Whipped feta dip is a tangy creamy treat to share at 5 Dallas restaurants
Editor's Note: In February, bagel fanatic Lila Levy crafted a list of top bagels in Dallas. In March she tackled flavored lattes. Now she's digging into a trendy cheese dip.
A Mediterranean cheese dip that went viral on TikTok is showing up in Dallas restaurants, and we're ready to dig in.
We're talking about whipped feta dip, a creamy tangy dip starring feta cheese, the sharp white fresh cheese you used to be able to find primarily crumbled on Greek salads.
Feta cheese is actually centuries old, but it re-emerged in late summer 2022 as a social media phenomenon with videos showing people making it at home with easy recipes that use as few as three ingredients such as feta, yogurt, and honey. Whip in a blender, pour into a bowl, sprinkle with black pepper or herbs. Add celery sticks or pita chips, and you have an instant party starter.
But restaurants are adding their more culinary spin, and their versions are not only a tasty snack to share with friends, they also provide inspiration for what you can try at home.
Here's five fun whipped feta dips being served at Dallas restaurants, in order of how good they were, from best to the rest:
Sachet: Fattoush salad, $15
Fattoush is a Mediterranean "fried bread" salad with chopped vegetables and pieces of fried pita. Sachet, the Mediterranean restaurant on Oak Lawn Avenue, does a version with grape tomatoes, cucumber, radishes, and thin pita "croutons," surrounding pools of whipped feta. In this dish, the whipped feta functioned more as a creamy dressing than a dip. It was blended until extremely smooth, to the consistency of sour cream,with a sprinkle of sumac that added a little hit of tartness.
Taziki's Cafe in Plano: Whipped feta dip, $7
Alabama-based chain has two DFW locations, in Plano and Southlake, both of which serve this simple but satisfying whipped feta dip, which has spawned many a copycat recipe. You can order it with pita or raw vegetables, which included very fresh stalks of carrot, celery, and yellow squash, a nice change of pace, plus sliced cucumbers. The dip included cream cheese as an ingredient which created a pleasingly firm consistency; I used a knife to spread on my veggies more than I dipped. It was drizzled with honey instead of the more predictable olive oil, and the sweetness was a great counterpoint to the savory dip.
Dip trio at Ziziki's includes artichoke hummus (top left), hipiti (top right), and spinach feta (bottom).Lila Levy
Ziziki's at Travis Walk in Dallas: Dip Trio, $18
Longtime Dallas institution includes whipped feta on its dip trio in two of the three dips: Hipiti, a spicy feta dip with red bell pepper, and spinach-feta. The spinach-feta had more spinach than feta; it seemed like the feta had been added merely to bind it together, and was the least interesting of the three. The hipiti was incredible: smooth, tangy, spicy, and addictive. The third dip was artichoke hummus, creamy and good, although the artichoke presence was subtle.
Tommy Bahama at Legacy West in Plano: Hummus and Whipped Feta, $16
Who would guess that this island-themed chain would have whipped feta on the menu, but that only shows what a big trend it has become. You get the two dips on a large plate, with at least 16 wedges of soft grilled flatbread for dipping. Their whipped feta had a pure feta flavor - almost like it could have been straight feta cheese, except the texture was so creamy. It had a hollowed-out area on top into which sherried honey figs were spooned - yet another version that capitalized on the contrast of the tangy and savory dip with the sweetness from the figs, with great results.
Whipped feta dip at Tommy BahamasLila Levy
Cava in Addison: Whipped feta with pita chips
If anyone has helped mainstream whipped feta, it's this DC-based chain which sells their trademark "Crazy Feta" as a grocery item at stores such as Whole Foods. Oddly, it’s not an official menu item at their actual locations (10 around DFW), although they'll accommodate by doling out a spoonful into a container that would ordinarily hold to-go salad dressing. They call their version "crazy" because the recipe includes jalapeño and onions, but its salty flavor makes it better as a kind of garnish, to add a zesty flavor to their various salads and bowls.