Food News

Solo Dining in Dallas: Perfect Places to Dine When You're New to Dallas

A martini and dinner at Bowen House.
A martini and dinner at Bowen House. Susie Oszustowicz
People are pouring into Dallas from San Francisco, New York, Washington, D.C., and everywhere in between. Whether they're moving for work, school or some other reason, one thing is for sure: finding great spots to dine is critical to successfully transitioning to a new city.

Moving is hard, especially as an adult. In the beginning, those who are new to town might find themselves alone. Fast food and eating at home just don't cut it. Fortunately, there are many great options in Dallas that provide a comfortable atmosphere for solo dining.

The Mansion Bar

2821 Turtle Creek Blvd.
One great option for newcomers is The Mansion Bar, a swanky spot inside The Rosewood Hotel in the Turtle Creek neighborhood of Dallas. At first glance, the bar looks like a daunting proposition for a newcomer. But the staff quickly makes everyone feel comfortable.

For those new to Dallas, one big plus is that there's free valet parking. This means you won't have to worry about circling the block to find a place to park.

The bar is dimly lit, with a warm, comfortable feeling. If you're dining alone, there is always room at the bar counter. The social hour, Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., offers discounted specialty cocktails, beer and wine. Many diners enjoy the Texas margarita, a spicy variation on the refreshing summer drink. The Manhattan is also a beautifully prepared cocktail that will complement your solo dining experience.

Bowen House

2614 Boll St.
click to enlarge
The exterior of Bowen House
Melissa Hennings
Another restaurant with a similar feel to The Mansion Bar is Bowen House. Situated in Uptown between a handful of restaurants and small stores, this tiny green house could easily be missed. Because of the location, Dallas newbies should be patient when looking for parking or plan to take a car service.

Bowen House is known for its craft cocktails. The bar is well suited for solo dining, especially during the early hours of the evening when the space is less crowded. Although not required, a reservation is recommended, even for just one person.

During happy hour, you'll find a light, citrusy drink with a little salt called a chillon that's ideal during the summer heat. The southside is another great option. It's similar to a gimlet, with a smooth body that makes it easy to drink. It's garnished with a small mint leaf. If you're feeling hungry, the tuna tacos are the perfect bite-sized snack.

Bowen House is a great spot to start your Dallas food journey that just might carry you from solo dining to a group of friends.

The Standard Pour

2900 McKinney Ave.
If you're looking for something a little more lively, The Standard Pour is your place. Located in the heart of Uptown, The Standard Pour has a beautiful bar offering many food and drink options.

Monday nights can be a great time for a visit. Happy hour begins when the place opens at 5 p.m. and lasts all evening. During happy hour, many $5 drinks are available, including a Moscow mule and an old-fashioned. The Standard Pour was selected as one of the best places for bourbon by Bourbon Review.

If finding parking is a concern, there is a paid lot next to The Standard Pour, along with free street parking within walking distance.

Dragonfly

Hotel ZaZa, 2332 Leonard St.
An easy, comfortable option can be found inside the ZaZa Hotel. The Dragonfly is a small restaurant that offers a bar and seating, just inside the hotel and next to the pool.

This is a relatively quiet option with great service and free valet parking. There's a bar, standard dining and poolside service.

The grilled peaches and lamb lollipops are great options for sharing or eating alone. The ahi tuna poke bowl is a healthy choice that is both filling and flavorful. If you're a fan of red wine, the menu has a number of great choices from various regions in California, including Paso Robles and Sonoma.

Haywire

1920 McKinney Ave.
click to enlarge
The bar at Haywire Uptown
Photo Courtesy of Haywire
Haywire is a fun spot to add to your new-to-Dallas list. There are two locations — one in Uptown and one in Plano. The Plano spot has small tents where you can dine inside on the third floor for a "true Texan dining experience." In Uptown, you'll find $5 valet parking and free garage parking.

The staff at Haywire is both helpful and patient, offering many great suggestions. An extensive wine list offers many California reds, including a few from the Central Coast and the Russian River Valley. If you've never tried it, be sure to order the chicken-fried steak. This is a Southern specialty that is served with mashed potatoes and green beans. And don't forget dessert. Haywire has many Southern options, including a pecan pie and whiskey bread pudding.
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