The coffee landscape in Dallas is changing, and fast. Locally owned coffee institutions like Ascension and Cultivar are expanding, adding new locations all over North Texas — and not just stand-alone shops, either. They're opening mini-shops in restaurants and bakeries, anchoring hotels and mixed-use developments, and roasters are expanding their reach, filling national grocery store chains with locally roasted beans that are sourced with intention.
Every weekend, it feels as if a new local roaster pops up at the Dallas Farmers Market. Whether you make your own cold-brew at home or pop by a local coffee shop on the way to work every morning, there have never been so many options for North Texans who want quality coffee while keeping their money local. Here are the best coffee shops in Dallas-Fort Worth:
1621 Oak Lawn Ave.
If using valet parking at a coffee shop seems reasonable, Ascension Coffee in the Design District may be the place for you. The other option will likely be parking a bit of a hike down Hi Line Drive. Don’t be surprised if there are no tables left inside or outside and you find yourself feeling lucky to find one of the spaces at the bar — it's a popular place, and for good reason. Ascension is an Australian-style coffee shop (which means you should try the flat white, obviously) and these baristas pull some of the best espresso in Dallas. But it’s not a quick trip, it is definitely not cheap and you may find yourself surrounded by suits and wondering if there is a dress code. Pop into Ascension's gorgeous new spot in the Crescent in Uptown and keep an eye out for forthcoming locations in Fort Worth and downtown Dallas. JH
2721 Main St.
Drugstore Cowboy is the coffee shop Deep Ellum desperately needed. They brought yet another stage to the neighborhood and have regular shows with interesting bands like Rache’ featuring Mike Mitchell, one of the best jazz drummers on the planet, and up-and-coming hip-hop collective Cure for Paranoia. With a bar, tables and couches, it’s a welcoming place to relax or work or to simply get a proper caffeine fix while bar-hopping in Deep Ellum. The cappuccinos are immaculate, especially the lavender cappuccino. JH
2114 Greenville Ave.
The traffic on Lower Greenville moves slowly, and you never know what to expect when it comes to construction that makes parts of the area look like a war zone. Limited parking also makes it terribly difficult to visit many of these businesses. But Mudsmith has a huge designated parking lot behind it. It also has strong coffee and a huge room full of infectious energy. It’s a great place to work or have intense conversations. JH
Local Press + Brew
1605 N Beckley Ave.
This bright, sunlight-filled spot in Oak Cliff is part of an interesting trend in coffee: the health-conscious coffee shop. Along with standard espresso drinks and cold brew, Local Press is a juice bar specializing in cold-pressed juices with ingredients like activated charcoal, raw sugar cane juice and fresh ginger. They also make nut milks in-house, which makes this shop ideal for coffee lovers who aren't into dairy. Their nut-shaken lattes, made with espresso and nut milk, can be mixed up with fresh almond, cacao or coconut milk. A small menu of toasts and Wheat and Sour baked goods, often gluten-free or vegan friendly, round out the menu. The bright, art-filled space has a great patio, too, making it a popular space to linger on the weekends, and its location close to the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge makes it popular on weekday mornings with commuters looking for a caffeine fix. BR
Oak Lawn Coffee
2720 Oak Lawn Ave
This community coffee shop is friendly and casual; a great place to grab a cup of carefully crafted coffee or a shot of espresso with a pastry. Oak Lawn Coffee also donates 10 percent of its profits to local nonprofit organizations. They like to carefully curate their beans and feature coffee from both local and national roasters. The shop features artwork that switches out like clockwork every month. If you get here early enough, you may even be able to snag some Tacodeli breakfast tacos. JH
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634 W. Davis St.
Bolsa Mercado in Oak Cliff is, all around, one of the best. It’s cheap, casual, dog-friendly and those breakfast tacos are amazing, if you can get there by 11 a.m. There are plenty of workspaces, couches, tables and patio seating. If you know someone from Oak Cliff, you may very well run into them here — this is a community coffee shop. They also have gigantic macarons, great salads to go, decent sandwiches for lunch and even meals ready to be taken home for a quick and effortless solution to dinner. Regardless if you want a cup of coffee, shot of espresso or something more complicated, there are no weaknesses here, and prices are fair. The employees are chipper every single time. JH
1623 N. Hall St.
Perfect for a coffee connoisseur or someone just looking for a cup of joe, Method is a tiny shop just east of downtown, best for a quick stop. With rotating guest roasters, there is always something new. Method is open seven days a week; there are strange options for your drinks, like jalapeño syrup, and they have excellent pour-overs. But more than anything, this place simply knows how to pull a shot of espresso and immaculately steam milk with micro-foam. JH
313 W. Jefferson Blvd., 1155 Peavy Road (inside Goodfriend Package), 235 W. Hickory, Denton (inside Hypnotic Donuts)
Like many of DFW's best coffee spots, this one started small but just kept outgrowing everywhere they landed. Started by Jonathan Meadows and Nathan Shelton as a roaster in 2009, Cultivar opened its first coffee shop inside Good 2 Go Taco in East Dallas in 2011. They later opened up another outpost inside Hypnotic Donuts in Denton. This year, they moved from Good 2 Go into a new space inside Goodfriend Package across the street, and a few months later, they opened their first stand-alone coffee shop on a super-trending block on Jefferson Boulevard in Oak Cliff. With neighbors like Small Brewpub and the Texas Theatre, this corner of Oak Cliff is becoming an incubator for fun food and drink ventures — and this new shop, which serves quality coffee, beer and wine and local baked goods, is just what the neighborhood needed.
Avoca Coffee Roasters
1311 W Magnolia Ave, Fort Worth
This is consistently good coffee with carefully selected, micro-roasted beans, something North Texas needs more of — but it could be cheaper with better presentation. Avoca is popular, though, enough for a second location that's in the works. If you find yourself jonesing for caffeine in Cowtown, this local favorite is worth a visit. JH
Davis Street Espresso
819 W. Davis St.
Davis Street is a coffee-lover's coffee shop. The coffee shop front for Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters, this popular spot is a neighborhood hang for many Bishop Arts business owners and hosts regular classes on everything from cold-brew to cupping. What started as owner Shannon Neffendorf's home roasting hobby has turned into one of the most beloved roasters in Dallas. Neffendorf works to keep OCCR and Davis Street's environmental footprint as small as possible — which is part of the reason why you can't get coffee to go at Davis Street unless you bring your own cup. This coffee shop is also unique in that it doesn't offer Wi-fi, which means it's not the kind of spot where you can post up with a laptop and get a little work done — which is off-putting for some but reinforces Davis Street's communal neighborhood feel. BR
1900 N Henderson Ave. and 1878 Sylvan Ave.
Houndstooth started out in Austin, but this company is serious about investing in Dallas coffee. With their fourth location now open in Sylvan Thirty, Houndstooth has four stores, two in Dallas and two in Austin. Houndstooth's motto: "The Pattern of Coffee and People." Owner Sean Henry believes that a coffee shop should become part of the very fabric of a neighborhood, and their latest location in Sylvan Thirty certainly fits that bill. The stark, modern space is equally suited to getting work done, meeting someone for coffee after a yoga class at Sync or for grabbing a quick coffee on the way to work — parking is, refreshingly, not a problem at this spot. The coffee is superb, the baristas warm and knowledgeable and the new Houndstooth should get better with age: Once the kitchen is finished, this will be the first Houndstooth with a full menu of food and a sweet, nearly hidden little craft cocktail bar that owners hope to open this fall. BR