The Required: Dallas

The Required: Dallas

A definitive guide to Dallas' tried and trues, as chosen by over 5000+ of the nation's top chefs, sommeliers, bartenders, & other food and beverage pros.

August 12, 2020
The Required: Dallas

The Required: Dallas

A definitive guide to Dallas' tried and trues, as chosen by over 5000+ of the nation's top chefs, sommeliers, bartenders, & other food and beverage pros.

August 12, 2020

Hello, Dallas. Welcome to The Required club.

The Required is our expert version of a "best list," comprised of the stand-out restaurants that have garnered the all-time most recommendations from our expert community. That's 5000+ all-star chefs, sommeliers, bartenders, and more–no black box of food editor committees or user surveys, just plain, crave-able cred.

Read on to plan your next trip—or just to be sure you've checked all the boxes on your home turf. 

Tei-An

The Story: Nationally and locally acclaimed Executive Chef Teiichi Sakurai has been mastering the craft of sashimi and yakitori since the 1980’s, and in the early 2000’s he incorporated the art of soba noodle dishes into his repertoire. He was one of the first chefs to introduce Japanese cuisine into Dallas dining culture, and Tei-An (a play on his first name and Texan) is touted as one of the most elegant and memorable dining experiences to be had in the city. 

What to Eat: Our experts recommend any hand-made soba dish, as well as the White Seaweed Salad. Be on the look out for fresh catches flown in overnight from Japan’s Kyushi Island and Nagasaki regions, as well as seasonal selections from domestic waters. For the more carnivorously inclined, Tei-An offers plenty of beef and duck-centric dishes. 

What to Drink: Their cocktail menu features a mash-up of small-batch domestic and Japanese spirits. Our Experts recommend the Simon Sour with Kumamoto Whisky, Kochi Yuzu, Thai Palm Sugar and Egg Whites. 

The Vibe: A serene dining room with decorative accents of wood and stone, and beige upholstered furnishings meant to create the sense that you are in nature. 

When to Go: With lunch and dinner service Tuesday through Friday, and dinner only on Saturday and Sunday, you should have plenty of time while in Dallas to schedule in a formal business lunch or a relaxing date night at Tei-An. Expert Tip: make reservations in advance for Omakase style (Chef’s choice) dining to get the best of what’s on offer from both the land and sea that day. 

Soba
dish
Downtown, Dallas
$$, Happy Hour, Sushi, Outdoor Seating, Japanese, Full Bar, Cocktail
Tei-An
Spot
Downtown, Dallas
$$, Happy Hour, Sushi, Outdoor Seating, Japanese, Full Bar, Cocktail
17 Recommendations

Pecan Lodge

The Story: Husband-Wife team Justin and Diane Fourton quit their corporate jobs some years back thinking that starting a family-run restaurant would somehow be less hectic. But what started as a small stall at the Dallas Farmer’s market soon grew to such popularity that they had to expand to a brick and mortar in Dallas’ Deep Ellum neighborhood. Using mesquite wood and a “little bit of Oak”, Pecan Lodge’s smoked meats have landed them on most everyone’s “Best Barbecue in Dallas” lists since their inception. 

What to Eat: This is Texas darlin’, you’ll be having the brisket, and a spare rib or two. Get their fried okra as a side and save room for that seminal Southern favorite, banana pudding.

What to Drink: Big Red cream soda from the fountain, Sweet Tea, or a local microbrew.  

The Vibe: A straight-ahead BBQ joint with counter service and communal seating. 

When to Go: Open Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., as you can guess there’s often a line outside the door before Pecan Lodge can even get their doors open. Come early, don’t forget your sunglasses, and chat it up with others while being tantalized by the smell of mesquite meats cooking low and slow.

Pecan Lodge
Spot
Deep Ellum, Dallas
$$, Outdoor Seating, Bbq
11 Recommendations

Lucia

The Story: Chefs David Uygur and Justin Holt have made a name for themselves in Dallas’ culinary scene with their masterful meat curing and pasta making skills. Our Experts reckon that Lucia is one of the best Italian restaurants in Dallas.

What to Eat: Salumi Misti– a sampling of their house-cured meats, ranging from Italian classics like Duck Prosciutto, to Spanish and Turkish inspired selections. Their housemade pasta and main courses change with what’s best from local meat and vegetable vendors that day, so go with what sounds good to you. Our Experts give their ricotta gnocchi, no matter what it’s accompanied with, high marks for their pillowy chewy goodness.

What to Drink: Imported Italian reds or amari forward classic cocktails. 

The Vibe: A rustic little bistro with colorful mismatched chairs and an eclectic selection of throw pillows lining their wood plank banquette. This place is by Texan standards: tiny, and their largest table accommodates four.

When to Go: Open Tuesday through Saturday from 5:30-10 p.m., you’ll want to make reservations to secure a spot for you and a loved one or two.

Lucia
Spot
Bishop Arts, Dallas
$$$$, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Italian
8 Recommendations
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