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A platter of fish and chips served on newspaper with packets of malt vinegar and an orange Jarritos soda.
Fish and chips from Gold Rush Cafe
Gold Rush Cafe/Facebook

22 Classic Restaurants Every Dallasite Should Try

Where to feast on a piece of local history

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Fish and chips from Gold Rush Cafe
| Gold Rush Cafe/Facebook

Dallas is known as a trend-obsessed city, especially when it comes to dining, but there are plenty of local eateries that have stood the test of time. From Tex-Mex icons open since the early 1900s to cozy diners and beloved barbecue joints, these 22 classic Dallas restaurants should be on every local’s bucket list.

Is your favorite classic Dallas restaurant missing from this map? Shout it out in the comments.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Arthur's Prime Steaks & Seafood

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15175 Quorum Dr
Addison, TX 75001
(972) 385-0800
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Founded in 1948, Arthur's has relocated three times and now occupies a very distinguished dining room in Addison. Live music in the bar/lounge area provides a soundtrack for a menu of classic fare like Champagne brie soup, steak tartare, and oysters Rockefeller.

2. Tolbert's

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423 S Main St
Grapevine, TX 76051
(817) 421-4888
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Believe it or not, chili — not barbecue — is the state dish of Texas, and Tolbert’s serves up the city’s most iconic bowl. Originally opened in 1976 in downtown Dallas by journalist Frank X. Tolbert, who's largely credited with helping chili achieve Southwestern stardom, it's now located in a downtown Grapevine building that dates all the way back to 1911.

3. Cindi's NY Deli & Restaurant

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11111 N Central Expy
Dallas, TX 75243
(214) 739-0918
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With its towering sandwiches and comforting matzo ball soup, Cindi’s is comfort food heaven. The Reuben sandwich is packed full of pastrami and served on soft rye, and there’s always a full case of spreads, sliced deli meats, and smoked fish, plus fresh bagels, cookies, cakes and other baked goods to take home.

Reuben at Cindi’s NY Deli
Rachel Pinn

4. Royal China

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6025 Royal Ln, Ste 201
Dallas, TX 75230
(214) 361-1771
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A Preston Hollow staple since 1974, Royal China is a must-visit for Chinese and Taiwanese dishes in North Dallas. Patrons can watch their noodles be made at the bar, and eat some of the best soup dumplings in town.

5. Tupinamba Cafe

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9665 N Central Expy #142
Dallas, TX 75231
(972) 991-8148
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The oldest family-owned Mexican restaurant in Texas, Tupinamba was first opened back in 1947. It’s moved several times, but manages to retain an old-school vibe and a loyal clientele that comes back for the deep-fried “Tupy tacos” and more classic Tex-Mex fare.

6. Keller's Drive-In

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6537 E Northwest Hwy
Dallas, TX 75231
(214) 368-1209

Ever-popular burger and beer destination Keller's opened in 1965, and though the prices have certainly risen since then, you'd still be hard-pressed to find a better deal on a burger, tots, and a shake.

7. Dunston's Steakhouse

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5423 W Lovers Ln
Dallas, TX 75209
(214) 352-8320
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Opened in 1955 and originally called Gene's, Dunston's is the steakhouse that time forgot. Don't expect Nick & Sam's-caliber steaks, but there's a certain charm to the dated vibe and weird iceberg salads.

A dining room with retro wood paneling, vinyl booths, and tables draped in white tablecloths

8. Celebration

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4503 W Lovers Ln
Dallas, TX 75209-3197
(214) 351-5681
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A Lovers Lane staple since 1971, Celebration is beloved for its menu of simple, homey comfort food like fried chicken and pot roast. Don’t miss the market next door for catering and family-sized food to-go.

9. Kuby's Sausage House

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6601 Snider Plz
Dallas, TX 75205
(214) 363-2231
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Karl Kuby founded this Snider Plaza mainstay back in 1961 to delight Texans with the German-style sausages of his homeland. The space now encompasses not only a full-service restaurant but also a meat market, grocery, bakery, and catering; they'll even process wild game.

10. Campisi's Egyptian Lounge

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5610 E Mockingbird Ln
Dallas, TX 75206
(214) 827-0355
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Established in 1946 and moved to Mockingbird Lane in 1950, there's absolutely nothing Egyptian about Italian restaurant Campisi's, it was just cheaper to keep the original sign. Cracker-crust pizza, including a unique muffaletta version, makes this Dallas icon a must-visit at least once. Hey, if it's good enough for Jack Ruby, it's good enough for us.

