Like most people who have lived a while in Dallas, I learned about the neighborhoods and the notions that went along with them. For example, every young person must at one point have an apartment in The Village. Check – I lived at The Corners. The big houses were in Highland Park. The really big houses were in Preston Hollow. Frisco was super far away and Oak Cliff was where you didn’t want to drive at night.
So when my husband and I were looking at houses, we gave the serious side-eye to our realtor when he suggested we look in Oak Cliff. Visions of barred windows and sad houses filled my mind and we said ‘thanks, but no thanks.’ It was on a whim that we drove through the neighborhood just so we could tell our realtor that we did it and so we could laugh at his woeful lack of knowledge.
The joke was on us! Just outside downtown Dallas there lies a complete gem of a group of neighborhoods! Driving down the lush tree-lined streets, we didn’t even know that we were in Dallas anymore! The houses were each unique and charming, no cookie-cutter McMansions here. People were out walking their dogs, families pushing babies in strollers and lo and behold, there was a house for sale that looked like it might work for us.
That was three years ago and we have happily lived in Oak Cliff ever since. Casey wrote about the Bishop Arts District last year, so I won’t recap it, except to say that you must make the trip because it’s completely worth it.
While Bishop Arts is a great draw for Oak Cliff, there are lots of other places you don’t want to miss. For one, there’s Urban Acres. It’s an organic grocery store that specializes in local produce, meat and dairy and it’s right around the corner from my house! You can even sign up for their food co-op. I haven’t done that yet, but some of the moms in the neighborhood have and claim it’s the greatest.
Bolsa Mercado just opened and it’s just what our neighborhood needed. It’s a gourmet grocery store with total old-world charm. They also make a mean sandwich – be sure to try the pastrami!
The taquerias in the ‘hood are legendary. There are tons of taco stands around but the one you just have to try is the Taqueria El Si Hay. It’s been an Oak Cliff mainstay for over 20 years and one bite of the tacos tells you why. It’s nothing more than a shack with a walk-up window, but through that window comes tacos from Heaven. Around the side is the Elote Man. He too is an Oak Cliff icon, so much so that a neighborhood email went out when he wasn’t at his post for a couple of days. Both are a must try!
Oak Cliff is a fantastic neighboorhood and if you should happen to drive through and see me out walking with my dog and my baby, be sure to say hi!