People & Places

  • Best Movie Theater

    The Texas Theatre

    Do we need to add to what we said in previous Best of Dallas write-ups, or the People Issue love we showed for the guys behind The Texas Theatre's revival? A refresher: the so-bad-they're-good genre flicks at Tuesday Night Trash; the bar; the arthouse films you won't see anywhere else; the bar; the revival of past classics; the bar; the… More >>
  • Best Dallas Maverick (Off the Court)

    Delonte West, aka @charleeredz13

    The Mavs may have had a disappointing 2011-2012 season, but Delonte West's toughness and dogged defensive play were a highlight, and we're glad to hear he'll be returning for basketball reasons alone. But his unique personality has made his off-the-court presence especially refreshing. His Twitter account is always entertaining, whether he's tweeting pictures of his own vomit or urging Deron… More >>
  • Best Karma is a Bitch

    Jason Kidd Car Crash and DWI

    Jason Kidd, the 39-year-old point guard who helped lead the Mavericks to their championship in 2011, shocked Dallas July 5 when he signed a three-year contract with the New York Knicks for $9.5 million — just half a million more than what the Mavs reportedly offered. Ten days later, at about 2 a.m. on July 15, he crashed his Cadillac… More >>
  • Best Dallas Cowboy

    DeMarcus Ware

    In the days leading up to the NFL opener, it was said, somewhere on the AM dial, that the Cowboys would struggle to contain the Giants' offense because the Cowboys had "no pass rush." It was an understandable assessment, given their inability to so much as breathe on Eli Manning last season. But then the season opener came, and we… More >>
  • Best Dallas Star

    Jamie Benn

    After just three seasons with the Dallas Stars, Jamie Benn has already flown up the ranks to become the face of the franchise. Not since Mike Modano rode his feathered mullet into town have we seen a player with such skill lace up for the celestial skaters. Benn has seen his point totals increase with each season, and with another… More >>
  • Best Texas Ranger

    Josh Hamilton

    Don't let Adrian Beltre's recent onslaught confuse the issue: Josh Hamilton is the Rangers' star. And don't let Hamilton's expiring contract cloud your judgment: You want him, you need him, you have to have him. Maybe not for what the market will demand — he'll be asking for roughly all the money ever, with a player option for the change… More >>
  • Best Solo Performance By a Dallas Athlete

    Josh Hamilton, Four Home Runs

    Josh Hamilton was terrible during June and July, hitting a pathetic .190 during an eight-week stretch. In media interviews, he made ominous allusions to private struggles, leading to worries that he was relapsing on his crack-smoking habit. Turns out, he was just trying to quit chewing tobacco. Before and since, however, Hamilton has had a typically outstanding season, at the… More >>
  • Best Place to Work Out

    CrossFit 214

    It's easy to confuse this gym for a prison yard: The stripped-down interior and bare-bones furnishings don't imply a cushy afternoon, sipping lemonade post-sauna. But that minimalist approach to fitness is the Ross Avenue location's source of strength. There are no distractions here. Instead, there's a revolving workout program that changes daily, so you can't rest on your lumpy, unchiseled… More >>
  • Best People Watching

    Serious Pizza, midnight, any Saturday

    This town's greatest sideshow of late-night humanity is situated at the swirling nexus in Serious Pizza and the area between the shop and its two next-door neighbors: July Alley (bar) and Elm Street Tattoo (inkery). Deep Ellum's rock 'n' roll finery is all on display, as hungry, sweaty, drunk, music-buzzed people wait patiently in line to put ludicrously large slices… More >>
  • Best (Or Possibly Most Ill-Advised) Cursing Out

    Lawyer Martin Sweeney, former partner at Cozen O'Connor

    "Fuck with me and you will have a huge asshole," Sweeney memorably promised his opposing council, a guy named Chad Arnette from Kelley, Hart & Hallman. It was an email conversation about scheduling conflicts that somehow went completely, wonderfully off the rails, landing on legal blog Above the Law as well as our own Unfair Park. The two sides couldn't… More >>
  • Best Politician

