Planning an upcoming trip to Big D? Well, put barbecue on your "to do" list, as Dallas features some of the best barbecue in the Lone Star State. You see, in Texas, barbecue, Tex Mex and steaks are the local cuisines, and Texans do barbecue differently than in other parts of the USA. One of the main differences about Texas barbecue is that the meat is primarily smoked with mesquite wood. In Dallas, barbecue specialties include beef brisket and pork ribs, along with a variety of Southern sides, like fried okra, baked macaroni and cheese, banana pudding and English pea salad.
Locals can't get enough of the Dallas' excellent barbecue, and you'll find them at a wide variety of humble dives situated around town. One of the best places to start is at popular Mike Anderson's BBQ House on Harry Hines Blvd. This locally-owned barbecue joint specializes in hickory smoked pork ribs, smoked turkey, jalapeno pinto beans and rice, garlic and cheddar smashed potatoes, fried okra, and garlic slaw. If you're in a hurry, go to one of many Sonny Bryan's Smokehouse locations around the metroplex, and be sure to order the pork ribs. If you're looking for "fancy" barbecue, there's no better place to go than Smoke. This restaurant is the only place that serves a barbecue brunch that includes smoked brisket cornbread hash and pulled pork BBQ eggs benedict.
Don't leave Dallas without seeing what all the fuss is about!
Clark's Outpost BBQ
One bite of Clark's beef brisket, smoked to an impossible tenderness over the span of three days, and you'll be glad you made the trek northwards from Dallas. Unlike many barbecue joints, Clark's Outpost BBQ adds no seasonings or spices during the smoking process, resulting in unsullied flavor that pairs perfectly with the dark, sweet, house barbecue sauce served on the side. Smoked turkey breast, succulent pork ribs, and a side of deep-fried corn-on-the-cob are also not to be missed. Don't feel like making the drive? A thriving mail-order business delivers brisket, chicken, ham, and much more to your doorstep. (940-437-2414, 800-932-5051)
If you've really worked up an appetite, head to Sammy's to tame your hunger, as this local barbecue joint features some of the most juicy, well-seasoned pork ribs in town. The lunch-only place is known for serving tangy meats to local professionals, whether it's smoked turkey, sliced beef brisket, ham, smoked sausage, or more. Sandwiches and plates are both available, depending on the level of your cravings. And the sides there, like the potato casserole, shine too! For something different, check out zucchini casserole, and then top off your meal with a satisfying slice of apple or pecan pie. A must! (214-880-9064)
Dick's Last Resort
Expect some good-natured ribbing from your server when you walk through the doors of this BBQ spot in the tourist-friendly West End neighborhood. The wait staff is known for its funny comments and sly jibes. It's also good to know that, if they can dish it out, they can also take some of the same! In addition to the rudely funny jokes and puns, these servers also dish up tasty fried catfish and tangy BBQ, as well as burgers, steaks, and seafood. Rinse it all down with a cold beer -- they have plenty to choose from! Reservations accepted for group of 10 or more. (214-747-0001)
Mike Anderson's BBQ House
In business since 1981, this folksy eatery on Harry Hines Blvd prides itself on having a single location and making everything in-house. That way, they are able to control the quality and the experience, so diners rejoice! Cafeteria-style service ensures that lines move quickly and that you'll get your hickory-smoked pork ribs, Polish sausage, beef brisket, turkey breast, and more as effortlessly as possible. Sides include jalapeno pinto beans and rice, garlic and cheddar smashed potatoes, fried okra, and garlic slaw. Come hungry -- heaping portions at a great price are sure to please. Great for families! Located near Parkland Medical Center. (214-630-0735)
Peggy Sue BBQ
Great veggies at a BBQ joint? As odd as it may sound, that's what you can expect at Peggy Sue's BBQ. The eatery in the upscale University Park is a favorite with local Southern Methodist University students, and it aims to please both meat lovers and veggie-only types with wonderful barbecue and great vegetable side dishes. If you're not in the mood for barbecue, you're in luck - Peggy Sue BBQ also serves up delicious quesadillas. Don't forget to save some room for a piece of homemade pie. Casual atmosphere and friendly service will make you feel right at home. (214-987-9188)
Smokey John's Bar-B-Que and Home Cooking
Sporting a rustic interior with a railroad theme, casual this eatery serves heaping portions of some of the best BBQ in all of Big D. Try the chicken and dumplings done Texas-style for a real taste of local life, or a wide variety of traditional barbecue staples like the pork ribs, hot links, barbecue chicken, and more. Other Southern favorites, like fried catfish, chicken fried steak, burgers, and sandwiches also make appearances, as do weekday specials that range from pork short ribs to meatloaf and pot roast. Service is fast and friendly, so it's a great place to experience true Texan hospitality. (214-352-2752)
Red Hot & Blue
Known for its hot, tangy "Hoochie Coochie" sauce, this place heaps tender meat on plates and serves it with traditional side dishes like coleslaw and potato salad. Pulled pork and dry or wet pork spare ribs are the specialties there, but you'll also be impressed by the pulled chicken, beef brisket, and smoked turkey. Besides the traditional Texan barbecue staples, you'll also find a wide variety of burgers, salads, sandwiches, and fried seafood from which to choose, not to mention a full bar. Add Elvis tunes playing in the background, and you're all set for a casual night out, Texas-style! (214-368-7427)
Family owned and operated, and open since 1959, this down-home eatery is right in the middle of Mesquite, just a short drive from Dallas. Locals know it's one of the best choices for hickory-smoked pork and barbecue sandwiches. Diners there enjoy a wide variety of tempting side dishes, like barbecue baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw and baked potato casserole. If you're in the mood for truly local (and delicious!) barbecue, you need to stop by and see for yourself. Come early, take-out orders and eat-ins jam this place on a regular basis! Dress is casual attire, and reservations not accepted. (972-285-6573)
Sonny Bryan's Smokehouse
Around since 1910, this legendary BBQ spot serves large portions of melt-in-your-mouth barbecue topped with savory sauces that'll have you toting your own jar home. Choose from pulled pork or chicken, brisket, ribs, sausage, ham or turkey. Sides come in hearty portions and include coleslaw, potato salad and green bean casserole. Fried onion rings have a following all their own, and local and national celebs make sure to visit Sonny Bryan's whenever they can. Go to the original location on Lemmon Ave, or try out Sonny Bryan's Smokehouse famous pork ribs at one of many local chain spots all around town. (214-744-1610)
If you want to experience barbecue in a whole new way, head on down to Smoke at the Belmont Hotel in Oak Cliff. This upscale barbecue joint is not only trendy, but it features some of the best darn barbecue in Dallas. Choose from popular family-style entrees like grilled sausage by the yard or the Eisenhower beef steaks. Looking for a delicious brunch with Texan flair? Go to Smoke! This upscale barbecue joint features a very unique brunch menu on Sundays. Some of the popular menu items include blueberry and house-made ricotta cheese pancakes, pulled pork BBQ eggs benedict, smoked salmon & collard green eggs florentine, and smoked brisket cornbread hash. ((214) 393-4141)
About Denise Brandenberg
Born and raised in Dallas, Denise Brandenberg has been a self-proclaimed “Dallas Ambassador” for out-of-town friends and colleagues for years.
Denise started her career as an advertising agency copywriter, recruiter, and manager of online forums for an international meeting planning association. She ventured off on her own a few years ago, to start an adventurous career as a freelance writer and marketing consultant. Denise’s other work can be found at Global Road Warrior, USA Today, Chron.com, The Motley Fool, LovetoKnow, The Meeting Professional, and several other online publications.
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