We all know it’s sometimes hard to choose where to have your next meal: One person in your group wants spicy noodles, the other can’t stand spice and wants protein, the other likes everything but inevitably has substitutions on whatever they order. Then there’s the noncommittal friend who’s seemingly always “down for whatever.”
If looking to please all of those folks, or all of your own varying cravings, look no further than Hawkers in Deep Ellum. The restaurant out of Orlando, Florida, made its step into Texas last year, when it chose to open in no other place than our very own cultural district.
And they did so incorporating Deep Ellum touches inside and a large mural on the outside. It’s a festive spot to be even without food or drink, but luckily, there’s plenty of that.
To start off, explore the long list of cocktails, includinga pain killer, a Malaysian mule with turmeric simple syrup or the smooth Thai basil Paloma.
The fun part about the food menu is you can get a smattering of plates — and the server will welcome this, as they usually have a stack of share plates ready on the table and leave behind menus after ordering your first (or second or third) round of plates.
Don’t skip anything served in a a pillowy bao bun, such as pork belly, roast duck or the Seoul hot chicken (definitely don’t skip that last one).
The roti served with curry sauce is delectable — you’ll keep eating it and ignore the voice in your head telling you you’re filling up on it before other plates. Pro tip: Order more than one if in a group.
There are many food options, and you can’t really go wrong: Lean on the knowledge of your server and explore. This is why it’s also good to go with a group, that way you can also get the chicken egg rolls, spicy kimchi, Sichuan wontons and the excellent wings, prepared battered or naked.
And we haven’t even gotten to the larger plates, such as the pad Thai, udon noodles with chicken, dan dan noodles or tom yum soup.
If you’ve managed to not fill yourself after that, there’s a bag of doughnuts with an addicting coconut-salted caramel sauce or deep-fried banana in a crips wrap and drizzled with spiced honey.
When the weather’s nice, you can enjoy it all on the spacious patio, too. And while it’s definitely advantageous to stop here with a group to dive into as many dishes as possible, don’t worry about going solo: Sitting at this bar is quite a nice experience, too.
Hawker’s is located at 2800 Main St. and is open 3 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.