Best Of 2013

We asked you for your suggestions in a variety of new and returning categories, and you responded as you always do. In fact, the response this year was greater than usual with 15,451 votes. Our decisions for the winners were mostly based on votes, but in a few categories, the staff made the final call. Here are the highly anticipated results pertaining to the area’s quickly evolving dining and entertainment scene, shopping and services, as well as the best places to play.

by Celestina Blok

Carnivorous Indulgence    
Rodeo Goat
The latest concept from the Wynne family (of Flying Saucer and 8.0 fame) dared to open a burger joint just steps from Fred’s Texas Café, the holy grail of burgers in this town, and created so much buzz even Dallasites can’t stay away. Choose one of 15 deliciously messy 7-ounce burgers, like the Terlingua with corn chips and brisket chili and the Caca Oaxaca with chorizo and a fried egg. Beef is ground in-house — a nice gourmet touch.
2836 Bledsoe St.
Fort Worth, Texas 76107
Texas de Brazil
101 N. Houston St.
Fort Worth, Texas 76102
Fred’s Texas Café
915 Currie St.
Fort Worth, Texas 76107




Carb Overload
Mama’s Pizza

Maybe it’s the garlic butter-brushed crust that makes Mama’s doughy pies so awfully addictive. (One whiff and we proclaim, “Paleo-schmaleo.”) The longtime Fort Worth-based pizza chain recently added thin and gluten-free pizza crust options, but it’s the browned-just-right East Coast-style dough that makes Mama’s a continual winner in this category.
Multiple locations

Nonna Tata
1400 W. Magnolia Ave.
Fort Worth, Texas 76104

Fireside Pies
2949 Crockett St.
Fort Worth, Texas 76107

After Church With the Kids
Babe’s Chicken Dinner House

Communal dining is encouraged at Babe’s, where platters and sides are served family-style and plates are passed around the table for helpings, just like lazy Sunday afternoon dinners at home. The food’s comfortable too, with juicy fried chicken serving as the star and hefty chicken fried steak coming in a close second. Buttermilk biscuits are served with honey, the corn is creamed and the gravy thick and peppery. Don’t be afraid to reach for seconds.
Multiple locations

Joe T. Garcia’s
2201 N. Commerce St.
Fort Worth, Texas 76164

Fort Worth Food Park
2509 Weisenberger St.
Fort Worth, Texas 76107


Worth a Drive    
Mary’s Café
Mary Tretter could be considered the unofficial mayor of Strawn. The owner of the 27-year-old Mary’s Café has turned the small town (almost equidistant between Abilene and Fort Worth) into the chicken fried steak capital of North Texas, as folks regularly drive more than 100 miles just for a plate. The pan-fried, lightly breaded portions are huge so plan on a Styrofoam container and a full belly accompanying your drive back home.
119 Grant Ave.
Strawn, Texas 76475

Classic Café
504 N. Oak St.
Roanoke, Texas 76262

Go Go Gumbo
116 W. Rock Island Ave.
Boyd, Texas 76023




Rahr & Sons Brewing Company
It’s been nearly a decade since TCU grad Fritz Rahr established Rahr & Sons Brewing Company, paving the way for more local craft breweries to follow suit. Rahr set the standard for not only easy drinking, award-winning Fort Worth-based beer, but for creating a business model that utilizes the brewery to host community events and popular tastings and tours, helping to revitalize a once dilapidated sector of south Fort Worth.
701 Galveston Ave.
Fort Worth, Texas 76104
Firestone & Robertson
901 W. Vickery Blvd.
Fort Worth, Texas 76104
Revolver Brewing
5600 Matlock Road
Granbury, Texas 76049

Coffee and Conversation    
Avoca Coffee
Coffee connoisseurs Garold LaRue and Jimmy Story, buds since grade school, partnered to open what’s become Fort Worth’s premier java destination. Beans are roasted on-site and baristas use the pour-over method to serve a hot cup of Joe. A spacious setting adorned with work from local artists creates a comfy, second living room for area coffee lovers. 
1311 W. Magnolia Ave.
Fort Worth, Texas 76104
801 W. Magnolia Ave.
Fort Worth, Texas 76104
The Cup
3909 Camp Bowie Blvd.
Fort Worth, Texas 76107
Food Truck Surprise    
Taco Heads
Sarah Castillo opened her upscale taco truck in 2010 and smartly parked on W. 7th St., drawing customers who were new to food truck dining. She’s established a reputation for quality tacos packed with fresh ingredients, including those large, beautiful slices of avocado. Try the breakfast tacos, too.
700 W. 7th St.
Fort Worth, Texas 76107 
Lee’s Grilled Cheese
Salsa Limón
Freshest Catch    
Eddie V’s
We’re betting Waters, Jon Bonnell’s new seafood concept in West 7th, will have a strong presence in this category next year, but for now, Eddie V’s takes the prize for the freshest seafood selections in town. Sole, scallops and live lobsters come from Cape Cod; snapper from the Gulf; yellow fin tuna from the Caribbean; and seasonal oysters from as far as Alaska.
3100 W. 7th St.
Fort Worth, Texas 76107
Piranha Killer Sushi
335 W. 3rd St.
Fort Worth, Texas 76102 
1420 Plaza Place
Southlake, Texas 76092