    Scott Griggs

    Scott Griggs was elected last summer, ousting the wildly unpopular, frequently absent Dave Neumann. Honestly, they probably could have run a reasonably charming sock monkey against him and still shown Neumann the door. But Griggs has quickly joined fellow council members Angela Hunt and Sandy Greyson in what we can only term the Axis of Making Sense. He's fought against… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood

    North Wynnewood

    Only three miles from downtown but a world unto itself, the North Wynnewood neighborhood in Oak Cliff is proof the 1950s weren't just about insanely grinning pipe-smoking dad figures in beltless trousers next to coral-green cars with cartoon tail fins. North Wynnewood is the best of '50s cool architecture, beautifully maintained for decades by families who never moved, occupied now… More >>
  • Best Ongoing Crusade

    Dwaine Caraway versus Saggy Pants

    For more than five years, City Council member and former Mayor Dwaine Caraway has been the city's loudest voice against the unchecked menace of dudes who don't belt their pants at the waist. In mid-June, to our inexpressible joy, Caraway announced that he's relaunching his anti-sagging crusade. It's about deference for ladies, he told a packed house at a press… More >>
  • Best Mini-Oasis Downtown

    Thanks-Giving Square

    Thanks-Giving Square is a little enigma in the heart of downtown, a tiny, roughly triangular slab of land given over to a sort of park. There are murals there, and a fountain, and best of all a gorgeous, spiral-shaped chapel, featuring a stunning ceiling inlaid with stained-glass. It opened in 1973, with its stated mission is "to offer a place… More >>
  • Best Skate Park

    Lively Pointe, Irving

    Two years ago, local skateboarders got a 20,000-square-foot gift: a free, well-lit, professionally designed skate park, one with the very first cradle in Texas. It came courtesy of the city of Irving and SITE Design Group, a company that makes "action sports" parks all over the world. Lively Pointe has since become a center for skateboarders and BMXers of all… More >>
  • Best Escape from Reality

    Scarborough Renaissance Festival

    This 35-acre village in Waxahachie makes for the perfect escape from modern society. The Scarborough Renaissance Festival started in 1981 and portrays the year 1533 during the reign of England's King Henry VIII. Festival goers delve into a world of make-believe, encouraged to dress the part of a Renaissance warlock or beer wench and meander through the village where they… More >>
  • Best Public Tennis Court

    Lake Cliff Park

    Why play tennis at Lake Cliff? Because as you approach the courts you pass County Commissioner John Wiley Price's house and that ridiculous Suburban with his grinning face plastered on the side. Because, aside from the spirited pickup game thumping up and down the adjacent basketball courts, it's usually empty. Because if anyone ever is out there, they suck just… More >>
  • Best School of Rock

    Zounds Sounds

    Gone are the days when musician kids sweat it for days leading up to a recital. Recitals are boring anyway. Zounds Sounds founder Marc Solomon knows this well, so he did away with them. At Zounds Sounds, a school of rock for kids, Solomon puts the students up on a real club stage, where actual touring acts perform, and invites… More >>
  • Best Outdoor Music Series

    Patio Sessions

    We all fight through the oppressive summer months each year and when we hit that short span of time when the weather is actually nice, who wants to be inside? Thankfully, the AT&T Performing Arts Center makes great use of the nice weather with its outdoor live music series, Patio Sessions. The shows are expertly curated with top local acts… More >>
  • Best Homebrew Event

    Brew Riot

    There are other homebrew events, such as the Bluebonnet Brew-off and various North Texas Homebrewers Association gatherings. But Brew Riot appeals to casual beer drinkers, not just dedicated homebrewers and their understanding companions, with a daylong party in the Bishop Arts District. This past May was the fourth iteration of the annual festival, which has grown year by year. Current… More >>
  • Best Beer Event (That the Observer Didn't Throw)

    Big Texas Beer Fest

    It's impossible to top Dallas BrewFest or last year's Brew at the Zoo, though we may be a tad biased. So as far as beer events in which we don't have an interest, the April 14 Big Texas Beer Fest was our favorite by a long shot. It brought dozens of breweries and thousands of happy beer drinkers to Fair… More >>
  • Best Forrest Gump

