Best Coffee Shop 2017 | Houndstooth Coffee | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer
Robert Yu

When it comes to Texas coffee shops, few names carry as far as Houndstooth. With the formerly Austin-centric shop's first space on Henderson Avenue (followed by a stunning new modern shop in Sylvan Thirty), owner Sean Henry and his team introduced the city to their clean and sophisticated approach to our morning cups. The coffees served — which include offerings from the brand's sister company, Tweed Coffee Roasters, as well as national favorites such as Roseline from Portland and Durham's Counter Culture Coffee — are as clean and complex as can be, made possible by well-trained baristas with professional respect for their craft in tandem with the most up-to-date technologies the coffee industry has to offer. Houndstooth started in Austin, but with two locations in Dallas, it's now just as invested in this city's coffee culture as any of our stellar native third-wave coffee shops.

Readers' Pick: Ascension Coffee

Beth Rankin

At a time when White Rock Coffee was the only game in town, two of its baristas, Jonathan Meadows and Nathan Shelton, were scheming and dreaming of how to take over the Dallas coffee scene. In 2009, each barely older than 20, the duo took a swing at it and rapidly came to dominate the Dallas specialty coffee market. Cultivar Coffee is the most tenured roaster in town, and eight years after opening, it still has what it takes to be the best around. Cultivar has developed long-standing relationships and familiarity with the coffees it works with and has been able to turn out an outstanding product with unparalleled consistency. It's now able to serve up coffees in cafes in Oak Cliff, Denton and East Dallas.

Readers' Pick: Ascension Coffee

Scott Reitz

This local nonprofit has been expanding around DFW, setting up producer-only markets where you can shop for seasonal produce, snag locally made baked goods and even take a yoga class between purchases. Every Saturday morning, hit up the markets at White Rock, 9150 Garland Road, or Tyler Street, 922 W. Ninth St., or visit the new Thursday night market at Paul Quinn College, 3837 Simpson Stuart Road. The company occasionally hosts special events like vegan pop-up markets.

Readers' Pick: Dallas Farmers Market

Beth Rankin

OK, so maybe you won't be eating dinner here — or maybe you will if you're the fun parent — but it's hard to find a more fun spot to take the kids than Hypnotic Emporium, the old-fashioned East Dallas candy shop, soda fountain and ice cream spot. An offshoot of Hypnotic Donuts next door, this old-timey spot serves stellar ice cream from Denton's Beth Marie. Get the kiddos a hot doughnut ice cream sandwich while you treat yourself to a malt that will make you feel like a kid again, too.

Readers' Pick: Magic Time Machine

Beth Rankin

If it can even remotely be considered a breakfast food, Cindi's serves it. The pancake menu is bigger than some local breakfast joints' entire menus, and the selection of fresh bagels, omelets, latkes and blintzes sweetens the deal. The lox plate is a perennial favorite, but whatever you order, it comes out fast and hits the spot every time.

Readers' Pick: Bread Winners

Beth Rankin

A refreshing departure from the kitschy, sprawling Tex-Mex eateries that feel more like theme parks than restaurants, E Bar is a cozy, low-key spot serving simple but definitely effective Tex-Mex favorites. The margs are solid, the chips and salsa are appropriately addictive, and you can chow down on two enchiladas with beans and rice for less than $9 during lunch.

Readers' Pick: Chuy's

Kathy Tran

Vegetarian and vegan dining are having a serious moment in DFW. With more options than ever, even the staunchest carnivores are going meatless occasionally in the pursuit of fun, plant-based food. At V-Eats, fun is definitely on the menu. From seitan "brisket" to jack fruit chicken-fried "steak," this food is hearty enough to sate even the beefiest Texan and inventive enough to make it one of the city's most interesting restaurants.

Readers' Pick: Cosmic Café

Kathy Tran

La Me, situated at the corner where Dallas meets Richardson and Garland, is a restaurant where the neighborhood's Vietnamese community meets for all manner of superb soups and noodle dishes. That means a lot more than pho: Try mi quang, noodles made yellow with turmeric, or mi kho dac biet, a house special soup topped with a whole shrimp fried directly into a large cracker. There's a marvelous rendition of shaking beef, the national beef stir-fry, as well as the opportunity to build your own spring rolls by ordering the confusingly named Tiny Rice Stick platter. La Me is a great place for newcomers to try the diversity of Vietnamese food for the first time, but, judging from the clientele here, it's also a favorite among those who've been eating the cuisine their entire lives.

Readers' Pick: Pho is For Lovers

Hannah Ridings

This summer, The Stoneleigh became the hottest of summer hot spots when it launched its free weekend pool parties, which opened up the Uptown hotel's pool to anyone every Saturday and Sunday, no hotel room, expensive ticket or smuggled room key required. The hotel sweetened the deal with a small but above-average menu of frozen cocktails that hit the spot without giving us a sugar overload. With high-octane piña coladas and $6 rosé coolers, we sipped and swam all summer in a chic Uptown hotel pool with a DJ and all the Instagrammable pool floats a girl could hope for.

Whether you're hunting for wine, liquor or craft beer, when it comes to overall selection, Total Wine is hard to beat. Its wine experts are up to even the most specific task — one mineraly red that pairs well with Vietnamese seafood, please — and its frequent tastings sweeten the deal. It also hosts inexpensive wine classes like Obscure Varietals 101: The Best Wines You've Never Tried.

Readers' Pick: Spec's Wine, Spirits & Finer Foods

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