Ten Essential Places to Eat and Drink near American Airlines Center

Heading to American Airlines Center at Victory Park for a Mavericks game, a Dallas Stars match up or perhaps a concert? Then chances are good that you’re going to want to do some eating and drinking before the big event. And if the idea of snacking on over-priced junk food doesn’t cut it, then you’re in luck as some of the city’s prime eating destinations are within walking distance (or a 5-minute car ride) from the Center.

Within Victory Park, you’ll find Moroccan cuisine at Medina Oven & Bar, wood-fired pizzas at Olivella's Neo Pizza Napoletana, and all-day breakfasts, burgers, Tex-Mex and pretty much anything you might be craving at BuzzBrews Kitchen.

A little further down the road in the Harwood District lies Happiest Hour, a popular hot spot boasting upscale bar bites, cocktails and amazing skyline views. There’s also Saint Ann, a trendy eatery with modern American fare and a fabulous patio to boot. And next to Saint Ann is Mercat Bistro, a casual restaurant showcasing French-European classics like duck confit and steak frites.

In the mood for a fiesta? Then Meso Maya, a colorful, sprawling downtown cantina should fit the bill. Or perhaps a swanky surf and turf dinner is more your style? Then look no further than Ocean Prime, located in Uptown.

And for those who may be interested in taking the light rail to the AAC, it’s a straight shot from Ellen's Southern Kitchen and Bar in the Historic West End. Another reason to make Ellen’s your go-to place before the event is that this place rocks when it comes to Southern-style cooking.

Keep reading to find out about more places to hit up around the AAC. Pro tip: Try to reserve in advance if you are stretched for time.

Ocean Prime-Dallas
Photo courtesy of Ocean Prime


If you want to take your pre-event dinner up a level, you couldn't pick a better place to go than Ocean Prime, a sprawling surf 'n' turf spot located a half-mile from the AAC in Uptown's Rosewood Court. From the ultra-swish surrounds (think...  Read More

Victory Park
Buzzbrews Kitchen
Photo courtesy of Megan Estep Belmore


An extensive beverage list of brews, lattes, craft beer and wine, plus a stellar food menu that includes everything from omelets to burgers, steaks and fish, makes Buzzbrews a better-than-average coffee house. And as far as handy locations go,...  Read More

Ellen's Southern Kitchen and Bar
Photo courtesy of Ellen's Southern Kitchen and Bar


This favorite West End eatery is a classic for big plates of hearty comfort-food standards, ranging from fried chicken and chicken fried steak to sandwiches, salads and burgers. But by far, the thing Ellen's is most famous for is its grits...  Read More

Moxie's Grill & Bar
Photo courtesy of Moxie's Grill & Bar


This popular Canadian export has taken Dallas by storm since it recently set up its first stateside location in Uptown's Crescent Court, which happens to be a mere 5-minute drive (or 15-minute walk) from the AAC. Best of all, you can stop in...  Read More

Happiest Hour
Photo courtesy of Happiest Hour


Home to Dallas' largest rooftop terrace, this massive restaurant-bar has it all: killer skyline views; back yard games, solid bites (think: nacho towers, artisan sandwiches, flatbreads, steaks and crab mac & cheese) and a stellar beverage...  Read More

Meso Maya Downtown
Photo courtesy of Meso Maya


We can't think of a better way to kick start the night than downing top-shelf margaritas and Mexican fare at this festive cantina. Located at the edge of downtown (only a ten-minute walk to the AAC), Meso Maya draws its inspiration from the...  Read More

Mercat Bistro
Photo courtesy of Mercat Bistro Facebook


Just steps from Saint Ann's, this laid-back bistro is a go-to spot any time of the day, but it's an especially good option to consider when you're looking for a reliably good meal before an event at the AAC. And though it bills itself as a...  Read More

Saint Ann Restaurant and Bar
Photo courtesy of Saint Ann Restaurant and Bar


Anchoring the ground floor of a renovated circa-1927 school house, Saint Ann is arguably one of Dallas' most popular places to hang out. Sure, it churns out a terrific lineup of modern American fare (crab cakes, hickory smoked short rib...  Read More

Victory Park
Medina Oven & Bar
Photo courtesy of Medina Oven & Bar


Moroccan-Mediterranean cuisine is what's going down at Medina Oven, a sexy, dimly lit spot tucked away in the urban area of Victory Park. The menu is filled with everything from dips, filo cigars and wood-fired pizzas (think kefta, caramelized...  Read More

Olivella's Neo Pizza Napoletana
Photo courtesy of Olivella's Neo Pizza Napoletana


Sure, Olivella's is right around the corner from American Airlines Center, but that's just part of the reason to come, the other is that this place turns out seriously good pizza. In fact, these wood-fired orbs are so heavenly that Food Network...  Read More


Meet Ilene Jacobs

As a perpetual wanderer, foodie freak and wannabe chef, Ilene is always on the lookout for the best places to see, eat, drink and sleep. When she's not writing about the latest happenings in...  More About Ilene