8 scenic spots around town perfect for outdoor dining
Posted on May 16, 2019 By Angela Roe
Ah, sweet summertime - when it's totally acceptable to scarf dinner poolside in your swimsuit, and flip flops are part of your daily uniform. With the kids out of school, it's the best time to pack family meals and switch up the scenery. Check out some of these well-known (plus some surprising) picnic spots around town.
Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
Grab dinner onsite at the Arboretum for the Cool Thursdays Concert Series from now through June, then September-October. Food trucks like Ruthie's Rolling Cafe and Smoky Rose have tasty options for you to enjoy on the Arboretum lawn while taking in sounds from tribute bands playing Journey or The Beach Boys. Purchase tickets and check the food truck schedule here. During the day year-round, the Arboretum is a serene, picturesque place to spread out on a blanket and dine.
Nosh on your favorite snacks while hanging out with exotic animals. During the summer, bring the family to Safari Nights on Saturdays to hear live music while enjoying a picnic and a cool breeze. The Dallas Zoo allows guests to pack their own food and eat there for any visit. Bantu Barbecue or the Prime Meridian Cafe sell plenty of savory dishes, too, if you don't have time to prepare food beforehand! Grab a picnic table wherever you like at the zoo - just don't give any morsels to the tigers or elephants, and you'll be fine.
Head to the southern part of the city to Oak Cliff's expansive Kiest Park. The green space boasts tennis and sand volleyball courts, a playground, and tables ready for picnicking. Consider a trip to the Bishop Arts District before settling at the park. A pie from Eno's Pizza Tavern and dessert from Emporium Pies would complete the picnic experience.
Klyde Warren Park
It may not sound relaxing to hang out atop a massive freeway, but there's something about Klyde Warren's vibe that makes you want to stay awhile. In addition to the myriad of activities fit for the family, including a lending library, music programming, and a game center, the park features weekly food truck drop-ins from local favorites like The Butcher's Son and Yummy Pizza. The charming atmosphere and quaint tables at the park set the backdrop for a meal to remember. Wander to the Arts District after eating to make a day of it!
Venture over to Turtle Creek, and you'll forget you're in Dallas. Nestled in a quiet Highland Park neighborhood, Lakeside Park is a perfect, off-the-beaten-path picnic destination. Swing through the drive-thru at Bubba's, or pick up breakfast tacos plus a latte at Royal Blue Grocery in Highland Park Village, and grab a bench at the park. Remember to pose for photos with the huge teddy bear statues!
More than a shopping mall, the retail giant features a beautiful courtyard area right in its center. For a more upscale picnic, dine al fresco at BreadWinner's, or snag treats from La Duni to eat on the lawn. And with Italian food court concept Eataly coming to NorthPark in 2020, there'll be even more options for to-go dining. You'll find families spending hours taking a shopping break in the mall courtyard during the spring and summer months, and for good reason!
Preston Hollow Park/Preston Royal Village
There's a small park and playground in Preston Hollow in North Dallas that you could escape to after patronizing any of the wonderful options in Preston Royal Village. Eatzi's or Zoe's Kitchen have great quick and fresh lunch plates, and you could stop into independent bookstore Interabang Books for a new book. There's nothing like a Mediterranean salad, an engrossing story, and a hammock in the park.
Ronald Kirk Bridge
Don't forget about this gorgeous bridge overlooking the Trinity River when planning outdoor adventures. Whether you're there for yoga, boot camp, or kids' activities, it's prime picnic real estate. You can bring your own food or check out their daily food truck offerings. Either way, there's always something going on!