For Dallasites who absolutely refuse to drive north of 635 to explore the food halls of the suburbs, the city is finally now home to its very own one-stop-shop dining destination that boasts more than a dozen eateries.
Called the Exchange, the food hall opened its doors last month in the AT&T Discovery District in Downtown Dallas, and it’s positively packed with good eats. Many of the food hall’s spots are already beloved local favorites, like the hand-pulled noodles from Monkey King Noodle Company and the cheeky pies at Zalat Pizza.
It’s tough to make decisions about where to eat on a normal basis, but that’s doubly true when you’re surrounded by such a bounty of compelling dishes. As such, we’ve prepared a handy guide to help diners navigate one of the city’s most exciting new dining hotspots.
- Consider taking public transit or rideshare — Parking in downtown Dallas is a nightmare, and even if you do find a spot in a garage or on the street, those hourly parking fees will quickly add up. Save yourself the hassle and cash and arrange a ride.
- Block off some time — Sure, it may only take so long to eat, but it’s worth setting aside some time to explore the wide range of options. Consider appetizers at one spot and entrees at another, then plan to stick around after dining to scope out the Discovery District’s Instagram-worthy art installations.
- Take a lap before making any decisions — There’s a lot going on here, and nobody wants to regret filling up on pizza before seeing that lobster rolls are an option. Browse around for a moment, sip a cocktail, and then make your choices.
Where to Eat
- Rise + Thyme — Founded by Chopped judge Amanda Freitag, Rise + Thyme serves light fare like salads, sandwiches, and an all-day breakfast menu. Bonus: all of Rise + Thyme’s carryout packaging is made completely of recycled materials, and is fully biodegradable.
- Bobbers - A burger and fries is always a good option, especially when those burgers are made with wagyu beef patties from Texas’s own Beeman Ranch. There’s also snappy hot dogs from Luscher’s Post Oak Red Hots, grilled to order.
- The Dock — The bounty of the sea is showcased at this spot via lobster rolls, fish tacos, and cheesy hot crab queso.
- Revolver Taco — James Beard Award semifinalist Regino Rojas brings his beloved tacos to the Exchange, and pretty much everyone should try the tender duck breast taco at least once in their lives. Also on the menu: tacos stuffed with lobster, octopus, and so much more.
- Baboushi — An offshoot of Dallas restaurant Baboush, serving fast-casual Mediterranean eats.
- Zalat Pizza — Dallas’s favorite late-night pizza spot is known for its creatively topped pies, and here, you’ll find the only spot in town to order them by the slice.
- Monkey King Noodle Company — This Dallas stalwart’s menu is inspired by the street foods of Chinese and Taiwanese street markets. Find super-juicy soup dumplings, wontons, and of course, plenty of hot, spicy noodles.
- Ichi Ni San — A restaurant from Mot Hai Ba chef Peja Krstic, blending Japanese cuisine with Italian, French, and Texan influences.
- Ounce — A “Texas-inspired” brasserie from chef Brian Zenner. Dig into Mediterranean-influenced tapas like duck confit, or grilled Spanish octopus.
- Attalie — This spot will serve a totally different dining experience each day, from a line-up of chefs that will rotate daily.
Where to Drink
- Double Tap — As its very-online name would suggest, the cocktails at Double Tap are specifically designed for the ‘gram. A line-up of 12 different drinks is on offer, including frozen espresso martinis and the namesake Double Tap, a mix of tequila, citrus, pineapple soda, and Tajin.
- Hard Shake — A ritzier spot to grab a drink inside the Exchange, Hard Shake boasts an art deco aesthetic that creates the feel of a vintage film. The cocktails, with names like Just Like Audrey Hepburn, are a perfect fit for the vibe.
Where to Order Dessert
- Val’s Cheesecakes — This beloved purveyor of creamy cheesecakes is serving its treats via the slice, in charming little jars, or whole.
- La Duni — With a menu of “mestizo” style desserts, inspired by European and Latin American cultures, La Duni serves sweets like hazelnut biscotti and leches cake in a jar.
- Press Waffle Co. — Featured on Shark Tank, Press Waffle Co. offers a decadent selection of both sweet and savory Belgian waffles.
The Exchange is now open daily, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., at 211 South Akard Street.