Whether you’ve been together for years or you’re embarking on your second night out, Dallas’ restaurant scene provides ample opportunities for a memorable date night. Yes, there are the white tablecloth mainstays where the steaks are dry-aged and the men need to wear jackets to enter, but romantic dinners in Dallas can also take place in intimate sushi dens, soufflé cafes, and hole-in-the-wall ‘70s throwbacks. To make your job easier, we’ve picked out our favorite spots for an intimate dinner, ranging from candlelit dining rooms to panoramic showstoppers. Just remember to make a reservation.
Uptown Charming cocktail cottage with low lighting and a cozy fireplace Known primarily for its creative craft cocktails, this historic old home also has a kitchen that doles out shareables ranging from chicken tenders to escargot, depending on how hard you’re trying to impress. Snuggle up by the fireplace to sip Yolko Onos and Bowen House G&Ts, or escape to the front patio to incorporate a little fresh air and moonlight into your evening.
Highland Park Casually elegant neighborhood institution Expect to go on a proper date in proper attire at this quaint steak and seafood spot that’s been catering to the Highland Park set for nearly four decades. Even though you’ll find white tablecloths and fresh flowers at every table, you won’t find any pretense here -- unless you decide to eat your oysters Rockefeller with your pinky out.
Uptown Intimate, chef-driven Japanese favorite Despite being a rather large space, you’ll find plenty of dimly lit corners in which to gaze lovingly at the person seated across from you. The world-class sushi here makes for a nice, interactive meal for two, but don’t overlook the ponzu-soaked oyster shooters -- after which you might also want to take advantage of the luxury hotel upstairs. Just sayin’.
Highland Park Old-world Italian eatery with vintage touches Nestled on the white-and-black penny-tiled second floor above Perfect Union Pizza Co., you’ll find this retro, red-sauced Italian spot, complete with crisp white table cloths and dark wood accents. Get a free show with dinner when you order the tableside Caesar salad, then dig into a 100-layer lasagna or one of the much-praised veal dishes. Whether or not you go full Lady and the Tramp on the linguini is up to you.
Downtown Contemporary French brasserie in an opulent gold structure Going for the gold takes on a whole new meaning at this gold-wrapped restaurant cantilevered above the ground floor of a posh, downtown office building. Even though the menu features elegant French classics, the vibe at this impeccably designed modern dining room is way less stuffy than you might expect, so feel free to flirt without getting side eye from other guests.
Design District 27th floor steakhouse with killer downtown views While you should always aim to get a table by the window here, nearly every seat in the house affords guests dynamic views of the twinkling Dallas skyline and mesmerizing parade of headlights and taillights more than two dozen floors below. Steaks are obviously the main draw here, but don’t overlook the seafood tower either.
North Dallas Cozy, seven-table space for New Mediterranean If ever there was a restaurant specifically designed for romance, it would be Gorji. With zero televisions, no children allowed, and a dedicated server to wait on you all night long, it may be hard to go on a date anywhere else after this experience. Better still, the gratuity is already included so at the end of the meal you can focus on the person opposite you instead of a calculator.
Uptown Small, European-style hotel with first-class dining Majestic chandeliers, flowing curtains, flickering candles, and floor-length tablecloths set the stage for food-lovers (and lovers in general) to feel transported to another place and time. With advance reservations, you can enjoy an elegant prix-fixe dinner with a view of the ivy-covered courtyard with advance reservations. It probably goes without saying, but guys are required to wear jackets here.
Downtown Iconic, classically styled fine-dining restaurant circa 1912 It’s quite the feat for any Dallas restaurant to last a decade, but for more than a century? This icon inside the Adolphus Hotel has true staying power, thanks to its consistency; from the cooking to the service everything is eminently repeatable. Ask for one of the cozy, circular banquettes looking out onto the dining room.
Downtown Pan-Asian restaurant with ever-changing views No matter what time of year you book your reservation at Five Sixty, try to make it for before sunset. The restaurant makes a full 360-degree rotation every hour, providing you a new view throughout your meal (or happy hour), so why not see the city in both daylight and after dark? There’s also a marriage proposal here almost every night, so if you’re looking for somewhere to pop the question, this probably ain’t it.
