Best Place to Buy Texan Apparel 2021 | AJ Vagabonds | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer
Xochitl Gonzalez/KathyTran

AJ Vagabonds is a clothing and outdoors store tailor-made for all Texans and Dallasites desiring to better advertise their national and local identities. Here you will find T-shirts reading "Texas babe," "Dallas is wild," and "Hike the great Trinity Forest" — as well as the classic "Texas Chica" or "Texas Chico" tee printed in the Topo Chico logo's font. Here you will find Texas-, Dallas- and Oak Cliff-themed necklaces, stickers, pins, patches, posters and mugs, among every other kind of knickknack. Here you will find outdoorsy books, local food and merchant pop-ups, and boutique sports and camping gear. It's the perfect one-stop shop for anybody who takes pride in their city or state.

Michael Barera

Located in the West End, the appropriately named Wild Bill's Western Store is the spot to hit up if you have high hopes of refashioning yourself as a bona fide cowboy. Wild Bill's is a family-owned business that's been around for upwards of six decades, and they've got the necessary gear for aspiring cowboys, cowgirls and cowkids, whether you're looking for a saddle, new boots or just a good old fashioned cowboy hat. Better still, if you're looking for a souvenir to give your non-Texan friends or family, Wild Bill's has chef's aprons stamped with the Texas flag and guaranteed-to-make-you-sweat Ass Blaster Hot Sauce (which comes in a tiny outhouse-shaped container).

North Texas pet lovers are sure to salivate over Susie's Snack Shop in Denton. Located a few doors down from a 2020 Best of Dallas winner, Ten : One Artisanal Cheese Shop, Susie's offers dog owners North Texas-milled, quality kibble that's free of dairy, soy and grain. Their wide array of dog treats boasts a bevy of flavors and will satisfy the most finicky eaters. But the store's claims to fame are the smoked chicken feet, which are packed with glucosamine to help soothe your pet's achy joints.

Steven Monacelli

For years, Dallas-area Democrat Lee Merritt has made a name for himself as one of the nation's top civil rights attorneys. His work for North Texas Black families whose loved ones died at the hands of law enforcement has helped to shine a light on the need for police reforms. This year, Merritt guided the family of Marvin Scott III in their quest to hold Collin County officials accountable for the homicide of the 26-year-old, who died in police custody. Merritt has since announced his candidacy for Texas attorney general, promising to safeguard voting rights if elected.

Erika Suarez / The University of Texas at Arlington

Since last year, journalists have been tasked with delivering readers reliable, accurate information about the novel coronavirus. To do that, of course, they've needed to hear from public health experts who have a knack for explaining science in a way that everyone can understand. Enter the University of Texas at Arlington's Dr. Erin Carlson, who emerged as a guiding light during a dark time. A gifted communicator, Carlson always delivers dire prognoses with a kind, gentle bedside manner. Be sure to thank the good doctor if you ever get a chance; she's working overtime to keep North Texans safe.

Hannah Ridings

Before you order another record, boxset, protective sleeves or anti-static turntable mat from Jeffrey Bezos' website, consider buying your vinyl and record collecting supplies online while also supporting a local brick-and-mortar record store. During the early days of the pandemic, Good Records quickly sprang into action launching "Good Records to Go," a new website offering customers the freedom to browse their record bins online with free delivery within a 60-mile radius from the store with a $60 minimum purchase. After shoppers place an order online, the goods are delivered that evening or the following morning (as routes and schedules allow) to porch or patio just as a text with a photo of the order arrives to the customer's phone. Curbside pickup is also available, and several mail-order shipping options are offered.

Xochitl Gonzalez/Kathy Tran

North Texas has many stores dedicated to superhero, science-fiction, fantasy and horror collectibles, but this Addison location is dedicated to exclusive anime merchandise. Offering collectible items from programs like Naruto, Dragonball Z and Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, Anime Pop boasts an extensive collection of action figures, scale models, trading cards, plush items, apparel and soundtracks. Non-locals not able to make the trek to the physical location have enjoyed the shop's up-to-date online library, but dedicated Dallas fans get to experience the location's meet-ups and speciality events.

Courtesy of the Statler

Established in 1956 and thoroughly renovated this century, The Statler has been host to performances by the likes of Jackson 5, Frank Sinatra and so many others. The Statler was known at the time for celebrity appearances. With a mid-20th century design, The Statler has long been a hub for entertainment with a boutique hotel attached to it. Jazz performer Tony Bennett sang his heart out for the grand reopening of The Statler Ballroom in March 2018. Besides stellar performances, The Statler also rocks a bangin' variety of food and drink options at several eateries and bars. The ballroom's capacity is scalable to accommodate up to 1,600 people, which means plenty of room for you and all your friends.

Kathy Tran

Getting a clean shave and a fresh haircut at the barber is so much more than just pulling hairs. It's a tradition — an unchanged process that goes back all the way to the ancient Egyptians. Sitting in the barber's chair typically signifies something important is on the horizon. An upcoming date? A job interview? Or even just a desire to have the finest follicles in all of Dallas?. When the step-by-step ritual of the barber is taken into consideration, there are few finer than Brass Tacks, located inside the Aldophus Hotel. Their style is timeless, their barbers knowledgeable, and they hold on to the spirit that has made going to get a straight razor shave and a line-up a rite of passage since before the pyramids were around.

Lauren Drewes Daniels

{neighborhood} in the Design District is both a designer furniture store and art studio. Its modern desert vibe, soft tones and quirky decor channel the West Texas town of Marfa. All those couches and comfy chairs might make you wish this was Airbnb. Alas, you can't snuggle up with a good book on one of the Blu Dot sofas, but you can purchase art from up-and-coming independent artists; the space doubles as a studio and offers a variety of work, often local, on a rotating basis. During Black history month {neighborhood} hosted a collection from six local female artists called Tellin' Our Stories. If you're shopping for either furniture or art, or just want to be inspired by both, this is a great place to go.

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