75 Dishes Every Fort Worthian Needs to Eat

Presenting, our 2018 Foodie Awards.

by FWTX Staff

Our annual Culinary Awards have undergone a change. They’ve been whipped, blended, shaken, stirred and transformed into The Foodie Awards. Gone are categories and titles. Instead, there are just dishes. The best dishes, that is, in the city. The best appetizers, entrees, cocktails and side dishes on the menus of local spots. The Fort Worth Magazine staff collaborated with our frequent food columnists to award this year’s winners. Consider this the ultimate Fort Worth menu.

Blue Balls,
Blue Sushi

Don’t let the name fool you. This tempura-fried spicy crab mix, an appetizer favorite from this West Seventh Street sushi chain, will satisfy.
3131 W. 7th St.
bluesushisakegrill.com

Burrata,
Cane Rosso

A fresh hand-pulled mozzarella shell surrounds creamy buffalo milk cheese and is served with roasted tomatoes and eggplant, green beans, zucchini and pesto. As food writer Courtney Dabney says, “It will make you wonder why you ever liked fried mozzarella sticks.”
815 W. Magnolia Ave.
canerosso.com

Pork & Leek Dumplings,
Cannon Chinese Kitchen

Cannon Chinese Kitchen gets a lot of things right. Shared plates, a fun bar, an evolving menu and wallpaper — really good wallpaper. But, the Pork & Leek Dumplings are one of the things they do best, and a must for every time you visit.
304 W. Cannon St.
cannonchinesekitchen.com

Foie Gras Torchon,
Clay Pigeon

The menu at Marcus Paslay’s flagship Fort Worth restaurant is not large, but it doesn’t need to be because everything on it is good, especially in the starters section. Last year, the Fire Roasted Bone Marrow was the standout, but now it’s the Foie Gras. The specifics of how it’s served often changes, but the current combination, served on a black pepper chive biscuit and topped with fig jam, makes it the star of the show.
2731 White Settlement Road
claypigeonfd.com

Scott Farm Fried Okra,
Ellerbe Fine Foods

Ellerbe purchases fresh okra from Scott Farms in Cisco, Texas, every year before it lands on the menu. Then this large whole okra is lightly battered and fried and served as a starter or side dish. They’re so delicious that you won’t need to dip them. But, you should anyway. The jalapeño buttermilk dressing is downright drinkable. Since it’s so fresh, you might have to wait; okra season isn’t until late summer and early fall.
1501 W. Magnolia Ave.
ellerbefinefoods.com

Louisiana Maque Choux and Bay Shrimp,
Ellerbe Fine Foods          
   
The best thing about the Louisiana Maque Choux and Bay Shrimp at Ellerbe’s is that you can put it on anything. Literally. It’s on the menu as a side item just begging to be served atop anything you order. It’s a dreamy Cajun mixture of grilled corn kernels tossed with small Texas bay shrimp and red pepper.
1501 W. Magnolia Ave.
ellerbefinefoods.com

Bacon Burnt Ends,
Heim Barbecue

Even vaunted Texas Monthly food critic Daniel Vaughn wrote about these delicious chucks of pork belly and badgered the Heims for the recipe, but they will not budge. Order by the quarter-pound ($6) for the table.
1109 W Magnolia Ave.
heimbbq.com

Green Chile Macaroni and Cheese,
Heim BBQ

One of our staffers called out this dish for what she refers to as an “ideal cheese to noodle ratio.” If there is anything more important in a mac and cheese, I don’t know what it is. Just the right hint of kick comes, thanks to the green chiles, which are also dished out with a perfect ratio.
1109 W Magnolia Ave.
heimbbq.com

