Dallas' 5 Best Coffee Shops

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Catherine Downes

If coffee is important to you in a biological or emotional way, then you probably have an attachment to a coffee shop. If your love/addiction runs deep, you have a go-to place in every neighborhood in town.

But what makes a coffee shop really good? The kind of good that causes you to drive out of your way for it? The kind of good where you don't mind paying $1.50 more than you would at Starbucks? I would like to propose three fundamental factors that make a coffee shop more than a caffeine pit stop.

People. This includes the owners, the employees, and customers. The owner is ultimately responsible for the quality of their shop, and if they suck or don't care then it will inevitably show downstream.

Then there is the barista, a job that is part science and part art. A good barista is technically proficient: they can pull good shots, dial in the espresso machine, and steam the milk just so for your cortado, cappuccino, or latte. On top of those skills (which take time and patience to learn), a good barista is socially proficient: they are just the right amount of friendly, are knowledgeable about their craft, and know how to manage unhappy customers with ease.

The other people consideration is the customer base itself, influenced by menu offerings, overall vibe, and location.

Physical space and related factors. Everything from location, type of building, and layout affect the overall experience. Points off if it is in a strip mall, I don't care how great everything else is.

Coffee shop layouts very greatly, but most of the great ones have a bar area that promotes interaction between the staff and customers. Music is also a crucial piece of the puzzle. A well-cultivated playlist can turn into studying into something almost enjoyable, while too much John Mayer makes me question your taste in everything from that point forward.

The beans. Let's be honest, the coffee is the main show. A coffee shop can make fancy latte art all day in the world's cutest redone historic home but if the beans are bad then that shop is all show and no heart.

Whether a shop chooses to roast their own beans or work with a separate roaster, choosing a quality bean means a more expensive cup, but also one that tastes better (that is mostly a fact and only a little opinion) and is better for the coffee grower and the environment.

The best shops integrate all three seamlessly; creating a unique experience that keeps you coming back for more. So based on this very qualitative decision making framework and in no particular order, hop over the page for Dallas' best coffee shops!

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21 comments
gabe48
gabe48

The coffee at Drip on Lovers Lane is not to be missed!

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

Doesn't anyone make coffee at home?  It's cheaper and a lot better.

Twinwillow
Twinwillow

I'm very happy with a "senior coffee" from McDonalds.  

.50 a cup.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

For $1.50 more than Suxbux?

I don't think my regular go-to, RaceTrack house blend actually rings in at over $1.50. 

onemorething
onemorething

Opening Bell Coffee!!! in the basement of the Southside on Lamar apartment building. you wouldn't know it was there unless you were looking for it. they're guatamalan house blend is AMAZING

ooozooo
ooozooo

Coffee House Cafe located in BFE North Dallas

lolotehe
lolotehe

Sorry, since they shut down Dan's Lakewood Cafe, I'd just lost interest.

wontunow
wontunow

I am so lazy, I selfishly wanted the street addys.

monstruss
monstruss

I thought Mudsmith used Four Barrel coffee from SF? 

blakebowyer
blakebowyer

Mudsmith? Bah. If I want to be served a side of disinterest, I'll go to the DMV.


Seconding Murray Street Coffee.

AreaMan
AreaMan

Murray St. Coffee for LIFE.

AdamsonScott
AdamsonScott

@daviddennard It's not that simple.


A while is a noun meaning “a length of time”.    “I slept for a while.”
Awhile is an adverb, meaning “for a time,” or literally, “for a while”.   “I slept awhile before dinner.”

The words can be used almost interchangeably in some cases – but a while needs to be accompanied by a preposition, such as “for” (“I slept for a while”) or “ago” (“I left work a while ago”). Awhile always means “for a while”.

Daniel
Daniel

@lolotehe   Ah, Dan's Lakewood! Dan's was the first place in town to feature estate-grown, single-source cockroaches, and those of us who were in-the-know would order off-menu delights such as imported Italian gonorrhea with trucker foam.


lizgoulding
lizgoulding

@monstruss  They switched to Avoca a while ago. Every time I have been in there recently I have only seen Avoca offered.

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