Somebody Help This Poor Girl: The Most ‘Dallas’ Dallas Restaurant

Here is an interesting request from a gal who has friends coming to town and would like to show them the food experiences that best represent Dallas. What's the most "Dallas" Dallas restaurant?

Stampede 66′s Modern Star Canyon Margarita is rapidly becoming the first drink visitors taste. (Photography by Kevin Marple)
Stampede 66′s Modern Star Canyon Margarita is rapidly becoming the first taste of Dallas. (Photography by Kevin Marple)

Here is an interesting request from a gal who has friends coming to town and would like to show them the food experiences that best represent Dallas. I emailed her back for details and she shares:

Thanks for asking. My friends are from Philadelphia and even though they like to go eat fancy food, they are not high-style diners. They are four and range from 32 to 38 and don’t drink a great deal so they don’t really want to go do the bar scene. They asked to eat Dallas food. I have no idea what that is and when I told them that they were stunned. They rattled off Philadelphia food like cheesesteaks and it made me think. I was hoping your readers could write a list of Dallas foods.


  • JtB

    Smoke( view) or FM Smokehouse (near the airport) . Perhaps Meso Maya (for the downtown vibe).

  • iampurewest

    Philly=cheesesteaks. Then they probably want BBQ, tex-mex, or even a taco stand. Tex-mex, I’m still looking for one that stands out. BBQ, Lockhart or Pecan Lodge. My favorite taco stand is El Si Hay. Texas brunch I’d go with Smoke.

  • no_really

    Stampede 66.

  • Matt


  • Anonymous

    Manny’s Uptown and CFS at Babes.

    — Phelps

  • TheGuy

    Wait till Friday. Around 5pm, go to Gloria’s on Lower Greenville. Get outdoor seating and watch the traffic and walkers go by while you drink a margarita. Then get some food; it’s better than pretty good. Catch a show at the Granada. Go back to Gloria’s, have another drink. Then go home.

  • Becca Linn

    I had a friend from Italy visit and here is where I took him: Bubba’s for fried chicken, Burger House (Twisted Root is another favorite), Matitos, The Mansion for Wine Chats (this is great because of all the Dallas history at the hotel/restaurant), the Katy Trail Ice House

    Other recommendations:
    Lockhart Smokehouse
    LUCK at Trinity Groves (they cook a lot with local beer)
    The Dallas Farmers Market and the Little D Farmers Market
    Chicken Scratch
    The Truck Yard
    The Blind Butcher
    HG Supply Co (the rooftop bar has a great view and they should be serving food up there soon…as of right now there is only a kitchen for the first floor)
    Belly and Trumpet

    • Megan Van Groll

      HG Sply Co has a limited menu for upstairs now.

  • Lucy

    – Los Cabos Salas at Taco Diner,
    – Pollo Con Mole tacos at Urban Taco,
    -Heavy duty tacos at Torchy’s or Fuzzy’s,
    – or Dinner at Mesero Miguel on Henderson

    – Sonny Bryan’s
    – or Spring Creek
    (Pecan Lodge has too long of a wait)

    TX Steakhouse:
    – Al Biernat’s
    – Bob’s Chop House

    The Zodiac Room at the Original Neiman Marcus (Downtown)

    • MatthewMaj

      For the love of God, please don’t send anyone to Sonny Bryan’s or Spring Creek for BBQ

    • Rick

      Lucy’s chain heavy recommendations have ZERO credibility.

  • Finegold

    Bob’s Steak and Chop, Javier’s, Ozona’s, Lockhart, Victor Tango’s, Tillman’s, El Fenix or Mi Cocina… I think that’s a pretty good assortment of “Dallas” food. Let us know where she ends up!

