30 ways you know you live in Oak Cliff

This list from BuzzFeed, “30 ways you know you live in Dallas” has been making the social media rounds this week. While I agree with most of them, Oak Cliff isn’t really mentioned except at No. 24, which is “You love the Bishop Arts District because it’s not too … ‘Dallas.'”

We need our own list. So here it is. The BuzzFeed-style 30 ways you know you live in Oak Cliff:

1. You will wait for elotes at El Si Hay unless the line is more than five deep.

Jose, the elotero at taqueria El Si Hay.

Jose, the elotero at taqueria El Si Hay.

In which case, you drive to your second-best elotes stand.

2. You know exactly where this is.


Photo by Cristy Martinez

And it fills you with hometown pride every time you see it.

3. You can walk or ride your bike to the best live-music venue in Dallas.

Photo by Danny Fulgencio

Photo by Danny Fulgencio

4. You can find Lee Harvey Oswald’s seat at the Texas Theatre.

Bobcat Goldthwait outside the Texas Theatre during the Oak Cliff Film Festival. Photo by Brandy Barham

Bobcat Goldthwait outside the Texas Theatre during the Oak Cliff Film Festival. Photo by Brandy Barham

But you’re really there for the great programming.

5. You are frustrated when you crave Aunt Stelle’s on Monday (or anytime between Labor Day and Memorial Day).


6. But thankfully, there’s always this.


Photo by Cristy Martinez

7. Sunset vs. Adamson: You have a dog in that fight.


You might even wear the corresponding mum.

8. You don’t need to see a menu at Norma’s, or Eno’s, for that matter.


Photo by Danny Fulgencio

9. Speaking of Eno’s, you rarely go there (or any place else in Bishop Arts) on the weekends because that’s when it’s overrun with tourists from Dallas.


Photo by Danny Fulgencio

Unless you are entertaining a guest from out of state, in which case, Tillman’s or Hattie’s.

10. Your Instagram feed includes at least one amazing photo of a sunset, shot from Jefferson Boulevard or the Jefferson Street Viaduct.


11. You upgraded to a bike-shop bike with skinny tires because your big-box store cruiser couldn’t get you over the viaduct.

Plus, cuter.

12. You have emailed your city council representative with ideas for bike lanes or other urban-planning issues, or at least, you have attended a public meeting on those matters.


13. You know how to identify a Charles S. Dilbeck house.


14. The Oak Cliff Mirror and Glass sign is comforting because you know you’re almost home when you see it.

Photo by Ethan Healy

Photo by Ethan Healy

15. This guy.


16. You walk or otherwise exercise at Kidd Springs, Lake Cliff or Kiest Park.

Photo by Barry Kooda

Photo by Barry Kooda

You either feed or fear the ducks and geese.

17. You prefer to stay within a 2-mile radius of your house. Uptown? Lakewood? Preston flippin’ Hollow? Too. Far. Away, man. And the suburbs might as well be Siberia.

neighborhoodmap201218. Half the dudes you know have beards. Some of them make furniture on the side. For paychecks, they’re mostly graphic designers.


19. You know at least one person who has a business that involves baking or remaking vintage clothing or furniture.

Photo by Elliott Muñoz

Photo by Elliott Muñoz

But there’s only one Smooth Operator.

20. You have a growing affinity for aguas frescas the size of your head.
Photo by Elliott Muñoz

Photo by Elliott Muñoz

And any number of confections from the fruiteria, like the mangonada slushie from Fruiteria Cano, above.

21. You know which restaurant has the cheapest, best margaritas depending on the day of the week.

Hello, lovers

Hello, lovers

22. You are a taco snob.

Photo by Elliott Muñoz

Photo by Elliott Muñoz

And you always know the best taquerias because you read thetacotrail.com.

23.  You’re pretty much OK with the city giving Rudy’s an outrageous economic development grant of $890,000 because, dang. That chicken is good.

Why would you fry chicken at home when Rudy's is so close?

Why would you fry chicken at home when Rudy’s is so close?

