By Hillary Juster, NewsCastic
Everyone seems to think Austin has the monopoly on cool in Texas. We don’t agree. Austin is overrun, overpriced, overthought, and definitely going downhill. Sure, if you want to pay extra to gentrify East Austin or live in the suburbs only to sit in traffic all day, Austin has a few perks.
What if you could have all the hip amenities of Austin, without all the downside? Look no further than Dallas’s own Deep Ellum, Lower Greenville, and Bishop Art District, three super exciting neighborhoods that have been booming non-stop in recent years.
Dallas Does it Better
These 3 Dallas neighborhoods offer everything you could possibly want in art, food, and urban living minus the population boom rent hikes, lacking infrastructure, and a dearth of good jobs. Oh yeah, we also get to skip the enormous state school with its Greek life taking over our city 9 months of every year. In fact, when it comes down to it, the only thing Austin really has that Dallas doesn’t? Hype.
1. Deep Ellum: Revitalized
Deep Ellum has been undergoing a revitalization recently, attracting interesting new businesses all over the place. The bones were already there, a thriving art scene, walkability, and proximity to almost every music venue in Dallas. Welcome to the new flesh.
Glazed Donut Works: Focus on Flavors (2644 Elm St.)
One of the hot new spots in Deep Ellum is Glazed Donut Works, a small batch donut shop that focuses on putting out great flavors with quality ingredients.
Glazed prides itself on offering interesting, quality flavor pairings. In the picture above, for instance, the square donut in the top-right is vegan maple pecan, and going clockwise the next donut is s’mores (with a house-made marshmallow on top), then blueberry mascarpone (with fresh berries in the glaze), then cinnamon sugar and the center flavor is called “Deep Ellum Bluesberry,” which has a hint of bourbon in it.
These folks don’t just offer your routine morning donuts, come by from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. when they serve a heartier fare through their late night window. This menu includes a bacon and grilled cheese sandwich, served on a donut instead of bread. Apparently lines often build up outside waiting for a cheddar bacon donut grilled cheese, and we totally understand why!
Pecan Lodge: Worth the Wait (2702 Main St.)
You will smell the sweet smoky barbecue of Pecan Lodge, another Deep Ellum establishment that constantly attracts a line before you can even see it. Driving on Main St. all your senses will be sucked into the spectacle of this Texas barbecue favorite. People waiting in line made jokes that it was like waiting in line for Six Flags. But they kept waiting.
Why do they wait? For the ribs, the smoked sausage, the heaping side of mac and cheese topped with a sprinkle of bacon. Maybe they wait to see why everyone else waited. We’ll just say that the ribs came back gnawed down to the bone, and the trays went back empty.
2. Lower Greenville: Movin on Up
If you haven’t been to Lower Greenville in a few years, you may remember it as home to smoke shops and thrift stores. While there’s nothing wrong with that, you can definitely tell it’s a new area these days. You’re far more likely to find an artisan sandwich than a pipe.
HG Sply Co: Hip and Nutritious (2008 Greenville Ave.)
Just look at HG Sply Co. This hugely popularly restaurant serves up a rotating seasonal menu of paleo-inspired food and drinks, with glamorous New American twists like bison or duck. If you’re cutting out carbs or gluten, but still want to eat delicious food, you may have just found your new favorite place.
Let’s not forget the specialty cocktails. These drinks are packed with fresh flavors and delightfully presented. If you favor a non-alcoholic beverage, try out a juice, like the Garden State. With lemon, apple, carrot, ginger, and honey, this drink will give you a nice, warm feeling, like a hug for your insides.
Teppo: Sushi to Stay (2014 Greenville Ave.)
Teppo has been the go-to sushi and yakitori (grilled skewer) spot on Lower Greenville for some time now. It has weathered the many local changes in its impressive tenure. Through it all, Teppo has consistently performed, serving quality Japanese on custom hand-built ceramics.
Don’t just stick to sushi here. Make sure to try a few of their mouth-watering yakitori. How can you really go wrong with grilled seasoned meat?
3. Bishop Arts District: Every Other Thing You Could Want
Sure, Bishop Arts has restaurants, but what really shines here are the eclectic shops with artistic and artisan goods for sale. Within an easily walkable area, you can find a curated bookstore, a pie shop, and a printmaking studio that also sells unique jewelry.
We Are 1976: Prints and Things (313 N. Bishop Ave)
Not only do they sell a really incredible amount of prints at We Are 1976, they also teach printmaking workshops. They have cute gifts like twee stamps and art books. Plus they’ve hung a few walls full of gorgeous, quirky cards. This is the place to get bae a birthday gift.
If you’re a fan of interesting and eclectic jewelry, check out the 1976 glass case. It is packed to the brim with unique finds and a lot cheaper (and cooler) than diamonds!
Emporium Pies: While They’re Hot (314 N. Bishop Ave.)
Emporium Pies has the hot pies in Dallas. They make fresh, seasonal pies, and often draw lines and sell out of flavors. Yes, they serve standards like apple and key lime, but they also have jazzier flavors like the Nutty Honey. This is a peanut butter pie with a graham cracker crust, topped with crumbled peanuts. Buy them by the slice or whole.
A word of caution to visitors, this place has been known to be dangerous, inciting mere humans to consume entire pies.
The Wild Detectives: Cherry on Top (314 W. 8th St.)
The Wild Detectives blew up onto the Bishop Arts Scene and has basically taken charge of the literary space, which is totally awesome. They bring in incredible readings and have enhanced the literary culture non-stop since they opened. Their goal has been to encourage conversations, which is perfect because everyone can’t stop talking about them!
They offer a curated selection of books and vinyl, as well as a full coffee bar, Mediterranean snacks, and a full drink menu. Check out their list of events to see if your favorite author is about to give a reading. If not, go anyway because if they’re reading at The Wild Detectives, they’re gonna be fascinating.