Food & Drink

Your guide to eating and drinking in Oak Cliff and Bishop Arts

Published On 04/02/2014 Published On 04/02/2014

Just a short, 10min drive South of Downtown Dallas (yes, South) lies an eclectic area full of indie coffee shops, a bookstore equipped with a bar, mouthwatering street tacos, and so much more. If you haven't explored Oak Cliff and Bishop Arts yet, this guide should convince you to get on it. And if you have, this guide should help you do it better.

David Maez

Davis Street Espresso (click here for info and address
Oak Cliff
There are coffee shops, and then there are coffee shops. Here, you won't find any takeaway cups or annoying corporate types hogging the Wi-Fi -- because there is no WiFi. Only badass coffee. The shop is an extension of family-owned Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters (next door), who have been roasting in Oak Cliff since 2008. So needless to say, these roasters and baristas know their stuff... oh, and the coffee is good. Really good.

Jonathan’s Oak Cliff

Jonathon’s Oak Cliff (click here for info and address)
Oak Cliff
They say that coffee suppresses the appetite, but right now you’re craving something hearty, something home-cooked, something like... Jonathon’s. Chef Jonathon has an eclectic menu mixed with some interesting takes on all-American classics. Don’t leave without trying the Danger Dogs (pancake-battered sausage links) or the famous Fried Chicken and Waffles.  

David Maez

The Wild Detectives (click here for info and address)
Bishop Arts
There’s nothing better than relaxing with a good book, unless you're relaxing with a good book and a beer. Stop inside Wild Detectives, an indie-book store cum bar/café in Bishop Arts, where you can enjoy your Bukowski or Salinger with a pint of your favorite brew. Don't overdo it, or it'll become really hard to read.

David Maez

Boulevardier (click here for info and address)
Bishop Arts
Since you’re feeling cultured, take a quick jaunt across the street to this French-inspired bistro. You can pretend you were a part of the lost generation and debate art and life over their famous bread plate (the French know their bread). If you’re still thirsty, they serve more than 20-some wines by the glass. Don’t forget wear your beret. Note: please don't actually wear a beret.

David Maez

Dude, Sweet Chocolate (click here for info and address)
Bishop Arts
Dude, where’s my chocolate? Why, it's right here in this little Bishop Arts shop where Chef and artesian chocolatier Katherine Clapner creates some delicious and unique confections! Try Truly Chocolate Granola or the wittily named, Fungus Amongus Toffee. And in case you lose your chocolate again, it can be found online and at their second location off of Greenville Avenue in Dallas.

David Maez

Bishop Arts Winery (click here for info and address)
Oak Cliff
Wine bars can be a little stuffy and aloof -- but NOT in Oak Cliff. When you walk in, you’re surrounded by vintage jukeboxes and arcade games, including one with a talking clown, which is both pleasingly quirky and unnervingly creepy. At the bar, you’re greeted with several local wines that you can try by the glass. Make sure you check out the patio -- and if it’s cool enough you can sit by the outdoor fireplace and play some old Sinatra on the jukebox (yes, there’s one outside too).

David Maez

Taqueria El Si Hay (click here for info and address)
Oak Cliff
No frills here... and also no seating. Just walk-up street tacos done cheap and tasty. Try two fajita steak tacos with pico de gallo and a bottled lime Jarritos. Make sure you grab a large handful of napkins so you don’t spill salsa on your nice shirt while you’re eating in the car. But since you didn’t break the bank on those tacos, you can afford the dry cleaning fee if you failed on the napkin front.

Ten Bells Tavern

Ten Bells Tavern (click here for info and address)
Oak Cliff
Cleanse your taco palate with an ice-cold beverage. Stop in this British-inspired tavern where you’ll find a mix of craft beer from local and national brewers along with a strong selection of European offerings. If you’re still hungry, the lineup of pub fare is solid (mmm, curry chips), with additional chef specials on weekends.

Chicken Scratch

Chicken Scratch & Foundry Bar (click here for info and address)
Oak Cliff
Taking cues from Austin’s outdoor beer gardens, this restaurant/bar has open-seating and walk-up service. It’s sort of like one huge enclosed family picnic where you can plop yourself on one of the old outdoor couches or play some horseshoes. It's a particularly great spot to go when you're rolling with a large group (either many people OR large people). There’s also live music on the weekends, so be sure to grab a seat close to the stage. 

Flickr User apbutterfield

Bar Belmont (click her for info and address)
Oak Cliff
This retro-chic boutique hotel bar is one of the coolest in town. Be sure to end your day here because the view of the Dallas skyline is amazing. Scout out a table at the end of the terrace, order one of their many hand-crafted cocktails, and take it all in. You can also order food from their downstairs restaurant, Smoke, which is tasty enough to merit your consideration as a destination unto itself (coffee-cured brisket, mmm).

