Finding a restaurant to please a large group can be tricky. Finding a restaurant that's as pleasing for adults as it is for kids is even trickier. Behold The Lot, a beer garden eatery near White Rock Lake in east Dallas that boasts a wallet-friendly menu (nachos, tacos, BBQ brisket sliders, burgers, rotisserie chickens), a stellar beer list and a massive outdoor space replete with areas for kids, adults and pooches. It's all first-come, first-served, but you can book the backyard space for parties up to 200 people with a food and beverage guarantee starting at $500. Extra perks include special party menus and live music every weekend.
Recommended for Group Friendly because: The Lot is a terrific option when you have kids and pooches in tow.
Ilene's expert tip: Happy Hour is offered Monday-Friday from 3-7 p.m. and Monday-Sunday from 10 p.m. until close. Score $5 Burgers and half-price kid's meals on Tuesday nights and half-price bottles of wine on Wednesdays.
Set up in a landmark building on the edge of the Dallas Arts District, this cavernous cantina is a surefire bet for sizable groups. Not only can you easily snag a reservation online for eight, the restaurant also provides private indoor and semi-private patio dining options, which are offered with a guaranteed expenditure starting at $650 and can accommodate groups upwards of 200. Diners can choose from things like ceviche, Berkshire pork chicharrones, adobo marinated brisket tacos, seafood stuffed enchiladas and cochinita pibil or go with a prix fixe menu that runs from $23 to $48 per person. The margaritas here are another reason to come.
Recommended for Group Friendly because: Meso Maya's downtown location offers the best options for group dining.
Ilene's expert tip: There are bar snacks and drink specials on offer during Happy Hour, Monday through Friday from 3-6 p.m. Valet is complementary to all Meso Maya guests.
Named for a legendary Hill Country ranch, this downtown mainstay is as famous for steaks as it is for its selection of wild game. Not to mention, this place boasts multiple options to accommodate groups of nearly any size. You can book tables online for groups of 12 people or less, while larger parties of up to 150 can be slotted into a variety of private spaces, each of which is bedecked with authentic Texas décor. Additionally, you can rent the entire restaurant, which affords you the option of hosting a cocktail get-together for 350 or a seated dinner for 275 guests. Pre-designed menus, buffets and bar packages are also available.
Recommended for Group Friendly because: When the gang wants a Texas-style steakhouse experience, Y.O. is the best place to go.
Ilene's expert tip: Score discounted libations and half-price appetizers during Happy Hour, weekdays from 3:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Situated in the building which originally housed a Woolworth five-and-dime, this sleek downtown drinking den is always a great choice when it comes to group outings. Not only does it offer a slew of shared options (lobster fondue, crab nachos, sliders) as well as everything from gourmet sandwiches to fish and steak, it also boasts a variety of cozy seating options that can easily accommodate fifteen of your besties. Should you prefer something more private, you can opt for the wood-paneled library that holds up to fifty guests and is available with a food and beverage minimum starting at $500. Oh, and the kitchen caters to gluten-free diners, too.
Recommended for Group Friendly because: The Woolworth is a good place to go for a party atmosphere.
Ilene's expert tip: Metered parking is free after 6 p.m. on Elm Street. Valet is offered for $6. The Woolworth features $8 select cocktails and $5 house wine during Happy Hour, Monday from 11 a.m. â" 2 p.m. and Tuesday- Friday from 11 a.m. â" 7 p.m.
Situated in the Oak Lawn area of Dallas, this jewel box of a dining spot wows with a flawlessly executed menu of Mediterranean-inspired cuisine which draws its inspiration from Southern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. That translates into an array of spectacular dishes for sharing and grazing, with options ranging from vegetable-laden meze platters (think roasted turnips with Syrian red lentil purée and yellow beet hummus) to Moroccan lamb chops, grilled branzino and Turkish lamb ragu. The best part is that the restaurant offers a family-style menu for eight or more that includes an assortment of meze platters, appetizers, main courses and desserts for $45 per person. Groups of twelve can be accommodated for during the week and up to ten on weekends. There's also the option of renting out the entire restaurant on Mondays.
Recommended for Group Friendly because: Sachet is perfect for smaller groups who like to share.
Ilene's expert tip: Sachet also offers a family-style lunch menu ($35) for parties of 15 or more upon request. There is complimentary valet parking as well as self-park spaces in front of and behind the restaurant.
Sushi, sashimi and binchotan-grilled items as well as a range of unique Japanese dishes reign supreme at this slick downtown Plano izakaya, which makes this a perfect place for a group to enjoy drinks and share small plates. Parties of up to twenty can be accommodated at banquette tables lining the back wall or for those wanting a more intimate vibe, there's a private dining room that can be configured to seat gatherings of six to fourteen. Cool fact: The restaurant happens to be designed by the same folks who did the interiors for Gonpachi, the Tokyo restaurant featured in Quentin Tarantino's 2004 film, Kill Bill.
