Dallas is a sprawling concrete commercial and cultural hub with lots of cool ‘hoods to explore. Read on for the best art districts, foodie ‘hoods, and shopping sanctuaries.
Located only five minutes from downtown in the heart of North Oak Cliff in Southern Dallas, this two-block former warehouse area is home to many independently-owned businesses, including bars, coffee shops, restaurants, boutiques, theaters, and art galleries. Shop, stroll, and eat your way down N. Bishop Ave and the main drag, W. Davis Street. Mural-covered alleyways color the charming shopping and art district. The Bishop Arts District is home to the Texas Theatre (where Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested), one of the best music venues in Dallas, the art deco Kessler Theater, and the Bishop Arts Theatre Center. There’s also the Stevens Golf Course (known as Little Augusta) and the Dallas Zoo.
This former warehouse district near downtown in East Dallas has become a lively entertainment in the past decade due to its plethora of quirky art galleries, theaters, and concert venues. The walkable streets are full of vibrant murals, brewpubs, cocktail bars, and Tex-Mex eateries. Deep Ellum Brewing Company offers local craft beers, tours, tastings, and an expansive patio. Known for its intoxicating nightlife, Deep Ellum is home to over 30 live music venues, including Trees, The Bomb Factory, and Double Wide. It also hosts a number of street fairs and festivals throughout the year. Housing here is hip and affordable, with modern lofts at a reasonable price.
Business district by day, Downtown Dallas is one of the largest art districts in the US. There’s an eclectic mix of dining, nightlife, museums, shops, and live performance venues. Downtown offers a little bit of everything for everyone, home to the Dallas World Aquarium, the Museum at Dealey Plaza, the Dallas Museum of Art, Meyerson Symphony Center, the AT&T Performing Arts Center, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, and Reunion Tower. The Dallas Farmers Market provides residents with fresh food from local ranchers and farmers. Main Street boasts a variety of restaurants to choose from, including casual cafes, bars and lounges, quiet restaurants, and fine dining. There’s also plenty of shopping options, from small boutiques to high-end clothing stores.
Reaching from Garrett Park to Richardson, Greenville Avenue is home to young and trendy locals who enjoy its many bars, clubs, restaurants, and unique shops. Mockingbird Lane divides yuppie Upper Greenville from the more bohemian Lower Greenville, which is known for its festive nightlife scene. It’s also becoming quite the foodie 'hood. The Granada Theater is a popular live music destination, and you can catch some stand-up at the Backdoor Comedy Club. Retail shops include European boutiques, record stores, and chains.
Nestled between the Dallas North Tollway and U.S. Route 75 (North Central Expressway), just four miles from Dallas Love Field airport, this 2.2-square-mile residential area is one of the most affluent locations in Texas. The extremely wealthy enclave is known for its luxurious housing, leafy avenues, and many parks running along Turtle Creek. Check out the giant teddy bear statues in lush Lakeside Park. Established in 1931, Highland Park Village was the first self-contained shopping center in America. The upscale Spanish-style shopping plaza is basically a Rolodex of designers, with the largest Ralph Lauren in Texas. It’s also home to some of the best public schools in the state. Highland Park and neighboring University Park comprise the Park Cities, the two best-educated cities in Texas.
Just south of Highland Park, this vibrant yet cozy ‘hood offers nightlife, shopping, a strong food scene, and greenspace. Head to Velvet Taco for Tex-Mex, the raw bar at Up on Knox, or the Truck Yard to choose from a variety of food trucks. There’s also a Trader Joe’s! Shopping options include retro and contemporary high-end home furnishings, and consignment stores with antiques and vintage clothing. A former railroad running north along the neighborhood’s western edge, the Katy Trail provides the perfect place to jog, bike, and walk. Close to both Uptown and Downtown, Knox-Henderson has a good balance of both affordability and culture.
This popular 15-acre restaurant, retail, artist, and entertainment district is located just across the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in West Dallas. The foodie mecca is home to several flourishing start-up restaurants, thanks to its Restaurant Concept Incubator program. There’s also a wide variety of shops and contemporary art galleries. Spanning the Trinity River, the Ronald Kirk Bridge offers one of the most scenic views of downtown Dallas, with access to trails in the river basin below.
North of and adjacent to Downtown, Uptown offers an urban lifestyle for those working in its commercial high-rises and living in its posh apartment towers. It’s one of the most walkable, pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods in an otherwise car-dependent city. The M-Line, a retro trolley, provides free rides to Downtown, the Dallas Museum of Art, the luxury department store Stanley Korshak, the West Village District retail complex, and more. The social scene centers along McKinney Avenue’s lively sports bars, global eateries, and hip cocktail lounges. Uptown also offers access to the Katy Trail.