Eat & Drink

8 Things You’ve Gotta Eat In Dallas

Everything’s bigger in Texas, and that includes the food. Dallas is a bustling city known for its successful sports teams, enormous state fair and gas station tacos (you read that right). The Dallas food scene is often overlooked, but rest assured, it’s home to some of the best Southern cooking in America. Here’re eight things you’ve gotta eat in the city.

#1 For Brunch: Hattie’s

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Yeah, we know, the idea of seafood and cornmeal porridge is a little out there. But in Texas, shrimp and grits, as they call it, is soul food. Head to Hattie’s for this real-deal Dallas food experience.

Hattie’s prepares it with creamy grits and goat cheese, topped with a Tabasco-bacon sauce and, of course, shrimp. All those unusual flavours form one hell of a hearty meal that will make you wonder why you never ate it sooner.

Where: 418 N Bishop Ave, Dallas

#2 For Tex-Mex: Mia’s

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If you’re looking for a true Tex-Mex experience in Dallas, check out Mia’s. On the outside, it’s your run-of-the-mill restaurant, but step inside and order the brisket tacos for a life-changing experience (and no, we’re not being dramatic).

Two large tacos filled with tender brisket topped with Monterey Jack, grilled onions and poblano peppers will send you to Tex-Mex heaven. Wash it down with a frozen margarita to really feel on top of the world.

Where: 4322 Lemmon Ave, Dallas

#3 For A Late-Night Fix: Whataburger

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In-N-Out Burger is to California, what Whataburger is to Texas. But what separates Whataburger from other chain burger joints is that it’s not just about burgers. You can’t do Dallas food without visiting the burger giant.

Sure, you should definitely order the classic cheeseburger, but locals will tell you that it’s all about the honey butter chicken biscuit (the best 580 calories you’ll ever eat) and the taquitos (bacon, egg and heaps of cheese rolled into a tortilla). It’s especially delicious at 2am when you can’t deny your greasy addiction.

Where: Multiple locations

#4 For Dessert: The Porch

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There’s a restaurant in Dallas called The Porch that’s perfect for upscale, Southern-style appetisers (think brisket sliders and jalapeño cornbread with honey butter) and gourmet sandwiches. But we’re warning you now: save room for dessert. As you scan through the menu, you’ll come across the words “gooey butter cake”, which, frankly, are three of the best words you can ever put together.

It’s a dense yellow cake with a middle layer of (literally) gooey butter. It’s topped with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with caramel syrup. We’ll meet you on Cloud Nine.

Where: 2912 N. Henderson Ave, Dallas

#5 For The Atmosphere: The Common Table

Looking for a place with outdoor seating, live music and classic feed? Check out The Common Table. Whether you’re stopping by for brunch or lunch, order the grilled cheese – it’s not your usual, rainy-day recipe.

The Common Table grilled cheese is made with roasted pork loin, smoked cheddar, provolone, mozzarella and parmesan cheese on sourdough bread. It comes with marinara dipping sauce, and if you order it for brekkie it’s served with breakfast potatoes. Yum. Pair it with the Skittles sangria to really bring out the kid in you.

Insider tip: The Common Table serves US$3 (AU$4) mimosas on Saturday and Sunday, with a local band playing on Thursday and Saturday.

Where: 2917 Fairmount St, Dallas

#6 For Brisket: Pecan Lodge

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If Texans could eat brisket all day, every day – they would. And we don’t blame them. You’ll find the best brisket on the Dallas food scene at Pecan Lodge. Folks line up hours before the restaurant opens just to feast on their selection of meats.

The menu is small and simple and the restaurant is casual. You have a choice of smoked meats served as a half pound or as sandwiches. We highly recommend digging into the smokey, tender brisket for US$11 (AU$14.5o). Make that two orders because you won’t be able to stop eating it (we’re not judging).

Where: 2702 Main St, Dallas

#7 For Gas Station Tacos: Fuel City Tacos

Gas station tacos are a thing in Texas and visiting this state isn’t complete without eating one. We’re serious. Yeah, it sounds sketchy, but open your mind to cheap Tex-Mex from Fuel City Tacos. It’s a not-so-hidden gem.

The beauty of this place is that you won’t expect much from it. While you feed your car with fuel, stock up on the tacos with cilantro and onions, plus chips and salsa. The best part? It’s open 24/7. Gas station tacos may not seem like much, but it’s a Dallas food experience you simply need to have. We bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Where: 801 S Riverfront Blvd, Dallas

#8 For Bacon: Knife

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Love bacon? So do we. Knife, opened by Top Chef contestant Chef John Tesar, is reinventing the steakhouse experience. The menu is full of juicy ribeye, filet mignon and Texas wagyu. But most importantly, it offers a bacon tasting because, why not?

You’ll get a flight of five varieties of bacon and the chef will explain the significance of each one (aka re-affirm your love of bacon). Plus, it comes with bacon jam! It’s greasy, decadent and unconventional. Make a reservation and bring your appetite to Knife. There’s also delicious steak on the menu for other meat lovers.

Where: 5300 E Mockingbird Ln, Dallas

The Dallas food scene is just the start – check out why Dallas is so much more than a transit destination here.


(Lead image: Mia’s Tex Mex / @blakewrighteous & @savemolly)