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Tacos de trompo garnished with onion, lime, and cilantro
Flavorful tacos on the cheap at Trompo
Robert Strickland

The 10 Best Places to Take A Date for Under $30

Go out on the town without going broke

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Flavorful tacos on the cheap at Trompo
| Robert Strickland

Don’t let ballin’ on a budget prevent an enjoyable date night out. There are plenty of local eateries that can accommodate two entrees and a round of drinks for under $30. From Oak Cliff, to Lower Greenville, to Addison, these restaurants are 10 of the city’s best bets for dining on a dime.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Zoli's NY Pizza

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14910 Midway Rd
Addison, TX 75001
(469) 754-9654
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The former Oak Cliff eatery recently reopened in Addison with its famous fried mozzarella Nuggz and Meatzilla pizza in tow. Split a 14-inch pie for around $15. The Lil’ Troy with mini meatballs, stracciatella, vodka sauce, and cherry peppers or the CBR with roasted chicken, bacon, pickled jalapeños, and jalapeño ranch are two hearty options.

A pepperoni pizza with jalapeno pesto and basil
So much pepperoni awaits at Zoli's NY Pizza in Addison
Kathy Tran

2. Quoc Bao Bakery

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3419 W Walnut St #104
Garland, TX 75042
(972) 272-9892

This Vietnamese gem is referred to time and time again as having some of Dallas’ best bánh mì sandwiches. With the menu board topping out at $3.50 for a sandwich, and a buy-three-get-one-free option, Quoc Bao promises to be filling without breaking the bank. With all that money saved, treat your sweet to an order of macaroons for $6 and a Thai tea for $1.50. Insider’s note: this eatery is sans alcohol.

Quoc Bao Bakery/Yelp

3. The Libertine Bar

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2101 Greenville Ave
Dallas, TX 75206
(214) 824-7900
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This bar runs some insane deals throughout the week. Peep the Wednesday special: all Texas brews are just $3 all evening long, starting at 4 p.m. With big names like Deep Ellum Brewing Company, Lakewood Brewing Co, Peticolas, Revolver, No Label, Shiner, Rahr, St. Arnold, Lone Star, Real Ale and Southern Star, there’s no shortage of options to quench even the deepest thirst. Pair a home-based brew with a sandwich for under $12, and consider date night done.

The Libertine Bar/Facebook

4. El Rey Del Grill

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4535 Maple Ave
Dallas, TX 75219
(214) 559-3668
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This Mexican eatery offers a no-frills menu with plenty of options for a hungry date, like a three-taco plate for $7 or a three-piece grilled chicken plate for $8. The restaurant’s plethora of sauces and garnishes can’t be passed up. The bar serves up giant margaritas, micheladas and more for $6, and imported Mexican bottles for $3.50 (take a dollar off at happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. daily).

El Rey Del Grill/Facebook

5. Lakewood Landing

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4334, 5818 Live Oak St
Dallas, TX 75214
(214) 823-2410
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There’s nothing more charming than a dive bar, and this Lakewood classic is one of the city’s best. Cozy into a booth together, then share a basket of loaded cheese fries while chatting over a couple of cheap beers.

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6. Jimmy's Food Store

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4901 Bryan St
Dallas, TX 75206
(214) 823-6180
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Jimmy’s isn’t only a specialty Italian food shop, it also offers gourmet subs on the premises for under $7, like meatball, Italian sausage, or chicken Italiano. Since Jimmy’s also stocks tons of imported wine, pick up a bottle to pair with the sandwich offerings, or take advantage of that free-free on Saturday afternoons when Jimmy’s does gratis wine tastings.

7. Mai's Restaurant Authentic Vietnamese Cuisine

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4812 Bryan St #100
Dallas, TX 75204
(214) 826-9887
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Mai’s is a hidden gem off Lowest Greenville that serves up nearly 100 different items on its lengthy menu. Dig into the always delicious clay pot with either chicken or shrimp, or one of the other Vietnamese specialities for $13. Since this spot is BYOB, grab an inexpensive bottle of wine at Jimmy’s across the street to seal the deal.

Mai’s Vietnamese Restaurant/Yelp

8. Monkey King Noodle Company

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2933 Main St
Dallas, TX 75226
(469) 713-2648
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At this Deep Ellum noodle joint, maximize those dollars by grabbing a high ABV beer like Deep Ellum IPA or Revolver’s Blood & Honey for under $6. Bonus points: during happy hour from 2 to 6 p.m., these brews are a dollar less. With $9 bowls of noodles, get in and out for technically under $30 - or under $25 with $3 Lonestar instead.

Monkey King Noodle Company/Facebook

9. Trompo

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839 Singleton Blvd #150
Dallas, TX 75212
(972) 809-7950
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This Oak Cliff taqueria offers just three taco varieties: pork, beef, and vegetarian paneer-poblano, but the skill with which they’re made on the vertical spit, (aka the Trompo) has solidified this eatery as one of Dallas’ best. An order of three tacos is $6, or for a cheesy option, try one of the taco fillings inside a quesadilla for $4. Insider’s note: this eatery is standing-room-only, and there’s no alcohol served here, but there are soft drinks for $1 each or B.Y.O.B.

Trompo/Facebook

10. Ten Bells Tavern

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232 W 7th St
Dallas, TX 75208
(214) 943-2677
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Ten Bells Tavern is known for having some of the best bar food in Dallas, set in an unpretentious neighborhood spot. Trek there on Tuesdays when everything on the small plates menu, plus a beer, costs $10. For a more competitive date, Wednesdays are quiz night with drink specials all evening. Or plan a visit to coincide with happy hour Monday through Friday from 3 to 7 p.m., when domestic bottled beers, drafts, and wells are a dollar off.

