Dallas doesn't see much cold weather. When the temperature drops below 50, it's imperative to play it up for all it's worth. You need to pull out the turtlenecks and strap on your boots, then seek out the coziest spots in town. Fire's what you need — a blazing fireplace you can gaze at while supping on casseroles and other wintry foods.
In our cozy pursuit, firepits and other patio warmers don't count. The fire must be inside, and in restaurants only. For bars with fireplaces, we have a list here.
These are 10 of the best restaurant fireplaces in town:
Henderson Avenue spot is noted for many things. There is its perfect location, its selection of beer, and its epic brunch, not to mention the trailblazing role it took in making the street the hotbed it is. But Capitol also has a fine fireplace, making it an even cozier hangout than it already is. It's the ideal backdrop for digging into the shepherd's pie, the ultimate cold-weather dish.
The crackling fire at this Henderson Avenue pizzeria blazes inside the restaurant's oven. And to be honest, you could put any Neapolitan-style pizzeria on this list, because they all feature wood-burning ovens. But Fireside Pies is a smaller space than its peers, and that makes the oven an even more dominating presence inside the restaurant. If you sit at the bar, with your triple 'roni pizza and your glass of red, you can just about feel the heat on your nose.
Restaurant-bar north of the Knox District wins the fireplace prize, as it has three separate burners on-site — that includes one on the patio and another in the speakeasy upstairs. But Henry's showpiece is its distinctive circular gas-fired piece, planted in the center, that forms a fiery partition between the dining room and the bar. You can spy it from any seat in the house. For warming fare, consider the mussels or, better yet, a bowl of pho.
La Hacienda Ranch
La Hacienda is part of the Mariano's chain, and nearly all of its siblings have some kind of stately fire feature. La Hacienda Ranch is particularly beckoning in chilly weather with its lodge-like atmosphere. Mariano's is not afraid to go big. Its fireplaces are massive structures clad with stone, with mantles made from rough-hewn logs, mounted deer heads (just try to avoid eye contact), and antler chandeliers. Fajitas and steaks are the thing, but the giant burrito filled with rice and beef might get you through the entire winter.
East Dallas gastropub has become better known for its outdoor sandpit, where carefree parents dump their spawn and make a beeline for the cocktails. That's not fair, not when there's a lovely fireplace mounted on the wall, its flames flickering every day, through summer and fall. This is the time of the year to appreciate that, as you snack from a menu that's way more creative than one might expect. There are meatballs made with bison, fried cheese curds, and a sandwich with house-made cashew butter.
Ozona Grill & Bar
People love this SMU-area restaurant-bar for things like its West Texas-styled weekend brunch (served on both Saturdays and Sundays); its good food at affordable prices; and its patio, sprawled out like a magical maze, strung with lights, and boasting a two-story fireplace covered with stones. But there's another, even cozier, fireplace inside, waiting for you to sit in front of it with some chips, queso, and a bloody Mary.
Veteran West Dallas restaurant possesses many points in its favor including its smoked meats, award-winning brunch, and adjacent bar hangout. It also possesses one of the more chic fireplaces on this list. It's situated in the midst of the diner din, all super-casual, like you're in someone's living room, fronted by a constellation of easy chairs where you can have a drink and a snack.
There's a serious kitchen at this Flower Mound restaurant, and a seriously tasteful design to match, with lots of woods, including lacquered wood tables and Eames-inspired bentwood chairs. The fireplace is on the wall, with planks of wood angled downward as a focus for the eye. The menu ranges from arugula salads to BLTs, but go for one of the German-inspired dishes like pierogies and schnitzel, which seems right for the season.
North Dallas restaurant aspires to be the prototypical steakhouse, with big steaks and big wines, aiming for a spot between traditional and Texan. Thus, you find liberal use of brick and stone set against chandeliers made from antlers. The fireplace is surprisingly muted: A long narrow linear gas unit set into a wall, it acts more as a visual room divider than a source of warmth — effective only if the mere sight of a fire warms you up.
Well-stocked Henderson Avenue wine room sneaks onto this list as it is neither restaurant nor bar. But they do serve fine wine and edibles to go with, including meats, cheeses, olives, nuts, and chocolates. There are also regularly scheduled dinners starring guest chefs. And a very cozy fireplace setup. Of all the days for the temperature to drop and for you to be in need of a warm nook, pray for Mondays, when wines by the glass are half-price.