Where to Eat
Where to eat in Fort Worth right now: 6 best restaurants to grab lunch
The March edition of Where to Eat, our monthly feature recommending best Fort Worth restaurants to try, centers on a meal that needs some attention: lunch.
Lunch has been in trouble, ever since the pandemic, when COVID-shy workers stopped going into the office and thus began the work-from-home trend. Pouf: Bye-bye office lunch hour, no more lunch business at all.
In good news, that trend is starting to reverse. According to security company Kastle Systems, which monitors the WFH trend weekly, more office workers are returning to the workplace. A recent survey of 10 of the largest cities in the country found that office occupancy is at its highest level since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
So whether you're a worker back in the office or someone still doing the WFH thing, it's time to get out and support the restaurants putting out mid-day spreads.
Here are six Fort Worth restaurants where you can grab a bite for lunch:
For hurried lunchers, Tex-Mex is always a good option, and this long-running, festive spot in the Near Southside offers some of the area’s best – as inexpensive as it is quickly served. Nothing on the lunch menu is more than $10, with most of the dishes priced between $7-$9. Options include enchiladas stuffed with spinach or cheese and onions; tostados topped with chorizo; and chicken flautas. Each dish comes with rice and beans, and the portions are huge.
Boozie's Brewery & Gourmet Sandwiches
Sandwich and suds brewpub on the west side recently reopened under a new name but, it's still under the guidance of chef Dave Hollister, who made a name for himself in Fort Worth food circles as a talent. Boozie's specializes in sandwiches, that lunchtime staple, with top shelf ingredients: a Reuben made with in-house brined Akaushi Wagyu pastrami; croque madame with housemade Canadian bacon; chicken-fried chicken sandwich with house pimento cheese. There are burgers including a build-your-own option, a Chicago hot dog, soups, and sides including bacon ranch potato salad and fried broccoli with basil pecan pesto. It's a family-friendly place, with a huge kids menu and housemade sodas. There's also a full bar with craft cocktails and in-house brewed beer.
Most barbecue restaurants have limited hours; many aren't even open Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday. But the new Hurtado BBQ in Fort Worth (the original location is in Arlington), which recently took over Derek Allan’s BBQ’s space in the hospital district, is open seven days a week, making it a good option for a weekday barbecue lunch. Owner Brandon Hurtado’s menu combines Central Texas-style barbecue with Mexican food. The barbecue basics are all there - fatty or lean brisket, ribs, both beef and pork, housemade sausages, smoked turkey and chicken – and are available by the pound, in a sandwich or in tacos or on nachos. Sides are made on-site and include green beans spiked with chorizo, Hatch chile mac & cheese, elote, and pinto beans. The space inside is super tight but there’s a nice patio area with additional seating. Hurtado is open for breakfast, too, with items such as brisket and egg tacos.
If it's a healthy lunch you want, it's hard to beat Lanny Lancarte's Righteous Foods, a pioneer in the realm of better eating that Lancarte opened nearly a decade ago - far ahead of what is a growing healthy-restaurant scene in Fort Worth. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Righteous meets the needs of all the specialized dining segments, from vegan and vegetarian options such as eggless curried noodles and coconut chia seed pudding, to organic burgers, gluten-free deviled eggs, keto-friendly pistachio guacamole, and other dishes that are mindful of your health.
For years, the Secret Garden was just that – a well-kept secret known only to antique shoppers and dealers at the Montgomery Street Antique Mall. But this small café has become a major ladies-who-lunch spot and on weekends especially, there’s usually a wait for a table. From the small menu comprised of sandwiches, salads, quiche, and a half-dozen desserts, many opt for the excellent chicken salad, available as an entrée or sandwich; or the sampler, made up of small portions of a soup and salad of your choice, plus fruit bowl. There’s a wide variety of teas and several desserts, including a housemade bread pudding drowned in a sweet praline sauce.
3rd Street Market
After so many downtown restaurants have closed over the past three years, this salad, sandwich, and soup shop has been a godsend for downtown lunchers. Opened last fall by local culinary power couple Dena Peterson Shaskan and her husband Trent Shaskan, 3rd Street is an all-in-one restaurant, bakery, tearoom, and coffee shop. Its main emphasis is on freshly baked sourdough bread – available by the loaf, half loaf, or in the form of imaginative sandwiches. Those sandwiches rotate daily and have included roast beef with horseradish herb aioli, and paneer with garam masala aioli. Soups include nice surprises like bouillabaisse and white bean & kale.