Editor's note: As the year comes to a close, we look back at the 10 most popular restaurant and bar stories of 2019. These are the openings, closings, and newsy bits that Dallas readers gobbled up, all from CultureMap dining editor Teresa Gubbins.
1. World-famous bakery from France makes Texas debut in downtown Dallas. Dallas' baked goods scene just keeps getting better every day, and this year saw the news of a big arrival coming soon: La Tarte Tropézienne, a French bakery recognized worldwide for a certain cream-filled tart, will open its first-ever storefront outside of France in Dallas. In September, we broke the news that the bakery will open in downtown Dallas, next to/beneath the Hotel Joule, at 1604 Main St., in 2020. For those who couldn't wait, the bakery gave a sneak peek via a catering menu for the holidays that included its signature Tropézienne cream tartes.
2. Uptown Dallas bar transforms itself into Game of Thrones museum. If you were a walking, breathing human being, you surely knew that April 14 was the premiere of HBO's Game of Thrones, which was, tragically, on its final season. The importance of this pop culture event could not be overstated, and one Dallas bar was pulling out the stops to mark it in style. Ill Minster Pub transformed itself into a GoT museum of sorts, with installations that are dedicated to Game of Thrones memorabilia.
3. Dallas gets its own location of Eataly, the most foodie market of all. In the biggest foodie news since the discovery of yeast, Dallas has scored its own location of Eataly, the Italian-themed food hall/marketplace that's the ne plus ultra of gourmet food. The news broke in early May that the Dallas location will go into NorthPark Center and will open in 2020. This will be the very first Eataly in Texas.
4. 9 Dairy Queen restaurants around Dallas-Fort Worth close abruptly. In early December, nine locations of Dairy Queen closed across Dallas-Fort Worth, including restaurants in Grand Prairie, Euless, Fort Worth, Hurst, Keller, and Roanoke. All of the locations were owned by franchisee Lickety Split Food Services. The closures leave approximately 40 locations around Dallas-Fort Worth for those seeking Hungr-Buster burgers, Country Baskets, Blizzards, Dilly Bars, and soft-serve ice cream cones.
5. These 10 restaurants make the cut for best pizza in Dallas. The 2019 CultureMap Tastemaker Awards celebrated the best in Dallas food and drink, spotlighting nominees in every category: bars, restaurants, chefs, and bartenders. Every year, we single out one wild card category that's different from the last, with a focus on what's hot or trending big. For 2019, our wild card was pizza. Here were the 10 nominees for Best Place for Pizza in Dallas, and here's who won.
6. Venerable Dallas restaurant Tillman's in Bishop Arts to close for good. Longtime North Oak Cliff restaurant Tillman's Bishop Arts opened for business as usual on December 10, one day after the eatery was locked out by the landlord. But a few days later, owner Jeffrey Kollinger said Tillman's would close for good on New Year's Day. The restaurant is hosting a special prix fixe menu for New Year’s Eve and will give one free s'mores per table through December 31.
7. Dallas' Greenville Avenue loses highly rated barbecue restaurant. Barbecue just doesn't seem able to survive on Greenville Avenue, or at the very least, in the building at 1916 Greenville Ave. The latest casualty: Stiky Ribz, a spinoff of a well-regarded Forney BBQ concept of the same name, which closed the last week of September.
8. Filipino chain comes to Dallas area with fried chicken and spaghetti. An international chain specializing in fried chicken announced in late November that it is making its Dallas-area debut. Called Jollibee, it's a chain from the Philippines that is making a big push to expand its American presence, including a restaurant in Plano at 1016 Preston Rd., in a space previously occupied by a Pollo Tropical location.
9. Fried taco cone wins 2019 State Fair of Texas Big Tex Choice Awards. Tacos won the day at the 2019 Annual Big Tex Choice Awards, aka the State Fair of Texas "fried food awards," crowned at a competition in the Tower Building at Fair Park on August 25. Ruth's Stuffed Fried Mexi-Cone featured barbacoa served in a tortilla shell curled like an ice cream cone, filled with black beans and cilantro lime rice and topped with pico de gallo, queso fresco, and salsa verde.
10. Henderson Avenue staple and Dallas brunch favorite will close. In late October, one of Dallas' original brunch spots was getting ready to leave the building: Capitol Pub, which has been the toast of Henderson Avenue for the nearly 13 years it's been in business, said it was closing at the end of 2019. The restaurant not only brought energy to the street, it was also among the first to make brunch into a thing.