Recommended for Group Friendly because: Ebesu is where to find authentic Japanese specialties that aren't commonly seen on North Texas menus.
Ilene's expert tip: Parking can be difficult to find around here, look for extra spaces behind the restaurant or across the light-rail tracks at Haggard Park.
If clubby vibes, craft cocktails and shareable plates sound like a winning combination to you, then this massive, 20,000-square-foot restaurant and lounge in Addison will be just the ticket. And accommodating big parties is no problem as virtually every area in the venue (both private and semi-private) is rentable. Options range from shared spaces on the lower level near the gaming and bars to private alcoves on the upper VIP deck overlooking the main dining room. As well, the patio can hold upwards of 300 for a reception and 175 people for a seated function. Food-wise, expect to find everything from smoked burnt end nachos to wood-oven flatbreads, burgers, grilled salmon and steak. Did we mention they also offer complimentary bocce ball, shuffleboard, foosball, darts, ping pong, corn hole, karaoke and more?
Recommended for Group Friendly because: Sidecar Social is for those who want to take their dining experience to a more active level.
Ilene's expert tip: Snag $4 call drinks plus half-price flatbreads and wine by the glass during Social Hour, from open- 6 p.m., Monday-Friday. Also, find half-price bottles of wine on Mondays; $3 domestic drafts on Tuesdays; $5 martinis on Wednesdays and $5 draft cocktails on Thursdays.
Arguably one of Dallas' most celebrated restaurants, Fearing's is where to go when you want to inject a bit of Texan-style glamour to your evening soiree. Located in the swanky Ritz Carlton, the restaurant boasts a plethora of different spaces to entertain from eight to eighty people, including a formal dining room with soaring ceilings; an intimate wine cellar; a romantic glass pavilion and a dreamy moonlit patio. As for the food, expect to find everything from mesquite-grilled ribeyes and buffalo tenderloins to chicken-fried Maine lobster. Best seats in the house? Dean's Kitchen, where you and seven of your best pals can have a ringside view of all the action.
Recommended for Group Friendly because: Fearing's offers a wide variety of settings for parties of all sizes and is a popular spot for wedding showers.
Ilene's expert tip: Don't miss the complimentary guacamole and mini margaritas on offer in the hotel lobby every night starting at 6 p.m. Valet parking for guests of Fearing's is complimentary, make sure to have the restaurant validate your ticket.
When it comes to hosting a group in style, this spacious rooftop steakhouse is hard to beat. For a start, it's located on the twenty-seventh floor of the Hilton Anatole, so it's almost impossible to not have a good time when you're surrounded by spectacular skyline views. Secondly, it serves some of the best steaks in town, including a phenomenal 32-ounce black Angus tomahawk that's been dry-aged for 28 days. Thirdly, it's perfect for hosting a classy get-together: In addition to the main dining area, SER offers four elegantly appointed private rooms that can accommodate 25 to 150 people. And for those times when your dinner plans for two turn into a party of twelve? No problem, SER typically has the space to welcome your group, even when it's a last-minute outing.
Recommended for Group Friendly because: SER has abundant space for impromptu parties and it's a top spot for corporate dining affairs.
Ilene's expert tip: Be sure to park with the valet and have the restaurant validate your ticket. Happy Hour is offered from 5-6:30 p.m., Monday-Friday.
Talk about unique dining experiences. How about hosting your group of fifteen in a renovated Airstream trailer? That's just one of the private and semi-private options available at this expansive Texas-themed restaurant at Legacy West in Plano. In addition to the Airstream, the restaurant boasts a slew of dining and lounging areas, each offering a distinct experience, from a ground-level whiskey lounge that can accommodate cocktail parties of fifty to a snazzy second floor private dining room and a third-floor rooftop deck lounge with fireplace. Not to mention, there's a climate-controlled garden terrace with space for 100 plus you can reserve the entire rooftop for a grand soiree under the stars. Food-wise, expect to find things like wagyu burgers, chicken fried steak, BBQ baby back ribs, pan-seared gulf snapper and charbroiled premium Texas steaks.
Recommended for Group Friendly because: Haywire offers one of the most unique group-friendly dining options in the metroplex.
Ilene's expert tip: Find $6 house wine, $5 frozen Texas tea and margaritas and $5 bites like mini elk tacos during Happy Hour, Monday-Friday from 3-6 p.m. Complimentary valet parking is offered and there is also a parking garage directly adjacent to the restaurant.