From contemporary bistro’s like Bistro N to family-style Italian restaurants like Maggiano’s to classic steakhouses like Kirby’s, the SMU/Highland Park neighborhood of Dallas offers an array of dining options. Food enthusiasts can enjoy American comfort food at Central 214, or blend the dining and nightlife entertainment at Cuba Libre, listen to live Jazz while indulging in classic Texas cuisine at Hector’s on Henderson, or see and be seen at the popular Hibiscus. Also, by virtue of the university location, there are many more affordable restaurants near SMU that cater to the perpetually small student budget.
Considered one of the country’s top restaurants by Bon Appetit, Bijoux is also consistent recipient of five stars from The Dallas Morning News and a showpiece of the Dallas dining scene. The seasonally shifting menu offers the freshest preparations of contemporary American cuisine, and the expertly crafted wine list affords outstanding pairing opportunities.
8687 N. Central Expy., Dallas TX 75225
Don't let the fact that Bistro N is tucked inside a Nordstrom's department store in Dallas' Northpark Center fool you, this is no average mall food court-type restaurant. Bistro N is a contemporary American bistro, serving elegant dishes ranging from designer sandwiches and pizzas to steaks and seafood entrees, all prepared in an open, exhibition kitchen.
5330 East Mockingbird Lane, Dallas TX 75206
A unique restaurant in Dallas, Brackets offers a dining experience that combines the excitement of a sports bar with the style of a modern nightclub. Over 20 high-definition TVs throughout stay tuned to sports, while two ping pong tables, two pool tables and tournament grade dart boards provide plenty of entertainment after supping heartily on the creative contemporary American cuisine. This restaurant also boasts a hand-selected beer list that will surely satisfy.
Buca di Beppo - Park Lane
7843 Park Lane, Dallas TX 75225
Authentic Italian cuisine is served up family-style in an eclectic, vintage setting at Buca di Beppo restaurant in downtown Dallas. With great music always playing, flavorful fare, a lengthy wine and cocktail list and a bustling bar, this energetic restaurant is known as a great spot for social gatherings like birthdays and celebrations.
Hotel Palomar Dallas, 5300 E. Mockingbird Ln., Dallas TX 75206
Contemporary American comfort food is the order of the day at Central 214, located on the ground floor of the newly renovated Palomar Hotel. Dallas restaurant critics have nothing but good things to say about Central 214 and head chef Tom Fleming. Fleming focuses on seasonal, local ingredients and receives high marks for keeping things relatively simple and letting the ingredients speak for themselves.
Farnatchi Gourmet Oven
3001 Knox St., Suite 108, Dallas TX 75205
Farnatchi Gourmet Oven brings a unique twist to the Dallas restaurant scene with a style that is deeply rooted in Mediterranean culture. Using the finest meats, produce and cheeses, this restaurant crafts perfect oven-baked pizzas made with dough and sauces that are crafted daily. The menu also features freshly prepared sandwiches and robust salads.
Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant - Park Lane
8060 Park Lane, Suite 125, Dallas TX 75321
The Dallas installation of the wildly successful family of Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants maintains the fun style and great quality that has made these brewpubs so popular. House-crafted beers accompany a broad selection of traditional and creative American cuisine dishes crafted from the freshest, seasonal ingredients. The atmosphere is casual and friendly, making this a popular choice for social gatherings and celebrations.
Hector's on Henderson
2929 N. Henderson Ave., Dallas TX 75206
Dallas restaurateur Hector Garcia brings Hector's on Henderson to Dallas, and with it nightly live jazz, a stylish setting in a former ironworks, and award winning contemporary Texas cuisine. Dishes such as the "bouquet of pheasant," a pan-seared pheasant breast with butter whipped potatoes, thyme bread pudding, creamed spinach and cognac gravy epitomize Garcia’s commitment to local Texas flavors.
2927 N. Henderson Ave., Dallas TX 75204
Hibiscus of Dallas is a restaurant with big ideas on everything from the décor to the Pacific Rim-inspired new American cuisine. Hibiscus has gained a reputation for being one of those hip Dallas restaurants where important people go to see and be seen, however it's easy to miss famous faces while staring at the enormous exhibition kitchen and the huge portions of artfully plated steaks, chops and seafood being hefted out of it.
Kona Grill - Dallas
8687 North Central Expwy., North Park Center, Dallas TX 75225
Contemporary American, Sushi.
A casually elegant restaurant in the Park Cities neighborhood, Kona Grill offers creative contemporary American cuisine alongside an award-winning selection of creative sushi. While relaxing in the friendly and stylish setting, patrons can enjoy supping on well-crafted favorites like lemon grass crusted halibut, miso-sake marinated sea bass and the signature macadamia nut chicken.
8687 North Central Expy., Dallas TX 75225
The Dallas location of the popular Maggiano's Little Italy national Italian restaurant chain is located in the Northpark Center Mall, in close proximity to the Dallas Museum of Art and the John F. Kennedy museum. Maggiano's Little Italy of Dallas features weekly dinner and dancing on Sunday nights with live music. The cuisine at Maggiano's Little Italy is Southern Italian served family style.
McCormick & Schmick's Seafood
307 North Park Center, Dallas TX 75225
Popular with Northpark Mall shoppers seeking an upscale mall dining experience or just a strong cocktail after a little retail therapy, McCormick and Schmick's Seafood flies in over 30 varieties of seafood daily. Dallas restaurant goers also speak highly of the happy hour menu and more specifically the happy hour menu prices at McCormick and Schmick's Seafood.
