The Best Things to Do in Uptown Dallas

Katy Trail Ice House has a lively patio atmosphere throughout the week
Katy Trail Ice House has a lively patio atmosphere throughout the week | © VisitDallas
Photo of Alex Temblador
23 April 2018

Billy Joel’s song “Uptown Girl” wasn’t written about Dallas’ Uptown, but the atmosphere is almost one in the same. Uptown is Dallas’ upscale neighborhood offering a dynamic place to shop, eat and enjoy nightlife. If that sounds like the place for you, check out our guide to the best things to do in Uptown while you sing, “I’m in love with an uptown girl…”

Jog or bike on the Katy Trail

Transformed from an old rail line to a lovely jogging, walking and biking path, Katy Trail is a premier outdoor fitness area in Uptown. It’s 3.5 miles long with lovely manicured gardens and nature areas on either side. There’s rest stops and water fountains (for both you and your dog) along the way, as well as access to some apartments, businesses and restaurants.

Katy Trail offers a wonderful opportunity for joggers and bikers in Uptown | © Adam / Flickr

Play arcade games and sing karaoke at Kung Fu Saloon

Kung Fu Saloon is the perfect spot for beer, music, good times and…video games! It’s part bar and part arcade with games like Mario Kart, Big Buck Hunter II, Donkey Kong, Centipede, Mortal Kombat, PacMan and even Skeeball. In addition to a full food menu during the day and a DJ at night, Kung Fu Saloon also has private karaoke rooms, making for a fun-filled experience.

Have a hot dog with your dog at Mutt’s

Mutt’s Canine Cantina is the place to be seen with your furry best friend. The casual restaurant serves hot dogs and burgers (as well as dog treats) on an outdoor patio that connects with their fenced-in dog park. Pet owners often hang around with drinks and food, while dogs run free playing with other pups in the lot. Keep in mind, there is a small fee for dogs to enter the park, but it’s often worth it to see your dog making friends.

Sunday-funday on one of the many patios

Uptown’s patio game is strong, making it the perfect place to really get into the Sunday-funday spirit. Some Uptown patio favorites include Katy Trail Ice House, which connects to the Katy Trail and is filled with wooden tables and benches and is lit by strings of light at night. Play a giant game of beer pong on the backyard patio of The Social House or enjoy downtown Dallas views and a stylish atmosphere at Happiest Hour on its rooftop patio.

Katy Trail Ice House has a lively patio atmosphere throughout the week | © VisitDallas

Barhop along McKinney Avenue

McKinney Avenue is lined with restaurants that turn into bars at night, making it easy to barhop into the wee hours. The bars of McKinney Avenue generally attract a young, college or professional clientele. Blackfriar Pub is a popular bar hangout, set in a two-story house with a laid-back beer garden. The Idle Rich Pub is a traditional Irish pub with a good selection of beers. Where Nickle and Rye is an upscale bar with a rustic interior, Theory Nightclub is the great place to dance to hip-hop and Top 40 hits. If you make your way through McKinney Avenue’s bar selection, there’s plenty of other bars and clubs off Routh Street.

Take the free trolley to the shops of West Village

The M-Line Trolley is an old-fashioned trolley that connects Uptown and downtown. Hop on and off the free trolley as you make your way through Uptown or ride it all the way to the shops of West Village, an area filled with restaurants, yoga studios and an outdoor shopping center with boutiques and upscale, name-brand stores.

The McKinney Avenue Trolley provides free trolley rides throughout Uptown | © Joseph Haubert / Courtesy of VisitDallas

Ride the mechanical bull at Trophy Room

There’s nothing more that screams “Texas” than a mechanical bull, and that’s exactly what you’ll find at the Trophy Room. This Uptown bar is lined with taxidermied animals and has a lively vibe thanks to a large bar, arcade games and a mechanical bull on the patio. Visitors wait in line for a chance to ride the bucking bull, while others watch on in glee. Be aware: drinking and riding might result in falling off.

Listen to live music at The Rustic

Uptown isn’t really known for having a lot of live music venues, so The Rustic stands out. The Rustic is a restaurant with home-style meals like quail, pork chops and steak, and a bar with a wide selection of Texas beers, ciders, wine and cocktails. However, it’s the large backyard with a full stage that’s the true gem. Visitors can sit at picnic tables or in chairs around firepits and listen to bands and singers perform on most days of the month. Most concerts feature country, rock and roll, pop, indie and/or folk music.

Kirk Thurmond & The Millennials perform at The Rustic | © Leah Jones / Flickr

Have a fancy meal

Uptown is the upscale neighborhood of Dallas, so it’s generally the place you want to go for a fancy meal. Have some of the best Japanese around at the sleek and modern Uchi. There’s a vast selection of pricey steak and seafood restaurants in Uptown such as Nick & Sam’s, Perry’s Steakhouse and Grill, Truluck’s and Morton’s The Steakhouse. Dolce Riviera is an elegant restaurant with Italian cuisine like handmade pastas, while Dragonfly is the best place for a refined American meal.

Perry's Steakhouse & Grille is one of many upscale restaurants in Dallas' Uptown | © Kurman Communications, Inc. / Flickr

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