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A woman’s arm holds a coupe glass with a cocktail in it. Behind is a lit sign in script that reads, “The Woolworth.”
Three cheers to the Woolworth, new and improved.
Kathy Tran

13 Essential Downtown Dallas Restaurants

Where to dine when you go Downtown to forget all your worries and woes

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Three cheers to the Woolworth, new and improved.
| Kathy Tran

Home to the Central Business District and Dealey Plaza, Downtown Dallas welcomes millions of tourists yearly, not including the thousands of Dallas-Fort Worth dwellers who live there or commute into the neighborhood daily for work.

Fortunately, outside the corporate headquarters and hotels, Downtown also offers many dining options. From casual lunch spots to excellent Italian food, these essential Downtown restaurants play host to everything from high-stakes business meetings to special dinners for vacationers.

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Toussaint Downtown Brasserie

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Looking for brunch Downtown? Toussaint Downtown Brasserie wants to be top of the list. Its French/Asian fusion menu leans heavily into classic recipes from the former culture, with egg dishes and cafe au lait galore. It mixes the cultures a bit more for dinner, offering steak frites and bibimbap in line with each other. And its smash burger with bacon onion jam is so yummy that diners can get it any time. 

Chefs Jennie Kelley and Brandon Moore are veterans of the Dallas food scene. The recently opened Fond specializes in lunch (seriously, get the Tower Club — it’s so good) and an aperitivo menu that’s served from 3 to 7 p.m. with Detroit-style pizza, salads, and shared appetizer plates like burrata with peaches and prosciutto, almonds and olives, and the house-made sourdough. It also has a wine list that is exclusively natural wines. 

Cafe Momentum

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“Eat, drink, and change lives” is the motto of this nonprofit eatery, primarily staffed by at-risk youth seeking a culinary education as they prepare southern plates full of smoked fried chicken and collard greens, among other compelling dishes. Led by Chad Houser, the menu at Cafe Momentum promises surprisingly fresh takes on many familiar dishes. 

Partenope Ristorante

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Tucked into the corner of Main and Paul Streets is the gorgeous Partenope, named for an Italian siren and created by husband-and-wife team Dino and Megan Santonicola. Duck in for some of the finest pizza in Dallas, Italian cocktails, and a romantic vibe. 

Monarch

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This see-and-be-seen stop in Downtown boasts excellent views, endless hotspot vibes, and a chance to get all dressed up in one’s finest to show off. This is the spot to land a reservation when a showy dinner is the order of the night, be it for a date, work dinner, or celebratory occasion.

Brass Ram

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On the outskirts of Downtown lies a steakhouse worth visiting. Nick Badovinus, whose work Dallasites know from Town Hearth, Neighborhood Services, Montlake Cut, and more, goes all in on classic steakhouse menu items, including a Yorkshire pudding that’s literally the food of kings and a burger inspired by a trip to Paris. 

The Woolworth

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The Woolworth re-opened in fall 2023, having revamped its menu and its interiors, ten years after it opened. Now diners can enjoy a lobster “rangoon” spring roll, coffee-rubbed lamb pops, and pan-roasted airline chicken. It also serves Linz heritage angus reserve from Oklahoma, having developed a four steak menu with finishing touches and enhancements built around the beef program.

Starship Bagel

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Want a great breakfast, a yummy mid-morning treat, or a light lunch? Head to Starship Bagel’s stand in Downtown next to the park with the giant eyeball sculpture. It has a wide array of schmears, including scallion, honey almond, avocado, and fermented jalapeno. Or get a bagel sandwich with lox, cucumbers, or the Millennial Falcon — a take on avocado toast. These are some of the city’s best bagels, so whatever sounds good will be good. And yes, there is coffee.

Mirador

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Looking for a fancy lunch or brunch downtown? Head to this chic spot for American fare including parmesan tomato soup, orecchiette, and chicken paillard. It’s also offering tea service on Saturday afternoons — reservations required.

Sushiya

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This tucked-away Downtown sushi bar enjoyed Internet fame after the grandson of Kang Lee, who’s worked at the restaurant for nearly 15 years, made a TikTok video about the restaurant. That fandom aside, the gem offers a respite from the noisy city with quality sushi and a comfortable atmosphere.

The Zodiac Room

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The restaurant inside the original Neiman Marcus has been there since 1914 and has been serving upscale fare for 50 years. Its popovers are wildly popular, and diners can expect to find seasonal dishes on the menu, like a strawberry salad or salmon tacos. It’s the stop for ladies who lunch downtown. 

