21 restaurants to try in Dallas-Fort Worth in November 2021
November arrived fast, didn’t it? As you look for a great place for date night, drinks with friends or a meal with family this month, use this list of popular restaurants in Dallas-Fort Worth as your guide. Let’s eat!
All restaurants and bars are listed in alphabetical order.
Bells Sweet Factory
Ashley Johnson, left, and Thaddeus Bell opened their new restaurant The Bells Sweet Factory in October 2021 in Plano. (Jason Janik / Special Contributor)
In an inspirational story about grit, the owners of The Bells Sweet Factory had $40 in their bank account — no house, no car, no cell phones — before they opened their Cajun food trailer. Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott liked the food, as did thousands of others, and now these entrepreneurs have converted the food truck into a real restaurant. I know what it means to miss New Orleans, but Bells will try to take you there.
Bell’s Sweet Factory is at 2109 W. Parker Road, Plano.
The Bishop Arts District’s newest bar is a stunner. Casablanca is an indoor-outdoor lounge inspired by its owner’s travels to Marrakech, Morocco. Take a group or take a date, then order boozy tea service while sitting on the fabulous couches. For just a second, you’ll forget you’re in Dallas.
Casablanca is at 200 N. Bishop Ave., Dallas. Six karaoke rooms in the back open soon.
Dave’s Hot Chicken
OK, so, you probably wouldn’t order this much food at Dave’s Hot Chicken. But you could.(Courtesy of Dave’s Hot Chicken)
In 2017, four friends started selling hot chicken in a parking lot in Los Angeles. Today, those four friends — and a bunch of other restaurateurs — are franchising Dave’s to 400 addresses in the next few years. North Texas has two, in Far North Dallas and Plano, and more are on the way. (See where Dave’s is opening next here.)
Can Dave’s remain spicy, sassy and special after an incredible growth spurt? Better go try it now so you’ll know. For what it’s worth, rapper Drake is an investor.
Dave’s Hot Chickens are at 8215 Preston Road, Plano, and at 14750 Preston Road (between Spring Valley and Belt Line roads), Dallas.
Garden Cafe was closed for more than a year and a half during the coronavirus pandemic. Heck, some thought Garden Cafe was gone for good. But no! Owner Mark Wootton was just turning it into a dinner spot with — hooray — beer and wine. For anyone who remembers the original cafe, Garden 2.0 is quite different.
Garden Cafe is at 5310 Junius Street, Dallas. Hours are limited: Thursday through Sunday, brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner from 5-10 p.m.
Like, look at the house-made brioche.(Lawrence Jenkins / Special Contributor)
The hottest restaurant on this entire list — the place where you’ll wait for hours and still might not get food — is the No. 1 barbecue joint in Texas, Goldee’s in Fort Worth. Its twentysomething owners quietly made excellent barbecue starting in February 2020, and by early 2021, those in the know were hooked. Today, Goldee’s is certified gold, and people from all over the country have been lining up to eat its near-perfect brisket, Lao sausage and cheesy grits. Goldee’s is one of the only barbecue joints that makes its own bread (instead of tossing you a few slices of the cheap, squishy kind, nothankyou). That’s reason enough to support these smart pitmasters.
Goldee’s Barbecue is at 4645 Dick Price Road, Fort Worth. Open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday only.
Go to Grandscape
Grandscape even has a Ferris wheel.(Ben Torres / Special Contributor)
Take a drive to The Colony and you’ll find more than two-dozen restaurants that have opened since spring 2020. There are too many hot spots to pick one great place, so let me name a few: Go to Barley & Board for beers with friends; Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse for a date; and Truck Yard for live music with your kids. The developers at Grandscape bought 433 acres near the Dallas North Tollway and State Highway 121, which makes this place bigger than Shops at Legacy and Legacy West combined. It’s four times bigger than The Star in Frisco or Trinity Groves in West Dallas. You’re getting the idea — just go.
The Grandscape Wheel, at 5740 Grandscape Blvd., The Colony, is a good center spot to park, between Nebraska Furniture Mart and Scheels, with access to well over a dozen restaurants.
Koryo Korean BBQ
A private dining hall inside Koryo seats more than 40 guests at tables with built-in charcoal grills.
