Dallas' 50 Most Interesting Restaurants, No. 25: Cafe Urbano

Thumbnail image for Urbano Cafe Bolognese.jpg
Catherine Downes
Leading up to our annual Best of Dallas® issue, we're counting down the 50 most interesting restaurants in Dallas. These spots bring something unique or compelling to the city's dining scene, feeding both your appetite and soul. Find more interesting places on our all-new Best Of app for iTunes or Android.

Look to that bowl of tagliatelle swimming in a hearty Bolognese. It's a reliable and sturdy dish you could order over several evening meals and never get bored. When heading to Cafe Urbano, don't forget to make a reservation and bring a bottle of your best vino. Actually, bring your second best bottle too, because you're going to want to stick around. This East Dallas restaurant is a neighborhood hangout of the highest order.

Thankfully, the restaurant added a second dining room so there's more seating to go around. It's in the same building but two doors down from the first address, which makes Cafe Urbano one of the few full service restaurants where the waitstaff have to use a sidewalk to deliver food from the kitchen. What's bad for them is good for you, though. Now you have your choice of the quiet original room with bright yellow walls, or the dimly lit space filled with the roar of some obviously very happy diners.

Urbano's Italian roots are just the start. The menu takes you on a wild ride of world flavors with a distinct slant towards Asian ingredients. The results are an "Italian" meal that's completely original, and judging by the dining room the locals are into it.

Almost too into it.

You did make that reservation, right?

urbano cheap.jpg
No. 50: Joyce and Gigi's
No. 49: East Hampton Sandwich Co.
No. 48: 20 Feet Seafood Joint
No. 47: Taj Chaat House
No. 46: Mot Hai Ba
No. 45: La Nueva Fresh and Hot
No. 44: Pera Turkish Kitchen
No. 43: Tom's Burgers and Grill
No. 42: Mughlai
No. 41: Russian Banya
No. 40: Off-Site Kitchen
No. 39: Bachman Lake Taqueria
No. 38: Carbone's
No. 37: Babe's
No. 36: Barbacoa Estilo Hidalgo
No. 35: Zaguan
No. 34: Royal Sichuan
No. 33: Spoon
No. 32: Bambu
No. 31: Pecan Lodge
No. 30: FT33
No. 29: Keller's Drive-In
No. 28: La Pasadita
No. 27: Ten Bells Tavern
No. 26: El Ranchito

Location Info

Venue

Map

Urbano Cafe

1410 N. Fitzhigh Ave., Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant

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8 comments
CitizenKane
CitizenKane

49th is missing from the above list.......

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

"quiet original room"???? are you serious? the original space can be, is typically on a busy night, very very loud. Two Doors Down space tends to be quieter, esp since every time I dine in the original room the table next to mine (and the tables are pretty close to each other..) is occupied by a woman who is really really enjoying the 2nd bottle of the evening and is intent on our hearing what she has to say.

that being said, Urbano is a jewel, try to go as often as possible. I wish there were more BYOB restaurants in our city that were of the quality of Urbano. Mitch Kauffman is usually there to greet and make sure the place is on top of its game.

Greg820
Greg820

I believe Cafe Urbano is one of the best restaurants going.  The only issue I have is the noise.  It can get so loud with that ringing echo that I cannot talk to the person next to me. I have not been back in some time due to this.  Does anyone know if they have addressed this issue?  I would love to try them again.

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

Leave room for the excellent desserts.

scott.reitz
scott.reitz moderator

@mavdog I've only been in each room a few times. Two Doors Down was really energetic -- almost too loud, on two of my visits -- though now that I think about it, each visit was on weekend evenings. I may have caught them on a fun night. Certainly, the two spaces have a different mood.

scott.reitz
scott.reitz moderator

@Greg820 @CitizenKane It's, um, delicious.  Cut and paste error, the code for that many links on top of each gets a little crazy.

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