My husband Brendan and I went on a couple weekend trips this month to end the summer. We explored San Diego in August, and we just got back from Dallas! Brendan got tickets for the NY Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys football game so we made a long weekend out of it. I’m always down to explore a new city!
Where To Stay:
Brendan booked a hotel for us in Downtown Dallas. When I was researching gluten-free friendly restaurants, it seemed that most of the “good” places to eat were further up in Lower Greenville and on McKinney Ave in Uptown. It turns out that Downtown is pretty quiet. It consists of mostly hotels and offices, and not really any restaurants or stores. If/when I go back to Dallas, I will stay at an Airbnb or hotel in Uptown. That area seemed to have the most going on in terms of restaurants, bars, and shopping.
Here’s a direct link to a list of the Dallas restaurants I’ve been to and reviewed:
- Company Cafe
- Kozy Kitchen
- Ocean Prime
- Sprinkles Cupcakes
- True Food Kitchen
- Unrefined Bakery
- Carlo’s Bakery of Cake Boss
- Dylan’s Candy Bar
- Hopdoddy Burger Bar
- Snap Kitchen
- Susie Cakes
- The Capital Grille
- Urban Taco
- Yumilicious Frozen Yogurt
- VERTS Mediterranean Grill
- Water Grill
Running on Katy Trail:
We landed in Dallas late Friday night and woke up ready to go. I asked the hotel where I could run and found out that there is an awesome jogging/walking/biking path less than a mile from Downtown. It’s called the Katy Trail, and it runs through the Uptown and Oak Lawn areas of Dallas. The path is 3.5 miles long so it was the perfect distance for me to get my 8 mile run in. It was fun to see all the people out and about on the path over the weekend. I love running in a new place – it’s the best way for me to get to know my surroundings.
Brunch in Lower Greenville:
After my run, I was pumped for brunch at Company Cafe especially since I knew that the menu was amazing! It’s on Greenville Ave in Lower Greenville which has an eclectic variety of restaurants all within a couple blocks of each other. Everything can be made gluten-free at Company Cafe which made me feel at ease. They serve gluten-free bread, pancakes, French toast, baked goods, buns, biscuits, and more. The food items we ate (and enjoyed) were:
- Stuffed French toast with gluten-free bread, vanilla mascarpone, strawberries, whipped cream
- Paleo Bowl w/ grass-fed beef, two eggs, brussels sprouts, apples, onions, walnuts, carrots, bell peppers, avocado, side of salsa
- Harvest salad w/ pickled onions, berries, goat cheese, candied pecans, mixed greens, side of house vinaigrette, plus avocado
- Loaded sweet potato fries w/ sweet potato fries, cheddar, bacon, green onion, jalapeños, ranch
- Cinnful cake slice which is gluten-free sour cream coffee cake with cinnamon pecan streusel
- Chocolate chip cookies
I recommend all those items. I could go back and get the exact same thing, or order something totally different. Next time, I have to get the bananas foster pancakes and brownie sundae!
Dessert in Lower Greenville:
Next, we walked to Unrefined Bakery which is a 100% gluten-free bakery aka heaven! It’s also 100% soy-free, and they have vegan, paleo, and whole 30 options. They have six locations in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. I tried a bunch of their cupcakes, and I love the wide variety of flavors. Unrefined Bakery also offers assorted breads, muffins, sweet breads, cookies, brownies, and pies.
Brunch on McKinney Ave:
Brendan and I stumbled upon McKinney Ave on our way to brunch on Sunday, and I’m glad we did! It’s a pretty neighborhood – it reminds me a bit of Georgetown and Denver. There’s a free trolley that runs along McKinney Ave which we ended up jumping on after brunch.
We ate at Kozy Kitchen which has an amazing menu. Again, everything can be made gluten-free! Kozy has gluten-free bread, pancakes, French toast, pasta. And all the desserts are gluten-free including their impressive array of cakes and cookies 🙂
You NEED to get the stuffed French toast which is stuffed with a yogurt cream cheese filling, fresh bananas, and berry compote. The bread is so thick, and each bite melts in your mouth. Get it! I always have to get my greens in, and I went with The Kozy salad with organic mixed greens, fresh berries, cucumber, green apples, and blue cheese. Kozy has a bunch of gluten-free sandwiches, and we got the chicken club sandwich with grilled chicken, bacon avocado, mixed greens, tomatoes, aged cheddar, ranch dressing.
I had heard great things about their cakes, and I was in awe of their selection. We ended up sharing a slice of:
- Cookie Monster Cake: Chocolate Cake, a Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Center, topped and filled with Cream Cheese Frosting & Peanut Butter Mousse with Cookie Crumbles
- Nutella Cake: Nutella Chocolate Cake soaked with Espresso, topped & filled with Nutella Cream Cheese Frosting
You can’t go wrong with any of the cakes, but these two were so good. The cookie monster cake has a cookie as one of the layers which is how I want all my cakes going forward! And the Nutella cake is one of the moistest cakes I’ve ever had.
Giants vs. Cowboys Game:
We had some time to kill before heading to the football game that night so we decided to walk to the Omni Hotel and Reunion Tower in Downtown. Brendan had his Giants hat on, and a passing tour guide yelled out to us. Initially, we thought he was teasing us for being Giants fans, but it turns out he had said that the Giants players were getting on their buses across the street at The Westin. We hustled over and saw Eli Manning and OBJ which was really cool!
I’ve been to a couple Giants games at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, and it was fun to see how Texans do football. There isn’t much around the Giants’ stadium so it was different to see crowds of people walking towards AT&T Stadium in Arlington. There were a bunch of people tailgating on the edge of the stadium parking lot. Directly outside the stadium was an outdoor area with a performance stage, vendors, food trucks, and crowds of people. Before the game, there were performances by country singers and and the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders. Spoiler: the Cowboys won the game.
Gluten-Free at the Game:
Before the game, we walked around the stadium so I had a chance to see what the food was like. Sports games typically don’t have too many gluten-free options, if any, so I didn’t have any expectations. It’s better to have low expectations and eat something before, and be pleasantly surprised if there are good GF options. I ate a huge brunch so I knew I would be fine during the game and could grab something afterwards. The stadium has a ton of typical fried stadium food such as massive burgers and hot dogs – they were at least twice the size of a regular one. After all, everything is bigger in Texas!
The gluten-free options at AT&T Stadium include grapes, carrots, frozen custard, and candy/chocolate. Don’t expect to eat a meal there but if you get hungry, know that there are some snack options. After the game, we went to the WalMart next to the stadium for some snacks/dinner.
Mexican Food & FroYo:
Before we left Texas, we had to get some Mexican food! I didn’t plan this meal ahead like I did with the other restaurants. Instead, we walked down McKinney Ave to find a Mexican restaurant. We walked there the day before and remembered passing a couple places. We ended up eating at Urban Taco in Uptown. The chips aren’t gluten-free, but you can request soft corn tortillas. I got a salad, and Brendan got a few tacos.
After lunch, I wanted some frozen yogurt before our flight so we stopped by Yumilicious Frozen Yogurt. It’s a self-serve frozen yogurt place with a bunch of locations in Texas. Each yogurt machine indicates if that flavor is gluten-free – I love that most places do this now.
Gluten-Free Plane Food:
I never expect planes to offer food, let alone gluten-free options. JetBlue offers PopCorners which I always appreciate but the other airlines usually don’t give much. It was a great surprise when I saw that Delta offered four complimentary snacks, and three of them were gluten-free! The GF snacks were:
- oats & honey bar by KIND Snacks
- pretzel sticks
Dallas, you were delicious! Where should I travel next?!