Just as restaurants, bars, brands, and — let’s face it, everyone — has changed with the COVID-19 times, so has the Fort Worth Weekly. Two years ago, we were publishing a monthly gourmet magazine called Zest 817. While it was glorious, in the end, the decision was made to go back to our broader focus of solid coverage of food and drinks from $ to $$$$ in our weekly dining section and our annual Eats Magazine each March. Just like our El Fuerte Taco Fest, our weekly and yearly editorial quests for the best tacos ranged from gas stations to gastro pubs, not just the fine dining scene, for example. Then came the pandemic.
How delighted we are that 2020 is behind us. With restaurants and bars closed left and right starting March of 2020, FWW hunkered down, ran a lean staff, consolidated our separate food and beverage sections to a simple moniker of Eats & Drinks, canceled El Fuerte Taco Fest, and did not publish Eats Magazine 2020. In celebration of the local food community’s survival, the bars that now serve food, and the stores that give a local edge to shopping for culinary supplies for home cooking, we are proud to relaunch our annual magazine with a new name. As a tip of the hat to our previous culinary adventures, welcome to ZEST 2021, your guide to local eats, drinks, and shops.
With thousands of places to choose from, we know how difficult it can be for businesses to stand out in the crowd. Each year, we provide our readers with the most comprehensive guide in DFW. Welcome to ZEST, the Weekly’s 14th annual food and drinks guide! ZEST informs the community about all the best restaurants, gastro pubs, farmers markets, bars, and more…all in one fell swoop. Our readers keep this coffee-table style piece as a reference throughout the year for where to eat, drink, shop, and have fun. ZEST allows businesses, to brag about what makes your business stand out in a sea of options. This special edition can also be found throughout the spring and summer at key high-traffic locations around the area. Plus, ZEST is online at FWWeekly.com for a FULL YEAR in our Magazines section. Enjoy! – Jennifer Bovee, Marketing Director
Alpha Food Truck
DFWFoodTruckEvent.com | 817-869-0900
Alpha Food Truck and Catering is a Texas-based, veteran owned company that arranged food truck events and catering services for private and corporate events.
The Bearded Lady
300 S Main St, Fort Worth
TheBeardedLadyFW.SquareSpace.com | 817-349-9832
This tavern located in South Main Village provides scratch made pub style food, wine, cocktails, 25 rotating taps of craft beers, plus a huge selection of canned and bottled beers from all over. They offer a full bar with spirits/liquor, craft cocktails, and wine by the glass or bottle. The kitchen serves homemade dishes sourced from local producers bringing you the freshest and highest quality items.
Big Kat Burgers
BigKatBurgers.com | 903-363-5723
Big Kat Burgers is a food truck that serves the North Texas area. The burgers are made fresh by hand and are 100% all beef. The sides are fresh — never frozen — and are made to order.
Billy Bob’s Texas’ Honky Tonk Kitchen
2520 Rodeo Plaza, Fort Worth | 817-624-7117
Whether you’re headed to a show at Billy Bob’s Texas or not, head there sometime soon and have dinner at the Honky Tonk Kitchen. Chef Chris Fersch won the people’s and critics’ hearts at the Fort Worth Weekly’s last Cowtown Chili Cookoff when he came in first in both categories. His menu will not disappoint.
Blue Zones Project
1300 Summit Av, Ste 750, Fort Worth
FortWorth.BlueZonesProject.com | 817-869-0900
Blue Zones Project is a collaborative effort to help improve the well-being of all people in Fort Worth. By taking an environmental approach to well-being improvement, Blue Zones has an opportunity to create real change in our community –– the kind of change that sparks people’s deepest desires to live well while giving them the tools to do so. Check out all the restaurants that have been approved along with other business that have gotten in involved in one way or another and keep an eye out for cool events.
Cattlemen’s Steak House
2458 N Main St, Fort Worth
CattlemensSteakhouse.com | 817-624-3945
Cattlemen’s is like the John Wayne of steak houses. It’s uncomplicated, good, and unflinchingly authentic. The lunches come with a dinner salad and your choice of potato style. Make sure to try the superior chicken-fried steak with tender beef and a crispy batter.
4651 W Fwy, Fort Worth | 817-989-4700
1425 E Southlake Blvd, Southlake | 817-310-5600
Besides aisles and miles of the most exciting produce and packaged foods from around the world (including lots of local and organic products), Central Market has a full-service café, often features live music, and has one of the best cheese departments in the country –– along with a staggering buffet of chef-prepared food to go. Also new to the Fort Worth location, Curbside service is now available. You will be able to get all your favorites faster on those busy days when you don’t have time to stroll and just gotta roll! You don’t even have to get out of your car! To sign up and to receive a discount on initial orders visit the Central Market website.
Cowtown Brewing Company
1301 E Belknap St, Fort Worth
CowtownBrewCo.com | 817-489-5800
Craft beer and smoked meats developed and perfected on-site just minutes from Sundance Square in downtown Fort Worth. Guests can enjoy their libations and succulent barbecue in the air-conditioned taproom or on the expansive outdoor deck amid lively music and a family-friendly atmosphere. Open 11am to 1pm Wednesday and Thursday, 11am to 12am Friday and Saturday, and 11am to 8pm on Sunday.
