24 Must-Try Comfort Foods in Dallas–Fort Worth

By Steven Lindsey  |  November 23, 2015

Brrrr. Winter is finally pushing its way into North Texas. And on these days and nights when we're dipping into the 30s and 40s, it's nice to turn to a few comfort-food favorites to warm body and soul. Fortunately for you, we have way more than a few dishes for you to start craving this very moment. Here are two dozen of the best, most comforting entrees, sides and desserts in Dallas–Fort Worth.

  • Texas "pho" at Henry's Majestic
    Head to this Knox-area tavern for chef Roe Dileo's take on traditional Vietnamese pho. She gives hers a Texas twist with brisket and Beeman Ranch Akaushi flank steak over rice noodles with a soft-boiled egg in hearty beef broth.

    4900 McKinney Ave.; 469-893-9400

  • Credit: Kevin Marple

    Shredded oxtail and banana pepper hash at The Grape
    At this destination neighborhood bistro from Brian and Courtney Luscher on Lower Greenville, this utterly comforting brunch dish combines shredded oxtail and banana pepper hash with two poached Vital Farms eggs, red wine demi-glace and multigrain toast with jam.

    2808 Greenville Ave.; 214-828-1981

  • Beer-can chicken at The Rustic
    This popular Uptown restaurant inspired by the flavors of Texas makes a delicious slow-cooked chicken. Dry-brined with brown sugar, kosher salt, ancho chile and other spices, the bird is slow-cooked on a can of Texas beer and served with two sauces: chipotle pecan and "blond" barbecue.

    3656 Howell St.; 214-730-0596

  • Credit: Daniel Rodrigue

    Short-rib pot pie at Cafe Momentum
    At Chad Houser’s nonprofit Downtown restaurant that helps at-risk youths turn their lives around with culinary training, chef de cuisine Sarah Green had comfort food on the brain when creating this dish. Short ribs are slow-braised and the braising liquid is used to make the sauce before folding in sautéed mirepoix consisting of carrots, onion and celery with cremini mushrooms and diced potato. It's topped with a light and flaky pastry circle and a lightly dressed salad of Paul Quinn arugula and pickled fennel.

    1510 Pacific Ave.; 214-303-1234

  • Credit: Bird Cafe

    Shrimp and grits at Bird Cafe
    Chef David McMillan serves up his version of the Southern comfort classic at this Sundance Square New American gastropub. Four giant shrimp are coated in Diablo house-spiced butter and white wine spooned over Heritage Homestead stone-ground white cheese grits served with a vibrant jalapeño, cilantro, parsley and cream gravy.

    155 E. Fourth St., Fort Worth; 817-332-2473

  • Farmer’s pie at Taverna Rossa
    At this casual Plano pizza joint, you can grab a comforting pizza loaded with all-natural red sauce, local Texas sausage, fire-roasted red pepper, fresh garlic, white onion, cracked red pepper, house-blend mozzarella and torn basil.

    4005 Preston Rd., Plano; 972-403-3321

  • Japanese-style fried chicken at GRACE
    Downtown Fort Worth's upscale destination features an ever-changing seasonal menu, and chef Blaine Staniford has created fried chicken with a twist. This Japanese-style presentation comes with yuzu aïoli and charred shishito peppers.

    777 Main St., Fort Worth; 817-877-3388

  • Meatloaf at Del Frisco’s Grille
    At any of the area locations of this trendy bar and grill offshoot of Del Frisco's Steakhouse, you can order up a generous portion of juicy meatloaf served on a bed of hand-mashed potatoes, all topped with wild mushrooms and bordelaise sauce.

    Multiple locations

  • Lowcountry gumbo at Sissy's Southern Kitchen & Bar
    At this Henderson Avenue eatery known for its Southern cooking, the gumbo is made with crab finger, shrimp, andouille sausage and okra — it'll transport you to the Deep South with every bite.

    2929 N. Henderson Ave.; 214-827-9900

  • Credit: Mei-Chun Jau

    Kale and mushroom lasagna at Americano in The Joule, Dallas
    Vegetarians don't get slighted at this Downtown Dallas Italian eatery inside The Joule Hotel. The lasagna is composed of over 20 layers of ingredients. San Marzano and kale tomato sauce, mushrooms, a pasta sheet, mozzarella and ricotta are layered and repeated four times. It's cut in a long cross-cut to allow a larger surface area to get crunchy on top before serving.

    1530 Main St.; 214-261-4600

  • Skillet cornbread at Cotton Patch Cafe
    Sometimes all it takes to be comforted is a big slab of bread. At this chain of homestyle cooking restaurants around the metroplex, you can order up a shareable portion of cornbread made with jalapeños, pico de gallo, cheese and honey. All topped with a scoop of melting butter and more on the side for spreading.

    Multiple locations

  • "Granny Fearing’s paper bag–shook fried chicken" at Fearing's Restaurant
    For a more traditional take on fried chicken, head to Dean Fearing’s eponymous fine-dining destination anchoring Uptown’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel. His penchant for New American fare with Southwestern influences is perfectly embodied in this dish, which is a spin on the recipe of his Kentucky grandmother. He's boosted the flavors a bit with a complex spice blend and serves the juicy chicken with tomato gravy, all-day green beans and mashed potatoes.

