Sprinkles Cupcakes

There's nothing more specific to the human condition than experiencing a random craving for a sugary treat in the middle of the night. And sometimes, what the heart wants, exclusively, is a well-made cupcake. Nothing else will do. Sprinkles came up with a solution to our frustratingly specific appetite. The bakery has an ATM where you can withdraw your cupcake of choice through machines in two North Texas locations. The Dallas ATM, so far, is always better stocked up, even though there's a line formed in front of it seemingly at all hours. Make your selection and get your little box of goodness from the robot, you hopeless human.

Best Place To Get Tickled
Ashley Woodruff

For some of us, getting tickled feels like a form of medieval torture, but hey, if you're one of those who actually laughs at tickling, and you're even willing to pay for this service, there's a place that can make it happen. After 20 years running a tourism nonprofit that paired hopeful travelers with volunteer work destinations, COVID put a stop to Kimberly Haley-Coleman's plans. But she was tickled at the idea of a new venture and is now the owner of a space where customers can get tickled pink. Almost literally. Before the tickling sessions begin, guests are served a glass of rose wine and pink cookies. They are then taken into a Moroccan-style tent where they choose 25- or 50-minute tickle sessions and their weapon of choice, too: feathers, combs and other devices, or even a firmer scratch.

If you head to Mando's Spot to pick up a pipe or papers before the session, you'll find yourself tempted to return afterward to satisfy some other craving as well. Along with its good selection of vaping and smoking paraphernalia and legal highs such as Delta-8 THC hemp and kratom, Mando's has shelves of fascinating snack flavors from around the world. You can venture beyond barbecue with Lay's Numb & Spicy Hot Pot, Grilled Squid or Cucumber flavor potato chips; conquer cottonmouth with a bubble milk or peach oolong tea; and satisfy your sweet tooth with Skittles from Israel. Save some quarters for a couple plays of the vintage Mortal Kombat II machine on your way out.

Finding a tire shop in Oak Cliff is easier than finding a nail or screw in the road, which is also very easy to do in Oak Cliff and most of Dallas, thus the plethora of options. San Luis has made several of our tire replacements about as pain-free as that can be. They've done even more quick, cheap patch jobs on leaky tires that we suspect most of the bigger chains would have insisted were irreparable and in need of replacement, along with two others that are starting to show some wear and hey, as long as you're replacing three, you might as well do all four for just a little more. On our most recent purchase, a pair of new SUV tires came to less than $100 apiece, and not only did they throw in a free rotation with the tires, they called to let us know the price from their supplier went down and passed the savings on. Think Firestone or NTB is gonna do that?

There is no shortage of roofing companies stopping by to do free inspections following any big storm, and that monstrous hailstorm back in April was particularly productive. What's the saying? April showers bring new boats for roofing contractors? Something like that. Regions Commercial Roofing replaced several roofs on our block along with ours, and they all look great. The project manager walked us through every step of dealing with the insurance company, answered our questions about color and composition choices and options such as adding gutters, made himself available at any time during the process and gave us cost estimates that were accurate to the penny — no surprise charges, just a nice new roof over our heads.

Best Thrift Store
Kate Siamro

With nine locations scattered across Dallas-Fort Worth, from Garland to Irving to Denton, Thrift Giant is a massive chain. Head to the Belt Line Road location in Irving just down the street from Texas Thrift and Goodwill for stunning finds old and new at low prices. Although it's not the cheapest thrift store in the city, you could easily buy an entirely new wardrobe for less than $100. The glassware collection is stellar, full of old ash trays, quirky mugs and beautiful drinking glasses; the bag and coat collections are also nice. Head into the store with no expectations and expect to walk out with floor length coats, nylon sweatpants printed with retro advertisements and houndstooth galore.

Best Resale for a Cause
Kathy Tran

If we're gonna hoard clothes and shop compulsively, we might as well make it count, and we can't think of a better cause to take our money than the Genesis Women's Center, which supports victims of domestic violence. The issue intensified during the pandemic, as abuse soared while families were stuck at home, and one place that can always be counted on (going on two decades) is the Dallas nonprofit. The store also has an incredibly tasteful selection of clothing, furniture, shoes and jewelry. Neighbors are clearly donating great items. It's a win all around.

Best Boot Shop
Xochitl Gonzalez/KathyTran

Boots are made for walking, stomping, riding and dominatrixing, and in North Texas, they're made for two-stepping. Whatever your agenda, you'll find the right fit at Lucchese. With three North Texas locations, the store will complete your Marlboro Man look, and you don't even have to take up smoking. Their high-end cowboy boots pair well with daisy dukes, dresses and your sass. The shops also sell luggage and leather candles to finish off your dream cowgirl aesthetic. Lucchese is also the maker behind the official boots for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and the brand has collaborated on a line with country queen Kacey Musgraves.

Located next to Murray Street Coffee and just down the street from Dated Faded Worn, Add Vintage has a quirky selection of newer and cheaper vintage. Sequined shoulder pad jackets, silk robes, ratty tees, hunting camo, baggy, ripped and faded denim and so on. What the store lacks in size it makes up for in diversity. Plenty of finds are priced between $20 and $40 — shockingly low prices for a self-described vintage store in the shopping mecca that is Dallas.

Not just vintage, not just thrift, Crossroads Trading offers used clothes both old and new at moderate prices. Sift through the racks of pants and skirts for fun finds, but above all go for the jewelry. Located in display cases by the cash register are pairs upon pairs of gold and silver earrings — snakes, swords, birds, beads, oh my. Rings, too, abound, in many colors. What makes Crossroads so great is the diversity and price. Jewelry pieces perfect for hipsters, goths, granolas and businesspeople await, all at reasonable prices. Located on Main Street next door to Vidorra and across from Merit Coffee, Crossroads is also a perfect beginning or ending for any Deep Ellum excursion.

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