Guys’ Night Out

Let’s be honest – guys don’t go out for drinks with their buddies to indulge in deep conversation. They want food, beer and sports. Frankie’s offers all three in a flat-screen TV paradise, where no big game, tournament, race or match can be missed. The clever sports-themed menu (including TO’s wings with jerk sauce) adds to the fun.
425 W. 3rd St.
Fort Worth, Texas 76102

Wild Mushroom
1917 Martin Drive
Weatherford, Texas 76086

Pop’s Safari Cigars, Wine and Bistro
2929 Morton St.
Fort Worth, Texas 76107

Late Night Bite
Fuzzy’s Taco Shop

Readers chose this winner based on the Berry St. original, as it’s the only area Fuzzy’s location open clear to 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. The Fort Worth-based chain has added dozens of franchised outlets across the nation over the past decade, making it the Starbucks of fish taco joints.
2917 W. Berry St.
Fort Worth, Texas 76109

Café Brazil
2880 W. Berry St.
Fort Worth, Texas 76109

Old South Pancake House
1509 S. University Drive
Fort Worth, Texas 76107
Mommy Hangout    
After its big move and expansion in 2010, more mommies can squeeze their strollers into this University Park Village café and bakery for pretty quiches, salads, sandwiches and soups. But we think it’s the eatery’s sweet treats, like the addicting soft and crumbly thumbprint cookies, that attract mothers and kiddos alike.
1616 S. University Drive
Fort Worth, Texas 76107

Central Market
4651 W. Freeway
Fort Worth, Texas 76107

Fort Worth Zoo
1989 Colonial Parkway
Fort Worth, Texas 76109
Outdoor Dining    
Joe T. Garcia’s
Year after year, despite multiple new hot spots to dine al fresco, Joe T.’s still boasts Fort Worth’s best be-seen patio. The tranquil, almost tropical scenery, expansive grounds and potent margaritas combine to create the longest seating line in Cowtown, where nobody seems to mind the wait.
2201 N. Commerce St.
Fort Worth, Texas 76164

The Woodshed Smokehouse
3201 Riverfront Drive
Fort Worth, Texas 76107

Clear Fork Food Park
1541 Merrimac Circle
Fort Worth, Texas 76107








People Watching    
Bar Louie
Not only do patrons get a street corner view of W. 7th St.’s continually increasing foot traffic and activity, but the bar’s rooftop patio provides for the ultimate in sky-high spying. Inside find a packed house on the weekend with folks from all walks of life. We don’t know who Louie is, but we love his bar.
2973 W. 7th St.
Fort Worth, Texas 76107

TCU Football Game

Balcony at Movie Tavern on 7th
2872 Crockett St.
Fort Worth, Texas 76107
Restaurant/Gourmet Market    
Central Market
For more than a decade, Central Market has been Fort Worth’s go-to grocer for all things fine, and hard-to-find, in food. But shoppers visit just as much for the store’s made-to-order sandwiches, gourmet deli counter, burgers and beer on the patio, and the often life-saving take-out dinner for two. For those “really into food,” life is not complete without Central Market.
4651 W. Freeway
Fort Worth, Texas 76107

Oliver’s Fine Foods
415 Throckmorton St.
Fort Worth, Texas 76102
2751 E. Broad St.
Mansfield, Texas 76063

Eatzi’s Grapevine
1200 W. State Highway 114
Grapevine, Texas 76051
Sweet Tooth    
Nothing Bundt Cakes
These mouth-watering bundts, bundtlets and bite-sized bundtinis are made fresh daily with eggs, butter and thick cream cheese frosting. With flavors like chocolate chocolate chip, cinnamon swirl, lemon and pecan praline, no wonder locals and celebrities alike are addicted to this national brand.
4603 Camp Bowie Blvd.
Fort Worth, Texas 76107

McKinley’s Bakery and Café
1616 S. University Drive
Fort Worth, Texas 76107

Blue Bonnet Bakery
4705 Camp Bowie Blvd.
Fort Worth, Texas 76107
Wine Selection    
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House
Awarded Wine Spectator magazine’s Award of Excellence multiple times, Del Frisco’s extensive, wide-ranging wine list spans the globe with more than 1,400 selections available from the restaurant’s cherished wine bunker. Other wine lists in town might just suffer from length envy.
812 Main St.
Fort Worth, Texas 76102
JR’s Steakhouse
5400 Hwy 121
Colleyville, Texas 76034
Zambrano Wine Cellar
910 Houston St.
Fort Worth, Texas 76102
After-Work Cocktails    
Ray’s Prime Steak & Seafood
It’s tough to beat a happy hour that boasts $5 house wines and well drinks, but we think it’s the cool, neighborhood-friendly vibe that makes Ray’s a winner here, not to mention the soothing, swanky live piano music that accompanies dinner every evening.
3206 Winthrop Ave.
Fort Worth, Texas 76116
Winslow’s Wine Café
4101 Camp Bowie Blvd.
Blue Mesa Grill
1600 S. University Drive
Fort Worth, Texas 76107
550 Lincoln Square
Arlington, Texas 76011