33 Iconic Dallas Foods to Eat in 2023

Last Updated on June 2, 2023 | 0 Comments
Prepare yourself for 33 of the best Dallas foods out there!

Dallas has gone from cowboy town to internationally diverse metropolis, and nowhere is this better reflected than in Dallas foods. There are more than a dozen restaurant districts waiting to be discovered. Are you craving big-portion, down-home classics or are you in the mood for a light bite? Need sushi but tired of the same old roll? It's easy to see why one of the best things to do in Dallas is eat. Whatever your appetite, our list of the most iconic Dallas foods will leave you full and satisfied. 

We hunted up big game, caught a line on the best seafood and got to the root of the best vegetarian. From hidden gems to over-the-top refined, this round-up of must-try Dallas foods has something for everyone. Let’s dig in!

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33 Best Dallas Foods

1. Texas Red at CBD Provisions

First on the list of iconic Dallas foods is chili. The official state dish of Texas since 1977 and known locally as a Texas Red, it’s more a hearty beef stew than a tomato-based, bean-studded dish. The TX Red Chili at CBD Provisions is a great introduction to this staple Dallas food.

The Vibe

CBD Provisions describes itself as a modern brasserie, a French term for an informal eatery that typically has a great drink selection. Classy with Southern hospitality.

What to Order

The upscale TX Red Chili, which is topped with a soft egg and served with a side of honey-butter cornbread, isn’t considered a starter. It occupies the final spot on the main course menu. 

CBD Provisions | 1530 Main St., Dallas, TX 75201 | $$

CBD Provisions' chili is some of the best Dallas food available.
via CBD Provisions

2. Frito Pie at Thunderbird Station

Fritos were invented in Texas and so was the Frito pie, a quintessential Dallas food. Frito pie is the equivalent of nachos made using Frito corn chips. Thunderbird Station is exactly the kind of place you can count on to do this iconic Dallas food staple justice.

The Vibe

Somewhere between vintage gas station and drive-up fast-food joint but with a real cocktail list. Outdoor seating includes picnic tables. Thunderbird Station is a top pick for fun places to eat in Dallas.

What to Order

The chili they use for their Frito Pie is made with Black Angus beef, but there’s also a vegetarian version. Wash it down with a frosty mug of draft beer.

Thunderbird Station | 3400 Commerce St., Dallas TX 75226 | $

3. Barbeque Brisket at Pecan Lodge

The family-recipe brisket at Pecan Lodge elevated them from farmers market food stand vendor to institution in Deep Ellum, one of the top Dallas food neighborhoods. They don’t take shortcuts when it comes to doing the hard work of turning out mouthwatering meats, but you can.

The Vibe

Neighborhood spot, classic chalkboard menu, live music on the back porch in the summer. It’s exactly what it should be for a BBQ joint.

What to Order

Get your sweets and meats in one dish with The Hot Mess: Barbacoa-style brisket on salt-crusted sweet potato with chipotle cream, cheese, butter and green onions. It’s a two-fer Dallas food. 

Pecan Lodge | 2702 Main St., Dallas, TX 75226 | $

plates of barbecue, sauces, and sides
via Pecan Lodge

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4. Chicken Fried Steak at Street’s Fine Chicken

“You know I like my chicken fried, and cold beer on a Friday night.” Chicken fried steak is a quintessential Dallas food and is widely available on restaurant menus, but if you search for the best in Dallas, you’ll find Street’s Fine Chicken every time.

The Vibe

More modern than you’d expect for a place that specializes in fried chicken, complete with a full bar and cocktail menu.

What to Order

Start with Little Devils (Sriracha-spiked deviled eggs) while you’re waiting for the buttermilk chicken fried steak with jalapeño cream. These Dallas food classics are on the menu at both locations.

Street’s Fried Chicken | Multiple Locations | $

5. Chicken Fried Brisket at Smoky Rose

As far as unique Dallas foods go, this is a marriage made in heaven. And it’s only available at Dallas’s Smoky Rose.

The Vibe

Ideal gathering spot offering the best of both BBQ and Tex-Mex (Tex-Que) complete with dog park, outdoor patio and live music. Definitely on the list of cool places to eat in Dallas.

What to Order

Chicken Fried Prime Brisket, served with white gravy and mashed potatoes. 

Smoky Rose | 8602 Garland Rd., Dallas, TX 75218 | $

Smoky Rose's chicken fried brisket is unique Dallas food.
via Smoky Rose

6. Duck-Fat Fried Chicken at Roots Southern Table

Roots Southern Table is not your typical fried chicken joint. It’s a Dallas food hotspot. They recently earned not one but two James Beard Award nominations. If duck-fat fried chicken wasn’t reason enough to put this on your list of must-try restaurants in Dallas, that should be.

