Spring brings new things, and that means new restaurants too. In the past few weeks, nearly a dozen new places have opened in and around Fort Worth, serving everything from cheffy breakfast to late-night pizza.
These are the 10 hottest restaurants to open in Fort Worth this spring:
The American Pub
New West Seventh spot offers something other restaurants in the area do not: late hours. T.A.P., from the same ownership group that recently opened Varsity Tavern, specializes in thick-crust pizza, served at lunch, dinner, and well into the night — until 4 am Thursdays-Saturdays. Chef David Daniel, who's worked at Zoli's NY Pizza Tavern in Dallas and Zanata in Plano, tops his pies with ingredients both traditional and not, from pepperoni to roasted Brussels sprouts. Dine inside, or pretend you're in Austin and order a slice at the walk-up window.
Dallas' long-running Avanti opens its first Fort Worth location in the One City Place development, not far from where another Dallas export, Wild Salsa, will soon rise. Avanti combines Italian and Mediterranean cuisine in a posh, upscale setting accented by large windows, an attractive patio, and a showstopper of a chandelier. Despite the classy setting, prices are reasonable, especially at lunch, when a 7-ounce sirloin is $13 and bowtie pasta with prosciutto, ham, scallions, and Parmesan cream is $12.
Black Market Bakery & Café
Cool concept: After Italian bistro Nonna Tata closes, chef Evan Williams and baker Giovanna White reopen the space, offering all-night bites to Near Southside revelers and graveyard shift employees of nearby hospitals. The menu changes weekly but typically includes sandwiches, breakfast items, and even burgers. Hours are 12-8 am, Wednesdays-Saturdays.
King Crab Tap House
Another restaurant takes a chance on the Amityville Horror of Fort Worth: the northwest corner space at Montgomery Plaza, where many restaurants have fallen or fled, most recently chef Eddy Thretipthuangsin's Bite. King Crab does Cajun-inspired seafood, in which diners wear bibs and gloves and dig into buckets of messy, spicy crawfish, shrimp, and crab legs. Less mussy offerings include a lobster roll and chicken pasta. An attractive bar, outlined in flats-creen TVs, features 50 beers on tap.
After a six-year absence, the Stone family recently reopened their modest barbecue joint on Evans Avenue, where pitmaster Charles "Kipz" Stone serves brisket, sausage, chicken, and ribs for fractions of what most 'cue places charge. Pork spare ribs are especially good — meaty and tender and absolutely huge. Desserts are made in-house by Stone's wife, Erica, including sweet and silky banana pudding.
Tarrant County scores with a bigger and better version of this Dallas Asian fusion restaurant from husband-and-wife team Braden and Yasmin Wages. This Southlake branch has everything Dallas has and more, including housemade craft beers such as the zippy 3C beer, with notes of chili and chocolate, and a machine that makes coconut milk onsite. Good for sharing is the wok-fried branzino, served whole with tail and head still attached, if you're into that sort of thing.
Olivella's Camp Bowie
Another Dallas import, this well-regarded pizza and Italian spot lands in the Village at Camp Bowie shopping center, in the former Jakes burger location. Olivella's does Neapolitan-style pizza and a super-thin Roman/Northern Italian-style crust. Some items are exclusive to Fort Worth, such as a pie topped with braised clams; linguine with clams; and zeppole, doughnut-like pastries served with a side of Nutella. This is the mini-chain's fourth location, handsomely decorated with reclaimed wood and low lighting and a patio with retractable ceiling.
Papa's Smokehouse & Cantina
Fort Worth's three most beloved food groups — barbecue, burgers, and Tex Mex — are well represented at Martin Cardona's newly opened North Side restaurant, which takes over the space occupied by iconic late-night dive Sammy's. Cardona brought over tacos and tortas from his other restaurant, Tortilla Flats in Joshua, but burgers are a big deal, too, including a $13 whopper topped with a cheese enchilada. Mesquite-smoked 'cue includes brisket, ribs, and chicken.
Piada Italian Street Food
Italian street-food chain from Ohio makes its Tarrant County debut in a strip mall in Alliance Town Center in north Fort Worth. The star of the menu is the namesake piada, a thin-crust, handmade dough baked on a stone grill, stuffed with various items such as chicken, salmon, and Italian sausage, then rolled, like a burrito. If you're not into the bread, you can get the same ingredients in a salad or in pasta.
Red velvet French toast, apple blintzes, and omelets come to Sundance Square courtesy of this Chicago breakfast-and-lunch chain, which opened its first Texas store last year in Dallas. What was once the old Cowtown Diner space has been given a cheerful makeover, with a bright yellow and blue color scheme. Service is chirpy too. Breakfast options, both sweet and savory, are served during lunch, a plus. Lunch menu includes wraps, salads, and burgers.
Want more great stories like these delivered to your inbox daily? Then sign up for our emails.