Given the toll the pandemic has taken on the restaurant industry, word of a new opening is met with extra excitement these days. And Dallas has plenty of fresh new food concepts to look forward to this summer. From a Nashville hot chicken restaurant that pays homage to the dishes’ true roots to highly anticipated expansions, these are some of the best new must-try restaurants in Dallas.
XOXO Dining Room
3121 Ross Avenue
Inspired by the very pink and oft-photographed Sketch London, XOXO Dining Room is now open for limited hours in East Dallas. Chef Zach Warner’s menu includes dishes like the “Unwedged” salad, 44 Farms Filet Mignon, ricotta gnocchi, a signature smoked potato mousse, and truffle fries. There’s also a “Press for Champagne” button in every booth, just like Sketch.
1914 Commerce Street
Refined Hospitality Concepts newest restaurant, Sfereco, is now open inside of the Stater hotel. The Spaghetti Western-style restaurant serves up pizzas, pastas, and six different kinds of meatballs, including the “Italian Beefcake,” “Crabby Ball,” and a veggie option.
Chirps Chicken Shack
3619 Greenville Avenue, Lower Greenville
The latest addition to Dallas’ growing collection of Nashville hot chicken spots — Palmer’s and Lucky’s are on their way — Chirps Chicken Shack recently opened on Greenville Avenue across from Granada Theatre. A good amount of outdoor seating is available, and tenders are served up at three heat levels (Country, Nashville, and Fire). Sides like waffle fries, mac and cheese, and Texas toast round out your meal.
Blue Cenote Cantina
312 W. Davis Street, Bishop Arts
This new Tex-Mex restaurant in Bishop Arts had been in the works for awhile, but was finally able to open last month for both dine-in and takeout. The sports bar (there are more than 20 flatscreens) serves all the Tex-Mex usuals like tacos, quesadillas, fajitas, and more. Their signature drink is, of course, the Blue Cenote Margarita, served in a simply ginormous glass and made — appropriately — blue.
White Rhino Coffee
233 W. 7th Street, Suite 120, Bishop Arts
Cedar Hill-based White Rhino Coffee just opened its fourth location — others are in Waxahachie and Red Oak — in Bishop Arts. Along with signature espresso drinks like Sebastian (caramel, Irish cream, and white chocolate) and Whole Latte Love (made with lavender and honey), the shop sells hot and cold teas, in addition to grab-and-go sandwiches and salads.
Mot Hai Ba
665 High Market Street, Victory Park
After a pandemic-related delay, the highly anticipated second location of Mot Hai Ba has opened its doors for dine-in and takeout in Victory Park. Chef Peja Krstic was able to hire back his staff and complete training for the new restaurant through the Power of 10 relief program. Now you can get your favorite Mot Hai Ba bites like pho, dumplings, and fried squash blossoms from the intimate Lakewood original or the far more spacious Victory Park expansion.
5959 Royal Lane, Suite 635A, Preston Royal
Preston Royal Village has had a rough go of it the past year with the October tornado destruction and COVID-19, but some brighter news comes in the form of a new taco restaurant, Public Taco. The market fresh taqueria and cantina serves up tortillas made in-house and a menu that consists of signature, classic, and brunch tacos. Interestingly, there’s only one salad on this menu, but who comes to a taco restaurant for a salad anyway?
9850 Walnut Hill Lane, Suite 405, Lake Highlands
This new neighborhood brewpub quietly opened during the pandemic in Lake Highlands. Vector Brewing comes from husband and wife team Craig and Veronica Bradley, who each have backgrounds in brewing and hospitality. Apart from the six Vector beers on tap, the brewery offers ciders, meads, cold brew, and kombucha. On the food front, pizzas, calzones, and salads pair perfectly with your brew.
3215 Regent Boulevard, Irving
The second location of Mexican Sugar is making its debut in Las Colinas for takeout only on June 29. (Dine-in at the Latin-inspired restaurant will begin on July 20.) Like the original in Plano, Mexican Sugar’s new location is inspired by the Spanish Colonial Revival aesthetic, with an expansive collection of over 100 tequilas and 30 mezcals — make sure to try a margarita flight with machete, hibiscus, and classico flavors. Popular entrees include the bone-in pork chop, adobe grilled carne asada fajitas, brasas chicken tacos, and mesquite grilled steak. The Las Colinas location will be open for curbside pickup and delivery from 3 pm to 8 pm daily.
4040 Abrams Road, Lakewood
Hudson House is finally opening its third location in Lakewood this July. In celebration of the opening, sister concept East Hampton Sandwich Co. has collaborated with the seafood spot on the delicious Hudson’s Fried Shrimp Po Boy, available for a limited time. For more info on the grand opening, the Hudson House Instagram is keeping followers up to date.