Not only is Dallas a city full of great-tasting food, it's also a city where you can get some great food entirely for FREE, or at least 1/2 off—you just have to know where, when, and how to get it. I've personally tried most of these deals myself so I can vouch that they are for real. And there's one for almost every day of the week! Here's my compilation of the best-tasting weekly food deals in Dallas...
1/2 off sushi rolls @ Kona Grill (during dinner hours only)
Kona's sushi is some of the best-tasting in DFW. They have a crab roll with tempura flakes on top that is unlike any sushi roll I've seen anywhere, and it tastes amazing. It's hard to believe it's only $3.25! The Philadelphia Roll was $3.00 and super fresh tasting. At these half-off sushi rates, my bottled tea drink cost more than one sushi roll! Two rolls is enough to feed two people, so a Sunday night sushi dinner date for two will cost you about $6.25. Dallas Foodie insider tip: sign up for their mailing list and they'll send you a coupon for a free appetizer, then next time you can get an appetizer AND two sushi rolls for only $6.25. I've done it! Location: inside Northpark Mall, on the north side.
FREE 2-course dinner @ Villa O
This food is totally free—you don't have to buy anything to get it! The catch is that you have to make a table reservation in advance, and you can only order off of a limited menu. BUT that limited menu consists of some high-end organic Italian food that normally isn't cheap. There are 3 salads to choose from: a Mediterranean-style tomato & cucumber mix with oil and vinegar, Caesar, and garden salad. Their Caesar is one of the best I've had anywhere in the U.S., with a house-made dressing heavy on anchovy flavor, "croutons" that are actually warm, soft, cheesy polenta bites, freshly shaved parmesan. Dallas Foodie insider tip: upon request, they will freely top your Caesar with the freshest, least-fishy tasting anchovy you have ever eaten. Then there's your pick of 6 entrees: wagyu beef lasagna, eggplant parmesan, spaghetti with meatballs, and the others I don't recall but they sounded good! Location: near Knox, across from Trece.
FREE 2-course dinner @ Trece
I have personally tried this deal several times, and it's exactly like Villa-O's deal, but with top-shelf TexMex cuisine instead of organic Italian. It's amazing that free food can taste this creative. Trece and Villa-O have the same owners and are located across the street from each other, so the free dinner reservation procedure is the same and similarly, you order off a limited 2-course menu here. Location: near Knox, across from Villa-O.
1/2 off entrees @ Thomas Avenue Beverage Company (TABC)
The common saying, "it's good food, for a bar" does NOT apply to this bar. Their food tastes amazing no matter what kind of place you compare it to! Their burger has been severely overlooked by the annual Best Burger lists; after months of taste-testing the "best burgers," I think TABC's is tied with Angry Dog for #1 Burger in Dallas (as you can see in my "Best Burgers in Dallas" list in the right sidebar of this page.) Dallas Foodie insider tip: be sure to order the "TABC Burger" made with angus beef, the other burgers aren't made the same way. They also have an awesome huge back patio deck covered by big shady trees. Go there! Location: in Uptown, next to The Londoner.
FREE pizza @ Frankie's Sports Bar (5:00-10:00PM)
All you have to do is buy a drink and your pizza is free, and it's pretty good pizza (for Dallas). You don't get to pick your flavor and the service wasn't fast, but hey, it's free. Frankie's tweeted me that it's UNLIMITED free pizza, but the time I went was right before some big sporting event, so they were ending the free pizza at 7PM and only giving out 2 slices per person. Location: in Uptown, across from Bread Winners, on the corner of Hall & McKinney.
1/2 off select food @ Monica's - Aca Y Alla
Monica's is a long-time TexMex staple of Deep Ellum. You may have heard of their 75-cent margaritas with purchase of an entree on Wednesdays, but have you heard of their half price food deal on Tuesdays? It's worth checking out. Dallas Foodie insider tip: they have free valet parking on weekdays. Location: in Deep Ellum.
FREE sushi @ Steel (5:30-7:00PM)
Their sushi is free, but you are expected to buy at least two drinks per person. And this is no problem since happy hour prices are in effect and their house specialty cocktails are delish! Martinis are $5, and I think the beer and sake is less than $5. Their sushi is highly acclaimed, but during the mass production of Wednesday free sushi night their usual quality and consistency definitely slips to average. You do however get to eat UNLIMITED amounts of four different sushi roll flavors: California, spicy tuna, Cajun, and tempura shrimp. The word has been out on this deal for a while, so the place gets crowded early. Dallas Foodie insider tip: if you don't want to fend for standing room in the bar you need to make a table reservation, and if you want the free sushi you are required to make your reservation at 5:30. Location: in Oak Lawn near Cedar Springs.
Buy one entree get one FREE @ Dragonfly (during dinner hours only)
Dragonfly is Dallas' uptown posh at its most decadent– definitely a good place for a romantic date. Their cocktails taste great, and that includes their well drinks because they use mid-shelf liquor as their wells! The various bartenders there collectively and consistently have poured me the best-tasting cocktails in Dallas for the past TWO YEARS. Bring a date (or friend) to Dragonfly on Wednesday night and you'll get one of your meals for free. No reservations are needed to get this deal. Dallas Foodie insider tip: ask if they have any homemade liquors in the back; I once had their blood orange vodka and another time it was something with espresso beans. Location: in Uptown, inside Hotel ZaZa near McKinney Ave.
1/2 off a bottle of wine @ Bread Winners (during dinner hours only)
I haven't personally tried this deal, but Bread Winners has specials every night of the week and great food at all times of the day, as evidenced by their placement in my "Top Recommended Food Spots" list in the right sidebar of this page. They are best known for their amazing breakfast/brunch menu, but their lunch menu is also great and dinner with a 1/2 off bottle of wine is definitely worth doing! Location: in Uptown, corner of Hall & McKinney.
More than 1/2 off select drinks for ladies @ Four Lounge (9pm-2am)
This tiny, plush Moroccan-chic lounge serves unique cocktails using about 20 different organic flavor sauces homemade by the owner/bartender himself. The owner, Keith, changes the extensive cocktail menu every Fall and Spring to use the freshest ingredients of the season. Thursday night is always ladies' night, and the special deal varies from $3 champagne, bellinis, or martinis. No matter how you slice it, those prices are more than half off the normal price. Dallas Foodie insider tip: for something truly divine, I recommend paying the extra bit to add one of their signature flavor sauces to your champagne. Location: in uptown near State & Allen.
Leave me a comment if you know of any other great food in Dallas for free or cheap!
Note: This list was last checked and updated on Oct. 5, 2010. As with any type of advertised special, businesses have the right to change or entirely cease the deal. I make no claim on behalf of these businesses that these specials will be honored, and the businesses mentioned are not liable for honoring these specials. As with all editorial content from Dallas Foodie, this is not a paid advertisement, and is thus purely my opinion. If you discover something mentioned here is no longer valid, please help out your fellow foodies and leave a comment about it. With that said, by all means, get your grub on!