    Jeff Liles

    Talk to Kessler Theater artistic director (basically, a booker with style) Jeff Liles for a few minutes and the conversation will likely turn to a strange encounter with a rock star, relationship with a famous rapper or some momentous musical event in Dallas history. Whether it's his role in the infamous Nirvana show at Trees, how he was the first… More >>
  • Best Dallas Website


    Food porn is not easy. Any photographer who's accidentally flashed their ground meat, or viewer who's been subject to the nasty, fluorescent hue given to a dish under poor light knows bad food photography. Which is why it was impressive when YouPlus Dallas, which we gave Best Dallas Website last year as well, managed to put together a sexy, slow-mo… More >>
  • Best Skyline Feature (Tie)

    Reunion Tower (Now in Color!) and the Omni Hotel

    We're pretty certain that the gaudy color-changing neon curves of the new Omni Hotel and the sparkling, newly colorful lights of the city's One Big Ball are eventually going to distract some poor driver enough to cause a vehicular accident on northbound Interstate 35, if they haven't already. Hopefully that won't precipitate any cries to tone it down a bit.… More >>
  • Best Comedian

    Clint "Paco" Werth

    When a Dallas comedy show calls for edgy, dirty and shocking, Clint "Paco" Werth is one of the go-to comics. His Twitter ruminations are consistently funny, and in the past year, he opened for two of the most cringe-inducing, line-crossing comedians working today, Neil Hamburger at the Texas Theatre and Doug Stanhope at Trees. And Werth held his own with… More >>
  • Best Place to Work Remotely

    Murray Street Coffee Shop

    You can't get work done at your house. Your dog and Netflix subscription are constantly jockeying for your attention, luring you into a state of nap-time entropy. You have to venture out. At Murray Street you get what you need and more: an abundance of surge protectors for your electronics, good music played at not overly aggressive volumes, great coffee,… More >>
  • Best Place to Meet Single Dads

    The Fraternal Order of Eagles No. 3108

    There's something sexy about a man launching a child off his shoulders in a swimming pool. If that child is dressed like a superhero or princess, your womb will actually quiver. The scientific phenomenon is one that even women who don't want kids are unable to resist. It's primal: You see the man as someone who can accept responsibility, probably… More >>
  • Best Place to Relax

    White Rock Lake

    Thank you, Civilian Conservation Corps, for creating this lake from farmland in the 1930s. Thank you, members of For the Love of the Lake, for keeping it clean and pretty with your monthly spruce-up crews. Thank you, dog park (Dallas' first), for giving our fur families places to romp and splash with their fur friends. Thank you, squirrels, rabbits, possums,… More >>
  • Best Tourist-Watching Spot

    The Grassy Knoll

    Back in the 1980s, a local trickster used to pull the same stunt every November. Around the anniversary of the JFK assassination, November 22, he'd sprinkle a few shell casings around the Grassy Knoll, that hillock just below the Texas School Book Depository and across the street from Dealey Plaza. He just wanted to watch the tourists when they thought… More >>
  • Best Pool for Wannabe Country Clubbers

    The Fairmont Hotel

    It's almost ridiculously easy to trespass into this downtown luxury hotel's gorgeous swimming pool. Stroll over to the north elevators, push "T" for terrace level and exit onto the massive pool deck. No card key necessary (yet) and nobody bird-dogging interlopers. We've done it. More than once. There are comfy lounge chairs, free towels, shady areas with tables and lots… More >>
  • Best Bathroom Graffiti

    Lakewood Landing

    It's right there on the wall above the urinal, staring back at you mid-pee. Amid the gibberish and wild-scrawled drawings: "Ayn Rand had some big ass titties." Mid expel, you find yourself questioning the veracity of this bold statement. It's nearly too descriptive to be false, right? And let's not discount the talent it takes to pen this during urination,… More >>
  • Best Movie Wrangler

