9 Regional U.S. Specialties You Can Find in Dallas

By Farah Fleurima  |  March 28, 2014
Credit: Brian Hilson

Texas is famous for numerous food specialties: chicken-fried steak, barbecue and Tex-Mex are just three that come to mind and are duplicated all over the country. But sometimes you want to take a gastronomic jaunt out of state to sample a classic from another region, and, happily, we’ve got quite a few of those here in Dallas. Here’s where to find some regional classics in all their glory.

  • Chicago Dogs at Jerry’s Wood-Fired Dogs

    From the poppyseed bun to the sport peppers to the neon-green relish, the local outpost of this Cali-based chain gets the Chicago dog just right. Just remember that it’s sacrilege to ask for ketchup!

    6340 Gaston Ave.; 214-750-7053

  • Detroit Coneys at Pop Diner

    This West Village diner is one of very, very few spots in town to unearth the Michigan classic – a snappy, natural-casing hot dog is smothered in chili, cheese and onions and a squirt of mustard. That it’s the absolute perfect dish to cap off a night of cocktailing is icing on the cake of your evening.

    3600 McKinney Ave.; 214-599-8980

  • Philly Cheesesteak at Truck Yard

    Once you’re in line at the Lower Greenville area bar’s grill, called Steak Me Home Tonight, you could have some decisions to make unless you want to go full Philly. In that case, just order up the beef version of the made-to-order sandwich with Cheez Whiz. You’ll feel like Rocky in no time.

    5624 Sears St.; 469-500-0139

  • Italian Beef at Jimmy’s Food Store

    The shaved slices of beef here are so tender, the bread so authentically Chicago and the giardiniera so crisp that you’re temporarily transported. If this is what the Windy City tastes like, we want a field trip for our taste buds every other day.

    4901 Bryan St.; 214-823-6180

  • New York-Style Pizza at Coal Vines

    The Uptown pizza spot/wine bar dazzles with its so-called Regular Pie, and there’s nothing regular about it: a perfectly tossed crust with an ideal crisp-to-chewy ratio is adorned with tomato sauce boasting just the right amount of zest, plus mozzarella and Parmesan. As the song states once you land on the restaurant’s website, “that’s amore.”

    2404 Cedar Springs Rd.; 214-855-4999

  • Louisiana Gumbo at Alligator Cafe

    You’ll roux the day you taste the unbeatable gumbo at this East Dallas purveyor of Louisiana cookery. This Cajun classic comes brimming with the “holy trinity” of the cuisine of the region - green peppers, onions and celery - but you also get your choice of proteins, from alligator, crawfish and andouille sausage, chicken and andouille, and shrimp, crab and oyster. Open the meal with some deep-fried boudin balls.

    9540 Garland Rd., #362; 214-821-6900

  • Lowcountry Shrimp and Grits from Hattie’s

    The Bishop Arts restaurant shows its love for Lowcountry cuisine in its delightful shrimp and grits; the dish also reflects the kitchen’s skill at updating classics, with a Tabasco-bacon pan sauce and goat cheese dollops crowning the plate.

    418 N. Bishop Ave.; 214-942-7400

  • New England Lobster Roll at 20 Feet Seafood Joint

    A perfect little split-top roll, just like what you’d get on the East Coast, cradles big, juicy chunks of lobster at this Lake Highlands neighborhood spot. At $19, it’s by far the priciest number on the menu, but we’d say it’s well worth it to have a fresh and faithful iteration of the seaside favorite.

    1160 Peavy Rd.; 972-707-7442

  • Deep-Dish Pizza at Taste of Chicago

    The Addison joint serves traditional (to us) thin-crust pizza, but, of course, the draw to a spot with the name Taste of Chicago has GOT to be the deep-dish pie. Pick your own two or three toppings, or an unlimited number - just remember to leave 40 minutes for your creation to be ready. That said, you still want to arrive pretty hungry, the better to make room in your belly for the saucy, cheesy, hefty-crusted classic.

    14833 Midway Rd.; 972-701-0090