Your Expert Guide
Oak Cliff: The “Brooklyn of Dallas” is a welcoming hub of historic, indie charm
There are so many great places to live in Dallas that it helps to have an expert on your side. The Neighborhood Guide presented by Briggs Freeman Sotheby's International Realty gives you insider access from the agents who live and work there, providing in-the-know info about your possible new community.
While the Bishop Arts District might be considered the crown jewel of Oak Cliff, there is much more to love about this part of Dallas that’s brimming with historic charm, a funky indie spirit, and strong community vibes.
Real estate professional Brian Davis has lived in Oak Cliff for over 20 years, drawn to the hilly terrain, beautiful trees, excellent dining and nightlife, and relaxed atmosphere — and to the architecture of his midcentury ranch home in Wynnewood North, with its spacious walls of glass and large yard.
An out-of-state transplant himself, Davis loves introducing people to the eclectic blend of homes and neighborhoods that define Oak Cliff, which is located directly across the Trinity River from downtown.
“From Craftsman homes in Winnetka Heights to Tudors in Kessler Park, bungalows in East Kessler, and contemporary properties sprinkled throughout, there’s a lot of diversity — and a beautiful home can exist in any style,” says Davis.
Passionate about architecture and the design process, he also loves seeing renovation projects take shape. “I get tremendous satisfaction when we get to bring a swan back to life after years as an ugly duckling,” he adds.
When he’s not working, Davis enjoys his involvement in Big Brothers Big Sisters and his support for the immigration assistance efforts of the Human Rights Initiative of North Texas. He has also served as president of the Wynnewood North Neighborhood Association.
Davis offered up a few of his personal favorites about life in what he calls the “Brooklyn of Dallas.” Here's his guide to the area:
Where to eat & drink
“Oak Cliff has many hidden gems, but if you're looking for a classic dive bar with a mix of patrons straight out of an SNL Stefon skit, look no further than Barbara's Pavillion on Centre Street,” says Davis. “It is to Oak Cliff what The Grapevine Bar is to Oak Lawn.”
He also recommends Encina and Nova for great seasonal bites and pints, and Lucia for extra-special occasions (and the best house-cured salumi and handmade pasta around).
Where to play
During the spring and fall, CiboDivino hosts bocce ball games on their lawn on Tuesday nights. “It’s the most fun night of the week!” says Davis, who is an avid enthusiast of the sport.
What to see
For Davis, no trip to Oak Cliff is complete without a stop at the historic Texas Theatre for a movie or Western Heights Cemetery, which dates to the 1850s.
Where to live
“The beauty of life in Oak Cliff is that we have a little bit of everything,” says Davis. “Within the span of a few square miles, you'll find some of the best examples of Tudor, Craftsman, Prairie, Midcentury, and Contemporary homes in the city. Regardless of your favorite style, you'll find it here.”
Brian Davis lives, works, and plays in the Oak Cliff. For more information on buying and selling a home in the area, click here, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 214-924-1442.