The Best Dallas Wine & Food for 2019
By The Editors
Bullion photos courtesy of Bullion | Tei An photo by The Phinyawatana’s
It was hard, but we did it. We managed to narrow down and categorize some of the best restaurants in Dallas, whether you want to meet someone new, have the evening of a lifetime or just eat the best tacos.
Best Place to Power Lunch
With its jewel-boxlike interior, wide open views of downtown and a wonderful prix fixe two-course lunch menu, it’s a great spot to negotiate your latest million-dollar deal. If they agree to your terms, order a bottle of the 2002 Salon Le Mesnil Brut, a lovely blanc de blanc Champagne to celebrate your success.
Best Place for a Late-Night Bite
Owners Allison Yoder and Stephen Rogers keep their Highland Park Mediterranean-inspired spot open until 11pm Tuesday through Sunday. Think about this place next time your black-tie gala that ends at 10pm leaves you hungry for more than a ho-hum catered meal.
Best Place for An Indulgent Lunch
There is simply no other restaurant in Dallas that can stand up to Grange Hall. There, we said it. Whether it’s for lunch or Thursday night dinner, the intimate atmosphere, artful surroundings, and dishes like caviar pasta and its signature chicken soup served on porcelain tabletop by Carrara Dibbern, make this a singular spot for anyone who wants an unforgettable experience.
Best Bar for a Date-Night Drink
It’s pretty simple. This spot tucked away inside The Adolphus is a little dark, a little moody and very elegant, and that combo lays the foundation for getting your flirt on.
Best Bar to Relive College Days
It happens every time, especially if you attended SMU. Each holiday season, homecoming and even a normal week night, you are sure to run into someone who was in your pledge class and knew you before that fancy title you now have. It’s always a walk down memory lane.
Best Steakhouse to Act Like a Baller
Between the sparklers going off, bottles being popped and the regular rotation of professional athletes who roll through this Uptown icon, it’s not hard to see why when it comes to making it rain, Nick & Sam’s is your first call.
Best Place to Meet Mark Cuban
Off- or in-season, the Dallas Mavericks owner can be found sitting in a booth on the west wall usually with some ballers on hand. Always a fun sighting over a plate of dry-aged beef nachos.
We think Bullion’s downtown Dallas location and prix fixe menu make it the best place to power lunch in town.
Best Place to Get Through a Hangover
During the Sunday brunch here, you can either keep at it and order another round or eat away the hangover by ordering the blueberry pancakes. It’s all up to you, but there’s no better place to make this decision.
Best Place to Eat Clean
There’s no shortage of dairy-, sugar- and gluten-free options as well as vegetarian, vegan or paleo meals. It’s hard to beat when you’re watching what you eat.
Best Place to Get Buzzed
An Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters brew and a fluffy Liége waffle grilled to perfection with just the right amount of sugar? Yes, please. Start your day by sitting in this pretty space or order at the walk up window for an afternoon pick-me-up.
Best Place to Make Like An Italian
Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra tunes play in the background while you indulge in dishes like rigatoni alla vodka, fried gigante beans and chicken scarpariello. The Emily Summers-designed space is a wonderful addition to Highland Park Village.
Insider tip: Next time you’re at Tei-An, ask about the private karaoke room.
Best Place to Feel Like You’re in Tokyo
Ten years ago, Teiichi Sakurai created the most authentic Japanese restaurant in Dallas. Now, Sakurai’s Tei-An in One Arts Plaza remains one of the consistently best restaurants in the city for Japanese or otherwise. A thoughtful and knowledgable staff, housemade soba, incredibly delicious and thorough omakase tasting, and fish flown in daily from Japan’s legendary fish markets keep this on the top of our list for both lunch and dinner. Even for a quick stop before or after a show in the Arts District, the tempura sampler with a bottle of Ruinart yields that just-right foodie satisfaction.
Best Outdoor Dining
In the spring and fall, the courtyard of this Design District staple buzzes with pretty people, sometimes with their dogs, sipping on Aperol spritzes. It’s the closest you’ll get to a halcyon, vacationlike afternoon in Dallas.
Best Place to Meet Your Second Spouse
It’s a well-known fact. If you’re 40, divorced and over dating apps, the next best thing is the bar at Shinsei. Leaving here without a new business card or two is nearly impossible. The excellent food doesn’t hurt either.
Best Elegant Oldie But Goodie
We like a dress code and a bartender who can make a mean, old-school drink like a Brandy Alexander. Those sweet potato strings, the ice cold crudités and the Oriental chicken salad are classics that never go out of style.
Best Place to Get Real Deal Tacos
It was the only place in North Texas to have its chef, Regino Rojas, nominated for the 2018 James Beard Award for best chef in the Southwest. Need we say more?
Most Chic Dining Atmosphere
What is it about this place? The eclectically designed space, Chas Martin giving you a bear hug upon arrival, the sexy bathrooms (yes, they are)? Whatever it is, it works. Works so well that it’s now one of the hardest dinner ressies in the city.