Many diners say that the best restaurants are the ones they live near. It’s the one they go to most often, and it’s almost like an extension of their home.
This award celebrates the best of Dallas food and drink. We’re spotlighting the nominees in each category — the best rising star chefs and best bartenders, best bars, and best restaurants. This was done by a panel consisting of local F&B experts and former CultureMap Tastemaker Award recipients.
Who will win? You can find out who will win at the Tastemaker Awards party at Fashion Industry Gallery on August 19, where we’ll eat at nominated restaurants, and CJ Starr announces the winners. Get tickets
These are the nominees for Best Neighborhood restaurant:
Sara Nam owns Irving’s Edoko Sushi & Robata and is kindly permitted to use the Edoko name. Chef Keunsik Le, who had previously worked at Nobu and Japonais by Morimoto, Chicago, and Wasabi Sushi, Fort Worth, is the restaurant’s ambitious owner. Their “omakase” menu, where diners order from the chef, has helped them attract a loyal following. Their food was what put them on the culinary map. Menu There are many affordable options for sushi and bento boxes available at lunch, which is best what you need to impress the locals.
Johnnie Katz and Bill were not the first to open a bar or restaurant in downtown Dallas. They opened Frankie’s, a ground-floor restaurant in the Davis Building (now Drakestone), in 2015. It wasn’t as if downtown needed a sports bar. Frankie’s arrived just as downtown residents were beginning to merge into a community. It had a friendly vibe that fulfilled its promise to be “downtown’s living space.” You can find beers, affordable food, and it stays open until late. There is enough space to meet all your needs. The lower level has a speakeasy basement for gatherings and meetings. You can enjoy brunch.
Gold Rush Cafe
The Lakewood landmark is a welcome respite from East Dallas’ upscale affliction. It’s been open since 1980. There’s a long wait for peak hours. The restaurant serves breakfast and lunch. George Sanchez, the owner, keeps the prices low. This is a great thing in an age where everyone seems to be out for a quick buck. This is a neighbourhood favourite, but you will also meet many other people at this Dallas institution.
It doesn’t have to be a mom-and-pop. This California gourmet sandwich shop has opened two locations in Dallas: OneIn downtown March 2020 Another In Addison, March 2021. Sandwiches and salads are their specialities, but they also use fine-dining ingredients. Our favourite was the decadent vegan Reuben made with Mrs Goldfarb’s Unreal Deli’s vegan corned beef. Top 5 Foods 2020. They are almost objective about their high quality like it should be good. Their spacious dining rooms make for a great place to gather with friends and family.
The Colorado-based chain has gone through two ownership changes, but they are still dedicated to making authentic, delicious food from scratch. Their first venture outside Denver was Dallas. They chose Preston Hollow Village next to Trader Joe’s to serve healthy meals, creative salads, and thin-crust pizzas. This location is a massive hit with residents and workers.
There are many little Italian restaurants in Dallas-Fort Worth, but this one is new. Open Village at Allen has ties to New York. It is part of an Italian group that operates restaurants in New York City, Miami Beach, Austin, and other areas. Many of their recipes are passed down from generation to generation, including Northern-Italian-style pasta and pizzas baked in brick ovens. Leo Gravina is a native Italian who oversees the Allen location. He has worked for over a decade at the Bice Group, an acclaimed Italian restaurant founded in Milan in 1926. This is not your average neighbourhood Italian.
Harwood District is located between Uptown and Victory Park. There are many Harwood Hospitality Group restaurant concepts, including Mercat Bistro and Happiest Hour. But Saint Ann’s was there first and remains a beloved favourite. You can enjoy fun items like chorizo-stuffed dates or a braised short rib sandwich. There are also cocktails and plenty of wines by the bottle. The patio is Harwood’s signature feature, making it an indispensable part of these times.
Tapas has been a popular word in recent years, but Si Tapas is the real deal. Si Tapas serves authentic Spanish tapas (think potato omelette and chicken with a saffron wine sauce) and has an extensive wine and sherry selection to match. They’ve been open since 1980 and are hidden away in a small house in State-Thomas with a back patio. They offer amazing happy hour specials and smooth European-style service with a low-key charm.
The restaurant and bar are designed to be a place for business lunches or social gatherings. It has a beautifully decorated interior and delicious food. They might have been too polished once upon a while for the Deep Ellum. But that is long gone, and Stirr does an excellent job representing the neighbourhood.
Omar Flores, a chef, started the restaurant concept as a chicken place. It was a great idea and still a popular choice. Chicken has evolved from a niche to a whole restaurant category, and Whistle Britches is now a neighbourhood concept in Dallas, Plano, and Southlake. It’s not a chicken restaurant but a place to get fried chicken and other side dishes.