Whether it’s a neighborhood staple or a restaurant that’s been around for decades, everyone has their favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurant. However, most tend to only be known by locals, so it can be tough to find those hidden gems when traveling to a new area. I’m here to let you in on Dallas-Fort Worth’s best-kept culinary secrets, so get your appetite ready as we explore my favorite hole-in-the-wall spots in DFW.
Avila’s Mexican Restaurant has graced Dallas with its presence since 1986 when Octavio and Anita Avila decided to fulfill their dream of opening a restaurant. A classic menu with a few modern additions and consistent, delicious execution makes Avila’s a favorite around town. Even after being featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-In’s and Dives, Avila’s manages to focus on their humble roots.
With six Dallas-Fort Worth locations, Flying Fish is easily accessible no matter which part of the area you’re in. With an emphasis on delicious Cajun cuisine, Flying Fish is best known for their po’boys, fried seafood and, of course, gumbo! If you’re looking for a delicious, no-nonsense meal that will fill you up, this is the place to go!
Everybody loves a good burger. But, how about a great (as in life-changing) burger? Luckily you can get your burger fix at Jimmy’s in Grand Prairie. Jimmy’s Burgers serves up perfectly-seasoned, impeccably-cooked patties with all of the traditional fixin’s (hey, this is Texas after all). This casual spot is sure to fill you up and leave you smiling.
Martinez Mexican Grill & Taqueria, located in Lewisville, serves up traditional Mexican classics from breakfast to dinner. Here you’ll find their emphasis on no-fuss food in a friendly environment that really can’t be beat. Ask locals, and they will tell you that Martinez Grill has some of the best breakfast tacos in town. Don’t you want to find out for yourself if they’re right?
Sushi Sam opened its doors in 1998 in Southlake, with the hopes of bringing traditional Japanese food to the area, and mission accomplished! This is where my love affair with sushi began, and I will be forever indebted to them for inventing the Grapevine Roll, a tempura-battered California roll covered in sweet eel sauce. If there’s room, grab a seat at the sushi counter where you might just get a few extra surprises!
Thai Lotus Kitchen is exactly what you want in a hole in the wall. If you blink while driving past, you’ll miss it, but Thai Lotus serves up some of the best Thai food in Dallas. From traditional favorites like dumplings and Pad Thai, this is about as authentic as you’ll find in the area. Trust me, I moved here from Thailand so my expectations are high! Although mysterious to the eye, the complimentary soup (with the order of an entree) is insanely delicious and not to be missed!
The Latin Pig is a family-owned and operated restaurant located in Plano, a suburb just north of Dallas, that pumps out legitimate Cuban food that’s hard to beat. The owner’s mother is the chef, and she prepares perfectly seasoned and spiced dishes daily—all while offering decor that instantly transports you to 1950’s Havana. Their Cuban sandwich and tostones are some of the best I’ve tried in DFW.