Sprawling, expansive, the size of a small country—yeah, Dallas is big. But don’t let its proportions throw you off: The city is home to a number of quirky neighborhoods that are ripe for exploration on a more manageable scale.
Take ever-evolving Lower Greenville, which is often grouped up with the nearby Henderson Avenue neighborhood. Once one of the major routes between downtown and north Dallas, Greenville Avenue has long been a destination for entertainment. In recent years, however, the area has shed some of its rowdy, rough-and-tumble character, and in the process, attracted big-name chefs, hip nightspots, and plugged-in locals getting in on the vibrant scene. From live music venues to food truck parks to vintage stores, come for the mix of urban vibes and laid-back, Texan attitude.
From the moment you walk into its rustic space, adorned with taxidermy (moose! deer! ducks!), it’s abundantly clear that Mudsmith isn’t the typical neighborhood java chain. That one-of-a-kind character extends to the coffee, which is, well, exceptional. You can start your day with a cold brew (if it’s particularly muggy out), an on-trend Chemex pour-over, or a signature Contessa (two shots of espresso topped with foam and drizzled with honey). Tasty treats are served all day, and beer and wine at a respectable hour.
EATING, DRINKING, MERRYMAKING
Now that the coffee’s kickstarted your appetite, it’s time for some noshing. You can’t go wrong with a trip to Remedy, one of the newest and most hyped restaurants in Lower Greenville. Top Chef alum Danyele McPherson is behind this modern take on an old-fashioned soda fountain, where you can find just what you need to stay energized for the rest of the day. Everything is made in-house, from the ice cream used in sundaes and sodas to the cured meat in their famous fried bologna sandwiches. You’ll want to try the burger, too. And make sure to save room for pie…
Alternatively, if you’re on the go and looking for a quick stop-off, Truck Yard is just across the street. A 15,000-square-foot, open-air space, the yard hosts mobile vendors ranging from Jack’s Chowhound (whose pulled pork grilled cheese is legendary) to Cajun Tailgators (it’s all about the crawfish étouffée). You can eat in a truck bed, fittingly, or even shimmy up to the treehouse bar, with its hand-bottled, craft cocktails—just make sure you’ve got a designated driver along for the ride, if you’re planning to indulge.
SHOPPING: THE NATIONAL SPORT OF DALLAS
If there were an Olympics of shopping, Dallasites would make it onto the podium every time. Luckily, in Lower Greenville, you’re perfectly placed to discover some of the city’s quirkiest retail therapy. Like Good Records, one of the few remaining record stores in the city, if not the region. From old-school vinyl to CDs and equipment to play them all on, the store’s High Fidelity vibe (but friendlier) has earned it a soft spot in locals’ hearts. Time it right and you might even catch a homegrown or national band playing live in-store.
Then there are the more visual apartment add-ons, like the festive party goods sold at La Mariposa Imports. The oldest retailer of Latin American merchandise this side of the border, they’re an uno-stop shop for colorful decorations, including piñatas, paper flowers, and handmade streamers, and also have an impressive collection of folk art on the shelves.
Now, time to think about your wardrobe. Make a memorable first impression with women’s and men’s apparel from Vintage Martini. Whether you’re headed to a costume party or simply share a sense of style with designers from bygone eras, the clothes on display begin from the Victorian and Edwardian eras and stretch all the way up to the 1980s. From the subtle to flamboyant, you’ll definitely find it here.
End your evening with a show at the historic Granada Theater, one of the neighborhood’s most beloved landmarks. Here, you’ll find live music or classic movies every night. Sometimes both. The intimate venue was built in 1946 and features hand-painted Art Deco murals throughout—but you’ll be most likely to recognize it by the 40-foot neon sign and marquee out front.
This article was published through a partnership with Zipcar’s online magazine Ziptopia.