Even at an arts festival, sooner or later you want to sit down.
Besides all the restaurants on Main Street, there are a few off Main to try during this weekend's Main St. Fort Worth Arts Festival:
▪ Wild Salsa, on the walkway along West Second Street, is a brightly decorated Mexico City restaurant with some distinctive dishes.Watch the crowds go by with a platter of chicken tinga nachos, or the tropical coconut salad. The menu offers five salsas or pestos, including a habanero, a serrano molcajete and pineapple-laced pico de gallo.
Try a taco trio with three fillings and salsas, and save room for the cuatro leches cake served in a jar.
▪ Next door, Chop House Burger is underrated for its burger choices and also for an above-average bowl of Texas beef chili, available on the side or on the crisp fries.
Chop House Burger's current special is the Smoking Pig, a cheeseburger with bacon and mushrooms mixed into the beef. Pair it with a Milky Way shake. (Chop House Burger is a spinoff from a Dallas prime steakhouse. Do not confuse CHB with the similarly named Chop House Burgers in Pantego.)
▪ Picchi Pacchi Pizza & Pasta, formerly a late-night landmark on Main Street, has moved to West Seventh Street but still serves the same bargain pasta dishes, pizzas, calzones and stromboli.
If you have a favorite BYOB pizza-and-pasta restaurant in your neighborhood, Picchi Pacchi will be familiar. You walk in to see a display case of single and double-crust pizzas, waiting for you to pick a size or a topping.
It's open for lunch and dinner daily except Sunday; 411 W. Seventh St., 817-870-2222, facebook.com/PicchiPacchiTX.
▪ Black Rooster Cafe & Bakery is the downtown stop for early risers or for a midday break.
A newly expanded menu offers egg breakfasts, quiches and avocado toast, plus a choice of about 12 lunch sandwiches.
Save room for cookies, macarons or pie, and plan to take home a loaf of Rooster bread.
The Rooster is now open for breakfast and lunch daily including Sunday; 910 Houston St., 817-882-8108, roosterbakery.com.
▪ Thai Tina's is a hidden secret across from Bass Hall.
Known for its curries and Thai beef salad, Thai Tina's has a larger menu than most Thai restaurants and a more elaborate presentation.
It's open for lunch and dinner daily inside the Embassy Suites hotel; 600 Commerce St., 817-332-0088, thaitinasfortworth.com.
▪ In Sundance Square, meander off the main path to find great new stops like Istanbul Grill, a Turkish and Mediterranean restaurant on Throckmorton Street; In the Sack, a take-out food, wine and convenience store on Houston Street with breakfast tacos beginning at 10 a.m.; and of course, Bird Cafe, a brunch and brew mainstay on Commerce Street facing Sundance Square Plaza.
▪ At the south end of Main Street, Del Frisco's Double Eagle's wraparound balcony is open all day Friday and Saturday overlooking the crowd. There's a lunch menu at midday Friday and a limited menu at midday Saturday; 812 Main St., delfriscos.com.
▪ Or for a stop in mid-fest, Grace's bar and patio will open at noon daily this weekend.
Stop in for one of Fort Worth's best prime steakhouse cheeseburgers ($13 with fries, and worth it). Or try a lamb burger, a flatiron steak frites, baby back ribs or charcoal-grilled prawns.
Grace will serve lunch this weekend and serves dinner nightly at 777 Main St.; 817-877-3388, gracefortworth.com.
On the street, Main St.'s food booths are now promoted as a festival of “culinary arts.”
The Schmidt's of German Village half-pound cream puff straight from Columbus, Ohio, is definitely a work of art.
Other don't miss items: Buttons Restaurant's chicken-and-waffle bites, Joe Riscky's Barbecueoak-smoked tenderloin or jalapeño sausage wrapped in bacon, Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken, Thai Tina's red curry or Fletcher's Corny Dogs.
(And remember: Take the Trinity Metro bus or the Trinity Railway Express train if you can, or loop around downtown and come in from the west or south to find parking.)