Upscale Mexican cuisine on a decorated table

Dallas’ culinary time capsules: exploring the city’s most enduring restaurants

From classic American eateries to authentic international flavors, these Dallas restaurants have stood the test of time.

Dallas is a city with a rich history and tradition, and its culinary offerings are a testament to this. Amidst the ever-evolving food scene, there are numerous timeless institutions that have been serving up delectable meals and creating cherished memories for generations.

In this journey through the heart of Dallas, we’ll explore some of the city’s long-standing restaurants. From classic American diners to upscale Mexican cuisine, these establishments have been constants in a city of change, offering a taste of history and a glimpse into the past. We’ll discover the stories behind these iconic eateries, their enduring charm, and the mouth-watering dishes that have made them beloved by residents for decades.

Dairy-ette

9785 Ferguson Rd Dallas, TX 75228

After more than six decades, Dairy-ette has become a Dallas institution, serving up classic diner fare that’s sure to take you on a trip down memory lane. Whether you choose to drive up or step inside, Dairy-ette’s burgers, fries, and milkshakes will transport you to a bygone era of car hops and wallet-friendly prices. It’s a testament to the timeless appeal of good old-fashioned American food.

Arthur’s Steakhouse

15175 Quorum Dr, Addison, TX 75001

A true Dallas legend, Arthur’s Steakhouse has been dishing out delicious steaks and a charming environment since its inception in 1948. Although it has changed locations a few times, its unwavering commitment to serving top-notch food remains constant. You’ll find yourself immersed in the delightful, slightly kitschy ambiance that adds to the unique charm of this iconic steakhouse.

Keller’s Drive-In

10554 Harry Hines Blvd, Dallas, TX 75220

Keller’s Drive-In is a true Dallas time capsule, serving delicious burgers for over half a century. The setting is a nostalgic throwback, and they’ve stuck to their winning formula since day one. Roll up in your car and order their iconic No. 5 special, a double-meat burger with lettuce, tomato, and Thousand Island-style dressing on soft poppy-seed buns. Just be sure to have a napkin handy as you savor every bite of this classic burger experience. 

Javier’s

4912 Cole Ave, Dallas, TX 75205

Javier’s, a Park Cities staple since 1977, captivates diners with its upscale Mexican cuisine, impeccable service, and potent margaritas. Don’t forget to visit the cigar room adorned with taxidermy for a post-dinner drink. Javier’s has remained a beacon of fine dining in Dallas for decades, providing a delightful fusion of Mexican flavors with a touch of elegance.

Royal China

6025 Royal Lane #201 Dallas, TX 75230

Royal China should be at the top of your list if you’re looking for authentic Chinese and Taiwanese cuisine in North Dallas. Since 1974, this Preston Hollow establishment has been serving delicious dishes made from scratch, including their famous soup dumplings. You can even watch the skilled chefs pull noodles at the bar. Royal China’s commitment to quality and tradition has earned it a cherished place in the Dallas dining scene for almost five decades.

Sonny Bryan’s

Two locations 

Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse was established in 1958 by Sonny Bryan himself. Although Sonny Bryan is no longer with us, his legacy lives on through the Harman family, who have maintained the original location’s charm and innovation. Today, you can indulge in an array of smoked meats, classic sides, and even opt for barbecue catering to experience a taste of history at your doorstep.

Burger House

6248 East Mockingbird Lane Dallas, Texas 75214

Burger House is a beloved institution in Dallas that has been serving delicious burgers since 1951. The restaurant has a devoted following and is famous for its double cheeseburgers, topped with grilled onions and served on a sesame-seed bun, along with its irresistible fries. Despite the passage of time, the eatery’s commitment to preparing burgers, fries, shakes, and malts the traditional way has remained unchanged.

Kuby’s Sausage House

6601 Snider Plaza, Dallas, TX 75205

Kuby’s Sausage House is a German restaurant and European market nestled in Highland Park, offering fine cuts of meat and distinct comfort food. Its story began in 1961 when Karl Kuby hoped to introduce Texans to the flavors beloved by his family for generations. The restaurant has a diverse menu that includes a range of traditional German dishes, such as schnitzel and wurst bites.

Dunston’s Steakhouse

Two locations; included in this list: 5423 W Lovers Ln, Dallas, TX 75209

The moment you step into Dunston’s, the aroma of burning mesquite wood welcomes you to a dining experience like no other. Dunston’s has been grilling steaks over an open-pit grill since 1955. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, with wood-paneled walls adorned with memorabilia. From the iconic salad bar (it’s really good) to the hearty chicken-fried steak smothered in peppery white gravy, Dunston’s delivers a taste of Dallas history. Don’t miss their 10-ounce prime rib, cooked to perfection. (And make sure to book a table in the back room.)

