Where to eat before a Mavs or Stars game

Grab a bite to eat and a drink or two before cheering on your team.

Posted on Dec 7, 2018 By Nikki Greer Dukowitz

Victory Park is one of the hottest areas in the city. It's hard to deny the energy as you walk through Victory Plaza to the American Airlines Center (AAC) with a hot ticket in your hand. Then comes the most debated question before any outing in the history of mankind – "what do you want for dinner?" I have dwindled your options down to five wonderful, walkable and tasty locales. Here are my favorites to get your pre-game-fan-face on just right.  

Happiest Hour
5 minute walk to AAC

The name doesn't lie. It is really difficult to be in Happiest Hour without a smile. There are great views and lots of space to sit with your friends and contemplate the night. Their local drafts list and drink menu will get you in the spirit. The "happitizer" menu has all your bar favorites. A fan-favorite menu item is the Texas Garlic Toast Grilled Cheese with tomato soup, because life is better and happier with Texas toast.

Cook Hall
5 minute walk to AAC

Cook Hall takes classic American bar treats and adds a modern, refined spin to them. The eclectic menu features upscale comfort food including, southern fried chicken bits, homemade chicken soup and everyone's favorite – a cheese board. Sharing is always encouraged and the portions are plentiful. The menu is limited during game times but there is always something for everyone. Save room for the Pecan Crusted NY Cheesecake to compliment your Old Fashioned cocktail. Your taste buds will thank you.

Olivella's Neo Pizza Napoletana
7 minute walk to AAC

It's pizza. Pizza that Rachael Ray (you know, the one from the Food Network) called "the best pizza in America," and we agree! Straight out of Naples, Italy, this family-run business has two patios and two full bars so you never have to stand or be thirsty while you eat the some of the best pizza in Texas. And the menu is much more than delicious Neapolitan and Roman (Metro) style pizzas. There are sandwiches, pastas and authentic desserts to feed even the pickiest eater. Food allergies are listed on the menu and they will prepare just about anything you request.

5 minute walk to AAC

Mesero is everything you've been missing in Tex-Mex in Dallas. Open doors, delicious smells and bright colors beckon you to enter. The menu is undeniably the biggest Tex-Mex menu in Victory Park. The community plates and shared appetizer menu boasts two types of nachos, THREE types of queso, ceviche, flautas and much more. There is a separate enchilada menu featuring Cremaqueso Enchiladas and Rojas Enchiladas with cilantro cream and chihuahua cheese. Try the Frozé to really get the party started – made with frozen rosé, vodka and Licor 43, a delicious Spanish liqueur. There is nothing more Tex-Mex fancy than that.

L' Italiano Bistro & Bar
1 minute walk to AAC

Victory Park's newest dining option, located directly across the street from the AAC, is a contemporary, upscale Italian bistro. Stunning Victorian windows and French doors invite you inside for a glass of vino and to experience traditional Italian fare true to its roots. Fresh ingredients grace the menu in every dish. From bruschetta to the baked pasta sampler and fried calamari to fried mozzarella, you have plenty of options to carb-up for your night in the arena like the gladiator-fan you are.

4 minute walk to AAC

Make for a star-studded night, beginning to end, by starting with a lavish dining experience at Imoto. Local celebrity Chef Kent Rathbun brings flavors from the East right to the heart of Dallas with his own unique spin. His culinary expertise shines through dishes like the Little Sister's Korean Fried Chicken and Sriracha Butter Roasted King Crab. If you need your sushi fix, hop over to the traditional sushi bar for classic sashimi or their hand-made signature rolls.


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