By Paul Salfen
There are so many amazing places to eat, drink, shop or relax in Dallas – and as someone who isn’t a good cook or bartender and likes to get out and consume – I’d like to think I’ve found some of the best. Some of these places may be familiar to you, but some may not. Here’s to discovering new creature comforts.
Original Octane – This boutique clothing store on Travis and Knox has some hot lines from the likes of Scott James, Prospective Flow and Robert Geller that you just won’t find anywhere else. Also, these guys take great pride in not letting you walk out of the door unless the outfit looks good, so you know you’re in good hands.
Traffic LA – This super-trendy downtown spot has some expensive high fashion with flare, but if you can swing it, you will certainly be the bestdressed guy wherever you go.
Warehaus – Patrick Ware’s West Village boutique has some great form-fitting outfits if you’ve been keeping up with those workouts.
Nordstrom – Although it seems like an obvious choice and you have to brave the mall, this NorthPark favorite really does have the best selection and the best customer service around for fashionable footwear.
Alamo Drafthouse – This Austin transplant is a welcome addition to the growing list of dinner-and-a-movie chains. Not only does it feature great food and unique drinks, you’ll be kicked out if you text or talk. Or, in Madonna’s case – you can get banned.
Midnights at The Inwood – Ever since The Inwood went to an all-couch setup, it has to be the most comfortable place to watch a movie. But the midnight selection on the weekend is always good and the crowd is fun. Add in some strong drinks from the lounge next door and you’ll find a fun late-night experience – and a few people passed out.
iPic – If you’re up for the drive to Allen, there’s a great theater that really does have the best food of any movie theater in the area. On top of that, the VIP seats are recliners that come with pillows and blankets. How’s that for creature comforts?
Kung Fu – It’s a hit in Austin but it’s a massive home run here in Dallas. At the heart of the busiest bar area in Uptown is a place where you don’t have to dress up, can play video games for free, sing karaoke in a private room, and meet some beautiful girls. What’s not to love?
Truck Yard – In the vein of Katy Trail Ice House, this Lower Greenville no-frills bar got its décor from Craigslist and seems to be the new low-key hotspot. As a bonus, there always are food trucks backed up against the place. The only downside (for late-nighters) is that it closes at midnight.
Cedars Social – This place is so low-key there’s not even a sign outside. But inside the unassuming brick building across from the NYLO on Lamar is one of the coolest places to eat, drink and not be bothered. If you’re really feeling antisocial, check out the library area, pick up a book and enjoy a Moscow Mule.
Speakeasy – Another gem with no sign outside sits a little more out in the open in the middle of Main Street, but inside you’ll find some of the coolest, most creative cocktails in town. Want an interesting shot? Try the Rumchata, which has horchata, rum and tequila in it. It may not sound like it, but it’s so smooth.
Sole Therapy – For $35, you can get the best one-hour foot massage you’ve ever had – but they’ll also work you from head to toe. Hitting all of the pressure points from your skull to your feet, you’ll feel like a new man on the cheap – and you probably won’t even notice all of the people around you in the big, open room.
Bill’s Records – It may smell like smoke and be completely disorganized, but there’s a certain charm to this place that you won’t find anywhere else. There are hidden gems everywhere. And while you won’t find any price tags, Bill will make up a somewhat reasonable number for you after you’ve been lost in collector mania for hours.
Fuel City – You wouldn’t expect that the best tacos in Dallas come out of a gas station window, but they do. It might be ridden with homeless people and just about every kind of drunk weirdo you can think of after 2 a.m., but it’s totally worth it. At $1.40 a pop (cash only!), you may find yourself there more and more often as your late night bad decision-making continues.