So, what many of you might not know is that I used to live in Dallas, TX. I went to school there, graduated there and worked in both television news and corporate media there. It became a second home to me, one that I would miss dearly - yes, even in sunny Southern California.
What Californians might not understand (or agree with) is that Texas is amazing. I mean the people there are so kind, there's a great diversity in food (both TexMex and authentic Mexican cuisine), there's more bang for your buck, and what Dallas has taught me more than anything - no one does brunch like Dallas does.
But before I get distracted in listing off my favorite spots for fried chicken and waffles (no, really), let's begin with coffee.
When I first arrived to Dallas, fresh from Cali, I was a freshman at SMU. And although I knew absolutely nothing about coffee, there was not much being offered in Dallas at the time. Of course the entire third wave coffee scene was if not existent, then quietly developing in corners of the city. As I look back over the years, I am truly so proud of how Dallas has developed and continues to do so in the third wave scene and is producing some incredible, incredible stuff.
The roasters in Dallas are few, but so well done. Here are just a few of my favorites that I have personally visited. So, pack your mugs, we're going to Dallas!
I got to give it to the first coffee shop that truly took my breath away. Walking into Davis Street Espresso, home to Oak Cliff Roasters, recently winner of Good Food Awards 2016, really makes you slow things down. Every single item has so much thought and detail put into it - and the translation is not lost on the customer, including in the coffee. One barista explained the cafe as more of a "show room" for their coffee, hence the odd, limited hours. It is by far one of the most photogenic places I've been to. While there is no wifi, I imagine the place gets more of a crowd on the weekends. And as you'll learn from my earlier post on them, they really focus on community. Take their mochas for example, they use the nearby chocolate shop's ganache for their prime ingredient. It's a very tight-knitted part of town, where a neighbor helping a neighbor is the norm, especially in the culinary scene.
What to order: a Cortado, or their Geisha, or try one of their cold brews bottle in a recycled Mexican coke bottle. (I realize that didn't narrow it down, but truly all very good.) And once you get all hopped off the caffeine, venture out back patio where you will find the casual, gutted out trolley.
You can check out my full post here.
819 W Davis St,
Dallas, TX 75208
2. Method Coffee, Old East Dallas
This place wasn't around when I was in Dallas and it makes me sad knowing how many incredible cups of coffee I have missed out on. Louie, owner of Method Coffee, has placed Dallas on the map for specialty coffee in incredible ways. Being a multi roaster, he carefully selects which roasters to choose from across the nation. His standards are high and not easily met. But more impressive then his passion to detail is his passion to create. Louie takes household dishes and makes them mouthwatering for a price that won't break the bank. Take the toasted PB&J - literally, a simple toasted PB&J. Or the empanadas that he grew up with as a child. He doesn't take for granted the simple things and he does them really, really well. And perhaps it's his appreciation for food that has led him to collaborate with many culinary leaders in Dallas to bring coffee to the food events. He's changing the game & Dallas is lucky to have him.
Good for: Grabbing a breakfast taco & coffee on your way to work, studying or working (yay wifi!), or just catching up with friends. There's an awesome photo op out front, a giant white wall reading Method Coffee. Or ask about their brewing classes.
What to order: The Mocha Jalapeño (just trust me on this one) & the toasted PB&J. Then, in what I am sure will be between not-so-graceful mouthfuls, tell Louie the Coffee Nomad says hello!
1623 North Hall St.
Dallas, TX 75206
Houndstooth Coffee is a multi roaster, sourcing beans from roasters across the nation like Counter Culture, in addition to their very own Tweed Coffee. They've won countless awards in their Austin home, but were also met with success in opening this Dallas location in 2014. Their big standout item was Coffer, said to be the first company to create a carbonated coffee. The space is crisp and full with bright natural light. And as you can see, their wooden furniture pieces are all delightfully framed by mint, or teal, or whatever. Their Austin locations aren't shabby either. That's where I tried their famous, and what they claim to be the innovators of, the Coffee Mint Julep.
Good For: A good cup of joe, plenty of space for studying or meeting up with people
What to order: One of their Tweed roasts or if you're out there in the Texas heat, their Coffee Mint Julep is perfection.
1900 N. Henderson Ave.
Dallas, TX 75206
4. Ascension Coffee (Sorry no pic! - tag @thecoffeenomad if you visit & I'll replace this pic with yours!)
Ascension Coffee has a walk-up coffee bar and seating for their killer lunch or brunch. So, in that sense it is more of a cafe then a coffee bar, but that is not to ignore the high quality beans and roasts from Ascension Coffee Roasters. They've got a great Kyoto Cold brew if you really need a pick-me-up, but if you want to slow things down it's also a wine bar (talk about uppers & downers :) I'll never grow tired of the artists' framed paintings on the walls in the vibrant cafe (because these ones are actually worth their value - seriously, some I can't stop staring at) and I always make it a meet up place to reunite with old friends when in Dallas.
Good For: Brunches, work lunches, studying (there is wifi! but bring your headphones because it can get a tad noisy) and make sure to grab a spot at the long table in the back. There is valet parking, but I suggest to park a street or two over. I also heard the place next door is incredible for Happy Hour or tapas.
What to order: They are probably most known for their Lavender Latte (Iced or Hot), and my personal food favorite is the Avocado Toast. Hands down.
2500 Farrington St, #180
Dallas, TX 75207
Last but certainly not least, Weekend Coffee. How can I fully express my gratitude for Weekend Coffee? I used to work at ATT HQ in their Media Productions department and there is a Starbucks on the first floor of the building. And its where everyone went for a coffee break. But thankfully, THANK GOD, right across the street, tucked in the lounge of the Joule Hotel is Weekend Coffee. I went there nearly every single morning for their cold brew to fuel me for the typical, corporate daily grind (but with the most amazing people ever if my old co-workers are reading this ;) Seriously, they're awesome.) It's actually where I first really learned about cold brew. The service there is incredible and I loved getting their little Belgium waffle or breakfast quiches. I'm craving it already. And it makes you feel a little fancy, sitting in the shared space for the Joule hotel lobby.
Good for: Morning or afternoon pick-me-up, coffee dates, and getting some work done
What to order: It's been so long, but my usual was their cold brew & quiche.
At the Joule Hotel
1511 Commerce St.
Alright ya'll - that is all I have for now. I am sure there are some more incredible spots, but you are going to have to tell us all about it in the comments below! Also if you have recommendations of your own at these places, please, please share! And while you're at it, share this article with other folks! I'd certainly appreciate it and appreciate you the most if you are still reading this!
But seriously - many thanks.
The Coffee Nomad
Ps. Just two suggestions for some fried Chicken & Waffles: Nickel & Rye for brunch in Uptown, and Chicken Scratch