Downtown Fort Worth, Texas
NTREIS data last updated January 30, 2023.
Downtown Fort Worth Guide
Fort Worth has lived through booms and busts since its founding in 1849. “Texas Strong” is not just a slogan—it’s a way of life. Through all the hardships, Fort Worth always found a way to have a good time. Maybe Austin keeps it weird, but here in Fort Worth we keep it fun. And funky. Even the lowest slug can find their happy place in Cowtown. Nicknames article
Somehow Fort Worth holds onto its cowboy roots but has grown into a diverse cultural experience with something for everyone. Our guide will get you dancing, drinking, eating, exercising, learning, eating, drinking (we mentioned those two already, didn’t we?) and much more.
This Downtown Fort Worth Guide is just a sampling of what to do and where to do it in Panther City. Whether you’re wild, hip, subdued, adventurous, or just way super bored, you’ll find something to light your fire in our guide.
Hold onto your hat, here we go…
Put on your dancing shoes and…what’s that? Which dancing shoes? Now that depends on where you plan to step out. Men basically get to wear something comfy like loafers or high tops. For the ladies, well, Ginger Rogers could do everything Fred Astaire did – just backwards in high heels. Keep it country and everyone can don their cowboy boots.
The family-owned and operated Stagecoach Ballroom has been shaking their Western booties since 1961. In the 1980s the venue was used for the movie “Square Dance” starring Wynona Ryder and Rob Lowe. Check out their 3500 square foot dance floor.
If you love music from the 80s and 90s, hit up Studio80. One dance floor plays 80s music; the other 90s tunes. (Yes, there’s a difference!) It tends toward an older crowd, but young folks are welcome. Oddly, their website tells you almost nothing about the place. Head over to Yelp to learn more from actual customers.
Pura Fort Worth
Salsa dancing is a blast to do – or to just watch. You can watch and learn at Pura Fort Worth (part of Salsa Dallas). Although Salsa originated in Cuba, today there are many different styles of salsa dancing. There’s Miami, Cali, and Venezuelan. New York style has a heavy jazz influence. But the dance genre continues to evolve. Pura Fort Worth has monthly socials and other salsa events. Or learn salsa, bachata, Mambo & Cha-cha-cha online.
Dance With Me USA
Dance With Me USA is home to Maks & Val Chmerkovskiy from Dancing With the Stars. Learn Ballroom, Latin, hip hop, wedding dance instruction, contemporary, ballet, jazz, and partner dancing in all styles in private, group, or online classes. They even offer wheelchair dance lessons. Prepare for your night out by learning how to dance. Then practice before you go out into the real world with Dance With Me USA’s unique social dance parties.
It’s okay to tie one on once in a while but remember to stay safe and put your drunken butt in an Uber, when necessary. Your mom told us to tell you that.
Nickel City Bar
For you dive-bar lovers, Nickel City Bar is the place to be. Or just order some sliders, Coney dogs, grilled cheese, hot wings, or other good, greasy food to go. Don’t worry, real drinks are available for take out too.
Pinstripes is a bistro, bar, bowling, and bocce rolled into one cool place. They offer private events for you shy types. The bistro is Italian-American fare. They have a pizza bar and wine cellar too. See it all from home with their virtual tour.
Rancho Loma Vinyards
Rancho Loma Vinyards has a wine tasting room on the Southside of downtown Fort Worth. They offer wine flight menus (a variety of wines, 2 ounces each), by the glass, or by the bottle. They also have events, such as the Beignets & Mimosas and Reata Night.
Maple Branch Craft Brewery
Enjoy local craft beer at Maple Branch Craft Brewery. This ain’t no Bud Light bar. They offer a variety of IPAs and other locally-sourced beer like the Travelers Tale blonde ale and Those Were the Daze IPA. See what’s on tap before you head over:
The owners, Stuart and Allyssa Maples, are dog-lovers and will accommodate your well-behaved pup with water bowls. (Sorry, no beer for Fido.)
The variety of chow available in downtown Fort Worth is just stunning. You could try a different type of cuisine nearly every day for a month. Here’s just a sampling.
BBQ – Woodshed Smokehouse
Woodshed Smokehouse offers BBQ for humans and doggies. Two-legged animals can order regular smoked fare from their menu or more unique items like smoked pork empanadas, smoked bok beer cheese fondue, or lamb brisket. Fido can woof out an order of organic beef rib bone, organic peanut butter bone, or a rawhide bone dipped in pit master fat. Then your pup can wash it down with Chef Tim Love’s rain water. You can drink something stronger.
Tex Mex – Mi Cocina
Mi Cocina in Sundance Square offers great Tex Mex in downtown Fort Worth. Order Shrimp Brochette or Nachos Locos for an appetizer. Then really fill ‘er up with Ribeye Fajitas or Sunset Enchiladas. They also have a variety of tequilas and wines.
Catch of the Day – Boo-Ray’s of New Orleans
Boo-Ray’s of New Orleans has the classic Louisiana entrees that Texans love like their Blackened Catfish and Jambalaya. If you like it extra fishy, select from their Catch of the Day menu: mahi-mahi, gulf redfish, tilapia, and salmon. Landlubbers can just order a big burger or blackened chicken with a side of andouille red beans. Wash it all down with one of the 17 craft beers they have on tap.