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1. Bar Belmont 901 Ft Worth Ave, Dallas, TX 75208 (Oak Cliff)

Located in the Belmont Hotel, Bar Belmont's got an outdoor terrace with incredible views of the Downtown skyline (as does the hotel's pool!), an EB&D Loaded Up & Truckin Burger (bacon, cheddar, and frittered farm egg), and a Beer (!) Can Farm Chicken with tomatillo chili sauce and pickled green beans.

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2. Davis Street Espresso 819 W Davis St, Dallas, TX 75208 (Oak Cliff)

This shop is an extension of family-owned Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters (next door), who have been roasting in Oak Cliff since 2008. There are no takeaway cups and no Wi-Fi here -- only amazing coffee and chill, relaxing vibes. The coffee's really that good (pro tip: get the Van Buren aka Davis St's take on a Cortado) that you won't mind unplugging for a while. Take a seat at one of the unique wood tables, order a double espresso, and have an actual conversation with someone, instead of your phone.

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3. Jonathon's Oak Cliff 1111 N Beckley Ave, Dallas, TX 75203 (Oak Cliff)

Jonathon's Oak Cliff is a Southern eatery and soul food restaurant that serves up breakfast all day, has dual happy hours from 7-10am and 3-7pm, plus features a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar during weekend brunch, best enjoyed with chicken and waffles on the outdoor sunny patio.

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4. The Wild Detectives 314 W 8th St, Dallas, TX 75208 (Bishop Arts Dist)

A combination of indie bookstore and bar/cafe in Bishop Arts, The Wild Detectives welcomes you to stop by and enjoy your favorite authors while sipping your favorite brews. Locally sourced drinks and small plates include Dallas-based Zakti tea, Texas Ale Project beer, and sweet and savory bites like pastries sourced from Rush Patisserie and breakfast tacos from El Padrino.

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5. Boulevardier 408 N Bishop Ave, Ste 108, Dallas, TX 75208 (Bishop Arts Dist)

This French-inspired Bistro uses its wood-fired grill to reinvent some classic dishes from across the pond. In addition to the grub, there's an expansive wine selection that includes more than 120 American and French varietals, as well as a large array of liquors including Whiskeys, Armagnacs and Cognacs.

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6. Dude, Sweet Chocolate 408 W Eighth St, Dallas, TX 75208 (Bishop Arts Dist)

Coming from an ex-Stephen Pyles pastry chef, this stoner-ifically named storefront sells sophisticated, local ingredient-driven bars (Kampot w/ Cambodian black pepper & cocoa nibs), chocolates (Marley: olive oil/butter/hemp seed), and truffles (the T: yerba mate tea/lemon/powdered sugar).

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7. Bishop Arts Winery 838 W Davis St, Dallas, TX 75208 (Bishop Arts Dist)

Not just a winery, walk into this Bishop Arts institution and find yourself surrounded by arcade games and vintage jukeboxes. Grab a glass of local wine from the bar, then walk out to the patio, where you'll find yourself surrounded by a cozy fireplace and ANOTHER vintage jukebox, hooray!

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8. Taqueria El Si Hay 601 W Davis St, Dallas, TX 75208 (Oak Cliff)

Taqueria El Si Hay is so good you'll want to eat it standing up... also, you'll have to eat it standing up because there are no seats -- but you won't mind because it really is that good. Get yourself two fajita steak tacos with pico de gallo and a Jarritos and enjoy.

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9. Ten Bells Tavern 232 W 7th St, Dallas, TX 75208 (Bishop Arts Dist)

A small, casual space with dark wood accents, low-key lighting, and the walls covered with eclectic framed images, Ten Bells has all the charm of a traditional English pub with all the southern goodness of a comfort food-centric menu. The locals favor Ten Bells for their hearty brunch menu, but honestly those short rib cheese fries taste exceptional at any meal—especially late night. Try the Duck Confit Hash or the Smoked Salmon Benedict, but don’t worry they have your traditional country breakfast options like sausage and eggs. They keep you guessing with an ever-changing list of craft cocktails, and host pub trivia on Wednesdays.

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10. Chicken Scratch 2303 Pittman St., Dallas, TX

Chrises Jeffers & Zielke tapped Smoke's Tim Byers to build the menu for this rustic-modern, quick-service shack, where you can dine in, or get a to-go plate, then grab beer from the next-door Foundry and sit at one of their picnic tables while listening to live music. Either way, you'll gorge on fried or rotisserie chicken, mac 'n cheese, and from-scratch, daily changing frozen paletas.

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