Bob Armstrong Dip and Chips,
Horseshoe Hill Café

If you order the Bob Armstrong dip from the menu at Horseshoe Hill expecting the famous (formerly off-menu) item from Matt’s El Rancho in Austin, you will either be wildly disappointed or wildly excited. The Horseshoe Hill version is served 7-layer-dip-style, with layers of refried beans, queso, chile con carne, crema and pico de gallo, in a mason jar with guacamole flowing out. But, as exciting as it is that this graces the menu, it’s equally as baffling that it isn’t served on the brunch menu — everyone knows queso is a Texas brunch staple.
204 W. Exchange Ave.
horseshoehillcafe.com

Gorgonzola Fries,
Lili’s Bistro

Lili’s is a three-time winner this year, and the Gorgonzola fries are arguably the most popular menu item. Because what can go wrong when you put green onions and crumbled Gorgonzola on waffle fries? Order them as soon as you arrive and share them with the table.
1310 W. Magnolia Ave.
lilisbistro.com

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts,
Press Cafe

To be honest, Press Cafe’s atmosphere and location on the Trinity River is so good, it could probably serve fish straight from the Trinity and still attract a crowd. But, it doesn’t. Instead its menu is stoked with standouts like the caramelized Brussels sprouts, an $8 starter that’s the perfect introduction to any meal.
4801 Edwards Ranch Road, No. 105
presscafeftworth.com

Deconstructed Tuna Salad,
Press Cafe

Whipped tuna is served with tomato, Port Salut cheese and a side of fresh fruit for a refreshing yet still interesting salad that encompasses what this Trinity River spot is all about.
4801 Edwards Ranch Road, No. 105
presscafeftworth.com

Wasabi Crusted Salmon Roll,
Piranha Killer Sushi

Sure, there are more authentic sushi spots in the city, but Piranha is one of the most reliable and consistent, thanks to standouts like the Wasabi Crusted Salmon Roll, with cream cheese and scallion wrapped in a panko crusted roll. Place an order of the always-fresh salmon sashimi to balance the strong cream cheese flavors.
335 W. Third St., check website for additional locations
piranhakillersushi.com

Blueberry Banana French Toast,
Righteous Foods

Why hasn’t anyone else thought about French toast as an appetizer? Righteous Foods serves its delicious blueberry banana French toast as a sharable starter on the brunch menu so you don’t even need to make an excuse for ordering two meals. Topped with raspberries, blueberries, walnuts and an absolutely delicious lemon mascarpone, it’s the perfect beginning to an otherwise savory brunch.
3405 W. 7th St.
eatrighteously.com

Marshmallow Soup,
Rise No. 3

Rise No. 3, inside The Shops at Clearfork, became popular so fast it seemed like Fort Worth had been waiting on a souffle spot for years. But it’s the soup at the top of the menu that steals the show. Large pieces of goat cheese (made to look like marshmallows) float in a mixture of tomato and carrot bisque. The drizzle of pesto on top brings it all together.
5135 Monahans Ave.
risesouffle.com

Beer Braised Pork Buns,
Shinjuku Station

Fluffy bao buns are filled with housemade pickles, carrot mash and Sapporo-braised pork in this Magnolia Avenue izakaya-style restaurant where everything — literally, everything — on the menu is good.
711 W. Magnolia Ave.
shinjuku-station.com

House Smoked Salmon Appetizer,
The Tavern

Buttery, smoky, perfectly cooked salmon is served with housemade toast and remoulade sauce for an appetizer that will get your meal started off right.
2755 S. Hulen St.
thetavernftworth.com

Tokyokonomiyaki,
Tokyo Cafe

Tokyo + okonomiyaki = Tokyokonomiyaki. Tokyo Cafe’s take on the traditional Japanese savory pancake is served with a generous drizzle of Japanese mayo and a hearty helping of dried bonita flakes. Chef Kevin Martinez’s version of the Japanese street food includes noodles, egg, green onions and Tokyo Cafe’s killer teriyaki sauce.
5121 Pershing Ave.
tokyocafefw.net