Koryo Kalbi is back open in Dallas under a new name, Koryo Korean BBQ. Special contributor Brian Reinhart describes the new restaurant as a “spiritual successor” to the original, with new owners. Customers will tend the charcoal grills themselves, cooking seasoned beef and pork in a festive atmosphere. This recent reopening is a great reason to go back to Koreatown.
Koryo Korean BBQ is at 2560 Royal Lane, Dallas.
You have to know where you’re going to find it, because La Mina is hidden in the bottom of the Drey Hotel. It’s one of a dozen or so new spots within The Village in East Dallas. La Mina’s personality is as a Mexican place serving margaritas and mezcal in a secluded setting. While you’re in The Village, stop into the new golf simulator bar for cocktails and games.
La Mina is at 5630 Village Glen Drive, Dallas, in The Village.
Mi Cocina at Klyde Warren Park
Mi Cocina opened inside Klyde Warren Park in October 2021. Fun fact: A portion of its sales go back to the park.(Ben Torres / Special Contributor)
North Texas has more than 20 Mi Cocinas, it’s true, but the one to visit this month is the pretty, new restaurant inside Klyde Warren Park. The menu’s the same — enchiladas, tacos, salads and the like. And of course they’re selling the famous Mambo Taxi, a margarita-sangria swirl that’s practically the city’s official beverage. Get a spot on the patio for views of the green space, or get food to-go on the back side of the building, then walk your canned margaritas and other goodies out onto the lawn.
Mi Cocina on the Park is at 2000 Woodall Rodgers Freeway, Dallas.
Modest Rogers started as a band name. But alas, Venezuelan chef-owner Modesto Rodriguez never started a band, so he decided to take his “English name,” Modest Rogers, and put it on a new restaurant. Here, diners can try Rodriguez’s Spanish-influenced dishes like cactus salad and carne asada.
Modest Rogers is at 3811 Fairmount St., Dallas.
My single favorite bite from the past few months is pork belly with pineapple sauce served at National Anthem in Dallas’ East Quarter.(Lola Gomez / Staff Photographer)Those with a good memory will recognize the neon sign in National Anthem. It hung, un-lit, at Off-Site Kitchen and Tried & True, two of Nick Badovinus’ former restaurants.(Lola Gomez / Staff Photographer)
Where to start with this place? The historic building housing American restaurant National Anthem is triangular in shape — a sliver at the front, where the bar is, that opens up into a bustling sunken dining room. Owner Nick Badovinus’ menu is as fun as it is funky. There’s an indulgent burger; a pork belly appetizer with pineapple sauce; and hot chicken sliders with a silly name, Lil’ Thigh Guys. Someday, Badovinus will open another restaurant on the second floor and a rooftop bar on the top. National Anthem is great as-is, but we can’t wait to see what he does next.
National Anthem is at 2130 Commerce St., Dallas.
Shrimp dumplings are one of several good bites at Neon Kitten.(Jeffrey McWhorter / Special Contributor)
Maybe you’ll stop into Deep Ellum bar Neon Kitten for a drink from a giant Hello Kitty vase. But after you order a cute Japanese-inspired cocktail, don’t forget about dinner. The kitchen is making unexpected bites like tiny beef Wellingtons and mushroom dumplings, and it’s fun to eat them at the bar, while the bartenders work their magic. For a quieter evening, make reservations at the speakeasy in the back, Blackbird Society.
Neon Kitten is at 2805 Main St., Dallas. Blackbird Society, a speakeasy, is also open. Reservations here.
Panther City BBQ
Here’s a meaty order at Panther City BBQ: The Hell’s Half Acre, a tray of brisket, pulled pork, sausage, pork ribs, smoked turkey and pork belly. (Tom Fox / Staff Photographer)
Texas Monthly named Panther City BBQ the No. 10 barbecue joint in the state, but repeat after me: We loved it first. It’s fun to stop in early, between 7 and 10 a.m., for barbecue breakfast served in tortillas. (My order is Flaco’s tacos: three griddled corn tortillas stuffed with barbacoa, cheese, cilantro and onion.) Or, stop in for slices of brisket, pork belly burnt ends, smoked bologna and beef-garlic sausage at lunchtime. Longtimers love the brisket elote.
