Seven restaurants Oak Cliff doesn’t have

Texas smoked cheddar burger. Photo by Lori Bandi
Photo by Lori Bandi

The opening of another Voodoo Doughnuts-type place not in our neighborhood brought to mind that Oak Cliff still isn’t part of the tricked-out doughnut craze.

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Oak Cliff’s culinary renaissance leaves us with no shortage of brew pubs, brunch hot spots and fancy cocktails. We have top notch barbecue, a Cuban sandwich stand and the only cidery in North Texas. Two craft breweries are in the works. Lots of trendy eating and drinking places, for sure. But Oak Cliff doesn’t have it all.

Here are some restaurants our neighborhood is wanting:

Tricked-out doughnuts. But thank goodness for the old-school doughnut places Oak Cliff does have, such as Lone Star Donuts and Oak Cliff Doughnuts.

Ramen shop. What we do have is chef Justin Holt’s occasional pop-up ramen dinners. Plus, chef Teiichi Sakurai of Tei An is planning a ramen shop at Sylvan Thirty.

Buzz Brews. This East Dallas-based restaurant expanded to Oak Lawn and Deep Ellum, and we think their next move should be to the O.C. As much as we love Metro Diner and Cesar’s Tacos, another 24-hour option would be welcomed.

A bakery. Oak Cliff has La Maroches, Vera’s and several other nice panaderías. It is the home base of Rush Patisserie. And Bolsa Mercado carries a selection of Village Baking Co.’s offerings. But we would like to see some sleep-deprived entrepreneur create something like the Village retail store in East Dallas.

Vegan. Don’t yell at me! Of course I know about Spiral Diner. It’s great. But this is 2014, can we have more vegan options now, please? For example, in Dallas there is a Chinese/Korean vegan buffet called Goji Cafe.

Thai. If Old East Dallas can have good Thai food, why can’t we?

Indian. The nearest decent Indian food to Oak Cliff is so far away, it might as well be in actual India.

What did we miss? What restaurants are worth crossing the river?

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  • Along with another vegan spot, I’d like to see a place that served up fresh salads, either a well-stock salad bar or a wide variety of specialty salads: fresh, organic options, healthy, house-made dressings.

  • Jerri – I think I remember reading that a coffee & tea house (that serves boba!) plans to open when the old multi-level shopping center on Davis near the Kessler is remodeled.

  • If you want upscale vegan food, go to FT33. They are very accommodating to vegan & vegetarian diners.

  • Somphou Market in far southwest OC/Dallas is your best bet for Thai:

    If you like Chan Thai, it’s quite possible that you don’t really like Thai food at all. What they serve looks & tastes like someone who has only had Thai food described to them. I’ve tried them on several occasions (dining in and taking out) and every single time, the food (taste, quality, price) and service (20 minutes to be waited in an empty dining room; food spilled on table and into diner’s lap; over an hour wait for delivery when quoted 30-35 minutes; food arrived cold) left much to be desired. Americanized-Thai is not difficult to make well; most Asian markets and some well-stocked American markets have some great authentic, pre-made curry pastes so how is it possible that CT keeps messing up something relatively straightforward like jungle, massaman, and the ubiquitous red/green/yellow curries?! It’s disappointing for OC folks.

  • The pho and other offerings from Pho 88 are middling, at best. Chances are if you like the blah Thai place next door, you probably won’t mind watered-down versions of Vietnamese food (the two restaurants appear to have the same owners). It’s passable at best and nice to have more ethnic options in the neighborhood, but I think it’s difficult to get truly good Vietnamese in Dallas anywhere south of 635.

  • Ok… Does anyone know how long pho 88 has been there?… And why am I just now hearing about this place… Whenever I look for pho, it never shows up on any map. I will Try it tonight!

    We do need a frozen yogurt place! (And if this pho is good, we may not need a pho place… I’ll report back)

  • Rachel – We (Hypnotic Donuts) have been looking at spaces for well over a year in the OC. We sell our donuts at Bolsa Mercado on Saturday mornings which has been very successful. Hopefully you will see us in the neighborhood soon.

  • I liked the idea of it too. We drove from OC all the way to NW Dallas. It was very sad and disappointing. I’m glad we have Spiral. It’s delicious! We just need something fancy!

  • When I was driving home today I started thinking about a delicious vegan meal I had in New York last spring, which reminded me of the yummy vegan food in Las Vegas Wynn and Encore hotels. That’s what we need–upscale vegan. BTW, I’ve been to Goji Café and it’s nasty. Also, Chinese, we need good Chinese.

  • What about Cretia’s and the Thai spot next to odd Fellowes and the books repair shop is yummy!

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