Nestled in the heart of the city, the Design District is not only a hub for cutting-edge art galleries and elegant showrooms, but also a haven for discerning food enthusiasts. With its sleek and modern aesthetic, this district is home to an array of upscale restaurants that perfectly blend style and substance. From internationally inspired cuisine to innovative fusion dishes, the dining options in the Design District are as diverse as the surrounding art and design influence. Immerse yourself in a culinary journey where each restaurant not only tantalizes the taste buds but also titillates the senses with its carefully curated ambience and impeccable service. Prepare to be transported to a world where flavors collide, traditions are reinvented, and culinary boundaries are pushed. In this article, we will explore some of the most remarkable restaurants in the Design District, highlighting their unique offerings, culinary prowess, and commitment to creating unforgettable dining experiences. So get ready to embark on a gastronomic adventure where creativity meets cuisine, and let your taste buds be inspired in the alluring world of the Design District.
The Charles is a gorgeous, Italian-designed evening restaurant that caters to high-end fine diners. They offer gourmet plates such as charred octopus with cannellini puree and mint pesto, lemon ricotta gnudi with brown butter honey, and pork blade chop with wild mushrooms. They also offer a range of upscale wine and cocktails to go along with a delicious and stylish dish. Given the welcoming vibe, range of meat and vegetable dishes, and lively atmosphere, this is a great spot to celebrate a friend’s birthday. With many swanky cocktails to choose from, a romantic vibe, and even a speakeasy-inspired bar, I also love coming here for a drawn-out date night.
Rodeo Goat is an incredibly popular sit-down burger joint with a friendly and casual vibe. It’s known primarily for its delicious burgers, and I especially love their ultra-juicy Sugar Burger that includes grilled peaches. The craft beers are outstanding at Rodeo Goat too, and they have a well-loved happy hour every Monday through Friday from 4 pm to 7 pm when you can get $1 off beers as well as $2 off wine and $3.50 well drinks. And if you’re a vegetarian, you’ll love the quinoa-patty veggie burger. Rodeo Goat is also known for its massive outdoor patio seating area with a very chilled-out atmosphere and is the perfect place for a large group hangout. I recommend sitting in this area after a club sports game or just a day out with your pals. This restaurant is close to Trammel State Park, so it also provides an excellent dining choice after a soccer game, trail run, or walk around the lake. Who doesn’t love to indulge in a thick and juicy burger after a day out in the sun?
Meddlesome Moth, located right on the corner of Oak Lawn Ave and Hi Line Drive, is an excellent restaurant for exciting group gatherings. It’s a very trendy gastropub that offers an incredibly enormous number of beers—over 140 different kinds! It’s not the fanciest place, but it does have a lot of charm and some stylish plates. That said, I have so much fun getting slightly dressed up with my friends and going to Meddlesome Moth with my friends for social hour, which is on the weekdays between 3 pm to 6 pm. However, the absolute best thing about Meddlesome Moth is their Weekend Brunch from 10 am to 3 pm. You can order a range of American and Tex-Mex brunch items, such as biscuits and sausage gravy, huevos rancheros, and a pepper bacon BLT. I’m not a big bone marrow fan, but many people tend to order that as well.
Ascension Coffee is a highly-rated coffee shop with six locations in Texas. Part of its popularity is due to its stylish digs, especially for a coffee shop. In actuality, it’s not much of a “coffee shop” to me, but a coffee bar that serves delicious, slow-roasted coffee, lattes, cold brews, and more. You can even get a horchata flight! Coffee fans appreciate Ascension Coffee for apparent reasons, but I appreciate that they have great food as well. Their heirloom tomato toast and poke tuna bowl are my favorites. Additionally, going to a coffee shop for dinner may seem strange, but it’s the best time to try out some of their adult beverages. They have excellent boutique wine and craft cocktails, some unsurprisingly incorporating caffeine such as the matcha mojito, espresso martini, and boozy cold brew.
The Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament is, as its name suggests, much more than your typical dinner restaurant. You’ll get to eat Medieval-inspired, utensil-free food like corn on the cob and tomato soup while watching an entertaining show filled with jousting, falconry, and horsemanship. I recommend this dinner and show experience for history buffs and people who love to dress up in Medieval-ware. You can get into it! Just make sure that you book far in advance, as this is a popular spot. It’s located appropriately amongst several hotels such as the Sheraton, Marriott, Wyndham, and Hilton, making it even more accessible to Dallas tourists. I’m not extensively into Medieval times myself, and even I had a great time cheering on my favorite knight!
Ferris Wheelers Backyard and BBQ is a fun and lighthearted family and friend restaurant. Far from upscale, this restaurant has a very welcoming and casual atmosphere. But given its popularity, it’s still helpful to make reservations in advance, especially if you plan to come with a large group. As the name suggests, BBQ is the best type of food to order here, and I love the BBQ mac and cheese. The absolute best side is the fried okra, and it goes well with anything else you might want to order there. Plus, there is an actual Ferris wheel at the restaurant! I recommend you take a ride before you order or as you’re waiting for your food instead of afterward; otherwise, you might feel a bit nauseous from shaking up the relatively fatty foods.
If you’re looking for a swanky dining experience, look no further than Town Hearth. Town Hearth is a luxuriously-designed steakhouse run by renowned Dallas chef Nick Badovinus. Lined with expansive chandeliers, I at first thought that it might be a bit too gaudy for my trendier tastes. However, the restaurant has some unique personality features as well, such as a cool Ducati sitting inside the room and a fish tank with a yellow submarine submerged inside it. Ordering steak is the obvious choice at Town Hearth, but I highly recommend the Brussel sprouts and the mac and cheese for the sides. Additionally, although the chandeliers make it seem like a suitable place for a date, the room is not very private, and it can get quite loud as well. That said, I recommend this for a large group special event instead. Whatever you do, make sure you avoid trying to go on Monday, as they are closed that day.
Another great place to eat high-quality steaks is SER, located inside the Hilton Anatole right off Stemmons Fwy. Given that it’s within a hotel and has three private dining room options, this is one of the best restaurants in Design District Dallas for hosting private events and special occasions. You can get a large banquet seating 50 people, a medium-sized banquet room seating up to 20 guests, or a more intimate conference room setup for up to 16 people. Either way, you’ll have beautiful views of the city and an option for personalized menus to make your celebration as special and unique to you as possible. The ribeye is the most popular steak to order, and they also have tasty asparagus, lobster bisque, and elk dishes.
El Bolero is a colorful and inviting restaurant serving regional Mexican cuisine. This restaurant has many specials, including a happy hour on Monday to Friday from 4 pm to 6 pm and a Wine Down Wednesday where you can order a bottle of wine for half off. Plus, check out their lobster Friday specials because their lobster tacos are amazing! I also enjoy the wagyu tacos, red snapper ceviche, and out-of-this-world guac. Further, this vibrant eatery is the perfect place to celebrate a birthday or special event. There’s louder music, tasty margaritas, and yummy sangria—what more do you need?
Pakpao Thai Food – Design District
If you’re looking to cater an event, Pakpao Thai Food is a wonderful option to consider. Located right across the street from Ascension Coffee mentioned above, this upscale Thai eatery with a modern design serves a range of chic-looking dishes. I love their green curry with salmon, basil pork, and coconut rice. Like El Bolero, they also hold Wine Down Wednesdays for half-priced bottles of wine, as well as Pad Thai Monday for $10 pad thai dishes and Drunken Thursdays for $10 drunken noodles. And if you want to add a little extra “drunkenness” to your Drunken Thursdays, they have an expansive and creative cocktail menu. If you’re a whiskey lover, don’t hesitate to order the Phuket Fashioned.
Pie Tap Pizza Workshop is a restaurant focused mainly on pizza and drinks, and it is the perfect restaurant for those who can’t get enough of weekly specials. This restaurant has a weekly special for every day of the week. The specials include $5 margaritas on Mondays, $12 pies on Tuesdays, $2 off whiskey and $12 half birds on Wednesdays, $12 pasta on Thursdays, $2 off wine, beer, and cocktails during happy hour Monday to Friday, and brunch with multiple drink specials on the weekend. Although I tend to have a hard time deciding which pizza to order here, there’s never an argument about whether my table will be ordering the fondue appetizer. It is to die for!
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