Around the World in 80 Days
You can enjoy amazing international cuisine in downtown Fort Worth. We dare you to try it all in 80 days or less.
Sushi - Hatsuyuki Handroll Bar
To date, 359 Yelp reviewers are raving about Hatsuyuki Handroll Bar. Their Salmon Sashimi is a big hit as is their crab roll. The restaurant has an excellent Facebook page with many photos and videos.
Chinese – Cannon Chinese Kitchen
Cannon Chinese Kitchen is set in a restored 1930s home. Their claim to fame is “fresh produce and quality meats prepared with unique Chinese ingredient.” The result is flavorful and delish Chinese dishes like Pork and Leek Dumplings and Kung Pao Chicken. Other options not seen on your typical Chinese takeout menu are Smashed Cucumber Salad and Red Oil Dumplings.
Thai / Vietnamese – Malai Kitchen
We’ve never seen Thai and Vietnamese food under one roof – but then we don’t get out much. Malai Kitchen offers both cuisines. Specialties include Red Curry Icelandic Cod and Banh Mi Vietnamese Sandwich. Add in a little Texan flair with their Thai Tacos with Pork or Vietnamese Barbecue Pork Ribs.
Indian – King’s Kitchen
King’s Kitchen has authentic crispy starters and saucy curries. Oddly, they also serve Alfredo and Pesto pastas. Hey, it’s Funky Town – anything goes. Order online: https://www.kingskitchenrestaurant.com/order-online
Whip out your wallet and cleanse your pallet with these fancy downtown Fort Worth restaurants. Warning: You may have to work some overtime hours.
Best Steakhouse – Del Frisco’s
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse is the place to go for a quality hunk o’ beef. They have 45-day aged prime ribeyes and strips. There are plenty of seafood options too. Get their Seafood Tower as a starter or their Seared Chilean Sea Bass as your main meal.
You can also buy meat from their butcher shop and grill it at home. Filet mignon, NY strip, Porterhouse steaks, and more. They even have that fancy Wagyu beef.
Best Italian – Ristorante La Piazza
Ristorante La Piazza creates Italian classics like Mama used to make. (Well, maybe not your mama…) All served in an elegant dining room. Entrees include Piccata Al Limone (veal sauteed in butter, lemon juice and white wine) and Linguine Ai Frutti Di Mare (seafood medley in a marinara sauce over linguine). They also serve fine wines.
Best French – Saint-Emilion Restaurant
Get your French on at Saint-Emilion Restaurant. Begin your culinary adventure with Escargots Bourguigonne. (Snails in garlic and parsley butter, but don’t order it that way.) Move onto the classic Coq Au Vin (chicken thighs braised in red wine) or Moules – Frites (steamed mussels in white wine). They have several desserts including a Parisian Apple Tart and Crème Brulèe.
There are more ways to amuse yourself than just going to the mall or catching a movie. (Although there are lots of places to do that in downtown Fort Worth.) Here are some ideas:
Cowtown Bowling was rated Best Bowling Center in Fort Worth three years running.
Beginners through advanced golfers can take lessons at TopGolf. They offer individual and group instruction as well as classes. https://topgolf.com/us/fort-worth/play/golf-lessons/ One of the best local golf courses is Colonial Country Club. However, it’s a private, member-owned club by invitation only. Go make a friend.
(There is an article I wrote that mentions it)
Sharp Objects & Things That Go Bang
Who knew that playing with sharp objects could be so much fun? For virtual gun slingin’ hit up Stockyards Gunfighter. No live bullets flying around to hurt the kids or Uncle Jack. The sharp axes might be a bit more problematic. Be heads up and y’all will be fine throwing axes at the Fort Worth Axe Factory. For laser tag, billiards, rock climbing, and more (with a burger on the side) there’s the Main Event.
Whether you’re an old dog or a pup, you can learn new tricks. Explore your creative side with pottery lessons at Garret Pendergrass Pottery. Or release your inner Picasso at Studio Sabka. Or go old-school with sewing classes at Suddenly Sewing.
Ain’t nothing wrong with going to the mall, but how ‘bout supporting your local artisans? Downtown Fort Worth has a whole bunch of talented artists offering one-of-a-kind pieces.
Artspace One Eleven holds exhibitions for local painters. The Rodeo Show featured several artists including Linda Blackburn, Rima Canaan Lee, Donna Howell-Sickles, and Jo LeMay Rutledge. You can buy limited edition prints and other original items online.
Discover hand-crafted designs by master jeweler Branden Smith at the Sovereign Jewelry Company. There you will find some of the most gorgeous wedding bands and engagement rings you’ve ever seen. He can also custom design a piece just for you.
How long you been in Cowtown without a good pair of cowboy boots? Rod Patrick Boots are high quality, handmade, boots meant to kick up your heels or kick up some dirt. Treat yourself to pair that will last for many years.
The (Yawn) Mall
Okay, okay. You just want to know where the mall is. Fine. Here are your choices:
Sundance Square has the Dallas Cowboys Pro Shop and Overland Sheepskin Company. West Seventh is reserved for rich hipsters or those who like to gawk at them. University Park Village has Sephora and Runway Seven. Happy now?
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