Jan 29 2019
Meredith Bethune
5 Minutes to read

The current food trends of Dallas defy any meat-and-potatoes preconceptions you might have of the city’s food scene. Some of the more surprising trends involve sushi and Hawaiian raw-fish salad. It’s sort of baffling how much Dallas has to offer. We created this list of Dallas’s hottest food trends to spotlight them all. Use the list whenever you need picks for dining out or for catered work events. These are the extraordinary foods we’ll happily eat again and again.

Dallas Food and Drink Trends

Sushi Handrolls (aka Temaki Sushi)

Sushi handrolls are taking the Dallas food scene by storm with the recent openings of restaurants Namo in the West Village and Nori Hand Roll Bar in Deep Ellum. These cone- and cylinder-shaped packages are nori seaweed wrapped around rice and stuffed with fillings like Hokkaido scallop and sea urchin. They’re also a bit more forgiving than your average sushi roll, encouraging chefs to get more creative. If you want sushi perfection for clients at the office, try EAsT Thai and Sushi‘s sushi rolls and fried pork cutlets.

Restaurants for the weekender: NamoNori Hand Roll Bar

Dallas catering for a work crowd: EAsT Thai and Sushi

Dallas Food Trends for Catering and Dining Out

[Photo: Nori Hand Roll Bar / Instagram | Dallas food and catering scene]

Healthy Fast-Casual

While meat-heavy cuisine is the norm in Dallas, many health-focused restaurants are emerging for the on-the-go eater. Cosmic Cafe features a global, all-vegetarian menu that showcases Indian, Mediterranean, and Tex-Mex. Then Green House Market proves their veggie dishes can do anything that beef can do. Check out their black-bean quinoa burger and Moroccan-spiced roasted cauliflower. If you and your colleagues want to steer away from the vending machine at work, try these catering options. Gather Kitchen bakes paleo green-tea muffins for those morning conferences, and the Original ChopShop specializes in flavorful grain bowls and salads.

Restaurants for the weekender: Cosmic CafeGreen House Market

Dallas catering for a work crowd: Gather KitchenOriginal ChopShop

Dallas Food Trends for Catering and Dining Out

[Photo: Green House Market / Facebook | Dallas food and catering scene]

Italian

A new wave of Italian cooking has recently rolled into Dallas. Some of the new restaurants on the scene include Fachini by chef Julian Barsotti, serving updated Italian-American classics like lobster pasta bathed in a spicy fra diavolo sauce. Macellaio, on the other hand, leans charcuterie-centric with house-cured meats like lonza (a type of salami) and coppa (cold cuts) made with local pork. For a spectacular meal in the office, order up MoMo’s Pasta‘s rich pasta dishes, like the tortellini stuffed with a mixture of four cheeses or the linguine pasta in meaty bolognese sauce.

Restaurants for the weekender: FachiniMacellaio

Dallas catering for a work crowd: MoMo’s Pasta

Dallas Food Trends for Catering and Dining Out
[Photo: Macellaio / Facebook | Dallas food and catering scene]

Poke

While Dallas might be landlocked, the steamy Texas heat is the perfect match for this traditional Hawaiian dish of sliced raw fish served over rice. Head to Pok the Raw Bar for refreshing yellowtail paired with citrus ponzu dipping sauce or Malibu Poke for flavorful salmon poke. Pokéworks offers some of the best Dallas catering. They’ve got traditional poke and vegetarian versions, too, made with organic tofu and spicy wasabi aioli.

Restaurants for the weekender: Pok the Raw BarMalibu Poke

Dallas catering for a work crowd: Pokéworks

Claim to Fame: Dishes Unique to the Dallas Food Scene

Deep in the heart of Texas, you can find excellent examples of the region’s famous cuisine. Here are a few signature items you’ll spot on menus around Dallas.

Steak

Dallas had grown way beyond its days as a place for cowboys on their cattle drive, but steak is still king. For the ultimate Dallas-food-scene experience, order a wedge salad and prime aged rib eye at the legendary Nick & Sam’s steakhouse. Want steak delivered to the office? Good Eats fries up a delicious chicken-fried steak. Little Greek Fresh Grill crafts Greek-style steak skewers.

Restaurants for the weekender: Nick & Sam’s

Dallas catering for a work crowd: Good EatsLittle Greek Fresh Grill

Dallas Food Trends for Catering and Dining Out

[Photo: Nick & Sam’s / Instagram | Dallas food and catering scene]

Brisket

Arguably the most important meat in the Texas BBQ trinity (along with ribs and homemade sausage), brisket is always rubbed with a coarse mix of black pepper and spices, and smoked low and slow over pecan or oak wood for several hours. Pecan Lodge in Deep Ellum is the place to go to try this barbecue classic at its best. Texas Brisket Company makes a portable brisket sandwich that’s perfect for sales meetings or lunch and learns.  

Restaurants for the weekender: Pecan Lodge

Dallas catering for a work crowd: Texas Brisket Company

Chili

Don’t you dare put beans or tomatoes in this traditional Texas dish of beef flavored intensely with homemade chili paste. You can’t go wrong with a bowl from All Good Cafe. For a hearty catering spread at work, try Beyond the Box‘s spicy beef chili.

Restaurants for the weekender: All Good Cafe

Dallas catering for a work crowd: Beyond the Box

Dallas Food Trends for Catering and Dining Out

[Courtesy of Beyond the Box Catering| Dallas food and catering scene]

Queso

You might know queso as the word for cheese in Spanish, but in Dallas and the rest of Texas it’s an appetizer of melted cheese and canned, chopped chili peppers. Scoop some up with plenty of tortillas chips at Avila’s. Meanwhile La Botana Taco Bar and Fajita Pete’s will deliver the goods to the office.

Restaurants for the weekender: Avila’s

Dallas catering for a work crowd: La Botana Taco BarFajita Pete’s

Dallas Food Trends for Catering and Dining Out

[Courtesy of Fajita Pete’s Catering| Dallas food and catering scene]

Tacos

Few cities have a wealth of great tacos that the Dallas food scene offers. Find everything, including duck or octopus tacos by James Beard Award semifinalist chef Regino Rojas, at Revolver Taco Lounge and the picadillo tacos (loaded with ground beef) at iconic Fuel City, a combination gas station and taqueria tucked under the elevated highway. If your colleagues demand tacos for a work event, Blue Green Canteen makes killer chicken tinga tacos, and Gorditas Mexican Catering offers the prettiest sunset-colored taco bar.

Dallas Food Trends for Catering and Dining Out

[Courtesy of Blue Green Canteen Catering| Dallas food and catering scene]

Restaurants for the weekender: Revolver Taco LoungeFuel City

Dallas catering for a work crowd: Blue Green CanteenGorditas Mexican Catering

Here’s a look at the coolest, tastiest catering options in Dallas.

Here

Meredith Bethune

Written by:

Meredith Bethune

Meredith Bethune is a former cheesemonger turned writer for publications like Travel + Leisure, Saveur, Condé Nast Traveler, CNN, Robb Report, and more. She’s also the former associate editor of Eater D.C. where she reported on Washington’s latest restaurant trends and news. In the name of journalism, she has interviewed an octogenarian tofu maker in Japan, eaten breakfast on the savanna in Kenya, and sipped rare cognac in France.

Posted in: Trends in FoodNeed to Know

Tagged with: Catering, Dallas, Dinner, Food Trends, Italian, Japanese, Lunch, Mexican, TX