Munch on Lunch at These Inviting Dallas Restaurants
By Denise Brandenberg
Dallas Local Expert
Whoever said that breakfast was the most important meal of the day certainly never "lunched" in Dallas! In Big D, lunch is one of our favorite meals of the day largely due to all the great lunch restaurants around town. Before choosing your own top pick, think about what you want in your lunch restaurant. Are you looking for an upscale spot to impress business clients or do you need to motor through a working power lunch? Are you getting away from work to enjoy lunch with friends or colleagues? Are you looking for a place to have a leisurely casual lunch on the weekend?
No matter what you're in the mood for, 10Best has the perfect place for you! For example, if you're in the Downtown/Uptown area, you can choose from a wide variety of restaurants -from the perfect sandwich/salad combo at Bread Winners Cafe & Bakery to an elegant fine-dining lunch experience at Landmark Restaurant. If you're in the mood for a Tex-Mex lunch (complete with a margarita!) head on over to the Iron Cactus. Or if you're REALLY hungry, go to the delicious, yet healthy, lunch buffet at Ali Baba Mediterranean Grill. Not in the mood to count calories? Go for burgers at Twisted Root Cafe or splurge on pizza at Campisi's.
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)
Give yourself over to terrific northern Indian dishes at India Palace, including the Maharani Feast. It starts with your choice of soup, tandoori chicken, or kebab and continues with an entree of curried lamb accompanied by saag paneer (creamed spinach with cheese), pillau rice, and naan. At lunchtime, this popular eatery has an extensive buffet that features several types of rice, naan bread, goat and chicken dishes, and a wide variety of vegetarian dishes, like cauliflower and chickpeas. There is also a dessert bar at the lunch buffet. The soft, romantic interior is adorned in gold, bronze, and cinnabar tones, and the bar stocks Indian beers and specialty cocktails. (972-392-0190)
Iron Cactus - Dallas
Located in the heart of Downtown Dallas, Iron Cactus is a sleek, trendy Mexican restaurant that's perfect for a night out on the town. This three-story building features outdoor patios with skyline views ideal for pleasant Dallas weather. The decor is modern and upscale, and the menu features a wide variety of Mexican dishes not found in regular Tex-Mex establishments. Some of the most popular menu items there include stacked enchiladas, chicken stuffed avocados, and fish or lobster tacos. There's a great botanas (appetizers) menu perfect to go along with the delicious cocktails, such as the Mexican Martini. Visitors on a gluten-free diet will be pleased that Iron Cactus has a special gluten-free menu with items like Chipotle Salmon. There's also a brunch menu on the weekends. (214-749-4766)
Unique gourmet takeout is what Eatzi's is all about. This convenient market and bakery has provided diners with the freshest sandwiches, hot entrees, bottled salsa and chutney in town. The shop offers touches like "create your own beer six-packs," selective wines and a variety of European breads. An out of the ordinary terrific eating option for the busy traveler, Eatzi's is a great alternative. If you're there for lunch, indulge yourself in the make-your-own sandwich or salad lines. You'll be able to pick out your favorite ingredients to create a one-of-a-kind healthy lunch. 10Best's favorite go-to salad is composed of romaine and mixed greens, shrimp, cucumbers, black olives, croutons, red onion, feta cheese and Greek dressing. (214-526-1515, 214-528-6100)
Classic Italian cuisine is Campisi's forte. A local favorite, the restaurant offers delicious pasta and pizza combinations. It's in the perfect downtown spot on Elm Street, within walking distance to all the major highrises. It even allows patrons to bring their own beer and wine. Menu choices include crab claws, combo platters of traditional Italian fare, and excellent thin-crust pizzas, the main draw of this downtown staple. Some of the most popular pasta dishes there include the spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna and alfredo. The lively ambiance ensures that everyone has a good time - you may even forget to go back to work! (972-931-2267)
If you've really worked up an appetite, and want to experience lunch Texas-style, head to Sammy's to tame your hunger with tasty ribs and hearty sides. The lunch-only place is known for serving tangy meats to local professionals, whether it's smoked turkey, sliced beef brisket, ham, smoked sausage, or more. Sandwiches and plates are both available, depending on the level of your cravings. For something different, check out zucchini casserole, or if you're watching your calories, the spinach salad is equally delicious. Don't forget to top off your meal with a satisfying slice of apple or pecan pie. A must! (214-880-9064)
Looking for an upscale lunch in a short amount of time? This restaurant promises to have you fed and out the door within an hour. The lunch special is an abbreviated version of the main menu and includes two courses. Choose creative American dishes, some with an Asian touch, from the Business Lunch menu. The knowledgeable, friendly waitstaff serves items like venison loin, tempura shrimp, blackened salmon, and crab lasagna. If you're looking to impress business clients or a lunch date, this elegant restaurant is sure to please. And don't forget dessert! Some of the favorites there are the Banana Creme Brule, adult cupcake, and the strawberry tower with Godiva chocolate cake! (214-224-3152)
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. ((972) 437-1222)
Avanti Restaurant at Fountain Place
This attractive Mediterranean-Italian restaurant is popular with business folks, who deem its peaceful environment ideal for wooing clients. Romantics hold the place in high esteem as well, beguiled no doubt by its enchanting fountains and garden-like setting. Lunch appetites are soothed by dishes like tempura-battered fish and chips or three-cheese spinach lasagna; sandwiches, pastas, and seafood are available as well. So no matter if you are meeting a client or a romantic prospect, this Downtown eatery is sure to set the perfect background for your meal. N.B. Avanti is closed to the public at dinnertime and on Saturday and Sunday. (214-965-0055)
Bread Winners Cafe & Bakery
Lunchtime is extra busy at this cafe and bakery as folks stop in for a wide variety of salads, sandwiches, soups, burgers and wraps. Bread Winners excels in salads, and one of the most popular is the prime strip steak salad, complete with hearts of palm, cherry tomatoes, asparagus, red onions, croutons and balsamic parmesan vinaigrette. Finish your meal with one of many decadent desserts and pastries, including muffins and cakes. (Chocolate seduction cake, in particular, is truly a worthwhile indulgence!) At lunch, you'll find a full coffee bar and great daily specials. There's a terrific Sunday brunch, too, along with a bar called The Quarter. (214-754-4940)
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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