From The Region’s Priciest High-End Options To The Hidden Gems At Spots You Wouldn’t Expect, These Are The Dallas Poke Bowls You Most Need To Try.
First came the frozen yogurt. Then came the cupcakes. Next up, it was cake balls. Then it was frozen yogurt once again. From there, new ways to eat ice cream that you’d never previously thought possible — stuffed between two cookies! shaved! rolled! swirled high to the sky! — were all the rage. And it was on to smoothies after that.
Now, the poke bowl is the food trend with a stranglehold on Dallas — to the tune of some 40-plus spots having popped up on the map in the greater region since Ahi Poke Bowl, which claims itself as being Texas’ first poke restaurant, opened its doors in Arlington in early 2016.
Personally, I’m OK with this explosion, mainly because raw fish is my jam and Asian flavors always do it for me. But poke (pronounced “pok-keh,” just so we’re all clear) has other things going for it, too — like the fact that, even at its priciest, poke isn’t really as ordering a whole bunch of sushi when that sushi craving strikes.
To that end, I wanted to share with you all a list of my favorite poke spots in and around Dallas. It is by no means a fully comprehensive list — there are too many spots coming and, now, going (FreshFin Poke Co. closed its Lower Greenville location this week to focus on its new spot up at Plano’s Legacy Hall) for that — but it should be a great start for the uninitiated or for the poke fan looking to expand beyond their current go-to spot.
First, we’ll take a look at the top high-end poke spots in town. Next, we’ll look at some of the more solid middle-of-the-road options. Finally, we’ll run down a few of the better poke offerings hidden in the menus of non-poke-focused restaurants around the region.
Chopsticks at the ready, everyone? OK, let’s do this.
The Crème De La Poke.
Pōk The Raw Bar. Is poke sexy? The answer is undoubtedly yes at this West Village spot. From its clean, chic interior to its partnerships with nearby trendy gyms PureBarre and SoulCycle, this place has a clear attractiveness edge over its competition — and that’s before you even get to the bright, colorful bowls of delicious poke.
Malibu Poke. Chef-driven poke from the city’s best fishmonger? Someone had to do it! At this Oak Lawn spot, Matt McCallister (FT33) has crafted sublime poke bowls using the kind of extremely fresh fish that only a guy like Jon Alexis (TJ’s Seafood Market) can secure. When you want to sit down and enjoy a perfectly composed poke dish that’s far from the Hawaiian origin but still as fresh as can be, Malibu Poke is the place. Bonus points for the restaurant’s cool high-tech ordering system that renders the “Chipotle-style” sneeze guard unnecessary.
Can’t-Go-Wrong Poke Joints.
Poke Bop. You’ll have to order “Chipotle-style” at this fast-casual Lemmon Avenue joint, but you’ll be rewarded with a quality, customized bowl — and maybe even the Sushi Donut. Go ahead and try not to ‘gram it.
Bowls & Tacos. If it’s not Taco Tuesday, be sure to check out the poke options at Deep Ellum’s Bowls & Tacos. A combo taco-and-poke concept from the folks who brought us Braindead Brewing, you’re guaranteed to be charmed by the old gas station location of this spot if nothing else.
The Lowkey Poke Joint. A trip to Addison will reward you with a very new, very Instagram-ready poke spot — the first location outside of California from a new chain called The Lowkey Poke Joint. Here, you’ll find a lot of insta-worthy decor, cutesy sayings and menu items packed into one poke place that’s pretty befitting of its name. From poke-stuffed pineapples to sushi burritos rolled in Flamin’ Hot Cheetos to sushi donuts, Lowkey low-key has it all.
Go Fish Poke. This Preston Center spot features ten protein options for your customized poke bowl, or you can choose from their pre-designed creations. Either way, there’s no chicken option, which means you can’t go wrong. Yeah, I said it.
Mola Mola Poke. The newest on the list just had its soft opening last weekend, but while Inwood Village’s Mola Mola may have been late in getting onto the poke train, it’s still another one worth you hopping on board with — especially since it has octopus on the menu.
Hidden Poke Gems.
Lovers Seafood & Market. It’s no surprise a seafood market would have solid poke. Yet this Lovers Lane spot’s dish surprises with its crunch and some flavors that are definitely unique. It’s definitely worth a trip to the market.
Sushi Bayashi. Of course, if a solid sushi spot is going to take on poke, it’s going to be solid. And Trinity Grove’s Sushi Bayashi doesn’t disappoint. Its offering features the same on-the-board freshness that its sushi does, so it makes sense that the traditional poke on the menu would be just as exceptional.
The Keeper. Up in Plano, this super-stylish seafood joint is keeping it fresh with a delicious raw option for serious fish lovers in addition to all the other quality seafood on the menu.
The Lounge Here. There are a lot of gems to be found on the menu at this charming and chic East Dallas bar and lounge that’s owned by some famous local faces. But if you’re after something lighter, the tuna poke isn’t to be skipped. Oh, and it’s best served with a side of swizzle.