Del Campo Empanadas
1072 N Beach St, Fort Worth
DelCampoEmpanadas.com | 817-562-5888
Del Campo specializes in handmade, baked Argentine style empanadas made from scratch daily in a variety of flavors. They are open Monday thru Thursday from 9am to 7pm, Friday and Saturday from 9am to 8pm, and Sunday 9am to 3pm.
Delucca Gaucho Pizza & Wine
3010 S Hulien St, Fort Worth
Delucca.com | 682-224-5194
Delucca is a culinary experience unlike anything else, inspired by an old and unique way of enjoying pizzas that has its roots in the gaucho’s land of South America. North Texas locations include Dallas, Plano, Southlake, and Fort Worth.
The Dive Burger Bar
3520 Alta Mere Dr, Fort Worth
TheDiveBurgerBar.com | 817-560-3483
Great little place with a friendly staff, and patio. Best known for fresh burgers and cold beer. Open Sunday thru Thursday from 11am to 9pm and Saturdays from 11am to 10pm.
Fat Daddy’s Sports & Spirits Café
781 W Debbie Ln, Mansfield
FatDaddysLive.com | 817-704-7444
Fat Daddy’s is a great place to watch your favorite sports team, get a burger and fries, or dance the night away to live music. Along with great appetizers, burgers, and bar bites, the menu includes a variety of fresh chef-made entrées, sandwiches, pizzas, wraps, tacos, specialty spuds, desserts, and more. The menus for brunch and dinner are available online.
401 W Magnolia Av, Fort Worth
FixtureFW.com | 817-708-2663
Fixture serves new American cuisine with an eclectic twist. Casual. We take reservations but always leave room for our walk in guests.
We serve up New American cuisine with an eclectic twist, with vegan and vegetarian options. Located east of Hemphill on W. Magnolia in Fort Worth, Fixture serves lunch, dinner and brunch, with craft cocktails, local craft beers, inside or outside on our totally covered patio.
Food Hall @ Crockett Row
3000 Crockett Street, Fort Worth
FoodHallAtCrockettRow.com | 817-885-7331
The modern-industrial space has plenty of places to sit and enjoy unique foods, as well as drinks from the bar. On Friday and Saturday nights, enjoy your favorite flavors along with live music when the hall transforms into a lively evening hangout. Whatever you’re craving—barbecue, burgers, beers, Mexican food, mixed drinks, music, and so much more—you’ll find it here.
Funky Picnic Brewery & Café
401 Bryan Av, Fort Worth
FunkyPIcnicBrewery.com | 817-708-2739
Funky Picnic is dishing out artisan sandwiches, pub-fare, house-made craft beers, and cocktails in the funky, industrial, earthy interior of our family-friendly brewpub in the South Main Village of Fort Worth.
Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen
5733 Crowley Rd, Fort Worth
Giovannisfw.com | 817-551-3713
After 20 years as a Stockyards staple, Giovanni’s brings their traditional, Italian Homestyle Cooking to Crowley Road off I-20 in South Fort Worth. The location may have changed but the fresh ingredients and family recipes have not. Come see Mamma and Papa Giovanni for an authentic Italian experience. Lunch specials daily start at $7.99.
Green’s Produce & Plants
3001 W Arkansas Ln, Arlington
GreensProduce.com | 817-274-2435
Spring is in the air, so It’s time to start planning your gardens, and Green’s produce can help. Green’s has been a destination for more than 30 years and Is still family-owned and operated. Specializing in local seasonal fruits, vegetables, plants and pottery, Green’s also makes custom gift baskets onsite with fresh fruits, canned jellies and jalapeño peanut brittle.
Hickory Stick BBQ
900 E Enon Av, Everman
HickoryStickBBQ.com | 817-478-9997
Family-owned and operated since 1976, Hickory Stick knows barbecue. Their motto? “You’ve had the rest. Now try the best.” The meat is slow-smoked to perfection and melts in your mouth. Hickory Stick also offers catering and party rooms. Stop on by today, and you’ll feel right at home. Celebrating 45 years!
Six Tarrant County Locations
Kincaid’s has a down-home, laid-back attitude while serving up the best hamburgers you’ll ever eat. Kincaid’s burgers are made from the very best USDA Choice chuck available. Top your burger with bacon or chili and add a side of fried okra or onion rings. Kincaid’s deviled eggs are world famous, so don’t leave without throwing a couple of those down the hatch.
2317 Oakland Blvd, Fort Worth | 817-877-0700
The folks at Groupon — where this Mexican restaurant always has a discount available — touts La Rueda for its tasty food, great services, and stellar to-go options. Kids are welcome and parking is plenty.
1310 W Magnolia Av, Fort Worth
LilisBistro.com | 817-877-0700
Lili’s is about comfort –– from the service to the food and everything in between. Expect a twist on the expected. Smoked wild turkey sandwich? Yellow curry lobster tail salad? Petite beef wellington with Gorgonzola? Lili’s got ’em. And don’t forget about the amazing wine list. The best part? Lili’s is simple enough for a casual get-together yet elegant enough for a night on the town.
