Welcome to the second annual CliffDweller Best of the Cliff Reader’s Choice Awards. Thanks to an incredible response to our online vote, your choices for the Best Everything in the Cliff are clear. And the winners are…
Kavala Mediterranean Grill
1417 W Davis St, Dallas, TX 75208
Kelly Hightower’s Greek-themed restaurant that took the space Starfish left behind, has flourished. Drawing neighbors from up the street and foodies from the far reaches of the metroplex, it’s been lauded by “D Magazine” and “The Dallas Morning News.” And so it should be no surprise that it was the reader’s choice for best new restaurant in the Cliff. Whether you enjoy the savory lamb gyros or the spectacular brick-oven pizzas, Kavala offers CliffDwellers a great atmosphere with exceptional food.
Best Place to take Kids for Dinner
321 N Bishop Ave., Dallas, TX 75208
Yes, they’ve got grilled cheese and tater tots. What else are you looking for when pacifying tired and hungry kids? But it’s also got some of the most friendly and patient staff, who don’t seem to get bothered by the little ones who frequent the restaurant early in the evenings.
Plus, Hunky’s serves beer now, which is a nice thing for the keepers of the kids.
428 E Jefferson Blvd # 125, Dallas, TX 75203
The funny thing about this category is that it was a really close contest! We’re not making this up, but Chan Thai was nearly recognized as the best Chinese restaurant in the Cliff. And perhaps this should give us some idea about the number of quality Chinese options round here.
However, Valentino’s was the overall reader’s choice, and for good reason. If you are looking for the hottest Asian fusion in town, you’re in the wrong spot. But if you want all the standard Chinese options made consistently well, this is your best bet. Open for lunch and dinner, Valentino’s won’t win any citywide awards, but it’s just right when you’ve got Chinese on your mind.
380 W 7th St, Dallas, TX 75208
This is not a joke. Zen Sushi was the clear winner in the Best Bacon category, leaving us a little confused. But after further research (and tasting) we discovered that indeed, the bacon-wrapped asparagus at Zen Sushi is amazing. Just because it’s at a sushi restaurant, don’t worry… it isn’t served raw. The bacon is perfectly cooked and wrapped around freshly-steamed asparagus.
So while many of you may prefer your bacon alongside your eggs and pancakes, or inside your breakfast taco, we’ll pass along the choice of the readers with confidence. Zen Sushi has great bacon!
Best Wine Menu
418 N Bishop Ave, Dallas, TX 75208
Depending on the seriousness of your vinophilia, judging a good wine list may mean many different things. There are some who are looking for some ratio of quality to cost. Others are looking for rarity. And still others are just hoping that someone else at the table has a clue.
Hattie’s has a little for everyone. Ranging from sparkling, whites, reds and dessert wines, they cover a fairly broad spectrum from $28 standards to $145 standouts.
Best Beer on Tap
Beckley Brew House
1111 N Beckley Ave, Dallas, TX 75203
With brew house in the name, it should be no surprise that Beckley’s got a nice selection of beers on tap. Here’s what they’ve got on tap at the moment:
Long Hammer IPA, Blue Moon
Belgian White, Fat Tire, Pyramid Hefeweizen, Red Hook ESB and Michelob Amber Bach.
They’ve also got a tasty menu of pizzas, paninis, burgers and salads.
Best Happy Hour
600 W Davis St., Dallas, Texas 75208
If you’ve been keeping up with CliffDweller lately, you already know that Gloria’s has a phenomenal margarita. What you may not know is that Monday through Thursday, between the hours of 3 and 6 p.m., these tasty concoctions, along with their beer and mojitos, are just $3. Pair that with all the black bean dip you can eat, and you’ve just about got your evening planned.
With a happy hour this good, you can call it a night early!
Best Fresh Produce
315 S Hampton, Dallas, TX 75208
We’ve all heard the rampant rumors about Whole Foods looking around the neighborhood for their next location. And while it sounds like a great idea, there just isn’t any truth to the rumor… yet.
In the meantime, Tom Thumb stocks what you need when you need it, and with their new interior facelift, shopping at the Thumb is almost fun. Keep a lookout for more and more organic options that seem to be added to their shelves daily, helping limit our need to drive across the Trinity for fresh, organic produce.
Best Dry Cleaner
1505 W Davis St, Dallas, TX 75208
Finding a good drycleaner is like finding a good barber. You’ve got to go through some hard times to find your steady partner in this department.
The truth is, Oak Cliff doesn’t have a high-end cleaners. But for shirts, pants and other day-to-day pressing needs, the readers have picked Faulkner’s as the Best of the Cliff. Give them a try and see for yourself.
With over 600 homes in the Winnetka Heights Historic District, this pocket of craftsman bungalows and American foursquare homes, combined with tree-covered streets is one of the most picturesque in the Cliff. And while this category was extremely competitive, the fact that this neighborhood is south of Davis is a sign of the development across all of Oak Cliff.
The neighborhood stretches from Willomet on the east to Montclair on the west, Davis on the north and 12th street on the south.
