The 11 Top Fun Restaurants in Dallas in 2023
Foodies who love to explore the culinary boxes on offer in a big city should be sure to add some fun restaurants in Dallas to their list. Dining out is one of the easiest social experiences to indulge in when visiting a new place, and the Texas food scene is as hot as the summer weather. If you’re visiting the city for a few days, you’ll want to choose your meals carefully to ensure you hit the best fun places to eat in Dallas.
What does a fun restaurant in Dallas need to deliver to make your foodie bucket list? Do you want to be entertained while you eat? Or does fun mean you’ll be trying foods that are unfamiliar to you? Fun restaurants in Dallas vary from super-casual barbecue and Tex-Mex joints with live music and picnic tables to swanky sushi spots boasting exotic menus that require a translator. From first dates to bachelor parties, there are fun restaurants in Dallas for every occasion.
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Find the Best Restaurants in Dallas
From Oak Lawn to Harwood, Uptown to Bishop Arts and Deep Ellum to Downtown, there is no shortage of food districts to choose from when you’re looking for fun restaurants in Dallas. You can try to tackle them all, but starting with food tours in Dallas might be a better strategy. Locals always know best. Whether you want to sample the best barbecue in Dallas or you have a hankering for the city's best Tex-Mex, food tours led by a knowledgeable local guide are the answer to all your cravings.
Top 11 Fun Restaurants in Dallas
An easy pick for the most fun restaurant in Dallas is Bowlounge. If the idea of eating at a bowling alley brings back memories of a dark and dingy bowl-a-rama in a strip mall, Bowlounge will help you make those memories a thing of the past. The owners of Bowlounge are as passionate about cleanliness as they are about their food and drink. This fun restaurant in Dallas is an ideal spot for a casual night out with friends. You can’t strike out choosing Bowlounge for work functions or birthday parties either.
Bowlounge is an old warehouse converted into a classic bowling alley. It’s casual but clean, a great place to chill with a group. It’s a pretty standard alley by day but gets a dose of neon lighting at night, which gives this fun restaurant in Dallas a more festive and modern vibe.
What to Order
The menu at this fun restaurant in Dallas is a pub food lover’s dream come true. Literally all of your guilty pleasures are available, from quesadillas to tots to mac and cheese to burgers, pizzas and sliders. And wings. And tacos. Plus a substantial craft beer selection on draft and enough whiskey to challenge your best bowling toss.
Bowlounge | 167 Turtle Creek Blvd., Ste. 103, Dallas, TX 75207 | $$
2. Portillo’s the Colony
You don’t have to fly to the Windy City to get one of the best hot dogs Chicago has to offer. Portillo’s the Colony is one of the newest fun places to eat in Dallas and worth the drive north of the city to experience it. Portillo’s the Colony is conveniently located near the entertainment complex known as Grandscape and Nebraska Furniture Mart, so fuel up and make a day of it.
This iconic hot dog joint is casual but cool. The kitschy faux-vintage décor at this fun restaurant in Dallas is somewhere between Applebee’s and Cracker Barrel, but it gives you something to look at while you wait in line. There’s also a video menu showing each dish being made, which makes it almost impossible to decide what to get.
What to Order
A Chicago-style hot dog with all the fixins on a poppy seed bun is a must, but one hot dog won’t take you very far, so think of it as an appetizer. Portillo’s is also known for their Italian beef sub (similar to a Philadelphia steak and cheese) and their Polish sausage. Since you made the drive to this fun restaurant in Dallas, get one of each.
Portillo’s | 4560 Destination Dr., The Colony, TX 75056 | $
3. Mr. G’s Deli
Some of the most fun restaurants in Dallas are unexpected hidden gems like Mr. G’s Deli. This fun restaurant in Dallas is located in the back of a Spec’s Wine store in central Plano just a short drive north of the city. Its somewhat inconspicuous entry door is on the back side of the building next to the sign that proudly brags about their five-time Zagat rating. Mr. G’s is a twofer because you can stock up on booze while eating at this fun restaurant in Dallas.
Mr. G’s Deli has a bit of that “restaurant in a gas station” feel, yet somehow you just know it’s going to be really good. This fun restaurant in Dallas serves food to go, or dine in on one of their classic red and black vinyl booths that are tucked at the end of the rum and bourbon aisles. This might not be the best place to choose if you need romantic first date ideas in Dallas, unless you believe true love starts with the right sandwich.