Los Pastores Restaurant
3806 E Rosedale St, Fort Worth
LosPastoresFoods.com | 817-531-1220
Los Pastores is a family-oriented business formed in 1996 by husband and wife Alejandra and Rosario Villalpando. “We are dedicated to serving our community authentic Mexican food and Mexican products without forgetting our culture and traditions.” The team serves homestyle dishes and sweet Mexican bread made fresh daily at its bakery next door.
No Frills Grill & Sports Bar
Multiple Locations | NoFrillsGrill.com
No Frills has five locations dishing out fun for the whole family since 1990, with fast and friendly servers who make you feel at home. The menu is loaded with burgers, chicken, seafood, and Tex-Mex. Watch the game on 100 HD TVs or play pool, Golden Tee, trivia, or Texas Hold ’Em. Free Wi-Fi and banquet rooms are available.
Poppin Fresh BBQ & Soulfood
7709 Camp Bowie W, Fort Worth
PoppinFreshBBQ.com | 682-707-4936
This southern-cooking restaurant is the place where soul food meets barbecue. Along with a flair for old-school hospitality, Poppin Fresh is known for its entertainment. Along with live music on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, there is a karaoke night every Thursday.
The Post at River East
2925 Race St, Fort Worth
ThePostAtRiverEast.com | 817-945-8890
The Post At River East is a neighborhood restaurant, intimate music venue and event space serving casual dishes and drinks.
Red’s Bar B Que
12509 US 287 Frontage, Ste 104, Fort Worth
RedsBar-B-Que.Square.Site | 817-750-0454
Red’s meats are cooked on-site in a wood fired rotisserie smoker with 100% Post Oak wood. High River Angus beef brisket, St. Louis style pork ribs and cracked black pepper sausage are cooked daily, but Red’s does not stop there. They offer 1/2 pound Angus hamburgers, USA raised fried catfish, and chicken fried steaks.
1616 Rogers Rd, Fort Worth
RogersRoundhouse.com | 817-367-9348
Rogers Roundhouse is a bar and kitchen that celebrates the Union Pacific Railroad: a major part of the city’s history. It is named for the retired engine repair facility – known as a “roundhouse” – that once operated at neighboring Davidson Yard. The dog-friendly patio features TVs, yard games, picnic tables, and live music. The bar serves a rotating lineup of 30 draft beers and patio sippers like frozen margaritas. The food menu puts a spin on classic Texas favorites and Mexican staples. For dessert there’s ice cream sandwiches from Curly’s Frozen Custard.
Shaw’s Patio Bar & Grill
1051 W Magnolia Av, Fort Worth
ShawsPatio.com | 817-927-2118
For the best and most creative burgers and shakes in town, Shaw’s is the place. The Near Southside establishment offers half-pound Angus burgers loaded with flavor. Not only does Shaw’s offer specialty burgers and sides but the restaurant also serves up an assortment of juicy hot dogs, fresh salads and great sandwiches. While Shaw’s is a family establishment, it also has a full bar with great happy hour specials and two fabulous patios.
2836 Stanley Av, Fort Worth
Come find your new favorite place for beer, craft cocktails, and wine. This new indoor/outdoor bar and live music venue has a family-friendly play area and serves chef-driven pan pizza, sandwiches, salads and desserts by 817 Pizza.
Tuk Tuk Thai
3431 W 7th St, Fort Worth
TukTukThaiFortWorth.com | 817-332-3339
Tuk Tuk Thai Is a family-run independent neighborhood restaurant offering authentic home-cooked Thai meals in a contemporary setting. This eatery is a great place to meet, eat, and socialize for lunch or dinner. Would you rather have your meal elsewhere? Tuk Tuk offers free delivery for orders over $20 or more in limited areas.
Wishbone & Flynt
334 Bryan Av, Fort Worth
WishboneAndFlynt.com | 817-332-3339
Wishbone & Flynt — Stefon Rishel’s new restaurant on the Near Southside — serves a seasonal menu of globally-inspired plates, alongside craft cocktails and an eclectic wine list.
Yucatan Taco Stand
909 W Magnolia Av, Fort Worth
TheYucatanGrill.com | 682-385-9395
Yutan Taco Stand Tequila Bar & Grill is a Latin inspired fast casual restaurant with a full bar. We have award winning tacos, nachos, and margaritas! (Note: Saturday March 27th from 2pm to 2am is the official grand opening party with a live mural painting, samplings, giveaways, music by DJ Tom, and live music by a mariachi band. Select drinks are $5 and select shots are $3 all day.)
Zeke’s Fish & Chips
5920 Curzon Av, Fort Worth
ZekesFishAndChips.net | 817-731-3321
Zeke’s Fish & Chips is a family-owned and -operated business founded in 1974. Zeke’s is the only restaurant in the area that offers Icelandic cod and serves fresh-water catfish and Gulf shrimp using only pure low-cholesterol vegetable oil. Excellent cooking and customer service are guaranteed.