Winnetka Heights is also home to the “Heights By Candlelight” home tour. If you’ve never been on the tour, there’s not a better way to get in the holiday spirit (and in your neighbor’s sock drawer).
Bishop Street Market
419 N Bishop Ave, Dallas, TX 75208
Michael Harrity has seen it all as owner of Bishop Street Market. Many a gift shop has come and gone during the 10 years he’s been in business. With a focus on stocking gifts and art created by area artists, Bishop Street Market has become a perfect place to pick up a last minute gift for a friend, or find something for the person on your list that has everything.
The stock changes often, but the quality is consistent. If they’re not on your list of regular stops in the neighborhood, make it a point to stop in. You’ll be glad you did!
Oak Cliff Mercantile
700 W Davis St, Dallas, TX 75208
When Tom and Henry shut down the Bishop Arts location of the Mercantile, many in the community were distressed. Where would they go for interesting architectural pieces, cool antiques and great conversation? Have no fear, the new Oak Cliff Mercantile is open for business in their now-permanent home, the old gas station on Davis that served as Ruth Chenowith’s real estate office until her passing last year. The joy of the Mercantile is spending time browsing, and chatting with Tom and Henry about just about anything.
Best Hair Cut
390 W 7th St, Dallas, TX 75208
It’s one of the longest running shops in the Bishop Arts District, and it’s clearly got its loyal followers. It was a run-away favorite for the Best Hair Cut in the Cliff.
O’Lines, run by Caroline Britton, offers men’s and women’s haircuts as well as manicures and pedicures. A tip for the slower readers: O’Lines is short for Caroline.
Bishop’s Refuge Day Spa
509 N Bishop Ave, Dallas, TX 75208
Darlene Jett started Bishop’s Refuge Day Spa in an effort to practice her trade, but also to make life in the Cliff a little better for the rest of us. Mission accomplished. And according to the readers of CliffDweller, Bishop’s Refuge is home to the finest massage in the area. Give Darlene a call to see for yourself. You won’t be sorry (but you will be relaxed)!
Best Resale Shop
Zola’s Everday Viintage
414 N Bishop Ave, Dallas, TX 75208
They say that everything old is new again, and nowhere is that more true then at Zola’s Everyday Vintage. Run by some of the nicest shopkeepers in town, Zola’s features an ever-rotating collection of vintage clothing, handbags, jewelry and more.
It’s unlikely that you can go in and walk out empty-handed. Catch the vintage fever, and try out Zola’s.
Best Family Doctor
Dr. Steven Fenyves
129 W 9th St, Dallas, TX 75208
A true veteran of the Cliff, this doctor has been serving families in the area for nearly 30 years. Opening his practice in February 1979, Dr. Fenyves has cared for patients of all ages, from young children through older adults, and everyone in between.
With three other partners in the practice, the office keeps regular weekday and extended hours, including some on Saturday. And a doctor is on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Dr. Fenyves also keeps hospital privileges at both Methodist and Medical City Dallas, helping care for patients through whatever ails them.
Dr. Darryl Curry
221 W Colorado Blvd Ste 206, Dallas, TX 75208
From the cartoons on the walls to compassionate nature of the staff, Dr. Curry’s office has become a favorite for the family set in Oak Cliff. Patients can’t say enough about their favorite kid Doc, citing the warm atmosphere in the office as well more practical features like a short wait. And, rumor has it, the cartoons covering the office were painted by the man himself.
Dr. Curry keeps regular hours but offers weekend appointments during the high-germ winter season. He has privileges at both Methodist and Children’s Hospitals, and offers an after-hours nurse line.
Best Dentist – TIE
Dr. Gary Penn
1418 W Jefferson Blvd, Dallas, TX 75208
With over 20 years in the Cliff, it’s no wonder that Dr. Penn has become trustworthy for that dreaded trip to the dentist. Offering all the basic in-office dental services including cleanings and whitening treatments, Dr. Penn also works with another doctor for dental implants. With regular hours and treatment for the whole family, this longtime Oak Cliff dentist has a proven track record and even calls to check on his patients at home.
Dr. Michael Robinson
1218 N Bishop Ave, Dallas, TX 75208
Serving Oak Cliff since 1993, Dr. Robinson moved to his current building in 1998. He sees clients as young as age 4, and cares for all the family’s dental needs. His services include basic dental hygiene, whitening and other cosmetic procedures, as well as periodontal work. Dr. Robinson sees patients Monday through Thursday, brightening smiles all over the hood.
Best OC Ambassador
David Spence is called a lot of things. Some of these we can print. He is called a visionary. He is called the keeper of the Bishop Arts District. He is called a developer who balances progress with perspective.
Spence, through his company Good Space, has been involved in the redevelopment of homes, commercial buildings and apartment buildings in and around the Bishop Arts District.
Spence has served on the Board of Directors of the Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce, on the City of Dallas Board of Adjustment and Zoning Commission, as a Trustee at Kessler Park United Methodist Church, and, his self-described “zenith of community involvement,” as Chief Blew Wind of the Oak Cliff YMCA’s Indian Guides program.