James Beard Award Winning Chefs & Restaurants in Dallas

Dallas restaurants boast Southwestern classics largely composed of steakhouses, barbeque, and Tex Mex. Because Southwestern cuisine has largely evolved through the fusion of several cuisines in the region, we can point to the founders and the staples that made the Dallas restaurant scene what it is today. Many of these restaurants and chefs have received recognition by the James Beard awards for the profound effect they’ve had on the community.

By Emily Kelly


Stephan Pyles (a Utrip Local Expert in Dallas!) is no stranger to culinary accolades as he has been a two-time semi-finalist for Outstanding Chef, a nominee for Best New Restaurant for Star Canyon, and the winner of both the Best Chefs in America and Who’s Who of Food & Beverage Awards after opening Routh Street Café. Considered to be one of the “founding fathers of Southwestern Cuisine,” Pyles has opened over 15 restaurants and written five cookbooks while in the Dallas restaurant circuit. Check out Utrip’s favorites: Stampede 66 and Stephan Pyles.

Check out Stephan Pyles’ Featured Trip: Culinary Dallas


SMOKE Dallas

General Cooking James Beard Award winner Tim Byres captures the essence of Southwestern cuisine in his restaurant SMOKE, where he goes back to barbeque basics with his old-school method of cooking from scratch, slow-smoked meats, and family style meals.


Abacus Dallas

Although Abacus hasn’t taken home a James Beard Award just yet, its numerous nominations make it a frontrunner for one of the best restaurants in Dallas. This New American restaurant was nominated four times for Best Chef: Southwest, twice for Rising Star Chef, and was a semi-finalist for Outstanding Service.


The Original Sonny Bryan's Smokehouse

Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse opened in 1958 and quickly became a staple in Dallas with Bryan’s old-fashioned method of smoking meats. Since Sonny Bryan sold the restaurant in 1958, more locations began popping up all over the Southwest, but The Original Sonny Bryan’s earned its spot as the winner of James Beard’s America’s Classics Award.

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