Sassetta

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Sassetta reopened in the Joule Hotel in the spring of 2022, bringing a white tablecloth Italian experience back to the neighborhood. But don’t expect a rerun of the original. The staff calls it “a spiritual successor” to the original with a whole new menu with a flavor profile that extends beyond Italy and into Spain, France, Northern Africa, and the western edges of the Middle East.

Commissary

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Downtown’s favorite grab-and-go market for prepared foods, wines, and loaves of bread baked on-site also has seating for about 20 people and dine-in options, including soups, pastries, sandwiches, pasta, and gelato. 

Toussaint Downtown Brasserie

Looking for brunch Downtown? Toussaint Downtown Brasserie wants to be top of the list. Its French/Asian fusion menu leans heavily into classic recipes from the former culture, with egg dishes and cafe au lait galore. It mixes the cultures a bit more for dinner, offering steak frites and bibimbap in line with each other. And its smash burger with bacon onion jam is so yummy that diners can get it any time. 

Fond

Chefs Jennie Kelley and Brandon Moore are veterans of the Dallas food scene. The recently opened Fond specializes in lunch (seriously, get the Tower Club — it’s so good) and an aperitivo menu that’s served from 3 to 7 p.m. with Detroit-style pizza, salads, and shared appetizer plates like burrata with peaches and prosciutto, almonds and olives, and the house-made sourdough. It also has a wine list that is exclusively natural wines. 

Cafe Momentum

“Eat, drink, and change lives” is the motto of this nonprofit eatery, primarily staffed by at-risk youth seeking a culinary education as they prepare southern plates full of smoked fried chicken and collard greens, among other compelling dishes. Led by Chad Houser, the menu at Cafe Momentum promises surprisingly fresh takes on many familiar dishes. 

Partenope Ristorante

Tucked into the corner of Main and Paul Streets is the gorgeous Partenope, named for an Italian siren and created by husband-and-wife team Dino and Megan Santonicola. Duck in for some of the finest pizza in Dallas, Italian cocktails, and a romantic vibe. 

Monarch

This see-and-be-seen stop in Downtown boasts excellent views, endless hotspot vibes, and a chance to get all dressed up in one’s finest to show off. This is the spot to land a reservation when a showy dinner is the order of the night, be it for a date, work dinner, or celebratory occasion.

Brass Ram

On the outskirts of Downtown lies a steakhouse worth visiting. Nick Badovinus, whose work Dallasites know from Town Hearth, Neighborhood Services, Montlake Cut, and more, goes all in on classic steakhouse menu items, including a Yorkshire pudding that’s literally the food of kings and a burger inspired by a trip to Paris. 

The Woolworth

The Woolworth re-opened in fall 2023, having revamped its menu and its interiors, ten years after it opened. Now diners can enjoy a lobster “rangoon” spring roll, coffee-rubbed lamb pops, and pan-roasted airline chicken. It also serves Linz heritage angus reserve from Oklahoma, having developed a four steak menu with finishing touches and enhancements built around the beef program.

Starship Bagel

Want a great breakfast, a yummy mid-morning treat, or a light lunch? Head to Starship Bagel’s stand in Downtown next to the park with the giant eyeball sculpture. It has a wide array of schmears, including scallion, honey almond, avocado, and fermented jalapeno. Or get a bagel sandwich with lox, cucumbers, or the Millennial Falcon — a take on avocado toast. These are some of the city’s best bagels, so whatever sounds good will be good. And yes, there is coffee.

Mirador

Looking for a fancy lunch or brunch downtown? Head to this chic spot for American fare including parmesan tomato soup, orecchiette, and chicken paillard. It’s also offering tea service on Saturday afternoons — reservations required.

Sushiya

This tucked-away Downtown sushi bar enjoyed Internet fame after the grandson of Kang Lee, who’s worked at the restaurant for nearly 15 years, made a TikTok video about the restaurant. That fandom aside, the gem offers a respite from the noisy city with quality sushi and a comfortable atmosphere.

The Zodiac Room

The restaurant inside the original Neiman Marcus has been there since 1914 and has been serving upscale fare for 50 years. Its popovers are wildly popular, and diners can expect to find seasonal dishes on the menu, like a strawberry salad or salmon tacos. It’s the stop for ladies who lunch downtown. 

Sassetta

Sassetta reopened in the Joule Hotel in the spring of 2022, bringing a white tablecloth Italian experience back to the neighborhood. But don’t expect a rerun of the original. The staff calls it “a spiritual successor” to the original with a whole new menu with a flavor profile that extends beyond Italy and into Spain, France, Northern Africa, and the western edges of the Middle East.

Commissary

Downtown’s favorite grab-and-go market for prepared foods, wines, and loaves of bread baked on-site also has seating for about 20 people and dine-in options, including soups, pastries, sandwiches, pasta, and gelato. 

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