    Adam Conway, Angelika Film Center & Café in Mockingbird Station

    You don't know who he is, but he's been pushing movies in front of your face through Dallas' Angelika Theatre on Mockingbird for the past few years. A die-hard film nerd (Conway spawned from SMU's Cinema program), he has been wrangling themed screenings, TV premiere parties and Q&As as Angelika's events and marketing manager. This year, Conway has been everywhere,… More >>
  • Best Donation

    Mark Cuban Saves the Parade

    Dude. Duuuude. Remember when Cubes saved the parade? Back in February, there was a minor earthquake in North Texas. Not the geological kind, the emotional one: The Greenville Avenue St. Patrick's Day parade was on life support. Preparing livers quivered with fear as the news spread, and reporters (like us) were dispatched to follow up. Then came Mark Cuban: He… More >>
  • Best Fucking Texas Tumblr


    What is it about Texas pride? It's a feeling that pumps around with your blood. That bath-like heat in Austin, the cold Lone Star beer and spicy barbecue. It's taking photos of Luckenbach, your Whataburger or ice on a bottle of real Dr Pepper. Fortunately, there's a Tumblr that has no problem visualizing it for you. It'll get you through… More >>
  • Best Bow-Out

    Erykah Badu

    Just after midnight on Sunday, January 15, Erykah Badu pulled up in a black Stingray to lead a funeral procession down Main Street. Only it wasn't for a body. No, this processional was the New Orleans-style jazz-funk Rebirth Brass Band trailing behind Badu playing melancholy, sometimes whimsical tunes to signal the last breath of the PM Nightlife Lounge in the… More >>
  • Best Future Arts Leader

    Nicole Stewart

    A little more than three years ago, Nicole Stewart was in Venice Beach, California, and she was heartbroken. She'd been pursuing acting since she was 14 and was looking to be in a sitcom. Then her agent dropped her. Fast forward to 2012, when Stewart, minted in a city she knows well (her grandparents are legends in the art scene… More >>
  • Best Community Garden

    Bhutanese Refugee Garden

    The best thing about community gardens in older urban areas is their sheer obduracy — the grit and patience, the sweat equity involved in digging down through rubble to find real dirt again and bring it back to green abundance. A great example is this garden, four-tenths of an acre of serenity just off a noisy intersection in Old East… More >>
  • Best Canoe Trail

    White Rock Creek

    It's not even one of the official canoe trails designated by the state, but some of those you're not allowed to use anyway, like the one downtown on the Trinity River. White Rock Creek north (upstream) from White Rock Lake has the appeal of some bushwhacking, getting out where you don't need no stinkin' official canoe trail, thank you. Half… More >>
  • Best Garden Tour

    Water Wise Tour

    Every year on the first Saturday in June the city of Dallas teams up with Addison, the Texas Agrilife Extension Service and the Master Gardeners of Dallas County to present a tour of gardens and landscaping that demonstrate sound water conservation techniques. The gardens and landscape installations on the tour always present a delightful and surprisingly broad spectrum of possibilities,… More >>
  • Best Arcade


    Arcades are officially on the endangered species list of entertainment venues. Blame the cost of coin-op upkeep or those whippersnappers with their fancy schmancy home systems, but these watering holes for nerds are few and far between. That's why finding one that's not only survived, but also maintained its eccentricity as Nickelrama has, feels like a bizarro throwback to an… More >>
  • Best Dog Park

    Central Dog Park at Central Christian Church

    As any apartment dweller can attest, bathing your pooch at home is a messy task, one that inevitably ends in an emergency call to a plumber. Add on that your fur child requires several hours of cross-fit daily just so he doesn't destroy your home, and you have yourself a dog park challenge. Central Dog Park is a lovely secluded… More >>
  • Best Pro Wrestling

    Pro Wrestling Onslaught

    Pro Wrestling Onslaught has everything the WWE offers and more, and also less. More great characters, more humor, more originality, more fun. Less in the way of 'roided-up muscleheads, less cost to enjoy the bouts live, less distance between spectators and the action. The characters include skinny everyday-looking guys, a longhaired chubby burnout who runs in terror from a more… More >>
  • Best Place to Leave Your Toddler Unattended While You Have a Cocktail


