It doesn't matter if you live in the suburbs and never drive to Dallas for dinner. It doesn't matter if you live in Dallas and fear what's north of 635. The beginning of 2017 brought so many restaurant, bakery and grocery store openings that there's something new and delicious in nearly every corner of Dallas-Fort Worth.
Feast on these 12 new restaurants and shops you should know about in North Texas:
Regulars at bbbop Seoul Kitchen are likely familiar with the fried chicken special; it's popular. So why not spin off an entire restaurant inspired by that delicious Korean fried chicken?
Chicken Moto is a restaurant described in a statement as "Texas Southern comfort meets South Korean Seoul food." The fried chicken comes with soy-ginger or sweet-and-spicy-chili glaze, or it can come "naked." The restaurant does offer dishes other than fried chicken such as kimchi queso or elotes. But really: chicken.
- 2069 N. Central Expressway, Suite 200, Richardson. Expected to open Feb. 22.
Fans of Trinity Groves, the restaurant park in West Dallas near the iconic Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, might have noticed that Resto Gastro Bistro has closed. The restaurateurs behind that venture are trying a new place: Fat Chicken.
Let's start with dessert first: There's going to be a pie cart. As far as the main courses go, Fat Chicken goes big on the bird, with chicken pot pie, chicken and doughnuts, fried chicken, chicken tacos and more. See the menu here.
3011 Gulden Lane, Dallas, in Trinity Groves. Opened Feb. 15.
Nikkei (pronounced NEE-kai) is bringing Japanese Peruvian food to Dallas. That means fried chicken with miso. Or salmon ceviche with togarashi -- a blend of ground Japanese chili peppers. The idea of Nikkei was borne from stories of Japanese people who relocated to Peru decades ago. The restaurant "has come to encapsulate not just the people, but the food the Japanese immigrants and their children cooked in Peru through the late 19th and 20th centuries," according to a statement.
The restaurant's first floor is more than 4,000 square feet. Its second-floor patio offers views of Uptown Dallas.
- 2404 Cedar Springs Road, Suite 400, Dallas. Opened Feb. 14.
Fogo de Chao
Here's some D-FW trivia for you: The first Fogo de Chao located outside of Brazil opened in Addison, Texas, in 1997. Now we're 20 years later and another Fogo is opening in D-FW, in the One Uptown high-rise on McKinney Avenue. That's the same building as the coming-soon Circo. (Read more about Circo -- and its extravagant dine-in pool and hidden Champagne bar -- here.)
Fogo is a Brazilian steakhouse where servers carve roasted meats tableside. Guests generally pay a flat fee for lunch or dinner and then get to sample to their stomach's desire: carved meats salads, soups and veggies.
At the Dallas opening of Fogo de Chao, dinner will cost $46.50 per person.
- 2619 McKinney Ave., Dallas, on the lower level of the One Uptown development. Opened Feb. 13.
Sure, we already have a Carlo's Bakery in Dallas. But now there's another one: at a stand inside Stonebriar Centre in Frisco.
Carlo's Bakery is the made-for-TV shop seen on TLC show Cake Boss, which follows star baker Buddy Valastro and his loveable family as they make outrageous confections. The Frisco bakery will not sell cakes that shoot fireworks or move like robots (like you might see them make on Cake Boss), but it does sell those popular cannolis and other small treats. Expect a line.
Located inside Stonebriar Centre, 2601 Preston Road, Frisco, at Center Court -- the middle of the mall. Closest entrances are near Dave & Buster's or Nordstrom. Opened Feb. 11.
If you ask Vogue, Travel + Leisure or Kelly Ripa, Sugarfina's sweet little candies are the "it" gift right now. D-FW already has a Sugarfina pop-up in the tony Highland Park Village shopping center, but Dallas' first standalone Sugarfina shop just opened in NorthPark Center.
The brand is best known for its Candy Bento Box, a choose-your-own box that can come jammed with caramels, gummies, marshmallows and more. The Champagne Bears are bound to be popular, too. The company likes to call its shops "grown-up candy heaven."
- Inside NorthPark Center, 8687 N. Central Expressway, Dallas. Located on Level One between Nordstrom and Macy's. Opened Feb. 11.
Farmbyrd Rotisserie and Fry
Chicken is the thing to get at Farmbyrd Rotisserie and Fry, a new order-at-the-counter restaurant in Plano. The menu starts with a choice of rotisserie chicken or fried chicken (or both if you order the combo). Sides include roasted corn with cotija cheese, two kinds of mac and cheese, sweet potato fries, Brussels sprouts and more.
Farmbyrd comes in part from Tim McLaughlin, co-owner of Lockhart Smokehouse. They seem to be doing a lot of new development lately; Lockhart just announced it's opening its third restaurant, this one in Arlington.
Farmbyrd will also serve cocktails, wine and Texas beers. "This isn't a complex concept," McLaughlin explains. "We are focused on creating really good tasting food that is fresh and consistent and we serve it in an environment that you want to hang out in."
