Mar 19, 2019 By Texas Monthly

Dakotas is known locally for steaks, but don't miss the seafood and pastas.


Nov 12, 2018 By Texas Monthly

Ample quantities of cafe fare served by a pleasant staff.

Villa Montez

Feb 20, 2018 By Texas Monthly

Consistently exceptional Latin fare in an elegant thirties-era hilltop mansion.

Specialty Kitchen and Bakery

Jul 25, 2017 By Texas Monthly

We are addicted to the bacon, Gouda, and apple sandwich, though the quiche is coming on strong; we sampled the spinach, ham, and cheddar variety and had to take another slice to go. Don’t miss the spectacular orange scone. This is a true neighborhood spot, and it’s building a solid…

Tavolo Italian Kitchen

Jun 22, 2017 By Texas Monthly

As Tyler is lacking in good Italian food, we had high hopes for this spot (which occupies the space recently vacated by Sonoma Grill). But, sadly, it fell short of our expectations. We enjoyed the bruschetta con pesto (the sourdough bread was a nice touch), but the eggplant…


Mar 2, 2017 By Texas Monthly

Advertising itself as a purveyor of Italian street food, this new outpost of a large national chain is quite good. We found the Diavola piada (sort of like an Italian burrito) to be more angelic than devilish, with it’s not-too-spicy sauce, romaine lettuce, Parmesan, cucumbers, tomatoes, and pancetta. Also craving…

Don Juan on the Square

Mar 2, 2017 By Texas Monthly

Lovingly known as DJ’s, this little cantina stands out among Tyler’s ubiquitous Tex-Mex spots (mainly because the fare is the latter—no “Texican” here). It’s not the place to go when seeking a dark, quiet corner; the decor is fiesta-esque, and one is sure to know at least two other patrons…

Sake Sushi

Jan 27, 2017 By Texas Monthly

We were excited that a sister restaurant of one of our favorite Shreveport sushi spots was slated to open in Tyler, but our excitement morphed into disenchantment with our first visit. Though the service was congenial and prompt, we found the food to be just ho-hum. The ahi tuna was…

Angela’s Kitchen

Dec 6, 2016 By Texas Monthly

Tyler is fortunate that celebrated Dallas caterer Angela Gordon decided to expand her enterprise ninety miles south to the La Piazza shopping center. The care that goes into her food was evident in every bite of our sandwich of thinly sliced beef tenderloin, Brie, caramelized onions, and burgundy mayo. Soups,…

Black Pearl

Oct 4, 2016 By Texas Monthly

We were convinced that we had been transported to our favorite Boston oyster bar until we remembered that we were gazing out on Tyler’s downtown square rather than the Nantucket harbor. The aura of this spot is not at all lacking, and it’s as intimate as the square footage would…


Sep 11, 2016 By Texas Monthly

A mainstay for special occasions for nearly two decades, Bernard evokes Tuscan ristorantes of vacations past. We started with delicately seasoned escargots maison, with the usual garlic butter sauce and herbes de Provence. Continuing the shell theme, we chose pasta aux fruits de mer, a lovely concoction of shrimp, scallops,…

Bruno’s Pizza & Pasta

Apr 1, 2016 By Texas Monthly

Bruno’s is well-known (since 1976) among the locals as the pizza place; we have even heard that the south location is popular for wedding receptions. We enjoyed our regular order, a half veggie and half Robinhood pizza (ham, hamburger, mushroom, and olive). The calzones and Italian sandwiches are nice options…

FD’s Grill House

Mar 24, 2016 By Texas Monthly

This new spot is the perfect place for post-massage or post-yoga dining; the atmosphere is tranquil despite the publike vibe. The paradoxical theme continues with the menu, which offers dishes both a bit creative (“spinach dip chicken pasta”) and traditional (Southern sweet potato casserole). We chose the slow-smoked baby back…

The Catch

Feb 4, 2016 By Texas Monthly

Though Tyler is awash in restaurants (mostly Tex-Mex and burger joints), it is sorely lacking in the seafood arena, so we couldn’t resist the fury of Facebook chatter about this new medical district spot. The warm and genuine welcome at the door was heartening on a cold Monday. You order…

The Burger Grind

Jan 21, 2016 By Texas Monthly

What the Burger Grind lacks in humility (it humbly boasts the best burgers ever) it makes up for in quality and creativity, which come together to produce the likes of an excellent Mushroom Melt or Bleu Burger. We were happy to see that veggie burgers are on the menu, as…

Mariscos DJ’s

Nov 19, 2015 By Texas Monthly

The latest adventure of the locally famous Don Juan family, Mariscos is one of our favorite Tyler haunts. We’ve always adored the fajitas with tilapia, shrimp, and octopus, and our new favorite is the shredded shrimp ceviche tostada. The guacamole rivals any in town. Don’t pass up the Big Steve…

Hickory Hill BBQ

Dec 29, 2014 By Daniel Vaughn

The “Working People Special” was too well named to pass on, and at $3.99 for two pieces of smoked chicken and a side, it was a heck of a value. At least it would have been a good value if the chicken had been edible.

Stanley’s Famous Pit Barbecue

May 3, 2013 By Daniel Vaughn

The Brother-in-Law, a sandwiched smorgasbord of chopped beef, butterflied hot links, and cheese, has a powerful (and well-deserved) reputation in East Texas, but order the old-fashioned hand-pulled-pork sandwich, filled with juicy shreds of perfectly smoked pork shoulder. Nick Pencis, the owner and pitmaster, follows a fifty-year-old smoking method—meats housed for…