Steamed Buns,
Tokyo Cafe

The menu touts the bao buns as a “daily creation,” but every time we’ve gone, the filling has been the same delicious helping of shredded pork. Served in a bamboo steamer, the no-frills authenticity of these buns is evident from arrival to last bite.
5121 Pershing Ave.
tokyocafefw.net

Tok Fries,
Tokyo Cafe

Yes, some of the city’s best french fries are served at a Japanese restaurant. Order the tok fries, and dip each one in both the chili mayo and the Japanese spice blend for one of the city’s best starters.
5121 Pershing Ave.
tokyocafefw.net

Oysters Sundance,
Waters

When Waters Restaurant moved to a new spot with a killer patio in downtown’s Sundance Square, the menu underwent a few changes. Thankfully, the Oysters Sundance is the same delicious baked oyster dish from the former location, just with a new name honoring the new location. Oysters are lightly baked in a lemon butter sauce and coated with a Parmesan panko crumble.
301 Main St.
waterstexas.com

Heirloom Tomato & Fried Goat Cheese Salad,
Waters

Oh, my, goat cheese. Large chunks of warm fried goat cheese are served on a bed of arugula and accompanied by heirloom tomatoes, topped with garlic ranch and a red pepper vinaigrette. This dish will leave you wondering what other kinds of salads John Bonnell has hiding up his sleeve.
301 Main St.
waterstexas.com

 

Bolognese,
Fireside Pies

Dare I say that Fort Worth, Texas, has a wide array of good Bolognese options? I’m going there. Last year, The Tavern made this list for its rendition of the dish. But, Fireside Pies gets top billing this time — egg noodles, topped with a meaty ragu sauce and Parmesan, yet still somehow convey a light-handed touch.
2949 Crockett St.
firesidepies.com

Rib Plate,
Angelo’s

Fall-off-the-bone tender, tasty ribs satisfy loyal customers — some of whom have been patronizing Angelo’s since 1958.
2533 White Settlement Road
angelosbbq.com

Chopped Beef Sandwich,
Bailey’s BBQ

“It’s the least assuming, lowest-profile, no-frills best barbecue spot in Fort Worth,” according to food writer Jennifer Casseday-Blair, who nominated the chopped beef sandwich from Bailey’s. That nomination, coupled with writer Malcolm Mayhew’s Bailey’s callout in The Ultimate Guide to Fort Worth BBQ in our January issue, was enough to get this sandwich a spot in this year’s Foodie Awards. “Owner Brenda Phifer asks you what kind of sandwich you want, and seconds later, there it is, stuffed into a brown paper bag, accompanied by a side of sauce, chips and a cold canned drink; you’ll be out less than $10,” Mayhew says. The oak-smoked brisket is served on a trusty Mrs. Baird’s bun.
826 Taylor St.

Fancy Grilled Cheese,
Bearded Lady

Melted Gouda, cheddar and goat cheese are stuffed in between pieces of thick, sliced sourdough for a grown-up version of everyone’s favorite childhood indulgence. Add pulled pork, bacon, avocado, or homemade bacon and mac and cheese. The price piles up with the sandwich – extras are $1 each.
1229 7th Ave.
Find The Bearded Lady
on Facebook

Chicken with Adobo Sauce,
Benito’s Mexican Cuisine

Chicken swims in a dark and rich adobo sauce for an authentic Mexican dish at this Magnolia Avenue eatery.
1450 W. Magnolia Ave.
benitosmexican.com

Honey Basil Chicken Thai Style Fried Rice,
Bethany Café

Don’t let the hole-in-the-wall façade fool you. Bethany Café, usually crawling with UTA students, is clean, cute, and recently remodeled and expanded. The Thai fried rice is a twist on the Asian favorite with sweet flavors and hints of basil. Bonus for boba lovers: Entrées come with a small milk tea with boba.
705 W. Park Row Drive, Arlington
bathanyarlington.com

