Though Zagat has been curating 30 Under 30 lists in cities like Chicago and Los Angeles, 2016 marks the first time it's done so in Dallas.

Though Zagat has been curating 30 Under 30 lists in cities like Chicago and Los Angeles, 2016 marks the first time it's done so in Dallas.

Terri Glanger Photography

When debating America's best foodie cities, most look to New York, Chicago or Los Angeles as the benchmark for culinary excellence. But one thing that's not debatable: Residents in Dallas-Fort Worth spend more money on eating out than any other area of the country, which suggests there are places, meals and drinks worthy of our hard earned cash.

Check out the 100 best restaurants in D-FW, according to Yelp users

Another sign the local scene is making strides? Zagat, a website that rates restaurants based on consumer reviews, debuted today a Dallas 30 Under 30 list, showcasing the gastronomic game changers who are redefining how locals eat and drink before their 30th birthdays, according to the site. While Zagat has curated similiar lists for U.S. cities since 2013, this is the first time it has done so for Big D.

To compile this list, Zagat editors accepted nominations from the publication's followers and industry personnel, then whittled down entries to a comprehensive list of whom they believe will be the "next generation's superstars" in food and drink.

"We're excited to reveal our first-ever list in Dallas which is representative of the exciting food scene that's getting more robust every year," said Kelly Dobkin, senior editor at Zagat, by email.

"The group is a mix of entrepreneurs, skilled cooks and bartenders, innovative dessert artisans and service professionals, who are shaping the future of the Dallas restaurant scene," Dobkin added.

Check out the honorees below. (The list and each person's full bio can also be found here.)

Austin Bird, bartender at Small Brewpub

Austin Bird, 28, bartender at Small Brewpub

Austin Bird, 28, bartender at Small Brewpub

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Small Brewpub has been atop the list of must-visit foodie destinations since it opened in 2014, thanks to James Beard nominated chef Misti Norris. But it doesn't skimp on libations either. Zagat recognized Bird, 28, not only for his prowess with a shaker and muddler, but also for his emphasis on customer service. It recommends stopping by for his unique concoctions on Tuesday Tiki Nights. (Full bio)

Seth Brammer, beverage director at Filament

Seth Brammer (right), 29, beverage director at Filament

Seth Brammer (right), 29, beverage director at Filament

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Brammer, 29, moved from a career in the kitchen to one behind the bar. What caught Zagat's attention? His taste for fine whiskeys. At Filament, "he loves showcasing Southern ingredients and traditions in his cocktails, with whiskey front and center in many, including his very refined Whiskey Smash," the pub wrote. (Full bio)

Yonathan Bustillo, cook at Top Knot

Yonathan Bustillo, 25, cook at Top Knot

Yonathan Bustillo, 25, cook at Top Knot

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Bustillo made the switch from fine art to culinary school as a young adult, but why? "I figured it's sculpting, just in a different medium," he told Zagat. At 25 years old, his resume includes stints at P.F. Chang's, Uchi in Houston and most recently Top Knot, the four-star Asian-fusion restaurant located above Uchi in Dallas. (Full bio)

Sarah Chastain, chef de cuisine at The Grape

Sarah Chastain, 29, chef de cuisine at The Grape

Sarah Chastain, 29, chef de cuisine at The Grape

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Chastain's knack for making the most of local, seasonal ingredients is what landed her on Zagat's list. Now 29 years old, she's a self-trained chef that cut her chops (and learned to make pasta) in a mom and pop Italian restaurant before running with elite local chefs like Brian Luscher. (Full bio)

Abigail De Jesús, cake decorator at Cake Bar

Abigail de Jesus, 27, cake decorator at Cake Bar

Abigail de Jesus, 27, cake decorator at Cake Bar

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De Jesús began her career as part of a team of personal chefs before jumping into baking at Nestle Toll House Cafe. Zagat lauds De Jesús, 27, as "an amazingly fast decorator, knocking out cakes rapidly while consistently producing beautiful, sweet, triple-layer works of art." (Full bio)