Jimmy’s Food Store

4901 Bryan St, Dallas, TX 75206

Jimmy’s Food Store has been an East Dallas staple since 1966. Since then, it has transformed into Dallas’ most beloved Italian market and deli. The store is renowned for its giant made-to-order sandwiches, but it’s also a treasure trove of imported Italian delights — from fresh pasta and sweets to Italian wines.

El Fenix

Multiple locations 

El Fenix, a Dallas institution known for its strong margaritas and delicious Tex-Mex fare, was founded in 1918 and celebrated its 105th birthday in September. With this kind of history, it has earned a well-deserved place in the Dallas dining hall of fame. With multiple locations throughout DFW, visiting this staple near you is easy.

The Old Warsaw

2512 Maple Ave, Dallas, TX 75201

The Old Warsaw has been a symbol of vintage charm in Uptown Dallas since 1948. While it has modernized over the years, the restaurant’s latest renovation in 2016 ushered in a new era while preserving its classic charm. Expect prime filet mignon and lobster Thermidor served in a glamorous setting. It’s a destination for those seeking a touch of elegance and fine dining.

The Zodiac

Level Six 1618 Main St. Dallas, TX 75201

This restaurant has served as a beloved lunchtime hotspot in the iconic Neiman Marcus store Downtown since 1953. Come for the legendary mandarin orange soufflé and stay for a stroll around the shoe department.


Two Citrus Cocktails on a Table

A guide to the best mocktails in Atlanta (that aren’t just juice in a fancy glass)

Mocktails are on the rise, and Atlanta hot spots are taking notice. Which unique beverage will you order on your next sober night out?

Ordering a mocktail during a night out in Atlanta is a risk. Maybe not free-climbing risky, but you’re still taking a gamble. For those expecting a specialty crafted drink, receiving a mix of fruit juices and a lime wedge grazing the rim just won’t cut it, especially when some mocktails can be only a few dollars less than the “real” thing.

With sober-curious movements gaining traction — 4 in 10 consumers closely or occasionally follow a no-drink lifestyle — mocktails are on the rise, and patrons’ choices have broadened. Bartenders agree: “There’s definitely been an uptick [in] ordering mocktails, I think because the stigma of not drinking in social situations is wearing down,” says Griffin Hudgins, bar manager of popular Upper Westside spot The Woodall.

Whether you’re looking for a bourbon-less old fashioned, virgin mojito (sometimes referred to as a no-jito) or even just a non-alcoholic beer, ATL’s got more than a few options for sober-curious and alcohol-free patrons.

Group of People Enjoying Drinks at a Local Bar

The Woodall

This upscale establishment has become the Westside neighborhood’s go-to hangout spot since opening in early 2021. It features a dog-friendly, full-service outdoor bar and warm interiors, and its welcoming environment extends to the offerings of food and drink. While The Woodall is known for its classic cocktails and delicious bar-exclusive menu (try the Durham’s fried chicken), its menu of mocktail options is sure to please — particularly with a reasonable price tag between $7 to $9.

“A few years ago, mocktails consisted of whatever juice bars had,” says Hudgins. “Now, you see a lot of restaurants bringing in zero-proof spirits to mimic the flavors of liquor.” The drink expert explains how The Woodall’s new classics also incorporate the same thoughtfulness that one would expect with a traditional alcoholic beverage. 

Take the Free Fashioned, a spirit-free take on the old fashioned, using lapsang souchong (a smoky black tea), caraway seeds, black peppercorn, and charred hickory maple syrup.

“We wanted to implement the smokiness and bite of a traditional old fashioned,” Hudgins says of the unique no-spirit drink. “We char hickory chips and then infuse those with maple syrup for 24 hours. Once that’s finished, we toast black peppercorns and caraway, give them a quick pulse in the blender, and then heat them to make a tea.”

Other Woodall standouts include the Mocking Rita, a take on a spicy margarita featuring a house-made sour mix, green tea, Fresno orange agave syrup, soda water, and fresh lime. If something sweeter is on your mind, go with the Bet Your Berries, crafted with fresh berries, lemon, agave nectar, and soda, for a perfect elevated thirst-quencher. 

Flight Club

Nestled in West Midtown across from the iconic Northside Tavern, Flight Club offers its signature mocktail, The Midway Splash, anchored by the non-alcoholic, no-calorie, no-sugar spirit Seedlip Grove 42. The product is billed as a “sophisticated, bright, citrus blend” that fuses orange, lemon, lemongrass and ginger flavors. The spirit is mixed alongside pineapple and a lemon tonic for a balanced sweetness. Flight Club’s other offerings include The Lyre’s Spritz, a rotating virgin spritz. 

