Dallas Culinary City Guide
The only thing better than exploring a city’s culinary wonders on foot is to have an in-the-know local point you in the right direction. Here, we asked FT33 chef Matt McCallister, the man behind our Dallas Road to Table dinners, for his go-to spots (some are outside city limits, but still very much worth the car ride)—it’s a pretty priceless list, so bookmark accordingly.
Central Market5750 E. Lovers Ln., Dallas | 214.234.7000
This Texas-specific market is built for foodies, with programming (including a full-blown cooking school) that works to teach customers and community members about the fresh, locally sourced produce on offer. The thorough wine department only helps the cause.
TJ’s Seafood6025 Royal Ln., #110, Dallas | 214.691.2369
This market/restaurant hybrid is famous for nailing the daunting challenge of sourcing the freshest seafood in a city that’s about as land-locked as they come. It’s by far the best place in town for fresh shellfish (including gorgeous lobsters), both for shoppers and diners.
Village Bakery5531 E. University Blvd., Dallas | 214.951.9077
Inspired by the neighborhood boulangeries of France, Village Bakery is beloved by locals for French baguettes. The bakery has been around for more than ten years now, and while they have two brick-and-mortars, they still have plenty of regulars at most of the city’s farmers markets. P.S. Great gluten-free croissants!
Empire Bakery5450 West Lovers Ln., Dallas | 214.350.0007
Both members of the duo behind family-owned Empire Bakery left corporate careers to start this shop, and twenty years later, their passion for artisan baking is just as strong. You can taste their bread in plenty of restaurants around town, but it’s worth stopping into the shop, as they have an exhaustive selection of Texas-made jams, cheese, coffee, and other foodie souvenirs.
Wheat and Sour5531 E. University Blvd., Dallas | 214.951.9077
David Madrid’s gorgeous pastries are available at several local coffee shops and grocery stores, but you can also order them wholesale or for a catered event, with a bit of notice. His famous bread is made in the classic Levain style without any commercial yeast—just flour, water, and salt. The method is difficult to pull off, but results in the chewiest, softest dough.
Best Place for Kitchen Tools and Supplies
Sur la Table4525 Cole Ave., #190, Knox District
Perusing the aisles of Sur la Table is equal parts inspiring and intimidating—which makes sense, since this really is the go-to for professional chefs when they’re stocking up on everything from knives to pots and pans to actual ingredients. The Dallas store always has a great supply of the fun stuff, like pumpkin-shaped Staub, quirky salt and pepper shakers, and seasonally appropriate cookie tins.
Scardello3511 Oak Lawn Ave., Dallas | 214.219.1300
Chefs around town all agree that Scardello is the best place in Dallas for cut-to-order cheese—their case holds over 150 varieties of both imported and locally made Texas cheeses. Their cheese boards make a great, easy catering option, and the cheese classes make a perfect unexpected gift for foodie friends.
Best Tex Mex
Mia’s Tex-Mex4322 Lemmon Ave., Dallas | 214.526.1020
Mia’s is a local staple, so passionate recommendations for what to order can vary depending on who you talk to. We’re going with Matt’s favorites: sour cream chicken enchiladas or Paulie’s burritos.
Sprezza4010 Maple Ave., Dallas | 972.807.9388
At his newest spot, Julian Barsotti, the man behind Nonna and Carbone’s, is focusing on hyper authentic, hand-made Roman food. It’s arguably the best place for Roman-style pizza (outside of Rome) and the pastas, which change up regularly, are spot on as well.
Houstons5318 Belt Line Rd., Dallas | 972.960.1752
Sure it’s technically a chain, but it’s still very much a staple, great for a perfectly executed burger and an extended catch-up sesh at the bar with pals.
Favorite Farmers Markets
Mckinney Farmers Market315 S. Chestnut St., McKinney | 972.562.8790
This farmers market in historic Chestnut Square is open from eight to noon on Saturday mornings. In addition to offerings from local farms (grass-fed beef and organic vegetables, milk, and honey), Mckinney provides family entertainment by way of face paintings, live music, pony rides, and old-fashioned candy treats.
Lakeside Market9150 Garland Rd., Dallas | 972.379.7097
The old White Rock Market is now a part of Lakeside Market, which is held in the parking lot of the neighborhood’s Baptist church. It’s held roughly the same time as Mckinney (Lakeside is open an hour later), but it’s closer to the city center.