  • Carinthia Kishaba

    Javier’s Gourmet Mexicano! We take all of out of town guest there and they always request to go back….best Dallas Food 🙂 4912 Cole Avenue
    Dallas, Texas 75205
    (214) 521-4211 |

  • Brandon Castillo

    For fajitas: Mia’s on Lemmon, Blue Goose on Greenville, Pepe & Mito’s on Elm, Matt’s on Skillman

    For Asian fusionish: Dalat on Fitzhugh, Lemmongrass on Elm, Mai’s on Bryan, Monkey King Noodle on Main

    White people tacos: Velvet Taco on Fitzhugh, Rusty Taco on Greenville, Taco Joint on Mockingbird

    Brown people tacos: Come Taco on Fitzhugh, Tacos La Banqueta on Gaston (Suadero!), Urban Taco on McKinney (Pastor!)

    Torta’s: El Atorón on Henderson, Pepe’s Ranch on Main

  • Carinthia Kishaba

    Javier’s Gourmet Mexicano! We take everyone there and they always ask to go back 🙂 Food is outstanding and the Vibe is the best 🙂

  • BrownBrownBrown

    1. Babes
    2. El Ranchito (Tex-Mex- Oak Cliff Style: GO ON FRIDAY/SATURDAY NIGHT!)
    3. Pecan Lodge
    4. Taqueria El Si Hay (Get the Elotes, tacos, a mexican coke and bring cash- On Lewellyn and Davis in Oak Cliff)
    5. Celebration
    6. 20 Feet (Try the Green Room Mussels!)

  • Gotojimmys

    Definitely Jimmy’s

  • Taylor Catalano

    Mia’s for brisket tacos, Jimmy’s for the hot pepper and beef sandwich, Smoke for brunch, Maple & Motor for burgers, pizza at Coal Vines, BBQ at Lockhart’s. All Dallas staples for not much money.

  • Brad Hatton

    BBQ or TexMex, for sure. I suggest Uncle Julios for both the excellent and consistently fresh Tex Mex, but also for the fun and friendly environment. Lemmon Avenue is the original location, but the North Dallas Tollway location is nice too.
    Also, don’y forget BABES for a real southern fried chicken dinner, served family style!

  • dallasboiler

    I love the suggestions in these comments.

    To me, the most “Dallas” dining experience in Dallas is Nick & Sam’s or Al Biernat’s. The scene is what most people (especially northerners) likely have in mind when they think of stereotypical Dallas, and the food is the big steakhouse experience that they likely have in mind as well. (I think Nick & Sam’s hits more of the sweet spot for the under-40 crowd, while I’d probably lean towards Al Biernat’s for an over-40 group.)

    After that, I think that Rattlesnake Bar at the Ritz-Carlton is also one of the most stereotypical Dallas bar scenes. If you want to give them more of a Texas flare, I’d recommend Adair’s in Deep Ellum and Cowboy’s Red River in Irving (visiting northerners always want to try a mechanical bull when visiting Texas).

  • Karen

    Dallas food = Tex-Mex-trust me they may have Mexican food but they don’t have that. Stick to an original- go to Mia’s Tex Mex.

    If you want fancier hit up Mi Cocina or Meso Maya- but Meso Maya isnt quite Tex Mex

  • Pamela Flores

    La Calle Doce in the Cliff for Porch, Coctel de Ostiones and a margarita- on the rocks of course, Y.O.Ranch Restaraunt- for steak, wild game, and very gouda mac and cheese in the West End- great wine selection. Norma’s in the Cliff for down home diner atmosphere and damn good home cooked meals. And fast food? Pollo Regio is the best fast food joint. For the most local seafood Newports- cool atmosphere too! and If you want to do a 360 of the city go up to Wolfgang Pucks place in the tower downtown. I think No Place deserves a mention too. Oh and Tomorrow nite is Chef DC’s Steak Night at the lakewood theatre.15 dollars all you can eat and amazing. There are others (see below) obviously, but these are the ones I would miss if I left Dallas.

  • Pamela Flores

    La Calle Doce. The Y.O. Ranch.

