East of Downtown Dallas, Deep Ellum has the bragging rights to being one of Dallas’ first commercial districts. During its earlier days, Deep Ellum was the home for blues and jazz music in Dallas. Lately, the neighborhood is once again enjoying a renaissance where art, music, dining and entertainment still takes center stage and visitors flock in for the hipster restaurants and some of the city’s best street art.
START WITH BREAKFAST
Combining basic ingredients and comfort food, All Good Café has been the quintessential hangover breakfast joint since 2000. This is a cozy diner spot with a side of rock ‘n roll thrown in. Dig into a stack of their deliciously buttery pancakes and add one of their many sides to make it a meal of your own.
ENJOY ART IN THE CITY
The best way to discover the wonders of Deep Ellum is tour the district on foot and intake all amazing street art and murals. Where once the sides of building were vandalized with graffiti, now are covered with vibrant, beautiful murals. Grab your camera, don your best walking shoes and follow the mural trail here. Be sure to stop by the VisitDallas mural located at the corner of Malcolm X and MLK Boulevard.
STROLL THE STREETS FOR UNIQUE FINDS
There’s a ton of shops and galleries to fritter away a day in Deep Ellum. For the city’s sneakerheads, Sneaker Politics is the first shoe boutique to make an appearance in the area, and supplies new, exclusive sneakers. Warstic, owned by former baseball player Ben Jenkins and rockstar Jack White, is a baseball lover’s haven with a demo room to test out their premium wood and metal bats. For the guy or gal obsessed with denim, Deep Ellum Denim stocks indie denim brands that aren’t often found at the mall. Those looking for art, stop by Kettle Art Gallery, the artist haven run by artists.
DINE ON CASUAL EATS
Hot, cheesy and with just the right amount of grease, Serious Pizza has a cult-like following almost as enormous as their pizza slices. Expect lines spiraling around the corner at Pecan Lodge, one of the Dallas’ best BBQ places but the brisket and beef ribs are worth the wait. For burgers and craft brews, Angry Dog is one of Deep Ellum’s long-standing stalwarts. The perfect meld of Deep Ellum grit with killer ramen can be found at Oni Ramen. Diners sip craft cocktails and slurp ramen surrounded by exposed industrial brickwork and Japanese graffiti.
If you’re inspired by all the art and want permanent art to take home, consider getting a tattoo at Elm Street Tattoo. Co-owner Oliver Peck, who started the business in 1996 is not only a master at his craft but is also a judge on Spike TV’s Inkmaster. If you’re lucky to be around on a Friday the 13th, Elm Street Tattoo hosts a midnight-to-midnight tattoo marathon with $13 bargain-priced tattoos on offer. The only caveat is that the tattoo has to have the lucky number 13 in it.
GRAB A DRINK
Given the number of bars and restaurants, there no shortage of Happy Hour spots in Deep Ellum. Stirr offers the best view of the Dallas skyline from their rooftop bar. Tech-chic mixologists use science and technology to make experimental cocktails using centrifuges at HIDE. Push past the curtains at High & Tight Barbershop after getting a tailored haircut and gentleman’s groom to the speakeasy bar in the back. The mixologists specialize in old-fashioned cocktails of the 1920s.
GO FOR A DIVINE DINNER
Über chic and on-trend, Local Restaurant has been serving seasonal farm-to-table foo, since 2003. For a dinner to be savored, the seven-course chef’s tasting menu showcases why Local Restaurant is worshipped by food lovers everywhere. Take your taste buds on an authentic culinary tour of Mexican food at Purépecha Room, a secret restaurant at the back of the popular taqueria, Revolver Taco Lounge. By reservation only, the 14-seater Purépecha Room serves an 8-course prix-fixe menu where indigenous ingredients like chapulines or grasshoppers, are transformed into a sumptuous, fine dining experience.
END THE NIGHT WITH DANCING OR A SHOW
You can’t visit Texas without some two-steppin’. Adair’s Saloon, a Dallas staple, has a dive-bar casual atmosphere with live music where Jack Ingram, Derryl Dodd and members of the Dixie Chicks have once performed. Trees Dallas, the popular concert venue has a huge line up of bands and DJs. The venue is relatively small and fans often have a chance to hang out with band members after shows.