April 17, 2024


The Food community

22 great restaurants and bars to visit in Dallas-Fort Worth in January 2022

9 min read

We’re starting our January 2022 Hot List with a catalog of excellent salad shops. New Year’s resolutions are real! Even if they only last a week.

But our Hot List is also stocked with bars and barbecue, because those two things are too delightful to deprive ourselves of. Choose your own adventure, let’s dig in.

Restaurants are listed in alphabetical order.

A salad!

There’s never been a better time for health-forward restaurants in Dallas-Fort Worth. And, it’s January, which means you’re probably thinking about making better food choices. Below are our favorite salad shops right now. Click the links for addresses.

  • Crisp & Green: Two of these are open so far in North Texas — in University Park and Lakewood — but as many as 15 are opening in the area soon. Crisp & Green has more inventive salad dressings than most of its competitors. I love the citrus miso sesame, Moroccan spiced almond, and Korean chile cashew. The jalapeño green goddess, too. See?
  • Salad & Go: The fastest, most inexpensive salad shop in North Texas is Salad & Go. It’s drive-through only, and every salad costs less than $6. If you haven’t tried it, you must.
  • Sweetgreen: The first Sweetgreen in North Texas opened in Uptown Dallas in late November 2021, just after the company was valued at over $5.5 billion. It’s a Gen Z and millennial friendly company you’ll see more of in North Texas.
  • Snappy Salads: It’s an oldie but a goodie. Snappy was mixing build-your-own salads in North Texas long before salad companies were billion-dollar entities. Find this company in downtown Dallas, East Dallas, at NorthPark Center in Dallas, Preston Hollow, Far North Dallas, West Plano, North Plano, Frisco, Las Colinas, Richardson, Allen, Southlake and Fort Worth.

Casablanca, then Casanova

Pick a warmer night to sit outside at Casablanca, or find a cozy spot inside.
Pick a warmer night to sit outside at Casablanca, or find a cozy spot inside.(Jason Janik / Special Contributor)

Make your next date night at Casablanca, a “grown and sexy” lounge in Dallas’ Bishop Arts District. After some one-on-one time with your special someone, invite a larger group to Casanova, the karaoke lounge in the back. One of six private rooms will be a great spot to sing your hearts out.

Casablanca and Casanova are both at 200 N. Bishop Ave., Dallas.

Dutch Bros.

If you are under the age of 25, have you been to Dutch Bros. coffee yet? Many of the drive-throughs are in college towns or across the street from high schools. The brand was established in Oregon in 1992, but just in the past few months, it’s announced it will make a major expansion into North Texas. There are Bros. currently in McKinney, Plano, Arlington, Euless, North Richland Hills and South Fort Worth right now, with others opening in Addison, Richardson and Fort Worth. The company sells over-the-top, sugar-packed drinks: a mocha with hazelnut and caramel drizzle; an energy drink with “electric berry” or “aftershock” flavors; and dozens more. There’s a big future for Dutch Bros., not only in North Texas, but across the U.S.

Find local Dutch Bros. locations.

Electric Shuffle

We’re still intrigued by Electric Shuffle, the first-of-its-kind shuffleboard bar with tech-savvy tables. The first Electric Shuffle in the United States opened as a two-story bar and restaurant in Deep Ellum. Where will it go next?

Electric Shuffle is at 2615 Elm St., Dallas.

Fish City Grill

Fish City Grill was founded in 1995 and has grown throughout North Texas and beyond, to Arkansas, Florida and Oklahoma. When a tornado ravaged the Fish City on Preston Hollow, neighbors mourned the loss.
Fish City Grill was founded in 1995 and has grown throughout North Texas and beyond, to Arkansas, Florida and Oklahoma. When a tornado ravaged the Fish City on Preston Hollow, neighbors mourned the loss.(Courtesy of Fish City Grill)

The tornado in Preston Hollow in late 2019 forced the closure of many restaurants. Some, like Neighborhood Services and My Family’s Pizza, will never return to their original addresses. Another, Fish City Grill, is finally reopening after more than 24 months and a total rebuild. Be sure to order Fish City’s smokin’ hot shrimp, a personal fave.

Fish City Grill is at 10720 Preston Road, Suite 1006, Dallas. It is expected to reopen Jan. 10, 2022.

