Freshly brewed: our roundup of the best coffee shops in Dallas
There was a time, not too long ago, when Pearl Cup was the benchmark of Dallas coffee shops. Today, Pearl Cup’s legacy remains (the sole remaining location is in Richardson) while former baristas now spread out amongst new coffee brands around DFW. The landscape today stands diversified for the better. Dallasites care about how their coffee shops look as much as how the espresso tastes. With this in mind, many establishments have added extra focus on design.
Step into any of the best and you’ll find a tutorial on single origins selections, brewing methods, ratios, and flavor palettes. In Dallas’s coffee marketplace, being knowledgeable is a given; the balance comes in fighting the trope of snobbery with accessibility. Here: a round up of the best coffeehouses with tips on ordering, atmosphere, and which baristas to keep an eye out for. —Lee Escobedo
Neighborhood: Oak Cliff, White Rock, and Denton
What to Order: A classic latte
Food: The avocado toast boasts a thick slice of bread with a creamy, rich guacamole spread with crisp red onion and cilantro.
Atmosphere: The Oak Cliff location is one of the better spots to study for its quiet, softly-lit seating area. Music usually toes the line between dream pop and post-punk.
Barista to See: Donovan Hinda is a gentle soul with a soft voice and empathetic ear for each guests needs. Hinda and team serve one of the more well-balanced speciality drinks in town, featuring low acidity, yet complex, dense flavor palettes.
The Details: Cultivar, 313 West Jefferson. Open Monday 7 a.m.–7 p.m.; Tuesday–Thursday, 7 a.m.–9 p.m.; Friday 7 a.m.–10 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m.–10 p.m.; Sunday 8 a.m.–7 p.m.
What to Order: Strong Flat White (two shots of espresso).
Food: Go for the Si Si Sandwich, a turkey sandwich on crispy, toasted bread with a spicy aioli.
Atmosphere: Laid back, young professionals talking NBA hoops and start-ups. Playlist floats from Nick Cave to Ryan Adams to Tribe Called Quest.
Baristas to See: Adam and Mark Lowes are the shops Aussie co-owners and always present, perfecting the most consistent cup of coffee in town. Rumours of Australia having the best international coffee scene are proven true at LDU, which has the best overall coffee selection.
The Details: LDU, 2650 North Fitzhugh Avenue. Open Monday–Saturday, 7 a.m.– 4 p.m.; Sunday 8 a.m.–4 p.m.
DAVIS STREET ESPRESSO
Neighborhood: Oak Cliff
What to Order: The Van Buren, a house cortado paired with a chocolate and glass of Topo Chico.
Food: Keep it simple; order a pair of boiled eggs, lightly salted.
Atmosphere: Either you walk into a packed, stay-at-home mom vibe with kids running circles around your Nikes, or it’s a meditative scene around Bible-studying Millennials.
Barista to See: Daniel Martinez is a double threat, divvying out recommendations and guest service while crafting a signature level of consistency in his drink-making.
The Details: Davis Street Espresso, 819 West Davis Street. Open Monday–Friday, 6 a.m.–3 p.m. and Saturday, 7 a.m.–6 p.m. Closed Sunday.
Neighborhood: Multiple locations in Dallas and Austin, but the Oak Cliff/Sylvan 30 location is our favorite in terms of aesthetics and consistency.
What to order: Cortado featuring the single origin of the day.
Food: Options ranging from banana bread to donuts from local bakeries.
Atmosphere: Its chic layout was recently awarded “Most Beautiful” coffee shop in Texas by Architecture Digest.
Barista to See: Casey Denton is the go-to to ensure the Austin-based Tweed beans and leche are balanced to perfection. She’s also a cinephile with keen ideas on cinema and art and makes for the perfect conversationalist while waiting for your expresso.
The Details: Houndstooth, 1878 Sylvan Avenue, E150. Open Monday–Friday, 6:30 a.m.–7 p.m; Saturday and Sunday, 7 a.m.–7 p.m.
What to Order: Iced Latte with oat milk.
Food: House-made breakfast tacos, fresh-baked scones, and biscuits with jam.
Atmosphere: The best for people watching. The hotel lobby has a well-selected art collection featuring a killer Roger Hiorns.
Barista to See: You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone in the city with more coffee knowledge (and passion for the craft) than Emilio Rodriguez, The Joule’s Coffee Specialist.
The Details: Weekend Coffee, 1530 Main Street. Open Monday–Sunday, 6:30 a.m.–6 p.m.