Best Restaurants for Spring in Dallas

Ten new Dallas area restaurants to keep on the radar for spring 2020

The Dallas area has been experiencing a flurry of new restaurant arrivals recently with many more originally slated to open this spring. But unfortunately, the entire industry has been put in a state of limbo by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing bans on dine-in service. Essentially, concepts which planned to launch during the next few months are now hoping to debut in early summer, while other spots are grappling with ways to stay open by offering takeout and delivery services as well as great deals on food. An added bonus is that alcoholic beverages can be ordered to-go, too.

For example, Oak Cliff newcomer Sketches of Spain is featuring $15 paellas along with a shortened menu of appetizers and bottles of Spanish wine. Or for vacuumed packed barbecue that you can stick in the freezer or easily heat up at home, check out places like Hurtado Barbecue and Jaxon Beer Garden. And while uber popular Mot Hai Ba is waiting to debut its modern Vietnamese outpost in Victory Park, the East Dallas location is cranking out a variety of takeout family-style meals that aren’t normally featured on the regular menu.

Keep scrolling for more places to keep on your dining radar, whether you’re in the mood to order something delicious to eat within the confines of your home or for when business returns to normal. Note that regulations are frequently changing– often at the last minute, so always check the restaurant's social media for up-to-date details.  


Opened late winter, this Preston Center spot specializes in uber-thin, brick oven pizzas in flavors inspired by owners Heather and Ali Haider's trips around the world. To that end, expect to find a range of pizzas, from Napoli and New York styles to unusual ones like the Moroccan, adorned with spicy chicken, buffalo mozzarella, bell peppers, onions and harissa oil. In addition to pizzas, the menu features a selection of pastas along with gourmet hotdogs served on toasted Hawaiian rolls and loaded up with everything from pepperoni and chili to Beyond Meat sausage. Speaking of plant-based meat, Flattery also offers a Beyond Pie that's made with a cauliflower base and topped with Beyond Meat sausage, avocado, mozzarella, pesto and chickpeas. All orders are available for pick-up as well as delivery, even when there's not a dine-in ban in effect.

Recommended for Best Restaurants for Spring because: Flattery Café is a good option for when you're craving pizzas that are a little less than ordinary.

Ilene's expert tip: Flattery Café offers family-style meal bundles to go.

Read more about Flattery Cafe →

This favorite West End eatery is in the process of opening two additional locations; one in Allen and another in Frisco. And while the Frisco spot is slated to open by June, the Allen locale will be up and running for take-out and delivery in early April. As for the food, the restaurant is known for its all-day brunch menu stacked with hearty southern comfort-favorites covering everything from egg dishes to pancakes, chicken fried steak, burgers and grits. Standouts include Cajun shrimp & grits and balls of deep-fried blue corn grits served with fresh blueberries and blueberry maple syrup. Also note that Ellen's is offering half-price bottles of wine to go as well.

Recommended for Best Restaurants for Spring because: Ellen's is the premier place for home spun southern food.

Ilene's expert tip: All to-go orders can be placed online for both pick-up and delivery between the hours of 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Monday -Saturday; and 10a.m.-2 p.m. on Sundays.

Read more about Ellen's in Allen →

No dine-in ban can keep this local cult pizza spot down. Fact is, Zalat is expanding with a seventh location that launches mid-April on Lemmon Avenue. And of course, all locations are open for takeout and delivery. For folks who aren't familiar with Zalat, the place is known for unique pizza combinations, all of which are prepared with house-made dough and cooked in old school deck ovens so to create the perfect balance between crispy and chewy. Popular pies include the Pho Sizzle (chicken, red bell peppers, caramelized onions, cilantro, basil, hoisin & sriracha swirl) and the Elote, that comes loaded with corn, lemon pepper seasoning, parmesan, cilantro and a special sauce made with Sriracha and ranch dressing. Another bonus is that the new location is open for business until midnight every day of the week.

Recommended for Best Restaurants for Spring because: Zalat is the metroplex's favorite spot for late-night pizza.

