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Best restaurants in Downtown Dallas

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My friend and I will be in Dallas for 4 days for a conference at the end of Nov 2013. The conference is being held at the Dallas Convention Centre and we are staying at the Magnolia Hotel. We will be at the conference during the day, but we are hoping to try out some restaurants for dinner. We will not have access to a car, nor do we want to trek very far by public transportation (the conference starts early in the morning, so we can't stay out very late).

Any recommendations in the Downtown core, preferably within walking distance of the convention centre of the Magnolia Hotel? A lot of the posts on this board are relatively old, so I'm not sure if any of the recommendations have changed. We are interested in foods that may be more unique to Texas (eg TexMex, BBQ, steak, etc.) Upscale dining, hole-in-the-wall places, and everything in between is fine by us! However, we are not interested in Asian food (we are from Toronto).

Thanks for everyone's help!

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  1. Sorry, I realize there was a person who asked a very similar question about 1 month ago. I guess the only difference with my question is that I want the Downtown core?

    1. High quality Asian food pretty much doesn't exist south of 635 so you're ok there. Tei An is the one exception, but not sure if you have easy access to handmade soba in Toronto?

      Not much by the Convention Center unfortunately. Maybe you'll get lucky and food trucks will show up but I wouldn't count on it. You've got a decent set of places nearby the hotel:
      Wild Salsa would be the main place I'd recommend downtown for you, definitely get Tex-Mex there.
      Rusty Taco has a location at Main Street Garden Park, short walk from where you are staying and they're one of the better options downtown to get breakfast tacos.
      You may like Ellen's Southern Kitchen in West End for southern food, but there are better options (ie the places in Bishop Arts mentioned below).
      Also try Stephan Pyles, Samar (currently being renovated but I imagine that'll be done by Nov), or his new place Stampede 66.

      If you're into coffee, Weekend Coffee is inside the Joule hotel (also very close to you) and IMO it's the best option for coffee within downtown.

      As far as BBQ, you likely won't have a chance to do Pecan Lodge, but you could try catching a cab to Lockhart Smokehouse (as well as any of the restaurants in Bishop Arts or nearby - Hattie's, Oddfellows, Tillmans Roadhouse, Bolsa, Driftwood).

      Take the green line DART to Deep Ellum and check out Cane Rosso for neapolitan style pizza. Also taking the trolley into Uptown opens up even more options. Cabbing over to TJ's for seafood would be a great idea too.