Mudhen Meat and Greens
900 S. Harwood St., Downtown
When we think of Dallas's food DNA, it's melt-in-your-mouth, deeply charred BBQ and the panoply of fixings that typically come to mind. Recently, however, the city has developed an appetite for lighter, healthier options. Mudhen is located in the heart of the farmers' market, giving chef Suki Otsuki easy access to the freshest produce—this is farm-to-table in the truest sense. The space itself is a sort of stylish canteen, and the endless build-a-bowl options, kombucha, and house-made bone broth mean every seat is filled. Stop by for lunch after a morning at the market and be sure to order the Mudhen interpretation of a spring roll: fresh, colorful veggies wrapped in crisp collard greens.
400 S. Record St., Downtown
Everything about Bullion is dazzling, from the gold-scaled building (designed by Swedish architect Martin Brudnizki) to the French menu by Michelin-starred chef Bruno Davaillon. Get drinks in the lounge (may we suggest ordering the French 75?), then continue to the gilt-intensive dining room for classic and contemporary French dishes. The canard à l’orange, roasted duck with orange marmalade, is especially good. The restaurant has a hydroponic farm in the building next door—pretty spectacular if you can sneak in a tour.
Dallas Farmers Market Food Hall
920 S. Harwood St., Downtown
In 2016, the Dallas Farmers Market underwent a major renovation, and one of the unused buildings was transformed into the Shed—an amazing indoor local food hall. We love nourishing bone broth from Stocks and Bondy, Mexican furniture at the Dallas Antique Company, truffle-infused cheese from Scardello, and, of course, the fresh local produce.
1510 Pacific Ave., Downtown
The entire team at this beautiful New American dinner spot is made up of teenagers released from juvenile delinquent facilities. Their yearlong internships at the Café give them both life and job training. The seasonal, local menu from head chef Chad Houser is fresh and original, and the vibe is in every way uplifting: One wall is devoted to a collaborative art piece titled the “I’m Thankful Plate Project,” where past interns have written about gratitude on plates from the restaurant.
The French Room
1321 Commerce St., Downtown
When the French Room opened in 1912, it was one of the fanciest restaurants in Dallas. More than a hundred years and a serious restoration later, it still is. The dining room is very Versailles, with pastel glass chandeliers and gilded crown molding. Chef Michael Ehlert’s menus are all prix fixe—three or seven courses. The latter is deliciously experimental, full of surprises and thoughtful wine pairings.
1530 Main St., Downtown
This gem at the Joule does far more than serve the hotel's own guests with a tight, well-edited menu of exactly what we all want at every meal: In the morning, it’s the frittata; at lunch, it’s a healthy quinoa bowl; and at dinner, it’s pretty much anything that can be served with a side of their award-winning fries. Beyond feeding the hotel’s guests—and from very early in the morning until very late—it stands as one the best casual dining destinations in Dallas.
Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck
300 Reunion Blvd. E, Downtown
Spot the landmark 560-foot building with the glowing ball illuminating the Dallas skyline and you’ll have found Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck. The celebrity chef’s pan-Asian restaurant and lounge on the tippy-top floor of Reunion Tower marks his first fine-dining destination in the city. Come sundown, tuck into crispy lobster and shrimp spring rolls as you take in the 360-degree view.