Panther City BBQ is at 201 E. Hattie St., Fort Worth.
Your new all-day cafe in downtown Dallas is Parterre, opening any day now. Serious coffee drinkers will likely know the owner Michael Mettendorf, who runs State Street Coffee in Uptown Dallas and La Reunion in the Bishop Arts District. Parterre will start early, for coffee and pastries, before turning into a lunch spot, then a happy hour stop and cocktail joint.
Parterre is at 1601 Elm St., Dallas. Check Instagram before you go to make sure it’s open.
Roots Southern Kitchen
Tiffany Derry is co-owner and chef at Roots Southern Kitchen in Farmers Branch.(Brandon Wade / Special Contributor)
Dallas chef Tiffany Derry has been busy in the past month, ever since the New York Times named her Farmers Branch restaurant one of the “most vibrant and delicious” spots in the country. It’s high praise for a great chef. Her Southern menu includes crave-worthy dishes like gumbo, duck-fat fried potatoes, and Peking duck with dirty rice.
Roots Southern Table is at 13050 Bee St., Farmers Branch. Given the NYT praise, you should probably make a reservation.
Calabrian chili ravioli at Sister is another must-get dish.(Ben Torres / Special Contributor)
I see you, Sis. This restaurant keeps coming up in conversation, when Dallas diners ask me where to eat. You know it as the new restaurant where The Grape was, on Greenville Avenue in Dallas. But soon, you’ll also know it as the little sister to The Charles, an established Italian restaurant in the Dallas Design District. Don’t miss Sister’s lobster burrata or mushroom pasta. Fans of Italian wine will love Sister’s selection.
Sister is at 2808 Greenville Ave., Dallas.
Dallas has Katy Trail Ice house. The Colony has Truck Yard. Fort Worth has America Gardens. And now McKinney has Stix Icehouse, a backyard bar with beer and food. Stix is situated on 14 acres near the Wilson Creek Trail and was intended to be a hangout spot for people in McKinney, Allen and Lovejoy. They’ve succeeded in enticing the neighbors, but even Dallasites should make the trip north.
Stix Icehouse is at 301 Eldorado Parkway, McKinney.
Dallas’ sexiest new spot is Tango Room, a long-time-coming steakhouse that finally debuted in Dallas’ Design District. There’s history in those walls: It used to be FT33, one of Dallas’ best restaurants. Wear something fabulous and expect to be wowed; Tango Room is that kind of place.
Tango Room is at 1617 Hi Line Dr., Dallas.
Teiichi Sakurai is the chef-owner of Tei-An.(David Woo / Staff Photographer)
So maybe you can’t afford the $5,555 dinner at Tei-An for 18 wealthy folks who love rare Japanese whisky. The soba house remains a regal respite for those who want a special dinner from chef-owner Teiichi Sakurai.
It’s one of the only restaurants in Dallas that has an invite-only membership model: Right now, 92 people can use Tei-An’s private dining room and rooftop lounge. If you’re not one of them, well … I’m not, either. But you and I can still enjoy dinner almost anytime at Tei-An; just make a reservation.
Tei-An is at 1722 Routh St., Dallas.
The toughest reservation in D-FW right now is at Shoyo, the tiny, 12-seat okamase restaurant on Lowest Greenville. “I can’t get a seat at my restaurant,” jokes founder and chef-owner Jimmy Park. Reservations open at 9 a.m. on the first of every month, and they go quickly. But racing to get a spot is absolutely worth it.
Shoyo is at 1916 Greenville Ave., Dallas. Reservations are on Resy.
Close your eyes and pretend you’re on the Amalfi Coast looking at the pretty ocean water on one side, the cliffs on the other, as you snack on spoonfuls of gelato. Now open your eyes. Don’t freak out, but you’re in downtown Dallas, where Zero Gradi is doing a great job of transporting dessert lovers to Italy. The shop also has espresso for those who need a jolt.
Zero Gradi is at 2000 Ross Ave., Dallas.
For more food news, follow Sarah Blaskovich on Twitter at @sblaskovich.