Best Gift Shop 2022 | Favor the Kind | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer
Kathy Tran

This cozy store's corner location, just a smidge north of Uptown, hides a deceptively large interior where you'll find multiple rooms brimming with gifts full of that "it" factor. On recent trips, we took home some Big Tex glassware, a dish-scrubber in the shape of a sloth, a divine candle and a cheerful Frida Kahlo puzzle. We kept most of those for ourselves, but this really is a go-to for presents: teacher appreciation week calls for the shop's cute initial pendants; friends getting promotions land gorgeous floral pens and quirky (but functional) planners; and we always stock up on hair clips for birthday party offerings. In short, there's something amazing for every occasion on Favor the Kind's shelves, and plenty of goodies that'll make their way home with you.

Makeup artist Denice Robles opened Lust In Beauté Studio during the onset of the pandemic, but that didn't stop Dallas from booking her solid. Robles' kind demeanor, professionalism and exquisite artistry keep her on everyone's glam squad. Once you sit in her chair and let her work her magic, your confidence will skyrocket, and you'll see your natural beauty enhanced. She is unparalleled when it comes to a natural glam or a sultry smoky eye. Since the studio's opening, Robles has expanded her team to include three additional make-up artists and a hairstylist. You'll be guaranteed a long-lasting makeup application with a pristine complexion and sultry allure. Private one-on-one and advanced makeup courses are available for those who want to elevate their own application skillset.

Whether it's too hot or too cold outside, OurCalling opens its doors for people living on the street, even if it comes with some legal ramifications. A city ordinance allowed faith-based organizations like OurCalling to open doors to the homeless in bad weather, but only if the shelters weren't within a half mile of downtown. Founded by local pastor Wayne Walker, OurCalling's facility was well within that limit, meaning they could face fines for sheltering the homeless when it wasn't safe for them to stay outside. OurCalling did it anyway.

Courtesy of Pittman Hotel

This recently restored and renovated modern boutique hotel offers the best of several different worlds: It's situated on the cusp of Deep Ellum and downtown, making both neighborhoods an easy walk or ride. Enjoy dinner and drinks at any number of places, then hop over for a show in Deep Ellum. Or ax throwing. Plus the hotel is a historical gem; the building was designed in 1916 as a temple for the Knights of Pythias by architect William Sidney Pittman, Texas' first African-American architect, a civil rights advocate and son-in-law of Booker T. Washington. We also love the swank restaurant and bar, Elm and Good, which hosts small jazz bands and local singers. Plus the pool offers $50 day passes. 

VaporScape has been family-owned and operated since 2012 and is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this year in Oak Cliff. It has a classic but modern aesthetic that differs from your typical vape store, with countless vape juices that wrap around the walls on the inside of the store. What makes VaporScape unique compared with most vape stores is a vape bar where the customer can come in and sit down while the staff mixes fresh juices and oils to give you the exact taste you are looking for.

Patrick Williams

According to the shop's website, City Boots founder Lizzy Chesnut grew up in Amarillo (where cowboy boots are as common as sneakers) before heading to SMU. Then, she took a job as a financial analyst, where she saw plenty of men wearing boots, but few women. She has worked to correct the inequity by creating her own brand of high-end boots. Hand-made by craftsmen, these fashionable boots are butter soft and decorated with intricate stitching and cut-out designs. They share about as much in common with workday Ropers as a ballet slipper does with a steel-toed work boot. At least, we've never seen a cowpoke wearing a pair of high-heeled pink boots decorated with hearts or lightning bolts, but then it's been a long time since we've been to Amarillo. City Boots are perfect for women who want high fashion but also like to show a little Texas spirit. City Boots lets customers choose from a variety of lettering and decorative gewgaws to create a personalized set of boot straps.

"The Bling Queen" is back. Many will remember Seema Patel from her days at Garland's Sam's Fine Jewelry where shoppers turned into family. It was there DFW proclaimed Patel "The Bling Queen." After a move to Austin, where she dazzled shoppers at M Robinson Jewelers, the queen did what DFW had been waiting years for: She opened up her own shop. Lucky for Dallasites, that meant a return home. The ribbon was cut for Frisco's Seema Jewelry & Co in May. With her exquisite style and eye for quality, Patel is able to create timeless classics that will become heirlooms. Patel also stays ahead of trends. From a double halo diamond ring to Marked by Seema permanent bracelets, Patel will assure your next jewelry investment is a showstopper.

Christ Wolfgang

Lakewood Medallion is the neighborhood liquor store that every neighborhood needs. Sure, Lakewood Medallion has plenty of the standby beers, wines and spirits. But stopping in never fails to turn up a gem. There's a bountiful selection of domestic and imported brews chilled and ready to go, as well as the perfect bottle of red, white, rosé or bubbly to impress at your next dinner. Drinkers in the know turn to Lakewood Medallion for store-selected and hard to find spirits.

Wyatt Purp, based out of Bedford, has been making some top-dollar delta-9 THC gummies on the cheap since 2020. Wyatt Larew and Dustin Ragon, two guys with 25 years of experience in the hemp industry, came together that year to form the company and start selling state and federally legal THC. They haven't slowed since. Their gummies come in a variety of fruit flavors, among them blueberry lemonade, fruit punch, watermelon and others. Sold in packs of 10, each gummy has 11 milligrams of delta-9 and 15 milligrams of CBD, providing a nice entourage effect and a stellar high overall. The potency is low enough to give beginners a smooth ride, but take enough, and these little guys can send you to the moon and back.

The term "A-1" has been sullied by an inferior, oily and completely unnecessary steak sauce. A-1 Locksmith Security & Safes is taking back the name with its superior, prompt and efficient service. Pretty much all of the A-1 locations across DFW get at least a four-star average rating on all of the usual anonymous business judgment websites, but the Addison/Carrollton location on Midway Road seems to get higher marks. The locksmiths can do everything from a simple car lock to high-tech safes and security systems. The shop has a knowledgeable and friendly staff of lock breakers and safe installers to help you in your time of need, and they show up on time.

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