Honey Chipotle Chicken Burger,
Bird Cafe

A chicken thigh patty is joined by arugula, tomatoes, feta cheese, honey chipotle aioli and Nueske bacon for a Bird Café lunch item that will put those other chicken sandwiches to shame.
155 E. 4th St.
birdinthe.net

Green Stripe,
Blaze Pizza

There are people who like chicken on their pizza, and there are people who don’t like chicken on their pizza. If you’re one of the former, try this cult favorite from Blaze Pizza. The California-based, fast-casual chain (that marks Lebron James as one of its investors) has more than 200 restaurants and set up shop in Waterside last year. This 11-inch pie also happens to be just 120 calories a slice. Pesto is drizzled over grilled chicken, roasted red peppers, chopped garlic, mozzarella and arugula.
5925 Convair Drive
blazepizza.com

Honey Bastard,
Cane Rosso

When you go to order pizza at Cane Rosso, you need not look at the menu, because the Honey Bastard isn’t on it. This off-menu pizza is no secret to foodies, thanks to mozzarella topped with soppressata and sweet and savory bacon marmalade. Cane Rosso says its thin Neapolitan-style pizzas are meant to be eaten with a knife and fork. But, you might as well skip the pleasantries with this one.
815 W Magnolia Ave.
canerosso.com

The Rutherford,
Carshon’s Deli

You can’t go wrong with any sandwich on the menu at Carshon’s — Fort Worth’s only kosher-style deli. But, the Rutherford lands on our list, thanks to mounds of delicious smoked turkey, topped with melted Swiss and served on an open-faced English muffin. Pair it with buttery bagel chips and a side of macaroni salad, and you’ll get the full Carshon’s experience.
3133 Cleburne Road
carshonsdeli.com

Lobster Tacos,
Cat City Grill

Food writer Jessica Llanes says you should never pass up these tacos when they’re on the menu (which isn’t always). Tortillas are filled with crispy tempura-fried lobster bites and a tangy remoulade. Order with a cup of black bean soup for a perfectly satisfying lunch.
1208 W. Magnolia Ave.
catcitygrill.com

Bone-in Filet,
Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse

Fort Worth Magazine publisher Hal Brown is known for loving the bone-in filet at Del Frisco’s. He describes it as the best in the city, and his love for it cannot be shaken. Many a steak restaurant has tried.
812 Main St.
delfriscos.com

Fried Chicken,
Drew’s Place

This cooked-to-order fried chicken comes out hot, juicy and fresh. The chicken is in such high demand that Drew’s, a small family-owned, mom-and-pop shop that has stood in its Como-area location since 1987, recently launched an app so patrons can order ahead and skip the line. As Drew says, it’s all good.
5701 Curzon Ave.
drewssoulfoodfw.com

Ceviche Tostadas,
Gloria’s

Before you write off Gloria’s as a big chain, consider its roots — El Salvadorian owners Gloria and Jose Fuentes took over Gloria’s sisters’ small Salvadorian eatery in Dallas’ Oak Cliff more than 30 years ago. They eventually added a Tex-Mex twist, and it’s since grown to 19 locations across Texas, but good food remains. The ceviche tostadas — two large tostadas topped with guacamole and shrimp and scallop ceviche — fall into the Latin category on the menu.
2600 W. Seventh St.
gloriascuisine.com

Capellini Nero,
Grace

“Chef Blaine Staniford is the mastermind behind this amazing dish. House-crafted squid-ink pasta is layered with chunks of delicate Maine lobster, earthy trumpet mushrooms, buttery toasted bread crumbs and marinated chilies — simply amazing,” says food writer Courtney Dabney of this dish from the downtown mainstay.
777 Main St.
gracefortworth.com

Big Cat Sandwich,
Heim BBQ

Why get the macaroni and cheese on the side when you can get it on your brisket sandwich? That’s just the case with this Heim BBQ favorite. Brisket and green chile macaroni and cheese are served on a jalapeño-cheddar bun.
1109 W. Magnolia Ave.
heimbbq.com

Duck Fried “Rice,”
HG Sply Co.  
           