1. Zoli's NY Pizza

14910 Midway Rd, Addison, TX 75001
A pepperoni pizza with jalapeno pesto and basil
So much pepperoni awaits at Zoli's NY Pizza in Addison
Kathy Tran

The former Oak Cliff eatery recently reopened in Addison with its famous fried mozzarella Nuggz and Meatzilla pizza in tow. Split a 14-inch pie for around $15. The Lil’ Troy with mini meatballs, stracciatella, vodka sauce, and cherry peppers or the CBR with roasted chicken, bacon, pickled jalapeños, and jalapeño ranch are two hearty options.

14910 Midway Rd
Addison, TX 75001

2. Quoc Bao Bakery

3419 W Walnut St #104, Garland, TX 75042
Quoc Bao Bakery/Yelp

This Vietnamese gem is referred to time and time again as having some of Dallas’ best bánh mì sandwiches. With the menu board topping out at $3.50 for a sandwich, and a buy-three-get-one-free option, Quoc Bao promises to be filling without breaking the bank. With all that money saved, treat your sweet to an order of macaroons for $6 and a Thai tea for $1.50. Insider’s note: this eatery is sans alcohol.

3419 W Walnut St #104
Garland, TX 75042

3. The Libertine Bar

2101 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX 75206
The Libertine Bar/Facebook

This bar runs some insane deals throughout the week. Peep the Wednesday special: all Texas brews are just $3 all evening long, starting at 4 p.m. With big names like Deep Ellum Brewing Company, Lakewood Brewing Co, Peticolas, Revolver, No Label, Shiner, Rahr, St. Arnold, Lone Star, Real Ale and Southern Star, there’s no shortage of options to quench even the deepest thirst. Pair a home-based brew with a sandwich for under $12, and consider date night done.

2101 Greenville Ave
Dallas, TX 75206

4. El Rey Del Grill

4535 Maple Ave, Dallas, TX 75219
El Rey Del Grill/Facebook

This Mexican eatery offers a no-frills menu with plenty of options for a hungry date, like a three-taco plate for $7 or a three-piece grilled chicken plate for $8. The restaurant’s plethora of sauces and garnishes can’t be passed up. The bar serves up giant margaritas, micheladas and more for $6, and imported Mexican bottles for $3.50 (take a dollar off at happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. daily).

4535 Maple Ave
Dallas, TX 75219

5. Lakewood Landing

4334, 5818 Live Oak St, Dallas, TX 75214

There’s nothing more charming than a dive bar, and this Lakewood classic is one of the city’s best. Cozy into a booth together, then share a basket of loaded cheese fries while chatting over a couple of cheap beers.

4334, 5818 Live Oak St
Dallas, TX 75214

6. Jimmy's Food Store

4901 Bryan St, Dallas, TX 75206

Jimmy’s isn’t only a specialty Italian food shop, it also offers gourmet subs on the premises for under $7, like meatball, Italian sausage, or chicken Italiano. Since Jimmy’s also stocks tons of imported wine, pick up a bottle to pair with the sandwich offerings, or take advantage of that free-free on Saturday afternoons when Jimmy’s does gratis wine tastings.

4901 Bryan St
Dallas, TX 75206

7. Mai's Restaurant Authentic Vietnamese Cuisine

4812 Bryan St #100, Dallas, TX 75204
Mai’s Vietnamese Restaurant/Yelp

Mai’s is a hidden gem off Lowest Greenville that serves up nearly 100 different items on its lengthy menu. Dig into the always delicious clay pot with either chicken or shrimp, or one of the other Vietnamese specialities for $13. Since this spot is BYOB, grab an inexpensive bottle of wine at Jimmy’s across the street to seal the deal.

4812 Bryan St #100
Dallas, TX 75204

8. Monkey King Noodle Company

2933 Main St, Dallas, TX 75226
Monkey King Noodle Company/Facebook

At this Deep Ellum noodle joint, maximize those dollars by grabbing a high ABV beer like Deep Ellum IPA or Revolver’s Blood & Honey for under $6. Bonus points: during happy hour from 2 to 6 p.m., these brews are a dollar less. With $9 bowls of noodles, get in and out for technically under $30 - or under $25 with $3 Lonestar instead.

2933 Main St
Dallas, TX 75226

9. Trompo

839 Singleton Blvd #150, Dallas, TX 75212
Trompo/Facebook

This Oak Cliff taqueria offers just three taco varieties: pork, beef, and vegetarian paneer-poblano, but the skill with which they’re made on the vertical spit, (aka the Trompo) has solidified this eatery as one of Dallas’ best. An order of three tacos is $6, or for a cheesy option, try one of the taco fillings inside a quesadilla for $4. Insider’s note: this eatery is standing-room-only, and there’s no alcohol served here, but there are soft drinks for $1 each or B.Y.O.B.

839 Singleton Blvd #150
Dallas, TX 75212

10. Ten Bells Tavern

232 W 7th St, Dallas, TX 75208

Ten Bells Tavern is known for having some of the best bar food in Dallas, set in an unpretentious neighborhood spot. Trek there on Tuesdays when everything on the small plates menu, plus a beer, costs $10. For a more competitive date, Wednesdays are quiz night with drink specials all evening. Or plan a visit to coincide with happy hour Monday through Friday from 3 to 7 p.m., when domestic bottled beers, drafts, and wells are a dollar off.

232 W 7th St
Dallas, TX 75208

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