Our three weeks in Texas were filled with many adventures and great food. The following list of 7 delicious places to eat in Dallas and Austin are our top recommendations that you must try if you find yourself in those areas.
7 Delicious Places to Eat in Dallas and Austin
As I think about our fun-filled summer, I keep thinking about all the delicious food we enjoyed. During our time in Texas, we cooked most of our meals since eating out can be a bit expensive and pretty chaotic with two small children. However, when we travel we do like to eat out at least a few times to try new places that we don't normally find back in Colorado.
So before my memories of summer become too vague, following is a list of 7 delicious places to eat in Dallas and Austin that we tried and really enjoyed.
(Visiting Dallas? Then read about top places to visit in Dallas with kids by clicking here.)
Press Box Grill
The day we arrived in Dallas we had time to spare before checking into our vacation rental. We had taken an early morning flight and had only had a light breakfast so lunch was definitely on our minds upon arrival.
Just around the corner from our vacation rental downtown was a sports bar called Press Box Grill. The place was pretty empty when we were there, at about 2pm on a Sunday. This was great for us because my kids were able to stretch their legs for a bit and not bother anyone. Our server was wonderful and played with the kids and showed them around. I even think my 19-month-old son had a little bit of a crush on her, he kept looking for her and whenever he spotted her it brought a huge smile to his adorable little face.
The kids shared sliders from the appetizer menu and my husband and I each had a burger. The burgers were huge, juicy, and delicious. We were pleasantly surprised that such a spur of the moment choice ended up being as wonderful.
Find out more about Press Box Grill here.
Our first week in Dallas we met up with an old friend and her beautiful little girl at Braindead Brewery. The brewery is located in Deep Ellum, a neighborhood in Dallas known for its music scene and art.
Braindead Brewery was pretty busy with people enjoying dinner and drinks after a long day of work. Attempting to eat healthy, my husband and I both ordered salads. We enjoyed our salads but they were nothing too out of the ordinary. Truly, the best part of our visit to this restaurant was that the kids' meals were free. Eating out can really add up, so a free meal for each of the kids made this place a definite win for us. Plus the place was loud and busy, so being there with kids was no bother.
BigDash Ice Cream
We happened to be in Dallas for my birthday but didn't have any big plans for the day. So, when my daughter suggested we get ice cream for dessert we were all in.
We stumbled upon BigDash Ice Cream after a quick Internet search for a highly-rated ice cream shop near us. As we drove up to the building, located among rows of gray offices and warehouses, we were a bit skeptical. We even thought we were in the wrong place until we saw the sign for the shop. Once inside, the signs on the walls touted a variety of flavors of Arabic style ice cream. Ice cream is my absolute favorite dessert, so I am all for any chance to try something new. I was not disappointed. The ice cream was thick and creamy, not as icy as other types of ice cream. The flavors were strong but not overly sweet. In the 100-degree Dallas heat, it was the perfect birthday treat.
Afterward, I learned more about Arabic ice cream and the owners of BigDash Ice Cream in a great article from the Dallas Observer. You can find it here.
Before heading out of Dallas and on to Austin, we stopped by Whataburger. We had heard so much talk about this burger chain and thought we should give it a try. I am so glad we did! The burgers were some of the best fast food burgers I have ever had. All four of us could not get enough of the juicy, greasy burgers. The best was seeing my little boy wrap his little fingers tightly around his burger and sink his teeth into the huge sandwich. It was the first time I had seen him eat a burger by himself and he made it look like the most delicious thing anyone has ever eaten.
Salt Lick BBQ
Once we arrived in Austin, we knew we couldn't leave Texas without partaking in some tasty barbecue. Since it was now time to celebrate my husband's birthday, he got to pick the restaurant and made a great choice with Salt Lick BBQ. The restaurant was hidden away off the side of the road, surrounded by old trees in a vineyard. A sprawling old restaurant with rustic charm and the smell of delicious meats smoking to perfection drew us in. As we entered we were greeted by a large wood fire barbecue loaded with incredible looking brisket, ribs, and sausages.
The portions were huge and endless, and the hospitality was second to none. After we ate so much that we got the meat sweats, we made the brave decision to buy a whole pecan pie to celebrate my husband's birthday. However, we do have some self-control and took the pecan pie home to enjoy later. Once we did, we were in heaven with every gooey, sugary bite.
One day we took a drive from Austin to the beautiful historic town of Gruene. Walking around the quaint town, we took the time to visit all the little boutiques and shops that lined the streets. Seeking refuge from the sun, we stopped by the Gristmill for lunch. The mere setting of the restaurant, built in an old cotton gin building, was enough for us to fall in love with it. But then we had the crispy tortilla chips with the homemade tomatillo sauce, burgers, salads, and sandwiches and our experience just got better. If you are in the Austin area, you definitely have to check out both the Gristmill and the town of Gruene.
I know some people might judge our Mexican taste buds with this next statement, but we love Taco Bell. So when we heard there was a place called Taco Cabana that was better than Taco Bell we had to try it. I don't know if I would necessarily compare it to Taco Bell because the menus are pretty different, but man, was it good! The dishes are much more complex, fancier if you will, with things like steak fajitas, shrimp tacos, and enchilada plates. We decided to order a variety of the tacos and there wasn't one that we did not love. With a packed salsa and condiment bar and the bright, patio-style dining room, it ended up feeling much more like a real Mexican taqueria rather than a fast food chain.
So there you have it, 7 delicious places to eat in Dallas and Austin that we tried for ourselves and highly recommend. I hope this list can be of use to you.
If you have visited these areas or live in these areas, I'd love to know your suggestions for places to eat in the comments below.