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A living list: Dallas-Fort Worth’s oldest restaurants, aged 50 and up

Help us preserve the legacy of D-FW’s historical restaurants.

Depending on who you ask, the oldest restaurant in Dallas-Fort Worth might be the group of barbecue joints owned by the Bryan family. We all know Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse, established in 1958 on Inwood Road in Dallas. But before Sonny’s place, his dad Red Bryan opened The Tin Shack in 1930. And before that, Sonny’s grandfather Elias Bryan started Bryan’s Smokehouse in 1910.

Sonny Bryan’s is “only” 64 years old in this list of North Texas restaurants that are 50 years and older. But its history goes back 112 years.

The brisket sandwich is the top-selling item at 64-year-old Sonny Bryan's. That's what Julia Child ate when she visited the restaurant.(Lola Gomez / Staff Photographer)

“It’s the joy of my life to be a part of this,” says Brent Harman, whose family bought the barbecue joint from the Bryans in 1989. He recently signed a nearly unheard-of lease — 45 years — to prove he intends to preserve Sonny Bryan’s history.

This Dallas Morning News series was created to share the stories and honor the legacies of Dallas-Fort Worth’s oldest restaurants. Over many months, dozens of interviews and hundreds of phone calls, we’ve pieced together a list of North Texas restaurants that are 50 years or older.


We found more than 80 restaurants that have been alive for a half-century or more in Dallas-Fort Worth. That’s incredible.

Restaurant News

Get the scoop on the latest openings, closings, and where and what to eat and drink.

In a separate story about D-FW’s very oldest restaurants aged 75 years and up, we dig deeper into the history of these living institutions. We hope this list can serve as a tool for anyone seeking North Texas’ most storied restaurants, and we look forward to updating the story regularly.

Saeid Sheibeh serves flaming coffee with flourish at the Old Warsaw in Dallas. (Joe Laird photo from 1990)

In every interview, we asked for nuggets of wisdom from restaurateurs who had been in the business for decades.

“The secret is, you have to evolve a little bit,” Harman says about the 64-year-old Sonny Bryan’s.


“You just always try, you never stop,” says Lanny Lancarte, the CEO and president of 86-year-old Joe T. Garcia’s in Fort Worth. “I’d hate to see my grandmother and grandfather’s dream stop some day.”

“And it’s still fun,” he adds.

“It’s still a lot of fun.”


Editor’s note: We’ve combed through historical archives for months, but this list of oldest restaurants may not be complete. Do you know of a restaurant that is 50 years or older? Email

What are the oldest restaurants in Dallas? Here’s the list:

Since 1918

El Fenix in Dallas

Since 1920

Chaf-In (formerly Chaf-Inn) Restaurant in Cleburne

Since 1926

Paris Coffee Shop in Fort Worth


Since 1927

Riscky’s in Fort Worth, first as a grocery store and deli, later as a barbecue joint

Since 1928

Carshon’s Delicatessen in Fort Worth


Since 1930

The Original Mexican Eats in Fort Worth

Since 1931

Bailey’s Bar-B-Que in Fort Worth


Since 1935

Joe T. Garcia’s in Fort Worth

Since 1936

Old Mill Inn in Dallas (temporarily closed)


Since 1940

El Chico in Dallas

Since 1941

Dickey’s Barbecue in Dallas


Since 1943

Roy Pope Grocery in Fort Worth

Since 1945

Sammie’s BBQ in Fort Worth


Since 1946

Circle Grill in Dallas

Kincaid’s Hamburgers in Fort Worth

Since 1947

Cattlemen’s Fort Worth Steak House


Ships Lounge in Dallas

Jeffrey Ross, a cook in 1987, stands by the broiling pit at Cattlemen's Fort Worth Steak House. (John F. Rhodes from 1987)

Since 1948

Arthur’s Steakhouse in Addison


Big State Fountain Grill in Irving [closed in November 2022]

Hall’s Honey-Fried Chicken; started as the Chicken Shack from 1948 to 1952, then was Henderson’s Chicken Shack

Ranchman’s Cafe in Ponder (temporarily closed)


Since 1950

Campisi’s The Egyptian in Dallas

Dallas Tortilla & Tamale Factory

Goff’s Hamburgers in University Park


Keller’s Drive-In in Dallas

Lone Star Donuts in Oak Cliff [temporarily closed in 2022; reopened in 2023]

The Old Warsaw in Dallas

Just imagine the stories that have been told inside The Egyptian, the Campisi family’s Italian restaurant on Mockingbird Lane in Dallas. It opened in 1950 and would have been called something other than The Egyptian, but Sicilian immigrants Carlo and Antonina Campisi didn’t have enough money to change the sign. The restaurant served “pizza pies,” as they were called, and housemade pasta. Eventually, Joe Campisi (pictured) helped make the family-run Italian joint into the type of place where Mickey Mantle, Jerry Jones, Fats Domino and the Saudi royal family would dine. When Joe Campisi died, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin called to extend their condolences. What a poetic end for a well-known restaurateur. (WOO, David / Digital File)

Since 1951

Burger House in University Park

Burger House opened in Snider Plaza in 1951. Cooks give a hefty shake of "secret" salt on each burger, giving each one a garlicky, salty bite. It's still one of the best things about Burger House's burgers. (Juan Garcia file photo from 1989)(DMN file photo)

