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Poll: Most Dallas Diners Still Aren’t Comfortable Dining Indoors

But plenty of locals are eating on patios and ordering takeout from their favorite restaurants

Maskless diners share a mimosa in Deep Ellum
Kathy Tran
Amy McCarthy is a reporter at, focusing on pop culture, policy and labor, and only the weirdest online trends.

Last week, Eater Dallas asked readers to share whether or not they were comfortable dining in restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic. The results are in, and aren’t exactly surprising: even though restaurants across the state are allowed to open at limited capacity, most diners still aren’t comfortable dining indoors just yet.

Only 32 percent of respondents in Eater Dallas’s poll indicated that they were comfortable eating inside restaurant dining rooms, while another 25 percent of answers indicated that those diners were comfortable eating on outdoor patios. As the weather turns colder, though, it’s likely that more and more diners will end up indoors.

36 percent of respondents said they were staying out of communal dining spaces altogether, still sticking to takeout and delivery from their favorite restaurants. There’s still a small contingent of people who are enforcing their own stay-at-home order, but just 7 percent of people answered that they were cooking and eating all of their meals at home.

With more than 924,000 cases of COVID-19 identified across the state since the beginning of the pandemic and more than 18,000 deaths, the numbers continue to rise. Yesterday, NBC News reported that Texas is now tied with California as home to the most COVID-19 cases in the country. There also appears to be a strong correlation between dining at restaurants and contracting COVID-19 — people who have contracted the virus are twice as likely to report having dined in a restaurant than those who have tested negative, according to a recent study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

See the full results of Eater Dallas’s poll here, and be on the lookout for upcoming polls on how diners across the city are handling dining out during the pandemic.