Top 10 Romantic Restaurants in Dallas Great for First Dates

Post update from the Editor on 8/13/2014

After three years and 81,000 views, as well as speaking to dozens of people from out of town, and in-town, that have read this article, many of which traveled hundreds of miles to eat at some of these restaurants, I have come to the conclusion that the absolute best way to experience a romantic night dining in Dallas is through a local food tour. There is only one narrated walking food tour in Dallas that has a dose of history along with every tour. Despite the name, Foods Tours of America is a Dallas-only based tour company.

Enjoy local food, and a VIP rate, curiosity of yours truly (promo: DALLASKISSES), while soaking up Dallas history food tasting walking tour. Foods Tours of America gives you an insiders' view into several Dallas'neighborhoods, while you experience generous food tastings from casual restaurants. All tours are fully-narrated and led by expert guides. This is Dallas' best, and only, year-round foodie tour. All food is included, with alcohol upgrades available. ***Use the promo code DALLASKISSES when you sign-up to get our VIP rate.*** Schedule your tour hereCost: from $49

You can read the restaurant recommendations from 2011 below.

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You only have one chance to make a first impression as my Old Man always used to say. So why, why, why do guys STILL insist on mediocre dinner & a movie dates to take ladies out for the first go-around? Or even worse, the dreaded, “Let’s grab a cup of coffee” dates. Sure, sitting there antsy with a case of the runs & the shakes is EXACTLY how I want my date to go back to her friends and describe me as. No. Here in Dallas, we have more restaurants per person than New York friggin City, so we’ve put together a comprehensive list of some of the best date restaurants in the Dallas that’ll leave her wondering what’s for dessert, instead of where’s the check. With that said, check out the these romantic restaurants in Dallas, TX,  great for first dates.

1. Victor Tango’s- We’ve had a few first dates here that have always ended well. Great staff that is attentive without being over-bearing so that you can still enjoy your privacy. Tapas style-dining to show her just how much you’re willing to share & a specialty cocktail menu that does its’ job of being delicious while simultaneously sending you off on your merry way…

2. Javier’s- One date at Javier’s and she’ll be calling you Papi by the end of the night. This intimate old-world setting is great for disarming any preconceived notions that you’re just another cookie-cutter nice guy without any imagination. This place looks like the trophy room of the Most Interesting Man in the World, insuring several topics for small-talk from the zebra pelt on the wall to the seductive Cigar Room in the back for after-dinner cocktails and banter. You’re welcome.

3. Fireside Pies- Call ahead so that when you walk-in you already look smarter than you are. Giving you and your date an opportunity to cozy up to each other, look over the menu and ask each other 5 times, “No, what do YOU like on your pizza?” By the time you get your pizza pie & cocktail order figured out, you’ll know for sure if she’s a meat-eater or not. And the food is delicious, which is always a good thing.


4. Ra- This place seems to always have a drink special, a DJ and a great crowd every time we go. If she likes sushi and you like to drink, this is almost always a sure win, (or as my old friends on Anchorman would say, it works 60% of the time, every time.) There’s a love couch at the sushi bar so you and your date can get to know each other better while you and the chef both get your roll on.

5. Bolsa- Ok, so this is one of our favorite date scenarios: start driving towards Oak Cliff to Bolsa and if she hasn’t jumped out of the car by the time you get there, it’s a sign that she trusts you, which is already a good start. Once you’re there, you will both be surprised by this award-winning locale. (D Magazine’s Restaurant of the Year 2009, Dallas Observers ‘Best Place to Take a Date’ & ‘Best Patio’. Yes, my friends, we’re trying to help you out.) This place allows you to pull the whole, “I look at the pearl, not the oyster” card. Take her to this hidden gem in the middle of one of Dallas’ most notorious neighborhoods and she’ll feel safe in your arms.

6. Hibiscus- Here’s a perfect place to take Miss Right, (or Miss Right Now) to show her that you enjoy some of the finer things in life without coming across as a pretentious jerk. Hibiscus feels classically elegant, yet comfortable at the same time. Order whatever you’re in the mood for, but let one of the wait staff help you choose your wine pairing, because, that’s what they’re there for, right?


7. Ocean Prime- Alright, we realize this may be one of the lesser imaginative selections on this list, but it’s always been a sure Ace-in-the-Hole. Nice, upscale, well-known; everything you need to say, “Hey, I’m normal.” Great food & great atmosphere never hurt anyone’s chances either.

