Dallas’ culinary landscape is just as diverse as the people who live here. Every day brings in a new wave of transplants eager to make their mark on the city, so you’ve got a recipe for a dining experience with influences from all over the map. While Forbes Travel Guide’s rated restaurants offer the most upscale meals, Food Tours of America shows you Dallas’ more casual dining scene. The tour lets you explore one of the city’s most vibrant neighborhoods while sampling signature bites from popular eateries.
The restaurant crawl is one of the hottest tickets in town, and offers excursions throughout Uptown, a bustling, pedestrian-friendly sector that’s frequented by young professionals. Part of this neighborhood’s appeal is its proximity to multiple points of interest, including Downtown, the Katy Trail and Klyde Warren Park. Additionally, a couple of Forbes Travel Guide Star-rated hotels are located right in Uptown (Four-Star Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Four-Star The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas as well as Hôtel St. Germain).
Come hungry and wear comfy shoes. The shortest walking tour is two-and-a-half hours, and the longest is three-and-a-half hours. For those on a tight schedule, the Dine & Dash tour (the shorter option) is the way to go. There are three sit-down restaurant stops and a dessert tasting — locations may change from time to time — and over the course of the tour, you are treated to more than 15 selections, including baba ghanoush with jalapeños and pomegranate, mini chicken and cheese chimichangas and made-from-scratch cakeballs.
If culture is what you crave (in addition to barbecue brisket nachos), the Dine & Walk tour is for you. It runs more than three hours and leads you through the historic areas of Uptown, some dating back to the 1880s. Enjoy tastings at three restaurants, a dessert tasting and an extra tasting at the Alcove Wine Bar. After the eats (jalapeños stuffed with chicken and cheese, country fried steak over waffles) and drinks (one of the city’s best frozen margaritas) have settled, it’s time to explore the sights — namely State Street, where there sits a collection of historic homes from the Victorian period. Many of them have been converted to businesses, yet the area retains all the charm of yesteryear. This tour, like the other, ends in the West Village, where you can do a little shopping or ride the century-old McKinney Avenue trolley. Among the five railcars, try to catch a ride on “Rosie,” the oldest-running trolley in America.
If you’d rather have a more tailored excursion, as few as 10 guests can book a private tour through the company. The itineraries are similar to that of the public tours, but may also include a visit to a contemporary art gallery or a photo stop at a larger-than-life mural of the Texas State Fair.
Uptown is a good place to get acquainted with the city without a car. The area’s complimentary M-Line trolley travels from the West Village to Klyde Warren Park, and you’ll see a number of sights in between — including Greenwood Cemetery, The MAC/Kitchen Dog Theater and the Dallas Museum of Art — making food just the beginning of your next Dallas experience.