Devouring Deep Ellum: The Best Places to Indulge Your Taste Buds

Deep Ellum has been going through a revival that has not only rebooted its nightlife scene, but has also turned the area into a flourishing foodie haven– where the ever evolving dining options are as eclectic as the neighborhood itself.

In fact, several of the area's restaurants have even caught the attention of Food Network’s Guy Fieri who spotlighted barbecue sensation Pecan Lodge  and acclaimed pizzeria Cane Rosso on his show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Also featured on the show was Twisted Root Burger Co., where you can find burgers made out of everything from beef to buffalo and rabbit.

And perhaps no place captures Deep Ellum's unique vibe as well as St. Pete’s Dancing Marlin, a beloved neighborhood watering hole that's been dishing up stellar pub grub for over 25 years.

But wait, it doesn't stop there. Keep scrolling to find everything from authentic tacos to modern Lebanese and more. If you’re looking for a great meal, you’ve come to the right place.



Uncle Uber's Sammich Shop
Photo courtesy of Uncle Uber's Sammich Shop

Since 2011, this funky Deep Ellum sandwich shop has been cranking out some of the finest things between sliced bread, which likely accounts for the reason this place stays busy at all hours of the day. Find around twelve different selections, ranging from a shaved ribeye steak on baguette topped with grilled red onions and blue cheese to vegetarian-friendly choices like the Vietnamese-inspired veggie BunMe. And though the sandwiches are always a solid option, Uber's burgers are equally deserving of praise. The best part? You can score one of these meaty marvels with an order of fries for only $6 after 4 p.m. on Tuesdays.

Recommended for Deep Ellum's Best Restaurants because: Uncle Uber's is a good place to come for lunch or early evening snack.

Ilene's expert tip: Uncle Uber's offers a secret menu which can be found hidden inside the box next to the regular menu on the wall.

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St. Pete's Dancing Marlin
Photo courtesy of St. Pete's Dancing Marlin

This jovial neighborhood watering hole is not only the perfect place to wet your whistle with a selection of more than 65 varieties of bottled and tapped brews, but it's also the place to tuck into some excellent pub grub. The reasonably priced menu features a massive selection of appetizers, as well as everything from pizzas and pasta to burgers, steaks and fish. Though it's impossible to go wrong with anything on the menu, don't miss standouts like Rudolph's chili-cheese dogs and the chicken fried tuna steak sandwich. The place really packs a house on weekends when local musicians like Josh Hendrick and Joe Tucker put on an epic show.

Recommended for Deep Ellum's Best Restaurants because: St. Pete's is where to go when you're in the mood for a laid-back, lively evening that involves beer.

Ilene's expert tip: St. Pete's has happy hour Mon-Fri from 4-7 p.m. and live music on Friday and Saturday nights.

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Twisted Root Burger Co.
Photo courtesy of Twisted Root Burger Co.

Featured on Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives, this epic burger mecca has garnered a cult status and sixteen locations to boot since opening in Deep Ellum in 2006. And the appeal has as much to do with the inventive toppings (think thyme caramelized onions and smashed fries) as it does with the variety of offerings, which includes everything from wagyu beef to turkey and exotic game. The go-to order? The half-pound Western Burger slathered in house-made barbecue sauce and loaded with pepper Jack cheese, bacon, fried onion strings and jalapenos. Pair it up with an order of twisted cheese fries and a boozy custard shake.

Recommended for Deep Ellum's Best Restaurants because: Twisted Root is where to find some of the city's most eclectic burgers.

Ilene's expert tip: Happy Hour specials include $1 off beer and cocktails, Mon-Fri from 2:07 to 6:07 p.m.

Read more about Twisted Root Burger Co. →

Oni Ramen
Photo courtesy of Oni Ramen

With a name that translates into demon in Japanese, it should come as no surprise that Oni turns out what's arguably some of the spiciest ramen in the city. And for a perfect example, look no further than the restaurant's signature Oni Reaper, made with a miso base and flavored with a combustible combination of ghost, scorpion, and Carolina Reaper peppers. But not everything here is designed to burn a hole through your intestines, the menu also features an assortment of milder options including an ultra-rich Kyushu Tonkotsu with pork belly, vegetables, red ginger, black garlic oil and egg. In addition to ramen, find sharables like gyozas, chicken karaage and takoyaki (fried octopus balls) along with Japanese-inspired cocktails, beer, wine and sake.

Recommended for Deep Ellum's Best Restaurants because: Oni Ramen is best for when you need a bowl of late-night sustenance.

Ilene's expert tip: Oni stays open until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

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Photo courtesy of Local

There's always something pleasing to look at and spectacular to devour at this sleek modern American eatery tucked away in the historic Boyd Hotel building. The seasonal menu, designed by owner/chef Tracy Miller, features both a seven-course, prix-fixe chef tasting ($85 + $35 wine pairing) as well as à la carte options ranging from pan-seared lobster cakes to grilled grass-fed tenderloin and heritage Kobe beef burgers. While Local serves wine and beer only, creative cocktails like the prosecco mojito and sake pear martini more than make up for the lack of spirits. The signature "chocolate composed" dessert, consisting of a chocolate soufflé, brownie cookies and a mini Ovaltine malt, is a must.

