A guide to the Dallas dining scene

Getting a taste of Dallas at some of the city’s best local restaurants is a great way for families to spend time together this weekend.

Dallas is home to many high-end restaurants, and the dining scene is fun and diverse.

Neighborhood Services, named Dallas’ No. 1 restaurant by D Magazine this year, is a fine-dining experience that is well worth the wait to be seated.

The American-style menu offers something for everyone. Some main course dishes include steak frites, beef tenderloin, roast chicken and a gourmet burger. There are also nightly specials and a rotating selection of fish and handmade pasta dishes.
The homemade fried hand pies and vanilla ice cream are irresistible as an after-dinner dessert.

For authentic Texas flavor, try Mr. Mesero, an upscale Tex-Mex restaurant owned by local restaurateur and founder of Taco Diner and Mi Cocina. The menu features tacos, enchiladas and steak dishes, along with some classic American dishes such as burgers and roast chicken.

The guacamole is perfection, and the tacos can’t be beat. The atmosphere is relaxing outside on the air-conditioned patio.

Ziziki’s and The Greek are two Mediterranean-style sister restaurants in Dallas. Both offer a delicious menu of Greek appetizers and dips, salads, souvlakis and gyros. Both menus also feature traditional Greek dishes including mousaka, pastichio, lamb and fish entrees.

The gyro, chicken pita and mousaka at The Greek are exceptional, and Ziziki’s spanakopita, Ziziki bread and lamb souvlaki are just a
few highlights.

Sangria Mediterranean Tapas and Bar takes another approach to Mediterranean cuisine, fusing a menu of Greek-inspired dishes with Spanish tapas dishes. The menu offers items like croquettes, cured meats and cheeses, vegetables, salads and more. Some traditional tapas dishes on the menu are garlic shrimp, Spanish meatballs and fried calamari.

The duck confit is an excellent balance of savory and subtle sweetness, and the toasted ravioli filled with goat cheese is a light dish that is rich with flavor. The crispy potatoes with chorizo are topped with a fried egg of textbook perfection.

When it comes to breakfast and brunch, the Company Cafe offers a full menu of dishes that are healthier versions of homestyle classics. For a savory fix there is a variety of omelets and scrambles to choose from, breakfast tacos and the “deep bowl,” which is a grass-fed beef and sweet potato hash topped with eggs. For a sweet tooth, the menu offers pancakes, gluten-free French toast and a granola parfait. Lunch offerings include salads made using local and organic produce, sandwiches and burgers with options like gluten-free buns and portobello mushroom or buffalo patties.

The Kozy Kitchen is another cafe-style restaurant with an emphasis on local, organic and healthy food. For breakfast, the Kozy Kitchen also offers a full menu of omelets and scrambles, pancakes and French toast. The lunch menu features many healthy gourmet salads made with organic ingredients and high-quality meats and seafood. The Captain Caveman salad, made with bacon, avocado, warm shrimp and rich goat cheese served over mixed greens and served with a flavorful chipolte aioli, is the perfect salad.

Hopdoddy Burger Bar is a popular spot for an off-campus lunch break (be sure to get there early to beat the long line). With a menu focused on all-natural ingredients and gourmet flavor, Hopdoddy is one of the best burger joints in town and is definitely worth a visit. The Classic Burger truly meets the standard for a classic burger, with a thick and juicy seven-ounce Angus beef patty served between two house-baked buns (gluten-free option available). For a taste that’s a little more unconventional, there are 11 other burger combinations with different high-quality meat choices such as buffalo, lamb and turkey. The truffle fries are addictive, but the menu also caters to healthy eaters with a selection of salads.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Texas without barbecue. Pecan Lodge, located downtown at the Dallas Farmer’s Market, is technically open from Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. — or until they run out, which tends to happen around noon.

The Burnt Ends, or brisket end cuts, and the jalapeno-and-bacon mac and cheese are a couple of menu highlights.

An obvious dessert destination is Sprinkles Cupcakes, a flavors including pumpkin spice, cinnamon, red velvet and many others.

Dallas is also home to the one and only Wild About Harry’s, a restaurant that serves hot dogs but is famous for its frozen custard and shakes.

Chocolate Secrets is a shop of handmade chocolates that has everything from truffles to turtles, plus a coffee and wine bar.

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