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Hungry? Check Out Our Dallas Restaurant Guide For The Best Eateries In The Big D

There’s no two ways to say it: Dallas has some absolutely incredible food. From Uptown Dallas restaurants by famous chefs like Stephen Pyles to some of the original Tex-Mex and barbecue that’ll make your mouth water just from the smell, there are a ton of awesome places to eat. So many, in fact, that it can be a little overwhelming to pick just one!

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the number of killer restaurants in Dallas, this guide is here to help. If you’re looking to discover unique restaurants in Dallas, this guide is here to help. If you read this guide and think, “They all sound good!” (or maybe that should be when you read this list), then this guide is here to help most of all, with a promo for 10% off a tour using codeBIG10‘ with Food Tours of America.

Food Tours of America is a locally-owned business with daily food tours in the Uptown neighborhood of Dallas. They also have tours in the Dallas Farmers’ Market as well as other vibrant Dallas neighborhoods. All the restaurants in this guide are featured on a Food Tours of America tour, as well as many other excellent eateries! 

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Baboush

This award-winning Moroccan-Lebanese eatery in the West Village has been a popular place for tasty food and live entertainment since opening almost seven years ago. Its intimate interior, styled after the markets of Morocco, makes it the perfect place for a dinner with friends or a first date night. This restaurant is a hot place to go in the evening, so reservations are recommended for dinner. Generally, lunchtime is less busy, but it never hurts to call and make sure. You wouldn’t want to miss this mouth-watering food because you can’t get a table!

Favorite Appetizer: Spread Platter to Share

This appetizer at Baboush follows the same theory as Food Tours of America: why limit yourself? Instead of ordering one of their tasty spreads, this platter to share allows you to try all three! These are a creamy (and vegan!) garbanzo bean hummus, a refreshing Moroccan sweet tomato spread with orange blossom water and cinnamon, and a pomegranate babaganoush, where grilled eggplant makes the perfect base for jalapeño, lemon juice, pomegranate, and more. Ample amounts of fresh pita bread make this appetizer easy to devour and enjoy.

Favorite Main Dish: Chicken Shawerma Hummus

Shawerma is a method of preparing meat in Middle Eastern cuisine, and it’s a method that’s done perfectly in Baboush’s chicken shawerma hummus. The chicken maintains its moisture and flavor due to marinating in Lebanese spices, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil before being roasted on a spit. After cooking and slicing it, the chicken is served on a bed of hummus and topped with pickles and pine nuts. Juicy and rich, this shawerma is excellent spooned onto pita or eaten with a fork right off of the plate!

Favorite Drink: Pine-Cardamom Martini

Although Baboush has a traditional full bar, they also offer a number of signature cocktails meant to pair perfectly with their Moroccan-Lebanese food. One interesting drink is their pine-cardamom. This simple cocktail, akin to a martini, is only one liquid: vodka. The vodka is infused with roasted pineapple and charred cardamom, a process that traditionally lasts from one to two days. This is a strong drink, but one that perfectly complements the flavors of Baboush’s fabulous cuisine. 

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Pecan Lodge

Pecan Lodge, located in Deep Ellum, one of Dallas’ most historic and vibrant neighborhoods, is the #1 most awarded barbecue joint in the city. They use old-school family recipes and the freshest ingredients, making everything from scratch, from the meat smoked in their BBQ pit burning 24 hours a day to their huge list of traditional sides. Be warned, Pecan Lodge is only open during lunch hours Tuesday-Thursday, and the line is looooong for their Firday and Saturday dinners. But once the first bite hits your mouth, you’ll know why the line is so long and you’ll be glad you waited!

Favorite Main Dish: The “Pitmaster” Sandwich

Honestly, you can’t go wrong with any of the main dishes here at Pecan Lodge. They’re all cooked in their amazing BBQ pit and smothered in delectable spices and sauces. But if you’re indecisive, the “Pitmaster” is the sandwich for you. Brisket, pulled pork, and sausage all get in this sandwich and are then topped with slaw, bbq sauce, and fresh jalapeños. This sandwich has it all: tender meat, spice, sweetness, and the need for a big napkin once you’re all done!

Favorite Side: Mac ‘N Cheese

Now most of us have eaten a lot of mac ‘n cheese in our lives, but we haven’t all had mac ‘n cheese like Pecan Lodge does it. This gooey, salty deliciousness is the perfect complement to any juicy barbecued main dish. They offer their sides in singles, pints, or quarts, and even though the quart is probably meant for groups, nobody could judge you for ordering a quart of this mac ‘n cheese and taking it home to eat with every meal. But it’s going to taste best when eaten with Pecan Lodge BBQ and a big group of friends.

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Rj Mexican Cantina

It probably goes without saying that there’s tons of Mexican joints in Dallas, but if you want fresh food for with something for everyone surrounded by beautiful history, Rj Mexican Cantina is the place to go. Opened in the West End Historic District in 2004, Rj offers a wide variety of food with a Mexican twist. They are known for their fajitas that come out from the kitchen sizzling. Every bite you eat at Rj will be complex and dynamic, freshly prepared and carefully crafted, and ready for you to dig right in!

Favorite Appetizer: Guacamole

Guacamole is best when it’s made fresh with fresh ingredients. Rj realizes this, and so that’s exactly the way they make it. This avocado-based dip has a hint of spice and a ton of flavor. Rj’s chips are also the perfect serving method for this guac; they are lightly salty and have just the right amount of crisp, but they’re strong enough to hold a big scoop of this delightful guacamole!

