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.

Fish Markets

Central Market

5750 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 Seafood

6025 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 Bakery

5531 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 Bakery

5450 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 Sour

5531 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 Table

4525 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.

Cheese Shops


3511 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-Mex

4322 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.

Night-Off Dinner


4010 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.


5318 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 Market

315 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 Market

9150 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 Yocal

213 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 Honey

420 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 & Bakery

750 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 Mart

2625 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 Bazaar

1425 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.


4901 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.

Gourmet Coffee


1155 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 Rooster

1810 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.

Wine Shop


2323 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 Spices

2809 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.


1221 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 Queen

2127 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 Chocolate

408 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 Chocolates

3011 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.