What to Do in Oak Lawn

The best dining, hotels and things to do in Dallas' most colorful neighborhood.

Dalila Brent
Posted on May 23, 2022

Dallas is a city full of fun and interesting neighborhoods. When you're looking for a scenic area to frolic, find food and shop, make Oak Lawn your go-to stop. The area, just north of Downtown Dallas and minutes away from all the action in Uptown, is home to young professionals, long-time residents and Dallas' thriving LGBTQ+ community. With so many options to choose from, we've narrowed down some must-try spots to visit while in the Big D.


One of the best ways to explore a new area is to dive into the restaurant scene, and Oak Lawn isn't lacking in that category. In the mood for Italian? Carbone's is the undeniable go-to. From the spinach lasagna to the tortellini vodka to the fried ravioli, this neighborhood staple dishes out quality cuisine day-in and day-out. And if you have a sweet tooth, visit Chocolate Secrets for truffles, bonbons, Texas-shaped sweets and more! Not sure what you want to eat? Head to Parigi, an Oak Lawn staple with a robust menu boasting decedent favorites from the lobster "knuckle" sandwich to the risotto to the wild boar bolognese. If time is of the essence, pop into Eatzi's Market & Bakery for an array of grab-and-go options, from cinnamon rolls to daily dinner specials–even pizza specials on Fridays!


If nature is your thing, exploring the many parks and trails in and near Oak Lawn should be high on your list. On any given day, Katy Trail is filled with runners, walkers, and bikers alike. Take a casual stroll around Turtle Creek Park or visit Reverchon Park which features basketball and tennis courts, and picnic tables for the perfect outdoor lunch.


When you're staying for the weekend, you don't have to leave Oak Lawn to find the perfect hotel! For classic, ultra-luxe accommodations, the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek and the Warwick Melrose–both built in the 1920s–are two of the best options. Each property oozes opulence, from the spacious upscale rooms to the pools and spa, to the dining options. If DIY is your thing, RSVP for their signature margarita-making class with a Rosewood Mansion bartender or check out their host of other rotating DIY events. Enjoy an evening of live jazz at the Warwick's Library Bar, which features cocktails, bites, and even happy hour specials.


The bar and nightlife scene continues to grow in the Oak Lawn area. If dive bars are your speed, visit The Grapevine on Maple Ave or venture to JR's, which houses three bars, one overlooking Cedar Springs. Sue Ellen's, on Throckmorton, is Texas' oldest lesbian bar where dancing is highly encouraged. This two-story venue hosts live bands and weekly karaoke nights. While Oak Lawn Avenue's Tulum is technically a Mexican restaurant, it transforms into a vibrant bar with pulsing beats and tropical drinks–pretty much every but the sand.