Dallas' 50 Most Interesting Restaurants, No. 6: Stampede 66

Lori Bandi
Leading up to our annual Best of Dallas® issue, we're counting down the 50 most interesting restaurants in Dallas. These spots bring something unique or compelling to the city's dining scene, feeding both your appetite and soul. Find more interesting places on our all-new Best Of app for iTunes or Android.

When Stephan Pyles was interviewed by the Observer in 2010, he quietly alluded to an upcoming restaurant. "I would like to do an in-your-face Texas concept," he told then food critic Hanna Raskin. "Maybe it's a little Disneyland-like," he added, playing up the cartoonish intensity of the restaurant taking shape in his head.

Stampede 66 Tacos.jpg
When Stampede 66 opened nearly three years later he delivered just that -- a Texas-themed restaurant tailored to downtown Dallas. He grabbed every faced of Texas culture he could find, and in Dallas fashion turned the volume up to 10.

Dallas is a Texan city for sure, but the specifics can be a little hard to explain to outsiders. There's a distinct art, music and food culture but they're all unique. Stampede 66 somehow captured the essence of all of these facets and brings them together all in one stage fit for dining, and then he embraced what can be described as modernist Texan cuisine.

From the multicolor lighting and quirky sculptures (Dallas) to the images of cowboys branding calves, and the wall-mounted longhorns (Texas) Stampede 66 is as in-your-mug as it gets. Sure you know chicken fried steak, but you've never had is served with a gravy-injection. Cut it open to liberate a sea of Texas' favorite embellishment. The tacos are fancied up with gourmet fillings, and beans arrive in little cast-iron dishes held over smoldering coals. They're like props from a tiny country western movie set. Eating here is certainly entertaining.

If there's one restaurant to take an out of town guest to show them everything Dallas Texas is about, Stephan Pyles' latest creation is it.

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No. 48: 20 Feet Seafood Joint
No. 47: Taj Chaat House
No. 46: Mot Hai Ba
No. 45: La Nueva Fresh and Hot
No. 44: Pera Turkish Kitchen
No. 43: Tom's Burgers and Grill
No. 42: Mughlai
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No. 39: Bachman Lake Taqueria
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No. 36: Barbacoa Estilo Hidalgo
No. 35: Zaguan
No. 34: Royal Sichuan
No. 33: Spoon
No. 32: Bambu
No. 31: Pecan Lodge
No. 30: FT33
No. 29: Keller's Drive-In
No. 28: La Pasadita
No. 27: Ten Bells Tavern
No. 26: El Ranchito
No. 25: Cafe Urbano
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No. 23: Jeng Chi
No. 22: Omi
No. 21: Tei-An
No. 20: Jonathon's Oak Cliff
No. 19: Yutaka and Sharaku
No. 18: Local
No. 17: Ibex
No. 16: Pakpao
No. 15: Chennai Cafe
No. 14: Smoke
No. 13: Nonna
No. 12: Kuby's
No. 11: Sushi Sake
No. 10: La Banqueta
No. 9: Kalachandji's
No. 8: Mesa
No. 7: Teppo

Location Info

Stampede 66

1717 McKinney Ave., Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant

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My Voice Nation Help

He must have paid to be on this list...


Ah, shouldn't that be "facet of Texas culture"...where is the editor???  Oh yeah, must be at Stampede 66

"He grabbed every faced of Texas culture he could find, and in Dallas fashion turned the volume up to 10."


Seriously, y'all are too harsh. Where else can you get Steven Pyles-level food for under $25? Where else can you get deviled eggs with jalapeno pop rocks and fresh chicarones in one roof? Not to mention the best chicken-n-dumplings I've ever had (sorry, oma!) 

Sotiredofitall topcommenter

Sorry, gave it a chance twice and still came away thinking it's way over-rated.   An exercise in style over substance, too focused on flash.........

primi_timpano topcommenter

Dropped by a few months ago to try the sweetbread tacos. The food I tried was not prepared well. Maybe the steaks are great, but then why not go to a steak restaurant. Even more so for their tacos.

The setting is a joke, it is a cartoon stereotype of a cowboy art. Its only purpose is that of a tourist destination. But I would never take a tourist there. I wouldn't take anyone there.


Don't know about the beans but the cornbread is NOT good - way too sweet and dry.


Overrated menu and execution;  but high on Texas bling scale.

Not impressive as a restaurant IMO.  But very impressive as a tourist destination.....have a cocktail, eyeball the space and scene and leave to dine elsewhere.


What a cute pot of beans and cornbread!

Sotiredofitall topcommenter

@CitizenKane Cartoon Texas for tourists you don't like.  If you like them, go to original Babes in Roanoke for something more real

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