    2121 McKinney Ave.; 214-922-4848

  • Sweet-and-sour vegetable soup at Malai Kitchen
    Pop into this popular Thai-Vietanamese eatery in Uptown's West Village for a unique, comforting soup. Created in a traditional Vietnamese style, it contains chunks of tofu, mushrooms, pineapple, tomatoes, spinach, peanuts and rice noodles. Add in some housemade Sriracha for a little extra kick.

    3699 McKinney Ave.; 214-599-7857

  • Whiskey cake at Whiskey Cake Kitchen & Bar
    The signature dish at this Plano favorite for elevated cocktails and bar food is none other than a dessert so good they named the place after it. The super-moist cake is made with eggs, sugar, flour, dates and crusted with turbinado sugar. After baking, it's topped with scratch and roasted pecans spiced with maple syrup, cayenne, salt and pepper. The toffee sauce and crème anglaise are both spiked with generous amounts of whiskey.

    3601 Dallas Pkwy., Plano; 972-993-2253

  • Creamed corn at SĒR
    A side dish can just as easily be a comfort-food go-to as a main course. SER’s version of this dish features the ultimate corn addition — sweet and salty popcorn, which is piled on top of the bubbling crock of butter, cream, garlic and sweet corn. Throw in a steak or a nice piece of fish and you've got a spectacular meal to go with the 27th-floor views from this elegant steakhouse at the Hilton Anatole.

    2201 N. Stemmons Fwy.; 214-761-7470

  • Beef Wellington at The Theodore
    Newly opened in the last two weeks, this restaurant isn't your typical mall eatery, which is perfect because art-filled NorthPark Center isn't your typical shopping destination. Its take on beef Wellington features roasted filet mignon, mushrooms and foie gras nestled inside a flaky butter pastry from the on-site bakery, accompanied by a healthy portion of creamy mashed potatoes.

    8687 N. Central Expwy.; 469-232-9771

  • Grilled cheese at Knife
    Even though this modern steakhouse inside the Highland Hotel is known for its delectable aged beef, chef John Tesar can produce a mean grilled cheese too. This decadent version of the childhood classic includes goat cheese, Vermont white cheddar, New York sharp cheddar and herbs on buttery Village Bakery sourdough bread. Served with green chile fries, it's a knockout combo for sure.

    5300 E. Mockingbird Ln.; 214-443-9339

  • Prime brisket at Ten50 BBQ
    The dry-rubbed Hill Country–style BBQ at this Richardson joint is craveable Texas cuisine at its finest. The restaurant offers a USDA Prime brisket, which you don’t find too often at barbecue joints. Seasoned generously and smoked for 12–16 hours, the brisket has a salty crunch in each bite and is available in moist or lean cuts. (Hint: moist is where it's at.)

    1050 N. Central Expwy., Richardson; 972-234-1050

  • Butterscotch pie at Bowl & Barrel
    Nostalgia is abundant here, whether it's on the lanes or the plates that come from the kitchen at this nouveau tavern food and bowling alley in the Shops at Park Lane. Old-fashioned flavors burst forth from this rich pie made with bourbon-butterscotch cream in a graham cracker crust. Served with sea salt caramel sauce and sweet vanilla whipped cream, it's then topped with spicy gingersnap cookie crumbles.

    8084 Park Ln.; 214-363-2695

  • Credit: Y. O. Ranch Steakhouse

    Hill Country chicken-fried steak at Y.O. Ranch Steakhouse
    Chef Tony Street comes from a long line of chicken-fried steak makers, and the version at his West End steakhouse is primo stuff. Crispy, yet fork tinder, the CFS is topped with a flavor-packed cream gravy and comes with Texas toast for dipping up the excess. Fries are up for the same task.

    702 Ross Ave.; 214-744-3287

  • Tempura Brussels sprouts at Victor Tangos
    Victor Tangos on Henderson Avenue always has creative dishes on the menu and this almost-vegetarian version of Brussels sprouts is thoroughly addictive as a side or even an appetizer. The tempura-battered veggies are finished with a fish-sauce caramel yuzu kosho aïoli. A squeeze of lime adds another burst of brightness.

    3001 N. Henderson Ave.; 214-252-8595

  • Red-wine-braised Wagyu short rib at Dallas Chop House
    Inside this contemporary Downtown steakhouse, you'll find a perfect-for-cold-weather red-wine-braised Wagyu short rib with vanilla parsnip purée and smoked tomato-horseradish compote. Dinner — and a new twist on nostalgic flavors — is served.

    1717 Main St.; 214-736-7300

  • Chicken and waffles at Oddfellows
    At this hip Bishop Arts diner, early morning dishes are among the most popular offerings. But you don't have to wait until weekend brunch to order up homemade waffles with fried chicken, maple syrup and pepper gravy. Totally worth setting an early alarm.

    316 W. Seventh St.; 214-944-5958

  • Jalapeño mac 'n' cheese at DISH
    In the small world of side dishes that eat like a meal, mac 'n' cheese is a no-brainer. At either the Preston Hollow or Cedar Springs location of this New American concept, the pasta dish gets taken to a new level with chunks of chicken, a hint of peppery spice and a fried-onion crust for good measure.

    Multiple locations