Everytime I visit my hometown of Dallas, Texas, I am blown away by how much it has changed! At age 18, I left Dallas to go to Philadelphia for college, and  over the years of coming back I have witnessed the slow transition of my city from a pretty cool place to visit  to a must-see explosive arena of great shopping, food, and technology. On a recent visit to see family, I decided to be a tourist and check out some of the hottest spots in town. Take a look at my picks below.

 

RECHARGE at Houndstooth Coffee

I met an old friend and her adorable new baby, Valentina at this cool coffee brand’s Knox-Henderson location. The industrial interiors complete with pendant lighting and exposed beams gives the space a modern edge that is trending through many of the city’s restaurants and bars. www.houndstoothcoffee.com

Image courtesy of Houndstooth coffee’s Facebook page

 

STAY+EAT+ DRINK at The Joule Hotel

Got a quick bite and some cocktails at this downtown hotel, which is located on Main street a couple doors down from the very first Neiman Marcus department store. Growing up, downtown Dallas closed very early and you could barely get a meal after 6pm. Now, it never sleeps due to the many chic hotels, shops and bars in the area. I loved the speakeasy vibe of the hotel’s lower level lounge, Midnight Rambler. The small plates and drinks were inventive and delicious! www.thejouledallas.com

Image courtesy of The Joule Hotel’s Facebook Page.

 

Photo by Catherine Downes

 

SHOP at NorthPark Center

Funny story about this mall. I worked here at The Gap in high school and we had about 5 places to eat when it came to break time. Now, it rivals some of the best and largest malls in the country with tons of food options, a movie theater and every store you can imagine. I love going to the Neiman’s here and eating at the Mermaid Bar-– they have the best tortilla soup in town! Another favorite shopping go-to spot are the shops at Mockingbird Stationwww.northparkcenter.com

Image from MockingBirdStation.com

 

DANCE at S4 and Havanas

I can’t visit Dallas and not visit the local gay-berhood. The strip, as Dallasites call it is a stretch of bars, dance clubs, eateries and shops along Cedars Springs Road. Most people on a night out will start with drinks at JR’s,a huge two-story bar with several rooms, video screens and an outdoor patio, then dance the night away at either S4 or Havanas. www.station4dallas.com

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