6 Things To Do On A Date In The Design District

I might be a bit biased, but I think there a few other neighborhoods in the city outside of the Design District that can offer such an eclectic mix of things to do without ever leaving the zip code. With more and more businesses opening in the area every day, the old Trinity Industrial District has a little something for everyone, and, if you’re with the right person, it can all seem kind of romantic. That said, here’s how to have a killer date in the 75207:

954647_462465133837891_1577930118_n1. Local Beer. Start with a brewery tour at Community Beer Company, Peticolas, or, if you’re really planning ahead, the soon-to-open Reunion Brewing Company. Community has tours every Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m., sometimes with live music and local art, and it’s only $8 for four beer tickets. They also have Beer School every other Saturday if you want to add an educational element to your date. Peticolas is open on the first and third Saturdays of the month from 1 to 3 p.m, and is $10 for 3 tickets. We’ll keep you posted on Reunion’s opening schedule, but until then you can follow them on Facebook to see what’s going on.


2. Art. Luckily, the brewery tours end right in time for Dragon Street’s gallery walk, which takes place on one Saturday evening a month. During the walk, most galleries will open their doors from 5 to 8 p.m. to debut their latest exhibits, complete with complimentary wine and beer. If you miss the Dragon Street walk, you can do a little art walk of your own. Most of the galleries are open until 5 or 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and there’s some cool public art in the Design District you can check out as well. Impress your date by showing him or her the JMR murals behind 1130 Dragon Street and on the Dallas Contemporary Museum, or the Shepard Fairey mural at 141 Glass Street.

JMR finishing his mural at 1130 Dragon St. in Fall 2012; Shepard Fairey’s mural at 141 Glass St.

3. Dinner. There’s no shortage of options when it comes to good restaurants in the Design District.
If you’re looking for something a little more affordable, I would stick to PakPao or the Meddlesome Moth. Both are perfect for dates since the menus are heavily focused on shared plates. If you want to splurge, head to Oak or FT33; Oak is great for cosmopolitan plates with an international flair, FT33 for local, farm-to-table dishes. If you want to go casual and super cheap, try the drive-in Hickory House BBQ on Riverfront or the best-ever Fuel City Tacos (a little South of the actual “Design District,” but still in the same zip code!)

Cocktails & Mussels at PakPao

4. Dessert. If you have any room left after dinner, walk over to Ascension to share a bottle of wine or a Kyoto brew over dessert. I recommend the cheese plate or Orange Cardamom Créme Brulee.

5. Late-Night Bowling. Thank God for Bowlounge, bringing old-school bowling and craft beer to the Design District since last week. Games are only $5, and it’s open until midnight on weekdays, 2 a.m. on the weekends. Feel free to end your date here or proceed to #6.

The bar & lanes at Bowlounge

6. Secret Skyline Views. One of my favorite things about the Design District is its access to the best views of the skyline in the city. The easiest way to enjoy the view is to grab a blanket and find a spot on the levee. My go-to access point is on E. Levee Street between Cole and Glass; the security patrol might approach you, but, based on my experience, they’ll let you stay. Another option is to get access to the rooftop of Trinity Loft or the viewing deck at 1400 Hi Line.

Trinity Loft Evening 003
View from Trinity Loft rooftop

Of course, this is a lot to do on one date, so feel free to mix and match. If you’re on a budget, hit up the art galleries and murals, and take a picnic and a bottle of wine up to a rooftop or the levee — easy and cheap! If it’s payday, have one course at each restaurant and share a fancy bottle at Ascension. And, of course, if you don’t have a date, do all of this with your friends.

Cover image: “We Belong Together” from Susan O’Malley at Galleri Urbane Marfa + Dallas