In December 2022, we ate big. We ordered the wine, we splurged on the fancy restaurant. Our Hot List in January 2023 reels it back to healthier food, non-alcoholic cocktails and lower-priced restaurant dishes. It’s time for a Dry January reset and a renewed commitment to taking care of our bodies — but that doesn’t mean sacrificing on flavor or fun.
Check out these 10 restaurants in Dallas-Fort Worth for delicious food and drinks this January.
in East Dallas
A lovely place to start at Anise is with the “zero proof” drinks list. The $8 Underserved is a mix of sweet plum, ginger, lemon and tonic. Then it’s on to colorful veg dishes like fattoush salad; carrots with ras al hanout, labneh and hazelnuts; and crispy eggplant with harissa vinaigrette. Anise is tucked inside the Drey, a boutique hotel that’s fun for a staycation in Dallas.
Anise is at 5630 Village Glen Drive (in The Village), Dallas. thevillagedallas.com/anise.
in many corners of Dallas-Fort Worth and its suburbs
Cava is a chain restaurant that’s making food in bowls fashionable. Founders Ike Grigoropoulos, Dmitri Moshovitis and Ted Xenohristos grew up eating lamb, olives and tzatziki, and those ingredients can be featured prominently in Cava’s build-your-own bowls. We have a concentration of Cavas in Dallas-Fort Worth because the company acquired Plano-based Zoës Kitchen and is turning many of them into this more “adventurous” Mediterranean fast-casual. We love it.
Restaurants are in Plano, Dallas, Irving, Flower Mound, Frisco and more. Find a Cava in Dallas-Fort Worth at cava.com.
in Irving, Fort Worth, Rockwall and at DFW Airport
Perhaps visiting a craft beer bar isn’t on your itinerary during Dry January, but make an exception for Flying Saucer: Its menu has 17 non-alcoholic options, including beers, craft sodas, seltzers and mocktails. Add in a Picnic Board of meat and cheese or a salad with kale and broccolini, and it can be easy to eat Keto or vegetarian here, too.
Flying Saucer has 12 bars; 4 are in Dallas-Fort Worth. beerknurd.com/locations.
in Dallas and Fort Worth
Cheery restaurant Flower Child has made our healthy-eating list for years, ever since it arrived in Dallas-Fort Worth in 2017. It’s possible to eat Whole30, vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free. Some of my favorite menu items are the veg-forward Mother Earth bowl, with sweet potato, mushroom, avocado, broccoli pesto and more; the chicken miso ramen served with a soft egg; and the three sides plate, which can come with a colorful arrangement of Indian-spiced cauliflower, sweet corn and quinoa, butternut squash cauliflower rice or roasted broccoli. Flower Child has kids’ plates, too.
Flower Child has several dozen restaurants in 11 states. Our region has Flower Children in Addison, Dallas’ Inwood Village, Dallas’ Preston-Royal, Uptown Dallas and Fort Worth. iamaflowerchild.com/locations/dallas-tx/menus/main-menu.
Isla & Co
in Oak Cliff
Australian restaurant Isla & Co. is a quaint, happy little place in the Bishop Arts District selling Australian food all day. Skip over the French fries, the burger and the spicy shrimp vodka rigatoni — those are great, but we’re here for the healthy stuff. Braised lamb shoulder with Swiss chard, half chicken with ajo blanco sauce, and a grilled chicken sandwich with charred broccoli and pesto are equal parts filling and fulfilling.
Coffee drinkers: This is also a good spot for a morning pick-me-up.
Isla & Co. is at 408 W. Eighth St., Dallas. isla-co.com.
in Addison, Dallas and Plano
In 2023, my New Year’s Eve resolution is to stop talking about the spicy curried couscous at Mendocino Farms, but that clearly isn’t going well. Any trip to this California salad and sandwich shop should include a side of that delicious couscous. Amp up your lunch with vegetables, like in the Thai mango salad or the avocado and quinoa superfood salad. A half sandwich with a cup of soup can also make for a light and satisfying meal. All sandwiches can be made with gluten-free bread, and the menu has a variety of vegan and vegetarian options.
Mendocino Farms has several dozen restaurants in 3 states. Our region has 5 Mendos: Addison, downtown Dallas, Dallas’ Preston Hollow, Dallas’ West Village, and Plano. mendocinofarms.com/locations.
Salad that’s not boring!
Our current fave is Sweetgreen
Finally, North Texas has lots of excellent fast-casual salad shops. Snappy Salads was one of the earliest, serving entree-sized salads without the sit-down scene. It’s been followed by healthy shops Crisp & Green, Original Chop Shop and Mixt. Salad and Go is an excellent choice for the lowest-priced, quickest salads in the region. (And, it has a drive-through.) But if I had to pick a favorite in this category, it’s Sweetgreen. This California chain moved into North Texas in late 2021 and has proliferated to several areas of Dallas and to Fort Worth and Southlake. I can’t quit the Chicken Pesto Parm, a bowl of spinach, quinoa, spicy broccoli, tomatoes, chicken and zatar breadcrumbs and shaved Parm, topped with garlicky pesto and hot sauce. I order it once a week.
5 Sweetgreens in D-FW: sweetgreen.com/locations.
More than a dozen Snappy Salads: snappysalads.com/hours-and-locations; 4 local Crisp & Greens: crispandgreen.com/locations; 7 local Original Chop Shops: originalchopshop.com/restaurant-locations; 1 local Mixt: mixt.com/menu/dallas; more than a dozen Salad and Go drive-throughs: saladandgo.com/locations.
in East Dallas
Healthy dinner, but make it fancy? An omakase restaurant serving course after course of raw fish is one of the healthiest and most beautiful ways to fuel your body. We recommend Shoyo, the Lowest Greenville restaurant with two seatings per night and a fixed-price menu of $195 per person. Reservations open on the first of every month, so if you’re reading this on Jan. 1, 2023, make one.
Shoyo is at 1916 Greenville Ave., Dallas. shoyodallas.com.
in Fort Worth and Denton
Vegan restaurant Spiral Diner, which originated in Fort Worth, was the first restaurant in North Texas to make vegan food accessible and interesting outside of the home. The company has expanded to Denton and Dallas, though the Dallas restaurant closed in 2022 — a sad moment for members of the vegan community (and for their friends and family, like me). In 2023, the owners of Spiral Diner plan to open a vegan tasting menu restaurant in Fort Worth. It could be one of the most inspiring dining experiences of the year. Until then, head Spiral’s two locations for more down-home food: nachos, mac and “cheese” and sandwiches, all without meat or dairy.
Spiral Diners are at 1314 W. Magnolia Ave., Fort Worth, and 608 E. Hickory St., Denton. spiraldiner.com.
Tribal All Day Cafe
in Oak Cliff
If you’re seeking good-for-you-food that’s not time-consuming, Tribal All Day Cafe in Oak Cliff is a great stop. Their juices are made with cleansing ingredients, like the orange, grapefruit, lemon and turmeric in the Medicine Man drink. Breakfast items are satiating, like the Power Bowl with eggs, brown rice, black beans, potatoes, arugula and avocado; or the Love You Lox with smoked salmon, cream cheese, pickled onion and capers. Lunch and dinner call for pretty salads, grain bowls and wraps. Those looking for a cocktail should circle back to the aforementioned Medicine Man. It can come mixed with bourbon, lemonade and bitters.
Tribal All Day Cafe is at 263 N. Bishop Ave., Dallas. livetribal.com.
What healthful restaurants should have been on this list? Email [email protected].
Or, check out past Hot Lists to see which restaurants moved on and off: