Dallas City Guide

If I’m being real, I never dreamed of moving to Dallas. I had my heart set on the coast, but as life turns out, my plans usually don’t. This summer I moved to Dallas, and very quickly, I fell in love. The first time I came to Dallas was when I moved here, and now that it’s time to go back to school, I’m leaving a piece of my heart and already craving a trip back here. Three months gave me ample time to explore, and here are my top 30+ things to do.

Activities + Things to Do

  • Dallas Arboretum Take a stroll through the best flora this northern Texas gem has to offer.
  • Dallas Museum of Art I’m still partial to my home art museum in St. Louis, but this art museum has some big names like Picasso and even better, it’s free.
  • Highland Park Village Aka the boujee-est of the boujee.  Tell any Dallasite you’re headed here and you’ll gain some instant status. Shop (more like window shop) at this outdoor shopping center of designer brands. Think Louboutin and Anthro.
  • Farmer’s Market I was silly to think that I could just drop by the farmers’ market. I easily could’ve made a day out of this indoor-outdoor shopping center with a garden. I found some gluten-free treats as well as some homemade Hispanic accessories. Whatever you do, be sure to stop by Whiski Designs for some darling Texas goods as well as Charming By the Market for some fresh flowers and cutesy gifts.
  • Perot Museum If you’re a science person, this is the spot to visit. Although it wasn’t my favorite thing I ever did in Dallas, it’s still worth mentioning and gives great views of the city.
  • Southern Methodist University This school costs a pretty penny, and the campus shows it. One night my friend and I just walked around this gorgeous campus and admired the architecture. Bonus: there’s several museums on campus including the George W. Bush Presidential Library. (I never made it here but have heard great things.)
  • Lula B’s I love a good antique shop, and this one has multiple locations and is anything but a dump.
  • Bishop Arts District I came here for the Bastille on Bishop celebration and quickly fell in love with the artsy yet historic shops that lined this street. From print shops to pie shops, this street is worth an afternoon at least.
  • Sixth Floor Museum This city’s claim to fame is that it’s where JFK was assassinated. Not the best bragging rights, but the museum sure is. It walks you through his presidency and showcases artifacts and video footage. You can even stand right by the window that Lee Harvey Oswald allegedly shot the president. (And you can learn more about the many conspiracies that exist.)
  • Reunion Tower In retrospect, I wish I would’ve bought the CityPass, which gets you tickets to variety of Dallas spots for one price, but I do recommend going up Reunion Tower. The drinks were meh, but the views were spectacular.
  • Lower Greenville Other than the difficulty of finding parking, this neighborhood quickly became a favorite. It’s a good mix of urban and residential and offers a slew of shops and restaurants. Some of my favorites in this area: La La Land Kind Cafe and Joy Macaron, both of which I detail below. Pro tip: Uber if at all possible.
  • Party Bazaar Party City looks like child’s play compared to this party store. I was so impressed with the unique items this store offered and how knowledgeable the employees were. (Let’s just say they have a wide product selection!) You might not be throwing a party, but if you like novelty shops, Party Bazaar is a must.
  • Olivia G Home I met Olivia this summer and instantly clicked with her bubbly personality. Then I found out she was opening a darling storefront with home goods and monograms. It’s so cute and right across the street from Party Bazaar.

Eat + Drink

  • Jose Tucked away on Lover’s Lane, this Mexican restaurant offers a fabulous patio and makes my mouth water just typing this. Be sure to order the Queso Fundido and the corn salsa.
  • Taco Diner Another great option for Tex Mex. The West Village location is close to plenty of shopping and very walkable.
  • The Rustic It would just be wrong to come to Texas and not come to The Rustic. It’s classic Dallas and offers Texan fare, live music and weekend brunch.
  • Mi Cocina Classic Dallas Tex-Mex with sophistication.
  • Meso Maya I’ve eaten a heckuva lot of Mexican food, but this was the only place I’ve had something truly different than the basic taco or enchilada. I ordered a Budin Azteca with chicken, which is corn tortillas topped with cheeses, black beans and tomatillo sauce. I’m also still thinking about their brisket enchiladas.
  • Liberty Burger This ain’t no McDonald’s. Although I wasn’t prepared to pay $15 for a burger, I can say it was truly worth it. I opted for a barbecue-doused burger, and I’m still thinking about it along with the sweet potato fries.
  • Katy Trail Ice House The best combination of Tex and Mex manifested itself in the brisket nachos. It has a lively patio scene and is another Dallas classic not to miss.
  • Campuzano Mexican food with an upscale vibe.
  • Whiskey Cake Also with a Texas vibe, this spot boasts a lively atmosphere, good food and better drinks, as the name might suggest.
  • La Ventana I visited the location at the Farmers’ Market, and those small, inexpensive tacos packed some serious flavor.
  • Uncle Julio’s Y’all. Best chicken enchiladas I’ve ever had. Bonus: great drink selection.
  • Snooze This felt like a snazzier First Watch, and the food was full of flavor, even when I reheated it the following day. Pro tip: try to go during the week or perhaps early in the morning to avoid the rush.
  • Steel City Pops When in Texas, heading to this customizable popsicle shop is a must.
  • Royal Blue Grocery You might be thinking, a grocery store? Okay, but this is located in Highland Park, which means it’s boujee. They have a gelato case inside, and I can’t recommend the Nutella flavor enough.
  • Pokey O’s Imagine a scoop of Blue Bell ice cream cushioned by two chocolate chip cookies. Oh wait, that’s a reality here. And they have gluten-free cookies, so you know I’m in!
  • Happiest Hour This is where I celebrated my 21st birthday, and it was the best decision. This bar is for every type of person. The inside restaurant seating with dim lighting offers ambience, the rooftop deck offers skyline views, the grassy picnic area offers chill vibes — and corn hole. It’s absolutely massive, and you just can’t go wrong with a trip to Happiest Hour.
  • Cidercade Nestled in a more industrial part of town, you’ll discover this arcade for adults with a large array of ciders to drink. The best part is that you pay one price and get to play unlimited games. You know I jammed to some Gorillaz on Dance Dance Revolution.
  • Hopdoddy Although they’re known for their burgers, I wasn’t crazy about the gluten-free bun. However, their Nutella shake and fries were out of this world!
  • Joy Macaron After traveling to France on three different occasions, I’m what they call a snob, especially when it comes to macarons. And I’m not sorry about it either. These macarons are expensive but are some of the more authentic ones I’ve had on this side of the pond. Their macaron ice cream sandwiches are splendid!
  • Mucky Duck Absolute dive of an Irish pub with a trivia night. Need I say more?
  • Legacy Hall This spot is a bit outside of Dallas out in Plano but is totally worth the trek. This food hall reminded me of Atlanta’s Ponce City Market and NYC’s Chelsea Market with its three stories of food and drink vendors.  Just down the street is the famed Sprinkles where you can order from the cupcake ATM.

The city of Dallas has absolutely blown me away, and I will be back soon for this gem of a city with its savory cuisine and vibrant nightlife. Share the graphic below to Pinterest:

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