The restaurants arriving in Dallas in 2020 are eclectic and interesting. They’re accessible, too, which means that doughnuts, fried chicken and Budweiser beer are three of the attractions on this list of 12 exciting restaurants and bars coming your way.
Home cooks, your buzziest news is that Eataly is expected to open at NorthPark Center in Dallas before the end of 2020. Restaurant lovers, your takeaway is that Texas chefs Aaron Franklin and Tyson Cole are bringing their Asian smokehouse Loro to East Dallas. But along the way, we’ll also get a French bakery, a reprised Dallas margarita joint and an American restaurant from a soap opera star.
Take it from Franklin, one of the best-known restaurateurs in our great state: “I think people [in Dallas] get really excited about food.” They sure do.
So here’s your list of exciting restaurants and bars opening in Dallas in 2020.
Businesses are listed in chronological order by expected opening date.
Niche restaurants — ones dedicated to, say, plant-based meats or CBD cocktails — are bound to spring up in North Texas in 2020. But we never could have forecasted this one: An avocado-themed restaurant will open in Dallas, from the Irving-based marketing company Avocados from Mexico. The restaurant, called AvoEatery and located in West Dallas’ Trinity Groves development, will sell an entire menu dedicated to the green superfruit, dessert included. Options include caprese toast (mozzarella, tomato, basil, avocado and balsamic vinegar); an Asian avocado shrimp salad; and an avocado brownie topped with avocado ice cream. Avocados from Mexico has never operated a restaurant before. But the company reports that a whopping 1.7 billion pounds of its avocados are eaten in the United States every year — so maybe they’re onto something here.
- Expected opening date: January 2020
- Cuisine: Anything with avocado
- Address: 3011 Gulden Lane, Dallas (in Trinity Groves)
La Tarte Tropézienne USA
It’s taken 65 years for La Tarte Tropézienne, a bakery and cafe established in Saint-Tropez, France, to hop across the pond. Dallasites Rebecca Velázquez-Marien and Jan Marien are opening this French bakery in downtown Dallas as a test: If Texans eat up its tarts made with sweet brioche bread, pearl sugar and crème, the couple plans to open other shops in well-heeled parts of Dallas and possibly in Houston, Austin and San Antonio. The tart recipe is a secret and only three people in the world know it — and the two Dallas operators aren’t among them. For that reason, ingredients will be flown from France to Dallas, with strict instructions for baking and assembly. Beyond large tarts and a bite-sized version called a Baby Trop, the shop will sell caviar and an abbreviated cafe menu with sandwiches created by former Abacus chef Chris Patrick. The all-French wine menu will specialize in rosé.
- Expected opening date: January 2020
- Cuisine: French desserts, caviar, sandwiches and wine
- Address: 1604 Main St., Dallas (near the Joule hotel)
Primo’s MX Kitchen & Lounge
People of a certain age certainly remember Primo’s, the McKinney Avenue Tex-Mex joint with a bangin’ $2 Tuesdays margarita special. It closed in 2013 after nearly three decades slinging chips and salsa, but Dallas restaurateurs Jeffrey Kollinger and Mehrdad Moayedi plan to bring the bar back, in the same spot, with a few tweaks. The menu will include stuffed jalapeños, carne asada fries, enchiladas rojas and the like. The fajitas are jazzed up a bit, with filet mignon, pork belly, shrimp, beef and chicken as options. The idea is to “build on the nostalgia of the old place … but elevate the cuisine,” says general manager Eric Trejo. And unlike the Primo’s original, Primo’s 2.0 will have Impossible Meat for chimichangas and tacos. The interior got a serious redo (which happened several times, actually, when other bars moved in between Primo’s closure in 2013 and its reprise in 2020). “We’re excited to raise the flag here again and give Primo’s another run,” says corporate executive chef Ryan Carbery.
