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Dallas FYI: The Lowdown on Living in Downtown

Even though Dallas has one of the most recognizable skylines in the United States, its ranking as a great North Texas neighborhood has only been solidified in recent years. You can once again expect to find a central business district and surrounding areas bustling with activity.Among the highlights of an address in the cosmopolitan, urban oasis of downtown Dallas are an abundance of restaurants, retailers, green spaces and arts and entertainment venues. What was once simply a work-work-work district has transformed into a beautiful place to live and play. Plus, youll be close to other high-energy districts, including Deep Ellum, Victory Park, South Side and Uptown. If youre planning a move to downtown, or simply want to know the latest and greatest goings on, read on.

A Place to Call Home

Downtown Dallas has a little something for everyone seeking an address in the posh landscape of skyscrapers aplenty. From apartment homes and condominiums to spectacular penthouses, youll discover residential buildings almost everywhere, from the Dallas Arts District to the West End. Best of all, many of downtowns best destinations will be very near your front door or a very short taxi or rideshare trip away.


When you hear that grumble in your tummy, youll find plenty to sate your appetite at dozens of world-class restaurants one right after the other whether youre in the mood for fine dining or something quick and tasty on the run. An abundance of hotels also equates to many superb dining options nearly any time of day at every possible price point. Standouts include:

And thats only scratching the surface of what area visitor accommodations have to offer.

You dont have to step inside hotels, either. The newly opened AT&T Discovery District features a massive outdoor space where you can relax over a fast meal or chill all afternoon at JAXON Texas Kitchen & Beer Garden and its multilevel al-fresco spaces. Grab-and-go items for breakfast and lunch are a hallmark of Rise + Thyme, and nearly anything you could want is at The Exchange Food Hall, which has just started opening concepts. Elsewhere, you cant go wrong with exquisite Japanese at Tei-An, killer pizza at Partenope Ristorante, southern comforts at Ellens or Mexican fare with a Dominican twist at Miriam Cocina Latina alongside Klyde Warren Park.

Watering Holes

When it comes time to wet your whistle  something thats absolutely essential in the hot summer months  downtown Dallas is host to a variety of bars, lounges, nightclubs and speakeasies ready to pour you a tall drink. Even if youre looking for something non-alcoholic, youll find plenty of delicious ways to quench your thirst, with mocktails now anything but an afterthought. 

For carefully crafted cocktails, belly up to the bar or snag a booth at The Mitchell, Black Swan Saloon, One Eyed Penguin or The Woolworth. You can hit up multiple beverage venues at The Statler hotel, including their speakeasy Bourbon & Banter, or head upstairs to Scout, where you can eat, drink and participate in a variety of indoor sports, such as bowling and foosball. Even further upstairs, rooftop bar Waterproof features a pool and spectacular downtown views from the 19th floor. For a more casual vibe, try City Tavern, Frankies Downtown, the Press Box Grill or Adairs Saloon, which features live music every night of the week.


Many people consider shopping as important a sport in Dallas as football, basketball or baseball, and downtown offers plenty of places to procure some delightful goods, especially of the luxury variety. The Neiman Marcus flagship store (and bona fide Dallas icon) has always been a must-visit. And while youre on the hunt for the latest in fashions for men and women, check out Forty Five Ten, Traffic LA and Guns and Roses Boutique. The eternally cool womens boutique, V.O.D., a favorite of the modern boho set, is in nearby Victory Park.

If a little local flairs in demand, saddle up to Wild Bills Western Store, or load up on plenty of Dallas-specific goods at Bullzerk at Dallas Farmers Market, which also has other locations around the city.

Outdoor Escapes

To keep downtown from feeling like a concrete jungle, multiple outdoor venues (not counting all the fantastic patios) offer ways to get fresh air and some of that amazing Texas sunshine. Nearly three dozen parks can be found in downtown alone, with dog parks, cemeteries, fountains, historic sites and public art among the highlights.

Some of the most popular include Main Street Garden, AT&T Discovery District, Pioneer Plaza, and the deck park that connects downtown to uptown, Klyde Warren Park. Or, for a really fun way to experience the major highlights of the area, consider a self-guided walking tour. Another breathtaking way to absorb your surroundings can be found high atop Reunion Tower where you can catch 360-degree views of the city from outside platforms (or in the comfort of the great indoors).


Residents now have more options than ever for hunting and gathering items to prepare meals at home and stock up on other non-food essentials. Dallas Farmers Market has long been a wonderful place to load up on fresh fruits, vegetables, locally sourced meats and other goods. Royal Blue Grocery has also opened one of its boutique locations for getting many daily essentials. But the real game-changer for downtowns citizens can be found just across the districts borders in Victory Park, where a new Tom Thumb brings full-service grocery shopping within walking distance from some parts of downtown. Of course, grocery delivery from Amazon, Whole Foods and a variety of third-party providers has made the lack of numerous grocery stores less and less of an issue.


Theres a whole world outside the residences of downtown Dallas, perfect for spending time during weekends or on weeknights. Dallas World Aquarium has a lot more than just fish; the Sixth Floor Museum is a unique place to get a healthy dose of Dallas history centering primarily on JFK; and the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum highlights the struggles and triumphs of various groups of people around the world. For every type of art imaginable, turn to the Dallas Arts District, the nations largest contiguous arts district with multiple museums and performance venues, including the AT&T Performing Arts Center.

Editors note: Because of possible pandemic-related closings or adjusted access, check ahead with each spot in the story, online or by phone, before visiting.

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