Located a few miles away from the Cultural District, Angelo’s Barbecue (2533 White Settlement Rd., 817/332-0357, www.angelosbbq.com , closed Sun., $8–19) is certainly worth the short drive. This no-frills joint appropriately focuses on the food, a rich, hickory-smoked Texas-style barbecue accompanied by a tangy sauce and savory rub. The brisket is especially tender, and traditional sides like potato salad and cole slaw balance the strong flavors with sweet undertones. Wash it all down with a signature (and gigantic) frosty mug of beer.
Similar yet less rustic is Railhead Smokehouse (2900 Montgomery St., 817/738-9808, www.railheadonline.com , closed Sun., $8–18), where ribs and brisket are the top draws. Eschew the usual side dishes for Railhead’s top-notch fries, and, if the weather’s cooperating, enjoy your plate of smoked and fried goodness on the wholesome outdoor patio. Worth noting: Members of the military receive 50 percent off.
Long lines form early at Kincaid’s (4901 Camp Bowie Blvd., 817/732-2881, closed Sun., $6–11), which, according to the reputable surveys noted inside, serves the best burger in the country. That may be a stretch, but they certainly are juicy, flavorful, and immensely satisfying burgers worth waiting 20 minutes in line for. Kincaid’s started as a grocery store in 1946, and it retains its old-school charm with produce shelves doubling as countertops and picnic tables near the street-side windows. Instead of fries or onion rings, consider ordering the homemade deviled eggs or jalapeño halves stuffed with pimento cheese.
Just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the museums is the venerable Paris Coffee Shop (700 W. Magnolia Ave., 817/335-2041, www.pariscoffeeshop.net , closed Sun., $5–12). The historic building radiates old-urban charm, and the sandwiches are all above average. Locals make a point of stopping by for breakfast—especially the biscuits and gravy—and the Thursday lunch special (delectable chicken and dumplings). Customers are wise to save room for the hearty fruit pies. Note: The restaurant closes at 2:30 p.m.
For a down-home Tex-Mex experience, head to La Familia (841 Foch St., 817/870-2002, www.lafamilia-fw.com , $9–19). Located in an unassuming strip mall just a few blocks east of the Cultural District’s unofficial boundaries, La Familia welcomes guests with hearty handshakes and hellos. Be sure to check out the specials scribbled on pieces of butcher paper posted near the front door. The margaritas are highly recommended (they’re served with a flaming sugar cube), and you can’t go wrong with most of the entrées, though locals tend to gravitate toward the taco plates and beef enchiladas.
Far more Mex than Tex is the somewhat-fancy Lanny’s Alta Cocina Mexicana (3405 W. 7th St., 817/850-9996, www.lannyskitchen.com , $11–32). Instead of cheese and beef, think squash blossom soup, beets, and lobster. The wine list here is impressive, and although there are many entrées representing interior Mexico, there are still some traditional options for those in search of Tex-Mex, including carne asada (albeit coupled with a swanky asparagus side dish).