Of course, Texas is known for its barbecue, and Mesquite BBQ is a longtime favorite. Since 1959 the mom-and-pop restaurant has loaded up plates with pulled-pork, smoked sausage, BBQ Frito pies and all the helpings you can eat. The little restaurant in downtown Mesquite is not fancy, but locals say the brisket here is the best in town. The smokers here are manufactured locally in Mesquite at J&R Manufacturing—and they’re used in restaurants around the world, including the Wolfgang Puck Bar & Pizzeria.
Opened in 2002, Slabs BBQ is the new kid on the block, and the smell of carefully smoked meats wafts out the simple, strip-mall store’s front door every time it is opened. Just make sure you save room for its signature banana pudding. The chopped beef sandwiches are a lunchtime favorite.
The folks at Baker’s Ribs slow-cook their meat over hickory wood in a barbecue pit designed by founder and owner Joe Duncan. Its famous “St. Louis Cut” pork ribs helped them win a number of local best barbecue awards and earned them a coveted spot of Texas Monthly’s Top 50 Best Barbecue Restaurants in the state.
Jamaican and Mediterranean
Mesquite features two restaurants featuring Jamaican cuisine: Reggae Wings & Tings, located in North Town East, features a combination of cooking methods and spices that bring the tastes of the island of Jamaica. Jamaican Cook Shop, on Military Parkway, is a smaller restaurant that’s filled with authentic dishes. Both are good options whether you’re in the mood for jerk chicken or willing to explore some more unique dishes like curry goat, ackee, salt fish and oxtails.
For not-so-conventional food lovers, they also serve gyro pizza topped with meat, tomatoes, onions and cheese with tzatziki on the side. At Yia Yia's House of Gyros, enjoy the best gyro you’ll find on this side of the Atlantic. The homemade tzatziki sauce is addictive. Both have close to 5-star ratings on Zagat.
Mesquite may not be on the coast, but it is filled with excellent seafood options, no matter what you’re looking to try. Shell Shack is the place to get your favorite crab legs, shrimp, and crawfish covered in savory cajun sauces,