Where to Eat
Where to eat in Fort Worth right now: 9 best restaurants for out-of-town guests
It's December and the holidays, and for many of us, that means family's coming to town. You can’t be expected to cook for them every day, and besides, why not show them some of Fort Worth's finest eateries?
This list offers suggestions to fit every category for you and the fam, from best Tex-Mex to best splurge to best place to feast and not break the bank.
Here's Where to Eat for December:
Best outdoor space: Heim BBQ, Burleson
Craft barbecue is a mandatory meal in Fort Worth these days, and you might not find a better atmosphere to enjoy it in than the rooftop patio at this newly opened spot, the fourth Heim BBQ in North Texas. Bacon burnt ends were born at Heim, so out-of-towners must try those, along with gigantic beef ribs and moist brisket. Heim’s one of the few ‘cue joints to offer a kids menu – a thoughtful touch for families with little ones in tow.
Best Tex-Mex: Chuy’s Mexican Restaurant
This is not the Austin-based Chuy's, but the mini-chain owned by the local Adame family. We gravitate toward the River Oaks location, whose spacious dining room includes several large tables that can accommodate big parties. The silky carne guisada is the best in town, and for early risers, there are several terrific breakfast options, such as migas and huevos rancheros, all served with thick, freshly made flour tortillas.
Best hot new spot: Teddy Wong’s Dumplings & Wine
Reservations are pretty much mandatory, especially on the weekends, at this upbeat new spot on the Near Southside that specializes in classic Chinese cuisine. The stars of the menu: the many assortments of housemade dumplings, served pan-fried or steamed, with fillings such as pork, chicken, shrimp, and vegetables. For big spenders, order the Peking duck, $60 for a whole duck or $35 for a half. There’s an impressive assortment of wines and sakes, too, plus a next-door market where you can get drinks and dumplings to go.
Best for a large group: Woodshed Smokehouse
Probably the most fun spot in owner Tim Love’s collection of restaurants, Woodshed is essentially one big outdoor restaurant, which means there’s plenty of space for large parties. The menu is driven by smoked meats, but some of the best dishes are of the veggie variety, including smoked hummus and smoked cauliflower. If you must indulge in a smoked meat, get the huge bone-in beef rib, perfect to split with your group and a bargain at $22.
Best new splurge: Emilia’s
Upscale restaurant located inside the newly opened Crescent Hotel in the Museum District has a vast menu that encompasses American, Mediterranean, and Italian cuisines, truly something for everyone. There are wood-grilled steaks, housemade pastas, and fresh seafood dishes, plus soups, salads, pizzas and a statuesque shellfish tower. True to form for a hotel restaurant, Emilia’s is open for all the meals including breakfast and brunch, with items such as brioche French toast and steak & eggs.
Best on a budget: Montgomery Street Café
Open since 1949, Montgomery Street Café offers breakfast and lunch essentials, made fresh and priced inexpensively; most dishes are in the $10 range, or below. The biscuits are perfect – pillow-y on the inside, steaming hot when you tear them open. Long-timers swear there’s not a better chicken-fried steak in the city. Hashbrowns are made to order; sit at the old school counter, you can hear the grease popping off the grill as they’re being cooked.
Best where you can hear each other talk: 61 Osteria
Blaring music and loud convos are becoming the norm at new restaurants. That’s not the case at 61 Osteria, a quiet but still lively upscale Italian restaurant from owner Adam Jones and executive chef Blaine Staniford, the team behind the equally opulent Grace and its casual sibling, Little Red Wasp; all three are located downtown, within blocks of one another. A meal at 61 is like dinner with a show: The restaurant’s dining room is stunning, outfitted with mid-century modern design and architectural elements, along with gorgeous artwork. The food is equally dazzling, especially the pastas, made in-house, plus steak, seafood, and salads.
Best new vegan: Vida Cafe
Groundbreaking new restaurant is from Belen Hernandez, owner of the successful and acclaimed Belenty’s Love, a pair of vegan Mexican restaurants in Fort Worth and Granbury. It's the first vegan Italian restaurant in North Texas, and is earning raves, even among non-vegan diners, for its vegan renditions of Italian dishes like spaghetti, minestrone soup, and crabcakes, made using plant-based ingredients. Notably, the restaurant is also open for breakfast, serving dishes such as pistachio pancakes and eggless omelets.
Best quintessential FW: Angelo’s BBQ
Barbecue restaurants, as popular as they are, come and go. But Angelo's is still standing after six decades. There’s a lot for locals and out-of-towners alike to love, from the taxidermied bear that greets guests to the rapid-fire – and incredibly friendly - employees who put your sandwiches and plates together in seconds, to the ice-cold mugs of beer. Communal tables mean even the biggest of parties can sit together and chow down on excellent ribs and chopped beef sandwiches. Long live Angelo’s.