The Best Food (and Craft Beer) in Denton, Texas

The Best Food (and Craft Beer) in Denton, Texas
May 24, 2017 Denton Swag

The Best Food in Denton

Before I ever got into design, I had a passion for food – and I still do. The best part about food? You get to eat it three times a day! YAAAS!  And I believe that each meal should be special, don’t you? So let’s start with the best food in Denton, because I have pretty much eaten at ALL THE PLACES.

Upper Park Cafe - Roy's Skillet

The Best Breakfast

Best breakfast in Denton for me is a tie between Upper Park Cafe and 7 Mile Cafe. 7 Mile Cafe has pancakes in so many delicious varieties and they are so decadent that you can’t really consider them breakfast, they are better suited as the dessert portion of your breakfast. That is why when I go to 7 Mile Cafe I always get one of their scrumptious Benedicts and I follow it up with something drizzled in nutella and stacked with pecans, strawberries and bananas. I wash all of that down with a 7 Mile Latte which is still one of the best latte’s in Denton and that is saying something… and speaking of coffee, if you want a smaller breakfast and great coffee then you have to go to West Oak Coffee Bar and get one of their “toasts” and a latte with just a whisper of vanilla. Honorable Mentions for Breakfast would be Hannah’s, Barley and Board and 940s Kitchen and Cocktails for brunch. For brunch I don’t mind paying a little bit more and these places all have a higher priced menu, but the food reflects that price. However, most days I’m still going to go to Upper Park Cafe because the pecan coffee there is killer and I’m not tempted to eat breakfast with a dessert pancake.

The Best Lunch in Denton

I am a big fan of LSA Burgers, Hoochies, Roosters, Andaman’s, Boca 31, Chiloso – but my favorite lunch spot for the price and the food has to be Tex Tapas. It has a cool bar and while it could use better lighting, the food can’t be beat for a great lunch. Their spicy chicken sandwich is unbelievably good and they pair it with a fantastic mac and cheese. If you are feeling real hungry then order some french fries and as an appetizer get the Brussels sprouts – you won’t be disappointed. These sprouts are not your mama’s sprouts – unless your mom deep fried hers and served them in a vinaigrette reduction with pecans and craisins. For some reason I enjoy eating them with chopsticks – which I’m not sure why they have them on the table, but I like it.  Another amazing standout at Tex Tapas is the Chicken Fried Steak! Thank you Lawd! It is big and delicious and served on a pile of mashed potatoes and it is all only $9.79. #TREATYOSELF

Where’s the Beef?

You know what is really missing in Denton? A standout barbecue joint that pairs Texas style BBQ and great ambience. We also don’t have a traditional non-chain Tex-Mex restaurant, however, we do have some really authentic Mexican Tacquerias and markets and for awesome tacos I always brake for Big Knife Tacos food truck. These tacos are delicious and they are often parked behind Eastside Bar so you can get a cold beer on Tuesdays with your tacos and life is good.

Best Dinner in Denton – 940s

This is a tough one. I think for the overall experience 940s Kitchen and Cocktails has the best food, ambience, service and drinks. When I went I had the beef short ribs with mashed potatoes and green beans. Everything was cooked superbly and the service reminded me of Hattie’s in the Bishop Arts District – attentive but not intrusive. We also had a crab appetizer and an eggplant appetizer and both exceeded my expectations – which were really high. The only downside is the place is small and intimate and so it fills up quick and as the night progresses it can get a little loud, but I don’t mind so much. Also, the bar is the most beautiful in Denton by far. I forget who did the painting that stares back at you when you order drinks, but it’s beautiful and haunting all at the same time.

Honorable Mention – Barly and Board

Of all the places to eat in Denton I think that for ambience alone Barley and Board wins. When you are there you feel momentarily transported to a lodge in Colorado. When the weather is great and they have their large windows open and live music playing it can be one of the most energetic experiences on the square. The food is good albeit some of the menu items are pretentious and overworked. Portion sizes are a bit small too and the “french fries” that they serve with the burgers are a real miss. They remind me of those french fry sticks in a can I used to eat when I was a kid – except the sticks in a can were actually better because they had more crunch.

What is missing for dinner in Denton? Indian Food. Denton has great Thai food and of course a smattering of Chinese dives, but I wish we had a place like Iravat here. And yes, I know that Denton has some Indian food, but what I’ve had cannot compare to the places I have eaten in Plano and Frisco. Perhaps over time we will get more options because I love a good gobi manchurian or mala kafti.

Best Beer in Denton

Well, this post should be called the best place to drink beer because all of the craft brew joints in Denton are good. They have huge selections of ice cold beer on tap and so you really can’t go wrong at any of them, but, my newest favorite place is Denton Country Brewing Company.

My favorite beer in Denton was a seasonal beer which was a combination beer/cider from Armadillo Ale Works. I can’t remember the name of it right now and I can’t find it on their website, but, trust me, it was delicious.

In Denton there are a number of cool places to drink: Harvest House, Eastside, Oak St. Draft House, Paschall’s, West Oak, Lonestar Taps and Caps, and Audacity just to name my favorites. However, if I had to choose just one, it would have to be Denton County Brewing Company. This place is a mashup of eclectic and nostalgic that just shouts DENTON! As I walked through the doors the first time I didn’t even have time to process all the cool little details that they had put into this place. Other than the super cool nook shown in the picture on this page, my favorite detail – the bright red and white lawn chairs on the patio. Those retro chairs are so inviting and remind me of grandmas house. Plus, the beer was ice cold and they have cool t-shirts too. I say go and get yourself a cold one and tell them that Eddie from Denton Swag sent you.