8. Sangria- Do it. Trust me. This ultimate date destination was recently awarded ‘Summers Best Cocktails’ by local D Magazine which automatically put it on our radar. This electric yet cozy spot makes for an amazing first date to let her know you can eat somewhere that doesn’t care if “you want fries with that,” and their tapas & wine selection will help you keep the conversation going well into the night.

9. The Grape- As a general rule, I try to steer away from eating with my hands on the first date. I’m weird, I know. But if that doesn’t seem to faze you, this restaurant has repeatedly been awarded best Burger in Texas, (which if you think about it, is kind of hard to do here) as well as a slew of other awards. The Grape has been around for 35 years and we’re sure if you ask some of the older couples in the Grapevine area, there’s a reason for that. Intimate, different & delicious: exactly what you want her thinking about you.

10. Rise- Nothing says “I understand you,” more than taking her to a French soufflé restaurant. This joint isn’t just for pansies though, former President Bush & his dame often spotted here. Well… Nevermind. The Art of Seduction teaches that you must paint an other-worldly experience when she’s with you. Rise does just that by transplanting you to the foreign French country-side while you’re there. A couple courses here, and she’ll be saying, “I surrender” faster than a Fre… forget it. Trust me, Rise is first-date worthy.

Well there you have it folks, our Ten Romantic Restaurants in Dallas Great for First Dates. Now, please don’t feel put-out if your favorite restaurant didn’t make the cut. There are several other lists that we’re putting together, including, Top 10 Patios, Top 10 Sunday Brunches, Top 10 Happy Hour Spots and a few others, so look for your picks in some of our upcoming lists. And as always, your feedback is greatly appreciated, so please feel free to leave a comment below if you have any other morsels of information you think we might enjoy. Cheers & Happy Eating!

53 Responses to “Top 10 Romantic Restaurants in Dallas Great for First Dates”

  1. Check out Stephen Pyles new"ish" restaurant "Samar". Great food and great atmosphere.

  2. Nice collection Josh!

    1. Thank you!

  3. Saving this to Evernote as a reference for where to take the wife on date nights! :) Awesome!!!!

    1. Thanks David! Glad you liked it

  4. Really? If she doesn't "jump out of the car" in Oak Cliff? And why would that be? Because it's a multicultural neighborhood? Maybe you should just stick to Uptown where everything is just oh so clean and shiny and nice! After all, that's what Dallas is all about, isn't it?

    1. I think that the article is suggesting that there are people in Dallas that still have the impression of OC the media has related to it for years. I think if she were to take a dive out of the car at Woodall Rodgers to escape back to the sanctuary of the ostentatious, I'd call that a win. Maybe you'll meet a better match at Bolsa over a delicious cocktail.

    2. Right on ethnic lady!

  5. Is this website designed for men? Just curious because this article presents the angle that only men plan dates and all the commentators are men. If it's not designed just for men, I would seriously consider rounding out your perspective. As a female, a plan a lot of activities for me and my boyfriend so reading about how "she" will feel really undermines my contributions to the relationship and is somewhat of a misogynistic view.

    I love that this is a site for Dallas about Dallas, but it seems to have a very limited perspective. And yeah, dogging out neighborhoods where plenty of Dallasites live, thrive and dine is pretty uncool. Bolsa is one of the best restaurants in town, but calling it a pearl in an oyster is really offensive to all the people who call the OC home.

    1. Lesbians and straight men. That are afraid of neighborhoods that aren't full of wasps!

  6. [...] are nine more romantic restaurants in Dallas, TX. June 3, 2011 Post Under Food - Read [...]

  7. Didn't mean to hurt anyone's feelings! Kind of a light-hearted article, not the Lost Scrolls of Dating in Dallas.
    Geez, lol.

    1. Haha. True dat. The funny thing is, this website isn't geared toward men or singles that often so having this article is rounding out our perspective!

  8. I was skeptical opening this, but can tell you, as a woman who has been on a million dates over the years in Dallas, this list is spot on! So glad The Grape was on your very well-rounded list!

    1. Thanks! Glad you liked it

  9. I'd debate you with some of the finer points of places like Javier's - whose service I despise - and Fireside - which I don't particularly see as romantic - but I'd absolutely agree on the Grape, Hibiscus and Victor Tango's. Daddy Jack's is a favorite of mine also. Thanks for the ideas!

