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Foodies abroad: Dallas, Texas
Plan a stopover in America’s ninth largest city and you’ll discover a modern city filled with culture, energy and big ideas.
A city on the map for cowboy hats, spurs, and rodeos, you’re just as likely to see world-famous art and stylish eateries in Dallas. Like elsewhere in Texas, everything is underpinned by the warm and genuine hospitality, hearty cuisine and the friendly smiles of the south.
A contemporary European-style bistro that transports you back to France with its Parisian-style interiors, intimate setting and sweet vintage crockery. Breakfast is centred around freshly baked pastries, organic local eggs (and good coffee!), and the all-day menu sees plenty of French favourites plus a pleasing selection of French and American wines.
You can’t visit Texas without feasting on a little Tex-Mex! Meso Maya, with its unassuming exterior, is a lively joint and super popular as a lunchtime haunt. Lovers of all things avo can’t go past the avocado margarita–fresh muddled avocado, pineapple and lime juice, triple sec, and Casa Noble tequila, it’s a zingy little number! Tortillas are served with rice and black beans, and servings are typically bigger and better in Texas!
A must-visit on your Dallas eatinerary is dinner at the divine The French Room at The Adolphus, a hip hotel in the Dallas arts and financial district. Charming executive chef Anthony Dispensa creates incredible dishes with standouts such as beet risotto with golden beets, pearl onion petals, and horseradish gel and Long Island duck with butternut squash gel and Brussels sprout petals. Choose to dine from either the a la carte or degustation menu, and treat yo self on your Texas vacay.
A local recommendation from Chef Dispensa is Armoury D.E., a drinking den in Dallas’ historic Deep Ellum district. Named for an old sign stencilled on the inside brick wall of the establishment, Armoury D.E. has a great Scotch selection and late night eats until 2.00am.
South Dallas bar Lee Harvey’s is a classic wood-panelled dive bar complete with neon beer signs, pool table and a jukebox. The wide-open backyard is welcoming to both people and pups, and the perfect spot to enjoy a brew in the relaxed space.
If you’re a sucker for a fancy lobby bar, City Hall Bar at Adolphus Hotel is the place for you. Situated in the social lobby, it’s a buzzing bar-cum-meeting place positioned between top-notch restaurants serving small-batch spirits and classic cocktails.
Downtown, Dallas has a thriving arts precinct worth exploring! Dallas Arts District is the largest contiguous urban arts district in the nation and the centrepiece of the city’s cultural life. Dallas Museum of Art has an overwhelming 22,000 works spanning 5,000 years, making it one of the largest art museums in the USA. Hot tip: start with the American art collection upstairs to get your local fix before moving your way through the labyrinth. Entry to DMA is free, and you can download an app for a more interactive experience.
Just a hop, skip and jump from DMA, The Nasher Sculpture Center is considered one of the finest collections of modern and contemporary sculptures in the world. On display in the galleries and garden are rotating exhibitions of works from the Nasher Collection including works by Rodin, Gauguin, Miró, Picasso and more. Take the time to wander the grounds and take in a tranquil sculpture garden like no other that also hosts outdoor concerts and film screenings during the summer.
A visit to the Sixth Floor Museum in the former book depository is a must-do for history buffs or anyone intrigued by the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It is a profound feeling to be at the site where the historic event took place, and to see firsthand the sights that feel so familiar because they appear so often in popular culture. It’s eerie to look out from the Book Depository and see Dealey Plaza and the grassy knoll, largely unchanged since the ’60s.
This uptown luxury hotel is within walking distance to the urban arts district and is a dreamy spot to lay your head in Dallas! It has all the essentials for the business or leisure traveller with comfortable, sophisticated and stylish rooms, an incredible gym, heated pool, restaurants galore and a day spa. After a day of exploring Dallas, indulge in an afternoon at The Spa, a city sanctuary that is superior to most with 16 treatment rooms and a tranquil spa lounge to relax in post-massage–pure bliss.
Good news for coffee lovers, the shopping precinct surrounding the hotel houses Aussie-owned Ascension Coffee where they know how to make a strong flat white and even serve Vegemite toast if you’re feeling homesick!