Empire Baking Company
Alex Scott

If you eat a sandwich at any restaurant in Dallas, there's a good chance the bread came from Empire Baking Company. The family-owned bakery has a retail store at Inwood and Lovers Lane, but you'll find their beautiful baguettes and pain au levain all over the city at spots like Scardello.

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Empire Baking Co.

It's worth the drive to visit Local Yocal Farm to Market, a rancher-owned butcher in McKinney. The meat oasis specializes in grass-fed, hormone-, antibiotic- and steroid-free meat like premium wagyu and DNA-verified Angus beef. The shop also sells local products you'll find at the McKinney Farmers Market and hosts Steak 101 classes to teach omnivores about the complicated world of beef. If you're bored with beef, Local Yocal carries naturally raised Berkshire pork and, depending on the season, grass-fed lamb.

Jaram's Donuts

Calling themselves the "Artsy Donuttiers in North Dallas," Jarams Donuts specializes in adorable and delicious doughnut creations like the Pineapple Fruinut (a funnel cake doughnut filled with pineapple chunks) and a crème brûlée doughnut with a delightfully caramelized exterior. Their heart-shaped croissant doughnut with hibiscus syrup and white chocolate-dipped cherries replaced flowers as our go-to Valentine's Day gift this year.

Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters

Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters takes coffee seriously. Owner Shannon Neffendorf sources his coffee with care, creating direct trade relationships with coffee farms around the world. In December 2015, OCCR opened Oak Cliff's Coffee Goods, a shop filled with the tools necessary to brew with integrity, and in February this year Neffendorf took its first coffee sourcing trip to East Africa.

There's no denying that the macaron has taken Dallas by storm. You'll find this delicate French confection at bakeries all over the city, but one sunny spot has made these sweet cookies their raison d'être: Joy Macarons. With flavors like lemon fleur de sel, and violet and black currant, Joy has made a reputation as Dallas' favorite mac-slinger. This year, the Oak Cliff shop expanded with a new location on Lower Greenville, and their macaron ice cream sandwiches were a summer hit.

Bar Belmont

Batch cocktails — libations made in advance — aren't just convenient; at Bar Belmont, they're superb. Fun glass bottles are filled ahead of time with cocktails like the Hemmingwayward (cherry wood-infused white rum, Luxardo Maraschino, grapefruit, lime) and the Mifune (vodka, matcha tea syrup, lemon, soda). An added bonus: the $13 bottles each hold about two cocktails, so you really get your money's worth. Carry your Hemmingwayward out to the patio for a cocktail hour with a view.

CiboDivino
Kathy Tran

You're on your way home from work and in need of a quick dinner and a decent bottle of wine. CiboDivino Marketplace can accommodate with pre-made side dishes, a wine selection that's priced competitively and 44 Farms beef in the meat case. Grab a steak and some sides or settle in for Neapolitan pizza and a bottle of wine, which you can drink in-house for retail price. Cap off your market run with Paciugo gelato or by grabbing groceries for tomorrow.

SusieCakes
Beth Rankin

Despite lines snaking around the TV-famous bakery nearby, SusieCakes is the new Preston Center bakery that people should be excited about. The California implant specializes in classic cakes made with no artificial preservatives or high-fructose corn syrup. Don't leave without trying SusieCakes' flagship sweet: the Vanilla Celebration Cake, a six-layer vanilla cake flecked with sugar confetti. It tastes like your grandma's kitchen smelled as she baked holiday sweets.

Heim Barbecue

After Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor infamously punched Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista, Odor became a hero in North Texas. The meat-slingers at Heim Barbecue, ever the Rangers fans, responded by offering Odor free barbecue for life. The Texas Ranger hasn't taken Heim up on their offer, but Heim soon found themselves written up in national press for the meat offer and corresponding T-shirts, which sold out instantly. This, naturally, led to death threats from Blue Jays fans, which led to even more press. The whole thing may not have netted Odor any barbecue, but Heim made some new fans — and Canadian enemies — in the process.

Nestled in next to the Dallas Farmers Market, Mudhen Meats and Greens specializes in "food that won't kill you." Massive chalkboards at each end of the excessively bright, farm-themed restaurant alert diners as to which vegetables are currently available, and the substantial menu is vegetable-heavy but not dull. Keep it healthy with smoothies or a cup of hot bone broth, or work your way through a decent craft beer selection and cocktails accented by ingredients like rosemary, basil and red bell pepper.

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