This year, the holidays are going to look vastly different, especially to those who traditionally welcome out-of-town friends and loved ones. Your group may be smaller this year, but you'll still need to know where to take them for uniquely Fort Worth dining experiences.
This month’s Where to Eat is dedicated to a half-dozen restaurants that can accommodate a group, satisfy various diets and, in some way or another, offer a dining experience that is purely Fort Worth. (Click here for a complete list of restaurants offering Christmas fare.)
For many families, going out for breakfast is a time-honored tradition. This long-running café in the city’s Near Southside is one of the city’s most popular breakfast spots, with both indoor and outdoor spaces that can accommodate groups of all sizes. There are breakfast dishes for appetites both meager and not, with options such as granola bowls, pulled pork hash, freshly made biscuits and pastries, and three variations of chicken and waffles. An in-house coffee bar offers sweet and not coffee drinks, from flavored lattes to café au lait to nitro cold brew. Good news for late risers: Breakfast is served all day.
Barbecue: Heim BBQ
Any visit to Fort Worth these days must include barbecue. Homegrown Heim BBQ is often regarded as the city’s best. While Heim’s original Near Southside location may be a little on the small side, the second location on 5333 White Settlement Rd. offers plenty of legroom, including a large outdoor deck. The restaurant’s signature bacon burnt ends are a must, of course, as is the sliced moist brisket. There are excellent burgers, too, and breakfast tacos stuffed with brisket and jalapeno cheddar sausage. (There's also a third location in Dallas, near Love Field airport.)
Brunch: Press Café
Located near the Clearfork area at 4801 Edwards Ranch Rd., this brunch destination is loved by locals not only for its wide-ranging menu but also its views of the Trinity River. Nestled alongside the Trinity Trails, the restaurant takes brunch super-seriously, offering a small but diverse menu that includes brioche French toast topped with housemade ricotta, burritos, and omelettes, plus non-breakfast dishes like a house-ground burger and steak & eggs. There's a nice selection of wine, craft cocktails, and coffee drinks made with Avoca coffee.
Fine dining: Wicked Butcher
After being closed for months due to the pandemic, this downtown steakhouse from DRG Concepts at 512 Main St. recently reopened, just in time for the holidays. Located in the renovated art deco wonder Sinclair Hotel, the restaurant has a special-occasion vibe but is casual and approachable – perfect for families. Big-ticket items include a double-rib steak for two, served tableside, plus oysters, crab, lobster, swordfish, and various cuts of premium beef.
Healthy eating: Righteous Foods
There's always one person in the family who threatens to spoil the fun of decadent holiday eating by wanting healthy food. Local chef Lanny Lancarte's Righteous Foods is a good option for health-conscious dining without being a total killjoy. The menu spans as many dietary restrictions as it does styles of cuisine – there are burgers, soups, pastas, sandwiches, tacos, salads, and bowls, in vegan, gluten-free, lactose-free, Keto-friendly, and nut-allergy-conscious forms. There’s a big, colorful patio, too.
Tex Mex: Los Vaqueros
Joe T. Garcia’s is the obvious place to take out-of-towners hankering for Tex-Mex, margaritas, and a patio. But the nearby Los Vaqueros at 2629 Main St. offers a similar experience, without the wait. The Cisneros family's north side institution specializes in Tex-Mex classics: fajitas, enchiladas, chalupas, nachos, tacos, chimichangas. There are multiple combo dishes with any and all of the above – perfect for sharing. Weekend brunch includes migas, mimosas, and huevos rancheros. House margaritas are both tasty and potent. When the weather’s nice, grab a seat on the nicely landscaped patio.