For our June installment of our monthly can't-miss feature Where to Eat, we have dug deep, to find five Fort Worth-area hidden gems. These are not the obvious restaurants everyone is writing about. They're also not in the obvious places — you won't find these in the 7th Street District or Near Southside. But they're definitely worth seeking out.
Here's where to eat in Fort Worth right now:
Cracked & Crepe
There's always room for a breakfast spot, especially one with a name as sassy as this newbie, which opened recently in Aubrey, in the same center at 27379 E. University Dr. as the Crazy German. Breakfast options include thick omelets, benedicts, pancakes, biscuits & gravy, cinnamon French toast, steak & eggs, skillets, avocado toast, OJ that's fresh-squeezed, and coffee with Italian Segafredo beans. And crepes! Duh. The lunch menu is equally craved, with Nashville hot chicken sandwich, chicken-fried steak, bountiful salads, and Angus burgers, including a popular patty melt with sauteed onions and American cheese on rye bread.
Da Crab Trap
Mom-and-pop restaurant in south Fort Worth from husband-and-wife Terrence and Daisey Shields opened in late 2020 in a shopping center at 3401 Altamesa Blvd. and is your go-to place for Low Country-style seafood boils and BBQ smoked meats. Their slogan is "a taste of coastal Georgia," featuring crab served with boiled potatoes and corn on the cob — along with shrimp, smoked salmon, sausage, and the ultra-trendy smoked turkey leg, with decadent toppings such as dirty rice or mac & cheese with alfredo sauce. They take their seasonings super seriously, the restaurant's spotless, and service is ultra-sweet. They have a bar, and extras include the open mike night they host on the last Saturday every month.
Emmy's takes over the old 360 Smoke Shack, founded in 2019 by chef Cody Hickman, and acquired in January 2022 by Andrew Wood and Winston Teague, a pair of restaurant veterans who wanted to continue to grow the restaurant's potential and make Emmy's, named for a grandma, into a fun, family-oriented experience. They've kept the core menu including their trademark smoked wings, sandwiches, and the fried pickles that just won them a "Best Fried Whatever" award from Fort Worth magazine; but added a few new items including brisket burgers and street tacos.
Family-owned taqueria is from husband-and-wife Luis and Alexia Gutierrez and Alexia's brother Victor Juarez, who opened this passion project during the pandemic at 7355 N. Beach St., when Luis and Alexia relocated to the east side of Fort Worth and couldn't find a taqueria close by. They specialize in Mexico City-style tacos, like the kind Alexia and Victor grew up on as Mexico City natives. Locals love the fajitas with skirt steak and chicken, and they do a killer chile poblano, but their best seller is the trendy quesa birria featuring three corn tacos filled with birria and melted cheese. They just opened an in-house bar where they're serving margaritas like the 820, a frozen swirl named for the nearby freeway.
Mulan Japanese Kitchen
Japanese restaurant just outside the 820 Loop has been a godsend for its Lake Worth neighborhood near Lake Worth Center, with its freshly prepared sushi rolls, sashimi, and hibachi steak. Owner Ming Lin, who previously owned an Asian wok restaurant in Fort Worth, opened Mulan in a former hamburger joint in fall 2020 in the thick of the pandemic, but has prevailed with classics such as tempura and bento boxes (which come with edamame, chicken dumplings, rice, and a green salad) as well as trendy dishes such as poke bowls and ramen. Prices are low, service is doting, and delivery times are quick — everything you want in a neighborhood Asian.