What to Order
Mr. G’s is a fun restaurant in Dallas and a sandwich hound’s dream come true. They’ve got all the classics plus a few options with Texas flair. Reuben lovers will rejoice at a choice of not one, not two but seven versions of your favorite melty sandwich, including a Tex-Mex Reuben made with roast beef, cheddar and cole slaw. The Philly cheesesteak is as legit as it gets outside of Pennsylvania, and the Cuban would make Havana proud. There is also a selection of healthier sandwiches like the California Dreamin sandwich with turkey, havarti, avocado, cucumber and sprouts or The Rabbit, which is a grilled eggplant, zucchini and roasted red pepper combo with feta.
Mr. G’s Deli | 1453 Coit Rd., Plano, TX 75075 | $
4. The Rustic
If your idea of a fun restaurant in Dallas involves both food and entertainment, then you’ll want to check out The Rustic. It’s part bar and part restaurant with a live entertainment venue and backyard picnic tables. Perfect place for a Friday night out with friends and one of the most fun things to do in Dallas.
Needless to say, The Rustic is rustic. It has a Western slant, so feel free to wear your boots and Wranglers if you’re planning to kick up your shoes at this fun restaurant in Dallas.
What to Order
The menu at this fun Dallas restaurant is way better than you were expecting when you walked in. You can keep things healthy with a rustic harvest bowl featuring chimichurri chicken and wood-grilled broccolini or a spicy salmon Caesar with a chipotle dressing. Or, you might decide to indulge in a few appetizers like wild boar meatballs with jalapeño jam or beer-battered prickly pear cactus fries with ranch. Either way, you’re not going to leave this fun restaurant in Dallas hungry.
The Rustic | 3656 Howell St., Dallas, TX 75204 | $$
5. Dining in the Dark Dallas
If you are looking for a fun restaurant in Dallas that is really different from your everyday steakhouse or Tex-Mex, try Dining in the Dark Dallas. They say that most of what you taste when you eat is related to what your eyes see and expect to taste. So what happens if you take sight away? This blindfolded dining experience is a true feast for your other four senses, and it’s one of the most fun places to eat in Dallas.
The Dining in the Dark experience is available at two different Dallas venues, the Tower Club and the Fairmont Dallas. Both are upscale enough for a special occasion or a birthday dinner in Dallas, but once you arrive you’ll be blindfolded, so the vibe is anticipatory and exciting no matter what.
What to Order
Diners will choose from one of three tasting menus — green for vegan, blue for seafood or red for meat — and you will be served a three-course meal without being told what you are eating. The menu is revealed at the end, which makes this one of the most fun places to eat in Dallas if you are not picky and willing to try anything.
Dining in the Dark Dallas | Multiple Locations | $$$
6. Happiest Hour
What if it could be happy hour all the time? It is at Happiest Hour, one of the most fun places to eat in Dallas. This sprawling venue has four full-service bars, a rooftop patio with a great view of the Dallas skyline and occasionally hosts live music events like their summer DJ series. It’s also within walking distance of the American Airlines center, so it’s perfect for pre- or post-event food and libations.
Happiest Hour is a fun restaurant in Dallas but very laid-back in terms of décor, so you could feel comfortable rolling in with jeans instead of putting on your trendiest outfit. Then again, this is Dallas, so feel free to doll it up if you prefer.
What to Order
You might not be thinking about happy hour for brunch when you think of fun restaurants in Dallas, but maybe you should be. Happiest Hour hosts a Hoedown Brunch every Saturday with classic Dallas foods like brisket hash, fried pickles and pulled pork Benedicts. The main menu is just as tempting with a robust selection of burgers, wings, steaks, pastas and salads.
Happiest Hour | 2616 Olive St., Dallas, TX 75201 | $$
7. Electric Shuffle
Nothing is always fun and games unless you’re at Electric Shuffle. This is the most unique and fun restaurant in Dallas. The concept was dreamed up by a group of friends that wanted to combine the best of London pub life and Dallas dive bars, thus Electric Shuffle was born. Their patented electric shuffleboard game allows up to 24 players to compete, with all-digital scoring and selfies. What could be more fun than that?
Electric Shuffle has an upscale bistro vibe that draws you in. It’s essentially refined casual in a Starbucks kind of way yet also looks like someone from Restoration Hardware got looped in on the décor. It’s not a bowling alley.
What to Order
You’ll need a reservation to be able to participate in the shuffleboard experience at this fun restaurant in Dallas. But if you just came to eat, try one of their sharing platters, which combines your favorite finger foods like shishito peppers, egg rolls or mac and cheese croquettes, or try a house pizza like the vanilla bourbon pear and goat cheese.
