I’ve traveled all over the world and visited some really spectacular places, but this one always tops the list. Of course, I’m biased but truth be told, I’m certain I’d love it just as much even if it wasn’t my native city. Great restaurants, amazing art, tip-top shopping, friendly people – Dallas has it all and then some. With so many good spots, picking favorites is tough, if not impossible. I’ve done my best to nail down the absolute musts in this guide. But here’s the thing: the best part about Big D is that it always keeps me on my toes. Just when I think I’ve seen it all – browsed every boutique, tried every chocolate chip cookie, know every hole-in-the-wall spot – I discover something new. With that in mind, this guide, like the city itself, will continue to evolve and grow. Check back for all the new scoop.
WHERE TO STAY
Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek
When it comes to Dallas classics, this hotel tops the list. Open for over forty years, The Mansion has it all: great location, beautiful accommodations, and an award-winning restaurant. It also happens to be my favorite bar in the city. Hot tip: go on a Friday or Saturday night to catch live jazz music.
The Joule Hotel
Located Downtown, The Joule is hip, trendy, and, of course, luxurious. Beautifully designed, this hotel boasts a Taschen library of books, an incredible art collection (think: Andy Warhol and Tony Cragg) and is steps away from Neiman Marcus and Forty Five Ten. It also has one of the best spas in the city where you’ll find a full menu of options, from massages to geothermal heat experiences.
Where to Eat
Whether you go for lunch, dinner, or stop in for an afternoon glass of wine on the terrace, you simply cannot go wrong with Le Bilboquet. The vibe is elegant and the food is always (always!) good. The menu features primarily French fare, including steak tartare, pan-seared branzino, and, in my opinion, the very best French fries in Dallas.
Located in the Dallas Design District, this restaurant is equally as chic as it is delicious. The Italian-inspired menu features housemade pastas, wood-fire-grilled fish, and one of my favorite steaks in Dallas. The vibe is elegant but not stuffy. Note: reservations are hard to come by so be sure to book ahead.
Il Bracco is the kind of spot with something for everyone. A chic and easy spot for a date-night, a weeknight dinner with kiddos, or a business lunch, the Italian eatery fits the bill. The menu is full of delicious options, including a list of hearty salads, making it a great lunch option when you’re hungry but don’t want anything heavy.
Located in the Design District (for those who know, it took over the former FT33 space), this swanky new steak house is one the city’s best restaurants. The cocktails are delightful and the food is spectacular – both of which are enjoyed from one of the restaurant’s super cozy booths, while surrounded by a top-notch art collection. Call in all the favors to get a reservation here. It’s worth it.
WHERE TO SHOP
Don’t let the tiny size fool you: this shop is a jewel box. Located on West Lovers Lane, Cabana carries a mix of casual-cool pieces from brands like Warm, Tish Cox, and K. Jacques, to name a few. Note: they’re technically only open M-F but if you call ahead, they’ll open the shop on a Saturday for you.
Canary is the decidedly dressier sister to Cabana. With a lineup of designers like Roksanda, Blazé Milano, and Lee Matthews, the store is always filled with wish-list-worthy buys. If you’re someone who prefers wearing color to a wardrobe of neutrals, this is your shop.
Highland Park Village
With a store roster that includes Celine, Chanel, La Ligne, and The Conservatory, this is Dallas’ version of a one-stop shop. Make it an all-day activity with a break for lunch Bistro 31.
An interior designer favorite, this shop has long been known for its selection of beautiful furniture and home accessories, but recently, the tabletop collection has taken center stage. The offer such a great mix of styles and designers – from classics like Mottahedeh’s Tobacco Leaf to Instagram favorite Oriente Italiano from Richard Ginori.
Whether you need a pick-me-up from a long day of travel or just want to see your face really glow, a facial at Joanna Czech is a must. The team of aestheticians there (I see Rebecca) is tip-top so book with whomever is available and each facial is totally custom. The facials are pricey (very) but worth every penny.
Maple and Motor
There’s lots of good cheeseburgers in this city but this one is the best. It’s the kind of greasy burger you crave after a big night out. In fact, when my husband and I were dating, we used to eat lunch here every Sunday. (We loved the cheeseburgers so much that we served them as the late-night food at our wedding reception.)