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We love ourselves the next new thing. But sometimes, it’s all about going old school, and in Dallas, we know how to do iconic right, especially when it comes to food. So if you’re in Dallas and haven’t been to these renowned restaurants, it’s time to make a reservation, ASAP. Here, eight legendary Dallas restaurants to dine at before you die (or leave Dallas).

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Photo courtesy of Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek

The Mansion on Turtle Creek

For 35 years, this has been the go-to spot for dinners wanting to ditch the hustle and bustle of the big city and escape to a Palm Springs-inspired hotel tucked away along Turtle Creek. This is fancy, done right: Dine on spring lamb enhanced with caviar in the romantic dining room or when the weather is right, enjoy beet gazpacho outside on the candlelit terrace. And despite all the lavishness, The Mansion is best known for their tortilla soup. So yeah, it’s Texas fancy.

2821 Turtle Creek Blvd; 214-443-4747 or rosewoodhotels.com

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Peter Larsen

The Grape

Legend has it that this quirky neighborhood bistro was one of the first restaurants in Dallas to offer a blackboard menu and wines by the glass. Whether or not it’s true, since 1972, East Pallasites have been taking advantage of the weekday menus: Burgers on Sunday and Monday and 30 percent off bottles of wine on Wednesdays. So yeah…you might see us there three days in a row.

2808 Greenville Ave Dallas; 214-828-1981 or thegraperestaurant.com

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Photo courtesy of Campisi’s

Campisi’s

If you are eating pizza with people who grew up in Dallas, it’s going to be from this legendary Mockingbird pizza shop. And while there’s a lot of mystery surrounding this establishment (Jack Ruby kinda dined here before he shot Lee Harvey Oswald), one thing is crystal clear: this family-owned Italian restaurant is serving up swoon-worthy homemade dishes. We recommend the steak and shrimp scampi along with any of the square cut pizza pies. 

5610 E Mockingbird Ln.; 214-827-0355; or www.campisis.us

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Photo courtesy of Neiman Marcus

Zodiac Room

There’s nothing more old school posh than a trip up to Level Six at the original Neiman Marcus. A staple on Main Street since 1957, prepare to be dazzled by impeccably dressed diners--especially the ladies who lunch. Oh, the food’s impressive, too. The meal begins with complimentary consommé and a popover with strawberry butter. After that, the choice is up to you, but it looks like everyone’s drinking champagne. It’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right? 

1618 Main St.; 214-573-5800; or neimanmarcus.com

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The French Room

The gorgeous dining room at The Adolphus Hotel is the epitome of iconic Dallas dining. In fact, The French Room is the only restaurant in Texas to achieve the AAA Five Diamond Award, and has done so for 25 years in a row. So if you are looking for luxe night out of French prix fix, make your reservation, like now. And sure, the decor may or may not be half of the allure when it comes to this place--but a French chateau lodged perfectly in the middle of downtown Dallas? Oui oui oui.

1321 Commerce St.; 214-742-8200; or www.hoteladolphus.com/dining

Related: Is French-Mex the New Big Cuisine?

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Javier’s

Ditch Dallas for the night and transport yourself to Mexico City. That’s what happens when you walk into this authentic Mexican restaurant that has been at the heart of Dallas dining for 30 years. And while you can order familiar dishes, locals know to focus on the flavors of menu items like the filete cantinflas or the pollo ahumado. And a note for the fellas: It has been said that you are not officially a true Dallas gentleman until you have ventured into the restaurant’s lounge and cigar bar for a smoke and spirit. Just sayin’. 

4912 Cole Ave.; 214-521-4211 or javiers.net

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Cafe Pacific

A Highland Park Village legend for more than 34 years, this neighborhood seafood and steak restaurant is still the best place to snag a quiet table and no-fuss food that hits the spot every time. The three onion crusted sea bass is what seafood-centric dreams are made of. And if you have a sweet tooth, the pecan ball with vanilla ice cream and fudge sauce is a little (OK, big) taste of heaven.Another bonus? The who’s who of Dallas love to lunch here, so it’s a great spot to get your people-watching on. 

24 Highland Park Village; 214-526-1170 or cafepacificdallas.com

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Parigi

Take the bistros of Paris, add a twist of New York City, and you’ll get this Oak Lawn landmark that has been in business for more than 30 years. What keeps people coming back for more? While the menu constantly changes with seasonal specials, the signature items remain the same. After all, loyal patrons would raise serious hell if they ever were taken off the menu. 

3311 Oak Lawn Ave.; 214-521-0295 or parigidallas.com

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