Ilene's expert tip: Check Facebook for daily deals during the dine-in ban.

Read more about Zalat →

The Dock Local
Photo courtesy of The Dock Local

If lobster rocks your boat, then you're going to want to hit Dock Local, a casual seafood-centric eatery that recently landed in Uptown and is also about to open at Legacy Hall and in downtown's new AT&T Discovery District this April. On the menu is an assortment of starters, sandwiches, tacos, salads and sides featuring seafood culled from the waters around Maine and the Canadian border. As for the lobster, you'll find everything from lobster bisque, lobster loaded fries and lobster mac-n-cheese to three types of lobster rolls, including one that comes stuffed chunks of lobster meat, blue crab and shrimp. Presently, the Uptown location is featuring its regular menu along with a variety of deals on coastal meals for 4-5 people for curbside pick-up and deliveries.

Recommended for Best Restaurants for Spring because: Dock Local is where to go for a casual meal of lobster-laden treats.

Ilene's expert tip: Keep an eye out for takeaway and delivery to be offered at Legacy and Akard Street locales when they open.

Read more about The Dock Local →

Billed as a modern Texas inspired restaurant and beer garden, this massive restaurant made its debut at downtown's new AT&T Discovery District on March 2. The menu, curated by former James Beard Foundation award nominee chef David Gilbert, focuses on modern Texas dishes with influences from surrounding geographic neighbors including Mexico, Louisiana and New Mexico. This translates to burgers and tortas along with dishes such as sticky BBQ pork ribs, green chili brisket mac & cheese, smoked chicken pot pie and more. Best of all, not only can you find these options on the takeout menu right now, the restaurant is also offering barbecue dinner family packs as well as selling barbecue by-the-pound in vacuum sealed packages. Oh, and did we mention they're peddling basic necessities such as toilet paper, paper towels and bottled water for takeout and delivery, too?

Recommended for Best Restaurants for Spring because: Jaxon Beer Garden is where to go for upscale barbecue in downtown Dallas.

Ilene's expert tip: In addition to takeout and delivery food items, Jaxon is also offering premixed cocktails to go.

Read more about Jaxon Beer Garden →

Leila Bakery & Cafe
Photo courtesy of Leila Bakery & Café

This charming boutique bakery and café in Lakewood comes by way of Kelly Ball, who has built a loyal fan-base through her catering business, Naturally Curly Cook. The bakery is known for its deep-dish quiches, which come in a variety of flavors ranging from a classic Lorraine to mushroom & goat cheese, and chorizo with queso fresco. Also on offer are croissants, scones, cookies, pies, cakes, cinnamon rolls and muffins as well as savory kolaches with unique fillings like apples, Havarti and pomegranate jelly. While the dine-in ban is in effect, customers can safely pick up any of the items on the menu via a drive-through tent in front of the bakery. Not in the mood to get out? No worries, they also provide delivery in the Dallas area through Uber Eats.

Recommended for Best Restaurants for Spring because: Leila Bakery churns out some of the best quiche in Dallas.

Ilene's expert tip: Free delivery is offered within a 3-mile radius. The bakery also offers gluten-free, vegan energy bars.

Read more about Leila Bakery & Cafe →

Hurtado Barbecue
Photo courtesy of Hurtado Barbecue

After a prolonged opening that was supposed to take place in the fall, Hurtado Barbecue finally opened its doors in late February only to be hit with the dine-in ban soon after. But never fear 'cue fans because the restaurant's unique style of Tex-Mex barbecue is still available for curbside pickup or delivery. In fact, the place has been so swamped with orders that they had to double food production and hire more employees. Off the smoker items include everything from prime brisket, house-made sausages and beef ribs to smoked quail and green chile pulled pork. Also available are family-style platters (think meat, sides and tortillas for 2-10 people) as well as cold vacuum-sealed meats such as whole briskets and pork shoulders. Whatever you do, don't sleep on the hatch chile mac and cheese or the charred Mexican street corn topped with lime crema and cotija.

