalent of kosher, this place is a, well, Mecca, for those who wish to keep this tradition with its attendant health benefits. The store is one of the largest local sources for goat meat. You can also find Ghana yams, African smoked fish, and inexpensive goat testicles. 796 S. Floyd Rd., Richardson. 972-644-7224.

Import Food Market Arlington
Plan to spend an afternoon browsing the treasures here. Trinkets and treats from India, Russia, Pakistan, and points in between include dried apricots, Bulgarian cheese, hookahs, and figs. The market also boasts a large selection of Middle Eastern spices and music. 801 W. Park Row, Arlington. 817-261-4993.

International Food Land Arlington
Russian food—pickled herring, mackerel, bread, and cheese—is the highlight here. We also spied plenty of gourmet items from Poland, Greece, and Turkey. Browse the small but impressive produce selection and the Middle Eastern bakery and takeout counter filled with hummus, olives, dolmas, and flatbreads. 1729 S. Cooper St., Arlington. 817-277-1611.

Taste of Europe Arlington
This market, deli, and restaurant serves traditional Russian treats such as eggplant salad, shish kebabs, chicken salad, and pierogi. The deli houses fresh sausages, salami, ground beef, and organic pork and chicken, which is smoked daily. Shop the market for canned sardines, jams, candy, teas, and breads. Cherry cream cheese strudel is a great way to end your Russian feast. 1901 Pioneer Pkwy., Arlington. 817-275-5530.

German

Henk’s European Deli and Black Forest Bakery North Dallas
Since the ’60s this popular bakery has sold traditional German rye, Prussian rye, and flaxseed bread. The spot is now run by the Winnubst family, who added a few Dutch treats, such as napoleons filled with raspberry cream, hazelnut buttercream cake, and mocha buttercream cake. 5811 Blackwell St. 214-987-9090.

Kuby’s Sausage House University Park
This one-of-a-kind, family-run store has been open in Snider Plaza for more than 42 years for good reason—the house-made sausage is legendary. The grocery aisles have a small but sophisticated sampling of international staples, including Dean Fearing’s tortilla soup. 6601 Snider Plaza. 214-363-2231.

Italian

Civello’s Raviolismo Old East Dallas
If Chena doesn’t have it, she’ll make it. Slip in for a freshly made pan of ravioli or lasagna, pop it in the oven, and call it your own (she won’t tell). A mean pumpkin ravioli in either striped chile or pumpkin pasta is a great quick dinner. 1318 N. Peak St. 214-827-2989.

Jimmy’s Food Store Old East Dallas
Everybody who is anybody loves Jimmy’s. This quintessential neighborhood grocery is the best source in town for all things Italian. The old-fashioned deli counter is full of cheese, oxtail, rabbit, goat, proscuitto, and handmade hot breakfast sausage.  Homemade meatballs are a must for every freezer. 4901 Bryan St. 214-823-6180.

Indian

Albaraka Halal Meat Richardson
Here, you’ll find an abundance of Indian spice pastes—vindaloo, tandoori, tikka, garam masala, and curry, to name a few. Kashmir also carries cheese, yogurt, dry spices, olives, breads, and, of course, meats. 200 W. Polk St., Richardson. 972-680-1016.

India Grocery Richardson
If you like spicy, try shopping at this Indian grocery store. One hundred percent wheat flower from India makes great tortillas and Indian bread. Indian crackers, spicy chips, punjbi mix (it’s hot!), and hard-to-find Indian-style cookies make great snacks. India Grocery also has a nice selection of lentils and rice, including extra-long grain, basmati, and desmine. 15 Richardson Heights North, Richardson. 972-234-8051.

Mela Irving
This neighborhood (read: friendly) shop is big on hard-to-find Indian treats like our favorite, Thumbs Up, the Indian equivalent of Coke. Mela stocks an assortment of Indian hair products (henna anyone?) alongside frozen dosa, paneer, and tikka masala dinners. The produce bin is stocked with beatle leaves, guar beans, and long eggplant. 5427 MacArthur Blvd., Irving. 972-518-1777.

Tajmahal Imports Richardson
The smell of curry greets you in the parking lot. Inside you’ll find a wonderland for Indian foodies and collectors of India cultural and religious trinkets. Aisles are loaded with spices, fresh produce, exotic ice cream, and fresh and frozen Indian specialties. 26-C Richardson Heights Village, Richardson. 214-644-1329.

International

Canyon Specialty Foods Downtown
One of the best-kept secrets in food shopping, this small company makes tamales, salsas, and barbecue sauces and sells them at the Farmers Market on weekends. You can also order them by phone. Dallas Farmers Market, 1010 S. Pearl St. 214-352-1771. www.canyonfoods.com.

Japanese

Kazy’s Food Market Lake Highlands
Amateur sushi chefs find everything from shrimp, tuna, yellowtail, snow crab, monkfish, scallops, octopus, red snapper, eel, salmon, and mackerel to make their favorite rolls. Selections depend on what is fresh and in season. Don’t forget the wasabi and ginger. 9256 Markville Dr. 972-235-4831.

