If you haven’t been here, then you don’t know Dallas.

So, to be completely honest, this list is pulling some double duty right now. I wrote a longer list for the folks at Central Track, but this, more curated list is just for you darlings, so you can keep the creme of the crop for yourselves. These are my favorites; The Greatest: 10 Dallas Date Night Classics. Consider date night done.

The sign outside Abacus in Dallas

Classic Dallas Date Night #1: Abacus

Heard of it? Because it’s kind of a big deal. Classic Dallas and Classy AF. Or at least as classy as you can be while taking a shot of chicken-fried lobster dunked in creamy curry sauce. Taking your BAE to Abacus is pulling-out-the-big-guns date night material.

Classic Dallas Date Night #2: The Grape

Yes, everyone talks about the burger. And yes, that’s because the burger is seriously awesome. But the thing I’ve noticed about The Grape – aside from the fact that nearly every chef I interview names it among their go-to restaurants – is the consistent service and chill atmosphere you are rewarded with each time you make a reservation there. Oh, and it’s delicious AF. The Luschers and chef Snow have something truly special over on Greenville Avenue.

Classic Dallas Date Night #3: Parigi

A meal at Parigi is like a visit to France. The place is at once quitessentially Dallas, and yet unlike anything else we have in the city. Chef Janice Provost (a badass female business owner btw), has been kicking ass in the kitchen for 30 years, watching businesses around her come and go.

via Bob's on Instagram
via Bob’s on Instagram

Classic Dallas Date Night #4: Bob’s Steak and Chop House

Come hungry for some of the best steak Dallas has to offer when you roll up to the original Bob’s on Lemmon Avenue in Oaklawn. If that giant carrot doesn’t intimidate you, you’re in for a good night. Prepare for folks on expense accounts, groups cheersing “Happy Birthday” and couples celebrating anniversaries. It’s all good at Bob’s.

Classic Dallas Date Night #5: Rafa’s Cafe Mexicano

Classic? Yes. Dallas? Yes. Date night? Why the hell not! Romantic? Sure, if you love queso as much as I do. Besides, I’m willing to bet couples who fajita together, stay together. Just a theory I’m working on.

Classic Dallas Date Night #6: Celebration Restaurant

This spot is so classically Dallas that people may have forgotten it’s there. Out by Love Field, this family restaurant has home cooking on lock, though. From pot roast to pudding and everything in between, let date night be casual AF and bring your stretchy pants, because at Celebration, seconds are on the house.

Photo via The French Room
Photo via The French Room

Classic Dallas Date Night #7: The French Room

Newly renovated and reintroduced to the world like a girl at her debutante ball, The French Room is freshly painted and ready to dance. It’s a classic Dallas restaurant wrapped in a classic Dallas hotel, both of which have reinvented themselves beautifully. Get in there and be part of the photo opp.signage outside Local in Deep Ellum

Classic Dallas Date Night #8: Local

After fifteen years in Deep Ellum, chef-owner Tracy Miller’s Local is still the elegant, candlelit restaurant that always feels like home and tastes like a dream come true. Everything on the menu is a hit, and the tasting menu is never a bad idea. You literally cannot lose at date night if you play the Local card.

Classic Dallas Date Night #9: Javier’s

You want sparks? Javier’s will give you sparks. They fly out of the lit cinnamon sticks on the flaming coffee made tableside all over the dining room every night. Cigars are a nice touch, too. Oh, and Javier’s just happens to serve my personal favorite chips and salsa in all of Dallas. That’s kind of a big deal.

Classic Dallas Date Night #10: Pappas Steakhouse

It took me quite a while to try Pappas for myself. One reason was its location. Its proximity to tittie bars is brow-furrowing. The other is that it’s a part of a big chain that owns Pappasito’s, Pappadeaux, Pappas Bros. BBQ and more. I’m not a chain girl; y’all know this. So it wasn’t on my to-eat list. But a little birdie turned me on to Pappas (pronounced PAHP like the smear, unfortunately), and I now count it among the city’s best steakhouses, hands down. Go try it. You won’t regret a bite.

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