Little Black Book

A Highly Photogenic Dallas Food Tour

by Anna Petrow
Barbecue Next-level barbecue at 18th & Vine. All photos by Anna Petrow.

The food scene is flourishing in Dallas. Lost when it comes to restaurant options? Food photographer Anna Petrow narrows down the list.

DALLAS – Ask anyone in Dallas what the best thing to do is in their city and you'll get the same answer: Eat. Dallas has long been regarded as an epicenter for modern Southern dining, a truth that's best reflected in the hearty, bold, fresh, and delicious food scene. Here's your guide for eating and drinking through the best Dallas has on offer.

Americano at The Joule
1530 Main St.; +1-214-261-4600
If you're embarking on this culinary tour of D-Town, you'll need a home base. The trendiest digs in town are found at The Joule, a favorite of fashion bloggers and art lovers alike. The hotel has boutiques and a Taschen bookstore on-site, as well as an art-filled lobby and rooftop pool that juts over Main Street for the best views money can buy. Americano, the hotel restaurant, does colorful takes on Italian cuisine in an equally bright and colorful environment — lime green walls, bold patterned tile floors, and bright blue tables. Pair your best sundress with a glass of sparkling rosé and order the tri-colored cauliflower salad with golden raisins and pistachio and chilled eggplant caponata for a light lunch on the breezy terrace.

Left: Tri-coloured cauliflower salad and chilled eggplant caponata at The Joule's Americano. Right: Americano's vibrant decor gives the restaurant a bright, fun energy.

Left: Perfect night to order BBQ on the patio at 18th & Vine Right: Cocktail at 18th & Vine.

18th & Vine
4100 Maple Ave.; +1-214-443-8335
Kansas City-style barbecue gets a serious facelift at this upscale restaurant. Dark wood and low lighting give 18th & Vine a particularly glamorous date-night feel, and the James Beard Award-winning chef certainly amps up the vibe. The number one item is the burnt ends, which this Kansas City girl is willing to go on record and publicly admit are the best she's ever had. The restaurant's pit boss makes some seriously killer pulled pork and ribs that pair well with classic sides like jalapeño cheese grits and the more unique barbecue mashed potatoes, which don't include any sign of sauce but taste magically smoky. Go for the Two 'Que Plate or opt for more adventurous dishes like coffee-rubbed barbecue quail or brisket stroganoff. Dine on the patio picnic tables or turn it up a notch in the upstairs lounge with live KC jazz.

2008 Greenville Ave.; +1-469-334-0896
The place to be on a nice afternoon has a lively young crowd, a beautiful menu of light and healthy lunch options, and some of the best cocktails in the city. Naturally sourced ingredients (some grown on their own rooftop) shine in dishes like pulled pork tacos with spicy pineapple pico, zucchini pasta with salmon and carmelized onions, and all-natural uncured jalapeño bratwurst. Wash it down with a frozen Moscow mule — hard to beat on a warm day. The rooftop has great views of downtown Dallas, plenty of fans and misters, and herbs growing all around. Bonus: a natural ingredient-forward meal will give you energy to walk the darling Lower Greenville neighborhood.

Emporium Pies
314 N. Bishop Ave.; +1-469-206-6126
Set up in a tiny house in the Bishop Arts area, this pie shop whips up seasonal flavors that have people waiting in lines all the way down the street. There's The Drunken Nut (bourbon pecan with shortbread crust), Blue Steel (your classic blueberry with a flaky crust), and Dr. Love (red velvet chess pie). Get them by the slice on pretty vintage plates and enjoy with an ice coffee on the front porch. Or box up a whole pie for later and check out the district's art galleries and boutiques. Maybe bring a fork in case you change your mind about waiting.

Left: Blackened redfish with garden greens and red pepper sauce. Right: Wayward Sons refreshing cocktail with gin, cilantro, radish and jalapeño.

Wayward Sons
3525 Greenville Ave.; +1-214-828-2888
For a shining example of how the Dallas food scene has evolved, look no further than Wayward Sons. The bold, rustic interior is beautiful but totally besides the point. Food is the star. Consistently named one of the top dining destinations in the city, chef Graham Dodds produces modern seasonal fare with a nod to Southern tradition. The melt-in-your-mouth buttermilk biscuits are served with mum's preserves — the chef's mom churns them out weekly. Dixie kitchen staples like catfish and chicken and dumplings get five-star treatment with innovative accoutrements like leek hushpuppies and thumbelina carrots. But you'll also find some true scene-changers like oxtail arancini and blackened redfish. The crisp and complex namesake cocktail mixed with gin, cilantro, radish, and jalapeño is a refreshing after-dinner drink.

4216 Oak Lawn Ave.; +1-469-513-2505
A daring fusion of Mexican and French cuisine put this establishment at the top of the list for Restaurant of the Year. Chef Julio Peraza cooks with classic French technique using familiar Mexican spices and ingredients. Mind-blowing presentation and vibrant colors dominate the experience. Esquites (grilled corn) are served in-husk covered in spices. Enfrijolada duck confit is wrapped in bright green cilantro tortillas. Located in prestigious Highland Park, the eatery is a place to see and be seen — minimalist design dominates the interior and feels more like a Manhattan hot-spot than a neighborhood favorite. Request a seat at the chef's counter so you can keep an eye on all the action.

Duck confit enfrijoladas with cilantro tortillas, serrano chiles, and queso fresco. Photo courtesy of Madrina.

Chicken and waffles from Remedy.

2010 Greenville Ave.; +1-469-294-4012
Dallas elites know how to brunch like no other, and Remedy is top of game. Soaring ceilings give way to art deco chandeliers, whimsical mint green walls, and a wide open restaurant front that lets sunshine in. Brunchers can sip on fresh, homemade sodas out of candy-striped straws (try the Spa Day with cucumber) or something boozier like a tiki cocktail with house-made coconut milk. Hot chicken and waffles are king, glazed in a sweet and spicy Vermont maple syrup and garnished with pickled blackberries. Also not to be missed are biscuits and gravy with Texas farm-fresh eggs and shrimp and grits with baby tomatoes. Even if you think you can't, order dessert. The coconut cream pie is famous state-wide, and the rotating towering ice cream sundaes is catnip for Instagrammers. 


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