Where Should We Eat: Dallas

Week #4 in the Where Should We Eat Series covers a city I've actually never had the pleasure of visiting: Dallas TX.  Thanks to Kaleigh from The Lively Table for giving us this delicious list of must-try spots. I'll let her take it from here!

I'm so excited to be your restaurant guide for Dallas! My name is Kaleigh (I'm a food and nutrition blogger over at Lively Table) and I'm currently working on my Masters in Nutrition at UT Southwestern in Dallas, TX. I grew up outside of Dallas, but school landed me right smack in the middle of all the action. I've got to say, Dallas has some amazing restaurants and this is by no means at all a comprehensive list! For simplicity's sake, I'm going to focus on restaurants in Dallas proper (Oak Cliff could have it's own list of amazing restaurants) with an emphasis on places with at least a few healthy options. But there is no way I could ever try every restaurant in Dallas, so if I miss your favorite, please let us know in the comments. Because brunching is a very big popular activity in Dallas, almost every one of the restaurants on my list has a weekend brunch! Without further ado, here are my top picks of where to eat in Dallas:

Bob's Steak and Chop House | $$$

This is the original Bob's, and in my opinion it is hands-down THE best steak in Dallas and beyond! They've also got fresh seafood and a great rack of lamb, although it's hard to not order one of their perfectly cooked prime steaks. Bob's has an extensive wine list (including some Texas wines) and great salads and sides, too! It's definitely a Dallas favorite for a fine dining experience. 

RD Approved Menu Item:  Broiled Salmon with Fresh Asparagus

Bandito's Tex-Mex Cantina | $

You can't eat in Dallas without going out for some fabulous Tex-Mex! This is my favorite spot for Tex-Mex classics like fajitas, tacos, and enchiladas. Banditos serves up the best fajitas in Dallas with plenty of meat that's perfectly cooked, a generous amount of onions and peppers, and super fresh guacamole. They've also got a great Skinny Margarita and the best Texas country music around. It's location tucked away in Snyder Plaza makes it a great place for an affordable date night! 

RD Approved Menu Item: Chicken Margarita

Ziziki's | $$

If you like Mediterranean food, you've got to eat at Ziziki's. The upscale Mediterranean restaurant located in the heart of Uptown in the Knox-Henderson area serves delicious Greek and Italian fare, including the best souvlakis I've ever had, excellent seafood and lamb, and delicious salads. They've got an award-winning wine list and fresh cocktails, and if you're in the mood for dessert, the Baklava Ice Cream Cake is to die for. The romantic atmosphere makes Ziziki's the perfect date night spot!

RD Approved Menu Item: Salmon Souvlaki

Origin Kitchen + Bar | $$

For healthy foodies, Origin Kitchen + Bar is like heaven. They've got so many delicious menu items full of veggies (either vegetarian or not), plus an offering of more contemporary healthy options like an Acai Bowl, Brussel Sprout Bowl, and an Acorn Squash Cup. Their creative salad selection alone is enough to make anyone drool. Located in the middle of Uptown, it's a great spot for pre- or post-shopping lunch! 

RD Approved Menu Item: Almost anything! But when in doubt, go for The Regular, a super delicious salad with chicken, spinach and brussels sprouts!

HG SPLY Co. | $

With it's gorgeous rooftop patio, delicious wholesome food and awesome happy hour specials, it's hard to beat HG SPLY Co. for a healthier take on happy hour. Their menu is full of 'clean' eats, including plenty of gluten-free and vegetarian options. The founders based the menu off of the paleo lifestyle, so you'll find the menu packed with lean protein and veggies, but they also offer plenty of wholesome grains like quinoa in their customizable bowls. Happy hour at HG SPLY is a great deal with wine, cocktail and appetizer specials (don't miss the ginger garlic hummus!), plus the cocktails are made with fresh ingredients. Healthy eating doesn't get better than this.  

RD Approved Menu Item: Almost anything, but I love the Chill Beets Bowl with Grilled Scottish Salmon

Henry's Majestic | $$

There is an abundance of "New American" style restaurants in Dallas, but in my opinion, Henry's Majestic is the best. They are one of the more affordable options, with fresh ingredients and a fun menu filled with American fusion dishes like the Texas "Pho" and Seared Mahi Mahi Coconut Curry that seem to be of higher quality than most restaurants in this category without being over-hyped. Though the inside is decorated nicely for a fun atmosphere, they've also got a gorgeous patio for enjoying a fun brunch (don't skip the homemade biscuits and jam) and their delicious craft cocktails on tap!

RD Approved Menu Item: Free Range Rotisserie Half Chicken 

True Food Kitchen | $-$$

True Food Kitchen has a fabulous selection of nutritious seasonal entrées based off of an anti-inflammatory, whole foods diet. They're committed to providing guests with the freshest organic (and local when possible - they even grow their own herbs!) ingredients and allergy-friendly foods. I had the pleasure of trying their happy hour menu when it first rolled out when I interviewed the friendly staff at the Dallas location, and I was so impressed by the amazing taste of everything from the refreshing drinks and cocktails to the small plates, appetizers, and entrees. The amazing quality and the comfort of getting a nutritious, high quality meal has kept me coming back to True Food Kitchen over and over, and I've yet to have something I didn't like! 

RD Approved Menu Item: Seared Albacore Tuna Salad

Javier's Gourmet Mexicano | $$

Javier's is a Dallas establishment for a reason. The gourmet Mexican food, stiff drinks and fine dining yet fun atmosphere (not to mention the hospitality of the owner) have kept people coming back for years. You won’t find most of the standard Tex-Mex fare here, but instead specialties like Filete Cantinflas (the house special beef tenderloin) and Cordoniz A La Talla (quail in an ancho sauce). And do yourself a favor and order the Cafe Pierre after dinner. It’s a flaming (literally), boozy coffee drink that's prepared at your tableside. 

RD Approved Menu Item: Barra De Navidad (Jumbo Shrimp in a diablo sauce)

R+D Kitchen | $$

R+D Kitchen is a restaurant featuring a small but diverse menu, so it's perfect for groups. It's got a little something for everyone without an overwhelming menu. The food is high quality, super fresh, and delicious, from the sushi rolls to the flavorful salads, to the tried and true entrees. They've also got a great wine list and a bar staff that can make you almost anything you desire while you wait for a table as it's usually crowded, but well worth the wait. It's a less expensive than it's sister restaurant, Hillstone, which is right next door, but in my opinion, it's just as good with a more laid-back feel.

RD Approved Menu Item: Greek Style Chicken with Pine Room Salad

Other Spots I Love:

  • Pecan Lodge because you have to have barbecue when you come to Texas.
  • Mi Cocina, a Dallas establishment for Tex-Mex known for their Mambo Taxi.
  • Little Katana for half price sushi rolls on Mondays and half price bottles of wine on Wednesdays! Yes, please! 
  • Le Bilboquet for gourmet French cuisine in the heart of Uptown. 
  • Beck's Prime for a good quick option with a killer Ahi Tuna plate.
  • Malai Kitchen for delicious Thai and Vietnamese restaurant in West Village is fun for date night!
  • The Rustic for great live country music and a fun family style brunch! 
  • Spice in the City for Indian fusion take-out created by a Registered Dietitian. 
  • La Duni, an upscale Latin Café with strong cocktails and an amazing Carne Asada.
  • East Hampton Sandwich Co. for a sandwich with "no more deli meat."

As always, if we missed one of your faves, let us know in the comments below!