A Culinary and Cultural Tour Along and Near Botham Jean Boulevard

The ribs at Off the Bone Barbeque definitely qualify as art as well as a must-have culinary stop.
The ribs at Off the Bone Barbeque definitely qualify as art as well as a must-have culinary stop. Kristina Rowe
From galleries to street art and wacky giant sculptures, the Cedars/Southside neighborhood has it all. There’s live music at multiple venues and food and drinks along the way. And while the spring festival season is a bit off this year, there's public art and a wide range of flavors in food and music in this neighborhood any time of the year.

The CANVAS Hotel or Lorenzo Hotel make great starting points. Here’s what to see and do (and eat and drink) when you visit.

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Local artwork is displayed throughout CANVAS Hotel.
Kristina Rowe

CANVAS Hotel Dallas

1325 Botham Jean Blvd.

Formerly an NYLO hotel, the CANVAS Dallas Hotel is known for its rooftop pool and skyline views, but it’s also an art lover’s dream. Large works and mini galleries throughout the hotel and the Gallery Rooftop Lounge display a rotating collection of work from up-and-coming local artists.

The lobby bar and the rooftop lounge offer charming nooks or roomier seating areas for drinks, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Poolside sessions on Friday and Saturday afternoons are a great way to spend a sunny day.

With close proximity to more music venues and restaurants along Botham Jean Boulevard, it makes a great home base for exploring the area, for a day or for a weekend staycation.

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The large bar at Mac's Southside Grill goes well with Zalat Pizza.
Kristina Rowe

Mac’s Southside Grill & Zalat Pizza

1701 Botham Jean Blvd., No. B

The fast-growing local pizza chain Zalat opened next door to Mac’s in 2016, and now appears to have merged with the sister restaurant and bar. In addition to the fun pizza varieties, you can get wings or chicken tenders and that amazing trademarked Sriracha sauce.

There’s no patio space, but the bar is expansive, which means there’s room to spread out. It also means you can order just about anything you want to drink, from good whiskey to beer on tap. Parking spaces marked specifically for Mac’s customers make it easy to pick up a pizza to go.

Monica’s Mex-Tex Cantina

1326 Botham Jean Blvd.

The shaded patio here is a comfortable place for food that’s good and margaritas that are even better. You’ll like Monica’s twist on Tex-Mex traditions and inventive spins on Mexican cuisine.

Slip around to the south side of the building to see a colorful abstract mural that could be a take on police badges or maybe eyes watching you. Maybe it’s just the “no parking” sign next to Dallas Police Department headquarters that makes it feel that way.

Off the Bone Barbeque

1734 Botham Jean Blvd.

Don’t sleep on the barbecue in this neck of the woods. The neighborly Off the Bone Barbeque has smoky brisket with tasty bark. The ribs are as juicy and tender as the restaurant’s name implies.

Side offerings are plentiful with spiced baked beans, charro beans, heavenly braised green beans and more. The Southern potato salad and coleslaw are also top-notch. With a small patio outside, and extended lunch hours six days a week, it’s also a great quick stop for dessert.

Opening Bell Coffee

1409 Botham Jean Blvd.

Open mic nights, featured acoustic musicians and special tribute nights are back on for Saturday nights at Opening Bell Coffee. Order a bottle of wine and some snacks to enjoy an evening of entertainment, or get a breakfast sandwich and grab-and-go coffee to start your day.
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The lot behind Sandwich Hags has picnic tables near a mural.
Kristina Rowe

Sandwich Hag

1902 Botham Jean Blvd.

The turn-in from Botham Jean Boulevard is easy to miss, but it’s worth it when you find the hidden patio and mural behind Sandwich Hag. The bánh mì sandwiches, spring rolls and corn jasmine rice bowls are worthy of hidden gem status too.

All ordering is contactless and there is no dine-in, but you can order online from your car, pick up your food from the window and eat at a picnic table in the shadow of a fun mural in the parking lot.

Turkey Leg Paradise

1715 Botham Jean Blvd.

There’s no need to drive to that place in Houston for amazing turkey legs. This little paradise has a patio where you can chow down on your favorite handheld food flavored with Texas sweet heat, mustard, garlic-Parmesan, jerk seasoning or several other flavorful options.

Smothered turkey legs come covered in red beans and rice, cheesy broccoli rice casserole or other tasty toppings. If that wasn't enough to get you there, they also have a patio, and they’re open late. Check the shop’s Facebook page for their latest days and hours.

Hotel Lorenzo

1011 S. Akard St.

There’s plenty of art to see inside and outside this hotel. The 42-foot-tall umbrella sculpture is across the street and a two-ton bowler is just blocks away. A larger-than-life mural decorates one wall of the parking lot, and that’s before you even step inside.

The hotel is currently home to an immersive art installation titled EYE SPY by Dallas artist Toni Martin. Guests enjoy pop art in the rooms and a whimsical wonderland of art poolside.

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Hotel Lorenzo is imbued in striking artwork. Add tacos to that and we might have a perfect dinner.
Danny Campbell Photography

Taco Enzo at Lorenzo

1081 S. Akard St.

For food and drinks while you’re visiting, stop by Taco Enzo, a patio restaurant made of brightly colored shipping containers. Get breakfast tacos daily and enjoy a wider menu and cocktails on Friday and Saturday nights.
While you’re in the neighborhood, you may also want to visit the nearby Four Corners Brewing Co. at 1311 S Ervay St. and the contemporary fine art gallery, RO2 Art, is at 1501 S. Ervay St.
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By day, Kristina Rowe writes documentation that helps users navigate software, and as a contributor to the Dallas Observer she helps people find their way to food and fun. A long-time list-maker, small-business fan and happiness aficionado, she's also been an Observer reader for almost 40 years.
Contact: Kristina Rowe