Cold Weather Date Night Ideas
Dallas is a true mixture of nationalities and cultures from all over the globe, but because of our southern location on the U.S. map, we benefit the most from an infusion of Latin flavors and traditions as people from Mexico to South America have settled in these parts over the past several centuries.
Immerse yourself in authentic experiences and the vibrant Hispanic culture found throughout Dallas - it always delivers one delicious or delightful surprise after another. Read on for some suggestions for exploring the Latin mainstays around town.
In Latin culture, café (coffee) is an essential start to every day and a ritual that anyone can enjoy. Start your day off right at La Duni, a local restaurant and bakery with two locations that takes pride in blending European traditions with Latin American soul. Any number of fresh pastries offered will make an incredible accompaniment to your coffee. Espumoso Empanada + Espresso Bar has terrific options, including a yummy Dulce de Leche Latte, plus breakfast tacos and pastries. El Portón Coffee features several coffees from producers in South America that truly care about the craft of coffee making and fair trade. Xamán Café serves an excellent cafe de olla and agua de chocolate. Latino-owned Peaberry Coffee offers a line of canned cold brews that you can pack away in your suitcase to enjoy back home, too. And Hola Café invites guests into its tiny-but-chic space for Honduras-inspired offerings. ¡Que rico!
Now that you're fueled up and ready to go, the Dallas Latino Cultural Center (LCC) is your next stop. The LCC, just steps away from Deep Ellum and the Dallas Arts District, combines several branches of the arts to tell a story of Hispanic heritage. The organization's purpose is to preserve, develop and promote Latino and Hispanic art and culture. You can visit the center anytime for free, but check the calendar for ticketed events.
Shop For Treasures
One of the best places in Dallas to find some truly fun items is ABC Party HQ in Oak Cliff. There you can pick up incredibly detailed (and sometimes topical) piñatas, as well as jewelry, home accessories, and several items dedicated to beloved cultural icons Selena and Frida Kahlo
Get a Sweet Treat
Less than a mile away from ABC Party HQ, CocoAndré Chocolatier & Horchateria creates decadent chocolate truffles and treats with European techniques and Mexican flavors, including dulce de leche, mole, and tequila. Add an icy cup of the traditional rice-based drink, horchata, available in a variety of flavors from pecan to strawberry.
Make a Journey Along the Margarita Mile
Dallas is the birthplace of the frozen margarita machine (thanks, Mariano's!), but we're also home to so many different types of ice-cold tequila drinks that you need a map to help navigate the best of the best. Well, you're in luck because Dallas is home to the Visit Dallas created the Margarita Mile where you can partake in more than 20 superb variations at your own pace in neighborhoods all over the city. So you can easily squeeze a margarita into this itinerary whenever and wherever you like.
Dance the Night Away
Cafe Salsera in Deep Ellum has become a must-visit for not only delicious food, but late-night dancing into the wee hours of the morning. Salsa dancing is extremely popular and you can watch everyone feeling the rhythm on the dance floor or if you're lucky, you might be able to take part in lessons to look like an expert yourself one day.
A Mosaic of Tastes
Whether you have a specific craving or hope to discover something altogether new to tantalize your taste buds, Dallas restaurants have you covered for all things Latin. On any given day you can enter Zaguan and be transported to Venezuela, Colombia, or Argentina in one hot minute. Havana Cafe offers a variety of Cuban favorites from mojitos to croquetas. RJ Mexican Cuisine has long been a West End staple for traditional Mexican favorites, as well as nearby DowntownVictory Park-set Taqueria La Ventana, El Fenix, and Meso Maya - a trio of restaurants from the same owners that deliver entirely different Mexican food experiences. Mario's brings together Mexican and Salvadorian dishes on one menu. And Dallas was the home to the first U.S. location of Fogo de Chão, a popular global chain of Brazilian steakhouses.
Latino Life, Latino Art
The Dallas Museum of Art is one of the best places to submerge yourself in Latino history. Located right in the middle of the Dallas Arts District, the DMA is a free museum full of an impressive collection of art from across the world. The Ancient American collection represents Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, Colombia, Peru, and other countries. Take your time, walk around and uncover so many stories and traditions of so many of our neighbors to the south.
Light It Up!
You've made it through the day, now you're ready for a night out! Candleroom is your destination for the ultimate Latin dance party. With their hand-crafted cocktails and sizzling sounds, International Fridays are where you want to be. Located in the sophisticated Knox/Henderson neighborhood, Candleroom promises to provide a great time. And for a Latin LGBTQ+ experience, make sure to stop in for drinks and dancing at Havana Bar and Grill in Oak Lawn.
Need a Ride?
Check the schedule for Dallas’ light rail system DART and the free M-Line Trolley for convenient rides through the Downtown Dallas and surrounding areas.