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In the Neighborhood: Your ultimate guide to downtown Dallas

With new works of public art, a walkable historic district and top-notch museums, downtown Dallas draws travelers from across the country.

By Alina Dizik | October 12, 2023

There’s nothing like a trip to Dallas to experience the “go big or go home" ethos that permeates throughout Texas. Most visitors start by spending time in the city's historic downtown, which is pulsing with whimsical public art, plenty of newly developed green spaces, must-have Tex-Mex dining and more. Come for a visit – and leave room in your suitcase for the cowboy boots you’ll undoubtedly bring back.


As the central part of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, the downtown neighborhood has become a buzzy culinary hub. Try:

- Dallas Farmer’s Market: The indoor and outdoor areas of this historic market offer a mix of local restaurants, boutique shops and local produce. It also includes a large food hall popular for artisanal vendors like Taqueria La Ventana for tacos and 8 Cloves for Indian cuisine.

- Café Momentum: Providing paid culinary arts internships for at-risk teens, this regionally inspired spot is a restaurant with a mission. Try their smoked fried chicken or house-made charcuterie with a side of caring service.

- The Woolworth: Part restaurant, part lounge, this unassuming spot serves innovative dishes and killer cocktails. Order from the menu’s “Unique Eats” section for plates like the Philly cheese egg roll, coffee-crusted fish tacos and gnocchi with short rib.


Downtown Dallas' arts district is the largest contiguous urban arts district in the country. Join the locals and explore the museums and impressive outdoor public art displays. Visit:

- Dallas Museum of Art: As the anchor of Dallas’ cultural hub, this museum is a favorite among art lovers, offering more than 24,000 pieces that span 5,000 years. Best of all: general admission is free!

- Museum of Illusions Dallas: Channel your inner child at this interactive museum that’s fun for the entire family. Pro tip: The vortex tunnel and reversed room make for the ultimate photo-ops.

- Pioneer Plaza Cattle Drive: Get a closeup of Texas longhorns by admiring the 49 bronze cattle statues that appear to stampede through downtown’s Pioneer Plaza. Each of the bulls has its own look and facial expression, making the intricate work a popular spot for out-of-towners.


Peppered with independent boutiques, Western wear and the flagship location of one of the country’s most famous department stores, shopping in Dallas is a delight. Browse:

- Wild Bill’s Western Store: Head to this old school shop for cowboy hats, belts, boots and all things Western. They even carry a selection of exotic cowboy boots crafted from ostrich, stingray or alligator leathers.

- Neiman Marcus: Shop till you drop in the place that started it all for the renowned department store. The building, dating back to 1914, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and still houses the flagship location.

- Daily: Grab a new outfit and a fresh haircut with this unique shopping experience that combines a men’s streetwear retail store, shoe store, barbershop and salon all in one location.

With a growing influence in North Texas, downtown Dallas is sure to please. Spending time in this neighborhood will give you a glimpse of the city’s most prominent landmarks and redeveloped green spaces, offering plenty to eat, see and do along the way.

Alina Dizik is a veteran lifestyle journalist, covering travel, real estate, family, work trends and dining. Her work appears in The Wall Street Journal, BBC, The Cut, The Guardian and other top publications. She lives in Chicago and has spent time living in New York, Europe and the Middle East. She spends more than two months each year traveling internationally with her husband and two school-age children. She has visited more than 50 countries.