No, cauliflower will never be rice. But if you must make the substitution, this is the way to do it. Small pieces of cauliflower masquerade as rice and are served with a heavy helping of fresh vegetables and a tender leg of duck confit. Order this on the killer Trinity River-side patio with a Beet Margarita, and your day is made.
1621 River Run, No. 176
hgsplyco.com

Chicken Fried Steak the Frontera Way,
Horsehoe Hill Café

“Only a rank degenerate would drive 1,500 miles across Texas and not eat a chicken-fried steak” — that quote from Lonesome Dove author Larry McMurtry (in his book In a Narrow Grave: Essays on Texas) graces the Horseshoe Hill menu, revealing how seriously Cowboy Chef Grady Spears takes his signature dish. But all you really need to look at to realize how serious things are at this Stockyards restaurant is the size of the portions — they’re so enormous (served with a side of mashed potatoes and a grilled green onion) at Horseshoe Hill a normal plate will not do. It’s more like a steel saucer. We recommend sharing this with at least one other person. There are six iterations of chicken-fried steak on the menu, and the Frontera Way, served with a chile relleno on top, has made this list two years in a row.
204 W. Exchange Ave.
horseshoehillcafe.com

Bomber Sub,
Jo-Ed’s Bomber

You’ve probably never heard of Jo-Ed’s. But this underrated little sub shop in Pantego (a small “town” in southwest Arlington) churns out delicious subs like The Bomber, with ham, turkey, pastrami, roast beef, Swiss and American cheese. Feeling hungry? Make it a Double Bomber. Feeling adventurous? Add the Bomber Meatball sauce.
1924 W. Pioneer Pkwy, Pantego
Find Jo-Ed’s Bomber on Facebook

Cheeseburger,
Kincaid’s Hamburgers

Not much can be said about the cheeseburger at Kincaid’s because it is so damn simple. And that’s what makes it so delicious. A half-pound Black Angus patty is topped with mustard, iceberg lettuce, vine-ripe tomatoes, pickles and yellow onions. The burgers from this Camp Bowie Restaurant, which opened in 1946, always taste the same. And, that’s a good thing.
4901 Camp Bowie Blvd., check website for other locations
kincaidshamburgers.com

Three Cheese Burger,
Lili’s Bistro

Cheese-lovers rejoice at this Lili’s staple. Swiss, cheddar and American cheese are served melted on a juicy patty and topped with lettuce and tomato.
1310 W. Magnolia Ave.
lilisbistro.com

Asian Pasta and Greens,
Lili’s Bistro

This dish took us by surprise when we ordered it from Lili’s earlier this year. It is, after all, an Asian-inspired dish at a spot that’s more commonly known for burgers and fries (as this list can confirm). But, Lili’s does claim that it serves global cuisine, and it nails this one — chilled soba noodles, cabbage slaw, and edamame are tossed with an Asian citrus vinaigrette. You can choose to top it with grilled chicken or salmon. If you order the salmon, it will come out perfectly cooked.
1310 W. Magnolia Ave.
lilisbistro.com

Wagyu Texas Beef Stir-Fry,
Little Lilly Sushi

Camp Bowie sushi spot Little Lilly Sushi might be selling itself short when it calls itself “your neighborhood sushi bar.” It can perfect everything that’s cooked and everything that’s uncooked. The wagyu Texas beef stir fry is a stand out — a large portion of sliced wagyu beef, asparagus, carrot, red bell pepper, and onion are sautéed with pepper soy and served with steamed rice.
6100 Camp Bowie Blvd.
littlelillysushi.com

SBLTA Grilled Salmon,
Local Foods Kitchen

Local Foods Kitchen turns the classic BLT on its side with grilled salmon, avocado and lemon aioli served on a grilled sourdough bun. Don’t let this cute eatery fool you; the portion size of this sandwich is big enough for two meals.
4548 Hartwood Drive
localfoodskitchen.com

