The Perfect Parks Next to Our Favorite Restaurants

You already know we can’t get enough of Dallas’ beautiful city parks and the picnicking options they offer. But what could be better than an urban oasis whose next-door neighbor just happens to be one of Dallas’ most delectable restaurants? Imagine placing your order to-go, grabbing your food, escaping the crowds and then dining al fresco at a peaceful green space mere blocks away. To help you enjoy your next meal in the great outdoors, we’re highlighting our three favorite Dallas park-and-restaurant pairings.

If you’ve never visited Oak Cliff’s Lake Cliff Park (300 East Colorado Blvd.), you might be surprised at its size. At over 44 acres and featuring baseball fields, garden areas, playgrounds, basketball courts, tennis courts and — as a centerpiece to it all — a distinctive sunken lake, this park is one of the city park system’s crown jewels. Lake Cliff Park is also located less than a half-mile away from the Spiral Diner and Bakery (1101 N. Beckley Ave.). Known for its vegan recipes, Spiral Diner is most renowned (and beloved) for its plant-based, cruelty-free takes on comfort food. We recommend picking up an order of their famous nachos (made with a cashew-based cheese you’ll swear is the real thing) — and don’t forget dessert. The Cookies n’ Cream milkshake will satisfy even the biggest Oreo-lovers.

Just northwest of Downtown Dallas in the Oak Lawn area, Reverchon Park (3505 Maple Ave.) has been delighting Dallasites for over a century. Whether you want to hike a few trails, peruse the gardens or even play sand volleyball, the park is more than equipped to meet your needs. But first, we recommend fueling up at the nearby 18th & Vine (4100 Maple Ave.). This isn’t your typical barbecue joint — with all apologies to the Hill Country, it’s Kansas City all the way, complete with burnt ends and special smoking techniques that are unique to the Dallas BBQ scene. Stop by on a Saturday or Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and pick up one of their barbecue-themed brunch items, such as the pulled pork breakfast burrito, before making your way to Reverchon. And when it gets cold outside, head back for an in-dining experience. The restaurant is known for its upstairs jazz venue.

Lastly, the next time you’re looking to explore the fine dining to be found between Uptown and Downtown Dallas, start your excursion by taking a detour to Griggs Park (3200 Colby St.). This tiny area is tucked inside the State-Thomas neighborhood and doesn’t get much foot traffic due to its semi-hidden location, even though it provides spectacular views of the city skyline. And Si Tapas (2207 Allen St.), which serves small Spanish plates that make perfect aperitivos, sits only two blocks away. Simply pick up a few snackable, reasonably-priced dishes such as the patatas con chorizo (potatoes with chorizo) or the ham croquettes and enjoy a romantic evening with a view.

Where’s your favorite place to grab a to-go order and sit outside? Put aside your reservations and share your top recommendations with us on Facebook and Twitter.