  • Lindsey

    Take them to The Rustic – everything on their menu (beers, wines, liquors, food ingredients) is a Texas made product! Plus the atmosphere is wonderful and the food is delicious! 🙂

  • Little Jimmy

    BBQ: Pecan Lodge
    Tex-Mex: Avila’s for overall Tex-Mex/Mexican and Manny’s for Brisket tacos
    Tacos: Tacos y Mas or Fuel City
    Texas Food: Stampede 66 or Ozona (with a great patio)
    Gastropub: Meddlesome Moth

  • Sara

    Meat is about as Dallas as it gets – Blind Butcher, HG Sply Co, Smoke, LUCK. Pretty much anything in Trinity Groves or Greenville is pretty hot right now as far as exemplifying the “Dallas” vibe.

  • rvponders

    I would go for Southwestern cuisine, since that’s the most unique to DFW thing out there, and put in a vote for Fearing’s or Lonesome Dove. They are also helmed by probably our two most famous chefs.

    • rvponders

      But in all honesty, I don’t think there’s a typically Dallas food out there like deep dish pizza to Chicago, pizza/street hot dogs/bagels to NYC or cheesesteaks in Philly… no matter what Barter tries to argue.

  • Courtnie Boden

    LUCK. It’s stands for Local Urban Cuisine Kitchen. Everything there comes from Texas. They have Texas sodas and Texas beer, no hard liquor, and it’s delicious!

  • Courtnie Boden

    LUCK. It stand for Local Urban Cuisine Kitchen. Everything served there is Texas made, even the sodas and the beer and it’s delicious! You all lap get a really pretty view of Dallas and the new bridge.

    • Courtnie Boden

      Also, it’s really reasonably priced.

    • Courtnie Boden

      *also, not all lap. That would be a completely different establishment all together.

  • Thisis_Julie

    Tacos Y Mas on Ross near Lower Greenville Ave for Breakfast Tacos. I recommend getting the corn tortillas. And Baker’s Ribs for BBQ (if you like desserts you have to try their peach cobbler!). The Rustic would be a fun place to take them as well since they have a variety of fare and often there’s country bands playing – giving it a real “Texasy” vibe.

  • Thisis_Julie

    Tacos y Mas on Ross and lower Greenville for breakfast tacos – I recommend getting the corn tortillas. Baker’s Ribs for BBQ (if you like dessert, you have to get the peach cobbler with complimentary ice cream!) The Rustic is also another good choice. They have a variety of fare including amazing burgers and local beers, plus there’s usually a country band playing on their stage giving it a real “Texasy” vibe.

  • Marcus

    How about Five Sixty? It’s not Dallas food, but many people think of Reunion Tower when they think of Dallas.

  • Bradley Witte

    Smoke, Stampede 66, Gemma, Mattitos, Babe’s (in Garland, best fried chicken around and not expensive), Sammy’s BBQ. There are other great restaurants, but these are what I would call regional foods.

  • Rhy007

    You want REAL Texas? Maple & Motor for delish burgers. Babe’s for CFS or fried chicken. Enjoy!

  • Dallas Girl

    Celebration Family Style Restaurant on Lovers Lane IS Dallas dining. Any Tex-Mex, but El Fenix rules, even though I personally prefer cleaner Mexican food. La Madeleine is Dallas, but so are the popular chains like Chili’s & Black Eyed Pea (quality has gone WAY down, sadly). The Grape, Terilli’s, MoMo’s – All Dallas!

  • Fred

    Javier’s? Dear God no. There are too many Park Cities people in there – they are not “Dallas”, and they give us a bad name.

  • Fred

    Javier’s? Dear God no. There are too many Park Cities people in there – they are not “Dallas”, and they give us a bad name.

  • Fred

    Javier’s? Dear God no. There are too many Park Cities people in there – they are not “Dallas”, and they give us a bad name.

  • Fred

    Javier’s? Dear God no. There are too many Park Cities people in there – they are not “Dallas”, and they give us a bad name.