12 romantic restaurants for date night in Dallas

Hanging lamps and mosaic patterns make up the transportive interiors at Baboush, a Moroccan and Lebanese spot in uptown Dallas. | Credit: Baboush

The most romantic restaurants in North Texas—an eclectic mix of iconic barbecue joints, taquerias, and candlelit retreats—offer a nest for every pair of love birds.

Couples who lust after beach getaways can hit a Mayan Riviera-inspired spot in Park Cities. In Uptown Dallas, a white-tablecloth dining room delivers steaks and “accessories” (filet mignon with blue cheese crust) to those craving classics with a twist. At a century-old bar and tea salon downtown, a cozy fireplace and golden ceiling set the stage for opulent romance.

Read on for a guide to the 12 most romantic restaurants in Dallas. All you need is an appetite and the cool confidence you’ll get from booking your date-night table in advance.

For a first date

Haywire (Plano and Uptown)

Haywire is a solid early-in-the-game date option for a buzzy atmosphere and elevated pub grub. Delicious Southern dishes such as fried green tomatoes, cornmeal-crusted catfish, shrimp and white-cheddar grits share the menu with dishes from the Texas-Mexico border: spicy tortilla soup, charred jalapeño creamed corn, and grilled chipotle meatloaf with smoked tomato poblano salsa. To that, add a long steak menu and any cocktail you can imagine and you’ve got the ingredients for a laidback first date that covers all bases. At the Uptown location, you can book a spot on the outdoor patio, complete with a roaring fireplace and retractable roof.
Plano

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Uptown

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For a second date

Miriam Cocina (Arts District)

For a cool and casual date, grab a table, bar seat, or patio perch at this Arts District favorite. Dominican chef Miriam Jimenez cooks up traditional Mexican dishes, throws in a little Tex-Mex, and adds some recipes from the D.R., too. Think housemade mole, lobster tacos on blue corn tortillas, and brisket enchiladas with Oaxacan cheese. Wash dinner down with a cold Mexican beer, a michelada, or Miriam Cocina’s signature mimosa: prosecco, Italian bitters apéritif, orange or mango habanero juice, and fresh fruit. Colorful art lends the space a sleek, contemporary ambiance—and provides plenty to talk about.

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For a cozy and intimate evening

Uchi Dallas (Downtown)

Sushi at Uchi in downtown Dallas

Avant-garde sushi by a James Beard Award winner makes up the sophisticated menu Uchi. | Credit: Uchi

With its intimate booths, wooden tables, and low ceilings, Uchi nails the art of ambiance. The Japan-inspired menu features recipes only James Beard Award-winning chef Tyson Cole could conjure up, such as thinly sliced flounder with candied quinoa and olive oil and smoked amberjack with yuca crisp. Cole trained under sushi masters in Tokyo and beyond, and his consistently exquisite creations are reasons for you and your date to keep returning to this Arts District charmer.

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For an anniversary or romantic milestone

Monarch (Downtown)

The tony bar at Monarch, a modern Italian restaurant in downtown Dallas

Monarch, set on the 49th floor of a downtown skyscraper, is surrounded by glass walls.

A celebratory dinner at Monarch means your night begins by zipping up an elevator to the forty-ninth floor of a skyscraper together. The modern Italian stunner is surrounded by glass walls that offer stunning 360-degree vistas. Award-winning chef Danny Grant’s plates are as delicious as the view, including prosciutto and buffalo mozzarella salad and housemade pasta dishes—don’t miss the black truffle risotto. Add wine pairings and impeccable service and you’ll see why Monarch is one of the most special occasion-worthy restaurants in Dallas. In addition to the inspiring views, patterned wallpapers, a spiral staircase, and arguably the most gorgeous restroom in Dallas make for great photo backdrops.

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Pangea (Garland)

For an eclectic anniversary feast, look no further than this plush suburban spot. Chef Kevin Ashade fuses recipes from around the world, placing an emphasis on African and Jamaican cooking as a tribute to his roots. The result is a flavorful menu featuring shareable delicacies such as the Cajun duo, a blackened catfish filet with white rice and crawfish étouffée; other must-orders include the coq au vin that led Ashade to a victory on Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay in 2016. End your special night with sopapilla cheesecake topped with buttery cinnamon sugar.

