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The Only Places I Know In Dallas

July 17th, 2009 No Comments

The Only Places I Know In Dallas

I have to say, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Dallas.  The city itself is beautiful! It boasts neighborhoods in close proximity to each other, streets lined with trees, restaurants filled with friendly (and beautiful) people, rich dining experiences, fun spots to hang out, a unique fashion sense, cultural offerings, and a means to relax .  Truly, it was pretty close to a perfect urban existence. 

 
My first week in Dallas I feel like I explored a lot of what the city had to offer in Highland Park and Uptown.  Below, you’ll find a list of the places I went (or considered going to).

Restaurants
Coal Vines – a wine and pizza bar with a fresh, delicious menu.  Transitions from low-key casual dinner to trendy hot spot around 8.

Dream Cafe– a favorite casual brunch spot for locals

Goff’s – locals’ favorite hamburger joint

Hibiscus – rustic but formal setting for a fabulous meal  

Javier’s – classic tex mex for cool kids

Local – a sophisticated, clean, American offering that would make any foodie smile in a “quiet” contemporary setting

Nick and Sam’s – convenient location with a good crowd, but the food is terrible

Paradise Bakery & Cafe – think Panera but BETTER. 

R+D Cafe – from the creators of Houston’s, this cafe is more casual with great sushi and interesting salads

Sprinkles – designer cupcakes from Beverly Hills that are worth every penny

Steel –  ”I can never say no to Steele” – “It’s so Dallas” quotes from two local fans of the modern, pan-asian eateryVictor Tango’s– diner goes trendy for the pre-clubbing crowd.  Chicken and waffles and hamburger tacos make for a fun, but fair dining experience.  Stick to the sea bass skewers.

Hotels
Joule Hotel– Starwood hotel that houses one of Dallas’ hottest clubs (PM) and a hip pool scene, just like the W actually

Ritz Carlton–  walk into the stunning entry way and prepare for the “meat market” bar, or enjoy a cocktail on their large, well- lit terrace where you can show off your kicks and relax with friends

ZaZa Hotel– boutique hotel with a creative luxury concept and fun, young scene.  A favorite for visiting celebs and locals.

Shopping
Higland Park Village – beautiful outdoor mall that houses all of the major labels with a few boutiques and affordable chains

NorthPark Mall – Indoor mall with the “better” Neimans and Barney’s

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Deno’s – locals swear this is the best shoe and leather repair place in the state

FortyFive Ten– creme de la creme boutique in Highland Park with a fantastic selection of designer pieces for men and women, plus a lovely home section.  Don’t both to visit if you’re not looking to drop a few bills.

Scoop – the NYC boutique with a selection of trendy and semi-affordable casual-wear in Highland Park Village

Stanley Korshak – think Neimans meets Barneys on a smaller scale

Tootsies – one of my favorite stores in Texas.  Upscale and always a pleasure to browse

Nightlife/Hangouts

Barcadia – Dive bar with over-sized, adult Jenga and vintage video games

Coal Vines  – Like I said, it gets packed in there

The Meridian Room – although it looks a little shady, I had a blast chugging free beers and listening to a southern rock band perform outside.  I hear the food is good too. 

PM – exclusive club inside Joule Hotel with pretty people who think they are pretty and djs spinning an eclectic mix that will make you want to dance

Other Stuff To Do

The Arboretum – I didn’t go, but even the locals visit when looking for a fun activity

Equinox– obviously I went and loved it.  The group fitness and yoga classes were actually pretty good.  I twittered that if you’re single in Dallas, you should forget the drinks after work and hit the gym for a selection of good-looking, physically fit, healthy men.

The Old Katy Trail – a running, biking trail that runs through Highland Park

Weekend Pool Hopping – the pool scene at the hotels is where you’ll find the daytime party equipped with djs spinning remixes you’d expect to hear in St. Tropez.  Think Tao Beach Vegas but a lot more mellow.  Check out the Zaza, Joule (where the pool extends over the edge of the building), the Ritz, the Crescent, and if you don’t mind the drive, The Four Seasons.(Photo via Jeff Clow’s Flickr)