Travel Guide: Dallas, TX

I moved to Dallas for an internship right after college and I immediately fell in love with the city! Dallas is a big city full of friendly folks with big personalities and lots of hospitality. I felt welcome and right at home from the start! The outstanding food (especially Tex Mex), active lifestyle, beautiful neighborhoods, and exquisite skyline are a few of the many things that make Dallas so special! It would be easy for me to write guides specific for each of the areas/neighborhoods in Dallas, but I decided to write a general guide, highlighting my absolute favorite spots in Dallas. I hope you enjoy!!

For breakfast: 

Royal Blue Grocery

This charming gourmet grocery in Highland Park Village has everything from specialty items to gorgeous flowers. They serve and sell the delicious Stumptown coffee. For a special treat, order the coco lavender matcha latte! Take the opportunity to relax and sip your coffee at one of the quaint café tables.  The breakfast tacos are delivered from well-known TacoDeli (an Austin, Texas icon with locations throughout Dallas). Everything about the Royal Blue Grocery is perfection!

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Nekter Juice Bar

Nekter is a juice bar chain that can be found in many cities out West, but I first discovered this juice bar in Dallas and I was quickly hooked! Using fresh, natural, and raw ingredients, Nekter offers smoothies, cold-pressed juices, and best of all, acai bowls! Nektar is the perfect stop for healthy choices!

For a quick bite:

Eatzi’s

Eatzi’s is an Italian neighborhood market that should not be missed! It is a great choice for any meal of the day. At Eatzi’s you can make your own salad or design your own sandwich on house-made bread. The pasta bar, cold case, wine and cheese selection are outstanding as well. Everything can be heated up in their grill and eaten while there or can be takeaway and heated at home. As you walk out the door, there is a sign that reads “See You Tomorrow!” That statement became true for us as we ate there five times during the week on our most recent visit to Dallas. On Fridays, gourmet pizzas are $10 or get a combo of pizza, a salad, and a bottle of wine for $25!

Flower Child

Flower Child is a fast casual, order-at-the-counter restaurant with the slogan, “Healthy eats for a happy world!” The restaurant is decorated with vibrant colors and the menu filled with organic produce and protein that is naturally raised. All of the salads, wraps, and bowls sound so fresh and delicious. I had the Mother Earth bowl which is loaded with vegetable goodness and I added grilled chicken to it! So fresh and delicious! I can’t wait to visit again to try more menu items!

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For lunch or dinner:

HG Sply Co.

Located in a hip area called Lower Greenville, HG Sply Co offers clean eats and a rooftop bar with a stunning view of the Dallas skyline. Their motto is Eat to Live to Eat and their focus is simple: clean food and humble hospitality! The ginger garlic hummus is served with all kinds of colorful fresh veggies and makes a great appetizer! The bowls are my favorite to order. They are organized on the menu as “hunted” for meat and meat alternatives like quinoa “meatballs” and “gathered” for all of the vegetables and grains (hence the HG). If you have a sweet tooth (and a group of friends with which to share), order the Strawberry Cheesecake Kettlebell. This dessert is a kettlebell (yes, like the workout equipment) made out of chocolate and filled with so much goodness! The waiter will pour hot caramel over the kettlebell to melt the chocolate, leaving the whole table drooling! It is quite the presentation and oh so delicious!

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Mi Cocina

In Dallas, it would be possible to eat Tex Mex at a different place, every day of the week for every single meal: breakfast, lunch and dinner! I love Mi Cocina because it is in a festive setting, the food is consistently great, and the cocktails do not disappoint! The fajitas are my favorite and the Mambo taxi, a margarita swirled with sangria, is their signature drink and a must-order menu item. There are multiple Mi Cocina locations throughout Dallas, but I definitely recommend visiting the Highland Park Village location.

Saint Ann

Saint Ann is a fabulous choice for brunch, lunch, or dinner! The courtyard-like setting makes for a great patio dining experience! There is live music every Wednesday – Thursday evening and every Sunday during brunch. On the brunch menu, they offer breakfast classics such as omelets, benedicts, and pancakes, but they also have more creative, unique menu items like the breakfast flatbread (which I recommend ordering)! If the soup of the day happens to be the coconut soup, I suggest you order it! It is divine. The charcuterie and cheese board is a yummy, beautiful presentation. Also, the salads are super fresh and creative!

