By Chef Marcus Paslay
Fort Worth hasn’t always had great food; there were steakhouses and barbecue places, but it’s becoming more diverse, which provides lots of opportunity for restaurateurs. The pace of life here also fits my personality and lifestyle. It’s more relaxed, compared to cities like New York or Chicago. I moved back to Fort Worth after working in other cities around the country because it’s home. My wife and I wanted to raise our children here because there’s a sense of community and family, and the culture is strong and getting stronger.
Chef Marcus' 24-Hour Guide to Fort Worth
This is my favorite place to grab coffee. They also roast all their own beans.
1311 West Magnolia Avenue, Fort Worth, TX 76104
T: 682.233.0957 | www.avocacoffee.com
I love Esperanza’s because they’re serving up solid, traditional Mexican food without any pretension. Nothing flashy or fancy, they let the food speak for itself. My go-to breakfast order is their Huevos Rancheros.
1601 Park Place Avenue, Fort Worth, TX 76110
T: 817.923.1961 | www.joets.com
Black Rooster Bakery
Great for some freshly baked pastries.
2430 Forest Park Boulevard, Fort Worth, TX 76110
T: 817.924.1600 | www.blackroosterbakery.net
This kosher deli was founded in 1928. It's a great place for a BIG sandwich. Leave the credit card in the wallet because it is cash only here.
3133 Cleburne Road, Fort Worth, TX 76110
T: 817.923.1907 | www.carshonsdeli.com
Shinjuku Station is a tiny little Japanese restaurant that uses fresh ingredients, and they just know how to cook things the right way. My favorite dish is their beef bowl that comes with a soft egg that you mix in – it’s so good. I also love their sushi, and I usually just let them feed me whatever they want to – I trust their judgment.
711 West Magnolia Avenue, Fort Worth, TX 76104
T: 817.923.2695 | shinjuku-station.com
Melt Ice Creams
This is a great little ice cream shop for an afternoon snack. It’s difficult to choose a favorite ice cream flavor at Melt; they change up their flavors depending on the season, and they have a lot of great ones. One of my go-to flavors is their coffee ice cream in a waffle cone – it’s like having your coffee and dessert all in one. During the summer, they have a great peach ice cream as well.
954 West Rosedale Street, Fort Worth, TX 76104
T: 817.886.8365 | melticecreams.com
This is a nice wine bar located inside the Omni Hotel in downtown Fort Worth. Their staff is very knowledgeable when it comes to their menu, and the space is modern and comfortable. It’s a great place to relax with a glass of wine to escape the downtown hustle and bustle.
1300 Houston Street, Fort Worth, TX 76102
T: 817.350.4108 | www.omnihotels.com
Kent & Co.
Another wine bar with a truly unique background. The owners are a brother and sister who come from a family of car dealerships. To make their waiting rooms more comfortable, they started offering wine to people who were waiting for their cars to be serviced. They ended up selling lots of wine, and decided to open a stand-alone bar. The best part is, if you buy a car from their dealership and bring it to the wine bar, they’ll have someone pick it up to have it serviced for you while you’re drinking your wine.
1101 W Magnolia Avenue, Fort Worth, TX 76104
T: 817.632.6070 | www.kcowines.com
Grace serves contemporary American food, and is one of the more high-end restaurants in town. Chef Blaine Staniford is a very talented chef, and we share similar philosophies about seasonality and where our products come from. One of the things I like best about Grace is that there’s always something new because they’re adjusting their menu to reflect what’s in season. It is also a good place to have a cocktail.
Cattlemen's Steak House
For something classic try Cattlemen's Steak House. It has been in the Stockyards since 1947. It is like going back in time.
2458 North Main Street, Fort Worth, TX 76164
T: 817.624.3945 | cattlemenssteakhouse.com
Clay Pigeon Food & Drink
For something off the beaten path, come to Clay Pigeon. I know it's cheating to put my own restaurant, but come for great food, drink and service with most everything made in-house. Make sure you order the mussels with leeks, fennel, house-made bacon and house-made sourdough.
The Usual Bar
The Usual is a little dive bar that’s sort of an industry secret – you’ll find a lot of chefs and restaurant workers hanging out there, and it’s a lot of fun. Their bartenders are knowledgeable and they’re known for their craft cocktails. However, be prepared to wait, as their cocktails are somewhat involved. I always order a beer with my cocktail so I have something to drink in the meantime!
1408 West Magnolia Avenue, Fort Worth, TX 76104
T: 817.810.0114 | theusualbar.com
This is a food trailer that moves around, but it's always great for satisfying those late night hunger pains.
MAGNOLIA (Thu - Sat: 7pm - 11pm) | 1311 West Magnolia Avenue, Fort Worth, TX 76104
WEST 7TH (Wed - Sat: 7pm - 2am) | 700 Carroll Street, Fort Worth, TX 76107
MORTON (Wed: 6:30pm - 12am) | 3017 Morton St, Fort Worth, TX 76107
Chef Marcus Paslay
Marcus Paslay is the executive chef and owner of Clay Pigeon Food & Drink in Fort Worth, TX. Paslay is a Texas native, raised in Arlington, and worked at Canlis in Seattle, Four Seasons in Vail, Meadowood in Napa, and as a butcher in Hawaii before returning to his home state. He is committed to making whatever possible in-house from scratch, including breads, charcuterie, pastas and ice cream.