Electric Shuffle | 2615 Elm St., Dallas, TX 75226 | $$
Komodo is one of the most fun restaurants in Dallas simply because of the hype. Modeled after the Miami original, Komodo has brought a whole new air of mystique to the Dallas sushi scene. While Komodo is a fun place to eat in Dallas, it’s also one of the most expensive, so save it for a special occasion.
With its sexy nightclub lounge feel, this is the place to see and be seen, so don’t cut corners on your attire. It might be a fun restaurant in Dallas, but with the price tag it commands, you never know who you might run into.
What to Order
Expect over-the-top presentations on everything at Komodo. The Money Bag dumplings are topped with a gold leaf and make a good starter, as does the lobster Dynamite. After you choose your assorted sushi favorites, consider rounding that out with the crab lo mein or some Japanese wagyu. And even though you came for the sushi at this fun restaurant in Dallas, you might want to save room for the lacquered Peking duck.
Komodo | 2550 Pacific Ave., Ste. 120, Dallas, TX 75226 | $$$$
9. Mexican Sugar
The racey name tells you right up front that you’re at one of the most fun restaurants in Dallas. There are no shortage of Mexican or Tex-Mex spots around the city, but Mexican Sugar differentiates itself by having an “agave library” with over 150 tequilas to choose from in addition to your favorite Mexican dishes. Even your biggest tequila snob friends will agree Mexican Sugar is their playground.
It’s much more trendy than your standard Mexican spot but also festive — a great place for a Friday night with friends, a first date or happy hour any night.
What to Order
If you are still learning your way around tequila, you can get some education at this fun restaurant in Dallas with an agave flight instead of the same old margarita. For food, start with a crab tostada and a squash blossom quesadilla before diving into adobo carne asada fajitas.
Mexican Sugar | Multiple Locations | $$
If your definition of a fun restaurant in Dallas is one where you need serious advance reservations and a Japanese translator for the menu, Uchi is going to be perfect for you. After eight years on the scene, this sushi restaurant is still one of the most coveted tables in town. Uchi is not for the sushi eater that double-dunks everything in soy sauce and asks for extra orange mayo. Uchi celebrates the art of showcasing the freshest dishes that the sea has to offer in their perfect simplicity.
It looks like an upscale sushi restaurant inside, but there’s just something about the vibe. It’s warm. It’s welcoming. It’s educated. It’s cool. Take your time and soak it all in. Also, take advantage of the knowledge of their servers and try something besides salmon and tuna.
What to Order
This fun restaurant in Dallas has several great choices on its everyday happy hour menu. Not-to-miss dishes include the hirame usuzukuri (thinly sliced raw flounder with candied quinoa and olive oil) and the hama chili, which takes your standard yellowtail sashimi to a whole different level. If they haven’t sold out, get the ocean bass sashimi and pair that with the negitoro roll, a divine combination of fatty bluefin tuna, charred negi and truffle oil. Warning: After you eat at Uchi, you may never be able to go back to your standard strip mall spot or crunchy dynamite roll again.
Uchi | 2817 Maple Ave., Dallas, TX 75201 | $$$$
11. Milk & Cream
Fun doesn’t have to be complicated. It just has to be good. That’s why Milk & Cream makes the list of most fun restaurants in Dallas: because sometimes, all you need to have fun is dessert. Milk & Cream combines two of our favorite sweet treats — fresh baked glazed doughnuts and ice cream — into one irresistible dessert. It’s simple, and simply genius.
Milk & Cream is a takeout dessert shop. The menu is small, but you’ll probably stand there contemplating the options for a while, so wear comfortable shoes.
What to Order
You could just get a doughnut. Or ice cream. But that would defeat the purpose. Choose an ice cream flavor and watch as it gets sandwiched between two halves of a fresh glazed doughnut. Of course, there are mixins with some of the usual suspects like sprinkles, crushed Oreos or M&Ms, but you can also experiment with Fruity Pebbles, Lucky Charms or Cookie Crisp.
Milk & Cream | 5420 Ross Ave., Ste. 160, Dallas, TX 75206 | $
Who doesn’t love eating out? There’s something about having someone else prepare a meal for you that is fun in and of itself. No matter what fun restaurant in Dallas you choose, just make sure you bring along good company.
For even more fun ways to explore Dallas and beyond, check out other experiences happening on Cozymeal.