- Expected opening date: January 2020
- Cuisine: Tex-Mex
- Address: 3309 McKinney Ave., Dallas
For 16 years, Dallas resident Kim Finch has had her eye on the old filling station across the street from her dive bar, The Double Wide in Deep Ellum. It’s a funky building, built in 1922 on a diamond-shaped piece of property at Commerce Street and Second Avenue. It was best known as Maynard Riegel’s service station, and he purchased the property for a shocking $250 in 1954 and operated it through 2002. Patrons stopped in for gas or oil changes or inspections and almost always found Riegel there. Finch is in love with the shop’s tiny interior, the expansive front patio and the green backyard; she and co-owner Joel Stephenson plan to turn it into a come-as-you-are bar serving Budweiser and Coors Banquet on tap. They’ll serve pitchers of beer, because it just feels right. The two have been visiting flea markets for months, “hunting for treasure” that will give Thunderbird Station a retro autorama vibe. “We want it to feel broken in,” Stephenson says.
Finch adds: “I want it to feel like he’s still there.”
- Expected opening date: February 2020
- Cuisine: beer and snacks
- Address: 3400 Commerce St., Dallas
Headington Companies, the group that operates restaurants at the Joule hotel in downtown Dallas plus The Porch on Henderson Avenue and Wheelhouse in the Dallas Design District, is opening a steakhouse. Tango Room, as it will be called, replaces the shuttered FT33 in the Design District — a place that, for five years, served some of Dallas’ most interesting food. (FT33 and Tango Room are not affiliated, but gourmands might be excited to return to that address nonetheless.) A spokeswoman says the restaurant will have an art deco theme; not much else is known about the restaurant yet.
- Expected opening date: early 2020
- Cuisine: steak
- Address: 1617 Hi Line Drive, Dallas
Yardbird Southern Table and Bar
At first, Miami-based Yardbird Southern Table and Bar was supposed to be a seafood- and vegetable-focused Southern restaurant. “But our first week, there were tables of people ordering extra sides of bacon and fried chicken,” says John Kunkel, CEO and founder of parent company 50 Eggs Inc. “Everybody loves what they love,” he says. So they decided to make Yardbird a little more focused on meat. (Sounds like it just might work in Dallas, no?) Accolades from Southern Living, Bon Appetit, James Beard and Food Network helped this growing restaurant get noticed. As the name suggests, fried chicken is the thing to get, though there’s also ribs, shrimp and grits, rotisserie chicken, biscuits and a stout whiskey selection. The coming-soon restaurant is located near Klyde Warren Park in Dallas, and Kunkel is already banking on brunch. Get the chicken and waffles.
- Expected opening date: February or March 2020
- Cuisine: Southern
- Address: 2121 N. Pearl St., Dallas
The Salty Donut
The origin story of The Salty Donut is adorable: Husband and wife Andy Rodriguez and Amanda Pizarro bought a 1950s camper trailer. Then they parked it, “like two crazy kids,” Rodriguez says, in Wynwood, an artsy neighborhood in Miami. Two stores and four years later, the company is opening its third doughnut shop — and the first one outside of Florida, in Oak Cliff. Rodriguez says they “see an incredible parallel between South Florida and Dallas” and that they like the Bishop Arts District’s appreciation of art and artists. When The Salty Donut opens, expect artisanal sweets like a maple-bacon brioche doughnut and a vanilla bean cake doughnut topped with brown butter glaze and sea salt, plus Intelligentsia coffee. Once the dough gets rolling, Rodriguez and Pizarro hope to offer free yoga classes and other community events.
- Expected opening date: February or March 2020
- Cuisine: doughnuts and coffee
- Address: 414 W. Davis St., Dallas
The Mayor’s House
The Mayor’s House has been an exercise in patience. The restaurant in Oak Cliff was expected to open in May 2019, then fall 2019, and now early 2020, after construction delays and a chef change moved AJ Gilbert and Martha Madison’s plans further back on the calendar. The ambience inside and outside the restaurant seem worth the wait, as the project has taken more than five years to rezone and partially reconstruct the home of George Sergeant, who was the mayor of Dallas from 1935 to 1937. It’s believed that Franklin D. Roosevelt dined at Sergeant’s home, Gilbert says, and the remodel will pay tribute to some of those historic moments. The menu will be American comfort food — “the best version of everybody’s favorite food,” as Gilbert explains it. The restaurant is currently chef-less, but the owners plan to announce their new hire soon.
