Editor's note: As the year comes to a close, we look back at the 10 most popular restaurant and bar stories of 2018. These are the openings, closings, and newsy bits that Dallas readers gobbled up, all from CultureMap dining editor Teresa Gubbins.
1. Magical new dessert shop in Deep Ellum fulfills all your unicorn dreams. Do you love unicorns? Is that even a real question? Get ready for a ride to the Magical Dessert Bar, a new shop that opened in December in Deep Ellum, where everything is pastel iridescence and oh-so sweet. Think hot chocolate that's pink, topped with pastel sprinkles and fluffy whipped cream.
2. Kimbal Musk and Wyly heiress celebrate wedding at Dallas restaurant. Diners trying to grab a bite at Dallas restaurant Cedars Social on April 7 were out of luck, as the newly reimagined Mexican restaurant in the Southside neighborhood was shut down all day for a reception celebrating a high-profile wedding. The bride: Christiana Wyly, daughter of Texas billionaire Sam Wyly. The groom was Kimbal Musk, brother of Tesla founder Elon Musk.
3. Favorite Dallas fried chicken restaurant finally opens second location. In September, Frisco was set to get some fried chicken, oh yeah, with the arrival of a Dallas institution: Park Cities staple Bubba's Cooks Country said it would open a location in Frisco at 4585 Preston Rd. When it opens, will be only the second location for Bubba's, which has been doing fried chicken in Snider Plaza in a converted 1929 Texaco gas station since 1981.
4. The 10 best bars in Dallas for 2018 mix up old and new. The 2018 CultureMap Tastemaker Awards, our annual event honoring the best in local food and drink, included awards to top chefs and restaurants and a party in April. But before we partied, we took a closer look at the nominees for Best Bar of the Year in Dallas.
5. Intriguing East Dallas restaurant unveils bike-friendly theme and top chef. A cool new restaurant that had piqued the interest of its East Dallas neighborhood was ready to throw open the doors in June. Called Local Traveler, it's an upscale-casual restaurant serving dinner seven nights a week, that is both bicycle-friendly and chef-driven. The restaurant is located at the high-profile intersection of Gaston and Grand, next door to The Lot — with whom it shares ownership.
6. Central Market unlocks new Dallas store in million-dollar neighborhood. At last, the newest Dallas location of Central Market, opening at the intersection of Midway Road and Northwest Highway, had a start date: Doors opened to the public at 8 am on Wednesday, September 5. This was the third Central Market in Dallas, following the original at Lovers Lane and Greenville Avenue, and a second at Preston Road and Royal Lane that opened in 2012.
7. 6 Dallas restaurants get a shot on Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-ins & Dives. In January, Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives confirmed that three three Dallas restaurants definitely had made the cut for the latest season of the popular Food Network TV show: Tacos Mariachi, One90 Smoked Meats, and Whistle Britches. But wait! Then there were three more — Tutta Pizza, Nora's, and CrushCraft Thai — bringing the total to six DFW eateries.
8. Here's our master list of every Dallas restaurant opening in fall 2018. One of the best things about Dallas is its brisk restaurant scene. Keeping track of the comings and goings is practically a full-time job. (Actually, it IS a full-time job.) In our efforts to keep diners in the know, in October, we compiled our annual master list of all the restaurants coming soon in Dallas and beyond.
9. Mockingbird Station suffers big loss with closure of longtime Dallas restaurant. Cafe Express, the trail-blazing chain founded by Houston chef Robert del Grande and restaurateur (and CultureMap co-founder) Lonnie Schiller, shockingly and abruptly closed two flagship locations in Dallas. Mockingbird Station closed in September, followed by Uptown Dallas in November. Owners M. Terry Enterprises say they are focusing on their top-performing restaurants, and have engaged a firm to help restructure. One Dallas location on Lovers Lane remains, and there are six in Houston.
10. New shop crazy about pickles joins Jimmy's in East Dallas foodie zone. In a world that seems overrun with hamburger joints and poke places, bow down to entrepreneur Lee Theilen, who announced in May he was opening a concept that is completely original to Dallas: a pickle place. Called Pickletopia, it opened at 4812 Bryan St., at the southwest corner of Fitzhugh Avenue, where it sells pickles of all kinds.