Best Dallas Restaurants Serve Up More Than Just Steak and Barbecue
By Denise Brandenberg
Dallas Local Expert
In Dallas, restaurant options are limitless. Ranging from classy, elegant venues that serve a wide variety of courses paired with select wines, like The French Room, to traditional steakhouses that serve choice cuts of meat with tasty sides, such as Bob’s Steak and Chop House, Dallas treats visitors to world-class Texan hospitality.
Some feature modern, trendy décor and are places to see and be seen, while others offer intimate, romantic settings perfect for a night out on the town with your beloved. Some are newcomers to the Dallas restaurant scene, while others are prominent restaurants with decades of experience serving Dallas clientele.
The best restaurants in Dallas offer more than delicious cuisine – they offer wonderful ambiances, great service and dining experiences visitors will never forget. Skip the chains and choose a restaurant that is a one-of-a-kind Dallas institution. Out of all the restaurants in a city, 10Best narrows the options to those places with the most appeal and the best reputations. We offer carefully vetted selections to let you explore Dallas dining on your own.
If time is really tight, though, and you don't have the leisure to look through all our offerings, we present our Dallas Best Restaurants list. Here, we narrow down the best businesses down to a special selection of ten. These places promise a stellar experience and a taste of the city that you just can't miss.
10 Café Pacific
Fresh, excellently prepared cuisine is served by a white-jacketed waitstaff at this Highland Park treasure. The menu options range from grilled seafood accompanied by tasty dips to more substantial items like goat cheese-stuffed rack of lamb. The chef's signature creation, fried shredded sweet potatoes, is complimentary and delivered at the start of every meal. One of the best entrees there is the three-onion crusted sea bass. Pecan Ball, the signature dessert, perfectly ends any meal. Excellent wines at reasonable prices are an added bonus. The interior is stately with black and white marble floors and vintage-style cafe curtains. Cafe Pacific is the ideal Highland Park spot to impress your date! (214-526-1170)
Softly hued, elegant fabrics and furnishings adorn this dining room, where patrons enjoy outstanding selections from well-conceived prix fixe and tasting menus. Start with Hudson Valley foie gras or Malpeque oysters with black pepper mignonette, and then choose from amazing meat and fish dishes like Icelandic Arctic char, bacon-wrapped Arkansas rabbit, or roasted filet of beef with truffled potato puree. End your decadent meal with the mouth-watering chocolate souffle. The wine list includes options by the glass and half-bottle, and the waitstaff will even give you recommendations of dessert and wine pairings. With its well-earned 4-star rating, local and national publications can't offer enough praise for Bijoux's cuisine and dining experience. (214-350-6100)
8 The French Room
Along with opulent decor, The French Room offers an aesthetically and gastronomically exceptional experience. The restaurant boasts a magical baroque ambiance -- gilded ceilings, ornate columns, overhead murals, and crystal chandeliers. Diners are transported to France in this beautiful spot! The menu, just as decadent, showcases entrees like white miso-marinated Icelandic halibut, seared quail breast, and New Zealand venison chops. Some of the most popular appetizers here include foie gras and crab cake. The elegant restaurant is also renowned for sumptuous desserts like a roasted apple napoleon and flourless chocolate cake. The staff is very attentive and helpful, so you won't feel intimidated to try new things. (214-742-8200)
7 Javier's Gourmet Mexicano
If you're looking for authentic Mexican cuisine (not Tex-Mex), visit this popular dining treat in the Knox-Henderson neighborhood at the edge of Highland Park. This upscale Mexican restaurant is where Dallas power players and foodies unite, and it is a great place for a special dinner. Javier features an cozy and stylish (and beautiful!) dining room. Dress to impress as the regular clientele there is polished. Try one of many delicious Mexican menu items, including the specialties of steak stuffed with cheese, shrimp in diablo sauce and red snapper. Perfect (and potent) margaritas and salsas. End your meal with a nightcap in the cigar bar. (214-521-4211)
6 Bob's Steak & Chop House
