Restaurants in Dallas-Fort Worth are really finding their rhythm this season. We’ve already said that 2022 will be a bananas year for restaurant openings. And now we’re starting to see that come true.
Here’s your list of 15 restaurants to visit in North Texas this month.
Chris’ Specialty Foods
No matter where you live in North Texas, Chris’ Specialty Foods is worth the drive. It comes from Louisiana, with just one of the four locations in Texas, in Frisco. On Super Bowl Sunday, my friends and I devoured a puzzlingly fun boudin king cake. The shop also sells sweet king cakes for Mardi Gras. But stop in any time of the year and you’ll find other Cajun treats like crawfish etouffee, crab cakes and Louisiana meat pies.
Chris’ Specialty Foods is at 6363 Dallas Parkway, Frisco.
Freelance writer Amanda Albee describes Cry Wolf well: It’s “an eccentric, unpretentious 32-seater that’s offbeat with an almost daily changing menu of inventive chef-driven fare.” On a recent visit, the music seemed to be a huge part of the fuel for the chefs’ evening. Must just be a ‘90s alt-rock spot, I thought. Nope: They change the music nightly, and my night of duck confit and Stone Temple Pilots was but a single moment at a place full of intrigue.
Cry Wolf is at 4422 Gaston Ave., Dallas.
Farm + Feed
You wouldn’t know it by the name, but Farm + Feed in Plano is built for gamers. The owner calls himself a “passionate geek and a gamer” who wanted to have a place where his friends could eat pizza rolls or appetizers covered in Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, all while playing PlayStation 5 or board games. We get that.
Farm + Feed is at 7401 Lone Star Drive, Plano.
Firebirds Wood Fired Grill
There’s something familiar about Firebirds, even though the restaurant that opened in February in Fort Worth is the first one in Texas. Firebirds feels kind of like a Houston’s restaurant, but with more windows. The American menu is upscale but safe: lobster queso, a pepper jack cheese burger, a Cajun rib-eye and the like. It’s the kind of place where everyone you’re with will find something they like.
Firebirds Wood Fired Grill is at 2900 Amador Drive, Fort Worth. A second Firebirds is expected to open in late 2022 in Plano.
Goodfriend Beer Garden & Burger House
Goodfriend might just serve Dallas’ best burger. And that’s saying something, as Dallas has plenty of great burgers. The Bourdain is the best of the bunch because of its simplicity: two smash patties, double American cheese and kewpie mayo. (It’s made with egg yolks only, which means it’s extra rich.)
I keep threatening to get the Dad Bod burger, but I’ve never had the room. That’s a two-patty behemoth with cheddar, bacon burnt ends, Korean barbecue sauce, and crispy onion strings.
Goodfriend Beer Garden & Burger House is at 1154 Peavy Road, Dallas.
Hattie B’s Hot Chicken
While we’re handing out awards, brand-new Dallas restaurant Hattie B’s Hot Chicken is turning out some exceptional fried chicken. It could be Dallas’ best hot chicken place — an excellent change of pace after we saw way too many hot chicken restaurants opening in the past two years. Hattie B’s is named after the 90-year-old matriarch of the Bishop family, all from Nashville, Tenn. They’re bringing the heat on their hometown dish. It’s worth the hype.
Hattie B’s Hot Chicken is at 3000 Main St., Dallas.
Heim Barbecue in Dallas
Heim Barbecue is back open near Love Field Airport, after it was locked up for three months following a fire. “We were really, finally getting momentum at the Dallas store,” co-owner Travis Heim says. (It was their third restaurant, after two had opened over the years in Fort Worth.) The Heims missed out on sales during Thanksgiving and Christmas, which was crushing. “We feel a great deal of relief to be back open,” he says.
Heim Barbecue is at 3130 W. Mockingbird Lane, Dallas.
