Food & Drink

The Best Restaurants for Dining Alone in Dallas

Published On 05/21/2016 Published On 05/21/2016
COURTESY OF EMILY LOVING

Lucia

Bishop Arts District

It’s no secret that snagging a reservation at Lucia might be harder than convincing the family it’s totally your choice you’re single. One way to get in is to grab a seat at the bar/display kitchen. With only four seats available, you’ve got a good shot if you’re riding solo. Pop in closer to opening or closing times, and you’ll realize the only dinner partner you ever need in life again is a foie gras stuffed prune and/or Chef Uygur’s homemade pasta.

Courtesy of The Wild Detectives

The Wild Detectives

Oak Cliff

The thing about eating alone in a restaurant is, well, you’re alone… with your thoughts and everything. What do you do to occupy yourself? Stop typing gibberish into the notes section of your phone (what, who does that?), put down the devices, and pick up a book at The Wild Detectives. The unique bookstore-bar hybrid in Oak Cliff is the ideal, relaxed setting to enjoy a new book and explore WD’s diverse menu of locally sourced drinks and small plates. While you're there, join in on The Bookmark Game. You can fill out a bookmark with book recommendations and your contact info, and each person who buys a book receives one of these special placeholders with a stranger’s suggestions. We’re suckers for a little serendipity.

Parliament 

Parliament

State Thomas

Parliament is consistently one of the best spots for craft cocktails. The space is small and intimate, making it the perfect place to sit at the bar and watch the bartenders go to town on creating each drink. The attention-to-detail on each cocktail is stunning. Grab a bite to eat (which they’ll bring you from a neighboring restaurant), and take notes on how to make cocktails like Parliament’s at home.

Mercat Bistro

Mercat Bistro

Harwood District

They say traveling alone is one of the best things you can do for yourself, and if that’s not an option, head to Mercat Bistro for a slice of Paris right in the Harwood District. The chic bistro makes you feel like you’re tucked away on a Parisian cobblestoned street, and the food is right on-par. You’re not going to want to share the fresh tagliatelle, which is flamed tableside, with anyone (served on Mondays only!).

Wayward Sons

Wayward Sons

Lower Greenville

Graham Dodd’s new Southern digs on Greenville calls for a visit, even if you’re riding solo for the night. Pull up to the bar and set the tone with The Bartender’s Choice, a self-explanatory cocktail made with seasonal ingredients. From there, the sociable staff is more than willing to provide guidance on the menu, and while any suggestion is sure to please, we insist you try the Purple Potato Tostones. You’ll want to be selfish with this dish.

Ida Claire

Addison

Ida Claire is definitely “South of Ordinary” and invites you to go on a solo culinary adventure. Although the restaurant is filled with spacious high-tops and roomy booths ideal for family Sunday supper, the eclectic space also lends a welcoming seat for one at the bar. You won’t be twiddling your thumbs with boredom in this lively atmosphere. Pro of not having a dinner date? No one will be there to judge you when you order the Vice Cake topped with candied bacon.

Ascension Coffee

Ascension Coffee

Design District

Everyone knows a quintessential coffee shop is the perfect place to dine alone, but Ascension steps it up and serves way more than scones. When’s the last time you went to a coffee shop and ordered lamb meatballs? Or shrimp mozambique and a glass of cava? Game changer right here. Plug in your headphones or jam to the occasional live performance, and tune out the rest of the world.

Nickel and Rye

Nickel + Rye

Uptown

Literally the best excuse to leave yo’ man at home and have a date night with yourself  is Ladies’ Night at Nickel + Rye. The entire menu is half-off on Tuesday nights for ladies... including bottles of wine, and we dare you not to order the brussels sprouts more than once. If you’re not carrying your #womancard, or can’t make it on Tuesday nights, Nickel + Rye is still a great spot to have  dinner on your own, and the patio is one of the best on McKinney Ave.

Uchi Dallas

Uchi

Uptown

Since this Austin hot spot opened a Dallas outpost in 2015, Uchi has remained one of the most in-demand restaurants in town. The chic space (designed more like Uchiko in Austin) has a sushi bar and a seat with your name on it. Considering the dishes are smaller, you don’t have to worry about sharing with anyone (or paying a hefty price) and can enjoy all the ngiri your heart desires, while watching it skillfully prepared before your eyes.

Flickr/Haugh Photography

Trulucks

Uptown

We’re big believers in the whole “treat yo’self” thing, and while it may seem intimidating/awkward to ask for a table for one at one of the best steakhouses in town, we’ve got you covered. The bar and lounge area at the recently renovated Truluck’s in Uptown is the perfect place to grab dinner and dirty martinis for one while listening to live music. Go during happy hour (4:30pm-6:30pm, Mon-Fri) for major discounts on drinks and appetizers.

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1. Lucia 408 W 8th St, Dallas, TX 75208 (Bishop Arts Dist)

It's hard to snag a table at this neighborhood Italian restaurant in the Bishop Arts District, but if you can, it's totally worth it. Chef David Uygur describes the eclectic menu of this cozy spot as “doing what an Italian would do with the list of ingredients that he can get in Dallas.” That means locally sourced game, handmade pasta, and bold, flavorful ragus. Favorites include the ramp and ricotta tortellini, mustard green gnudi, and Texas wagyu coulotte.