Here, you’ll also find solid non-alcoholic beers from Athletic Brewing — award-winning craft brewers offering an impressive lineup of styles that can even please your resident beer snob. At Fight Club, try either the non-alcoholic IPA or golden ale. 

Gypsy Kitchen

Gypsy Kitchen, a well-known and highly-rated Buckhead gem known for craft cocktails and unique tapas, offers excellent views and a romantic vibe. It’s perfect for a Dry January date night — or day out. In fact, Gypsy Kitchen only lists mocktails on its lunch menu. (Inside tip: they’re available for just $8 a pop all day.)

The eye-catching Razmatazz mocktail will immediately win over your tastebuds. It’s made simply with raspberries, lemon juice, and orgeat, an almond and rose water syrup, and served in a tall glass with light ice and lemon garnish. Rounding out the trio of options is the Blackberry Elixir, crafted with blackberries, lemon, basil, and honey, and the refreshing, light-tasting Pepino Fresco, using cucumber, mint, lime, and tonic water. 


An individual enjoying a local park with their dog.

How to make a day of it at the cute parks in Downtown Dallas

These green spaces can be a destination or a starting point for a day full of fun.

You’ve probably noticed a shift if you’ve visited Downtown Dallas recently. Since 2019, four “neighborhood urban parks” have popped up, transforming parking lots into green spaces with ample amenities and activities. The parks are a serene respite in their own right, and they can also be a starting point for an incredible day with loved ones. If you’re looking for a low-cost, all-upside outing to explore the best of Downtown Dallas, we’ll outline which parks to visit and nearby activities. 

Harwood Park: Best for families (including dog parents)

What to do at the park: Opened in September 2023, kids will love Harwood Parks’ playground, which includes two mammoth-shaped play structures (the trunks are slides!), and parents will find plenty of seating nearby. The park also features two dog parks with water fountains and landscape-play elements to entertain even the most high-energy canine.

What to do after the park: After some fun frolicking at one of the best parks in Dallas, walk a few blocks to the Dallas Farmers Market, which is pet- and family-friendly. On Saturdays and Sundays, you can visit the open-air pavilion to pick up produce, meats, cheese, canned foods, bread, and wine. You can also dine at The Market — a 26,000-square-foot food hall open seven days a week — offering a variety of local favorites like Taqueria La Ventana, Rex’s Seafood & Market, and Ka-Tip Thai Street Food. Opt for any of the dog-friendly patios or find ample seating inside.

Carpenter Park: Best for art lovers 

What to do at the park: At nearly six acres, Carpenter Park is one of the largest parks in the urban core and offers plenty to do — from the outdoor public basketball court to an interactive fountain where kids and dogs can splash on a warm day. Make sure to see the “Portal Park Slice” sculpture, a reimagination of the late artist Robert Irwin’s original public installation that visitors have enjoyed for more than five decades. 

What to do after the park: Don your walking shoes and head to the Dallas Arts District, which is about a half-mile away (about a 15-minute walk). See rotating exhibits at the Nasher Sculpture Center or The Dallas Museum of Art, or catch a performance at the AT&T Performing Arts Center. If you’re hungry, upscale eateries pepper the district, like Tei-An, beloved by food critics and diners alike for its hand-crafted soba noodles and top-notch sushi. Prefer a more low-key nosh? Enjoy an order of Scotch eggs alongside a pint at the Playwright Irish Pub.

Pacific Plaza: Best for picnickers and readers 

What to do at the park: Opened to the public in 2019, this park replaced more than 100,000 square feet of asphalt with dozens of trees and plants, creating a lush outdoor environment. Relax under the circular pavilion with abstracted punches of American Morse code, creating a striking visual pattern on sunny days. It’s one of the many details that make this park worth perusing.  

What to do after the park: Stay there! Sure, you can access Deep Ellum, Downtown, and the Arts District from Pacific Plaza, but you can also spend a delightful day relaxing in the park. A limestone seating area stretches throughout the park and offers shaded, semi-shaded, and full-sun seating so you can pick the perfect place to read. With more than 30,000 square feet of lawn, outdoor enthusiasts will find ample room for lounging at one of the best parks in Dallas for a picnic.

West End Square: Best for working, writing, or finding inspiration

What to do at the park: Designed to be a “testing ground” for incorporating technology and nature in urban areas, West End Square offers plenty of ways to plug in. The Outdoor Workroom offers a 50-foot-long table fitted with charging stations so you can finally write that manuscript or take a meeting outside. Or visit the Innovation Arcade to find inspiration among temporary installations, performances, and artwork along Market Street. 

What to do after the park: Hit the West End Historic District to explore other worlds, like the Dallas World Aquarium, with exhibits that feature marine life and animals from around the globe, like flamingos and ocelots. There’s also the Museum of Illusions, where mind-bending exhibits featuring optical illusions and visual tricks may have you questioning your perceptions.