The Vibe

Roots Southern Table feels more like an upscale urban bistro than a Southern kitchen. The décor matches the dressed-up preparations of Southern classics.

What to Order

Start with the Local Texas Peaches prepared with country ham, Steen’s vinegar, pecans, burrata cheese and bitter greens. The pièce de résistance is served family-style and is an instant Dallas food cult classic.

Roots Southern Table | 13050 Bee St., Farmers Branch, TX 75234 | $$

7. Chili Mac at One90

Nothing garners more of a cult following than mac and cheese. Drop a dollop of chili on top, and you’ve got chili mac. One90 Smoked Meats, featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, serves a top-notch version of this Dallas food staple.

The Vibe

A local smoked meat market with a few tables for those who just can’t wait until they get home.

What to Order

Try their pastrami melt or the smoked pork belly sandwich, but get a side of chili mac. It’s a homemade mac and cheese with their smoked brisket chili on top. If you accidentally get addicted, they ship both their meat and their chili mac nationwide.

One90 | 10240 E. Northwest Hwy, Dallas, TX 75238 | $

a barbecue sandwich and a plate of macaroni and cheese
via One90

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8. Elote Nachos at Spiral Diner & Bakery

Add this to your list of must-try Dallas foods. For a spin on the traditional corn on a stick, try the Elote Nachos at the 100% vegan Spiral Diner & Bakery.

The Vibe

Two locations, both equally eclectic with a vintage diner vibe. Another rare find for vegan food in Dallas.

What to Order

The Elote Nachos are made with cashew-based cheese and the traditional grilled corn topping.

Spiral Diner & Bakery | Multiple Locations | $

9. Sweet Potato Empanadas at Belse

Empanadas are a popular Dallas food but are usually filled with meat. Belse, an upscale plant-based restaurant, makes a typically not-so-healthy treat a little easier to digest. Belse also makes our list of top spots for vegans when it comes to the best places to eat in Dallas.

The Vibe

Casual yet sleek dining room with high ceilings and drop lighting. Excellent date-night spot for vegetarians and vegans. 

What to Order

The sweet potato empanadas are made with puff pastry, black beans, corn, jalapeños, fresh chives and Violife cheddar, and come with a chimichurri dipping sauce. They’re the ultimate craveable Dallas food. Round them out with the citrus grilled broccolini and a flatbread. 

Belse | 1910 Pacific Ave. Suite 1400, Dallas, TX 75201 | $

The sweet potato empanadas at Belse are incredible Dallas food.
via Belse

10. Taco “El Capitan” at Salsa Limón

A list of iconic Dallas foods must include tacos. Visit the website for Salsa Limón and you’ll see their claim of “World’s Best Tacos” superimposed over a video showing juicy, charred meat being sliced off a spit and dropping neatly into a double-layer, handheld-sized tortilla. Need we say more?

The Vibe

This restaurant is more Mex than Tex, and proud of it. It’s also one of the tidiest Dallas food spots in town.

What to Order

The El Capitán taco starts with a layer of melted Oaxaca cheese on the inside. Fill it with your choice of any of the standard carnes (meats) or go for one of their vegetarian options. If you’re a fan of lengua (beef tongue), Salsa Limón needs to be on your list of where to eat in Dallas. 

Salsa Limón | Multiple Locations | $

11. Mole Verde Bowl at Unleavened

Bored with the same-old veggie and rice bowls? Unleavened Fresh Kitchen will reignite your love for the dish. Their Tex-Mex spin makes this bowl a truly unique Dallas food find.

The Vibe

This order-at-the-counter spot is one of the best places to eat in Dallas for a quick lunch bite.

What to Order

The Mole Verde Bowl has garlic charred broccoli, roasted sweet potatoes, pico and sliced avocado with a poblano feta sauce and shaved chocolate. Served warm, this Dallas food bowl will bowl you over. 

Unleavened | 1900 Abrams Pkwy, Dallas, TX 75214  | $

charred broccoli, sweet potato, and white sauce with shaved chocolate
via Unleavened Fresh Kitchen

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12. Chilean Sea Bass Enchiladas at TJ’s Seafood Market & Grill

You may not have thought to order enchiladas at a Dallas food spot known for serving top-notch seafood, but TJ’s Seafood Market & Grill will change that.

The Vibe

Their locations are a combination of take-home seafood markets and simple sit-down restaurants.