Recommended for Deep Ellum's Best Restaurants because: Local is a great place for an upscale date night.

Ilene's expert tip: Local provides complimentary parking in the lot adjacent to Rudolph's Meat Market on the west side of the restaurant.

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Niwa Japanese BBQ
Photo courtesy of Niwa Japanese BBQ

For those who want to venture beyond sushi and ramen, behold Niwa, a super-slick yakiniku spot in Deep Ellum where do-it-yourself Japanese BBQ is the name of the game. Here, diners can choose from an array of marinated proteins and veggies and cook it all up over grills built right into their tables. Beef belly, chicken breast, lamb chops, rib eye and Wagyu, it's all there, as well seafood options like calamari and shrimp. You want intestines? Tongue? Pork jowl? They've got that too. Don't feel like cooking? There are also ready-to-eat items, ranging from chicken karaage to udon noodle bowls and hamachi crudo.

Recommended for Deep Ellum's Best Restaurants because: Niwa is where to go when you are with people who like to share.

Ilene's expert tip: Score discounts on meats for the gill plus $6 cocktails, $5 canned beers, $6 sake by the glass, $5 call drinks & $6 house wines by the glass during happy hour, offered all day on Tuesdays, and from 5-6:30 p.m., Monday-Thursday.

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Cane Rosso
Photo courtesy of Cane Rosso

Another one of Guy Fieri's picks for Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives is this Neapolitan-certified pizza joint, known best for its wood-fired pies with top-notch artisan toppings. All the pizzas are prepared with dough made in-house from "OO" flour imported from Italy, and come in a wide-range of options, ranging from a classic Margherita to inventive picks like the Honey Bastard, with mozzarella, hot soppressata, bacon marmalade and habanero honey. And while pizzas may be the main attraction, don't sleep on Cane Rosso's house made pasta dishes and sandwiches. Another reason to come is that a portion of the sales go directly to Cane Rosso's dog rescue organization that helps find homes for abandoned dogs.

Recommended for Deep Ellum's Best Restaurants because: Cane Rosso is one of the best places in the city to find Neapolitan style pizzas.

Ilene's expert tip: Score $2 off appetizers and house cocktails, $5 house wines, $3 Miller Lite drafts and $7-$9 select pizzas during Happy Hour, from 3-6 p.m. Monday-Thursday. Also find brisket lasagna Bolognese on offer Friday and Saturday night.

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Revolver Taco Lounge
Photo courtesy of Revolver Taco Lounge

This family-run Deep Ellum spot with counter service ordering and communal seating is an oasis for taco connoisseurs. Corn tortillas are handmade and grilled to order, and toppings run the gambit from seared duck breast to roasted baby goat and grilled premium wagyu beef. Tacos aren't the only reason to come. Hidden in the back is a 14-seat dining cove (the Purépecha Room) where guests can tuck into an eight-course modern Michoacán-style feast prepared by the owner's mother. The all-you-can-eat Sunday brunch buffet is worth a gander, too. Did we mention that it stays open until 2 a.m. on weekends?

Recommended for Deep Ellum's Best Restaurants because: Revolver is a good place to come for a quick bite before or after hitting the nightlife in Deep Ellum.

Ilene's expert tip: Score $2 al pastor tacos and $5 house margaritas all day on Tuesdays.

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Zatar Lebanese Tapas & Bar
Photo courtesy of Zatar Lebanese Tapas & Bar

Named for the Middle Eastern spice blend, this bustling Lebanese eatery delivers a deliciously modern spin on the country's classic cuisine. That translates into a roll-call of sharable crowd-pleasers like crispy cheese filled phyllo cigars and beet hummus topped with beef shawarma alongside grilled kabobs, lamb shank mac-n-cheese and pan-seared salmon. The sleeper hit? The Lebanese double decker burger featuring a kafta patty topped with chicken shawarma, Gruyere, hummus and roasted tomatoes. All of which is backed up with a bar program that includes Lebanese beer, wine and Arak cocktails. Leave space for desserts like Arabic ice cream and Kenefeh, a sweet cheese semolina-based pastry drenched in fragrant orange blossom syrup.

Recommended for Deep Ellum's Best Restaurants because: Zatar is the best place for sharing a Middle Eastern feast.

Ilene's expert tip: Zatar offers Happy Hour from 5:30-7 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday. There's also a hookah menu available on the patio.

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Pecan Lodge
Photo courtesy of Pecan Lodge

Featured on such shows as Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and Man Fire Food, this Deep Ellum hot spot is as famous for its long lines as it is for its epic barbecue. But as they say, good things come to those who wait, and those good things include house-made sausages, mesquite smoked brisket, mouthwatering ribs and more. Try it all by ordering "The Trough," where for around $79 you and four of your pals can dig into beef ribs, pork ribs, brisket, pulled pork and sausage links. Other winning items include fried chicken and a brisket and chipotle cream cheese stuffed sweet potato dubbed the "Hot Mess." Don't get us started on the banana pudding.

Recommended for Deep Ellum's Best Restaurants because: Multiple publications have ranked Pecan Lodge as one of the best barbecue joints in the state.

Ilene's expert tip: Bypass the lines by dining at the bar or by ordering 5-lbs or more of meat at the express counter.

Read more about Pecan Lodge →


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