24. You follow the Real Housewives of Oak Cliff on Facebook.

Screen shot 2013-07-31 at 7.24.06 AM

And you’d like to take “Shay” out to Red Lobster for a cocktail sometime.

25. You have taken in a stray cat or dog from your street.

Now your house is at pet capacity, and you have begun pushing your friends and family into taking strays.

26. You curse every time you forget and turn right onto Interstate 30 from Sylvan instead of heading to the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge to Dallas.


27. At first you are jealous of your friends across the river because they have so many more options for Thai and Vietnamese food.


photo courtesy of Driftwood

But then you’re all, “Whatever. They don’t have chef Justin Holt’s ramen.”

28. You daydream about uses for the “condemned motel” next to Chicken Scratch.


29. You have a very strong opinion about the Alamo Plaza Hotel Courts sign.


30. Most of all, you live here because you love your neighbors, there’s always something interesting going on, and you know Oak Cliff is the best neighborhood in Dallas.


About the Author:

Rachel Stone is the Oak Cliff editor. Email rstone@advocatemag.com or follow twitter.com/advocate_oc.                                     


  1. Nate Jarod December 5, 2013 at 2:20 AM

    Seems like you only did North Oak Cliff… I’m slightly offended lol. Great list anyway.

  2. Nate Jarod December 5, 2013 at 2:17 AM

    We still don’t have liquor tho…

  3. ACV2233 August 16, 2013 at 9:11 AM

    You totally forgot the guys rolling cigars on Bishop Ave!

  4. Troy L. Johnson August 12, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    I’m asking $249K for my 100 year old two-story home at 330 S. Montclair!

  5. oak cliffer August 8, 2013 at 11:43 PM

    it is not possible. the picture in the article is taken from Deep Ellum or somewhere East of downtown. you can see the Calatrava bridge in the background.

  6. Rachel Stone August 5, 2013 at 10:37 AM

    We don’t have to “go across” any more because Oak Cliff is wet now!

  7. Rachel Stone August 4, 2013 at 9:04 AM

    Chicken scratch has a billboard that says it. It’s just satire.

  8. Jim August 4, 2013 at 8:56 AM

    Who made that phrase famous?

    Would like to buy that if she would sell!

  9. Ross Walker August 3, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    I lived in OC for 30 years before moving to Colorado. Anyone know what the term “going across” means? If you don’t, then you’re just lame. If you do, then high-five me brother!

  10. Rachel Stone August 3, 2013 at 11:22 AM

    No. 15 is Jason Roberts, who co-founded The Better Block, Bastille on Bishop, Dallas Tweed Ride and many other events. No. 21, the photo was taken at El Corazon de Tejas, which has $3 margaritas during happy hour.

  11. Rachel Stone August 3, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    Well, yeah.

  12. Rachel Stone August 3, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    I realize that, Amanda. As you know, I am not the one who made that phrase famous.

  13. AMANDA August 3, 2013 at 7:28 AM


  14. anorman August 3, 2013 at 12:53 AM

    How about “you were born and raised here and still live in the neighborhood”? Doed that count?

  15. divinityatplay August 2, 2013 at 10:11 PM

    thinking on the hill at the Belmont Hotel? maybe

  16. divinityatplay August 2, 2013 at 10:09 PM

    Really resonate with #3, 4, 9, 14, 17, 19, #28 – all the time, would make a
    nice meditation retreat center lol good practice, #21 WHERE? you tell me your margarita finds, I’ll tell you mine! #30 LOVE you and North Oak Cliff for sure ~ Hey #15 – is that the guy that started the Bandits, Beer and Blues Festival?

  17. I could be wrong, but... August 2, 2013 at 2:33 PM

    Scratching head, trying to figure out how it would ever be physically possible to stand in Oak Cliff and take a picture of a sunset over downtown Dallas, which is to the east.

  18. Dude August 2, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    Portlandia is alive and well in Oak Cliff!

  19. Rosa August 2, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    It’s my home town! My little paradise!
    I know the history and it’s little old charm.

  20. Dave August 2, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    I live in Uptown but my heart is in Oak Cliff

Comments are closed.