December has arrived and the holidays are nearly here. Many of us are eager to return to traditions, including holiday gatherings for family and friends. For these occasions, you need to find a restaurant that can handle a group: someplace with plenty of room and ideally an easygoing attitude, to accommodate you and your festive posse.
As part of our annual tradition, for our December edition of Where to Eat, we follow a holiday theme, with suggestions on the best restaurants to take your visitors and show them what Fort Worth has to offer.
Here are 8 of the best restaurants in Fort Worth for dining out with a group:
DeLucca Gaucho Pizza & Wine
For starters, DeLucca serves pizza, so that's an automatic yes, regardless of how big your group is; pizza always wins. But DeLucca is also unique — a novel concept that follows the model of the churrascaria, but instead of chunks of meat, servers deliver slices of pizza, in a choice of up to 20 flavors. It's not just pizza — you get complimentary lobster bisque to start, and an amazing arugula salad, and it's only $23 per person. Husband-and-wife owners Evandro Caregnato and Vanderleia Mallmann are natives of Brazil who worked for the Texas de Brazil chain. The Hulen Street location opened in February, with a big wraparound patio and the option to order a la carte items such as Prime and Wagyu steaks, salads, and seafood.
For Tex Mex, many head to Fort Worth's iconic Joe T. Garcia's, surely deserving, but switch it up to this long-running, family-owned spot in Arlington, ready to welcome big parties, with food and atmosphere that are top-notch. (Plus they have a bigger, less limiting menu.) Owners Oscar and Laura Sanchez are from Monterrey and the restaurant specializes in northern Mexican cuisine featuring dishes such as cabrito, mollejas, and asado de puerco. They're known for their parrilladas — little grills that come to your table filled with combo fajitas, sausage, and ribs — and for making fresh tortillas in-house. Those are pretty good things to be known for. The restaurant is big and spacious and fun.
Brewery formerly on Magnolia recently reopened near the Foundry District, and if you want room, this is the place. Now located in the former Parker Candy factory just north of the West Seventh and Foundry districts, the brewpub is in a 25,000-square-foot multifaceted space with brewery, restaurant, patio, live music stage, lawn games, colorful murals, and retractable roof. There are 15 beers on tap, plus a crowd-pleasing menu with pizza, sandwiches, burgers, and wings, including great dishes to share such as crudites with hummus, breadsticks with marinara sauce, and biscuits & gravy.
If your out-of-town visitors include BBQ fans, then Goldees is probably going to be a must. This small BBQ joint in Kennedale, opened in 2020 by five friends and Arlington natives, was vaulted into the spotlight when it won the No. 1 spot on Texas Monthly's Top 50 BBQ restaurants in Texas. The restaurant gets praise for showing restraint on its seasoning, and for creative sides such as peppery cheese grits and pork hash. You can drag your visitors through what has become a grand BBQ tradition: arriving ridiculously early, waiting in a long line, and drinking beer before noon. An outdoor space with picnic tables makes it great for a group.
Classy Italian restaurant at the Harper Fort Worth hotel is a sophisticated addition to the dining scene not just downtown but in all of Fort Worth. Who else can boast a glass-walled pasta room spotlighting pasta that's been made by hand? The menu feels fresh, foregoing the usual red-sauce for creative pastas, salads, and appetizers like clams with grilled sourdough bread. There are big dishes to share at the table such as whole sea bass and a 22-ounce rib eye with bone marrow butter. See, sharing, that's the theme. As a hotel restaurant, it's also open for breakfast and lunch, but that could be a problem, as you may not wish to share the malted waffle with whipped cream & berries.
Spiral is about hometown pride: This award-winning restaurant, now a chain with three locations, was first founded in Fort Worth, back when "vegan" was still a challenge to pronounce. The world has come around to Spiral's point of view, with plant-based burgers at McDonald's and plant-based chicken nuggets on the menu at Golden Chick. Spiral Diner also showed the world that vegan didn't have to be salads, with a menu that includes nachos, burgers, and chopped BBQ sandwiches. The Fort Worth branch is worth a special trip for the pastries, with cakes and pies that are among the best around.
North Texas has seen a big influx of Asian restaurants, and every one of them merits a visit. But give your group the gift of a meal at this venerated Japanese restaurant, with impeccable sushi, bento boxes, ramen, tempura red snapper, and garlic-teriyaki chicken. Husband-and-wife owners Mary Kah-Ho and Jarry Ho spent two years rebuilding their restaurant after a fire, and made it more vital than ever, with lovely decor and a large selection of craft cocktails and Japanese whiskeys. The creativity never stops: They're always offering inventive specials such a roll-of-the-day with cucumber, avocado, and spicy shrimp wrapped in rice and soy paper, topped with crunchy rice pearls and a spicy garlic oil aioli; or tuna nachos to share, with spicy tuna, krab mix, and avocado, topped with togarashi and chili mayo.
You've gotta have a steakhouse on a list such as this, and Fort Worth has no shortage. But this new downtown entry has emerged among the city's finest. Housed on the ground and basement levels of the refurbished Sinclair Hotel — an Art Deco beauty dating back to 1930 — Wicked possesses a special-occasion vibe, yet is casual and approachable – ideal for families and groups. Shareable items at dinner include a double-rib steak for two, served tableside, plus oysters, a charcuterie board, and deviled eggs. But this is a hotel restaurant, so it's open for breakfast and lunch, too, with breakfast tacos, chicken & waffles, and a pastrami sandwich.
Teresa Gubbins contributed to this story.