La Casita Bakeshop
We couldn’t help but cheer when word came that a homegrown bakery, La Casita in Richardson, had been named a semifinalist for Outstanding Baker from the James Beard Foundation. Owner Maricsa Trejo has a feel-good story about finding her place as a small businessowner: She first borrowed a kitchen in Oak Cliff, then moved the bakery to a commercial kitchen when her business picked up. But that kitchen closed abruptly and she was left to scout for a new spot, finally picking a nondescript strip center in Richardson where she sells croissants, bread and other treats to the public on Saturdays and Sundays only. Trejo is resilient, and she makes darn good pastries.
La Casita Bakeshop is at 580 W. Arapaho Road, Richardson.
Lombardi Cucina Italiana
Called one of the most exciting new restaurants to open in 2022, Lombardi Cucina Italiana is living up to the hype so far. The restaurant from longtime Dallas restaurateur Alberto Lombardi serves upscale Italian dishes like wood-grilled octopus, beef carpaccio with black truffle, and foie gras. For those eating carbs — and really, please do! — there’s mushroom risotto; ricotta and spinach ravioli with sage butter; carbonara with guanciale, bone marrow and pecorino cheese; and jumbo prawn fettuccine with Meyer lemon cream. You hungry yet?
Lombardi Cucina Italiana is at 6655 Winning Drive, Frisco.
We like it. Everyone else in Dallas does, too. Is it the chefs behind it, Aaron Franklin (Franklin Barbecue) and Tyson Cole (Uchi)? Is it the wonderful combo of Asian-inflected barbecue? Is it the casual-cool dining room with the wraparound porch? Yes, yes and yes.
Loro is at 1812 N. Haskell Ave., Dallas.
Keep your eye on Project Pollo. This vegan fast-food concept started in San Antonio, then grew to Austin and now Dallas. Its visionary, Lucas Bradbury, is dedicated to sustainability and veganism, but with fast-food prices that are competitive with any other drive-through chicken place. “You can’t look at this concept as a targeted vegan concept. It’s not,” Bradbury says in a Dallas Morning News interview. He sees Project Pollo as an affordable option that just so happens to be plant-based. Is that too tall an order in beef-loving Texas? I don’t think so.
Project Pollo is at 4814 Greenville Ave., Dallas.
So you’ve got a friend in town and you want to do “a Texas thing.” Grab a beer and a burger at Rodeo Bar, a resurrected spot inside the Adolphus hotel in downtown Dallas. Feel free to dress the part.
Rodeo Bar is at 1321 Commerce St., Dallas.
Roots Southern Table
Chef Tiffany Derry’s exceptional new restaurant Roots Southern Table has been on the Hot List four out of the past five months. We were almost embarrassed to keep bringing it up. But then Derry and her restaurant received two James Beard nods: Best New Restaurant and Best Chef Texas. Finalists will be announced March 16, and we should all be rooting for Roots.
Roots Southern Table is at 13050 Bee St., Farmers Branch.
Starting March 4, 2022, the snazzy pizza joint Sfuzzi will be back open in Dallas. Is your Sfuzzi history fuzzy? It’s been a long road: The restaurant first opened in 1987 and has had restaurants in corners of North Texas for several decades. They all closed a handful of years ago, but it’s now back again, this time on Henderson Avenue in Dallas, where the former Capitol Pub was.
Sfuzzi is at 2401 Henderson Ave., Dallas.
Sky Rocket Burger
There are three Sky Rocket Burgers in Dallas-Fort Worth right now, but its new owner expects to have as many as 20 by the end of 2024. If you get here before it sky rockets into a franchise, you can count yourself among the burger fiends who “remember when” it was a teeny little chain. Most everybody gets a double cheeseburger, fries and a shake.
Sky Rocket Burger’s newest restaurant is in Frisco, at 6633 John Hickman Parkway. The others are at 111 S. Hall St., Dallas, and 7877 Frankford Road, Dallas.
What restaurants should have been on this list? Email [email protected]
Or, check out past Hot Lists to see which restaurants moved on and off: