Chris Plavidal


The Best Restaurant Playlists in Dallas

Music can be a restaurant’s most important off-menu item. We talked to some chefs and restaurateurs to find out how they chose their playlists.

The mood a restaurant sets with music is as key to creating an environment as its decor. A recent visit to chef Bruno Davaillon’s opulent Bullion was a prime example of this. The lush vibes of ’70s R&B and Nu Disco tracks not only complemented the lavish midcentury modern space and plates of imaginative French-inspired dishes, it elevated the experience without making it stuffy. We talked to some Dallas chefs and restaurateurs to find out how they chose their playlists.

(Photo by Kevin Marple)


The playlist at this chic French restaurant takes inspiration from chef Bruno Davaillon and general manager Victor Rojas’ recent trips to France and London. “Lots of old ’60s and ’70s R&B was being played,” Rojas says. “They also had quite a bit of French hip-hop and some old rap music from the ’80s mixed in.” The playlist here incorporates what they heard overseas with some of Davaillon’s favorites: U2, XTC, Depeche Mode, and The Cure.

Songs you’ll hear:

  • Sly and the Family Stone, “I Want to Take You Higher”
  • Q-Tip, “Gettin’ Up”
  • Yasiin Bey + Marvin Gaye/Amerigo Gazaway, “Inner City Travellin’ Man”
  • Amy Winehouse, “Valerie (Mark Ronson Version)”
  • Depeche Mode, “Behind the Wheel”
(Photo by Bret Redman)

The Rustic

“Music is a part of our everyday life here,” says Kyle Noonan of Free­Range Concepts. “I was recently on a bus in Mexico with 30 complete strangers. We had spent the first 45 minutes of the trip in awkward silence and clumsy conversations when a song came on. The driver turned up the volume, and we all sung the song together as loud as we could. Afterward, we were all friends and the rest of the trip was a blast. It reminded me of the power of music. Music is important because it brings people together.”

Songs you’ll hear:

  • Josh Abbott Band, “She’s Like Texas”
  • George Strait, “Amarillo by Morning”
  • Jamestown Revival, “California (Cast Iron Soul)”
  • Eagles, “One of These Nights”
  • Charley Crockett, “In the Night”
(Photo by Kevin Marple)


“Currently the playlist is ’80s-​focused, but it has everything from Prince, INXS, Nine Inch Nails, and Boy George to Don Henley,” says owner-chef Matt McCallister. “I was originally going for the soft rock station that would play in the dentist office I went to back in the mid-’90s, but I added a little flair to it, like some of the songs from the movie Rad. I think music helps us get the point across that we don’t take ourselves so seriously. Let’s have fun and make delicious food and just have a great time.”

Songs you’ll hear:

  • Don Henley, “The Boys of Summer”
  • Depeche Mode, “Enjoy the Silence”
  • The Clash, “Train in Vain”
  • Elvis Costello & The Attractions, “Everyday I Write the Book”
  • Steve Winwood, “The Finer Things”


  • Michele DeSalme

    Go to 20 Feet Seafood Joint and listen to Marc Cassel’s playlist!!!!!

    • Catherine Downes

      Will do!