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2. The Wild Detectives 314 W 8th St, Dallas, TX 75208 (Bishop Arts Dist)

Part indie bookstore, part bar, and part cafe, The Wild Detectives in the Bishop Arts District invites you to stop by for an afternoon or evening of curling up with fiction, poetry, and untranslated Spanish literature, while you sip local craft beverages and brews, and snack on Mediterranean-inspired bites. Coffee comes from a roastery in the neighborhood, beer comes from a brewery around the corner, and food includes toasts and cheese boards. You’re encouraged to pair your Spanish novel of choice with a glass of Spanish wine, or your classic literary tome with a craft cocktail, like the Shakespeare Sister.

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3. Parliament 2418 Allen St, Dallas, TX 75204 (Uptown)

With craft cocktail icon Eddie "Lucky" Campbell at the helm, this bordello-lit drinking den in State Thomas boasts a lengthy leather-bound menu that has something for everyone. If you appreciate history and cocktail artistry, go for a Ramos Gin Fizz. And if you appreciate a good deal, there's an incredible happy hour where you can score standards like Old Fashioneds and gimlets for half their typical price.

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4. Scardello Artisan Cheese 3511 Oak Lawn Ave, Dallas, TX 75219 (Oak Lawn)

This Oak Lawn fromagerie slings a variety of upscale cheese by the pound, along with sandwiches, charcuterie, and bread. And in addition to supplying about 150 farmstead/artisanal cheese from both the U.S. and Europe, Scardello also offers a myriad of classes on topics such as: soft and creamy cheese, pairings, Italian wine and cheese, beer and cheese, and summer brews.

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5. Mercat Bistro 2501 N Harwood St, Dallas, TX 75201 (Uptown)

A little slice of Paris in Harwood District, this eatery supplies French-inspired dishes ranging from an assortment of house-made, grab-and-go pastries, sandwiches and wraps to sit-down brunch, lunch, and dinner options. Favorites include the grilled salmon with Haricot vert, quiche Lorraine, mushroom ravioli and organic roasted chicken smothered in wine gravy. It's best to come with a group (if you're traveling in twos you might have to get cozy at the adjoined tables); Get a seat on the shaded patio for a beautiful view of surrounding Uptown.

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6. Wayward Sons 3525 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX 75206 (Lower Greenville)

It’s hard not to feel a bit of escapism while sipping craft drinks from this farm-to-fork restaurant’s esteemed bar program on its lush outdoor patio. You'd be remiss to skip out on the house cocktails which include the signature Wayward Son with gin, chartreuse, and jalapeno. At this Lower Greenville spot, drinks aren't the only stars of the menu: Chef Graham Dodd's Wayward Sons takes traditional, Texan eats and reimagines them, refined. Dinner plates include smoked lamb brisket and chicken and dumplings; for brunch, the blueberry-topped ricotta pancakes over a schmear of lemon curd will fuel your dreams for days to come.

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7. Ida Claire 5001 Belt Line Rd, Dallas, TX 75254 (Addison)

This quirky Addison gem serves up Southern classics with a twist -- that goes for the food and drinks. Ida Claire, which has a retro, down-home theme, is dishing out plates like sweet potato chip duck confit (made with goat cheese fondue), remoulade crispy catfish, crawfish corn beignets, and a Southern tasting board: house-cured meats, low country ham, pimento cheese, smoked mustard, jam, and Ida's biscuits. The knowledgeable staff will help you pair whatever meal you choose with the proper cocktail, whether it's a modern gimlet, Collins, or G&T.

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8. Ascension Coffee 1621 Oak Lawn Ave, Ste A, Dallas, TX 75207 (Design District)

If you have a serious obsession with coffee, you'll find kindred spirits at Ascension Coffee. The stylish coffeehouse in the Design District sources its high quality beans from around the world and roasts them in house for top-notch lattes, espresso and cold brew. But as Ascension's house's credo helpfully points out, "one cannot live on coffee alone," so be sure to peruse the well-curated menu of small plates and hot entrees. When’s the last time you went to a coffee shop and ordered lamb meatballs? Or Wagyu steak and a glass of Cava?

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9. Nickel and Rye 2523 McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX 75201 (Uptown)

Nickel and Rye's got you covered with delicious burgers, whiskey, and bartenders who know what they're talking about. The menu features a number of Texas comfort foods, including guilty shareables (such as friend deviled eggs and a lobster quesadilla) and noteworthy "Big Plates" and sides... most popularly the chicken and waffles, and bacon jalapeño mac 'n' cheese. And just as important as the food is the Single Ladies' Night -- unaccompanied chicks enjoy almost everything half price (including bottles of wine).

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10. Savor 2000 Woodall Rodgers Fwy, Dallas, TX (Arts District)

This? It's just another restaurant inside of a giant glass box that serves delicious eats (pork & beef meatballs, grilled flat iron steak, high-marbled pork loin) and drinks (cocktails + 12 craft taps).

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11. Uchi Dallas 2817 Maple Ave, Dallas, TX 75201 (Uptown)

This chic, Dallas outpost of the popular Austin original brings Japanese seafood and other dishes, plus some new just-for-Dallas plates. Check out the gyutoro, a 72-hour braised beef short rib, along with the hot rock Wagyu or scallops. Be sure to pair your entree with one of Uchi's many sake offerings -- with discounts during a daily "Sake Social House" -- and to finish with the famous fried milk dessert.

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12. Truluck's Dallas 2401 McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX 75201 (Uptown)

With almost a dozen locations in Texas, California, and Florida, it's clear that this Dallas spot has steak and seafood down pat. Land and sea highlights include the miso-glazed sea bass, seared tuna sashimi, crab cakes, and foie gras butter filet. Live music, a generous daily happy hour, colorful cocktails, and fresh desserts -- shoutout to the carrot cake with spiced pecans and butterscotch -- makes Truluck's perfect for any occasion.

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