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Free Dallas Delights - Bishop Arts District
A Unique Nook
Bishop Arts district is easily one of my favorite Dallas area attractions. After investigating small pockets of eclectic destinations in the city, I kept stumbling across Bishop Arts district. It's a unique destination for art, boutique shopping, world cuisine and amazing pie! Once I had spent a relaxing sunny afternoon discovering the jewels that line its streets, I found many reasons to keep going back for more.
Bishop Arts District
Something Old, Something New
Bishop Arts is an area in North Oak Cliff in Dallas. Located on the intersections of Bishop and Davis Street, it was developed as warehouses and shops in the 1920s. Thanks to the trolley stop on Davis Street, it became a hot spot and apparently also rapidly became the busiest stop in the city! Sadly - due to modernization - it slowly began to decline between the 1960s and 1980s. Sizable and important tenants left the area, malls began to gain in popularity and the local demographics changed. With the automobile becoming a more easily acquired mode of transport, trolley use also declined and so did the original reason people utilized the area. However thanks to a local real estate developer - Jim Lake - it was to be revived with great vigor in the new age. Thanks to some savvy business purchases, planning and even free rent for the first year for a police store front, Bishop Arts soon came back in a big way and draws many visitors to the area today.
Where is it?
Location, Location, Location
The main strip of Bishop Arts District runs from East Davis street, through to West Davis Street and up to West 9th Street in the North Oak Cliff area of Dallas.
If you live in North Dallas and beyond, you should begin your journey by locating the nearest entrance to US 75-S (if traveling from any other direction, please access the map feature above to change your route details). Take the Woodall Rodgers exit W. continue on 366 to N Beckley Ave where you turn left. Merge right onto Zang Blvd and continue on to W Davis Street where the district is located.
Parking in the area is a bit of a lottery. I usually attempt to park in a lot behind Oddfellows restaurant which is close to the corner of W 7th St and N Madison Ave, however on a Saturday your chances of finding a space there are slim. There is plenty of street parking in the area though, if you just exercise some patience and drive around a couple of blocks without straying too far.
The title says it all. It's impossible to walk through this district without happening across one of the many varied and beautiful murals painted on the back of a brick wall. Some of them signify landmarks, others depict pride in the recent revival of this wonderful area and a couple are just savvy advertisements for what veritable delights are offered inside the building. Amazingly, those are just the artistic options to be found on the street! If you wander a little further along, you'll find a cornucopia of art galleries in the form of the eclectic Artisans Collective at 410 N Bishop Ave or the upmarket Ginger Fox Gallery at 408 N Bishop Ave. If you're in the mood to simultaneously look at some art and perhaps buy some handcrafted jewelry then Dr. Cop's Pop Up Shop at 506 N Bishop Ave should easily fulfill all of your shopping needs.
Old Trolley Stop on Davis St
An integral part of this distinct area are the never ending options for places to dine. Every taste is catered for and every palette satisfied. The famous Lockhart Smokehouse lives here on 400 West Davis St, and a trip without tasting their amazing brisket is just pointless! They open at 11am and stay that way until they're sold out - which does happen, so make sure to stop in before they do.
If BBQ is just not what you're looking for, then the options couldn't be more varied in terms of world cuisine. Everything from Vietnamese to Greek food and Sushi to Po boys can be found in Bishop Arts so take your time making a decision. Don't despair if your eyes are bigger than your stomach, just compile a mental list of foods you want to try on your next visit as you'll be back for more.
Where to Eat?
Where to Eat if you want...
Lockhart Smokehouse BBQ
400 West Davis St
380 West 7th Street
314 North Bishop Ave
Eno's Pizza Tavern
407 North Bishop Ave
Greek Cafe & Bakery
334 West Davis Street
247 West Davis Street
408 West Eighth Street #101
408 West 7th Street
600 North Bishop Ave
418 N Bishop Ave
408 North Bishop Ave #108
321 North Bishop Ave
312 West 7th St
Dude Sweet Chocolate
408 West Eighth St
Patrons who want to quench their thirst on a sunny Dallas day can easily navigate the district and happen upon any number of bars that can provide them with local brews and the 303 Bar and Grill (303 West Davis St), Ten Bells Tavern (232 West 7th St), Whitehall Exchange (500 North Bishop Ave) and Bishop Cider Co (509 North Bishop Ave), are some very good places to start. All of these Bars are located within easy walking distance of each other.
Lord of the Pies
Perfect Pie and More
Always a necessary stop on every trip through Bishop Arts, Emporium Pies is the epitome of pie heaven. The pies do vary by season, yet you're always guaranteed to find a piece of classic apple pie in the form of Lord of the Pies. If you get lucky, there won't be a line coming out of their front door on the day of your visit, but don't bet on it as every Dallas resident stops here before they leave the area.
If pie doesn't please you and you're in search of something a little more artisanal, then stop by Dude Sweet Chocolate located 408 West Eighth Street. They have everything from chocolate salami, to fudge and even cocoa puff marshmallows to satisfy even the most experienced chocolate connoisseur.
Espumoso Caffe is the perfect stop for a simple ice cream on those hot Texas days and even have coffee for that quick pick-me-up if dessert is not your thing. They are located on 408 N Bishop Ave in Suite 105.
Shopping Delights & Neighborhood Necessities
Window shopping takes on a whole new meaning when visiting the district as every business that lines this street is independently owned and operated. Everything handcrafted and one-of-a-kind can be found here and the creativity and originality is visible from every store front. Bishop Street Market located on 419 N Bishop Ave is a good starting point, offering unique gifts and home accessories. However don't limit your shopping tastes when exploring, as the area doesn't just offer arts and crafts throughout it's many shops. There are many clothing boutiques, a bicycle shop, a florist, a tattoo parlor, a furniture store, pet store and even a barber shop to accommodate every shopping necessity. So make sure to be thorough when going from store to store just in case you miss anything from the plethora of options that the area has to offer.
What was your favorite experience during your recent visit to Bishop Arts District?
- Events - Bishop Arts District
A historical shopping district full of great finds, good eats, and good ole Oak Cliff charm! The Bishop Arts District is made up of many independently-owned shops and eateries that maintain various hours.
Bishop Arts District also hosts events throughout the year. From the Mardi Gras Oak Cliff Parade to Bastille on Bishop, there's always something being celebrated in a big Bishop way. Make sure to click on the link to check up on any upcoming events in the area.
Bountiful Bishop Arts
So don't forget to make Bishop Arts District a necessary stop during your next visit to Dallas. The area embodies a unique artistic vibe that encapsulates the intense interest that residents here have for art, food and originality. This is one free excursion that will create a wonderful memory of how a city area that has fallen into disrepair, can be revived with a little love and a great deal of creativity.