Momo's Pasta Dallas
3312 Knox St., Dallas TX 75205
With the rustic yet sophisticated feel of a neighborhood trattoria that might be found in Venice or Naples, Momo’s Pasta is a top destination for finding a lengthy menu of delicious, reasonably priced Italian cuisine in Dallas. The dining room features exposed brick walls, classic accents and tempting aromas, while the sunny patio is perfect for people watching along Knox Avenue.
1921 N. Henderson Ave., Dallas TX 75206
A beautifully simple neighborhood dining spot, Park Restaurant features a uniquely rural style and a focus on local, sustainable and organic ingredients. This Dallas restaurant features a cast list of talented chefs who create eclectic, seasonal menus and maintain a made-from-scratch approach whenever possible. Park is open for dinner throughout the week, as well as for brunch on Sundays.
8411 Preston Rd., Suite 132, Dallas TX 75225
Preston’s is a casually elegant Park Cities restaurant boasting a warmly sophisticated style and a central address in Preston Center. The menu boasts centerpiece ingredients like USDA Prime steaks, fresh seafood, daily game selections and locally grown produce woven into New American cuisine with a “Texas twist.” Preston’s also features live piano music four nights a week.
Rathbun's Blue Plate Kitchen
6130 Luther Lane, Dallas TX 75225
Contemporary American, Southern.
Affordable, casual cuisine rises to a new level at Rathbun’s Blue Plate Kitchen. A creation of the renowned Chef Kent Rathbun (of the top-rated Abacus restaurant), Rathbun’s offers a lengthy menu of contemporary comfort food creations that rely on locally grown products and ingredients. The wine list never fails to impress with selections that can be enjoyed on their own or expertly paired with the expertly crafted cuisine.
8201 Preston Rd., Suite 100, Dallas TX 75225
Since 1997, Sevy’s Grill has been a popular choice for dining in Dallas. Compemented by a warm, casual, amber-hued dining room, the modern American menu focuses on pastas, daily specials, and steaks and seafood prepared with a wood-burning grill for enhanced flavor. The bar offers a wide range of specialty cocktails, over 60 varieties of scotch and over 40 wines by the glass.
7713 Inwood Rd., Dallas TX 75209
Shinsei Restaurant is an interesting concept combining a laid-back, family friendly atmosphere with a sleek, modern dining room ideal for romantic meals or power lunches. The cuisine is also a dichotomy; all one would expect from a sushi bar, yet with a complete pan-Asian grill menu. It maybe good food or just good karma, but Dallas publications have given quite a bit of positive attention to Shinsei Restaurant.
4345 W. Northwest Hwy. #270, Dallas TX 75220
This popular Dallas neighborhood bistro is often crowded, especially on weekends, but Dallas restaurant goers are willing to deal with the masses as the cuisine at Suze is highly acclaimed. Along with the "soft jazz" ambiance, local artworks and an extensive wine list, the contemporary American creations at Suze emphasize only local, organic ingredients.
2808 Greenville Ave., Dallas TX 75206
A Dallas institution, The Grape first opened its doors in 1972 and since then has been an innovator on the Dallas restaurant scene. The Grape's signature chalkboard menu was the first of its kind in Dallas, and to this day changes daily based on the availability of fresh seasonal ingredients. As the name might suggest, The Grape also features one of the more extensive wine-by-the-glass selections in all of Dallas.
8220 Westchester, Dallas TX 75225
French and Italian influences elevate American cuisine to a sophisticated level at Tramontana. The four-star menu offers a diverse selection of elegantly plated fare served in a casually elegant atmosphere warmed by beautiful murals, soft pendant lights and attentive service. For a truly unique and entertaining experience, be sure to indulge (at least once) in reservations for Chef James’ unique chefs table in the kitchen.
4513 Travis St., Dallas TX 75205
With such prestigious Dallas culinary experience as an extended tenure at the world-famous Mansion at Turtle Creek directly under the watchful eye of Dallas culinary dynamo Dean Fearing, chef Amador Mora is carving out his own piece of the big time Dallas restaurant scene with Trece. Chef Mora's focus at Trece is contemporary "high Mexican" cuisine, but aside from the highly acclaimed food, Trece of Dallas features a massive tequila bar with over 120 varieties to choose from.
5450 West Lovers Lane, #225, Dallas TX 75209
A casual neighborhood trattoria in Dallas’ Knox/Henderson neighborhood, Villa O offers a menu of Italian cuisine prepared with a fresh, natural approach. Upon availability, the chefs take care to craft every dish using 100% organic, pasture-raised, wild or imported products for the finest quality. Reminiscent of late summers on the Isle of Capri, this beautiful and approachable restaurant is also a choice destination for relaxing with signature cocktails or fine Italian wines.
Woodfire Kirby's - Dallas
3525 Greenville Ave., Dallas TX 75206
Considered the original Dallas steakhouse, Woodfire Kirby's has been serving prime, aged USDA beef to Dallas restaurant goers since 1954. Woodfire Kirby's also offers an ample selection of lobster and seafood dishes, along with patio dining around a fire pit and live jazz and other musical acts Wednesdays through Saturdays.
Ziziki's - Travis Walk
4514 Travis St., #122, Dallas TX 75205
A critically acclaimed Dallas restaurant, Ziziki’s has earned praises for everything from the top-notch Sunday Brunch to the fabulous patio dining to the approachable wine list. This neighborhood bistro specializes in Mediterranean cuisine, offering lunch and dinner menus that include flavorful dishes like dolmades, sautéed calamari, free-range leg of lamb gyros, chicken souvlaki, mousaka and Greek paella.