While Dallas has a reputation as a white-collar, conservative northern Texas metropolis, it still has its pockets of quirky, artsy neighborhoods like Oak Lawn.
Located just north of Dallas’ hipster center of Deep Ellum, Oak Lawn is the center of Dallas’ LGBTQ scene.
Known for its flamboyant drag shows, karaoke bars, and dance clubs, Oak Lawn has the best nightlife in town and is a popular spot for young adults.
It’s also home to a wealth of outdoor activities, trails, and bike paths that run along Turtle Creek and through Oak Lawn’s main green space, Oak Lawn Park.
Between picnics at Oak Lawn Park by day and epic bar hopping by night, I wanted to find some sustenance to fuel my activities and found an abundance of restaurants as vibrant and eclectic as Oak Lawn itself.
- The Mansion Restaurant
- Al Biernat’s
- Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen
- Nick & Sam’s
- TJ’s Seafood Market & Grill HP/Oak Lawn
I have compiled a list of my favorite restaurants in Oak Lawn that encompass a variety of different cuisines and dining experiences.
2821 Turtle Creek Blvd, Dallas, TX 75219
Located inside the posh Rosewood Hotel in a stunning ground floor dining space with ornately carved ceilings, large arched windows, and a carved marble fireplace, The Mansion Restaurant offers contemporary French-inspired New American cuisine. They use locally sourced ingredients to create innovative dishes presented as culinary works of art.
Their extensive wine list has won the Wine Spectator’s Award, and they also have a wonderful cocktail menu. They serve breakfast, lunch, brunch, and dinner at The Mansion, and dinner offers a chef’s tasting menu.
I recommend the seared diver scallops with roasted sunchokes, perigord truffle, macerated raisins, pancetta, and toasted hazelnuts as a dinner entrée.
2817 Maple Ave, Dallas, TX 75201
From famed American master sushi Chef and James Beard Award-winner Tyson Cole, Uchi is a nationally renowned fine-dining sushi restaurant that originated in Austin.
Located in Uptown, across Reverchon Park from Oak Lawn, Uchi has received praise for its spectacular, inventive, and authentic menu from Food and Wine, The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, Bon Appetit, and The Wallstreet Journal, to name a few.
Chef de Cuisine Rhonda McCullar heads the Dallas Uchi Kitchen. Everything on Uchi’s menu is superb, from the sashimi to the hot plates.
They make some of the best fried brussels sprouts with lemon and chili I have ever tasted. My favorite makimono is ham and eggs with pork katsu, pickled cucumber, fried egg, and miso.
4217 Oak Lawn Ave, Dallas, TX 75219
Al Biernat’s is a fine-dining steakhouse in a classy, contemporary setting in Oak Lawn, a block from Conner Park.
Owned and operated by Al Biernat himself, the namesake restaurant is the culmination of over 30 years of working in the nation’s finest steakhouses. Al Biernat’s has been serving the finest dry-aged steaks to Oak Lawn since 1998.
The vast menu of appetizers, salads, steaks, and seafood runs the global gamut of cuisine and preparation.
I started with the tempura battered prawns with mixed greens and honey mustard vinaigrette, followed by the Texas Wagyu Long Bone Short Rib with parsnip puree, sauteed kale, and foie gras demi.
4115 Lomo Alto Dr, Dallas, TX 75219
Overlooking the lovely Craddock Park in Highland Park, Nonna is a high-end Italian bistro that uses locally sourced meat and produce to create an authentic wood-fired pizza menu, house-made pasta, and antipasti.
The restaurant’s decadent artisanal menu and cozy European tavern design have won Nonna praise from the New York Times and the Dallas Observer.
They have a modest but excellent offering of antipasti, pizza, pasta, and entrees. I loved the wood-fired ricotta pizza with panna, prosciutto, shiitakes, and parmigiano to start.
My favorite pasta dish was the bucatini with shrimp, jalapeno, Brussels greens, butter, green onion, garlic, and olive oil.
3520 Oak Lawn Ave, Dallas, TX 75219
Opened in Houston in 1976 by the famed Pappas brothers, Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen is a longstanding Texas favorite for fresh seafood.
The Dallas location in the Turtle Creek neighborhood upholds the family legacy of offering lively, family-friendly atmospheres and the freshest Gulf Coast catches cooked with a Cajun flair.
They make some of the best Greek salad you’ll ever taste, served family-style. Their Louisiana gumbo is also hard to beat, packed full of fresh shrimp, seafood, and andouille sausage.
My favorite Cajun specialty was the giant shrimp and grits with sauteed spinach, creamy cheese grits, andouille sausage, and sweet corn in spicy Creole butter.
3008 Maple Ave, Dallas, TX 75201
Nick & Sam’s is a fashionable American steakhouse owned by restauranter Phil Romano, house manager Joseph Palladino, and Corporate Chef Samir Dhurandhar.
The gorgeous Uptown dining room has an awesome mural over rich wood shelves that have brightly colored modern abstract oil paintings framed in gaudy gold vintage frames. The world-class menu is as stimulating to the tastebuds as its surroundings are to the eyes.
The menu is the most diverse and creative of modern American steakhouses with both traditional and innovative entrees, sides, and small plates.
I could’ve made a meal from the sides alone, with dishes like Peking duck fried rice, shrimp and crab hushed puppies, and king crab roasted corn. Their Prime dry-aged New York sirloin was as juicy and flavorful as could be.
4212 Oak Lawn Ave, Dallas, TX 75219
Voted Best Seafood in Dallas by D Magazine and Dallas Observer, TJ’s Seafood Market and Grill is both Dallas’ premier fish purveyor and a beloved neighborhood seafood restaurant.
Opened in 1989 in a small friendly dining space and seafood counter overlooking Conner Park, T.J’s offers the freshest fish dishes in town sourced from their own market selections.
They offer an affordable menu of fish sandwiches, Mexican fish dishes, starters, and whole grilled fish. I loved the Hot Connecticut Lobster Roll with butter-sauteed claw and tail, garlic, and thyme on a brioche roll.
If you’re craving Mexican, try the Chilean sea bass enchiladas with corn, poblano, onion, cilantro crema, and jicama slaw.
Oak Lawn’s eclectic restaurant scene mirrors its hip and fashionable nightlife. So whether you’re looking for fine-dining steakhouses, innovative sushi, or authentic Italian food, my list of the best restaurants in Oak Lawn will ensure a delectable, world-class dining experience.
If you’re looking for more wonderful dining options in Dallas, there are also many great pizza restaurants.
Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave us a comment, and we’ll check it out!
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