One of my favorite parts about traveling is trying out new coffee shops in new cities. When my boyfriend and I were venturing to Dallas for Thanksgiving weekend, we were able to enjoy both familiar coffee shops (local to Austin), along with some new one-of-a-kind coffee shops, a Christmas oasis and a unique experience including a traveling barista at a gender-reveal party we attended. It was quite the action-packed weekend!
Note: Magnolia Table is in Waco, en route to Dallas, but it was such a cute spot that I wanted to include it. We needed a place to stop for gas and coffee and stumbled upon this gem, which turned out to be much better than a Starbucks. They have an adorable grab-and-go market with juices and healthy food options plus cute holiday gifts, like the cookbook of owner and chef Joanne Gaines. She and her husband Chip renovated and opened Magnolia Table (formerly Elite Cafe) which was an iconic restaurant, with rumors that Elvis Presley dined there, back in the day. Their market was perfect for grabbing an americano for the drive, and their sit-down restaurant looked amazing, They use local, homegrown ingredients. Will definitely have to give it a try next time I’m passing through Waco!
Merit Coffee is the spot we went to right after running the 8 mile Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning. I learned that Merit originated in San Antonio, TX but also now has locations in Austin and Dallas. They roast their own delicious coffee, and also sell locals snacks like chocolate collagen bites we got which were perfect post-race. The peanut butter ones were my favorite, but the chocolate collagen ones were also yummy! They serve their coffee in glass and have a beautiful open space with lots of seating. They’re located in the new trendy Deep Ellum neighborhood in Dallas, with lots of stores and restaurants in walking distance to have a solid afternoon browsing in stores.
Houndstooth and Merit (both of which have locations in Austin and Dallas) are both As in my book. They’re both sleek and modern coffee shops with really high quality coffee. Houndstooth’s tagline is “the pattern of coffee and people,” showing they want to be a part of the ritual of people’s daily lives. This is the pour over (see below) I had after a rainy run with friends, which tasted amazing and warmed me up. I kid you not...my friend literally ordered a pour over (normally orders simple drip) because of how cool the process of it looked, dripping into mason jars on display while waiting in line. Regardless of why you choose to order their coffee, everything is great here!
Fiction Coffee is what holiday dreams are made of! This is the 3rd year of their Deck the Hall popup and I couldn’t be happier I stumbled upon it while browsing on yelp in Dallas. They did a phenomenal job in making the entire inside and outside Christmas-themed, ranging from a mural outside for customers to take photos for the ‘gram with the Rudolph and Santa mugs they serve their drinks in, to the holiday menu serving FalalaLattes and placemats for Santa’s cookies at their tables. They serve counter culture coffee, gave me a $0.20 discount for bringing my own mug and had incredibly friendly baristas. Giving Fiction an A+! Pro tip: definitely don’t come here if you’re not a fan of Christmas, until after the new year :)
Foxtrot Market, located in uptown Dallas is more like a small upscale grocery market like a Royal Blue or Quickie Pickie (if you live in Austin), which serves coffee and has grab and go food. They also have healthy made-to-order options like small breakfasts and smoothies, and have a bunch of trendy CBD chocolates and ginger shots that are tempting when waiting in line to order. There’s plenty of seats inside and outside, they have free wifi, outlets, and overall have a clean aesthetic, offering a quality place to camp out on your computer for a couple hours. The crowd is generally young professionals, grabbing coffee + smoothie post-workout. The main downside is that they don’t serve drinks in glass, but they said they’re working on implementing that soon. Bonus: they have a parking lot, which is convenient being located on a street with limited parking.
Your Coffee Experience
While I can’t say I’ve ever met a traveling barista service, Your Coffee Experience did an amazing job at the gender-reveal party I attended. Marty was very friendly, helped us take some group photos during the event, and educated us on lots of coffee beans and skills he’s developed over the years. He made custom drinks like cortados, americanos, and hot drinking chocolate, using the high quality Ritual Chocolate he brought with him which was a fan favorite. YCE is based in Texas and has done events ranging from in green rooms with A-list musicians to smaller gender-reveals like this one and everything in between :)