Editor’s note: The top 10 stories of 2018 represent the ups and downs of a year in Dallas. Here's a look back at the 10 most-read CultureMap stories from the past year. If you are looking for the top food stories, they got their own list, thanks to dining editor Teresa Gubbins.
1. Dallas restaurant targeted by NRA writes fat check for gun reform group. Ellen's, a popular Southern restaurant in Dallas' West End, made international news after a run-in with the National Rifle Association in May. Ellen's put a message on the bottom of its checks calling for "reasonable and effective gun regulations" to mark the arrival of the NRA convention in Dallas, prompting backlash from the group. Then the restaurant put its money where its mouth was by making a sizable donation to an organization dedicated to reducing gun violence.
2. Dallas deemed one of the most affordable places to live and work in 2019. In December, a new survey indicated you can sock away some cash if you live and work in Big D. The study, done by BusinessStudent.com, puts Dallas at No. 22 among the country’s 25 most affordable places to live and work for 2019. The analysis found that in Dallas, residents had 79 percent of their salary left after paying rent.
3. Dallas' best restaurant and top chef revealed at 2018 Tastemaker Awards. The CultureMap Tastemaker Awards pays tribute to the people and places doing exceptional work in the Dallas-Fort Worth restaurant and bar community. For several weeks in 2018, we celebrated the nominees in a special editorial series. And on April 19, we revealed the winners at a swanky tasting event and awards ceremony at Sixty Five Hundred.
4. How to get every possible discount at the 2018 State Fair of Texas. For many, the State Fair of Texas is an annual ritual, a segue from summer to fall and a touchstone of life in Texas, no matter how you enjoy it. For us, it’s all about the discounts. We spent all summer digging up the best State Fair of Texas discounts, and this is the full list.
5. Dallas coffee shop is crowned the most beautiful in Texas. In January, international design authority Architectural Digest selected the most beautiful coffee shop in each state, and it was a Dallas location of an Austin brand that took the crown in Texas. Houndstooth Coffee at Sylvan | Thirty got praise for how its "soaring ceiling with an accordion effect and an all-white interior (with pops of heather gray)."
6. Magical new dessert shop in Deep Ellum fulfills all your unicorn dreams. Do you love unicorns? Is that even a real question? Get ready for a ride to the Magical Dessert Bar, a new shop that opened in December in Deep Ellum, where everything is pastel iridescence and oh-so sweet. Think hot chocolate that's pink, topped with pastel sprinkles and fluffy whipped cream.
7. Tiny-house village takes shape in downtown Lake Dallas. What was billed as the first project of its kind in the U.S. — a downtown village of tiny houses — started taking shape in the Denton County suburb of Lake Dallas in February 2018. By early 2019, tiny homes are expected to pop up in the city's downtown, which is about 30 miles north of downtown Dallas.
8. 5 telltale signs your Dallas home is the victim of a bad flipper. Homes with quintessential '50s character are being ruined by flippers eager to make money inflicting crappy remodels on sweet old houses. After two years of obsessively witnessing the havoc flippers wreak in Dallas' Casa View neighborhood, certain trends emerge. We identified five telltale signs that the "completely updated" house just up for sale has been the victim of a bad flip.
9. Dallas young professionals glam up for favorite autumn charity bash. When shoes are kicked off in the first 20 minutes, it's the sign of a fun night ahead. So the strappy stilettos abandoned at the edge of the dance floor at 9:20 pm perfectly foreshadowed things to come at the 2018 Dallas Autumn Ball. Glamorous young professionals 650 strong dressed to impress — ladies in long, shimmery, cut-to-there gowns and men in black tie — and arrived at Hotel ZaZa on November 9 ready to party.
10. Texas high-speed train selects location for passenger station in Dallas. A location was finalized for the Dallas passenger station for the Texas Bullet Train: in the Cedars neighborhood near I-30 and I-35. In a January release, developer Texas Central said they would build the terminal on a largely vacant 60-acre plot south of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, in the Cedars, near the Interstate 30 and Interstate 35 interchange.