Lyle DeShazo, line cook Kitchen LTO

Lyle DeShazo, 16, line cook at Kitchen LTO

Lyle DeShazo, 16, line cook at Kitchen LTO

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At just 16 years old, DeShazo is the youngest person on Zagat's list. DeShazo's career started at catering venue 3015 at Trinity Groves before he moved to Rapscallion, where he shucked oysters. When the restaurant's chef Nick Amoriello won the position at Kitchen LTO, he brought DeShazo with him to serve as a line and prep cook. (Full bio)

Molly Hagler, beverage director at Stampede 66

Molly Hagler, 28, beverage director at Stampede 66

Molly Hagler, 28, beverage director at Stampede 66

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From her first bartending position at a pool hall in Arlington, Hagler, 28, went on to open Oddfellows restaurant in Bishop Arts and team up with celebrity chef Stephan Pyles to develop the beverage program at the former San Salvaje. She is now an ISG Sommelier level II and runs the bar at Pyle's Stampede 66. (Full bio)

Austin Gurley, general manager at High and Tight Barbershop

Austin Gurley, 25, general manager at High and Tight Barbershop

Austin Gurley, 25, general manager at High and Tight Barbershop

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From waiting tables at a burger joint to tending bar at Tate's cocktail spot in Dallas, Gurley's passion for spirits developed quickly. Now 25 years old, he manages the daily operation and staff at High and Tight, a barber shop by day and speakeasy by night. Gurley also leads the beverage program there. (Full bio)

Phillip Halff II, sous chef at Blind Butcher

Phillip Halff II, 29, sous chef at Blind Butcher

Phillip Halff II, 29, sous chef at Blind Butcher

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Since graduating form the Culinary Institute of America, Halff, 24, has spent two-and-a-half years in the kitchen at the Blind Butcher, which is known for its house-made meats. Eventually he wants to own his own restaurant, Zagat says, so he spends his free time hosting private dinners for family and friends. (Full bio)

Emma and Travis Heim, owners of Heim Barbecue and Catering

Emma and Travis Heim, 28 and 26, owners of Heim Barbecue and Catering

Emma and Travis Heim, 28 and 26, owners of Heim Barbecue and Catering

Terri Glanger Photography

What's now known as one of the most desried barbecue plates in town started as a pop-up tasting in the Heim's backyard. After working with barbecue gurus Aaron and Stacy Franklin, the couple bought a food truck to peddle their wares. The response was so overwhelming, Emma and Travis, 28 and 26 yers old respectively, will soon be smoking meat at a permanent location in Fort Worth. (Full bio)

Taylor Kearney, executive chef at Front Room Tavern

Taylor Kearny, 27, executive chef at Front Room Tavern

Taylor Kearny, 27, executive chef at Front Room Tavern

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Kearney, 27, is not the type to turn down an opportunity. He helped open Boulevardier in Dallas, and at Front Room, he's does everything from scheduling to smoking meats. And as Zagat notes, he'll soon add "executive chef of Cedar Grove" to his accolades. (Full bio)

Christian Koelling, sous chef at Ten Ramen

Christian Koelling, 24, sous chef at Ten Ramen

Christian Koelling, 24, sous chef at Ten Ramen

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Koelling, 24, taught himself to cook using textbooks and video lectures from the Culinary Institute of American Hyde Park, according to Zagat. It was enough to land him a position at chef Teiichi Sakurai's Tei An, where he proved himself and was eventually moved to sous chef at the owner's new joint, Ten Ramen. (Full bio)

Landon Lee, general manager/wine director at Bolsa

Landon Lee, 26, general manger/wine director at Bolsa

Landon Lee, 26, general manger/wine director at Bolsa

Terri Glanger Photography

Lee, 26, worked his way up through the service industry quickly, from server in 2013 to Bolsa's wine director and general manager in about a year. "As a self-taught wine connoisseur," Zagat wrote, Lee "has proven that you don't necessarily have to be a certified sommelier to have a great palate." (Full bio)

Neal Liston, sous chef/ butcher at Knife

Neal Liston, 27, sous chef/butcher at Knife

Neal Liston, 27, sous chef/butcher at Knife

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As the former butcher for Mansion on Turtle Creek and the current meat-cleaver at Knife, Zagat notes  Liston, 27, is "responsible for a fair percentage of the best steaks in Dallas." In addition to being sous chef, he oversees the dry-aging room John Tesar's Knife restaurant. (Full bio)