What to Order

We recommend the Chilean Sea Bass Enchiladas made with cilantro crema, corn, poblano and a jicama slaw. It’s a different take on the traditional dish, but still a fully satisfying Dallas food staple.

TJ’s Seafood Market | Multiple Locations | $$

13. Duck Confit Chile Relleno at Hugo’s Invitados

Chile relleno is typically not an inspiring dish. Executive Chef Natalio Charles at Hugo’s Invitados puts a bold (and welcome) spin on the classic by replacing boring ground beef with duck confit. If you don’t know what duck confit is, learn.

The Vibe

A totally fresh and authentic Mexican restaurant. It’s a place worth dressing up for, and they're serving some of the best food in Dallas.

What to Order

Prickly pear red snapper ceviche to start, then indulge with the duck confit chile relleno. Hugo’s raises the bar when it comes to making Mexican food healthier, which is hard to come by in typical Dallas food institutions. The tortilla chips are baked, not fried, and the menu includes fresh-squeezed juices.

Hugo’s Invitadoes | Multiple Locations | $$

Hugo's Invitados makes some of the best Dallas food.
via Hugo's Invitados

14. Margaritas at Beto & Son

Is all this Dallas food research making you thirsty? Head down to Beto & Son and quench your thirst with their award-winning margarita.

The Vibe

Festive and fun with many chef-to-table dishes. If you’re looking for cool restaurants in Dallas, this is the place.

What to Order

Liquid nitrogen margarita made tableside. There’s also a frosé and a piña colada version. The 12-hour barbacoa enchiladas are a Dallas food specialty not to be missed.

Beto & Son | 3011 Gulden Ln., Dallas, TX 75212 | $$

15. Grilled Salmon at Sachet

If you want a fresh escape from the heavy flavor profiles of everyday Dallas foods, put meat on the back burner and take your taste buds on a Mediterranean vacation at Sachet.

The Vibe

A crisp, clean dining space. Perfect spot to impress for a casual business lunch.

What to Order

Start with the yellow beets appetizer served over red beet hummus with oregano and labne, followed by grilled salmon served with black chickpeas, green chermoula and more labne. 

Sachet | 4270 Oak Lawn Ave., Dallas, TX 75219 | $$$

red beet hummus and labne appetizer
via Sachet

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16. Hummus at Cafe Izmir

Got Mediterranean on the brain? Go where hummus is the main attraction. The hummus at Cafe Izmir is an infamous Dallas food known for its extreme garlic content, so much so that mouthwash is available in the bathrooms.

The Vibe

Humble and homey.

What to Order

The Izmir Hummus will repel vampires. Date Night Izmir Hummus is a garlic-free version. There’s also a Date Night Dinner for Two main course option for a cute date idea in Dallas, making Cafe Izmir a fun place to eat in Dallas for couples.

Cafe Izmir | 3711 Greenville Ave., Dallas, TX 75206 | $$

17. Brussels Sprouts at Blue Sushi Sake Grill

The Brussels sprout is a staple on any Dallas food menu. No one expects to find a post-worthy Brussels sprout at a sushi restaurant, but Blue Sushi Sake Grill serves up a surprise.

The Vibe

Sushi chain with some unique creations. 

What to Order

The crispy Brussels sprouts are tossed in a creamy miso lemon sauce and served with toasted cashews. Get the mango crab rangoon to go with, and an order of the Madai chimichurri. A sake flight will complete this memorable Dallas food experience.

Blue Sushi Sake Grill | Multiple Locations | $

Crispy Brussels sprouts are a unique Dallas food.
Blue Sushi Sake Grill

18. Sushi at Shinsei

Sushi is a staple part of any foodie diet, and it’s no different for Dallas food lovers. When you want to elevate your sushi game, head down to Shinsei.

The Vibe

Low key but hip spot. Perfect place to focus on your love for well-executed raw fish and the dinner conversation.

What to Order

The specialty menu at Shinsei sets them apart. Try the fennel cured salmon served with Asian jam and serrano peppers, The Demesy, which pairs yellowtail with grapefruit, avocado and crispy jalapeño, or the Esping Sashimi featuring salmon, dill, lemon zest, olive oil and Himalayan salt. Get all three for an iconic Dallas food experience.

Shinsei | 7713 Inwood Rd., Dallas, TX 75209 | $$

19. Toro at Edoko

Toro is a prized Dallas food bite (which is usually the serving size). It’s not going to be found on every sushi menu, so if you want to get in on the secret, head down to Edoko, where “We don’t make everything, we make everything special.”

The Vibe

Upscale minimalist.

