Dallas has a reputation for doing everything to the fullest — and a weekend on the town is no exception. From swanky hotels with hidden bars to James Beard-awarded chefs, luxurious options abound.
Dallas welcomes visitors with a bright, disarming energy that begs you to get dressed to the nines and go out and celebrate — even if all you’re celebrating is the pleasure of a good time with good friends. Here’s how to paint the town red, no matter your style.
Dallas has a vibrant dining culture, with creative and inspired chefs opening new projects regularly. But the city also has a traditional side when it comes to high-end dining. In the list below, Dallas icons share space with up-and-comers.
The Mexican fills the gourmet Mexican niche in Dallas. Think beef tenderloin and bone marrow tacos, ahi sashimi with a below-the-border twist, and margaritas elevated with basil, hibiscus, and pomegranate liqueur. Expect a fine-dining experience that tickles all of your senses.
Prices reflect the quality of ingredients, but know that the food stands up to the hype. Every design detail says this is a luxury-dining dream come true, including the possibility to book one of the restaurant’s more intimate private dining rooms. It’s easy to spend an entire night out here, savoring each sip and bite.
The Mansion on Turtle Creek
It’s all about old-world European influences at The Mansion on Turtle Creek, from exquisite architectural details to the French-inspired menu. Located on a quiet side street in the bustling Turtle Creek neighborhood, this spot stands as an undisputed Dallas icon. Originally a private residence built in the early 1900s, The Mansion’s owners once entertained remarkable guests from around the world, including President Franklin D. Roosevelt. In 1980, it became The Mansion Restaurant.
Take a seat in one of several dining rooms, each with its own ambiance, like the whimsical terrace or the dark, refined bar. Dine on caviar or a perfect wagyu striploin — even better, try the chef’s seasonal menu.
Al Biernat’s has been a favorite of Dallas’s foodie crowd since opening in the 1990s. Part of the charm is the entrance: A fountain anchors a circular driveway where the valet awaits. (Be sure you don’t confuse the original Oak Lawn location with the newer iteration in Plano. Both have stellar food, but you’re looking for the iconic glamor here!)
Known for steaks and fresh seafood (flown in daily), the restaurant also houses a 650-bottle rare-wine collection. You could easily arrive at Al Biernat’s for dinner and wind up closing the place down. If those walls could talk.
If the 60 glittering chandeliers, submarine immersed in a massive fish tank, and MG Roadster in the kitchen don’t scream swank to you, it’s probably because you’re too busy perusing the seafood and steak roster that fills the menu at Town Hearth. With open-fire-roasted bone-in prime rib carved to order, North Texan wagyu, and caviar from Uruguay, patrons should be prepared for a decadent dining experience.
Find this spot in the center of the Design District, just to the northwest of downtown.
From cigar bars to speakeasies, the Dallas bar scene will keep you entertained until the wee hours.
Midnight Rambler at The Joule
This “subterranean” lounge is located in The Joule, a neo-Gothic, 4-star boutique hotel. Forget you’re below ground as you sip on craft cocktails while the DJ spins the mood. The bartender will make anything you like, but you should try at least one drink from the seasonal menu — it is created by award-winning bartender Gabe Sanchez, after all.
Peek behind the kitchen refrigerator at Mexican restaurant La Mina, in the Drey Hotel, and you’ll see a warm, dark room with comfortable sofas and beautiful Mexican-themed art. Welcome to Apatito, a stylish, agave-only speakeasy.
If you don’t know much about mezcal, sotol, or tequila, order a flight — which includes three shots of your preference — or select one of their high-grade craft cocktails from the menu.
Javier’s Cigar Bar
At Javier’s Gourmet Mexicano, guests dine on food inspired by the streets of Mexico City. After dinner, unwind at Javier’s Cigar Bar, a private lounge filled with leather couches and lined with a cedar bar. Pick from their extensive cigar collection, and bring out that smoky flavor with a glass of scotch, cognac, or bourbon.
When the Neiman Marcus flagship store opened in 1907, it elevated Dallas retail to a nationally renowned art form. Now, locally owned boutiques stocked with the finest high-end goods are worth a visit if you’re hankering for some retail therapy on your trip.
For those coveting couture design, a trip to the eponymous Carla Martinengo delivers with a whole assortment of runway-dominating names: Balenciaga, Chloe, Gaultier. This boutique is known for carrying only the best of the best, and with Martinengo’s background as a model in Europe, she certainly knows fashion.
Highland Park Village
Highland Park Village holds the title for being the first shopping center in America, opening in 1931. Notable for its terracotta rooftops, stucco exteriors, and eye-catching tile work, the high-end shopping here is comparable to wandering the toniest streets in Milan or Paris. Take a break for dinner at neighborhood favorite Cafe Pacific, or try the somewhat-hidden Bar 31. It’s tucked upstairs for in-the-know shoppers looking for drinks or dinner.
Stanley Korshak at Crescent Court
For exemplary personal service, a custom-fitted suit or travel ensemble, or the perfect gift, make a stop at Stanley Korshak. With a motto like “shopping at its personal best,” this award-winning store likely has exactly what you need — along with plenty you didn’t know you needed until you stepped inside.
Forty Five Ten
In downtown Dallas, find carefully curated women’s fashion and home decor items at Forty Five Ten (named after its old address on McKinney Avenue). So much thought has gone into the selection that the racks look and feel a bit like a museum — a museum, that is, where you can buy the most fabulous designer clothes. Stella McCartney, Thom Browne, Miu Miu, and Jill Sander are just a few labels to look for.
Tip: If wandering the 37,000-square-foot space wears you out, break for another 45 at restaurant Mirador, on the top floor.
If you’re ready for a shopping spree, head over to NorthPark Center, home to over 200 stores and restaurants — which means you’re bound to find something you like. At NorthPark, shopping is turned into a luxury experience, with concierge and personal shopping services available. Once your credit card needs a rest, stop for lunch at Eataly, a 46,000-square-foot wonderland of all things Italian.
SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Ready to take a seat? The entertainment options in Dallas rival those of any American metropolis. Heck, many limited-run tours and exhibitions open in Dallas. From the NBA to the Dallas Symphony and more, there’s an event — or two, or three — for everyone.
The Dallas Arts District
As the largest contiguous arts district in the nation, the Dallas Arts District is a destination in itself. See a play, catch a performance of the Dallas Symphony in the fabulous Morton Meyerson Symphony Hall, attend an opera, or visit one of three top-notch museums in the district. It’s an evening (or several) well spent.
The American Airlines Center
A private suite at the American Airlines Center and your favorite musical act onstage? That’s Dallas done right. Expect big, big names, from Celine Dion and The Who to Lizzo and The Lumineers. There are no bad suite seats, and your private box comes stocked with the finest wine and spirits.
At the exact same venue, trade your wine glass for a pint of beer and nachos — this is where the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and the NHL’s Dallas Stars hold court for a high-energy afternoon or evening.
This state-of-the-art stadium — they say it’s the largest domed structure in the world — is the home of the peerless Dallas Cowboys. Buy seats on the 50-yard line for you and your crew, or go big and rent one of the 300 suites for the most luxurious game experience. You get in-suite catering, a private bathroom, and parking passes.
Okay, now it’s time to put it all together: Go from the 18th green to smoking a cigar in a luxurious leather armchair to tossing back bespoke cocktails in a subterranean speakeasy. Mix and match, rinse and repeat. You never know what you’ll find in Dallas, but you can be sure it’ll be glamorous.