Best Hair Salon 2021 | Johnny Rodriguez | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer

Success is 10 percent inspiration, 90 percent good hair. A signature haircut can take you from mere mortal to household name (just look at Farrah Fawcett, Jennifer Aniston, Anna Wintour and Dennis Rodman) and make you such an icon you can win the highest office in the world with absolutely no qualifications. You can keep super-cutting and great-clipping your hair or become envied and admired for no great reason, which is where Johnny Rodriguez's salons can help. The salons are high quality and specialize in color correction and services including makeup, microblading and lash tinting. To see Rodriguez himself is pricier, but cut and color with any of his hand-picked stylists are reasonably priced.

Sydney Dickerson

2021 is not going to go down in history for its fashion. Then again, defying all odds (and any measure of taste) the 2000s are making a comeback. While everyone is wearing the same ripped blue jeans and little white tee, you want clothes with personality. That's what you'll find at Beatnik: quality, distinctive pieces that are breezy-cool and modern, without falling into any niche era like a TikTok clone. The overall vibe is fancy hippie, a much more original version of chain Urban Outfitters, with housewares, jewelry and other accessories.

Best Liquor Store for Sophisticated Boozers


Leslee Lovos

Some of us became a more zen version of ourselves this year and picked up yoga and other healthy habits, but what really got us by was liquor. And picking our preferred brand of poison at a fancy store makes us feel more sophisticated than making a last-minute gas station run for boxed wine. That's why liquor store Biagio has become an endless source of personal happiness. The Victory Park spot has rare wines, artisanal liquors and other gems for real connoisseurs who know what really matters in life.

The Dallas store Dolly Python has made our list seemingly every year as a destination for vintage clothing, but we can't emphasize enough just how much weird shit there's also to be found among its booths. Every type of collector will find their personal brand of weird. From taxidermy inspired art to antique purses, cat-eye sunglasses to old photos, it's a spilling treasure trove of valuable, meaningful cool stuff, a perfect spot to find original gifts for your impossibly artsy friend who's normally unimpressed by anything material. Get that friend the fetal artwork that's on sale right now.

A long-standing Dallas institution, Utay was founded in 1930 when watchmaker Oscar Utay opened up shop on Main Street. The business was passed onto his son Eddie, and since his retirement it has been owned by Misti Gryder. The mom and pop store is now a female-owned and female-run business, a shining effort between Gryder and master jeweler Hailey Guild, who specialize in custom jewelry — making one-of-a-kind bits of luxury that are as exquisite as they are personable. It's also a great spot to repair your family jewels; the shop is all about legacy.

Getting married requires more than swiping right on the right person. You also need to be a wizard accountant and skilled event planner. That's why it's important to find a dress that's Marchesa-chic on a non-Marchesa budget. You'll do more than enough overspending on flowers. Though there's something for every kind of bride whether classic or boho, Lovely Bride is known for its modern bridal couture — no-frills, with flattering construction and tastefully sexy, because your pastor and/or grandma will be present. The store also stands out for its customer service. Salespeople aren't pushy (you'll get enough of that from parents pressuring you into inviting relatives you've never met), making at least part of your wedding planning stress-free.

Dallas has plenty of vintage stores to indulge your greatest style fantasies, but we're stuck on Rare Heart. The Oak Cliff store is a whole mood — a goldmine for timeless fashionistas, with plenty of That '70s Show-like costume finds (you know, vintage band tees, denim) and retro dresses for those outdoor picnics you've been meaning to throw to keep a social (distanced) life. But we left our heart on the racks that hold the store's best offerings: a selection of beautifully delicate slip dresses. Rare Heart is a bit pricier than your standard second-hand jumble sale of old clothes, but it's worth it for its excellent curation. These aren't merely clothes; they're investments that'll pay off from eternal wearing.

These days, there's only one style that matters to teens: anything '90s. (Yes, we refuse to acknowledge the early 2000s). Who would've thought that our worst looks — mom jeans and general Larry David vibes — would be all the rage again? Some of the decade's looks do hold up, though, and Lower Greenville's Buffalo Exchange is on it. If you're going for a Manson-inspired look (either Marilyn or Shirley) this is where you can find your Docs, platform black boots or plaid minis. The store's selection, of course, isn't only limited to the Sassy and MTV era, but you'll mostly only find only what's hot right now. You can also trade or sell your own clothes, as long as they're cool, of course. The kids approve.


If you think pink, let your thoughts take you to Talking Out of Turn. The Bishop Arts corner shop features an array of colors, but the store's facade, signage and displays have us dreaming in pink pastels and living la vie en rose. The store's selection is cute and offbeat and every product looks edible (but please don't try them): calendars, notebooks and other stationary, mugs, bags and planners that make organizing your time actually fun. It's a great place to find office supplies with a bit of quirky inspiration to get you excited about going to work again.

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.

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