10 Best Value Restaurants in Dallas: From Casual Hidden Gems to Affluent Upscale Dining
By Denise Brandenberg
Dallas Local Expert
Trying to pin down words like frugal, value, and deal can be exasperating because different people have different ideas of cost savings. For 10Best, the range is broad - we include impossibly cheap eateries with amazing menus, and we share really nice restaurants that have perks like terrifically affordable prix fixe menus. If you're looking for Best Value restaurants in Dallas, let us introduce you to a few of our favorites that feature great food and dining atmospheres that will go easy on your wallet.
If you're in the mood for seafood on a budget, you can still get fresh fish and shellfish flown in straight from the Gulf Coast at Hook, Line and Sinker on Lemmon Ave. This staple catfish and shrimp spot is the place to go when you're craving crab legs and boiled shrimp, and that platter will serve between two and three adults for less than $25. If you're hankering for sushi, go to the Dallas Fish Market in Downtown. This restaurant offers free sushi during happy hour on some days and a three-course sunset menu that comes with wine pairings for only $30 a person.
More in the mood for steak? Of course you are - you're in Dallas! Head on over to the old-school Palm Restaurant during lunch and get a full meal for less than $20, less than half of what you'd pay in the evening. No matter what you're in the mood for, Dallas has great value restaurants that are low in expenditures and high in appeal.
10 Shinsei Restaurant
Located in the University Park neighborhood, Shinsei offers Dallas residents and visitors some of the best Asian fusion cuisine in Big D. It features huge portions of Thai and Sushi food, and it's even open late on the weekends, so it's the perfect way to end a night on the town. Start out with the crab and cucumber spring rolls, the coconut chicken jalapeno poppers, or the quail egg shooters. Then choose one of many popular entrees, including the black cod, fried rice, beef tenderloin or lobster tacos. Finish off your meal with the over-the-top banana parfait with carmelized bananas. (2143520005)
9 Chamberlain's Steak and Chop House
This classy steakhouse draws guests time and again with consistently prepared steaks, seafood, and prime rib. Starters include dishes like smoked salmon with capers, red onions, and lemon cream cheese; entrees include Kobe sirloin sliced tableside. Start out with the lobster bisque - you won't be disappointed. For your main entree, their prime rib comes in 8-, 12-, and 20-ounce portions, and an extensive wine list features French, Italian, and American wines, many of which are available by the glass. Chocolate-brown walls, dark woods, soft lighting, and starched linens distinguish the interior. Cigar aficionados will love that they can order off the full menu in the cigar lounge. (972-934-2467)
8 Avila's Restaurant
This cozy, family-run spot has been satisfying Dallas's craving for authentic Mexican food for over 25 years. The restaurant is newly renovated but Anita & Octavio Avila's recipes haven't changed a bit. Only the freshest ingredients are used that are prized for specials like chicken mole (featuring a near-perfect blend of chocolate and chile) or favorites like brisket gorditas, chalupas, nachos, and tacos. Choose a glass from the small but well-crafted wine list, which is designed with meal pairings in mind. If you leave room for dessert, try delectable, custard-y flan. Avila's also offers drop-off catering requests, and for special occasions, small or large, full-service off-site catering is available. (214-520-2700)
7 The Grape
Romantic and brimming with character, this New American restaurant serves an ever-changing menu of culinary delights. Start out with the famous "mushroom soup," and then enjoy favorites like fresh rigatoni and marinated Australian lamb strip loin, which keeps diners well-satisfied. And don't miss the bistro street fries, the most popular items on the entire menu. Outdoor dining adds to the charm of this Lower Greenville Avenue bistro while the interior features red and white checkered table cloths and hand-painted murals. The wine menu lists over 150 selections, 15 of which are available by the glass. No matter what you're in the mood for - from burgers to seafood - the Grape will not disappoint. (214-828-1981)
6 Ali Baba Mediterranean Grill
If you're in the mood for Mediterranean cuisine, Ali Baba's is the place to go! This popular restaurant has several metropolitan locations. It features a wide variety of delicious dishes that are as healthy as they are unique. In fact, the menu covers the spectrum of regional favorites from the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Some of the most popular menu items there are the hummus and freshly baked pita bread, baba ghanosh, tabouleh, dolmas, and kebabs - from chicken and ground beef to lamb. Most dishes are accompanied with yogurt, legumes (fava, lentils and chickpeas) and the scrumptious pita bread. (214.823.8235)
5 Dallas Fish Market
Located in the heart of Downtown Dallas, the Dallas Fish Market is the perfect spot for a classy business lunch or an elegant, romantic dinner for two. The restaurant decor is modern and comfortable. Start off your meal with a delicious pomegranate martini or one of many imported wines. Some of the most popular menu items there include the fried green tomatoes, calamari, sea bass with a truffle crust, Alaskan halibut and fresh oysters. End your meal with the heavenly chocolate marquee cake with raspberry compote and creme Chantilly or the peanut butter tart with caramel and chocolate ice cream. (2147443474)
4 The Palm
The legend lives on in Dallas's version of the famous New York Palm Restaurant. This family-run Italian steakhouse prepares generous portions of tender USDA Prime aged steak, jumbo Nova Scotia lobster, and traditional Italian fare. Menu items like veal marsala, veal piccata, New York strip, and prime rib of beef are all worthy options for any discerning diner. Favored by business executives and players from the Mavericks and Cowboys, The Palm offers a casual yet refined atmosphere. The decor is unique: walls adorned with hundreds of caricatures of the rich, famous, and well-loved who've patronized the restaurant over the years. (214-698-0470)
3 Kalachandji's Restaurant and Palace
Dallas vegetarians have known about Kalachandji's for years, as its been in business for more than 30 years. This local gem will make visitors feel as if they've left Dallas, or maybe even the U.S. It's situated inside one of Dallas' Hare Krishna Temples, so it may be a little daunting to those who are expecting a traditional restaurant exterior. But once you get inside and taste the food, you'll be happy you came! The food is served buffet style, and the prices are inexpensive. Sample a wide variety of vegetarian foods with Indian inspiration. Sit on the patio to enjoy the best dining experience. ((214) 821-1048)
A charming and romantic two-story restaurant, Adelmo's is an ideal date spot. You'll feel like you've landed on the streets of Sardinia when you arrive! Diners sit close to each other in this intimate restaurant. You'll be served a delicious plate of pickled vegetables and bread when you arrive. Classic Italian and Mediterranean cooking dominates the menu, and standouts include gnocci, veal osso buco, ravioli Florentine and grilled Mediterranean-style salmon. For dessert, opt for the heavenly cappuccino ice cream or the decadent bread pudding. The wine list is well-selected and reasonably priced with a good number of choices available by the glass. The wonderfully personable staff is helpful and knowledgeable, and you'll most likely be greeted by the owner. (214-559-0325)
1 Hook Line & Sinker
This Uptown dive is one of Dallas' best kept secrets. Hook Line & Sinker doesn't have a website, but it does have some of the best seafood in town. The atmosphere is casual and the crowd is one of the most diverse in Dallas. Some of the best dishes there include the 1 lb of boiled shrimp and 1 lb of boiled crab legs (served with corn on the cob and boiled potatoes), the fried catfish basket and the Mexican shrimp cocktail. Don't miss the raw oysters during the winter months, and if you're hankering for a Southern side, try the fried okra instead of fries. (214-965-0707)
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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