What to Order

Order one each of chu-toro and o-toro to experience these rare finds in their purest form. Try toro tartare caviar, where you have the option to add uni (sea urchin) on top or black truffle. 

Edoko | 1030 W. John Carpenter Fwy #100, Irving, TX 75039 | $$

a platter of nigiri sushi
via Edoko

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20. Raw Oysters at Rex’s Seafood & Market

When it’s happy hour time, nothing beats a raw bar. Rex’s Seafood Market has two locations, but their Dallas Farmers Market counter offers both Gulf oysters and a premium oyster menu that sources from the icy cold waters of New England.

The Vibe

Very laid back. Time to take off the tie, relax and make some new friends.

What to Order

A dozen of each and a cold beer (or two). Follow it with the Caesar salad and put a crab cake on top.

Rex’s Seafood Market | Multiple Locations | $$

21. Kale Salad at the Honor Bar

Dallas food lovers aren’t always looking for a heavy meal. The Honor Bar serves a kale salad that is getting more of a buzz than the guy at the bar.

The Vibe

Elevated neighborhood pub. They prefer to seat smaller, more intimate parties of two to four, and there are attire standards.

What to Order

The Emerald Kale & Rotisserie Chicken Salad features fresh mint, a roasted peanut vinaigrette and grated Parmesan cheese. 

Honor Bar | 26A Highland Park Village, Dallas, TX 75205 | $$

a server pulling a bottle of wine from a wine cellar
via Honor Bar

22. Avocado Toast at Grange Hall

Get some highbrow retail therapy in at Grange Hall followed by lunch at the Grange Hall Restaurant. This is the ideal spot for any Dallas food snob.

The Vibe

Art deco-inspired and intimate enough to share your best gossip.

What to Order

Blue Crab and Avocado Toast or the Signature Snob Sandwich of smoked salmon, egg salad, creme fraîche, cucumber relish and caviar on brioche. For dessert, get chocolate and matcha Madeleines.  

Grange Hall | 4445 Travis St., Dallas, TX 75205 | $$$

23. Lobster Coconut Bisque at Fearing's

Do you want fancy atmosphere and upscale Dallas food? There are endless options when it comes to the best places to eat in Dallas for upscale fine dining. Fearing’s is located in the Ritz-Carlton Dallas, which pretty much guarantees that it will be both top-notch and expensive.

The Vibe

Understated and refined. Dress, but don’t overdo it. Try to look like you dine this way every day.

What to Order

The Lobster Coconut Bisque. Period. Served with a Thai pork dumpling, sizzling lemongrass fried rice and sweet soy caramel. It’s an exquisite stand-alone Dallas food delicacy.

Fearing’s | 2121 McKinney Ave., Dallas, TX 75201 | $$$

Fearing's serves some of the best food in Dallas.
via Fearing's

24. “The Pie” at The Charles

The cuisine at The Charles is far from humble, and neither is their pie, which is why it should be on your list of things to eat in Dallas.

The Vibe

Swanky and refined. The ultimate place to see and be seen.

What to Order

“The Pie” is a massive housemade pot pie whose ingredients change nightly, thus the reason for no description on the menu. It’s destined to become an iconic Dallas food legend. You only live once. Go for it.

The Charles | 1632 Market Ctr. Blvd. Dallas, TX 75207

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25. Pizza at Fireside Pies

If you need a Dallas food hotspot for a group, pizza is always the perfect please-everyone solution. Fireside Pies is ready and has a large party reservation link on its website.

The Vibe

No two locations are the same, but they are all rustic and comfortable.

What to Order

Any seasonal selection, like Hatch Taco Pie. Otherwise, try the Lamb Sausage Merguez with smoked provolone or the Burrata Pesto for a lighter slice.

Fireside Pies | Multiple Locations | $

a slice of pizza on a table
via Fireside Pies

26. Charcuterie at Fount

This concept tops the list of cool places to eat in Dallas. Part shop and part cafe, Fount is all about getting your graze on. They specialize in creating custom charcuterie boards for groups. Just make sure to call at least one day in advance.

The Vibe

Very chill farmhouse living room. Get comfy.

What to Order

Build a board with your favorites, or let them do it for you.  

Fount | 2414 Routh St., Dallas, TX 75201 | $$$

27. Steak at The Ranch at Las Colinas

No list of Dallas foods would be complete without a classic steak spot. The Ranch at Las Colinas delivers. Their menu features nine different cuts of farm-raised Texas beef, all sourced from ranchers in the state.

The Vibe

They promise “Texas comfort with a dash of urban style.”