The quintessential old-school steakhouse, Bob's Steak and Chop house is traditionally styled with crisp table linens, mahogany booths, and a polished bar. Start off your meal with the mozzarella and poblano stuffed bacon wrapped shrimp or the lobster bisque soup. Then move into the main course with Bob's main specialty, the choice cuts of USDA Prime Midwestern corn-fed beef. Other starters like Maryland crab cakes and a tangy blue-cheese salad whet the appetite for a perfectly prepared rib-eye, porterhouse, or succulent rack of lamb - all served with hefty portions of potatoes and Bob's signature sugar-glazed carrots. Complementing everything are select wines and desserts. (214-528-9446)
This Knox-Henderson neighborhood restaurant features eclectic global cuisine with Pacific Rim influences, and it encourages diners to step outside the box and try something new. Innovative recipes and fresh seasonal ingredients give dynamic twists to dishes like pan-seared red snapper and lobster shooters. Other popular dishes there that won't disappoint include the black truffle risotto, duck breast with lo mein, and the pan-seared scallops. Enjoy Abacus' unique cuisine in a beautiful, relaxed dining room fashionably appointed with rich woods, metal and glass sculpture, contemporary art, and gleaming geometric designs. An open kitchen provides great views of the master at work. (214-559-3111)
4 Mansion on Turtle Creek Restaurant
A meal taken at the Mansion is a true sensory pleasure, and it is the perfect Dallas restaurant to celebrate a special occasion. The main dining area envelops guests with warm colors, beamed ceilings, wood paneling, and leaded glass windows; there's also an exquisite enclosed veranda. The inventive menu is just as inviting, thanks to dishes like venison loin with white polenta, Pacific halibut with melted leeks, and rack of lamb crusted with hazelnuts, garlic, and herbs. Signature dishes like a warm lobster taco and tortilla soup enhance the epicurean delights at this Oak Lawn treasure. Sunday brunch carries the same quality and flavor. (214-559-2100)
Located inside the elegant Ritz-Carlton Dallas hotel in the Uptown neighborhood, Fearing's is one of Dallas' finest restaurants. The chef, Dean Fearing, is the person who put the Mansion on the map, and diners will not be disappointed with his namesake restaurant. The cuisine is considered to be New American or Southwestern, and some of the specialties there include the tortilla soup, fried lobster, buffalo tenderloin and the butternut squash taquito. Start off your evening at the Rattlesnake Bar, located in the lobby of the Ritz, and then finish off your meal with an over-the-top dessert, like the banana pudding. (2149224848)
Teppo attracts a bevy of hip young patrons excited about feasting on fresh sushi and sashimi. It's located on Lower Greenville, so it's a great place to start out an evening of fun. Menu favorites include the yakitori and a large selection of rolls, tempura and noodle dishes. The duck breast kushiyaki and the ginger and yam ice cream are must-tries. A select wine list, sake and beer complete the bar options. The decor is unpretentious, marked by light-colored woods, polished stone and an outdoor, bamboo-shaded patio. It's a great spot to go when you want to celebrate a milestone, such as your anniversary, or want to impress your special date. (214-826-8989)
1 Company Cafe on the Trail
Situated next to the Katy Trail in the Oak Lawn neighborhood, Company Cafe on the Trail is the perfect place to get your healthy grub on before or after an exhilarating run, walk or bike on the popular Dallas trail. Featuring a wide variety of gluten-free menu items, this cost-efficient, healthy restaurant is a favorite for healthy Dallas residents. Some of the most popular gluten-free items on the menu there include the pancakes and bagels, Urban Hippie Scramble (3 cage-free eggs scrambled with sauteed grass-fed beef, onion, squash and tomato topped with goat cheese, served with Texas toast and organic salsa), Company Salmon plate, and U-10 Scallops. It is a casual, cool atmosphere. ((214) 468-8721)
About Denise Brandenberg
Born and raised in Dallas, Denise Brandenberg has been a self-proclaimed “Dallas Ambassador” for out-of-town friends and colleagues for years. Denise started her career as an advertising agency copywriter, recruiter, and manager of online forums for an international meeting planning association. She ventured off on her own a few years ago, to start an adventurous career as a freelance writer and marketing consultant. Denise’s other work can be found at Global Road Warrior, USA Today, Chron.com, The Motley Fool, LovetoKnow, The Meeting Professional, and several other online publications.
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