Local Yocal213 N. Tennessee St., McKinney | 469.952.3838
The ultimate butcher shop, Local Yocal has close relationships with some of the finest Texas farmers, so you can know where everything you’re buying is coming from, and feel good about it. No visit is complete, though, without a sandwich from Patina Green across the street.
Under-the-Radar Specialty Food Shops
Milk and Honey420 N. Coit Rd., Richardson | 972.404.0704
The grill side of Milk and Honey serves staples like shawarma, falafel-and-hummus plates, kabobs, and chicken pita sandwiches, while the market side offers an array of Israeli goods.
Sara’s Market & Bakery750 S. Sherman St., Richardson | 972.437.1122
Sara’s opened in 1998 as a pita bread bakery. Over the years, the family operation has expanded into a grocery shop for Mediterranean-styled cooking, carrying olive oils, beans and legumes, jams, excotic fruits, and more.
H Mart2625 Old Denton Rd., #200, Carrollton | 972.323.9700
The first H Mart location debuted in Queens, NY in 1982. The brand now has outposts around the country, including a few in Texas, which local chefs and home cooks rely on for otherwise hard-to-find Korean specialty items.
India Bazaar1425 E. Beltline Rd., Richardson | 972.312.0114
Dallas isn’t known for its Indian food, which makes this rare, high-quality grocery store all the more valuable. Come here to replenish your spice rack, pick up an already-made meal, or the organic ingredients to make one at home.
Jimmy’s4901 Bryan St., Dallas | 214.823.6180
As a Dallas institution fifty years in the making, Jimmy’s is beloved for its Italian subs. Always get one to go, along with an assortment of the deli’s fresh cheeses, pasta salads, and prosciutto.
Cultivar1155 Peavy Rd., Dallas | 972.677.7895
Cultivar roasts their excellent coffee in-house, which you’ll find locals sipping at the wood picnic tables in front of the shop.
Full City Rooster1810 S. Akard Street, Dallas | 214.247.6394
The beans here are sourced from around the world, and include a number of organic selections. Full City does their own roasting, too, and provides wholesale services.
Veritas2323 N. Henderson Ave., #103, Dallas | 214.841.9463
With hundreds of domestic and international varieties stacked neatly along the walls of the tasting room, Veritas is the ideal place to grab a bottle of good wine on the way to a dinner party. Owners (and brothers) Brooks and Bradley Anderson also made sure to curate a solid by-the-glass offering, and a cheese-centric small plates menu to go with it, to be enjoyed right on the spot.
Spice Shops for Hard-to-Find Blends
Spaulding’s Specialty Spices2809 Capitol St., Wylie | 916.390.1528
Owner and master spice-blender James Spaulding opened his spice shop to serve as the ultimate cook’s resource, both professional (chefs form Dallas’s top restaurants flock here on droves) and amateur. The herb-infused sugars and salts are favorites.
Pendery’s1221 Manufacturing St., Dallas | 800.533.1870
Around since 1870 and family-operated to this day, Pendery’s is something of a Texas institution. In addition to rubs, seasoning, and spices that range from exotic to kitchen staples, the shop carries an assortment of cookbooks and home goods.
Desserts and Confections
Dairy Queen2127 Forth Worth Ave., Dallas
Hands down, nothing beats a DQ cookies-and-cream blizzard. There are locations all over Texas, but just one in the center of Dallas.
Dude, Sweet Chocolate408 W. 8th St. #102, Dallas | 214.943.5943
Chef McCallister’s good friend Katherine Clapner runs this gorgeously branded chocolate company. A healthy sense of humor is applied to everything from the Break Up Potion (bourbon-spiked dark chocolate nectar) to the Hippie Crack garbanzo bean chocolate bark and the Chocolate Salami, which blends dates, prunes, walnuts, and marzipan into a sort of chocolaty log. Needless to say, it’s all delicious.
Kate Weiser Chocolates3011 Gulden Ln., Ste. 115, Dallas | 469.619.4929
Kate Weiser’s bonbons, chocolate pears (stuffed with boozy marshmallow), and fancy candy bars all look like tiny, edible works of art. She does a brisk business with boxed chocolates online, though stopping by the shop to curate your own assortment is best.