Design District Vibrant steakhouse bathed in the glow of 64 chandeliers The restaurant is loud and the crowds are lively, but despite the boisterous vibe there’s something magical about dining beneath the chandeliers’ warm electric glow -- not to mention the full-size convertible parked near the kitchen, or the gigantic aquarium housing its own yellow submarine. The whole experience is Dallas at its over-the-top best, so why not plan a date night to match?
Turtle Creek Bucket-list restaurant where New American meets French Back in the day, men were required to wear a coat and tie to enter this see-and-be-seen space, and though the dress code has relaxed slightly (a sport jacket would still be appropriate), the seasonal food selections and atmosphere are still some of the most coveted in the city. Tables for two can be found tucked away throughout the dining rooms, but you can also snag a seat on the terrace by the roaring fireplace, perfect for a bottle of Champagne.
Highland Park Chic, cheery space for inventive Mediterranean fare Have a vegan or vegetarian in your life you wish to impress? They’ll have plenty to love here (and so will meat eaters,); the entire mezze selection consists of colorful, fresh, vegetarian-friendly options that, along with a few orders of hot ciabatta or pita and a bottle of wine, make for one helluva fun interactive meal.
Little Forest Hills Tiny, cave-like dining room with 1970s swagger Sure, there’s a small pole sign and a tiny neon “here” lit in the window, but in a strip center cluttered with wig shops, tattoo parlors and record stores, the restraint of this neighborhood gem’s exterior can be easy to overlook. Once inside the shotgun-style space, you’ll be treated to an ambiance that’s a little bit Palm Springs and a whole lot 1970s, yet somehow perfectly timeless. Booths offer the most privacy of the limited seating options, perfect for binging on a chicken fried steak big enough to share.
Oak Lawn Cozy space for coastal Mexican cuisine The dining room at Tulum is romantic enough, but insiders know that the bar and lounge are where the majority of sweet nothings are whispered between couples. With comfy couches, dim lighting, and a sense of being tucked away from the main action, you can enjoy a full meal or come during happy hour for $7 shareables, wine, and cocktails. After all, a hot date doesn’t have to be an expensive one.
Knox District Classic French sidewalk cafe with charming patio There’s something about a restaurant that pays such painstaking homage to Paris that romance practically envelops the place, whether via the food, ambiance or a combination of the two. This outpost of the popular Texas mini-chain feels like an Epcot-worthy recreation of a Parisian sidewalk cafe, that makes one want to write poetry while waiting on appetizers. Or draw a portrait over dessert.
North Dallas Old-school steakhouse with a massive wine collection It’s not difficult to find a quiet spot in one of the multiple dining rooms at Pappas Bros, but ask for a table in the fireplace room for an added bit of ambiance. As you’d expect from a Texas steakhouse, portions run on the huge side, so consider sharing a main course and several sides so you have room for a slab of chocolate midnight cake -- even if it’s only 10pm.
Park Cities Rustic, quaint cafe specializing in soufflés One soufflé, two spoons: that’s the general experience at this charming spot dedicated to the fine French art of the fluffy soufflé. Start with the famous marshmallow soup, then choose a savory soufflé to share with options ranging from smoked salmon to cauliflower and brie. Save room for a dessert soufflé, with pecan praline and Grand Marnier being two can’t-miss options.
Old East Dallas Cozy, close-quarters spot for Asian delights Everything’s small at this quaint East Dallas spot, from the 50-seat dining room to the limited menu of Asian specialties -- and that’s what makes it so fantastic. Grab a table by the window and bask in the seductive red glow of the neon sign out front, then dive into some crab dip, lettuce wraps, steam buns, and sushi rolls, all perfect for sharing.
Preston Hollow Quirky fusion of diverse cuisines in upscale digs Chef Avner Samuel loves to create a theatrical experience with the food at his latest restaurant, whether it’s light-up accessories for certain dishes or an elaborate ice cream sundae with a DIY pipette filled with Grand Marnier (you choose whether to shoot it or add it to your dessert). The crispy fish for two is a must-order.
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