Ranking Dallas' Best Neighborhoods for Restaurants

Stock and Barrel helps make Oak Cliff Dallas' best dining neighborhood.
Stock and Barrel helps make Oak Cliff Dallas' best dining neighborhood.
Catherine Downes

Because we live in a culture where everything has to measure up to something else, we should probably pit Dallas' neighborhoods against one another as a function of their gustatory offerings. Also, it's useful: Say you're out and about on an evening Uber is using its dynamic-pricing model, and you want to make that single trip count. Choosing a neighborhood that offers the best possible restaurants yields the highest probability for an enjoyable evening.

You see? It's math. So here are the neighborhoods of Dallas ranked by the restaurant options you'll find within them. Choose wisely.

1. Oak Cliff Without a doubt this is the best 'hood for dining in Dallas. Not only does Oak Cliff and the Bishop Arts neighborhood boast all of the following, but all of these restaurants are in walking distance of each other.

What it's got: Lucia, Boulevardier, Stock and Barrel, Emporium Pies, Lockhart Smokehouse, Ten Bells Tavern, Nova, with Small and Carnival Barker's coming soon.

What it's missing: Indian, Korean and other ethnic dining options outside of the mom and pop Mexican restaurants that dot the neighborhood.

2. Lowest Greenville Another highly walkable neighborhood with a number of tightly clustered restaurants.

What it's got: Blind Butcher, Libertine, Truck Yard, Teppo, Steel City Pops

What it's missing: Just like the Bishop Arts, the lack of ethnic dining options keep Lowest Greenville from being a restaurant Utopia.

The burger at CBD Provisions
The burger at CBD Provisions
Catherine Downes

3. Downtown/Deep Ellum End up downtown with some reliable transportation and you'll have access to some of the best restaurants in the city.

What it's got: CBD Provisions, French Room, Fearing's, San Salvaje, Local, Lark on the Park

What it's missing: A vibrant, late-night dining scene.

4. Design District This sparse neighborhood doesn't offer many restaurants, but FT33 is a powerhouse, and Meddlesome Moth is one of Dallas' best places to grab a beer.

What it's got: FT33, Meddlesome Moth

What it's missing: The Design District simply needs more restaurants that are tightly enough coupled to cause their own gravitational pull. With new offerings coming from Shannon Wynne and Nick Badovinus on the way, the tide is shifting in this neighborhood's favor.

*****
The chile relleno at Avila's
The chile relleno at Avila's

5. Oak Lawn With Dallas' most recognized restaurant, the Mansion, Oak Lawn is a contender, but the neighborhood quickly trails off after a few other notable establishments.

What it's got: Avila's, Dish, Nonna, The Mansion

What it's lacking: A central cluster of restaurants strong enough to make the neighborhood a dining destination.

6. Uptown In what may be Dallas' greatest restaurant disappointment, Uptown offers the walkability other neighborhoods would kill for, while offering too few options worthy of a destination.

What it's got: Baboush, Coal Vines, Malai, Nick and Sam's, Yutaka

What it's missing: The grit and soul of a well rounded dining neighborhood. Restaurateurs tend to play it safe here and menus can feel one dimensional.

Dessert at Gemma is as good as it gets.
Dessert at Gemma is as good as it gets.
Catherine Downes

7. Knox-Henderson Knox Henderson isn't a big neighborhood, but it packs one of the city's best new restaurants. You can also get some amazing chicken wings here.

What it's got: Gemma, Knox St. Pub, Mesero, some Lombardi restaurants

What it's missing: A trolly. Knox Henderson has it all, but walking from one end of the neighborhood to the other is a nightmare. Car lovers are no better off as the parking situation is a bear.

The ramen at 20 Feet
The ramen at 20 Feet
Catherine Downes

8. East Dallas If this were a bar food list, East Dallas might come out on top. It's not, though. Come here for burgers and beers, but you'll need to head elsewhere for nearly everything else.

What it's got: Cock and Bull, Keller's, 20 Feet, Mot Hai Ba, Goodfriend

What it's missing: Fine dining

9. Upper Greenville As commercial real estate becomes less dense, a neighborhood's restaurant appeal begins to plummet. It's bad news when a restaurant list has to start to rely on bakeries and Tex-Mex restaurants.

What it's got: Village Baking Co., Start, Ozona, Desperados

What's missing: A lot of Upper Greenville feels like an extended off ramp for the Central Expressway. Without much of a hub, the area doesn't feel like much of a neighborhood. And the lack of restaurants doesn't help

10. Lower Greenville Paging Brian Luscher. Mr. Brian Luscher.

What it's got: The Grape

What it's missing: Lower Greenville could use a few more restaurants and a few fewer bars. As it stands, it's a great place to get drinks, but serious dining options are seriously limited.

11. Trinity Groves The restaurant empire that sprung up from the West Dallas dust, Trinity Groves promises your next generation of reproducible, scalable restaurants.

What it's got: Casa Rubia

What it's missing: One innovative Spanish restaurant isn't enough to pull this big development. Trinity Groves could use another restaurant or two with a big-name chef and high-caliber cooking.

12. North Dallas Beyond Lovers Lane, North Dallas and beyond are slowly consumed by a sea of Chili's, Mi Cocinas and other chain restaurant, with a few exceptions scattered here and there. Mughlai may be the most interesting restaurant for all of Lovers Lane and beyond.

What it's got: Mughlai, Mi Cocina, TJ's Seafood

What it's missing: Ethnic dining, and small, creative restaurants with character.


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