8 Dallas Restaurants Where the People-Watching Is as Good as the Food

Sure, we go out to eat for the sushi and barbecue and cocktails, but we also go for the entertainment—namely, our fellow Dallasites. From roller skaters in spandex unitards to local celebrities lunching lavishly, you’re guaranteed to get an eyeful at these restaurants.

The 10 Most Photogenic Spots in Texas

lounge 31 dallas list
Lounge 31

Lounge 31

This well-known “secret” above Bistro 31 serves arguably some of the best sushi in town. But there’s more: When the roof terrace opens, you can guarantee that people dressed in their cutest business-casual attire will swarm to take advantage of happy-hour deals and see if they can score a Bumble match or two. 

87 Highland Park Village (second floor); 214-420-3900 or

sassetta dallas list
Mei-Chun Jau


This Design District gem is now open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. That means you don’t have to wait to observe the most fashionable folks in town sipping and supping over cappuccinos, pizzas and decadent pastas (that lasagna, though). The best part? You can easily scope out the crowds at neighboring restaurant Wheelhouse, too.

1617 Hi Line Dr. Suite #390, 214-307-5695 or

the rustic list
The Rustic

The Rustic

This Uptown hot spot is bound to be packed to the brim with people eager to listen to great music, drink cold beers and enjoy a Texas-focused menu that never disappoints. We can imagine the Drunk Chick—consisting of beer-can game hen, jalapeño spoon bread and chile-lime butter—was gifted its name on any given football Sunday.

3656 Howell St., 214-730-0596 or

mirador dallas list


Interested in a casual celebrity sighting or two? Look no further than this beautiful restaurant located within the new Forty Five Ten on Main Street. The gorgeous dining room is bound to be hosting an uber-exclusive lunch or wine dinner. Head out onto the porch to witness downtown’s main drag from a new angle.

1608 Elm St.; 214-945-8200 or

Pecan Lodge

What do you get when you mix bucket-list-worthy barbecue and lines that spill out onto the sidewalk of Deep Ellum’s most bustling street? Answer: You really never know. Yep, you’ll wait in line. Yep, it’ll be fun. Yep, you’ll likely make fun of tourists who show up in head-to-toe denim with sweet cowboy boots to match.

2702 Main St.; 214-748-8900 or

Hg Sply Co.

This restaurant is the queen of Greenville Avenue and for good reason. It’s always crowded, there’s a ridiculous rooftop and the food isn’t totally terrible for you. You’ll see everything from squads fresh off a CrossFit workout to corporate happy hours trying to come off as hip. It’s good times, trust us.

2008 Greenville Ave.; 469-334-0895 or


A location smack dab in the middle of Klyde Warren Park plus floor-to-ceiling glass walls equals people-watching gold. From splash-pad fun to yoga and even concerts, there’s always something happening on the lawn. Consider it a free dinner show.

2000 Woodall Rodgers Fwy.; 214-306-5597 or

Katy Trail Ice House

Walk (or rollerblade) far enough along the Katy Trail and you’ll find this dog-friendly bar and eatery. And while it’s always fairly crowded, the weekends seem to attract the crowds. Leave the clean-eating intentions at home: You know you’re going to end up gorging on the insane cheese fries.

3127 Routh St.; 214-468-0600 or

diana oates

Dallas Editor

Diana Oates is a freelance writer living in Dallas with her husband and three kids. When she’s not telling you about the best new restaurant in town or the hottest hotel to escape...