Fort Worth's buzzy dining scene truly has it all. Barbecue and Tex-Mex might seem like de facto favorites, but dining in Cowtown offers so much more, ranging from incredible vegan cakes and comfort food to fine dining with a Texas twist. Read on for the nine best restaurants in Fort Worth, Texas.
Best for Fine Dining: Lonesome Dove
Chef Tim Love, a beloved cowboy chef in Fort Worth, first gained popularity for his Stockyards' restaurant, Lonesome Dove. The self-described Western bistro is a fine dining restaurant that's likely unlike anywhere you've ever eaten. Marrying classic technique with truly Texan ingredients, Lonesome Dove is a top choice for a special occasion. Dishes change regularly, but typical options might include alternative proteins like elk, venison, wild boar, and even antelope. For the less adventurous, there are plenty of classics like hand-cut steaks, chicken-fried steak, and a veg-loaded chile relleno.
Best for Burgers: Rodeo Goat
If you love burgers with a twist, you'll love Rodeo Goat. While you can get your typical double with cheese, lettuce, and tomato, fortune favors the bold here, as topping range from conventional (caramelized onions and blue cheese) to the weird and wonderful (mango pico de gallo and garlic-roasted cremini mushrooms). Try the Terlingua, a house-ground burger patty topped with Havarti cheese, homemade brisket chili, onion, corn chips, and garlic-herb mayo. Rodeo Goat's juicy, messy patties have understandably garnered a large following, so be prepared to wait—we promise it's worth it.
Best for Italian: Gemelle
Chef Love's take on Italian food includes some of the same Western influences you'll find at his Lonesome Dove—you'll discover rabbit-rattlesnake sausage and tons of jalapeños on the menu—but many of the dishes are Italian through and through. Lobster spaghetti gets a kick from Calabrian chilies, while square pizzas, inspired by Detroit, are topped with fior di latte, basil from Gemelle's garden, and San Marzano tomatoes. The spacious backyard makes it easy to live la dolce vita in the middle of Fort Worth, Aperol Spritz in hand.
Best for Mexican: Los Asaderos
You won't find very many tourists at Los Asaderos, and that's a very good thing. While Fort Worth has no shortage of good Mexican food, many of the most popular places draw crowds of tourists and suffer from variable food quality. But a few blocks away from the Stockyards, in a festive, stucco-clad building resembling a hacienda, you'll find Los Asaderos. The family-owned restaurant isn't fancy, but has all of the hallmarks that mark a great Tex-Mex spot: free chips and salsa, freshly-made tortillas served in plastic warmers, and fajitas served on sizzling platters.
Best for Families: Woodshed Smokehouse
Woodshed Smokehouse is a sprawling, eclectic restaurant set on the banks of the Trinity River. The spacious patio means that kids (and dogs) have plenty of room to run and play—but this isn't your typical children's fare. The carnivore-focused menu features meat and other dishes cooked over various local wood. There's comforting ramen in housemade bone broth with pork ribs and a "Bourbon & coke" pork bánh mi, plus more straightforward fare for less adventurous palates—chicken-fried steak, empanadas, and even hummus with just a hint of smokiness. This is also an excellent spot for a post-run or bike ride snack.
Best for Southern Food: Fixe Southern House
Even though Fort Worth is considered by many where the West begins, Southern roots still run strong here, as evidenced by the city's cuisine. For some of the best biscuits you've ever had (plus other Southern delicacies), head to Fixe Southern House. The Fort Worth location of an Austin favorite has a menu full of grits, fried green tomatoes, hushpuppies, pimento cheese, and those ethereal biscuits, served with your choice of accouterments: whipped Steen's butter, house-made fruit preserves, organic Texas honey, Nduja sausage spread, or black pepper-bacon gravy.
Best for Barbecue: Angelo's
Barbeque is kin to religion in Texas—Texas Monthly magazine even has an editor dedicated to it, so it seems like every few months, there's a new flash in the pan. But the classics truly endure, drawing crowds year after year. Angelo's celebrates its 62nd anniversary in 2020, and not much has changed since its opening in 1958—although it did start accepting credit cards in 2008. Third-generation pitmaster Jason George serves sliced beef, chopped beef, pulled pork, and other meaty delights, although most diehards go for straightforward brisket and ribs.
Best for Chicken-Fried Steak: Fred's Texas Cafe
If you want ice-cold Lone Star beer and the best chicken-fried steak you've ever had, there's a seat with your name on it at Fred's. Chicken-fried steak is a Texas staple, consisting of a tenderized sirloin steak that's then breaded and deep-fried before being smothered with gravy. This local dive isn't fancy—in fact, you might spot a seat or two held together with duct tape—but the food draws in discerning locals for the aforementioned chicken-fried steak and giant burgers. Don't miss the onion rings or chips and queso, either.
Best for Vegans: Spiral Diner
If you're vegan in Fort Worth, you might feel left out by the city's carnivorous leanings. But don't despair; you do have a few options on your plate for great food. The longest-standing of which is Spiral Diner, established on West Magnolia Avenue in 2002. The plant-based menu riffs on comfort food classics like a Philly cheesesteak made with seitan, a Frito Pie (a Texas favorite), and, of course, burgers. Don't end your meal without trying a slice of their fancy vegan cake!