    1. Editor's note: I actually added the word "romantic" for a couple of reasons. The original article was titled Top 10 Date Restaurants in Dallas. It can be found on the blog for Tango Tab, a daily deals site for restaurants.

      1. Crap. I messed up the links. Here you go.

        Blog for Tango Tab: http://tangotab.wordpress.com/2011/06/02/top-10-d...

        Main site: http://tangotab.com/

    2. Thanks for reading!
      Lord Humungus. Nice. Haha

  10. Bolsa is a great restaurant, love it their, but to say "Take her to this hidden gem in the middle of one of Dallas’ most notorious neighborhoods" is an exageration. Most neighborhoods in Dallas have their rough spots but Oak Cliff is not one of the MOST NOTORIOS neighborhoods.

  11. Ra?!? Seriously??? In Shops of Legacy??? One of the most densely populated douchebag hubs in the DFW metroplex! If your girl is impressed with this place, she couldn't be more shallow! I give you credit for citing an Oak Cliff establishment, at least you did "a little" research on diversity.

    1. Define "douchebag" for me? I keep seeing the word thrown around, and I'm trying to understand the context you are using it in?

  12. Unfortunately, some girls do date douche-bags, and even they need date ideas sometimes too...

  13. I think the comment on Bolsa about "jumping out of the car" is merely an indication of how far Dallas needs to go to be a real city. Oak Cliff is an actual neighborhood with all income levels and great home grown shops that we should support. I think the comment also shows the lack of real character in the writer - whose lists are just popular hangouts for single mid-level management late-twenty-somethings. It shows no real depth - except maybe Rise - for the character of Dallas and what it has to offer. These are all "safe dates"... for those who don't want to rock the boat. Not only that but romantic date at Victor Tangos? You can't even hear yourself in there.

    Where is Cedar Social? Urbano (Oh know its near a "shady are of town" might not want to go there!)... or Lucia. For godsakes if you can spend the cash at Ocean Prime at least do it where they make wonderful food.

    1. Lack of character? That's a bit much. Any more character and I'd be a cartoon. Haha.
      And not being able to hear yourself at Victor Tango's? My solution has always been to sit next to my date and get as close as we need to hear other. But hey, what do I know? I'm just a dude with a keyboard.

  14. Man I feel ashamed I have not been to any one of these venues.

  15. I wonder why the folks inside 635 are always so sensitive about where they live, eat, and work? This tired debate always devolves, almost instantly, to "anyone who lives in Plano, Frisco, or McKinney are shallow and and un-cultured." I'm being nice here. There are enough f-bombs thrown into the comments to make a sailor blush. Still, point me to an article where a Plano, Firsco or McKinney resident begins their comment with "poeple who live in Deep Ellum or Oak Cliff or the M-Streets" followed by the most unkind, assumptions imaginable and I'll give you a $1. It speaks volumes about the motivations and/or the insecurity of those who live the Dallas' older neighborhoods. It also makes me wonder who is really perpetuating the stereotypes about certain areas of Dallas.

  16. Christian - that's the exact situation that we were confronted with. We lived in Highland Park for a few years and then moved over to White Rock, just behind the Lakewood Theater and LOVED it down there. But when we started spitting out offspring, what we wanted started to conflict with our obligations as a parent. At that time, Dallas City Hall and the DISD were rife with scandal to the point that we were the laughing stock of the nation. With no indication that the future would be any different we chose to move north for the benefit of our kids. It was a hard choice - trendy, hip restaurants, easy access to live music and the arts vs. the quality of education/future opportunity of our kids but we made the choice that we best for our situation and beliefs.

    Those who saw no issues with the state of the city or DISD at the time, decided to stick it out, or found alternatives for their kids' educations - more power to them. I wish them the best. I certainly don't find any room in my life to be angry at them for choosing their current neighborhood over mine and I can't find any reason to make judgements about their moral or ethical motivations.

    Anyone want to chat about this over a coffee at the Angelika in the Shops at Legacy? I'll but the first cup. :-)

    1. Well said Gio. I just had this exact same conversation last night. Dallas proper is great for what it is great for and the 'burbs are great for what they are great for. Different places support different needs and life stages. People are allowed to enjoy both. Not sure why the "people that live north are lame" judgement rages on.

  17. Lovely post, Josh. May I add a few suggestions, too? Saint Ann's in uptown, Hatties in Bishop Arts, and Eddie V's off Oaklawn are great romantic date spots!