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Ocean Prime (Uptown)

The spacious dining room at Ocean Prime, a steakhouse in uptown Dallas

The spacious dining room at Ocean Prime, where diners tuck into mix-and-match steaks and “accessories.” | Credit Ocean Prime

This swanky steakhouse is the place to book for a major relationship moment. If the weather’s right, kick off your evening on the terrace with a Grand Añejo (añejo tequila, cognac, and fresh lime) cocktail and oysters on the half shell. Ocean Prime’s menu delivers a customizable feast, thanks to its mix-and-match steaks and accessories menu: think filet mignon with béarnaise sauce, blue cheese crust, or even a whole lobster tail. Like any steakhouse worth its salt, Ocean Prime’s sides, such as smoked gouda tater tots, black truffle mac and cheese, and bacon creamed spinach, steal the show, and they’re perfect for sharing with your significant other.

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For an adventurous and transportive date

Tulum (Park Cities)

Tulum is as sexy as its tropical namesake. Oversized white flower chandeliers bloom over the bar, and tasteful jungle wallpaper and tequila cocktails evoke a night on the Mayan Riviera. In a city bursting with casual Tex-Mex options, Tulum offers thoughtfully plated southern Mexican cuisine, including lesser-known recipes such as sikil pak (a dip made of pumpkin seeds) and excellent fusion dishes such as seared scallop Mexican risotto.

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Baboush (Uptown)

Baboush, a Lebanese and Moroccan spot in uptown Dallas, channels a marketplace in Marrakesh. | Credit: Baboush

If you can’t swing a romantic getaway to Morocco, you can at least book a table at Baboush. Expect sumptuous Moroccan and Lebanese dishes in a space modeled after a Marrakesh marketplace. Lanterns deck the ceiling, brightly colored poufs accent more conventional furnishings, and mosaic patterns throughout the restaurant complete the North African vibes. Share hummus, kebabs, and tagines while sipping a blackberry cocktail. For dessert, the baklava is a standout. On warmer evenings, you and your date can sip a Cucumber Delight (gin, cucumber, lime juice, and crushed mint) and indulge in a hookah on the patio.

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For a group date

Reata (Fort Worth)

A painting of a cowboy on horseback at Reata in Fort Worth.

Paintings of cowboys on horseback make up the ranch-themed ambiance at Reata. | Credit: Reata

For a one-of-a-kind cowboy dining experience, complete with playful cocktails and Lone Star swagger, bring a group to Fort Worth’s most iconic restaurant. Catch up over hearty plates such as chicken-fried steak with cracked-pepper cream gravy and jalapeño- and cilantro-crusted Texas redfish. Even the desserts here are decidedly Tex-Mex—tacos stuffed with caramelized bananas and chocolate “gravy.” Try a Cowboy Cosmo (orange vodka, orange liqueur, cranberry, and lime) or a Billionaire Margarita (añejo tequila, cognac, simple syrup, and lime). Walls adorned with hunting trophies and paintings of cowboys on horseback round out the ranch-themed ambiance.

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For an evening of eatertainment

Electric Shuffle (Deep Ellum)

Show off your competitive sides at this lively British import. Electric Shuffle, which opened in 2021, offers an updated take on a game that was first played on 19th-century ocean liners, with 17 shuffleboard tables and an easygoing menu of burgers, truffle mac and cheese bites, and boneless wings. In between pushes, sip from a drinks selection that includes limoncello spritzes, watermelon sugar mojitos, and salted caramel espresso martinis. Toast a win over Electric Shuffle’s larger cocktails served in a trophy cup.

For a proposal-worthy place

Fearing’s (Uptown)

One of the swankiest restaurants in Dallas—fittingly, at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel—is an exceptionally popular choice for marriage proposals. Get cozy in plush booths or belly up to the Rattlesnake Bar. Locally loved chef Dean Fearing cooks up his famous Southwestern cuisine. Split his riff on surf and turf: barbecue-spiced beef filet and chicken-fried Maine lobster over whipped potatoes and spinach tacos with smoked tomato gravy. And don’t miss the top-notch wine pairings. The open kitchen and carefully curated art elevate a meal to an unforgettable romantic experience. The outdoor patio with the brick fireplace is an especially great perch to pop the question.

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The French Room (Downtown)

Ornate white interiors at The French Room in downtown Dallas

The French Room, a century-old restaurant at the Adolphus Hotel in downtown Dallas, is one of the city’s most sought-after proposal venues.

It’s tough to find a more iconic Dallas spot than this 110-year-old French restaurant in the Adolphus Hotel. Marriage proposals regularly unfold over caviar, oysters, and celebratory cocktails at this storied tea room and bar. Guests cozy up to the fireplace on rich leather chairs or sit at the black marble bar. The French Room’s jewel tones, dim lighting, and golden ceiling were made for sipping Champagne.

Diana Spechler is a novelist and essayist whose work appears in The New York Times, The Guardian, Washington Post, Harper’s, and elsewhere.

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