    So you don't consider yourself the NorthPark type. It's too close to the Park Cities, and it is filled with places in which every item is worth more than your car. All true enough, but there's also a little place called Bookmarks. It's a public library, but without the homeless people. Plus, it's just for kids. There are children's books… More >>
  • Best Facial Hair on a Candidate For Public Office

    Domingo Garcia's mustache

    It's been a century since William Howard Taft rocked a mustache in the Oval Office. That 'stache, while admittedly righteous, is also sad, marking as it does the death knell of facial hair in American politics. Every president since has been clean-shaven. In lower office, facial hair has hardly been prevalent. That's why Domingo Garcia's run for a U.S. House… More >>
  • Best Dallas Twitter Feed


    Maybe we sound like a Travel Channel show host here, but sometimes the best way to get to know a city's culture is through the food. So, if some wayward alien named Glorbers crashed his disc-shaped spacecraft into White Rock Lake and decided to live amongst us in secret, how would he get to know the iconic food behind our… More >>
  • Best Evangelical Preacher

    Ed Young, Fellowship Church

    First Baptist's Robert Jeffress may be the marquee name among Dallas evangelicals, but Jeffress has never brought a live lion to his Easter service, spent 24 hours with his wife in a bed on the roof of his megachurch, launched a blog doling out fashion tips to his fellow clergy or written a book titled Sexperiment. That was Ed Young,… More >>
  • Best Way to Cross the Trinity

    Houston Street Viaduct, on a bike

    You might have noticed that the Margaret Hunt Hill bridge opened earlier this year, offering the newest, shiniest, most signature-y way to get across the Trinity River. No matter how high the arch or how famous the architect, no bridge can match the humble charm of the Houston Street Viaduct, best appreciated from a bicycle saddle. Embark from Oak Cliff… More >>
  • Best Place to Ride Your Bike on the Street

    Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard

    Some day, Dallas will boast an extensive network of dedicated bike lanes that will allow riders to get anywhere in the city without so much fear that the side mirror of a speeding F-350 will send them to an early grave. That day is far, far away. The city has a plan for such a system but has been dragging… More >>
  • Best Substitute for Your Mother on Local TV

    Gloria Campos

    It's been nearly 30 years since Gloria Campos first filled an anchor chair at WFAA. Back then, she was one of the young up-and-comers, of the type now forcing veterans like her out of the business. But though she recently stopped doing the 6 p.m. newscast for Channel 8, she's holding strong at 10 and seeming more and more like… More >>
  • Best Twitter Tantrum

    Buzz Bissinger

    Man, what a tool. That's what everyone was thinking, or at least that's what it seemed like on Twitter for the few hours the author of Friday Night Lights trolled Dallas with "Based on book tour, if Dallas slid into sinkhole, nation's IQ would rise by 50 points." The punking of Dallas continued in the dusky eve, as Bissinger imploded… More >>
  • Best Pro Sports Coach

    Ron Washington

    That's the way baseball go, sure. But baseball go where baseball players take it, and only with a manager they trust and respect can they take it to the heights the Rangers have in recent years. Ron Washington is that manager. He's the consummate players' coach, rarely uttering a word in public that doesn't support his guys, and resisting the… More >>
  • Best Sports Franchise

    Texas Rangers

    This one was the Mavericks' to lose after their improbable title run last year, and lose it they did. Owner Mark Cuban dismantled key elements of the team's championship roster, bidding farewell to center Tyson Chandler and winding up with a team that barely limped into the playoffs. Give credit, though, where credit is due. The Rangers, after reaching the… More >>
  • Best Dallas Maverick

    Dirk Nowitzki

    It wasn't supposed to be this way, but it is: Dirk Nowitzki is, and may be for the foreseeable future, the best basketball player in town. It's not always pretty. He's lumbering, he's falling away, he's in desperate need of a haircut. But it works — especially the falling away and the jump shot it enables — and it will… More >>

Search Best Of Awards