Katy Trail Ice House

Situated on the Katy Trail, the Ice House is a happening hangout spot in Uptown! The giant patio strung with colorful lights and vintage road signs is the perfect spot for drinks and appetizers, a casual meal with friends, or sports-watching of all kinds! It’s a great place to people-watch on the Katy Trail too!

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Taverna

Taverna is a cozy restaurant serving delicious Italian cuisine in a quaint patio setting. The menu includes fish, pasta, pizza, and 6 different risotto dishes! The homemade lasagna rustica made with thin spinach noodles is my idea of comfort food and absolutely delicious. Visit Taverna with friends and enjoy great wine, great food and great company!

For grocery shopping:

Central Market

Central Market is a Texas-based grocery chain that is not just a store, it is an experience! It became a weekly “field trip” for me when I lived in Dallas! I say field trip because of the impressive produce selection that seems to go on forever, the floral department that always has the most gorgeous bounty of colorful blooms such as hydrangeas and peonies, and the endless varieties of meats, cheese, seafood, wines, and bakery items! I always felt like I discovered and learned something new on each visit. And I will admit-having the chance to return to Central Market was one of the highlights of my trip to Dallas! The Central Market Dinner for Two is a great option when you want a balanced meal but do not have enough time to cook. The meal includes entrees for two plus sides and all you have to do is heat it up at home. They also have many pre-made dinner options ready to heat and eat! I’m a big fan of Central Market and all they have to offer! I encourage you to give it a try for yourself when in Dallas!

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For exercise:

Katy Trail

Built on an old railroad line, the Katy Trail has become like a human highway through the Uptown and Oak Lawn areas of Dallas. This beloved trail is a great place to take a walk with a friend or pet, go for a jog, bike ride, or rollerblade adventure. The Katy Trail Ice House is a perfect pit stop!

SoulCycle

Picture a studio with hues of crisp white and bright yellow with music blasting so loud that you can’t help but feel the beat! Welcome to SoulCycle, a spin studio that comes highly recommended! Get ready to sweat A LOT in this high-energy workout! Don’t have spin shoes? Don’t worry! SoulCycle provides them along with bright yellow bikes and lockers for your personal belongings!

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For shopping:

The shopping in Dallas is out of this world and I want to share some of the areas which became my favorites for shopping and browsing while I was lucky enough to be a Dallas resident!

Highland Park Village is a grand,high-end outdoor shopping center designed in a beautiful Mediterranean style. Located at the intersection of Mockingbird Lane and Preston Road, Highland Park Village is the epitome of style. Here you will find a few of my Dallas favorites such as Mi Cocina and Royal Blue Grocery. Be sure to visit during Christmas time when the holiday decorations are exquisite!

West Village is an outdoor shopping and dining area with boutiques, carefully selected national chain retailers and a wonderful variety of dining options! Located in the center of Dallas’ popular Uptown neighborhood, West Village is a great place to try great restaurants and do a little retail therapy!

NorthPark Center is a large, upscale shopping mall that consistently ranks as one of the best retail destinations in the country! Department store favorites, such as Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, can be found here, as well as tons of other speciality retailers and restaurants. NorthPark Center is a superb shopping destination!

Located in Uptown, the Blue Print Store is one of my very favorite shops in Dallas! Step through the large powder blue doors and into home décor heaven! Rooms of beautiful artwork, gorgeous accessories for the home, high-end antique furniture, and an expansive variety of coffee table books make The Blue Print Store a must-visit shop.

For fun:

State Fair of Texas

If you are lucky enough to be in Dallas during October you MUST put the State Fair of Texas on your to-do list! Classic fair rides, unique foods, and live animals make this a super fun, all-American attraction for all ages!

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I could go on and on about this wonderful city and I am barely scratching the surface of my favorite places in Dallas! I hope you enjoy these recommendations and I’d love to hear your Dallas suggestions!

Always finding joy,

Francie

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