11. Cafe Pacific

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24 Highland Park Vlg
Dallas, TX 75205
(214) 526-1170
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Swanky Cafe Pacific has been a Park Cities mainstay since 1980, this place is a power-lunch haven for one-percenters who wish to dine on fine seafood. Just don't show up in shorts and flip-flops — there is a dress code, and it is enforced.

12. Javier's

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4912 Cole Ave
Dallas, TX 75205
(214) 521-4211
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Beloved Park Cities staple Javier's opened back in 1977 and continues to draw crowds nightly for its upscale take on Mexican food, suave service, and strong margaritas. Be sure to stop by the taxidermy-laden cigar room for a post-dinner drink.

13. St. Martin's Wine Bistro

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3020 Greenville Ave
Dallas, TX 75206
(214) 826-0940
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The building dates back to 1925 and once housed the very first air-conditioned bar in Dallas, though it didn't become St. Martin's until 1977. This cozy little French bar touts itself as being "the most romantic restaurant in Dallas," and given the grand piano, dimly-lit nooks, and the grand back room replete with ornate art and a fabulous chandelier, it's easy to see why.

14. Dairy-ette

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9785 Ferguson Rd
Dallas, TX 75228
(214) 327-9983
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Dairy-ette has been cooking up burgers since 1956, and its housemade root beer is a Dallas icon. The restaurant still boasts its original cash register and soda fountain, and diners can grab a seat inside at one of the red vinyl stools, or stay inside the car and flash the headlights for tater tot delivery from a friendly carhop.

15. Sonny Bryan's

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2202 Inwood Rd
Dallas, TX 75235
(214) 357-7120
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Local barbecue legend Sonny Bryan's was founded way back in 1918, though the "original" Inwood location didn't begin serving until 1958. The restaurant, located just across the way from UT Southwestern, features vintage school desks at which to chow down on brisket sandwiches and huge onion rings 24 hours a day.

16. Gold Rush Cafe

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1913 Skillman St
Dallas, TX 75206
(214) 823-6923

Classic diner breakfasts await at this Lakewood staple, where folks have been eating since 1980. Founder Virgil Sanchez Sr. died in 2017, but his family is keeping the grill going. Be sure to try the John Wayne, a hangover-alleviating concoction of eggs, cheese, salsa, hash browns, bacon, and tortillas. Gold Rush is open every day but Sunday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

17. Jimmy's Food Store

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4901 Bryan St.
Dallas, TX 75206
(214) 823-6180
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East Dallas icon Jimmy's first opened back in 1966 and eventually evolved into the city’s most beloved Italian market and deli. Though famous for their giant made-to-order sandwiches, shoppers can also find plenty of imported Italian gems inside, from fresh pastas to exotic olive oils and regional Italian wines. And of course, there’s always Jimmy’s famous Italian sausage...

18. S & D Oyster Company

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2701 McKinney Ave
Dallas, TX 75204
(214) 880-0111
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The stately McKinney Avenue building that now houses S&D Oyster Co. was originally built in the 1890's as a grocery; in 1976 Herb and Mary Kay Story turned it into a Louisiana-influenced seafood restaurant. People still flock here for po'boys and shrimp cocktails.

19. El Fenix

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1601 McKinney Ave
Dallas, TX 75202
(214) 747-1121
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Originally founded in 1918, El Fenix moved to McKinney Avenue in 1925. Cheap, strong margaritas at happy hour and a very cool old building make visiting the original Downtown location a Dallas bucket list essential.

20. Dakota's

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600 N Akard St
Dallas, TX 75201
(214) 740-4001
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This Downtown Dallas icon, known for its subterranean garden and 20-foot high waterwall, originally opened in 1984, serving steaks, wedge salads, crab cakes, and other power lunches. It closed in the early days of the pandemic, but was recently resurrected (and renovated) by Dallasite Meredith McEneny, who also has a hand in restaurants like Jalisco Norte and Cedar Grove.

An underground atrium with a large waterfall descending form the street level
The Dakota’s below-ground dining room and waterwall.
Kevin Marple

21. Local

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2936 Elm St # A
Dallas, TX 75226
(214) 752-7500
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Part of the Deep Ellum dining scene for more than two decades, this “Modern American” restaurant keeps things simple, intimate and consistently great. Go for the chef’s tasting menu for a memorable date night.

Local Dallas
Local/Facebook

22. Norma's Cafe

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1123 W Davis St
Dallas, TX 75208
(214) 946-4711
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Oak Cliff institution Norma's opened in 1956, and still maintains its old-school diner flavor courtesy of red vinyl booths, veteran waitresses, and of course, the bakery case filled with famous Mile-High Pies.