Goldee’s Barbecue

The No. 1 barbecue joint in Texas just can’t seem to stay out of the spotlight — and good for them. YouTuber Mikey Chen visited the lauded restaurant recently and raved about the food. (Like, raved: “When you bite into this, it’s like the barbecue gods came and just gently kissed you on the lips,” Chen said.) If you ask me, it’s worth the drive to Fort Worth. And worth the wait. And you will.

Goldee’s Barbecue is at 4645 Dick Price Road, Fort Worth. Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday only. Go early.

Hutchins Barbecue

Pitmaster John Mueller will be missed by barbecue fans in Texas.
Pitmaster John Mueller will be missed by barbecue fans in Texas.

We were saddened to hear about the death of John Mueller, the most recent pitmaster at Hutchins Barbecue in McKinney. Mueller grew up in a well-known Texas barbecue family and owned his own Austin joint for five years before he sold his smoker to Aaron Franklin. Go visit Hutchins in McKinney, Mueller’s last place of work, for some of its excellent ‘cue. It’ll be a good way to remember the barbecue legend.

Hutchins Barbecue’s original restaurant is at 1301 N. Tennessee St., McKinney. There’s another one at 9225 Preston Road, Frisco.

Impossible Burger’s invisible pop-up

If you live anywhere near Richardson or Arlington, Dog Haus hot dog shops in both cities are making 10 Impossible Burger menu items, available for delivery. Impossible products are vegetarian, made with plant-based products. Options include a plant-based chili cheese burger, “chicken” nuggets and fries. You won’t even have to leave home.

Impossible Burger items are available for delivery in certain areas of North Texas; see details.

Lakewood Landing

If it’s been a minute since you stepped inside one of Dallas’ best dive bars, grab a barstool at Lakewood Landing. (There’s outdoor seating, too — just bring a jacket.) I can promise you that almost nothing will have changed about this homey bar, even if you haven’t been for years. And that’s the best thing about it.

Lakewood Landing is at 5818 Live Oak St., Dallas.

Lockwood Distilling

Lockwood Distilling Company in Fort Worth has a lovely patio that looks out onto Magnolia Avenue.
Lockwood Distilling Company in Fort Worth has a lovely patio that looks out onto Magnolia Avenue.(Ben Torres / Special Contributor)

I’m still enjoying my bottle of Lockwood Distilling bourbon cream; it jazzes up a simple cup of coffee and adds some creamy, boozy flavor in desserts like bread pudding. Lockwood originated in Richardson and then expanded to Fort Worth. Both are great.

Lockwood Distilling(s) are at 506 Lockwood Drive, Richardson, and 1411 W. Magnolia Ave., Fort Worth.


Loro's smoked baby back Duroc pork ribs sit front and center in a spread of the restaurant's snacks and veggies, meats and sandwiches.
Loro’s smoked baby back Duroc pork ribs sit front and center in a spread of the restaurant’s snacks and veggies, meats and sandwiches.(Liesbeth Powers / Special Contributor)

“It’s hard not to feel seduced by Loro,” our special contributor Brian Reinhart says in a recent restaurant review. He gives three reasons; you should read those yourself. He enjoyed the curry-rubbed ribs. I’m crazy for the smoked prime bavette with shishito salsa verde. There’s a lot to like about this East Dallas restaurant with famous founders. And soon, there’ll be a second Loro in North Texas, moving in place of a beloved Flying Saucer bar.

Loro is at 1812 N. Haskell Ave., Dallas.

Mayer’s Garden

New Henderson Avenue bar Mayer’s Garden made our December 2021 list and it’s back again in January 2022. Give it a few months, and it’ll have an across-the-street neighbor in Sfuzzi, a resurrected pizza place and bar — which means you’ll need to (carefully) cross Henderson this spring and visit both bars in the same night. If you enjoy Dallas food history like I do, read the amusing story of why this place is named Mayer’s Garden.

Mayer’s Garden is at 2422 N. Henderson Ave., Dallas.

Mexican Sugar

It’ll be many months before Mexican Sugar opens in Uptown Dallas in 2022, but until then, check out the existing ones in West Plano and Las Colinas. Mexican Sugar comes from some of Dallas’ most successful restaurateurs — the team who created Velvet Taco, then sold it. Time will tell if their other brands, like Sixty Vines and Haywire, follow the same path. Until then, you can drink tequila, eat rockfish with mole verde and say you were there first.

