Although not my first trip to Texas, this week’s meeting in Dallas was my first opportunity to this iconic Lone Star State city and it didn’t disappoint! Dallas feels like a modern city with a vibrant social scene, great food and fascinating people-watching.
I stayed with a friend who has just been in the city for a month, so we took advantage of the beautiful weather (20-24 degrees Celsius) to get outside and explore her Uptown neighbourhood. Aside from the free trolley, there didn’t appear to be much for transit and except for runners, we were often the only people walking on the streets. Needless to say, my cowboy boots didn’t get much use!
McKinney Avenue in Uptown Dallas is home to a wide and growing assortment of pubs and restaurants. I relished the opportunity to savour the southern-Mexican fusion of flavours, and I enjoyed fried chicken and waffles for the first time! Wanting to try chicken and waffles since seeing them made on Master Chef over the Christmas break, the Bread Winners Cafe take on this southern classic didn’t disappoint! There’s certainly reason people line up here every weekend, sipping Mimosas on the patio waiting for a table in the expansive yet homey-feeling restaurant.
Resisting the temptation to lay down, we headed west to explore downtown and the historic west-end of Dallas. En route to the opera house to watch If/Then the night before, my friend pointed out the Klyde Warren Park, built over the expressway. On Sunday afternoon, it was buzzing with kids hula hooping, young people doing yoga and families lounging on blankets and benches, enjoying a treat from the food trucks. The park is a surprising delight among the downtown high rises.
Continuing west, the architecture began to shift from glass-walled towers to old brick and stone. The Dallas West End Historic District gives a glimpse into the city’s early days. Names scrawled across the sides of the brick buildings add to the turn-of-the-century charm. It’s also the location of one of the United States’ most tragic events. Every day, visitors walk along former President, John F. Kennedy’s parade route, and pause on the grassy knoll to pay their respects. Around the corner from Dealey Plaza, “x”s mark on Elm Street where the President was hit. Behind which, stands the former Texas School Book Depository, which now hold a museum on the 6th floor. Unfortunately, we didn’t arrive in time to visit the museum, but the experience was nonetheless impactful.
Some Dallas Travel Tips:
- Between the airports (there’s two – Love Field and Dallas-Fort Worth) and the city, it’s very spread out, so after a $50 cab fare (with tip) to downtown I opted for my first Uber when I headed to our Irving resort Sunday night. There were always piles of Uber cars available in Uptown.
- Head to Zaza Hotel Lounge for a night cap while enjoying the sights. The diverse crowd gives you a glimpse of what Dallas is all about and the glowing dance floor is over the outdoor pool.
- All live theatre should sell non-spilling “sippy cups” like the opera house. For a couple bucks, the refillable cups let you enjoy your wine and the show!
- Bread Winners Cafe is worth the wait! Drop your name, grab a Mimosa at the bar and chill on the street. Despite the line, we only waited 15 minutes or so.
- Check out Nickel and Rye across from Whole Foods on McKinney Ave. The staff are friendly, the service far above their neighbour’s and their antipasto platter makes the perfect treat for happy hour!