How To Entertain Your Out-of-Town Friends in Dallas for 48 Hours
Entertaining your out-of-town friends in Dallas can be a breeze, but it’s a lot of pressure. And if they’re only in town for the weekend, it’s gotta be the best of the best. After all, your reputation as a great friend (and local tastemaker) depend on it. So let’s pretend it’s early Saturday morning, you picked them up from Dallas-Fort Worth Airport late Friday night (like the amazing friend you are), they’re all checked in at their hotel, and they’re in the back seat asking, “So, what’s the plan?”
9 AM: It’s early, and good coffee is a must in order to tackle the day’s itinerary. Make it an espresso and drive down to Oak Cliff and visit Davis Street Espresso for strong drinks and catch-up conversation. The place is quiet, there are typically no screens due to the lack of WiFi, and it’s the perfect place to let your pals decompress from their late-night arrival and rest before brunch.
10 AM: Once the caffeine levels are back up, it’s time to eat. And since that epic parking spot has already been secured, it’s time for a light stroll to Bolsa for brunch. A brunch burger, egg and steak hash, and a plate of chilaquiles later… everyone is happy and agreeing that Bolsa is indeed a magical place.
12 PM: Bishop Arts is home to plenty of cute boutiques, so it’s time to walk off that light food coma and check out the storefronts. A stroll down Bishop, including stops at Neighborhood for cool home decor, Society for all of the amazing candles, and Magic Hour and Harkensback for all things eclectic. Need a little more coffee? Make the trek to Wild Detectives for another cup (or some beer if it be like that) and to browse their book selection. (They’ll probably need something new to read for the flight home anyway.)
2 PM: If all of that shopping and coffee sipping has worked up an appetite, it’s time to make lunchtime happen. And since you’re already around the corner from one of the best barbecue places in town, it’s only natural to walk to Lockhart Smokehouse for major meat sweats. Food coma ensues, but that’s okay because there’s more walking planned for the day.
3 PM: Everyone probably needs to go back to the hotel to unload their Bishop Arts treasures, so it’s time to hop in the car and drive downtown. Your hip friends are staying at the Joule downtown and excited to check out the boutiques now that they’re open for the day. Drooling over the handbags and shoes at Forty Five Ten ensues, along with a trance-like walk down the sidewalk to the Neiman Marcus flagship.
4 PM: Now that some (more) light shopping has taken place, it’s time to balance it out with some art. A quick train ride to Pearl/Arts District takes you to the Dallas Museum of Art, Crow Museum of Asian Art and Nasher Sculpture Center. Works are viewed, selfies are taken. It’s a pretty cultured afternoon.
7 PM: It’s dinner time. And you were able to score reservations at Matt McCallister’s new hotness Homewood. A short Uber ride and a starter plate of Parker House Rolls with chicken drippings (yep) pretty much sets the scene for the rest of the evening. Treat yourself; your friends are in town. Replenish the coffee levels with some blueberry bread pudding and butterscotch peaches for dessert because your friends are still down to explore.
9 PM: Now that the caffeine has done its job and all of the artsy cultured stuff is outta the way, it’s time for a visit to one of Dallas’ best dive bars for a pre-nightcap. Oh, and maybe a little basketball to work off those chicken drippings. Luckily, Grapevine Bar has both. And the drinks are prrrretty cheap. Bonus.
12 AM: Well, that was fun. Time to soak up some of those Pom Poms with some late-night bites. If they haven’t tried Velvet Taco yet, they’re in for a treat. Order a round of tacos (don’t forget the Tikka Masala concoction) and rehydrate with plenty of water and a Mexican Coke.
1 AM: Gathering your bearings? If anyone is still standing after this day, a nightcap at Midnight Rambler is the reward. Order a round of drinks, try and remember if you still have activated charcoal tablets and Tylenol at home, send your friends upstairs to their hotel room and grab that Uber.
10 AM: Gooooood morning! Ready for brunch? CBD Provisions is ready for that mildly-hungover appetite, so go ahead and spring for the bagel and lox… along with that cheeseburger.
11 AM: If you’re starting to feel a little more bright-eyed, grab your friends and take them to Thanks-Giving Square. It’s less than a five-minute walk away, and the quiet, serene vibe is perfect for putting them in a good mindset for the day.
11:30 AM: History buffs or not, staying in downtown Dallas and not checking out the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza is a crime. Spend a little time here, soak up some history, and mark off your Cultural Dallas Event for the day.
1 PM: It’s lunchtime! And while fusion tacos were on last night’s late-night menu, it’s time for a Texican original. El Come Taco has a little something for everyone, casually perfect counter service, and *glances at last night’s Homewood receipt* the price is just right. Sunday Funday also calls for a margarita, so order a round.
2 PM: Starting to dip a little? Freshen up with a coffee or kombucha at Mudsmith, a hair-of-the-dog draft beer from SingleWide or a quick drink/dessert food truck visit at Truck Yard. Or do it all, because they’re right down the street on Lowest Greenville from each other.
4 PM: Take your friends to explore a different neighborhood with a Sunday evening stroll through Deep Ellum. Be sure and stop to check out *all* of the murals, stop in at Flea Style before they close for a unique treasure or two, and satisfy that sweet tooth with a treat from Murray Street Coffee.
6 PM: Ready for a cocktail? Those in need of some small bites and a change of atmosphere will also love Armoury DE and their smoky, all-about-presentation cocktails or STIRR for delicious cocktails and A+ patio time. Impress your pals with a trip to Black Swan Saloon for a customized cocktail they’re be talking about forever.
Congratulations! You just wrapped up a busy 48 hours in Dallas with a tastemaker reputation still intact. So as you drop them off at the airport Monday morning (again, what a great friend you are), casually remind them that you’re coming to visit next time.