A True Taste of Texas: Best Burger, Tacos and Barbecue in Dallas

FoodMood is all about finding the best restaurants in Dallas that cater to your ever-changing food cravings.  Whether you’re looking for something green or greasy, fried or frosted, FoodMood is on the hunt to provide readers with different food options to satisfy their everyday “food mood.”

The saying is true for me that “I wasn’t born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could.” Living in a major city like Dallas, I quickly found out that there are as many food choices as there are miles across the state. This week, however, I wanted to feature some of the most popular foods in Texas. Whether you’re craving a juicy burger, traditional tacos, or old-fashioned barbecue, these three stops offer the best flavors of the Lone Star State and are sure to satisfy any Texas-style food mood.

Keller’s Drive-In: Nothing screams Texas quite like a double meat burger topped with cheese, onions, and the official dish of Texas…chili. Add a side of tater tots and a large Dr. Pepper, and you’ll know what they mean by everything is bigger in Texas. Named one of Dallas’ 15 essential burger destinations by Dallas Eater, Keller’s Drive-In is dishing out all the big tastes of Texas without the big price tag. I ordered this true Texas-tasting meal for less than $7! That price tag alone had me hootin’ and hollerin’! The burger was hot, greasy, covered in chili and full of Texas-sized satisfaction for my Texas-sized appetite. Keller’s has a classic drive-in atmosphere with covered parking and car-hop trays for the ultimate dine-in experience under the bright Texas skies.

Fuel City: If you’re visiting Dallas for the first time, a trip to Fuel City may be just another pit stop. But for locals, this mega gas station is the tac-o of the town. Voted one of the 15 best places for tacos in Dallas by Foursquare, you can fill up while you fuel up. Customers line up in front of the small ordering window to get their hands on some of the best street tacos in Dallas, including the picadillo taco, which was named one of 10 must-try tacos in Dallas by Zagat. Lauren Mills, a DFW local, has been a fan of Fuel City tacos for years.

“I first tried them when I was 16 and now, four years later, every time I’m in Dallas I come here just for the tacos.”

For only $1.62 per taco, I decided to order a combination of beef fajita, chicken fajita and of course, the award winning picadillo taco. The meat was perfectly tender and spiced with just the right amount of seasoning to give you a true taste of Texas. And if that’s not enough, you can enjoy your tacos on the patio where a perfect view of the longhorns and donkeys next door will give you the total Texas ambiance.

Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse: If you’re not drooling just thinking about true Texas barbecue, take one step into Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse. The savory smell of chicken, brisket and ribs being cooked to perfection behind the counter will just about knock you off your feet.

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This well-known barbecue restaurant opened its doors in 1958 at the original location on Inwood Road in Dallas. Sonny Bryan’s family history coupled with vintage school desks gives local pitmasters a good reason to give it honorable mention recognition on the list of Dallas’ 12 best BBQ joints according to Thrillist. I decided to venture away from my typical barbecue order of pork and brisket, deciding on the large rib dinner with French fries. The ribs were perfectly tender, smothered in sauce and the best representation of good ‘ole Texas ‘cue that had me wanting to boot scootin’ boogie ‘til dusk!

Photos by Janelle Giordano. Infographic by Janelle Giordano. Map by Janelle Giordano. 

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