Authentic Dallas Super Bowl Guide

1 Feb


Copyright NFL


Authentic Dallas would like to welcome the masses to Dallas for the Super Bowl.  Now that you’re here, you are probably wondering what to do in our great city?  I’m sure you’ve been told to visit  The Galleria and Northpark Center, but with apologies to NorthPark (which is truly a great shopping mecca both architecturally and with its lineup of stores), if you’ve been to one big city mall, you’ve been to them all.  I’m also sure your to-do list includes a visit to Dealey Plaza and the Sixth Floor Museum which should be at the top of your list, but what to do with the rest of your days leading up to the Big Game?

Have no fear!  Authentic Dallas is here to steer you to authentic and unique activities, events, restaurants, and bars.  Due to the city moving to ICE FORCE 2!, this list will trend heavily towards eating and drinking, but at least that will keep you warm!

(Note: You might want to call ahead to these places, especially the bars and restaurants, and make sure they are not closed for private parties this week.)

Coffee Houses

Speaking of keeping warm, lets start out with where to grab a great cup of coffee (or tea) without having to visit the ubiquitous Starbucks.  Visit the following places for a unique brew and authentic atmosphere.

Crooked Tree Coffeehouse – 2414 Routh Street – Website
  • Central location in Uptwon Dallas, walking distance from The Crescent, Hotel ZaZa, Ritz Carlton and Downtown Hotels.  It’s also near a bunch of great restaurants and bars.  Chances are if you’re staying in Dallas, you’ll be in Crooked Tree’s orbit early and often.
Murray Street Coffee Shop – 103 Murray Street – Website
  • Murray Street is located in Deep Ellum which is an area with bohemian shops, interesting museums, and some of the best restaurants in the city.  See my previous post on Deep Ellum for some suggestions.  Back to Murray Street, this is probably my favorite coffee house in terms of location, feel, and the actual building.  Murray Street is easy to get to for those staying Downtown or traveling in the Uptown/Downtown area.
Espumoso Caffe – 408 North Bisjop Ave – Suite 105 – Website
  • Negative points to Espumoso Caffe because it isn’t truly authentic to Dallas (they have a location in the Vegas Hard Rock Hotel), but positive points for being in the most authentic area in Dallas, The Bishop Arts District in Oak Cliff, and major points for being (to my knowledge) the only place in Dallas that serves Acai Bowls, which is perhaps the greatest thing on earth.  Learn more about Oak Cliff and how to get there below.
The Pearl Cup Espresso Bar – 1900 N. Henderson Ave. – Website
  • The Pearl Cup is located in another great authentic dining and shopping corridor known as the Knox-Henderson neighborhood.  More on the neighborhood below, but if you like a good restaurant and bar scene, you’ll be familiar with the area by Super Sunday.  Henderson Ave is a 5 minute cab ride from Downtown and Uptown hotels and is worth the short trip.

Jump for our list of bars, restaurants and things to do…


As noted above, make sure to check with these places before you go to see if they are open for normal business.  Also, I could make this list 30 or 40 places long, but I’ll try and quick hit the best options that I *think* may be open to the public this week.


Si Tapas – 2207 Allen Street – Website
  • One of the more underrated restaurants in Dallas is Si Tapas in the State Thomas neighborhood of Uptown.  It’s a small, house-turned-restaurant that serves authentic Spanish Tapas.  I’ve never ordered anything I didn’t like, but I highly recommend the Tomate al Ajillo and you can’t go wrong with the house Sangria.


Fireside Pies – 2820 N Henderson Ave – Website
  • Fireside is teetering on the edge of “Authentic” as there are about a half-dozen locations around the area and I won’t be surprised if they make a jump to national expansion very soon.  It’s on this website’s list because the location above is the original and it is just so damn good.  Bonus points for being on Henderson in a great area.
Campania Pizza – 3800 McKinney Avenue – Website
  • Another successful Dallas pizza joint that is on an expansion kick.  The original is in a little storefront near the West Village in Uptwon Dallas.  Good to great authentic Italian pizza depending on the visit.  It’s across from a school, so they can’t sell booze, so it is BYOB and a $5 corkage fee (for out of towners that means bring a bottle of your favorite libation and pay the restaurant $5 for a glass or two).


