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Best Local Shopping in Dallas: Get off the Grid

Shopping the racks at Milk & Honey

Written by Nadia Ibanez

One of my favorite parts of traveling to a new city is checking out the area’s artsy neighborhoods and shopping districts. While shopping at the big box stores or shopping mall is convenient and predictable, digging deep for the independent, mom-and-pop shops are the best places to find the hidden gems.

Not only do you get a glimpse into some young, up and coming designers and artisans in the area, but it’s also likely that you’ll just be steps away from unique cafes, coffee shops, and dessert shops. Trust us, we stumbled upon some delicious eateries.

The daily selection at Emporium Pies in Dallas

I spent a week out in Dallas seeking the best boutiques. Here are my picks for the best off-the-grid shopping in Dallas.

BISHOP ARTS DISTRICT FOR VINTAGE FINDS

If you look at my closet, you’ll find some vintage designer kaftans, Anthropologie dresses galore, bright colors, and busy prints. I was searching for the right blend of affordable designer threads and vintage inspired frock so the Bishop Arts District sounded right up my alley.

One of the many concoctions from Dude, Sweet Chocolate in Dallas, TX

Located on North Bishop Avenue and West 7th Street and West Zang Avenue intersections, this neighborhood promotes local business owners and designers. Walk around the 300 block of North Bishop, and you’ll find trendy boutiques, garden shops, art galleries, and delicious cafes and eateries. Our favorite stops were Dude, Sweet Chocolate, a masculine approach to everything cocoa related and Hemline and Epiphany for some rad dresses and tops for the summer weather.

The Meyer Lemon Salad from Eno’s features romaine, basil, reggianito, jalapeño, roasted pork belly, and local honey tarragon vinaigrette

If you’re visiting during lunch time, stop for some thin-crust pizza and a salad at Eno’s Pizza Tavern. Their light fare is ideal for the hot weather. You have to absolutely drop by Emporium Pies for a slice – or two – of their incredible, homemade pies. Walking into the shop, you’ll get a true sense of the girliness inspired by the bakers, décor, pies, and the kitsch behind the Emporium Pies philosophy. The Mellow Yellow was absolutely magical with its lemon chiffon filling and ginger snap crust.

It’s all about the presentation at Emporium Pies in Dallas

HENDERSON AVENUE FOR ARTISTIC WARES AND TRENDY DIGS

Walls of trendy tops and bottoms at Milk & Honey in Dallas, TX

Before even arriving in Dallas, I kept hearing about Milk & Honey when seeking for unique and girly shopping referrals. Along the 1900 block of North Henderson Avenue, Milk & Honey was full of neon dresses, printed skirts, trendy baubles and jewelry, accessories and so much more. Most of their duds were reminiscent of something you’d find in a SoCal boutique so I happily picked up a few dresses and tops for my trip.

We Are 1976 has a superb selection of artist prints

We Are 1976 was another great find and just steps away from Milk & Honey. With a mix of artist prints, vintage circus finds, paper goods, and kitchen wares, I could have spent an hour alone in We Are 1976 checking out every nook. Check out their second location in the Bishop Arts District. If you need some fun vintage finds and accessories, you must also check out The Gypsy Den just down the street. Henderson Avenue is also a great spot if you’re visiting during lunch or dinner as most of the streets have several restaurant options.

While Dallas offers a number of indoor and outdoor shopping malls, I really enjoyed driving a bit off the grid and exploring the city’s smaller business districts and neighborhoods. Where are your favorite places to shop in Dallas?

Best Places to Play and Shop in Austin, TX

Great vintage finds and curiosities from Laced with Romance in Austin, TX

Written by Nadia Ibanez

Looking for some cool places to check out during your next visit to Austin? Check out our favorite places to play and shop in Austin, TX.