Recommended for Best Restaurants for Spring because: Hurtado Barbecue is one of the only places in the metroplex doing Tex-Mex-style craft barbecue.

Ilene's expert tip: The full menu is available for pickup Wednesday through Sunday during the ban, but orders must be made in advance via the website. Delivery is offered within an 8-mile radius of the restaurant.

Read more about Hurtado Barbecue →

Sketches of Spain
Photo courtesy of Sketches of Spain

Spanish specialties centered around pinchos (a sophisticated version of Spanish tapas) is the name of the game at this cozy taberna, which opened in Oak Cliff late last winter. The eatery comes by way of the same folks behind neighboring indie bookstore, The Wild Detectives. Though you can't hang out at the bar right now, you certainly can take advantage of some awesome specials being offered for pickup and delivery. We're talking $15 paellas made with everything from farm vegetables to seafood and rabbit. A limited variety of pinchos (think salt cod stuffed piquillo peppers and Iberic ham croquettes) as well as Spanish cheesecake and reasonably priced bottles of Spanish wine are also featured.

Recommended for Best Restaurants for Spring because: Sketches of Spain is the only pincho bar in Dallas.

Ilene's expert tip: Call ahead at 214-484-6006 or email to schedule a pickup. When the restaurant opens back up for dine-in, expect to find daily deals like a free pincho with purchase of drink after 10 p.m. as well as a regular Sunday brunch.

Read more about Sketches of Spain →

Bubala Cafe and Grill
Photo courtesy of Ilene Jacobs

Although the Dallas area food scene boasts a variety of international restaurants, Russian fare was virtually non-existent until this little-known gem quietly opened this past winter. The café is the brainchild of Zinovy Margulis and his family, all of whom have been doing double duty working their regular jobs during the day while running the restaurant by night. As for the food, expect to find an array of traditional dishes, ranging from dumplings to kebabs that pull from the cuisines of Russia as well as Uzbekistan, Ukraine and Georgia. Don't sleep on the pelmeni (boiled meat dumplings in broth), or the khachapuri (a boat shaped dough filled with a mixture of cheese and topped with an egg). The Russian honey cake is also a must. Note that while the dine-in ban is on, Bubala is still open for take-out as well as delivery through GrubHub.

Recommended for Best Restaurants for Spring because: Bubala Café knocks it out of the park when it comes to Russian dumplings and desserts.

Ilene's expert tip: All pickup orders can be placed by calling or texting the restaurant at 469-878-4950. Bubala's is also offering a daily deal with takeaway meals, check the Facebook page for more information.

Read more about Bubala Cafe and Grill →

Mot Hai Ba
Photo courtesy of Ilene Jacobs

Chef Peja Krsticthat's tiny East Dallas modern Vietnamese eatery has garnered rave reviews by local and national critics alike. So it should come as no surprise that the second Mot Hai Ba outpost in Victory Park was set to be one of the most highly anticipated restaurant debuts this spring. As such, while the opening plans have been put on the burner, the East Dallas location is offering curbside takeout and delivery (via Favor and Caviar) on menu items as well as beer, wine and cocktails. Expect to dig into menu items such as five-spice brisket banh mis, pork belly dumplings, shaking beef, and family-style dinners complete with things like whole fried branzino with lemongrass cham sauce, garlic noodles, jasmine rice and imperial rolls.

Recommended for Best Restaurants for Spring because: Mot Hai Ba features the most exciting Vietnamese cuisine in the metroplex.

Ilene's expert tip: Takeout is presently being offered at 6047 Lewis Street, Dallas, Tx, 75206. Orders can be taken by calling 972-638-7468. See the website for menu details.

Read more about Mot Hai Ba →


Meet Ilene Jacobs

As a perpetual wanderer, foodie freak and wannabe chef, Ilene is always on the lookout for the best places to see, eat, drink and sleep. When she's not writing about the latest happenings in...  More About Ilene