Rocky Mountain Elk Loin,
Lonesome Dove Western Bistro

One of the staples of Chef Tim Love’s menu, the Rocky Mountain Elk loin stands the test of time. Those not used to wild game meals might be initially surprised by the flavor of the elk, but the entire dish is cohesive, thanks to Hen-of-the-Woods mushrooms and candied grapes.
2406 N. Main St.
lonesomedovebistro.com

Roasted Garlic-Stuffed Beef Tenderloin,
Lonesome Dove Western Bistro

We win no points for originality with the inclusion of this dish, but good dishes cannot be ignored. It really just begs one question — why don’t more places stuff their steak with garlic?
2406 N. Main St.
lonesomedovebistro.com

Salmon de Coco,
Meso Maya

Meso Maya hit Fort Worth with not one (Tanglewood) but two (downtown’s Kress Building) locations this year, and residents have been quick to embrace the Dallas-based Mexican restaurant — interior Mexican that is. You’ll fall for the coconut rice in the Salmon de Coco — a hefty dish with wood-grilled Scottish salmon, creamy coconut rice, Mexican calabacitas, queso fresco and salsa verde.
3050 S. Hulen St.
604 Main St., No. 100

mesomaya.com

Brisket Tacos,
Mi Cocina

North Texas nails brisket tacos like nowhere else in the state, and part of that is thanks to the way Mi Cocina does the dish. Brisket is oven-roasted overnight before gracing warm corn tortillas, garnished with grilled onions and jack cheese, and served with rice and avocado.
4601 West Freeway, 509 Main St., 9369 Rain Lily Trail
micocinarestaurants.com

Béchamel Lasagna,
Nonna Tata              

This Near Southside Italian restaurant is so tiny, it feels like you’re dining in the kitchen or on the patio of Chef Donatella Trotti’s home … in Italy. Originally from Varese, Italy, Trotti’s authentic Italian dishes always wow, but it’s the bèchamel, a French white sauce, that takes the lasagna with homemade pasta noodles up a notch.
1400 W. Magnolia Ave.
Find Nonna Tata on Facebook

Kyushu Tonkotsu,
Oni Ramen

There are no bad ramen bowls on the menu of this West Seventh Street spot, but this one is perhaps the best. Although, those might be fighting words with the Oni faithful. Pork belly, green onion and an egg swim in a peppery pork broth.
2801 West Seventh St.
oniramen.com

Trucha a La Veracruzana,
Paco’s Mexican

This fish dish from Paco’s Mexican Cuisine on Magnolia (one revamped half of what was formerly Paco y John’s) gets it right. Delicate fish is cooked in a tomato sauce and topped with peppers, onions and olive.
1508 W. Magnolia Ave.
pacoscuisine.com

Baja Fish Tacos,
Peace Burger

Although Peace Burger is often known (and named) for having the best burgers in Grapevine, it’s the Baja Fish Tacos (which can be ordered fried or grilled) that stood out to our staff, thanks to a delicious “baja sauce,” pico and cabbage. This dive is one of the few places in Grapevine that stays open until 2 a.m., plus it offers free baskets of peanuts that patrons can serve themselves out of a barrel.
1228 William D Tate Ave.
peaceburger.net

Spaghetti Pomodoro,
Piattello Italian Kitchen

Piattello made our list of the Best New Restaurants in November 2017, and that’s largely thanks to simple dishes like this. Pomodoro (or tomato) sauce and basil, surround thick, homemade spaghetti noodles. The menu gives the options of adding meatballs, but they’re so good it should be required.
5921 Convair Drive, No. 412
piattelloitaliankitchen.com

Mediterranean Platter,
Qana Café & Hooka

With your first step inside this Lebanese cafe, near the Camp Bowie traffic circle, you might think you’re in a resale shop; ignore that or embrace it, as it only adds to the authenticity of what you will experience in this family-run restaurant. The Mediterranean Platter is a good way to experience as much as possible, thanks to a serving a hummus, roasted eggplant, baba ghanoush, and lemon parsley tabbouleh salad.
7860 Chapin Road
Find Qana Café on Facebook