Jonathan Meadows and Nathan Shelton, co-founders of Cultivar Coffee Bar and Roaster

Nathan Shelton (left), 28, and Jonathan Meadows (right), 27, co-founders of Cultivar Coffee Bar and Roaster

Nathan Shelton (left), 28, and Jonathan Meadows (right), 27, co-founders of Cultivar Coffee Bar and Roaster

Terri Glanger Photography

After working as baristas, Meadows, 27, and Shelton, 28, founded Cultivar in 2009 as a coffee roaster. In the years since have grown the brand to a service counter inside sandwich shop Goodfriend Package and, in April, opened their first stand-alone coffee shop. (Full bio)

Khalil Miller, floor captain/lead prep cook at Cafe Momentum

Khalil Miller, 19, floor captain/lead prep cook at Cafe Momentum

Khalil Miller, 19, floor captain/lead prep cook at Cafe Momentum

Terri Glanger Photography

Miller, 19, is part of the first graduating class from Cafe Momentum, a restaurant in downtown Dallas that employs juvenile offenders as interns with the potential of a career. And it's no cake walk -- the restaurant is nothing short of fine dining. Miller was Cafe Momentum's first graduate to be hired, and he now showcases his leadership skills through mentoring the restaurant's new intern class. (Full bio)

Beth Moore, general manager at Cane Rosso (Deep Ellum)

Beth Moore, 27, general manager at Cane Rosso Deep Ellum

Beth Moore, 27, general manager at Cane Rosso Deep Ellum

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Moore, 27, cut her teeth in the restaurant biz at spots like Texas Roadhouse, quickly working her way up from server to manager. Making sure everything runs smoothly, the eats are up to snuff and that customers have a great experience can be difficult, Zagat says, but "she has the system down." (Full bio)

Matthew Orth, craft spirits specialist at Glazer's distribution

Matthew Orth, 29, craft spirits specialist at Glazer's distribution

Matthew Orth, 29, craft spirits specialist at Glazer's distribution

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"Orth is like a bartender on steroids," says Zagat. The 29-year-old's resume includes stints at Dallas spots Meddlesome Moth and Lark on the Park, but Orth's most recent position at Glazer's enables him to travel and educate bar staffs about spirits along the way. (Full bio)

Hugo Osorio, liquid artist at The Theodore

Hugo Osorio, 25, liquid artist at The Theodore

Hugo Osorio, 25, liquid artist at The Theodore

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When Osorio, 25, applied for a bartending gig at Bolsa several years ago, there wasn't an opening. So instead of joining the staff, he completed an apprentice program under then head bartender Kyle Hilla, and earned the role as lead bartender once Bolsa's sibling restaurant The Theodore opened. (Full bio)

Suki Otsuki, executive chef at Mudhen Meat and Greens

Suki Otsuki, 28, executive chef at Mudhen Meat and Greens

Suki Otsuki, 28, executive chef at Mudhen Meat and Greens

Terri Glanger Photography

Otsuki's career began at ice cream shops and fast-food joints, which are a far cry from the health-focused dishes she's turning out today. "Stepping into that kitchen was like culture shock for me and made me realize how I had to/wanted to learn," the 28-year-old told Zagat. Mudhen earned two stars in a recent GuideLive review. (Full bio)

Hunter Pond, CEO of East Hampton Sandwich Co.

Hunter Pond, 28, CEO of East Hampton Sandwich Co.

Hunter Pond, 28, CEO of East Hampton Sandwich Co.