WHERE TO HEAR THE TUNES

Just one of the dozens of bars you’ll find on Sixth Street in Downtown Austin

If you’re looking to grab a drink or a meal, locals will most likely direct you to one of the restaurants and bars lining Sixth Street. You’ll have your pick of bars and every imaginable type of cuisine is available, but make sure to drop by this heavily trafficked street for some great live music. Deemed the live music capital of the world, Austin has dozens of bars bursting at the seams with country, jazz, blues, hip hop, and other forms of musical sounds just about every night of the week. We visited Sixth Street on Monday night and still had our fair share of live music options.

Sixth Street in Austin, TX by day

WHERE TO SHOP

Drop by Blackmail on South Congress for some cool finds

A trip to Austin wouldn’t be complete without a couple “Keep Austin Weird” t-shirts or some quirky tchotchkes from a local artisan. We fell in love with South Congress Street and managed to find some cool shops offering the standard tourist t-shirt intermingled with jewelry, art, apparel and accessories crafted by locals. Drop by Blackmail for some great leather goods or some apothecary-themed gift ideas, Friends of Sound Records for the album you’ve been searching for, The Impeccable Pig or Maya Star for a trendy outfit for the evening, Laced with Romance for some rad vintage clothes or a taxidermied friend, or any one of the boutiques offering one-of-a-kind treasures.

Pick up a pair of boots from Laced with Romance on South First Street, just a couple blocks from South Congress

WHERE TO DRESS UP YOUR WALLS

Parts & Labour on South Congress was our fave for art, vintage-inspired tees, and jewelry from local artisans
Just a small selection of prints from Arts & Labour

Just about every shop on South Congress has some form of art to adorn your walls. Whether you’re seeking a vintage poster, or three-dimensional installation, you’ll certainly have your pick. If you’re looking for old concert posters, pop art graphics, or quirky prints, you definitely need to check out Parts & Labour for its huge selection of affordable printed art. Drive a bit off of the path and you’ll find Mondo, one of our photographer’s favorite art galleries. Shows change every month or so allowing patrons to visit often and follow the works from their favorite artists. The gallery has quite the following so if you find something you love and it’s still for sale, buy it immediately.

Art from the Adventure Time Show at Mondo in Austin, TX

WHERE TO REST YOUR HEAD

There are a number of hotels and boutique B&B’s throughout Austin so you’ll never run out of lodging options. The Holiday Inn Austin Town Lake was generous enough to offer accommodations during our stay and we were extremely pleased with its amenities. Traffic in Downtown Austin can get a bit hairy everyday and our hotel was situated a few blocks away from the main drag and also was butted up against the beautiful Town Lake. I’d highly recommend this hotel because not only are you just minutes away from restaurants, shops, and bars, but you can also wake up with views of paddle boarders kayakers in the lake below. Also, take advantage of the hotel’s shuttle service if you’re exploring downtown.

WHERE TO GET AN OVERALL VIEW OF AUSTIN

Just some of the sights you’ll see on the Austin Overtures tour

If you plan a visit to Austin with either short notice or not much of an itinerary, you might be at a loss when trying to map out your stay. There is a TON of places and things to see so I suggest you find an Austin tour guide to show you some of the main attractions, historical landmarks, and more. We went on a tour with Austin Overtures on our second day, which made for a perfect way to get a tour of the surroundings, ask for restaurant recommendations, and get an insight into the town’s people and history. On our tour, we got a glimpse into where the celebrities stay when they’re in town, learned about current legislation at the Capital, drove by Moody Theater and learned about the history of Austin City Limits, and discovered a couple neighborhoods and districts we would have never known about.

Just some of the street art you’ll come across in Austin

Whether you’re spending the afternoon or an entire week in Austin, there’s no shortage of things to do and places to see. Go on a tour, ask locals for recommendations, explore by foot, and take advantage of your hotel’s concierge to find the gems within Austin. For more information, visit www.austintexas.org.

Don’t forget to take a tour of the Capital Building while you’re in town