BEST PLACE TO BUY A VEGAN COOKBOOK 2020 | Bam's Vegan Store | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer

A brief scroll through vegan chef Brandon Waller's Instagram is, to say the least, mouthwatering. The mac and cheese, falafel burgers and chicken and waffles look deliciously sinful, though because they are vegan, could also potentially be considered healthy. Waller is set to open a Bam's Vegan restaurant later this year, but during the wait, access to the coveted Southern-fusion recipes offered at The Farmer's Market is essential. In addition to e-books, Bam's Vegan offers food for delivery such as nachos and Creole gumbo and an array of sleek trademarked merchandise at its online shop.

Ranger Ewing

Norman Roscoe is a screen-printing boutique belonging to Ranger Ewing and musician Eric Pulido (E.B. The Younger, Midlake). A staple of the Denton square, the store carries the brand's impressive selection of retro-inspired T-shirts, stickers and other dècor, but it's the company's solidarity that makes it even easier to support. When the pandemic began shattering Norman Roscoe's neighboring businesses in late March, the brand started its Give Back series, donating $10 of sales per T-shirt to the business of the buyers' choice. Through the initiative, the company has raised more than $120,000 for Denton businesses. Through the writing on the graphic tees, you can also proclaim your love of individual causes ("Black Lives Rule") or your disdain for local traffic ("I hate I-35"), whatever mood strikes.

Dallas designers have not fallen short in the challenge of coming up with intricate and stylish designs, but the face mask cake goes to Fort Worth band Toadies, whose mask is both a humorous and serious PSA while maintaining that elite, in-the-know feel for rock music fans. The band's merch includes a black mask that reads "Do you wanna die?" Which is, of course, both a comment about COVID-19 and a lyric to "Possum Kingdom," the band's hit song from their 1994 album Rubberneck. The song's lyrics are as dark as modern times: "Do you want to die, do you want to be my angel?" Maybe we should try reciting them next time we encounter a Karen throwing a fit because she's been asked to wear a face mask in a public space.

No matter how hard tracksuits and sweatpants try, it's nearly impossible for any other fabric to match denim's unparalleled reign. Deep Ellum Denim was founded by friends Jeff Kauffman and Bennie Reed, a pair of self-described denim "nerds," historians and expert curators. The shop specializes in raw selvedge denim (a fashion word that means that the jeans are woven on an authentically old-fashioned loom). The store carries jeans for men and women and brands range from their own Texas-made hand-crafted versions to Japanese and other international brands. Canadian tuxedo enthusiasts need look no further.

Kathy Tran

Since 1992, Lots of Furniture has stood strong on Riverfront Boulevard, providing design aficionados with antique finds, not the usual old garage sale crap you find at most vintage shops these days. The warehouse-style store has no tea room or well-decorated booths, making the shopping experience refreshingly transactional and cost-effective. Each piece is filled with history and built with enduring quality, including an abundance of delicately carved wood furniture. If you're looking to make your home a piecemeal catalog collection of utilitarian comfort — with a side of Swedish meatballs — go to Ikea, but if you're looking to collect pieces that your heirs will fight over, this is the place.

Tiffany Rae Grimes is not so much a colorist, but an artist who uses human heads as a canvas. The Dallas stylist has a gift for the avant-garde, matching the most fantastical of clients' requests with colors found only on an acid-enhanced rainbow. Grimes can whip up vanilla-mocha looks faster than your basic lower-back-tattooed ass can order Starbucks, but she's at her best with her signature mermaid looks. Not only is Grimes a color wizard, but her salon's focus is on fragrance- and allergy-free, holistic, eco-friendly and cruelty-free products.

Fitness is even better when it's equitable, and that's the case for donation-based yoga at Black Swan. There's a community that's loyal, which makes sense considering its welcoming environment. Suggested donations are just $10-20 per class. They also have online yoga from its teachers for those who aren't taking their mats out of the house during the pandemic.

One bright side of the pandemic lockdowns is that all that climbing-up-the-walls boredom inspired us to take a closer look at, well, our walls. Home repairs, gardening and redecorating are as intrinsic to early pandemic culture as Tiger King binging. And, speaking of Walmart enthusiasts, if you've ever tried to buy paint at the megastore you know why Texas Paint & Wallpaper is absolutely essential to our mental health: Expert customer service, a rich variety in product and home delivery are just some of those reasons.

Dr. Carlos Barceló is an eminent craniofacial surgeon. He was one of the team of doctors who separated the skulls of Egyptian twins Mohammed and Ahmed Ibrahim, conjoined at the head in a case so difficult it was featured on Oprah. But Barceló is also a master sculptor of plastic surgery. His cosmetic work (including Brazilian butt lift, Botox and filler injections) is tasteful, life changing but subtle, and his bedside manner is sympathetic and comforting. As a member of the International Esperanza Project, the good doc has also flown overseas to provide free surgeries to children in need. We wouldn't trust anyone else with our bodies.

Sneakers almost took an irreparable dive into a fashion "don't" when Jerry Seinfeld, Larry David and your dad decided to wear no other kind of shoe, but, luckily, figures like Billie Eilish and Kanye West keep the momentum strong. Especially in pandemic times, we don't feel like dressing up in binding or uncomfortable clothing. While Human Dior appears to be temporarily closed, the Dallas store is accepting consignments on its website, so we won't have to wait long to shop their rare and high-end resale items. Their specialty is rare, designer and Japanese brands, but the sneaker shop has a wide variety of cool finds, from silver platforms for men to blue suede stilettos, and endless tasteful streetwear.

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