Carre D’Agneau Dijonaise,
Saint-Emilion

Lamb chops, cooked rare, are coated in Dijon mustard and broche crumbs. “This classic French take on rack of lamb never disappoints, even after more than 30 years,” says food writer Courtney Dabney.
3617 W. 7th St.
saint-emilionrestaurant.com

El Capitan Tacos,
Salsa Limón

The El Capitan taco at Salsa Limón is the ideal vessel for your meat of choice. Asada, pastor, barbacoa — you can’t go wrong when it’s placed in a buttery, toasted flour tortilla with melted Oaxaca-Jack cheese, pickled cabbage, and the perfect amount of onion and cilantro garnish.
3005 S. University Drive, 4200 S. Freeway, No. 1099, 550 Throckmorton St., 5012 White Settlement Road
salsalimon.com

Carnitas Tacos,
Taco Heads

Fort Worth is lucky to have Taco Heads. Fort Worth native Sarah Castillo did it right with her taco truck (that still exists today). She did it right transitioning to a sleek and fun brick-and-mortar on Montgomery Street. One more thing she gets right? The simple and delicious carnitas tacos. We’re anxiously awaiting her Near Southside offshoot, Tinie's Mexican Family Style, planned for this year.
1812 Montgomery St.
tacoheads.com

Chorizo and Egg Taco,
Taqueria Melis

This tiny but permanent taco truck on West Vickery has held steady despite a taco spot renaissance in the city. That’s partly thanks to the simple chorizo and egg tacos that are near perfection. Add a side of avocado (they are generous with the addition) and perfection is reached. Don’t forget to bring cash.
4304 W. Vickery Blvd.
817.377.8484

Seared Tenderloin with Butter Poached Lobster Tails,
The Capital Grille

The Capital Grille’s take on surf and turf swims in a pool of butter for a dish, one of its most popular, that’s out-of-this-world good.
800 Main St.
thecapitalgrille.com

The Roosevelt,
The Original Mexican Eats Cafe

The Original’s signature dish was famously inspired by Franklin D. Roosevelt’s frequent visits to the Camp Bowie restaurant in the 1930s (his son, Elliot, lived in Fort Worth). And, the combination of cheese enchilada, beef taco and chalupa stands the test of time.
4713 Camp Bowie Blvd.
originalmexcafe.com

BBQ Shrimp,
Tributary Cafe

This Race Street Cajun restaurant, named for the Trinity River, is one of the few places in town to do peel-and-eat shrimp. And they do it right in many forms. Exploding with flavor, the New Orleans-style BBQ Shrimp is served butterflied, shell on, over rice with butter.
2813 Race St.
tributarycafe.com

Crawfish Roll,
Waters

The Crawfish Roll gives all Fort Worthians an excuse to indulge in Waters at lunch. Crawfish is surrounded by a lemon celery aioli topped with romaine and served on a French roll.
301 Main St.
waterstexas.com

 

Nueske Bacon Sticks and Funnel Cake,
Bird Cafe

Akin to a State Fair of Texas food item, this shared plate straddles the line between dessert and appetizer. Thick-cut bacon is served on a stick with funnel cake and maple hollandaise sauce. Just because it’s on the shared menu, doesn’t mean you have to.
155 E. 4th St.
birdinthe.net

Shakerato,
Craftwork Coffee Co.