- Expected opening date: first quarter 2020
- Cuisine: American comfort food
- Address: 635 N. Zang Blvd., Dallas
Mendocino Farms Sandwich Market
There’s never been a better time for healthy, fast-casual restaurants to thrive in Dallas. (See the long lines at lunchtime at Flower Child or Original ChopShop for proof.) California company Mendocino Farms is right on time with its move into the Dallas market in 2020. Dallas’ first Mendocino Farms will spring up on Ross Avenue in downtown Dallas, part of the large-scale renovation of the Trammell Crow Center project. Take a peek over there now and you’ll already find restaurants like an all-day eatery called Sloane’s Corner; a pizza and pasta shop called 400 Gradi; upscale Royal Blue Grocery and more. While most of Mendocino Farms’ menu consists of sandwiches like the prosciutto and chicken, pork belly banh mi, or caprese, the shop is also known for its salads.
- Expected opening date: spring 2020
- Cuisine: sandwiches and salads
- Address: 2000 Ross Ave., Dallas
When Loro opened in Austin in spring 2018, it was the biggest chef collaboration we’d seen in Texas in years. It’s a barbecue-Asian hybrid restaurant — which is odd and interesting enough — from Aaron Franklin, who founded internationally famous barbecue joint Franklin Barbecue in Austin, and Tyson Cole, the creator of boundary-pushing Japanese restaurant Uchi. The duo announced in October they’d open another Loro in Texas, in East Dallas, to much excitement. Here’s a fun fact: The whole idea for a casual Asian smokehouse between two superstar chefs was born in Dallas, when Franklin drove north for a one-night-only ramen dinner. (Brisket + ramen: It works!) Soon after that, the chefs started planning how they could collaborate in a more permanent way. “Salty, fatty meat with heavier flavors needs so much acid to cut through,” Franklin says. “It needs freshness to balance that fattiness.” The oak-smoked salmon with cucumber-yuzu broth and the smoked beef brisket with chili gastrique and Thai herbs are two examples of dishes that do just that. When Loro arrives, it’ll be the biggest restaurant spot of the summer.
- Expected opening date: summer 2020
- Cuisine: Asian smokehouse
- Address: 1812 N. Haskell Ave., Dallas
Finally, Dallas chef Nilton “Junior” Borges is opening his own restaurant. Borges moved to Dallas to open Uchi, a Japanese restaurant from James Beard award-winning chef Tyson Cole, then later worked at high-profile restaurants including Mirador, FT33 and Up on Knox. Borges’ latest venture is big and all his own: He’s the executive chef and vice president of culinary for a 12-restaurant development at The Village, an apartment development east of U.S. Highway 75 in Dallas. The flagship restaurant is Meridian, Borges’ American eatery inspired by his upbringing in Brazil. He calls it “an approachable restaurant that has roots.” The dinner-only space is expected to have house-made pastas, crudo and more, with the addition of some Brazilian ingredients and techniques. Ingredients may even be plucked from the half-acre garden nearby. Though Borges considers the restaurant to be “refined,” he notes, “I also want people to have fun.”
- Expected opening date: mid-2020
- Cuisine: American
- Address: 8364 Southwestern Blvd., Dallas
Italian gourmet boutique Eataly is opening in Dallas in late 2020, yet foodies have been gabbing about it since mid-2019. The high-profile location at NorthPark Center will become the eighth Eataly in the world and the first in Texas. It’ll be a three-story structure on the two-story mall, meaning that a new level on top is expected to become a restaurant. (So far, representatives wouldn’t elaborate on the restaurant menu or its chef.) The store is a food-lovers paradise, with open kitchens with chefs making pizzas and pastas, fishmongers shucking oysters or butchering fish, gourmands taking cooking classes and shoppers sipping wine. While it’s a fine place to stop to grab ingredients for dinner, it’s also a spot to procure cookbooks, aprons, high-end kitchen gadgets and hard-to-find Italian meats and cheeses.
- Expected opening date: late 2020
- Cuisine: gourmet Italian grocery store and restaurant
- Address: 8687 N. Central Expressway, Dallas (at NorthPark Center, between Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus)
For more food news, follow Sarah Blaskovich on Twitter at @sblaskovich.
A slurry of notable restaurants opened in late 2019, making them ineligible for this list but no less interesting in the scope of Dallas dining. Here are those restaurants — each worth a try:
Source: Thanks https://www.dallasnews.com/food/restaurant-news/2019/12/26/the-most-exciting-restaurants-and-bars-opening-in-dallas-in-2020/