    1. Hattie's is Very bad acoustically and not the place to go if you want to have a nice, romantic ADULT supper.

  18. [...] in Dallas is finding things that are a bit off the beaten track. And, so, as a follow-up to Josh's article of the most romantic restaurants in Dallas, I'd like to put forth a list of date night destinations with a different perspective, with some [...]

  19. This is a great list, but maybe there should be a list for us cheap bastards too.

  20. [...] is finding things that are a bit off the beaten track. And, so, as a follow-up to Josh’s article of the most romantic restaurants in Dallas, I’d like to put forth a list of date night destinations with a different perspective, with [...]

  21. [...] is finding things that are a bit off the beaten track. And, so, as a follow-up to Josh’s article of the most romantic restaurants in Dallas, I’d like to put forth a list of date night destinations with a different perspective, with [...]

  22. [...] is anticipating things that are a bit off a beaten track. And, so, as a follow-up to Josh’s article of a many regretful restaurants in Dallas, I’d like to put onward a list of date night destinations with a opposite perspective, with some [...]

  23. [...] things thаt аrе a bit οff thе beaten track. And, ѕο, аѕ a follow-up tο Josh’s article οf thе mοѕt regretful restaurants іn Dallas, I’d lіkе tο рlасе onward a list οf date night destinations wіth a opposite perspective, [...]

  24. I am looking forward to trying some of these recommendations. I just recently moved to Dallas and I didnt know there was such angst towards different cities. I am living in North Dallas just south of Plano. Does that mean I am lame? or did I move into a lame neighborhood? It doesnt really matter, it is were I chose to live for now and I am happy with it.

    So, keep positng good places to eat and things to do. My wife and I dont know many people here, so we need all the good advice we can get.

  25. Thanks for your top 10 restaurants for first date. all are great but i liked Bolsa so much.

  26. [...] Dallas, Texas: The Big D can present a Big Dilemma when trying to pick out a restaurant- after all, there are more here per capita than anywhere else in the US. I Live In Dallas’ “Top 10 Romantic Restaurants in Dallas”. [...]

  27. I would swap Sangria for Si Tapas any day, sorry!! Si Tapas has MUCH better food, the drinks are great and it's in a cute, little house! AND they take reservations--love that place!!

  28. [...] [...]

  29. Wow this is really sweet..Thanks for sharing this great info..

  30. i've been to msot of these.. but surprisingly none were dates. maybe i should rethink that!

  31. Perfectly brilliant list.

  32. [...] like you are meeting for the first time, and are going on your first date!Powered by Yahoo! AnswersSusan asks…How can i keep the spark in my relationship? My bf has never had a bf before so is not ...div>How can i keep the spark in my relationship? My bf has never had a bf before so is not very [...]

  33. [...] said the last time, you are going to regret if you don't, and that's worse.Powered by Yahoo! AnswersJoseph asks…Women, tips for men on what to do on the first date?Where would you prefer to go... mo...t">Women, tips for men on what to do on the first date?Where would you prefer to go... movies, [...]

  34. Where is the candle light in all of these? Thought you were saying " Romantic "!

  35. Dear Josh,
    Is there any restaurant with fine dining in Dallas such as the old Vincent's Seafood Restaurant???
    Since Vincent's went out of business after 50 years of service, we have not been able to find anything comprable. EVERYWHERE we go to eat supper in Dallas, there are loud-talkers, squalling brats with indifferent parents, lousy service and/or just mediocre food.

    We are ADULTS.

    We want the old Mafia supper club feel. We want QUIET, no screaming brats period, excellent seafood, steaks, wine selection with soft music and low lights...real romantic for the mid-to-earlier mature group with discerning tastes and an appreciation of the good life.

    Please give us your expert advice....we are so appreciative!

  36. We love Victor Tango's, but I'm shocked it made the number 1 spot on your "Top 10 Romantic Restaurants in Dallas"!!!! It's anything BUT romantic...yes, it's classy, urban, chic, upscale, LOUD, bustling, food and drinks are outstanding, but really? Victor Tango's is a place to meet at with a large group of friends, definitely NOT a romantic dinner.

  37. Perfect restaurant for a romantic date. Me and my girlfriend want to go at least to one of these places.

  38. Thanks for the best of the best top 10 romantic eats in Dallas!

  39. Really? Everyone knows about these places. They're always crowded and booked, too.

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