Terri Glanger Photography

You may recognize Pond, the now 28-year-old who landed on Forbes' 30 Under 30 last year. East Hampton Sandwich Co., which Pond opened in lieu of finishing a law degree, began as one shop in Dallas' Snider Plaza and has since grown to four locations with three more underway. (Full bio)

Calvin Pravongviengkham, cook at Uchi

Calvin Pravongviengkham, 23, cook at Uchi

Calvin Pravongviengkham, 23, cook at Uchi

Terri Glanger Photography

Pravongviengkham's career began in his mother's Asian/Cajun restaurant, where Zagat says he was "jack of all trades." After studying nutrition and food science in school, however, he hoped to refine his skills by working at Uchi. And it worked -- Pravongviengkham, 23, now leads the prep team and cooks there. (Full bio)

Ian Reilly, beverage supervisor at The Joule hotel

Ian Reilly, 27, beverage supervisor at the Joule hotel

Ian Reilly, 27, beverage supervisor at the Joule hotel

Terri Glanger Photography

Reilly, 27, earned a reputation among craft cocktail lovers before he signed on at the Joule, but there he flexes his creativity by whipping up personalized libations from a unique mobile cart-turned-bar. Just let Reilly know your poison of choice and he'll take it from there. (Full bio)

Rico Reyes, executive chef at Cafe Salsera

Rico Reyes, 25, executive chef at Cafe Salsera

Rico Reyes, 25, executive chef at Cafe Salsera

Terri Glanger Photography

Reyes, 25, began his career at 16 years old as a student at Le Cordon Blue. He's since worked at Pappasito's Cantina, Saint Ann and most recently Cafe Salsera, where he made such significantly positive changes, Reyes was promoted to executive chef after a few months. (Full bio)

Matthew Reynolds, head brewer at Malai Kitchen

Matt Reynolds, 29, head brewer at Malai Kitchen

Matt Reynolds, 29, head brewer at Malai Kitchen

Terri Glanger Photography

An engineer by trade, Reynolds, 29, swapped his desk job for a brewhouse as the first full-time brewer at Malai Kitchen. Since joining in January, he's worked to perfect the brewpub's 10 recipes and create them with consistency. (Full bio)

André Roberts, senior food and beverage manager at Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek

Andre Roberts, 29, senior food and beverage manager at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek

Andre Roberts, 29, senior food and beverage manager at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek

Terri Glanger Photography

Born on the island of Antigua, Roberts' love of food took him to the U.S. and the Culinary Institute of America Hyde Park. As a seven-year veteran at the Rosewood Mansion, he oversees operations at the restaurant and bar. Roberts is 29 years old. (Full bio)

Jessica Stampley, sous chef at Kate Weiser Chocolate

Jessica Stampley, 23, sous chef at Kate Weiser Chocolate

Jessica Stampley, 23, sous chef at Kate Weiser Chocolate

Terri Glanger Photography

As a kid, Stampley ate around the chocolate in chocolate chip cookies. But after gigs at a cupcake featured on Food Network and fine dining restaurant Piccolo, the 23-year-old earned respect for the dessert and now creates them for the Kate Weiser Chocolate shop in Trinity Groves. (Full bio)

Joshua Sutcliff, executive chef at Filament

Joshua Sutcliff, executive chef at Filament

Joshua Sutcliff, executive chef at Filament

Terri Glanger Photography

Sutcliff, 26, has cooked in all corners of America, from San Francisco to North Carolina. When he moved to Dallas, he began working at five-star restaurant at FT33. As the newly appointed executive chef of sibling restaurant Filament, Sutcliff is "keeping morale high, mentoring and infusing his ideas into the menu," says Zagat. (Full bio)

Carolanne Treadwell, sous chef at CBD Provisions

Carolanne Treadwell, 26, sous chef at CBD Provisions

Carolanne Treadwell, 26, sous chef at CBD Provisions

Terri Glanger Photography

Treadwell's experience includes working at New York restaurants Ai Fiori and WD-50. After she moved to Dallas, the 26-year-old signed on at CBD Provisions in downtown Dallas, where she is now responsible for developing creative daily specials. (Full bio)

Mat Urban, sous chef at Americano

Mat Urban, 27, sous chef at Americano

Mat Urban, 27, sous chef at Americano

Terri Glanger Photography

After culinary school, Urban, 27, worked at Charlie Palmer restaurant in downtown working alongside the business' namesake chef. He maintained several positions there, and once the business closed and re-opened as Americano restaurant, he stayed on the team as a sous chef. (Full bio)

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