Since 1952

Frosty Drive N in Denton


Stan’s Blue Note in Dallas

The next time you're at Stan's Blue Note, one of Dallas' oldest bars, try to picture its second owner Dorothy Shipley, a woman who wore a dress, cowboy boots and a beehive hairdo. She sat at the end of the bar and ruled the place from there, says current owner Mike McRae. Her best beers were Miller High Life and Schlitz, and anyone who wanted a snack got pickled pigs feet or Slim Jims. The bar has changed a lot under McRae's ownership. (Notably: The bathrooms have been remodeled. "They were just gross," McRae says.) But it's still a dive bar and it always will be. Stan's celebrates its 70th birthday in June 2022. (DMN file photo from 1998)(MAY, Summar / 116761)

Since 1953

Eddlemon’s in Grand Prairie


Theo’s Drive-In in Grand Prairie

Tupinamba Cafe in Dallas

Margie’s Original Italian Kitchen in Fort Worth

Zodiac Room at Neiman Marcus in Dallas


Since 1954

Beef House in Garland

Cindi’s NY Deli, formerly Phil’s Delicatessen & Restaurant in Plano

Since 1955

Dunston’s Steakhouse, formerly Gene’s Wheel In in Dallas


Since 1956

Bill Smith’s Cafe in McKinney [closed in July 2022 but is expected to relocate to Van Alstyne and reopen in 2023]

Dairy-Ette in Dallas

Norma’s Cafe in Dallas


Pizza by Marco in Dallas; formerly My Family’s Pizza; presently Pizza Gianna

A cheeseburger and a frosty mug of root beer: That's the order at Dairy-Ette in East Dallas.(DMN file)

Since 1957

Al’s Hamburgers in Arlington


Candlelite Inn in Arlington

Del’s Charcoal Burgers in Richardson

Since 1958

Angelo’s BBQ in Fort Worth


The Malt Shop; formerly Spurlock’s Malt Shop in Anna

Pizza Inn in Dallas

Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse in Dallas

Sonny Bryan’s is a charming place to eat, with its schoolroom desks just big enough to hold a sandwich and some onion rings. It’s the same place where Julia Child hopped behind the counter and worked the register, just for fun; and it’s where Rachael Ray filmed an episode of '$40 a Day' for the Food Network. (Lola Gomez / Staff Photographer)

Since 1959

Mesquite BBQ in Mesquite

Since 1960

The Depot Cafe in Frisco — first, a supermarket and later a restaurant


Since 1961

Kuby’s Sausage House and European Market in University Park

Since 1962

Antoine’s Foods in Dallas [closed in August 2022]


Griff’s Hamburgers in Dallas

Ol’ South Pancake House in Fort Worth

Parkit Market in Dallas

Since 1963

Adair’s Saloon in Dallas


Charco Broiler in Dallas’ Oak Cliff

Hong Kong Restaurant in Dallas

Adair's Saloon in Deep Ellum is a live-music venue, bar and burger joint. Bring a Sharpie if you want to leave your mark.(Louis DeLuca / Staff Photographer)

Since 1964

Inwood Tavern in Dallas


Metro Diner in Dallas’ Oak Cliff

Since 1965

Hubbard’s Cubbard in Garland [closed in July 2022]

Marshall’s Bar-B-Q in Dallas


Mermaid Bar at Neiman Marcus in Dallas

Since 1966

Angelo’s Spaghetti & Pizza House in Irving

Don Juan’s Romantic Mexican Food in Grand Prairie


Jimmy’s Food Store in Dallas

Pulido’s Mexican Restaurant in Fort Worth

Since 1967

Edelweiss German Restaurant in Fort Worth [closed in February 2023]


Since 1968

Bartley’s Bar-B-Q in Grapevine

Mama’s Pizza in Fort Worth

Parton’s Pizza in Fort Worth


Pizza Getti in Dallas

Since 1969

Jesus BBQ in Fort Worth

Jim’s Pizza in McKinney


Joe’s Coffee Shop in Irving

Ojeda’s Restaurant in Dallas

Pyramid Restaurant at the Fairmont hotel in Dallas

Since 1971

Catfish Smith Foods To Go in Dallas


Celebration in Dallas

Mariano’s Mexican Cuisine y Cantina in Dallas

Zeke’s Fish & Chips in Fort Worth

The original Celebration restaurant, which opened March 2, 1971, served homestyle food in a small former home on W. Lovers Lane in Dallas. The restaurant still maintains that original address, but two nearby homes have been moved and attached to the original restaurant, making it a sprawling, three-house restaurant today. Celebration celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2021. (Courtesy of Celebration)

Since 1972

John’s Cafe in Dallas

Dallas Morning News researcher Spencer Bevis contributed to this story.

Date unknown:

Record Grill in Dallas


Wimpy’s Hamburgers in Dallas

We want to talk to you!

You’re welcome to ask questions or send us historical information about restaurants you don’t see on this list. We’d love to talk to you. Please email

This story is part of a series about North Texas’ oldest restaurants. Next, read these:


If you love news on historic restaurants, check out a new page we just created with all our stories on that topic.

For more food news, follow Sarah Blaskovich on Twitter at @sblaskovich.