At the heart of Dallas, Texas, sits one of the most unique neighborhoods — North Oak Cliff. A mere 10 minutes from the downtown area, patrons can find The Bishop Arts shopping district, full of tantalizing surprises, tasty treats, and some of that ‘good ol’ Oak Cliff charm.’ In a city where cosmopolitan and bygone eras collide, you will find the perfect mix of trendy and traditional, oozing in dissonant charm.
The Bishop Arts District is a hotbed of fantastical “flavors” to savor, relish, and adore. Hosting more than 60 independently owned shops, The Bishop Arts District is home to an enticing lineup of boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, and performance venues.
Needless to say, the wondrous world of the Bishop Arts District is distinctive in its nature and brimming with delightful gems.
Previously a site of artistic affluence, the Bishop Arts District has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. With its rich history and old-fashioned feel, this little Oak Cliff jewel will leave you enchanted, conjuring thoughts of days gone by as you amble through what was once Dallas’ most bustling trolley stop of the 1930s.
Quite simply put, if you dream of a perfect day with food and fun aplenty, then find your way to The Bishop Arts District. You’ll be glad you did. It is a place worthy of your time and shopping.
The Best of the Bishops Arts Shopping
The Bishops Arts District is the epitome of old-school, classic American grace, adapting to the millennial era. With their convergence of retro and modern trends, it’s no surprise the Bishops Arts District has become a hipster’s haven; and for the rest of us, there is still ample to do.
Whether you spend the day scouring stores for curated home furnishings, enjoying a relaxing stroll or taking a peek inside the myriad of unique boutiques and specialty shops, the alluring storefronts throughout the District are likely to provide you with exactly what you need or a “must have” but didn’t know you wanted.
Harkensback in Bishop focuses on sustainability, simplicity, and quality-crafted items; with beautifully crafted, vintage-inspired leather goods, from wallets to bags, linen rompers and tunic dresses to sui generis jewelry made in the U.S.A. Harkensback might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but you’ll sure know it if it’s yours.
DUDE, SWEET CHOCOLATE. The name alone should get you there, but if that doesn’t do it, Chef Katherine Clapner will.
Still thinking about it? The truffles, toffee, potions and more beckon sweet-lovers both young and mature, while whiskey and barrel-cured maple syrup fudge will delight seasoned connoisseurs of sweetness.
With chocolate scented with the essence of flowers of bergamot, jasmine, and orange and ingredients like Valrhona Pure Ghana and Equatorial chocolate, it’s a feast for the tongue and olfactory senses. This is no ordinary chocolate shop!
Perhaps a millennials paradise, Opportunity Market is a traditional Texan-indie boutique. The company promotes and sells exclusively handmade products, created in an ethical and sustainable manner. They offer an array of clothing, eccentric and magnificently colored jewelry, and home decor for shoppers to ponder.
Not only do they seem to have something exceptional for just about everyone, when you leave Opportunity Market with esteemed prize in hand, you find richness in the helping of others. A portion of every purchase is donated to empowering women and breaking the cycle of poverty.
A perfect resting spot for the husband-in-tow, The Wild Detectives is described best by its purveyors: “Our bookstore-bar-venue is the result of 10 years of friendship of two Spanish civil engineers, Javier García del Moral and Paco Vique. They always wished for a space that could mix two of their passions: books and booze.” Enough said.
Now, Let’s Eat!
So, you’ve sauntered down the meandering path and traipsed your way through the beautiful boutiques and eccentric shops, but your appetite is roaring and it’s now time to eat. The choices are aplenty and the choice may be hard, but you’re in a food haven and you really can’t go wrong.
Because this is Texas, Lockhart Smokehouse is a must visit for some mouth-watering, finger-licking, lip-smacking, smoked-to-perfection BBQ.
Jill Grobowsky Bergus, granddaughter of Edgar “Papa” Schmidt who ran the legendary Kreuz Market grew up steeped in the legacy and knows great BBQ. Tasty tip: try the ribs.
Yes, farm-to-table eateries seem to be everywhere, and Bolsa is why. This is one of the originals, featuring only the finest — you guessed it — fresh local ingredients. Hearty, juice-dripping burgers, scrumptiously succulent scallops, and wickedly delicious Devils on Horseback — blue cheese stuffed, bacon wrapped dates, and apple butter. The menu is a perfect balance of the known and the never imagined.
If you fancy yourself more of a wine aficionado, whether you prefer earthy, robust, or full-bodied, head to Neighborhood Cellar and pick up the finest vintage to suit your connoisseurial taste buds you can thank us later.
Need a minute? Grab a seat inside, and sample their selections. Better yet, plan a night out with friends — trust us, you’ll be taking some to go, regardless. Find the best Bishop Arts restaurants here.
Other Indulgences, Too
Of course, it’s more than just stores: Splurge on a total make-over, a spruce-up, or a trim at one of its many salons and barber shops. Spend some luxe time at a rejuvenating spa, or ink-yourself-up a souvenir you’re not likely to forget, the Bishop Arts District will have you looking fine and feeling fantastic.
Already looking fine but still looking for fun? Peruse some one-of-a-kind art at Mercado369 or the Ellison Valencia Gallery, smoke an artsy cigar from Cigar Art, or shoot some pool while listening to the jukebox at Oak Cliff Social Club. There’s a little something for everyone.
You may be drawn in by the shops and savory sustenance, but we promise that you’ll fall in love with the Bishop Arts District’s nostalgia for a distant age. After all, this is America at its most beautiful: a tight-knit community of independent business owners — far too many to mention here — looking to do something a little different, a little more like they used to, and perhaps, even like they will again tomorrow. Why not stop in and say hello?