Oak Cliff has become one of Dallas' top entertainment destinations, with restaurants galore. In the past couple of years, we've seen an onslaught of new spots, joining already established classics like Hattie's and Zen Sushi. (We've listed the classics below.)
But this list is about the new places. These are the places that have opened in the last year, give or take a month or two. This list answers the popular question: What's new in Oak Cliff?
Combination restaurant-wine shop takes a classic approach with a European-inspired menu that changes with the seasons. There are steaks and charcuterie boards and crème brûlée for dessert. The bar features eight beers on tap and more than a dozen wines-by-the-glass in red, white, or sparkling, plus many more in the bottle.
Dallas Grilled Cheese Co.
Cute restaurant opened at the peak of the great 2015 grilled cheese trend. Its menu includes cheesy sandwiches such as American cheese on Texas toast and Brie on a baguette with pears and walnuts as well as gluten-free options, soups, and salads. A full bar with cocktails, wine, and a big selection of beer.
Kessler Park Eating House
Offshoot of Jonathon's Oak Cliff has same neighborhood focus and attentive service as its sibling, but with a different menu that includes the must-get potato-filled pierogis and the deep-fried spicy Buffalo cauliflower starter. There's an irresistibly homey quality in dishes such as noodles with butter and parmesan and the Texas sheet cake dessert.
Owned by a member of the Cuellar family of El Chico fame, Local Oak is Southern home-cooking, with only the occasional nod to Tex-Mex. The menu features burgers, "Mom's meatloaf," and Frito pie. Fun and funky dishes include Spam sliders and migas tacos, plus a weekday lunch special that knocks a couple dollars off the price.
Named for the last names of Dallas' most famous criminals, Bonnie and Clyde, Parker Barrows does cocktails, craft beer, and "New York-deli style" sandwiches for Bishop Arts. The decor feels vintage; bartenders wear bow ties. Its menu includes salads and sandwiches stacked with meats such as pastrami, salami, and bacon. And say, those prices — $12-$15 for a sandwich and $2 extra for potato chips — are pretty New York too.
New restaurant in the former Driftwood space from chef Blythe Beck and restaurateur Casie Caldwell celebrates Beck's favorite color and trademark Southern food. Signature items like chicken-fried rib eye, deviled eggs, and shrimp and grits are joined by roast chicken and bacon-cheddar meatloaf. Onion rings, creamed corn, and other sides are served family style.
Potpourri of Silk
Oak Cliff bakery known for cakes adds a tea room serving sandwiches, coffee, and tea from 10 am-4 pm. Sandwiches include chicken salad, pork loin, roast rosemary beef, and a veggie sandwich with cucumber, dill, and cream cheese. Desserts include cakes, breads, muffins, cupcakes, tarts, cookies, and 4-inch individual pies in seasonal flavors.
Jefferson Avenue spot was birthed during the craft beer phase, but it also boasts cocktails and the culinary creativity of chef Misti Norris. She is doing some crazy stuff: Pork belly with rye malt porridge, licorice root, roasted carrots, and charred greens. Heritage pig tail with malted milk, spiced strawberry, artichoke, wild onion, and fish salt. No fear here.
Stock & Barrel
Chef-owner Jon Stevens' food is creative yet familiar, delicate yet hearty, with a range that encompasses burgers and cool vegetable treatments as well. Nightly specials in the past have included squid ink spaghetti with chorizo, squid, and egg yolk or a dessert featuring grilled country bread with almond ice cream, warm chocolate, olive oil, and sea salt.
VH stands for host Victor Hugo, and there's no disputing his charm, while the kitchen is covered by chef Eric Brandt. Oysters with horseradish mignonette or seared scallops with cauliflower puree are good, not fussy. There are pasta specials and burger nights with local craft beer. A Sunday brunch menu includes Buffalo chicken with pancakes, and potato hash. Oak Cliff can never get enough brunch.
And, as promised, here are the classics of Oak Cliff that came first: Bolsa, Boulevardier, Cafe Brazil, Chan Thai, El Corazon de Texas, Eno's Pizza Tavern, Hattie's, Hunky's, Jonathon's, Lockhart Smokehouse, Lucia, Mesa Dallas, Norma's Cafe, Nova, Oddfellows, Spiral Diner, Ten Bells, Tillman's, Veracruz Cafe, Whitehall Exchange, Zen Sushi, and Zoli's NY Pizza Tavern.