Kathleen’s Sky Diner – 4424 Lovers Lane – Website
  • I’ve eaten here twice and I think it might be the best breakfast I’ve ever had.  The sausage links are amazing.  Great brunch place.   Service is a little uneven as my last time there the service was not good, but don’t let that stop you because the first time I had no problems.  Kathleen’s is located a few miles North of Downtown in the Park Cities and can be reached by going North on 75 and exiting Lovers Lane and heading West or taking the North Dallas Tollway and exiting Lovers Lane where you’ll see the Sky Diner on the left.
Oddfellows – 316 West Seventh Street – Website
  • I just recently discovered Oddfellows, and I’ve already become a big fan (I’m not the only one).  Great atmosphere that plays on the restaurants setting in a historic building with a great old timey feel.  So many choices on the menu that I had a hard time deciding.  The place is currently only open for breakfast, brunch and lunch, with plans to add dinner at some point.  If you’re going to Bishop Arts District, go early and have breakfast here, look around at the shops and pop into one of the other restaurants for lunch, you won’t be disappointed.


Mia’s Tex Mex – 4322 Lemmon Ave – Website
  • I hesitate to even make a suggestion here because you can walk ten feet and hit a great Tex Mex place in Dallas, but Mia’s is one of the best.  Walk in and order a margarita and the brisket Taco’s, no need to look at the menu.  Mia’s is authentic b/c it is a hole in the wall, but not in a scary way (note the valet parking and German cars in the parking lot).  Mia’s high class cousin (literally) Manny’s Uptown is down the road in the heart of Uptwon if that is more your speed.


I hate to admit this, but the Dallas BBQ scene is down right pathetic.  I won’t go in depth on this one, but here are a few suggestions that I think are good places if you need a fix for Texas BBQ but can’t make a pilgrimage to the small towns scattered throughout Texas where the great BBQ is made.

Baker’s Ribs – 2724 Commerce Street – Website
  • Consistently good and my favorite in the city limits
Pecan Lodge – 1010 S. Pearl Expressway Dallas Farmers Market, Shed 2 – Website
  • Never been but I hear GREAT things.  In the Farmers Market which is located Downtown.

Chicken Fried Steak

Park Restaurant – 1921 Henderson Avenue – Website
  • Unlike most Texans/Southerners I am not a fan on Chicken Fried Steak.  I heard great things about Park and Chef Mark Cassel’s unbelievable Chicken Fried Steak.  So I went and tried it and it was other worldly.  I read recently that Chef Cassel has left Park, so that might warrant a retraction, but deep down it is a great restaurant with a great patio (when it is not 15 degrees), so take a risk and go check it out.

General Fare

Hattie’s – 418 Bishop Avenue – Website
  • A favorite of locals located in the Bishop Arts District.  No doubt you’ll get a great meal.
Bolsa – 614 W Davis Street – Website
  • Bolsa is a national darling.  You won’t see an overview of the Dallas dining scene and not see Bolsa mentioned.  Obviously it is still a local darling as I was there this weekend and the wait before 6:30 was an hour and grew to two and a half hours as the night grew on.  If you’re going to this Oak Cliff joint, take a page from my book and try and arrive early.  Be prepared to wait regardless and spend some time at their awesome bar.


If you’re looking for authentic areas of Dallas, stick to these neighborhoods.

Oak Cliff
  • The poster child for authenticity and independent business in Dallas, this neighborhood is centered around the Bishop Arts District and the main drag is Davis Street.  Also visit Eno’s Pizza, Dude, Sweet Chocolate, among others.  Map
  • Some people might argue this area of Dallas is the antithesis of authentic and very plastic.  While that is true, Uptown is the entertainment center of Dallas and there are a few gems such as Crooked Tree and Si Tapas.  Map
Knox Henderson
  • One of the original unique neighborhoods of Dallas, chains are starting to take over the Knox side of the area, so most of the action is now moving across 75 to Henderson Ave.  The area has a good nightlife scene that has matured over the past two years. Map
Deep Ellum
  • Deep Ellum is in the middle of a renaissance of sorts as it tries to recreate itself.  There is a good mix of long time establishments and new faces such as La Grange. Deep Ellum is just East of downtown, so spend at least one night discovering the area.  Map
The Cedars
  • The cedars is a place no one would go unless they knew it was there.  If you want to do the dive bar thing, but not worry if your car will be there when you get back, head over to Lee Harvey’s.  Absinthe Lounge is also a great little hidden gem.  As for your car, don’t worry, Dallas Police Headquarters is located in The Cedars and is the anchor of the neighborhood.  Map
Let me know your favorite places in the comments.  I will add suggestions and if I think of anymore places or events I will add those as well.  Enjoy Dallas and Super Bowl week!


3 Responses to “Authentic Dallas Super Bowl Guide”

  1. Boss Lady February 2, 2011 at 9:14 AM #

    Thanks for the shout out 🙂 Nice work!

  2. TheDallasDiva February 3, 2011 at 4:36 PM #

    Nice roundup! I just discovered this blog, and it’s fantastic! Great work …



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