What to Order

Get your meat on with one of their steak options, or get wild with mini elk tacos, venison chili or the bison filet. 

The Ranch at Las Colinas | 857 W. John Carpenter Fwy, Irving, TX 75039 | $$$

Steak at The Ranch is an excellent Dallas food.
via The Ranch at Las Colinas

28. Zuchini Pho at D’Vegan

When you need a Pho fix, D’Vegan has your remedy. 

The Vibe

Super casual and quirky. Old-school mirrored walls, plastic floral tablecloths. Probably the cheapest Dallas food around.

What to Order

Try the Zuchini Pho made with zucchini noodles. Or get the Bun Cao Lao, which is their vermicelli pho that includes pineapple and black sesame rice cracker for a unique twist.

D’Vegan | 9780 Walnut St., Dallas, TX 75243 | $

29. Pancakes at Overeasy

Choosing a great place to sample the best Dallas foods shouldn’t be limited to lunch and dinner. They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so make the most of it at Overeasy.

The Vibe

The décor is more upscale than your typical lunch counter, but you can feel comfortable wearing your workout clothes.

What to Order

Go for the ricotta lemon zest pancakes or traditional deviled eggs, which are topped with dill and chili powder. The short rib hash is also a joy. 

Overeasy | 1914 Commerce St., Dallas, TX 75201 | $

sauce being poured onto a plate of pancakes
via Overeasy

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30. Ice Cream at Howdy Homemade Ice Cream

Save room for dessert! Or, just skip the meal and go straight to the ice cream. That’s okay, too.

The Vibe

Simple neighborhood ice cream joint. Howdy Homemade Ice Cream has a mission to hire people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. This is a truly feel-good Dallas food spot.

What to Order

Opt for Dr. Pepper Chocolate Chip, Chocolate As All Get Out, Strawberry Milkshake or whatever the featured flavor is.

Howdy Homemade Ice Cream | Multiple Locations | $

31. Cupcakes at Society Bakery

You have to go, because Ellen said so. That’s all it took to put Society Bakery on the map. Since then, they’ve become a “who’s who” of cupcake bakers and a must-visit Dallas food spot.

The Vibe

Fanciful Alice-in-Wonderland meets Willy Wonka. There is (almost) as much joy in being surrounded by colorful confections as in eating them.

What to Order

Their coconut cream, pecan praline and s’mores will put a sweet smile on your face.

Society Bakery | 3610 Greenville Ave., Dallas, TX 75206 | $

Cupcakes at Society Bakery are an excellent Dallas food.
via Society Bakery

32. Ice Cream at Beth Marie’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream

Ice cream’s so nice it made our list twice! Beth Marie’s is an iconic Dallas food institution. They use an ice cream-making machine designed in 1927 that churns out 10 gallons of ice cream in 18 minutes.

The Vibe

Totally retro ice cream shop with blue and white checkerboard floors.

What to Order

Their Texas Honey and Whiskey is a sweet and boozy delight. 

Beth Marie’s | Multiple Locations | $

33. Pecan Pie at Haywire

It’s only appropriate that we finish our list of 33 iconic Dallas foods with the official state dessert: pecan pie. Whose pie made the grade? The honor goes to Haywire.

The Vibe

Both of Haywire’s locations feature Instagram-worthy spaces. From a retrofitted Shasta trailer at their Uptown location to a rooftop Airstream trailer in Plano, they are ready for a crowd.

What to Order

Route 66 Pecan Pie. Only available at the Uptown location, it’s made with a cinnamon roll crust and a whiskey caramel sauce. It’s a classic Dallas food you’ll remember.

Haywire | 1920 McKinney Ave. Suite 100, Dallas, TX 75201 | $$

pecan pie
via Haywire

Staying In? Cook It Yourself: Cowboy Steak

These restaurants are the best Dallas has to offer, and that's saying a lot! But for those days when you prefer the cozy comfort of your own kitchen, why not pick up a couple of steaks from American Butchers at the Dallas Farmers Market and try out this incredible cowboy steak recipe? Red chimichurri, pan-fried radish and crispy bacon add phenomonal flavors to succulent ribeye steak.


The bottom line is that no one goes hungry in the Big D. Texas chefs put their heart and soul into every dish, and you can taste their passion for their hometown in every bite. From lunch counters to marathon meals, there’s a restaurant serving iconic Dallas food for every occasion. 

For even more fun ways to explore Dallas and beyond, check out other experiences happening on Cozymeal.

More Ways to Explore Cities Near You

Food tours in Dallas are coming soon! In the meantime, explore the best bites in your city with food tours near you. Check out some of our favorite experiences below:

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