Nanami Japanese Gourmet Market Far North Dallas
It’s miso madness. Nanami carries more varieties than we’ve ever seen, and the rice offerings aren’t far behind. The store is small, but the choices are many, making this a one-stop shop for all things Japanese. Produce is limited. 17721 Dallas Pkwy. 972-818-1488.

Kosher
The following markets are certified kosher by the Vaad Hakashrus, the kosher authority in Dallas. For more information on kosher establishments, check out www.dallaskosher.org.

Albertson’s Pareve Bakery, Deli, and Fresh Meat Market Richardson
This store in the chain sells takeout rotisserie chicken and meats and other deli products. All baked goods prepared are pareve and pas yisrael, including beautiful wedding cakes. 1341 W. Campbell Rd. 972-437-2896.

Minyard’s Preston Forest
This corner is kosher (the Tom Thumb across the street is, too). All breads and rolls at Minyard’s are pareve, and all cakes, pastries, and other baked goods are either pareve or dairy, as marked. Party trays, deli sandwiches, and salads are provided in sealed containers indicating Dallas Kosher supervision. Fresh Glatt kosher meat and chicken is available daily. 714 Preston Forest Shopping Center. 214-691-4529.

Tom Thumb Preston Forest
Fresh Glatt kosher meat and fish department, full-service deli, and bakery are all under Dallas Kosher supervision, as are takeout hot prepared foods, rotisserie chicken, and meats. Come here for fresh fish for holidays. 11920 Preston Rd. @ Forest Ln. 972-392-2501.

Latin/Mexican

Carnival Knox-Henderson
Mexican cooks come here store for bulk spices and herbs at prices below wholesale. Between the fresh cactus, guavas, quince, and tomatoes, we’ve always found some of the best (and cheapest) avocados around. 1800 N. Henderson Ave. 214-826-8470.

Dallas Tortilla Lower Greenville
Having a party? This one-stop shop has fresh-made corn and flour tortillas, handmade tamales (beef, chicken, or pork), fresh taco shells, tostadas, and chips. 1418 Greenville Ave. 214-821-8854.

Fiesta Mart Oak Cliff
An appropriately named Latin American market where every trip is a party. Be careful, because it’s easy to get lost in the vast selections of produce, spices (yep, the store has epazote), fruits, vegetables, and dried chilies. Fiesta also has the largest selection of Mexican cheeses—queso ane, queso cotija, queso fresco, and panela—that we’ve seen in Dallas. Hay muchas for your sweet tooth. 611 W. Jefferson Blvd. 214- 944-3300. Multiple locations.

Middle Eastern

Andre Imported Foods Richardson
Don’t blink or you’ll miss this teeny spot favored by local Armenians who come here for traditional holiday smoked fish. Yogurt cheese balls and imported feta are great finds, as is the wide variety of fresh nuts and dates. If you’re looking for an obscure herb, you’ll likely find it. If not, relieve your stress with a little Persian rose water-flavored ice cream. 1478 W. Spring Valley Rd., Richardson. 972-644-7644.

Euro Deli Richardson
Foods from Russia, Europe, and the Middle East, including crispy flat Russian bread (lepeshka) baked on the premises daily are highlights at this 7-year-old market. Look for delicious Russian pastries or kid-friendly bird’s milk, a chocolate-coated mashmallowy confection. The deli case boasts 60 kinds of smoked sausages; the smoked fish selection includes sturgeon, trout, eel, and red and black caviar; and dairy products include yogurt cheese and kefir, a fruit yogurt drink. 2360 Promenade Center (670 N. Coit Rd. @ Arapaho Rd.). 972-234-8052.

Izmir Market & Deli Lower Greenville
This is the favorite takeout spot for the M Street crowd who frequents big sister Cafe Izmir a few doors down. The market has just about everything you could want, from that famous hummus, tabbouleh, and Russian chicken salad to delightful baklava. Need a lift? Sip a cup of Turkish coffee and nosh on a Greek butter cookie. 3607 Greenville Ave. 214-824-8484.

Shine Mediterranean Market Far North Dallas
This market/deli specializes in Mediterranean and Argentinean foods: gyros, shawarma (made to take or eat there), tabbouleh, hummus, vegetarian and meat dolmas, lahmagum, spices, and chicken or beef shish kababs. Owners Diana and Sahim Maraslioglu will woo you with an authentic empanada made with ground beef, olives, and onions. 14902 Preston Rd., Ste. 1300. 972-763-1842.

World Food Warehouse North Dallas
Without a doubt, this is the best place for freshly baked pita and Indian-style naan bread, as well as cookies from Eastern Europe. Pita (whole wheat or white) is available in two sizes, and World Food also carries olives and feta cheeses, as well as a small selection of produce and imported canned goods. 13434 Floyd Cir. 972-480-9911.

Worldwide Foods Lower Greenville
This is the mother ship of Middle Eastern fare. You want olives? They’ve got millions. And hummus, baba ghanoush, dolmas (for cheap!), imported cheeses (several types of fresh feta), and traditional pastries. Sesame candies, spices (cardamom seeds, anise, cloves, cumin) share shelf space with packages of chickpeas, couscous, and lentils. 1907 Greenville Ave. 214-824-8860.