Favorite Main Dish: Chimichanga

The list of favorite main dishes at Rj is a long one, but this chimichanga is definitely at the top. Filled with picadillio beef, Oaxaca cheese, and mushroom ragout, this stuffed and fried tortilla is rich and flavorful. But if those fillings aren’t succulent enough for you, the chimichanga is smothered with their housemade queso, chile con carne, and fresh avocado. A chimichanga at Rj will definitely not leave you hungry, but it will definitely leave you happy!

Favorite Drink: Margarita On The Rocks

Margaritas are basically a staple drink in Texas. We drink them so often we barely think about it anymore. But the margarita on the rocks at Rj is good enough to make you take notice! A perfect addition to any meal, or even outstanding on its own (they have $5 margaritas during their SEVEN HOUR long happy hour!), this margarita is a must-have. ¡Salud!

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Tillman’s Roadhouse

Tillman’s started out in 1992 as Tillman’s Corner, opened by husband and wife team Ricky and Sara. Ever since then, this Bishop Arts restaurant has attracted diners with its inviting vibe and modern twist on Texas comfort food. With a large menu of dinner items, a fantastic brunch, and an extensive list of cocktails, Tillman’s Roadhouse is a place where everyone can get together. Whether you want to eat a steak or a salad or just enjoy some shared plates with family and friends, you can head to Bishop Arts and visit Tillman’s!

Favorite Main Dish: Clementine Barbecue River Salmon

One of executive chef’s Michael Morabito signature dishes, this salmon packs a ton of flavor into a lighter dish. A fresh cut of river salmon comes topped with a caramel apple slaw and a crème fraiche, all placed on a sweet onion latke. The slaw and crème fraiche create a light glaze on the fish, giving it many dimensions while still letting the flavor of the fish sign through. The latke gives the dish a unique texture as well as a unique taste, bringing all the elements together to make one great elevated comfort food.

Favorite Dessert: Tableside S’mores

When you think of a dessert that evokes a memory, s’mores come to mind immediately. Sitting around the campfire, singing, laughing, and making a mess, s’mores are not only very tasty but are also the ultimate in joy and comfort. Tillman’s tableside s’mores take all the elements of classic s’mores and raise them up another level, with two types of marshmallows, cinnamon graham crackers, and dark chocolate squares. This dessert will not only go down sweet and smooth, it won’t help but make you smile. Come with a group of people you’d love to sit around the campfire with, and instead sit around the table and enjoy all Tillman’s has to offer.

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This seafood joint, which started in Uptown before becoming so popular it franchised to Plano, Mesquite, and Arlington, is known for its late-night hours, variety of market seafood, and its famous hand-washing station. The hand-washing station, which is like a car wash for your hands, is necessary when you dive into their super messy but equally tasty crab, shrimp, and crawfish, because Shell Shack makes you work for your meal: you have to de-shell or peel it yourself! Shell Shack doesn’t accept reservations or call-aheads, and it’s a busy place most evenings and weekends, so be prepared to wait, but know your wait will be worth it.

Favorite Main Dish: The Kitchen Sink Boiled Shrimp

What makes Shell Shack’s shrimp unique is that they boil it in their marinade. After boiling, it comes to the table in a big plastic bag, where shrimp and marinade alike are given one last toss and poured into a tray on the table. Then, it’s time to dig in! There are few individual marinades, but the kitchen sink marinade allows you to try them all. It combines lemon pepper, garlic, and Cajun for shrimp that is a little spicy, a little sweet, and a lot delicious.

Favorite Drink: Firemans #4

Shell Shack has a number of beers on tap, but the most special is Firemans #4 Blonde Ale from Real Ale Brewing Co. What makes this beer stand out is that, in addition to the brewing company’s recommendation that you drink it with shrimp, it’s brewed right here in Texas! This light beer from Blanco has a good balance of malt and hops, making it extra refreshing and the perfect complement to a meal with a little spice. Order one right when you arrive and try it without any food, then order another with your meal and see what a difference it makes in the taste of the beer and your shrimp!

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The Rustic

With its light-up signs and giant backyard, The Rustic in the is hard to miss when going through the West Village. But while many know it as a great music venue and bar, not everyone realizes that the food they serve there is all farm-to-table and all fantastic. The Rustic’s dedication to freshness is evident in every dish, but that doesn’t mean that a lot of the food isn’t also deep-fried and smothered in cheese! Because of the massive size of this eatery, usually reservations aren’t necessary, but it can get awfully busy on evenings and during their weekend Jam and Toast brunch. Know that when you go, you might be dealing with some noise, but you’ll also be eating some fabulous food.

Favorite Appetizer: Cactus Fritters

Yes, you read that right. It says cactus. Yes, the things with the prickles. But don’t worry, the prickles have been removed, the heart of the cactus has been battered in beer, and it’s all been deep-fried before being served up to you. This dish is served with a house-made spicy ketchup, making this appetizer beer-y and spicy and vinegary and fantastic. Cactus is an unexpected choice, for sure, but once you take a bite, you’ll be glad you chose it.

Favorite Dessert: Peanut Butter Pie

The Rustic is unique in Dallas because it works to retain a lot of its Texan, country feel, and one way it does this is with its portion sizes. This pie is no exception, with a slice larger than a baby’s head. The base is a chocolate crumb crust, and then there’s a thick layer of dark chocolate fudge. The tallest, thickest layer is a peanut butter mousse, and it’s all topped off with a hot fudge drizzle and peanuts. If you’re in the mood for something rich, sweet, salty, and decadent, this is the dessert for you. But you might want to share it with another person, since it’s so huge. Or maybe you don’t want to share because it’s so darn tasty!

Can’t decide which of these Uptown Dallas restaurants sound the best? Take a Food Tours of America tour and try all of these and more! Use promo code ‘BIG10‘ for 10% off a chance to enjoy all these incredible eateries in the Big D!

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