4514 Travis St., Knox/Henderson
A seat on the sunny patio at Ziziki's with a tableful of salty, tangy, fresh traditional Greek food is a pretty ideal way to spend a summer afternoon. The spanakopita—flaky filo pastry stuffed with seasoned spinach and feta—is a fail-safe crowd-pleaser. The keftedes (lamb meatballs in a sharp tomato sauce) are ideal to share, as are the souvlaki skewers. No meal here is complete without a bowl of Ziziki's heavenly baklava-flavored ice cream to round it off. All the buttery, sweet, nutty tastes of baklava in creamy, cold form.
Origin Kitchen and Bar
4438 McKinney Ave., Knox/Henderson
Distilling down to the essence of American cuisine these days is tough, especially with the new crop of chefs redefining it into a type of New American fare. Origin, however goes back to basics, serving the traditional, hearty American food that fueled our childhood dinners. Tender, fall-off-the-bone short ribs on a bed of creamy, goat cheese grits, burgers made with the finest American bison, buttery Brussels sprout salads. Come hungry—and we mean hungry—and start with predinner drinks at the white subway-tiled bar. Appetite whetted, scoot into one of the cozy booths for what can only be described as an all-American feast, accompanied by a robust wine list.
4433 McKinney Ave., Knox/Henderson
Pancakes the size of your face, with that airy, fluffy texture—the kind that readily soaks up generous pours of maple syrup and pats of butter—can be hard to pull off. Kozy Kitchen, however, gets it just right, with the added disclaimer that these perfect pancakes are gluten-free. In fact, the entire menu is gluten-free—quite a feat given the menu is loaded with classically glutinous bread, French toast, and hearty pastas for dinner. Kozy Kitchen is that reliable, health-centric, sustainably minded spot you wind up eating at over and over. The coffee is excellent (try their bulletproof version with coconut oil), the juices are freshly squeezed (we're partial to the grapefruit), and the atmosphere is casual enough to bring even the rowdiest group of kiddos.
HG SPLY CO.
1008 Greenville Ave., Knox/Henderson
HG SPLY CO. offers all the benefits of a healthy menu without any white-washed "healthy" restaurant aesthetic, making it the perfect place to take your boyfriend when he wants a beer and you're craving a green juice. Their paleo-inspired menu is light and clean yet substantial—favorites include the tex mex quinoa bowl, pulled pork nachos, and texas steak bowl. The fire pits, twinkle lights, and red picnic tables, plus the well-chosen beer list, make their rooftop a pretty perfect place to spend a long, drawn-out evening.
2323 N. Henderson Ave., Knox/Henderson
Owners (and lovebirds!) Allison Yoder and Stephen Rogers brought their passion for friendly fine food and wine with them when they left their posts running Press—one of Napa Valley’s must-go dining destinations—to return to Rogers’s hometown. They poured it all into Gemma and opened the restaurant earlier this year. Always expertly executed but never too fussy, the menu covers a lot of ground, from crudos to duck confit with fried rice, so come late when reservations loosen up and the $2 oysters make an appearance.
4445 Travis St., Knox/Henderson
Grange Hall, with its gothic, cabinet-of-curiosities vibe, is the yin to Dallas’s glitzier yang. There’s a pretty gorgeous range of home goods—Ted Muehling candlesticks, Astier de Villate ceramics, Cire Trudon candles—along with really stunning jewelry. They just opened an on-site café, too, that serves artfully arranged food and an encyclopedia's worth of teas. This is inarguably one of Dallas’s very best stores.