Spanish

Cafe Madrid Market Knox-Henderson
Dallas’ original tapas bar has a small market with foods from Spain, such as Seville oranges and Fruit of the Forest preserves, Spanish paprika, wood-fire-roasted piquillo pimientos, anchovy-stuffed olives, and a selection of Spanish cheeses (available by the pound from the kitchen). 4501 Travis St. 214-528-1731.

CHEESE, GLORIOUS CHEESE
These are the top spots in Dallas for handmade, imported, or otherwise fine cheeses.

Central Market multiple locations
Carries: 678 types
Top Seller: Parmigiano-Reggiano
Unique Cheese: Pure Luck goat cheese from Dripping Springs, Texas
Lbs. Sold Annually:  350,000-400,000 (per store)

Eatzi’s Market Oak Lawn
Carries: 100 types
Top Seller: Canadian cheddar, aged four years
Unique Cheese: Ossau Iraty
Lbs. Sold Annually: 36,000

Jimmy’s Food Store Old East Dallas
Carries: 43 types (all Italian)
Top Seller: Parmigiano-Reggiano
Unique Cheese: Auricchio provolone, aged 12 months
Lbs. Sold Annually: 12,000

Market Street Grapevine
Carries: 220 types
Top Seller: Mozzarella balls
Unique Cheese: Belletoile, a triple-crème product from France; Morbier, a French cheese made of cow’s milk and ash
Lbs. Sold Annually: no estimate (just opened September 4, 2003)

Mozzarella Company Deep Ellum
Carries: 25-30 types (all handmade)
Top Seller: Fresh mozzarella
Unique Cheese: Deep Ellum Blue
Lbs. Sold Annually: 200,000-250,000

Sigel’s Fresh Market Addison
Carries: 150 types
Top Sellers: Parrano, a Dutch cheese; and Old Quebec Vintage Cheddar, aged five years
Unique Cheese: Parmigiano-Reggiano, aged in house
Lbs. Sold Annually: 30,000

Whole Foods multiple locations
Carries: 300-plus types
Top Seller: Parmigiano-Reggiano
Unique Cheese: La Boule du Perigord, a black-truffled goat cheese from France
Lbs. Sold Annually: 600,000 (per store)

BAKERIES

Bakery by George Garland
Help solve the world’s problems with croissants and coffee at this local hangout. Although the bakery specializes in personalized birthday and wedding cakes, it’s well-known for “Cheers on Broadway,” the Garland version of the famous TV show. Locals arrive early each morning, help themselves to coffee, and gather around the community table, chatting about world affairs, politics, and family. 4133 Broadway Blvd., Garland. 972-240-2461.

Bread Winner’s Chocolate Seduction Cake
Bread Winner’s Bakery & Cafe Uptown
The menu is almost as long as the line to order. If you’re looking for a dessert to take home or a quick chocolate fix, try one of the sinful brownies or the best-selling chocolate seduction cake. With a new second location on Lovers Lane, you’d think the lines would lessen. Not true—the goodie groupies are relentless. 3301 McKinney Ave. 214-754-4940; 5560 W. Lovers Ln. 214-351-3339.

Casa Linda Bakery East Dallas
East Dallas has enjoyed Casa Linda since the early ’40s. Although you’ll find 12 varieties of made-from-scratch bread, cookies, pies, and cakes comprise almost 70 percent of the bakery’s business. Owner David Sutton spends most weekends delivering to weddings. 10819 Garland Rd. 214-321-0355.

Celebrity Cafe & Bakery North Dallas
For those of you who scoff at Atkins, Celebrity is the place to hang. The best-selling white chocolate toffee cake and the caramel turtle fudge cake are just two of the many sugar-filled specialties made daily. Along with a sinful red velvet cake, Celebrity is famous for its iced sugar cookies, and one girl we know swoons over the thumbprint cookies. 10720 Preston Rd., Ste. 1016. 214-373-0783. Multiple locations.

Corner Bakery Downtown
For a big chain, this bakery does a great job turning out traditional baguettes, country sourdough, ciabatta (try the olive!), brioche, and steakhouse rye. A division of Brinker International, the bakery started as the baker for big sister restaurant Maggiano’s and eventually took off on its own. Coffee cake tastes just like the one Grandma used to make, and banana bundt cake leaves you speechless. 1623 Main St., Ste. 101. 214-977-9214. Multiple locations.

Eatzi’s Market & Bakery Oak Lawn
For most of us, the seductive smell of holiday baking comes only once a year, but you can enjoy that aroma every day at Eatzi’s. The large selection of European breads sweeps your senses to the Tuscan hillside or the cobblestone streets of Paris. Eatzi’s also offers an abundance of cakes, pastries, tarts, cookies, and brownies. 3403 Oak Lawn Ave. 214-526-1515.

Empire Baking Company Preston Hollow
Dallas’ first artisan bread baker is now in its 11th year of filling our basket with the finest produc

Photos: Grants, Cake: Doug Davis