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1. Arthur's Prime Steaks & Seafood

15175 Quorum Dr, Addison, TX 75001

Founded in 1948, Arthur's has relocated three times and now occupies a very distinguished dining room in Addison. Live music in the bar/lounge area provides a soundtrack for a menu of classic fare like Champagne brie soup, steak tartare, and oysters Rockefeller.

15175 Quorum Dr
Addison, TX 75001

2. Tolbert's

423 S Main St, Grapevine, TX 76051

Believe it or not, chili — not barbecue — is the state dish of Texas, and Tolbert’s serves up the city’s most iconic bowl. Originally opened in 1976 in downtown Dallas by journalist Frank X. Tolbert, who's largely credited with helping chili achieve Southwestern stardom, it's now located in a downtown Grapevine building that dates all the way back to 1911.

423 S Main St
Grapevine, TX 76051

3. Cindi's NY Deli & Restaurant

11111 N Central Expy, Dallas, TX 75243
Reuben at Cindi’s NY Deli
Rachel Pinn

With its towering sandwiches and comforting matzo ball soup, Cindi’s is comfort food heaven. The Reuben sandwich is packed full of pastrami and served on soft rye, and there’s always a full case of spreads, sliced deli meats, and smoked fish, plus fresh bagels, cookies, cakes and other baked goods to take home.

11111 N Central Expy
Dallas, TX 75243

4. Royal China

6025 Royal Ln, Ste 201, Dallas, TX 75230

A Preston Hollow staple since 1974, Royal China is a must-visit for Chinese and Taiwanese dishes in North Dallas. Patrons can watch their noodles be made at the bar, and eat some of the best soup dumplings in town.

6025 Royal Ln, Ste 201
Dallas, TX 75230

5. Tupinamba Cafe

9665 N Central Expy #142, Dallas, TX 75231

The oldest family-owned Mexican restaurant in Texas, Tupinamba was first opened back in 1947. It’s moved several times, but manages to retain an old-school vibe and a loyal clientele that comes back for the deep-fried “Tupy tacos” and more classic Tex-Mex fare.

9665 N Central Expy #142
Dallas, TX 75231

6. Keller's Drive-In

6537 E Northwest Hwy, Dallas, TX 75231

Ever-popular burger and beer destination Keller's opened in 1965, and though the prices have certainly risen since then, you'd still be hard-pressed to find a better deal on a burger, tots, and a shake.

6537 E Northwest Hwy
Dallas, TX 75231

7. Dunston's Steakhouse

5423 W Lovers Ln, Dallas, TX 75209
A dining room with retro wood paneling, vinyl booths, and tables draped in white tablecloths

Opened in 1955 and originally called Gene's, Dunston's is the steakhouse that time forgot. Don't expect Nick & Sam's-caliber steaks, but there's a certain charm to the dated vibe and weird iceberg salads.

5423 W Lovers Ln
Dallas, TX 75209

8. Celebration

4503 W Lovers Ln, Dallas, TX 75209-3197

A Lovers Lane staple since 1971, Celebration is beloved for its menu of simple, homey comfort food like fried chicken and pot roast. Don’t miss the market next door for catering and family-sized food to-go.

4503 W Lovers Ln
Dallas, TX 75209-3197

9. Kuby's Sausage House

6601 Snider Plz, Dallas, TX 75205

Karl Kuby founded this Snider Plaza mainstay back in 1961 to delight Texans with the German-style sausages of his homeland. The space now encompasses not only a full-service restaurant but also a meat market, grocery, bakery, and catering; they'll even process wild game.

6601 Snider Plz
Dallas, TX 75205

10. Campisi's Egyptian Lounge

5610 E Mockingbird Ln, Dallas, TX 75206

Established in 1946 and moved to Mockingbird Lane in 1950, there's absolutely nothing Egyptian about Italian restaurant Campisi's, it was just cheaper to keep the original sign. Cracker-crust pizza, including a unique muffaletta version, makes this Dallas icon a must-visit at least once. Hey, if it's good enough for Jack Ruby, it's good enough for us.

5610 E Mockingbird Ln
Dallas, TX 75206

11. Cafe Pacific

24 Highland Park Vlg, Dallas, TX 75205

Swanky Cafe Pacific has been a Park Cities mainstay since 1980, this place is a power-lunch haven for one-percenters who wish to dine on fine seafood. Just don't show up in shorts and flip-flops — there is a dress code, and it is enforced.