- 3308 Preston Road, Suite 380, Plano. Open now.
Nick Badovinus' new restaurant Town Hearth is "a blast," says our restaurant critic Leslie Brenner. There's a lot to look at, like the 64 chandeliers and the small car parked inside the 6,000-square-foot spot. And there's a lot to pine over on the menu, too.
Brenner recently sampled a 24-ounce bone-in ribeye, roasted Maine lobster (which is sold as a side dish) and seared scallops served atop bacon. Hopefully, you'll be dining on the company card, because prices at Town Hearth are fairly high. You can even buy a Ducati motorcycle for $75,000 if you have that kind of cash.
- 1617 Market Center Blvd., Dallas. Open now.
There's room for more burgers in Dallas-Fort Worth. So say the folks behind Wayback Burgers, a new-to-Farmers-Branch restaurant meant to look like a throwback roadside burger joint. Wayback Burgers also has shops in Irving and Wylie.
Wayback sells milkshakes "made the old-fashioned way," says a statement: with milk and scooped ice cream. The burger menu includes the typical classics: single, double or triple patties, with bacon, cheese and the like.
And then there's the Triple Triple: nine patties of meat, nine slices of cheese and lettuce and tomato. Holy cow.
13608 Midway Road, Farmers Branch. Open now.
Pok the Raw Bar
Poke -- a cold, raw fish dish created in Hawaii -- hasn't really waded into land-locked Dallas. So Los Angeles natives Brandon Cohanim and Francois Reihani (who are current undergrad SMU students aged 20 and 21) decided to open their own poke shop called Pok the Raw Bar.
"Poke was a staple of our diets in LA," says Cohanim, "and after struggling to find a good option in Dallas, we decided to create our own."
The restaurant's poke menu is made up of bowls of raw fish, fruit/veggies, and spices. Take the Albacore Mango: raw tuna with citrus ponzu, mango, serrano, cilantro and crispy onion. Customers can also build their own poke bowls. The drink menu includes an expansive list of matcha, a trendy green tea rich in antioxidants.
- 3699 McKinney Ave., Dallas, in the West Village. Open now.
Haystack Burgers and Barley
Many restaurants in Dallas-Fort Worth start in Dallas or Fort Worth, then expand to the 'burbs. In the case of Haystack Burgers and Barley, it started in Richardson and now has expanded to Dallas. Located in Turtle Creek Village, the Dallas outpost serves a similar menu to its Richardson original: eight burgers, plus a build-your-own option and a healthy helping of non-beef sandwiches such as a grilled cheese and a portabello mushroom sandwich.
End your meal sweetly with a Nutella milkshake.
- 3838 Oak Lawn Ave., #175, Dallas. Open now.
Persona Wood Fired Pizzeria
Stand back: The ovens at Persona Wood Fired Pizzeria in Irving get up to 1,000 degrees. The new restaurant in the new Cypress Waters complex in Irving sells build-your-own pizzas that are cooked in a mere 90 seconds, as is the style with Neapolitan pies.
Persona's most popular pizza is the carne, which is similar to a meat-lovers pizza: pepperoni, sausage and salami. The chipotle chicken pizza, which won an international award, is also popular, says co-franchise owner Victor Patel.
- 8704 Cypress Waters Blvd., Irving. Open now.
Hurts Donut Company
This Frisco shop is the kind of place where people camp out in a suburban parking lot in order to be first to get their hands on a dozen colorful doughnuts. On that busy opening day in late January at Hurts Donut, the employees sold more than 15,000 doughnuts, they tell us. It's the first Hurts in Texas.
This place is a thing. If your kids haven't begged you for their weekly dozen yet, your coworkers will. The company seems to target people of any age with a sweet tooth. And shoot: Isn't that all of us?
Mark your calendars for these restaurants and grocery stores opening in the next few months:
- Flower Child, a "healthy, happy" restaurant, and Lovers Seafood: both expected to open in March near Lovers Lane and Inwood Road in Dallas
- Bumbershoot Barbecue: expected to open in March in Argyle
- Salsa Limon: expected to open in March in downtown Dallas
- Ampersand, a coffee shop: expected to open in April in Fort Worth
- Eatzi's: expected to open in May in Fort Worth, in Preston Hollow (in Dallas) in October
- Hopdoddy Burger Bar: expected to open in fall 2017 in Fort Worth
- Rodeo Goat burgers and Flying Fish: expected to open in late 2017 in Plano
- Heim Barbecue: expected to open "sometime in 2017" in Fort Worth
- Lockhart Smokehouse: expected to open in 2018 in Arlington. (Patience!)
Or check out these lists, which combine big restaurant news by Texas city:
Follow Sarah Blaskovich on Twitter at @sblaskovich for more food news.
Leslie Brenner contributed to this story.