Mexican Sugar restaurants are at 7601 Lone Star Drive, Plano, and 3215 Regent Blvd., Irving. The Uptown Dallas restaurant will be at 2021 McKinney Ave., Dallas, opening likely in the third quarter of 2022.

Mexican Sugar originated in Plano and has grown to Las Colinas. The third Mexican Sugar in Dallas-Fort Worth is expected to open in Uptown Dallas in 2022.

Mule Alley in Fort Worth

Put on your boots and scoot to Mule Alley in Fort Worth. This new development in the Stockyards is just plain fun. Splurge on a night at Hotel Drover or stroll the streets, stopping into casual shops like Second Rodeo Brewing, Sidesaddle Saloon or chef Tim Love’s coming-soon taco and tequila spot, Paloma Suerte. Or, kick it up a notch with dinner at Provender Hall or the pricey purchase of some new Lucchese boots. There’ll be more to come — and a lot to eat — as 2022 continues.

Mule Alley is at 122 E. Exchange Ave., Fort Worth, in the Stockyards. All of the spots mentioned here are walkable.


For a warm cup of coffee or a cocktail in downtown Dallas, pop into all-day cafe Parterre on Elm Street. I like the vibe in there — it’s calm and warm, a great place to work for an hour or catch up with a coworker. The coffee and cocktails here are serious, if you’re into that kind of thing. Bites include breakfast tacos, seasonal salads, prosciutto bruschetta and crispy pork belly.

Parterre is at 1601 Elm St., Dallas.

Roots Southern Kitchen

We’re not tired of including chef Tiffany Derry’s excellent Southern restaurant on our Hot List. She’s gotten national attention for “alchemizing” elements of French, Spanish, African and Caribbean technique into a menu that’s all her own. The gumbo is a must. Now it’s time to try the duck fat fried plantains.

Roots Southern Table is at 13050 Bee St., Farmers Branch.

Chef Tiffany Derry is a vibrant voice for food in Dallas. In October 2021, the 'New York Times' picked her restaurant Roots Southern Table as one of the most interesting places to eat in the United States.

Smoke ‘N Ash BBQ

Since Texas Monthly’ write Daniel Vaughn tweeted about Ethiopian-Texan barbecue joint Smoke ‘N Ash in Arlington, the word has been out on this hidden gem. Interestingly, S’nA started as a straight-ahead barbecue joint, then owners Fasicka and Patrick Hicks added Ethiopian recipes a year later. As it turns out, many customers weren’t picking one cuisine or the other; they wanted both, reports special contributor Sarah Bahari.

Smoke ‘N Ash BBQ is at 7301 Matlock Road, Arlington.

2DD (and Urbano Cafe)

The owners of Urbano Cafe in Old East Dallas opened a coffee shop two doors down called 2DD. It's open 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.
The owners of Urbano Cafe in Old East Dallas opened a coffee shop two doors down called 2DD. It’s open 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.(Kevin Marple)

The owners of Urbano Cafe have opened a coffee shop and lunch spot, 2DD, so named because it’s two doors down from their original restaurant in Old East Dallas. Any indie coffee shop is great news to me, but this is especially interesting because there isn’t a ton of coffee in that area — even though the neighborhood is beautifully food focused. Welcome, 2DD.

2DD is at 1412 N. Fitzhugh Ave., Dallas. Urbano Cafe is at 1410 N. Fitzhugh Ave., Dallas.

Zavala’s Barbecue

One of the state’s most notable barbecue joints is growing its Grand Prairie footprint in the next few years. The OG Zavala’s will stay put, and the owners will build a coffee shop behind it, then install a beer garden in the middle. Why aren’t there more coffee + barbecue joints in North Texas? It makes so much sense: You go early for a latte and grab a breakfast taco. You hang out in the beer garden, then you eat barbecue lunch.

OK, so maybe a salad would be healthier. See the top of this list if that’s more in line with your 2022 resolutions. Zavala’s will be there when you need it.

Zavala’s Barbecue is at 421 W. Main St., Grand Prairie.

TV chef Gordon Ramsay is tough on contestants on Fox show "Hell's Kitchen." But at the end of each season, Ramsay hires the best chef to work in one of his restaurants. With his restaurant expansion business in the hands of Dallas CEO Norman Abdallah, Ramsay will have many more restaurants to staff in the next five years.

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:

For more food news, follow Sarah Blaskovich on Twitter at @sblaskovich.

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