Burnt honey, ginger, Chinese five-spice powder and a touch of vanilla are shaken, martini-style with iced espresso and cream, then served without ice in a chilled glass, to create the Shakerato at Craftwork Coffee. Each sip of this inventive drink reveals a new depth of flavor with just the right touch of sweet.
4731 Camp Bowie Blvd.,1121 W. Magnolia Ave.
craftworkcoffeeco.com

Del’s Delight,
Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse

The Fort Worth location might not be the flagship of the Del Frisco’s chain, but we think it’s by far the best — thanks in large part to the long and handsome bar. It might be just the best place in the city to enjoy a drink. Shaken, stirred or blended. If you go to Del Frisco’s and don’t end your night with a Del’s Delight, something has gone terribly wrong. 812 Main St.
delfriscos.com

Baklava,
Istanbul Grill

One of the newcomers to the Fort Worth dining scene, this downtown Mediterranean restaurant (an offshoot of the Arlington location) impresses with a sleek setting, great lunch items and unique entrees. But it’s the post-dinner baklava that makes its way to our list — baklava has a notorious reputation for being too sweet. Not so at Istanbul. Layered, flaky, buttery — it’s a mix of sweet and almost savory flavors.
401 Throckmorton St., Fort Worth
6204 S. Cooper St., Arlington

istanbulgrilltx.com

Local's Granola,
Local Foods Kitchen

One of the few, somewhat healthy options on this list, the housemade granola at Tanglewood’s Local Foods Kitchen will have you swearing off the store-bought version for good.
4548 Hartwood Drive
localfoodskitchen.com

Blum’s Coffee Crunch Cake,
Local Foods Kitchen

“Chef Katie Schma introduced me to her favorite childhood birthday cake a few years ago, and even though her ever-changing case has many surprises to explore, I keep coming back for this layered angel food cake which is iced and decorated with amazing burnt sugar and honeycomb candy crumbles,” says food columnist Courtney Dabney.
4548 Hartwood Drive
localfoodskitchen.com

Bloody Mary,
Lucile’s Stateside Bistro

One of the few drinks that made this year’s list, the Bloody Mary at Lucile’s is one of the many reasons the Camp Bowie diner is always buzzing around brunch hour (and every other hour for that matter). It was also the staff pick for Bloody Mary in this magazine’s 2017 Best Of list.
4700 Camp Bowie Blvd.
lucilesstatesidebistro.com

Jenny’s Cake,
Press Cafe

Food writer Jennifer Casseday-Blair describes this Press Cafe dessert as “a slice of heaven,” thanks to this cake’s homemade mademoiselle jam, which blends lemon, strawberries and Grand Marnier.
4801 Edwards Ranch Road, No. 105
presscafeftworth.com

Molten Chocolate Cake with Drunken Berries and Vanilla Cream,
Reata Restaurant

It’s quite possible that there is no such thing as a bad molten chocolate cake. But this one from downtown staple Reata is one of the best. Sit in the rooftop dining area, start with Tenderloin Tamales, move on to the Bacon-Wrapped Lamb Loin and finish with a molten chocolate cake for one of the most ideal meals in the city.
310 Houston St.
reata.net

Tuile Aux Mures,
Saint-Emilion 

A baked wafer surrounds a piece of delicate butter cake and then is filled with creamy fromage blanc and topped with warm sautéed berries. This dessert at Saint-Emilion is one of the many things that makes the Seventh Street French country bistro such a Fort Worth gem. Here’s hoping more of the same will grace the menu at Paris 7th, the new restaurant in the former Le Cep space that owner Bernard Tronche plans to open later this year. “Trust me, you won’t want to share this one with your dinner partner,” says food columnist Jessica Llanes.
3617 W. 7th St.
saint-emilionrestaurant.com

Black Forest Cake,
Swiss Pastry Shop

The Black Forest Cake put Swiss Pastry Shop, in a strip center on West Vickery Boulevard since the 1970s, on the Fort Worth food map. But, owner Hans Peter Muller is quick to point out that it’s not a cake at all — he refers to it as The Uncake, due to the fact that there is no gluten. Egg white, pure cane sugar and crushed almonds are baked crisp and topped with a simple combination of generous whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
3936 W. Vickery Blvd.
swisspastryonline.com