Expert recommendations for the best places to eat in four price ranges: budget ($), moderate ($$), expensive ($$$), and luxury ($$$$)

$

Sonny Bryan's Smokehouse

“Old school urban 'cue; sit at rickety, much-carved-on grade school desks.”—Dotty Griffith, Dallas food writer. Dallas barbecue icon; menu includes brisket sandwiches, ribs, and fried onion rings. 2202 Inwood Rd. tel. +1 214 357 7120. www.sonnybryans.com

S&D Oyster Company

An Uptown stalwart since the 1970s, this fish house in a historic building has survived the district’s overwhelming development. A New Orleans spirit occupies the place, where oysters on the half-shell, barbecued shrimp, and cold beer are served with a smile. 2701 McKinney Ave. tel. +1 214 880 0111. www.sdoyster.com

$$

The Zodiac

“A glimpse of yesteryear’s ladies who lunch.”—Dotty Griffith. Seasonal luncheon menu signatures include a complimentary demitasse of chicken broth, popovers, and mandarin orange soufflé with chicken salad. Inside the flagship Neiman Marcus store. 1618 Main St. tel. +1 214 573 5800. www.neimanmarcus.com

Taverna Pizzeria and Risotteria

Sometimes the loudest place in town, this busy hangout for the well-heeled denizens of Uptown and the Park Cities offers sublime Italian fare such as seafood risotto, pizza topped with choices like pancetta with eggs, and beef tenderloin carpaccio. 3210 Armstrong Ave. tel. +1 214 520 9933. www.tavernabylombardi.com

La Duni Latin Café

Save room for the lavish sweets such as Venezuelan chocolate truffle cake and quatro-leches cake. But first, try the Brazilian picanha steak with chimichurri mojo or the Cuban roasted chicken bathed in champagne and juice from green oranges. 4620 McKinney Ave. tel. +1 214 520 7300. www.laduni.com

Café Madrid

Dallas’ first authentic Spanish restaurant and tapas bar is a cool hangout with elements of sophistication in the Knox-Henderson area. From the vast tapas menu, try the traditional potato tortilla with a dollop of garlic-parsley aioli or roasted duck breast with sliced, sherry-laced carrots and empanadas filled with shredded tuna steak and green olive. 4501 Travis St. tel. +1 214 528 1731. www.cafemadrid-dallas.com

Fireside Pies

Far from the typical pizza joint, this handsome, casual stone-and-wood structure showcases magnificent pizzas baked in a wood-burning oven. Sample those with exotic cheeses and topped with balsamic-roasted chicken, truffle oil, and arugula. Good wine selection and a divine patio. 2820 North Henderson Ave. tel. +1 214 370 3916. http://www.firesidepies.com/

$$$

Fearing's

“The food weaves through the New American lexicon (Southwestern classics, modern Asian touches) but the truest sustenance here is the scenery.”—Bill Addison, dining critic, Dallas Morning News. A mosaic of dining rooms, each with own unique decor; owner Dean Fearing was the longtime chef at Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek. 2121 McKinney Ave. at the Ritz-Carlton; tel. +1 214 922 4848. www.fearingsrestaurant.com

Abacus

“Make weekday reservations to enjoy the restaurant's poetic and surprisingly affordable nine-course tasting menu.”—Bill Addison. This Knox-Henderson mainstay has three art-filled dining rooms, plus a chef’s table with views of the European theater-style kitchen; global contemporary menu blends Mediterranean, Southwest, Cajun/Creole, American, and Pacific Rim influences. 4511 McKinney Ave. tel. + 1 214 559 3111 www.abacus-restaurant.com

Perry’s Restaurant

“This is a slice of Dallas life right down to a dark bar and strong cocktails.”—Dotty Griffith. The authentic Texas steakhouse—not part of a chain or group—isn’t one of the city’s best known, but the steaks and fried shrimp are top-notch. 2911 Routh St. tel. +1 214 871 9991. www.perrys-dallas.com

Javier’s

A local favorite after thirty years, this is where you get a taste of sophisticated Mexico City-style food. The red snapper al mojo de ajo is unbeatable, and the margaritas are unforgettable. Linger in the dark, colonial Mexican setting. 4912 Cole Ave. tel. +1 214 521 4211. www.javiers.net

$$$$

Stephan Pyles

"[Chef Pyles] is as adept at Peruvian ceviches (more like sashimi) as cowboy ribeyes as fish wrapped in hoja santa leaf.”—Patricia Sharpe, executive editor, Texas Monthly. The latest restaurant from the chef who, along with Dean Fearing, founded Southwestern Cuisine in Texas; mesquite and hickory aromas emanate from the wood-burning oven, rotisserie, and grill. 1807 Ross Ave. tel. +1 214 580 7000. www.stephanpyles.com

Mansion on Turtle Creek Restaurant

“New chef John Tesar is making his mark.”—Patricia Sharpe. Contemporary American menu celebrates regional ingredients such as Niman Ranch lamb, East Texas guinea fowl, and dry-aged sirloin steak. Sleek, modern dining room, renovated in 2007, is in historic Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek Hotel. 2821 Turtle Creek Blvd. tel. +1 214 443 4747. www.mansiononturtlecreek.com.

Pappas Bros. Steakhouse

“The restaurant's knowledgeable, warm sommeliers' make the wonderful steaks, hefty sides, and elegant surroundings feel even more special. ”—Bill Addison. Extraordinary wine service, more than 2,300 vintages to choose from; ask the staff to write down the names of the selections you’ll discover during your meal.10477 Lombardy Ln. tel. +1 214 366 2000. www.pappasbros.com

Share

About Dallas and the United States

  • Photo: Skyline

    Dallas

    Get travel tips, see photos, take a quiz and more with National Geographic's Ultimate Guide to Dallas.

  • Photo: Colorado River flowing through canyon walls

    United States

    Explore the United States through facts and photos, related features, a country map, and more.

Take a Nat Geo Trip

Select a destination or trip type to find a trip:

See All Trips »

Join Nat Geo Travel's Communities




2014 Traveler Photo Contest

  • Picture of a supercell storm in Colorado.

    See the Winners

    See all the winning images from the 2014 Traveler Photo Contest.