Brunch & Breakfast
5014 Ross Ave., Old East Dallas
Wrap unexpected items like fried catfish, mac and cheese, and greens in a tortilla and you’re bound to get a cult following. Jesse Washington got just that. After many pop-ups, Washington finally has a home base for his brunch creations. Opening Soon in 2022.
Soiree Coffee Bar
320 Singleton Blvd., Trinity Groves
At this coffeehouse, brunch is a scene. DJs play music in one corner. Friends are toasting glasses of mimosas in another. Drinks are named for jazz songstresses. Meanwhile, chef Joy Darden serves up soulful plates, like shrimp and grits.
True Kitchen & Kocktails
1933 Elm St., Downtown
Burgers, Sandwiches, & Fried Goods
1722 N. Market Street, Historic West End
This growing boutique burger franchise with a full-service bar is far from a mere burger joint. Owner Wesley Williams’ menu of stacked—and seriously, stacked; you can choose from two or three proteins plus toppings—burgers are as big as they are flavorful.
Hall’s Honey-Fried Chicken
4105 W. Camp Wisdom Rd., South Oak Cliff; 1407 Medical District Dr., Oak Lawn
The name of this family-run chicken joint comes from the bronzed color of the crispy chicken—so don’t expect honey, unless you pour it on top. Do expect salty, savory, perfectly fried pieces of chicken over a bed of french fries, pickles, and jalapeños. It’s simple and it’s executed perfectly. You’ll want to eat it on the trunk of your car.
4029 Crutcher St., Old East Dallas
Don’t look for a dainty burger here. Halal beef patties are crammed with caramelized onions, jalapeño, and mozzarella, or perhaps strawberry jam and goat cheese, to make tall, hearty burgers that may make your jaw whimper but your stomach happy.
TJ’s Catfish & Wings
4261 W. Green Oaks Blvd., Suite 506, Arlington
38 locations and counting
Cajun, Creole, & Caribbean
920 S Harwood St., Suite 174, Dallas Farmers Market
For something hearty and unctuous, try the oxtails—if they’re serving it that day.
Damian’s Cajun Soul Cafe
2001 SE Green Oaks Blvd., Arlington
Elaine’s Jamaican Kitchen
2717 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd., Fair Park
From curried goat to jerk-spiced chicken, this Caribbean restaurant abounds with flavor.
The Island Spot
309 W. Jefferson Blvd., Oak Cliff
Tropical cocktails atop the bar. Upbeat reggae thrumming through the speakers. Beef patties and jerk-spiced wings and sweet fried plantains and curried goat and, and, and—there’s really nothing from Jamaican menu that doesn’t make you want it all.
One Love Lounge
2315 S. Cooper St., Arlington
Jamaica Gates Caribbean Cuisine
1020 W. Arkansas Ln., Arlington
Shells and Tails 2 Geaux
Food truck and catering, based in DeSoto
Taste of the Islands
909 W. Spring Creek Pkwy., Ste. 300, Plano
The Caribbean-influenced Taste of the Islands is easy to overlook in the corner of a Plano strip mall. The left side contains a stage, a bar striped in the colors of the Guyanese flag, and a dance floor that fills up on Saturday nights for reggae and improv comedy shows. On the right side is the restaurant and a market stocked with Jamaican sodas and spices. At the counter, order fried potato balls, stewed oxtails, and doubles. The doubles, a popular street food, are made with slightly sweet curried chickpeas sandwiched between two tender pieces of turmeric-seasoned flatbread. You’ll want to pick up sweets—vanilla pound cake and rum fruitcake—to go.
12101 Greenville Ave., Suite 105, Lower Greenville
One of the newest Ethiopian restaurants in Dallas, Desta distinguishes itself by offering a contemporary take on the cuisine. Modern platings do away with the communal trays that most people enjoy, but hats off to the owners for introducing variety into this already diverse genre.
2189 E. Buckingham Rd., Richardson
Lalibela Ethiopian Restaurant & Bar
9191 Forest Ln.
For those of you who have yet to experience the gustatory joy that is Ethiopian cuisine, this spot provides one of the finest examples of the style that we’ve found in the city. If you’re new to the genre, order one vegetarian sample and one meat sampler in order to receive a well-rounded mix of wot (spicy) and alecha (mild) items. Use the spongy injera bread as your utensil to scoop bundles of food into your mouth.
7989 Belt Line Rd., Suite 110, Far North Dallas
Come to this quiet cafe in North Dallas for breakfast and order the combo, which is like chilaquiles with an African twist. Because this is an Eritrean restaurant, you’ll also find panini, pasta, and breaded cutlets on the menu. The boxegna, a cream puff with a delicate coat of chocolate, makes for an airy ending.
Queen of Sheba
14875 Inwood Rd., Addison
Long live the queen! And this shrine to Ethiopian food, especially the multicourse Queen’s Dinner. Don’t worry about the mess of eating with your hands; the meal comes with a lavish hand-washing ceremony.
8989 Forest Ln., Northeast Dallas
Dallas is home to many fine, veggie-friendly Ethiopian restaurants like Sheba’s. Here you get exotically spiced red lentil stew and injera (a spongy flatbread) mixed with tomatoes and onions and tossed in a lemon vinaigrette. The tikil gomen wot—cabbage, potatoes, and carrots cooked with garlic and turmeric—is hearty enough for all appetites. No one goes home hungry here.
2301 N O’Connor Rd., Irving
Brandon Waller, one of North Texas’ stalwarts of the vegan scene, has long served his plant-based fare out of the Dallas Farmers Market and through pop-ups in the Dallas area. Now he’s set down roots at his grab-and-go spot with healthful meals and ingredients.
Read more: Brandon Waller of Bam’s Vegan Shares Recipes Fit for the Thanksgiving Table (or Everyday)
830 Mayfield Rd., Ste. 600, Grand Prairie
Amiya Cleveland started her career like many others do: inside her home kitchen, cooking something nutritious for her family. What began as a healing, plant-based diet for her family turned into meal planning for clients who likewise needed sustenance sans meat.
Recipe Oak Cliff
1831 S. Ewing Ave., South Dallas
Known for her juices and wellness shots, Tisha Crear attracts all walks of life to Recipe Oak Cliff. The food she’s dishing out is as diverse as her customers, like her jackfruit sandwich topped with a slaw of purple cabbage, butternut squash, zucchini, and vegan mayonnaise, and served with a highly addictive green banana salad.
TLC Vegan Kitchen
520 Shepherd Dr., Ste. 10, Garland
With no dining room but a robust ghost kitchen offering curbside pickup, Troy Gardner pours his culinary training into vegan comfort food. Think chicken-fried “steak” with garlic mashed potatoes and pizzas with toppings that range from oyster mushrooms to cashew-based faux mozzarella.
Vegan Food House
832 W Seventh St., North Oak Cliff
Dallas Farmers Market
Jovan Cole taps into a wide variety of cuisines, including Mexican, Italian, and soul food, at his stand in the Dallas Farmers Market. Fans return for his vegan crunchy wrap supreme.