North Texas is awash in great food offerings that are completely unique to the Lone Star State. The relative proximity of large cities like Dallas, Fort Worth and Denton means choosing between the best steaks, barbecue or Tex-Mex is less of a chore and more of a short drive getaway experience. With over 5,000 restaurants in the Metroplex, who knows what else you’ll discover with a little detour here and there? Follow our trail guide below for the best of Texas-style dining made in DFW.
Courtesy: Facebook, Fearing’s Restaurant
BIG AND BOLD FLAVORS
Much like Dallas’ big personality, Chef Dean Fearing is known for his bold flavors inspired by the Southwest. This is always on my list for out-of-town-guests looking for a true Dallas dining experience. You can’t go wrong with the house specialty, Texas rib-eye cooked over live mesquite and accompanied by fresh, locally-grown produce. Pair it with an ice-cold margarita, and you’ll be perfectly pleased.
Located in the hip neighborhood of Deep Ellum, Pecan Lodge serves up some of the most mouth-watering Texas BBQ around. Get there early though as they tend to sell out. Local tip: If you’re dining with a group (or just super hungry) skip the regular line and head to the counter on the right where you can buy meat by the pound. You won’t be sorry.
Hop on 75-N for 20 miles to experience the new hotspot for food lovers, Plano.| Approx. Travel Time: 30 min.
Love & War in Texas, Courtesy: @love.peace.and.bacon.grease
LOVE & WAR IN TEXAS:
Boasting an extensive menu of Texas cuisine made largely from ingredients found within the Lone Star State, Love & War in Texas just might be the perfect spot to see what the “Friendship” state is all about. The menu is massive and neatly organized: appetizers, West Texas Plains (steaks), The Border (Tex-Mex), East Texas Piney Woods (seafood) and others.
This three-story food mecca is a must-visit on your next trip through DFW. Featuring over 20 artisanal, chef-driven food stalls, Legacy Hall is a true dining and drinking experience where there’s something for everyone. Come together and try the best local offerings all in one place.
A short drive north, the city that’s known for being artsy and quirky is now a destination for burger lovers.| Approx. Travel Time: 43 min.
BURGERS WITH AN ATTITUDE
LSA BURGER CO:
Located on Denton’s downtown square, LSA Burger Co. is home to 10 creative burgers—each named after iconic musicians who have had ties to Texas. Dishes like the Chili Willie (Texas chili, cheddar, onions and Serrano peppers) and Ready Freddie (barbecue, cheddar, bacon and pickles) are pushing the boundaries on what we expect between two buns.
Twenty to thirty minutes southeast (depending on traffic) is the walkable and revitalized Old Town Lewisville. | Approx. Travel Time: 25 min.
Courtesy: Facebook, Tierney’s
TIERNEY’S CAFE & DINER:
Be sure to stop by Tierney’s in Lewisville where you can get a dose of dining, dancing and a side of Texas history. The building was originally a home built by Dr. J.W. Kennedy in 1885 and has some fascinating ties with famous outlaws Bonnie and Clyde. Legend has it, Dr. Kennedy would periodically be blindfolded, kidnapped and taken to the hideout of Bonnie and Clyde to provide them medical care.
Head south on 121 to visit Grapevine’s charming Main Street. | Approx. Travel Time: 20 min.
Tolbert’s, Courtesy: @dickeyray20
THE BEST OF THE SOUTHWEST
TOLBERT’S RESTAURANT & CHILI PARLOR:
This family-owned restaurant has been famous for their Texas-style chili since Frank Tolbert founded the Terlingua Championship Chili Cook-Off in 1967. The laid-back parlor serves up classic southwestern cuisine and hosts live music daily, so sit back, relax and enjoy a big Bowl of Red.
Continue south on 121 for the best of Texas cuisine in Fort Worth: Tex-Mex and BBQ. | Approx. Travel Time: 30 min.
Heim BBQ, Courtesy: @missyconders
TEX-MEX AND BBQ
CHUY’S MEXICAN RESTAURANT:
Slightly off the beaten path, you’ll find Chuy’s which has been serving some of the best Tex-Mex in the region for decades. The family-owned business has friendly waiters and dozens of diehard regulars. Besides popular Mexican favorites, you can ask for off-the-menu items, like the Leo Saenz, a brisket-based enchilada dish.
Heim Barbecue has changed the barbecue game in a city already known for superlative ’cue. “Burnt ends” quickly entered the local foodie vernacular after Heim opened shop on idyllic West Magnolia Avenue two years ago. The mild and always juicy cuts of beef, laboriously smoked over post oak, show no sign of waning in popularity.
Head south along US-287 for a scenic drive to the charming Texas town, Waxahachie. | Approx. Travel Time: 45 min.
The Doves Nest, Courtesy: @christinafitrx
THE DOVES NEST:
Located on the beautiful historic town square in Waxahachie, this gem serves up Texas hospitality in the form of handmade pies, cobblers, burgers, deli sandwiches, pastas, salads and more. The dishes tend to be on the healthier side, leaving you light enough to enjoy a stroll around the square afterward.
We would be remiss if we left out some of our favorite local chains—throughout DFW— that are perfect for satisfying your burger or fried chicken cravings.
ACROSS THE METROPLEX
Twisted Root, Courtesy: @rhevora
TWISTED ROOT BURGER CO:
With multiple locations across the Metroplex, Twisted Root is my go-to for a juicy Texas burger. Last summer, I took my son to the Lewisville location where we shared the toasted marshmallow s’mores shake (one of several homemade custard shakes) and the Big Tex burger, a belt-buster made with guacamole, fried onion strings and a spicy chipotle sauce.
Each of the nine Babe’s restaurants—including Arlington and Frisco—is full of unique personality and style that represents each community. But rest assured, you can always expect the casual, family-friendly atmosphere, and of course, life-changing fried chicken.