When you're searching for great dining in Dallas, it's hard to beat the neighborhood of North Oak Cliff. Frequently compared to cities like Austin, Brooklyn and Portland, Oregon, the OC boasts a strong sense of community, its own bicycle shop, an enthusiasm for foodie festivals and the city's largest collection of straw fedoras.
And it does not lack for restaurants. You can find bakeries, diners, coffee shops, pie shops, the city's first true vegan restaurant and a to-the-letter re-creation of a New York-style slice pizzeria. Oak Cliff has an incredible concentration of restaurants, and, best of all, they're nearly all independently owned; the area remains gratifyingly chain-free.
North Oak Cliff has so many restaurants, from Jefferson Boulevard to Davis Street, it could fill a book. This is just a best-of story. In the first of our reports on best neighborhood restaurants, we had to draw a line — and so this list focuses on just the places within Bishop Arts proper.
Sadly, that means leaving out worthy favorites nearby such as Mesa, Spiral Diner, Norma's, El Corazon de Tejas, Jonathon's, Bolsa/Bolsa Mercado, Driftwood, Nova, Zoli’s NY Pizza Tavern, Gonzalez, El Padrino and more.
Here's where to eat in Bishop Arts:
Brothers Brooks and Bradley Anderson created their French bistro with an admirable degree of authenticity. You've got oysters and pate, mussels and cassoulet. But they round it out with burgers and brunch. The Andersons are oenophiles as well as francophiles (they also own Veritas Wine Room on Henderson Avenue), and so the wine list, with bottles from California and France, is magnifique.
With its family ties to the legendary Kreuz Market, Lockhart raised the bar by bringing a little bit of Central Texas barbecue to Bishop Arts. Your meat is cut to order and slapped out on brown paper. You have to get the brisket and sausage, and go for a side of deviled eggs. The restaurant made Texas Monthly's list of top 50 barbecue joints, with special points for the unique beef clod.
This Italian restaurant turned quaint and funky Bishop Arts into a bona-fide foodie destination. Owners David and Jennifer Uygur combine artisanal skills and a perfectionist's attention to detail, creating every neighborhood's dream restaurant and earning national acclaim. The menu changes almost daily, but it's all good: house-cured meats, handmade pastas, carefully chosen wine list and crusty bread.
If for no other reason than the coffee: Oddfellows was one of the first in town with a deluxe La Marzocco espresso machine, and it is currently one of the only places around DFW to offer Cuvee's ground-breaking Black & Blue cold-brewed nitrogen-infused coffee on tap. Come for the coffee, but consider staying for the chicken and waffles, red velvet pancakes and dessert beignets. (As long as you don't mind a wait; service can be slow.)
This authentic Mexican restaurant was in Bishop Arts before the hipsters moved in. One of the reasons it has survived the onslaught is because it does such a good job, using fresh ingredients and making everything from scratch. Best sellers include the glossy mole and pollo en pipian rojo — chicken in a spicy red pumpkin seed sauce.
Michelle Carpenter is the rare female sushi chef in a world dominated by men. With 25-plus years at her craft, she has also more experience than most of her peers, and you can see it in her dexterous knife work and tautly wrapped rolls. She's credited with inventing the caterpillar roll, but that's just one of her many innovations, including vegan sushi and moving to Bishop Arts before it got cool.