24 Highland Park Vlg
Dallas, TX 75205

12. Javier's

4912 Cole Ave, Dallas, TX 75205

Beloved Park Cities staple Javier's opened back in 1977 and continues to draw crowds nightly for its upscale take on Mexican food, suave service, and strong margaritas. Be sure to stop by the taxidermy-laden cigar room for a post-dinner drink.

4912 Cole Ave
Dallas, TX 75205

13. St. Martin's Wine Bistro

3020 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX 75206

The building dates back to 1925 and once housed the very first air-conditioned bar in Dallas, though it didn't become St. Martin's until 1977. This cozy little French bar touts itself as being "the most romantic restaurant in Dallas," and given the grand piano, dimly-lit nooks, and the grand back room replete with ornate art and a fabulous chandelier, it's easy to see why.

3020 Greenville Ave
Dallas, TX 75206

14. Dairy-ette

9785 Ferguson Rd, Dallas, TX 75228

Dairy-ette has been cooking up burgers since 1956, and its housemade root beer is a Dallas icon. The restaurant still boasts its original cash register and soda fountain, and diners can grab a seat inside at one of the red vinyl stools, or stay inside the car and flash the headlights for tater tot delivery from a friendly carhop.

9785 Ferguson Rd
Dallas, TX 75228

15. Sonny Bryan's

2202 Inwood Rd, Dallas, TX 75235

Local barbecue legend Sonny Bryan's was founded way back in 1918, though the "original" Inwood location didn't begin serving until 1958. The restaurant, located just across the way from UT Southwestern, features vintage school desks at which to chow down on brisket sandwiches and huge onion rings 24 hours a day.

2202 Inwood Rd
Dallas, TX 75235

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16. Gold Rush Cafe

1913 Skillman St, Dallas, TX 75206

Classic diner breakfasts await at this Lakewood staple, where folks have been eating since 1980. Founder Virgil Sanchez Sr. died in 2017, but his family is keeping the grill going. Be sure to try the John Wayne, a hangover-alleviating concoction of eggs, cheese, salsa, hash browns, bacon, and tortillas. Gold Rush is open every day but Sunday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

1913 Skillman St
Dallas, TX 75206

17. Jimmy's Food Store

4901 Bryan St., Dallas, TX 75206

East Dallas icon Jimmy's first opened back in 1966 and eventually evolved into the city’s most beloved Italian market and deli. Though famous for their giant made-to-order sandwiches, shoppers can also find plenty of imported Italian gems inside, from fresh pastas to exotic olive oils and regional Italian wines. And of course, there’s always Jimmy’s famous Italian sausage...

4901 Bryan St.
Dallas, TX 75206

18. S & D Oyster Company

2701 McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX 75204

The stately McKinney Avenue building that now houses S&D Oyster Co. was originally built in the 1890's as a grocery; in 1976 Herb and Mary Kay Story turned it into a Louisiana-influenced seafood restaurant. People still flock here for po'boys and shrimp cocktails.

2701 McKinney Ave
Dallas, TX 75204

19. El Fenix

1601 McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX 75202

Originally founded in 1918, El Fenix moved to McKinney Avenue in 1925. Cheap, strong margaritas at happy hour and a very cool old building make visiting the original Downtown location a Dallas bucket list essential.

1601 McKinney Ave
Dallas, TX 75202

20. Dakota's

600 N Akard St, Dallas, TX 75201
An underground atrium with a large waterfall descending form the street level
The Dakota’s below-ground dining room and waterwall.
Kevin Marple

This Downtown Dallas icon, known for its subterranean garden and 20-foot high waterwall, originally opened in 1984, serving steaks, wedge salads, crab cakes, and other power lunches. It closed in the early days of the pandemic, but was recently resurrected (and renovated) by Dallasite Meredith McEneny, who also has a hand in restaurants like Jalisco Norte and Cedar Grove.

600 N Akard St
Dallas, TX 75201

21. Local

2936 Elm St # A, Dallas, TX 75226
Local Dallas
Local/Facebook

Part of the Deep Ellum dining scene for more than two decades, this “Modern American” restaurant keeps things simple, intimate and consistently great. Go for the chef’s tasting menu for a memorable date night.

2936 Elm St # A
Dallas, TX 75226

22. Norma's Cafe

1123 W Davis St, Dallas, TX 75208

Oak Cliff institution Norma's opened in 1956, and still maintains its old-school diner flavor courtesy of red vinyl booths, veteran waitresses, and of course, the bakery case filled with famous Mile-High Pies.

1123 W Davis St
Dallas, TX 75208

Related Maps