Late 2023 in Dallas-Fort Worth is a big time for big restaurants. Among the incredible number of new eateries we’ve seen open in North Texas this year, these are the nationally and internationally known restaurants that flock to the holidays.
Nando’s Peri-Peri, Wagamama, Jollibee, Voodoo Donut and Portillo’s will open new restaurants in Dallas and its suburbs in less than 30 days. At each of these high-profile openings, we expect long lines — cars and people — as Texans celebrate their arrival.
Restaurants are listed by opening date.
Nando’s Peri-Peri in Far North Dallas
South African chain Nando’s Peri-Peri will begin selling flame-grilled chicken near Addison on December 11, 2023. Nando’s executives got a taste of how excited Dallasites are for this restaurant last Nov. 8, 2023, when the company hosted a pop-up party in the Dallas Design District. Hundreds of people lined up and stayed for hours. Several officials at the event said that people in Dallas showed more enthusiasm for Nando’s than in other cities.
Nando’s has been around since 1987 in Johannesburg, South Africa. It arrived in the United States in 2008 and in Texas in August 2023, first in Houston. For anyone who can’t wait for Nando’s to debut on December 11, 2023, Whole Foods, HEB and Amazon are selling its sauces year-round. We love condiments! My favorites are Nando’s Medium sauce, which has just the right amount of heat, and the tangy and spicy Perinaise mayo.
Nando’s Peri-Peri’s first D-FW restaurant is expected to open at 5100 Belt Line Road, Dallas, on December 11, 2023.
Wagamama at Dallas’ Victory Park
London noodle shop Wagamama has finally arrived in Texas, with its first restaurant opening on December 8, 2023 in Dallas’ Victory Park. Although this beloved Asian restaurant has more than 225 locations worldwide, its entry into the US is limited to New York, Boston, Tampa, Atlanta and Dallas.
Wagamama’s tagline is “from bowl to soul,” and a casual lunch or dinner here can include duck ramen, Korean barbecue beef, ginger chicken udon, bang bang cauliflower or chicken katsu curry. I eyed the spicy beef brisket over sticky white rice, a dish that is right at home in Dallas. Wagamama is expected to stay open until 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays – a good time for a late night meal.
Wagamama is expected to open at 2425 Harry Hines Blvd., Dallas, on December 8, 2023.
Jollibee in East Dallas
Filipino restaurant Jollibee, one of the world’s fastest-growing chains, will open its next fast-food shop on Dallas’ Greenville Avenue. This one has a drive-through – which is unusual: When the first Jollibee opened in North Texas, customers waited for two or three hours in Plano, and the lines of cars went through a major road and a highway.
If you go to this new Jollibee near its opening date, pack and be patient. Walking inside can be faster.
Jollibee’s signature items are buckets or plates of Chickenjoy, or bone-in fried chicken. Sides include fries, mashed potatoes and rice. Peach Mango pie, said to be made with mangoes from the Philippines, is a popular dessert. Customers can also order plates of spaghetti, a Filipino noodle dish called Palabok, burgers and chicken tenders.
Although Jollibee is now in 34 countries, this East Dallas store is only the second in D-FW and the sixth in Texas.
Jollibee is expected to open at 4703 Greenville Ave., Dallas, this Nov. 29, 2023.
Voodoo Donuts in East Dallas
Voodoo Donut fans come from far and wide for its brightly colored pastries in bubblegum pink boxes. The company originated in Portland, and over 20 years, it has become “an international tourist attraction,” the Los Angeles Times said. Voodoo opened Nov. 20, 2023 on Dallas’ Greenville Avenue is the latest in Texas. A line wrapped around the block in Lowest Greenville, made up of hungry donut fans looking for a sugary fix. And what’s the big deal? Voodoo is one of the godfathers of big-tasting, big-calorie donut shops.
A fun fact: Of its 50 varieties of donuts, half are vegan.
Voodoo Donut is at 1806 Greenville Ave., Suite 120, Dallas. It was opened on Nov. 20, 2023. Early and late hours: 6 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week.
Portillo in Arlington — and beyond
Chicago company Portillo’s recently announced it will open its next Dallas-Fort Worth restaurant in Mansfield. But you’ll have to wait for that: It’s expected to open in 2024. Meanwhile, the newest Portillo’s is in Arlington and just opened on November 14, 2023. It’s a big year for hot dogs and Italian North Texas beef sandwiches; Portillo’s previously opened in Allen in September 2023 and in The Colony in January 2023. Others are expected to open in Fort Worth and Denton. We have to wonder: When will Dallas get?
The 60-year-old company’s debut in Texas in 2023 was a thrill for Chicago ex-pats, many of whom stood faithfully in line for their favorites. (I’m not from there, but I am My line time does the same.) Portillo’s Chief Development Officer Mike Ellis called the response to the D-FW openings “unbelievable.”
Portillo’s in Arlington opened on November 14, 2023 at 4200 S Cooper St. Find addresses for other Portillos in North Texas.