Nabbing a reservation at one of Dallas’s hottest restaurants can be a contact sport. Or sometimes it’s more of a waiting game (as in waiting months and months) for your rezzie to come up. But if there’s a will, there’s a way. Here, the most popular restaurants in town and how to score a table.

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lucia

Lucia

Perhaps the toughest reservation in town, this tiny, authentic Italian restaurant in the Bishop Arts District accepts reservations via phone a month out—no more, no less. So unless you love to plan your entire month in advance, your best bet for eating here on a whim is to get there when it first opens and take one of the four seats at the display kitchen bar, available to walk-ins on a first come, first served basis. Oh, and they also post last-minute openings on Facebook.

408 W. Eighth St., #101; 214-948-4998 or luciadallas.com

uchi
Erica Wilkins

Uchi

Offering the perfect combination of traditional Japanese fare and creative cuisine, this Maple Avenue hot spot is sure to be booked for weeks in advance. It seems the best way to spontaneously enjoy a meal here is to hit up happy hour, eat at the bar or simply show up—a portion of the dining room is saved for walk-ins.

2817 Maple Ave.; 214-855-5454 or uchidallas.com

sprezza1
Ryan H./Yelp

Sprezza

When chef Julian Barsotti, the man behind Nona and Carbone’s, opens a third restaurant with more space and an absolutely delicious decor, a reservation traffic jam is bound to happen. With the restaurant currently booking about three weeks in advance, many determined foodies have found that the full-service bar offers not only a delightful experience but also an opportunity to chat with the staff and turn this new Italian eatery into a true neighborhood café.

4010 Maple Ave.; 972-807-9388 or sprezzadallas.com

gemma
Kevin Marple

Gemma

Gemma may be hard to get into, but it’s open until 1 a.m. (a nod to others in the food industry who would like a good meal after their shift), so if you’re willing to go late-night, it might be your best bet for eating a meal you will remember forever—paired with the perfect wine, of course.  What would you expect from two ex-Napa chefs?

2323 N. Henderson Ave., #109; 214-370-9426 or gemmadallas.com

hg sply
Kathryn Kemp

Hg Sply Co.

OpenTable always ranks it as one of the most popular dining destinations in the United States, which means getting a good spot at this tiny Greenville Avenue restaurant is no small feat. We’d have to recommend ditching traditional reservations and just showing up, adding your name to the list before you get too hungry and heading up to the incredible rooftop bar to await your table with a frozen Moscow Mule in hand. Booze helps the time pass more quickly, we promise.

2008 Greenville Ave.; 469-334-0896 or hgsplyco.com

montlake
Joey S./Yelp

Montlake Cut

The best kept seafood secret in Preston Hollow is no secret at all. In fact, despite its low-key location, it stays packed. The key to scoring a good table is eating here when you have a small party. They don’t even serve groups bigger than six, however, if you are only a party of two, it helps your cause. And if you are forced to wait, ask for some Goldfish crackers to snack on.

8220 Westchester Drive; 214-739-8220 or mlcdallas.com

five sixty

Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck

Who wouldn’t want to eat in a restaurant that slowly rotates 360 degrees to reveal an impeccable view of downtown Dallas from absolutely every angle? Combine that with the fact that it’s a Wolfgang Puck production and you have a real reservation conundrum. We recommend dining here on the weekend, when the corporate crowd isn’t wining and dining clients and taking all the best tables.

300 Reunion Blvd.; 214-571-5784 or wolfgangpuck.com

pecan lodge
Robert Strickland

Bonus: Pecan Lodge

Although this Deep Ellum restaurant does not take reservations, we do have a way to avoid the long line that creeps down Main Street every day at lunchtime. Place a to-go order by phone or in person (via the express lane), and then once you have your food, grab a table and enjoy. Beware: Hangry businessmen are going to stare you down, but it’s so worth it.

2702 Main St.; 214-748-8900 or pecanlodge.com

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