Norma’s takes breakfast seriously. And they should, as they’ve served it all day long for over 50 years. With entrees ranging from flapjacks to breakfast tacos, and even a country fried steak breakfast for those that need something to tide them over until dinner or longer, Norma’s hits the spot. If the measure of a good diner is the number of squad cars in the parking lot, then Norma’s is both the best spot for breakfast in the Cliff and one of the safest spots in the Metroplex. One count this week put six police cruisers in the lot and at least eight of Dallas’ finest enjoying good home-cooking inside. Norma’s sure is doing something right.
Best Chips and Salsa
The chips at Gloria’s are thin, crisp and have a perfect touch of salt. The salsa is fresh, flavorful and an ideal complement to the chips. But this was never really a fair fight. Everyone knows that Gloria’s has a distinct advantage in this category because of the incredibly addictive black bean dip that accompanies the chips and salsa. Sure, the chips and salsa are legit contenders, but the black beans make pre-meal munching a real treat.
There are some who ask the question ÒHow hard is it to make a good burger?Ó Based on the large number of mediocre burgers around town, the answer is apparently Òvery hard.Ó But, after more than a decade of experience in Oak Lawn, Hunky’s brings their burger prowess to OC. Good buns, great meat and just the right amount of char-grilling make these burgers head and shoulders above the competition. Of course with good food comes a longer wait on occasion, but be patient Ñ the burger is well worth it. Hint Ñ try the Bleu Cheese Burger.
Best Happy Hour
Monte Anderson created more than a hip hotel when he remodeled the Belmont. The patio is the trendy place in the hood for a drink, not to mention the best view of town in town. Sure, the word has gotten out to the rest of Dallas as Bar Belmont has been anointed one of the newest hotspots (for those of us not interested in lining up at the Ghost Bar). But it’s still in our hood, and it’s still the best view around. See ya there at the next happy hour!
Best Neighborhood Park
While new children’s parks seem to be springing up around the neighborhood each season, Steven’s Park, aka Toddler Park, in a pocket of Kessler remains a standout favorite. All-over shade and a variety of play equipment top the park’s admirable features. Bring the kiddies on the sunniest day you can find, and you can still swing and slide without searing any precious babyskin. And the train and little working diggers are a hit with kids and dads alike.
La Calle Doce
An old standard stays strong in the most competitive category. Whether you like yours frozen, on the rocks or of the mango variety, the margaritas at La Calle Doce are a delicious treat.
It seems that CliffDwellers love their ritas because this was, by far, the closest contest of our Reader’s Choice. But the combination of atmosphere, incredible food and perfectly balanced margarita ingredients make the drinks at La Calle Doce the Best in the Cliff.
Okay, let’s be fair. This is as much a vote for having a nice neighborhood hang out as it is for the best cup a’ joe. But the Dog is no stranger to winning awards – and has often been singled out in the entire city of Dallas, not just in the Cliff.
And now Gus and Darren have added a wide variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner treats to enjoy in their funky and eclectic shop. So whether you’re looking for a double moccachino to-go or just a cup of the regular to sit and watch the Bishop Arts District wake up, Nodding Dog is still the best in the Cliff.
Best Chicken Fried Steak
The only establishment to win in two categories, Norma’s walks away with the Best Chicken Fried Steak in the Cliff. We will pay homage to the former Gennie’s Bishop Grill and their incredible contribution to this category, but Norma’s never shied away from that fight and they’ve been making stellar steak that’s country fried for decades.
We don’t care if you eat it for breakfast or dinner, on a bun or on a plate… just get in there and enjoy the best Chicken Fried Steak in the Cliff.
Hattie’s has a little bit of everything: cool atmosphere, great people watching and a decent after-dinner drink selection. But it’s the desserts that give Hattie’s the Best of the Cliff. Made from scratch while you wait, they are delicious. The desserts are down-home and familiar, with a gourmet twist. The molten chocolate cake is the most popular and for good reason. Served in a soufflé dish right out of the oven, the center is hot and gooey. Another favorite is the banana-almond bread pudding, with its warm caramel-walnut sauce. And you can’t beat the fried fruit pie Ñ a pastry filled with seasonal fruit, deep fried and served with homemade coconut ice cream. Sure, there are a few other spots for dessert in the area, but according to the Cliff, Hattie’s is the best.