Within the Harwood District lives a curated neighbourhood of diverse dining experiences that cater to every whim of a Dallas resident or adventurous traveller’s love of restaurant culture. Here, you’ll discover a collection of restaurants like none other in the city, featuring meticulous attention to design detail, passion in culinary craft and enchanting atmospheres that come to life through the people, the music and more. From beautiful sculpted gardens to hand-made pasta and towering nachos, there is something for everyone and anytime in Harwood. Across the walkable 19 city blocks, here’s a local’s guide for your venture through the District, on a quest to stamp your culinary passport.
After a stroll on the nearby Katy Trail, prepare for the day at the District’s French-inspired coffee shop Magnolias: Sous Le Pont. Coming upon Magnolias evokes a sense of discovery, and the friendly baristas make you feel right at home as they greet you by name. Tucked under the bridge of sister concept Marie Gabrielle Restaurant and Gardens, Magnolias could very well be missed if it weren’t for the intentional design choice to paint the facade a bright teal blue. With a cosy atmosphere complemented by local art and a mellow playlist, Magnolias is the perfect place to grab a specialty roast, work on a project or just enjoy your favourite book with the shop’s Lavender Love Latte in hand.
The lofty French theme continues past the acclaimed Rolex Building and up North Harwood Street to the ultimate business breakfast and power lunch destination, Mercat Bistro. The intimate interior and imported Parisian pergola are bustling from the morning through the afternoon with servers promptly whisking out orders of the buttery quiche, house-made croissants and signature Steak and Frites.
As the day progresses into happy hour and after-work celebrations, Saint Ann Restaurant & Bar is the place to be on the scene. Housed in a historic landmark building that was built in 1927, Saint Ann shows a glimpse of Dallas’ past with a modern ambience and New American fare. Just like the care given to Saint Ann’s original relics, the kitchen takes pride in sourcing fresh ingredients direct from Texas. Wander up the wooden stairs to be transported to Japan with a quick peek at the Harwood District’s internationally renowned museum – The Ann & Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum: The Samurai Collection. One of the largest private collections of its kind, The Samurai Collection inspired Madonna and Hermès alike.
When it’s time for dinner, jet set to the Amalfi Coast with a visit to Dolce Riviera. Here, the dining room and lounge are dressed in ombré ocean tones, and scenes of socialites from the glamorous era of la dolce vita adorn the walls. Authentic Italian accents and antiques also enhance the space – from the delicate Venetian glass chandeliers to the bubbling stone fountains on the patio. The ambience transports you as you settle in for a bottle of Barolo and fresh pasta handmade with a family recipe taught to the chef by his Italian nonna.
As the weekend comes around and sporting events air on the television, Happiest Hour is Dallas’ most revered game-day destination. In the spirit of “everything’s bigger in Texas”, you’ll find yourself right at home here. With the shareable Nacho Tower, 10-pound Big Happy Burger or Everything But the Kitchen Sink dessert, it’s best to arrive with a big appetite. It’s not just the food that lives out the idea that bigger is better. The spacious patio bar and lounge features a large rooftop deck and an expansive lawn with shady live oak trees. With over 50 beers on tap and more than 25 huge flat screen TVs, Happiest Hour is the perfect place to quench your thirst with fellow sports fans.
Head right next door to Te Deseo for the post-game after-party, where the lively Latin American-inspired concept is best known for its one-of-a-kind reposado tequila shot – the Chupita de la Casa. There are endless wonders to discover at Te Deseo, with a series of unique dining rooms, each possessing its own character, flanking a central courtyard with a must-see art piece. Spanish-tiled stairs lead curious guests to a multitude of experiences – an indoor bar, a cigar lounge and a high-energy rooftop patio with a nighttime DJ and mesmerising city views.
And finally, when it’s time to unwind, The Grove at Harwood is a chill and breezy dog-friendly hangout spot. Grab a snowcone cocktail and throw it back to your childhood, with an adult twist. Enjoy drinks with friends, try a pick-up sand volleyball game or just relax in a hammock and enjoy the Texas breeze. It’s the perfect place to recover from a late Saturday night out on the town.
Continue your outdoor exploration of Harwood with a relaxing stroll through the lush gardens of Marie Gabrielle Restaurant and Gardens. Whether it’s your walk down the aisle or just a break from the day, this oasis in the middle of the Harwood District is surely something to behold. On weekdays, the fast-casual eatery is perfect for a quick, scenic work lunch. Nestled amongst the tall trees, beside the life-size chessboard, one can’t help but shake off the day – at least a bit. On the weekends and evenings, these 1.5-acre gardens transform. Under the glow of twinkling lights, Marie Gabrielle after dark is a fairytale experience.
The Harwood District is growing with even more restaurants and there’s always something new happening. Whether you’re a local or a visitor to the city, the Harwood District of Dallas offers an array of culinary choices, some for curiosity and some for comfort. To decide, it’s left up to you.