Ever since I moved to Dallas (nearly five years ago!), I’ve had a goal to try at least 1 new restaurant each month. And usually that ends up being more like 3 or 4 new restaurants each month. So you know that this guide to Dallas is set when it comes to food.
Even though I’m a local, I’ve stayed at plenty of hotels in Dallas (helloooo, staycations!) and have made it my mission to visit every museum and never go a week without an adventure. Keep reading for my full guide to Dallas, Texas.
– How to get there –
There are two options for flying to Dallas: Dallas Love Field Airport and Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. I personally love the Dallas Love Field Airport – it’s so close to the center of town and so inexpensive to fly in and out of the airport (Southwest and Virgin America both fly into Dallas Love Field). With either option, I highly recommend renting a car as Dallas is not a pedestrian-friendly city (or you can Uber all over the place – UberX is incredibly inexpensive in Dallas).
– Where to stay –
I recommend staying in central Dallas – either in Uptown or in Downtown Dallas. In Downtown Dallas, I love the Joule Hotel – the infinity pool on the roof deck is just about the coolest, Americano (the restaurant next to the hotel) has incredible artichokes, and Midnight Rambler (the Joule Hotel’s underground bar) is a local favorite and ever so Instagram-worthy.
In Uptown, my favorite hotel (and truly my favorite hotel in all of Dallas so obviously no guide to Dallas would be complete without it!) is the Zaza Hotel. I did a staycation at the Zaza last year and it was so fun. All of the rooms are crazy-spacious and the suites all have the greatest themes – from Imperial Russia to Austin Powers. The Zaza’s restaurant – Dragonfly – is delicious and the club at the hotel is one of the hottest spots in Uptown. Other great options include the NYLO Hotel, the Mansion on Turtle Creek, and the Stoneleigh.
– Where to eat –
After living in Dallas for a few years, I’ve definitely amassed an arsenal of great restaurant recommendations. It seems like there’s no end to the delicious foodie options that Dallas has to offer! Every area of town is so different, so you’ll get a completely different experience if you go to Deep Ellum or if you go to Highland Park.
Some of my personal faves are Cane Rosso and Eno’s Pizza Tavern for pizza, Ascension Coffee in the Design District for avocado toast or a quick panini lunch, Mi Cocina (definitely get a Mambo Taxi) and Mr. Mesero (don’t miss the queso!) for Mexican Food, Hopdoddy Burger Bar for burgers and milkshakes, and Shinsei and Deep Sushi for sushi. OH and Mercat Bistro (pictured above) – the yummiest French bistro in the heart of Dallas! Check out my list below for more ideas – I’ve divvied it up by district for ease of reading:
- Ascension Coffee – get the avocado toast if you go for brunch or one of their paninis if you go for lunch. Also they serve booze… so yayyyy
- Meddlesome Moth – this restaurant is all small-plates so don’t be afraid of over-ordering! PS their cocktails are delish.
- Sassetta – my current fav restaurant, this spot has some of the most delicious pasta dishes in Dallas.
- Town Hearth
- Bird Bakery
- Bistro 31 – Bistro 31’s patio is one of my favorite spots to grab a drink in Dallas (hence its appearance in this guide to Dallas!). The patio has a completely different menu from the main restaurant, so don’t be afraid to go twice in one day!
- Mi Cocina – get the Mambo Taxi. Trust me.
- The Honor Bar
- Blue Goose Cantina
- Gemma – one of my favorite places to go for a special occasion. Gemma has a BOMB wine list (the real way to my heart!) and the food is just as delicious.
- HG SPLY CO. – whether you’re doing drinks and bites on the upstairs patio or lunch in the main restaurant downstairs, HG is always yum. It’s farm-to-table and you can add a fried egg to any dish. I like their greens & grains salad as well as their nachos and their Moscow Mule.
- Fireside Pies
- The Grape
- Boulevardier – probably one of my top 3 favorite brunch spots in Dallas, Boulevardier offers great deals on mimosas every weekend.
- Eno’s Pizza Tavern
- Lockhart Smokehouse – my favorite BBQ spot in Dallas… so obviously it had to be included in this guide to Dallas! Make sure you get there early since closing time is when they run out of meat… and I’ve seen that happen before 7:30PM on a busy night.
- Lucia – delicious and authentic Italian food with the most amazing wine list.
- Tillman’s Roadhouse – get the trio of fries for your appetizer, the burger for your main, the s’mores for your dessert… and drink their blood orange margaritas all night!
- Breadwinners Cafe
- Cafe Madrid
- Crushcraft Thai street Eats
- Hopdoddy Burger Bar
- Le Bilboquet – if you go for brunch, get the shakshuka.
- Malai Thai-Vietnamese Kitchen
- Mercat Bistro – seriously one of my favorite spots in Dallas, this french-style bistro is so chic and the food is so good!
- Mr. Mesero
- Nick & Sam’s – if you’re looking for a steakhouse, definitely try Nick & Sam’s. It’ll appear on any guide to Dallas as one of the best steakhouses in the city… and for a good reason! All of the steaks are YUM and the sides are – if possible – even better!
- Saint Ann
- Sangria Mediterranean Tapas and Bar
- Taco Diner
- The Common Table – I love Common Table’s brunch!
- The Standard Pour – great place to grab a drink in Uptown.
- Toulouse Café and Bar
– What to do –
Wow, where to start? Dallas has professional sports teams up the wazoo – between the Texas Rangers, Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Cowboys, and Dallas Stars, there’s almost always at least one game going on. Sports not your thing? What about the outdoors? I love working out on the Katy Trail (and popping in for a drink at the Katy Trail Ice House afterwards!) or even hanging out in one of Dallas’s many parks – my personal favorite is Klyde Warren Park (it always has the best food trucks!).
Want more of a cultural experience? Dallas has terrific opera, symphonies, and even karaoke spots (hey, that’s cultural!). Want to check out the local museums? There’s the Nasher Sculpture Center, the DMA, and even the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum (don’t miss the traveling exhibits – they did an Oscar de la Renta exhibit and it was just about the greatest thing I’ve ever seen). Oh, and if you happen to be in Dallas in September or early October, don’t miss the Texas State Fair!