If you haven't been to the Bishop Arts District in the last few months, you'll likely be shocked at the changes — not just new restaurants but entirely new buildings sporting new-to-you businesses. Whether you see all the changes in Bishop Arts as good or bad probably depends on whether you live in the area; the massive new luxury apartment buildings under construction will change the fabric of the neighborhood (and rent prices) forever. That also means we'll be losing some of the neighborhood's favorite longtime businesses, such as Ten Bells Tavern, which was purchased by developer Alamo Manhattan — the bar doesn't have an end date yet, but their day will come.
Despite the changes and the gentrification questions being raised, one thing is certain: There are a few fantastic new restaurants in the area, most of them locally owned and with serious staying power.
If you haven't been lately, here's a guide to what's new in Bishop Arts:
Taco y Vino
213 W. Eighth St.
In a happy, sun-filled former house on Eighth Street, Taco y Vino has fast become a popular hang among Oak Cliff locals. Most restaurants without a singular vision suffer, but this spot is all the better for it — whether you treat it as a taqueria or a refreshingly affordable wine bar just depends on your mood that visit. Tacos (three for $9.50) range from crispy pork carnitas topped with chicharrones and queso fresco to cochinita pibil (pork braised in pineapple and achiote) to fantastic meat-free offerings like pineapple-braised jackfruit and fried avocado.
The thoughtful wine selection is one of our favorites in Dallas right now, and by-the-glass prices are reasonable at $7-$15. Is there any better pairing than avocado chilaquiles and Château de Bligny champagne? Factor in weekend brunch and we can't help but happily throw money at this restaurant owned and operated by Oak Cliff locals.
287 N. Bishop Ave.
A beautiful gift from the team behind Lucia, Macellaio is our favorite new Dallas restaurant of the year to date. Like Taco y Vino, there are a myriad of ways to visit. Tables book fast, but it's usually easy to grab a spot at the bar, where you can snack on house-cured salumi and elegant snacks like confit duck tongue with onion dip ($7) while sipping from a stellar cocktail menu filled with spritzes ($12), classics and mocktails ($7).
If you settle in for a long, leisurely dinner, let the chef choose your salumi board ($29) and order with wild abandon, savoring the daily breads and large plates like fig leaf-wrapped whole branzino with zucchini salad ($30).
320 W. Eighth St.
Serve opened right next door to bookstore-cafe Wild Detectives on a two-block span that already has two other spots to grab coffee. Even still, this coffee shop found its own with the perfect summer snack: refreshing smoothie bowls like the Blue Mermaid ($12), made with blue spirulina, pineapple, mango and topped with fresh fruit, nuts and granola. There's Kyoto cold brew, plenty of room to set up for an afternoon of work and ample outdoor space in the backyard.
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Azucar Ice Cream Company
269 N. Bishop Ave.
Miami ice cream shop Azucar's first location outside of its home city opened snugly between Macellaio and Tribal All Day Cafe. The shop specializes in Cuban ice cream, which means you'll find flavors like guava, coconut and cafe con leche sprinkled throughout the menu. On our visit, we went wild with a scoop of sweet cream corn ice cream topped with Abuela Maria, a surprising but fun flavor made with guava, cream cheese and crispy cookies. We can't wait to try seasonal flavors like olive oil, orange zest and dark chocolate or spiced sugar plum.
If you don't top off a meal in Bishop Arts by eating ice cream as you leisurely stroll the neighborhood on a hot summer night, you're just not doing it right.
Tribal All Day Cafe
263 N. Bishop Ave.
Dallas juice company Tribal stepped into the restaurant realm with Tribal All Day Cafe, and there are a lot of reasons to like this bright, modern shop. The coffee program is excellent, and health-conscious Dallasites love the juice shots (which can come with or without alcohol), plant-based menu and cocktails made with ingredients like kombucha and apple cider vinegar.