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Dallas Tastemakers Share Their Favorite Things: The Coffee Spots, Restaurants and Furniture Shops You Need to Discover

BY // 05.10.16

The Dallas Design District is a treasure trove of wonders, with finds galore. Here, a few tastemakers to share their favorite places and things with us. Follow their leads, and let us know where you like to dine, shop and discover in the district.

Amy Berry
Interior designer, Amy Berry Design
Favorite lunch spot. Ascension Coffee. I get the tomato and mozzarella panini every time.
End of the day drink. A glass of wine on the patio at Oak.
Last thing you bought. Dedar fabrics at George Cameron Nash. They’re almost like little bits of artwork. I love incorporating them as pillows. They bring so much life into a space.
Secret source. Carayga Furniture Design Studio. They make a lot of my ideas become a reality. Recently I had them make custom storage benches that sit at the end of twin beds for a client’s twin daughters.

Bradley Agather Means
Lifestyle blogger, Luella & June
Favorite breakfast spot before heading out to shop. Ascension Coffee. Their avocado toast is delicious.
Bucket list. Jan Showers. Everything in there is so dreamy! I want to move right in.
Lunch with friends. FT33 is one of my favorite restaurants in the city. Each dish is a work of art, and the menu is always changing, so I rarely order the same thing twice.
Vintage finds. Scout Design Studio. I bought two Lucite chairs that I’m planning to re-cover for my office.
Hidden gem. Mama’s Daughter’s Diner for sweet-potato fries. Order them extra crispy.


Brant McFarlain
Interior designer, R Brant Design
Go-to lunch spot. Pak Pao Thai Restaurant for chicken pad Thai.
Drinks with clients. Oak for a Hendricks gin martini, stirred with olives.
Last antiques acquisition. Abrash Decorative Rug Gallery. I bought an old Turkish Oushak rug.
Great place to flesh out a room’s details. Jean de Merry. We recently loaded up on fabulous accessories by Alexander Lamont and Patricia Roach to finish out a wonderful project at the W.

Cynthia Collins
Interior designer, Collins Interiors
Under-the-radar eatery. Taco Stop’s veggie tacos are my go-to order.
Drink with clients. Moscow mule at Oak.
Latest antiques acquisition. A beautiful German inlay commode at Legacy Antiques.
Recent over-the-top find. I headed into Culp Associates on the hunt for Templeton’s new collection, Konstantin Kakanias, which was designed by the Greek painter in collaboration with Michael S. Smith. It’s red lips on linen!
Secret obsession. The iced tea (extra lemons) at Buck’s Prime.
Must-visit art gallery. Laura Rathe Fine Art. We bought a fabulous large-scale Mel DeWees piece.

Denise McGaha
Interior designer, Denise McGaha Interiors
Lunch with clients. I love the casual atmosphere at Meddlesome Moth. It’s busy enough that I can have a private business conversation without being overheard at the next table. I always order the egg-white frittata.
After-shopping drinks. I love FT33 and always order a glass of champagne.
Latest antiques acquisition. A collection of pottery for a client from Sputnik Modern.
Exotic shopping destination. Art of Old India for Indian inlay mirrors and columns.
Hidden gem. Custom-painted paper shades fabricated by Yang’s Double Happiness, and Richard Bettinger of Bettinger Studios, who just created a beautiful 60-by-40 stretched-canvas photography piece for a client project.
Secret source. Peter at Goodchilds Restorations is a great furniture refinisher and has made custom pieces for us in the past. Love his British accent.
Go-to gallery. Craighead Green. I bought almost an entire collection for a client two years ago, and they did an amazing job of assisting me in curating several other art collections for clients.

Stocking Stuffers

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El Bolero

Lucy Wrubel
Obsession. I am obsessed with El Bolero … my whole family loves it. I love the queso fundido al pastor. (My mouth just salivated as I typed that.) The margs are fab, and I have been hunting for simple Mexican beach-style shrimp tacos for years.
Watering hole. The bar at Meddlesome Moth. With the hard-rock stained glass, it feels like it’s been there a long ole time. I am always drinking vodka soda or champers.
Latest acquisition. I bought the most killer Navajo rug at Anteks for our ranch house in Bosque Canyon. I had been combing 1stdibs and my fave haunts in Santa Fe and coming up empty-handed. When I rolled into Anteks one day, not only did Jason help me find the one, he explained why I had been unable to find it! (History lesson free of charge.)
Must-stop. I love to hit Ceylon et Cie. Michelle is in a league of her own; she is so badass, and the showroom is like her Instagram come to life. My mom and I love to stroll the Mews. Leslie’s Again & Again is always inspiring and fun. I’ve been hunting for a pair of side tables for my guest room for years. I guess I love the hunt.
Customizer. Lynn at E&D Plastics is just one of my fave people on earth. And if you have ever seen the amount of Plexi in my house, you will believe that I have him on speed dial!
Go-to gallery. We went to Cris Worley Fine Arts and shyly asked if she thought Rusty Scruby might take a photograph of our family and turn it into one of his meticulous woven masterpieces, and Cris made it happen! The result is truly spectacular. We’d grab it in a fire — it’s that cool.

Jane Aldridge
Fashion blogger, Sea of Shoes
Nosh stop. I’m in the Design District at least three times a week. My boyfriend and I are frequent bar-goers at FT33. The menu changes top to bottom constantly, so we always have a great surprise in store. Get the charcuterie board; it has rotating house-cured meats and pickles.
Watering hole. We swear that Collin at FT33 makes the world’s best old-fashioned!
Last acquisition. I bought a beautiful low-slung mid-century bar at Shop Vintage Dallas, and a fabulous piece of South American mid-century art at Antiques Moderne for my living room. I’ve been shopping there for years. Owner John Bacile has an incredible eye for art and less-discovered artists. And I always check out White Elephant and Scout Design Studio.
Hidden gem. The Katy Trail that runs through the Design District is really fun for walks during the spring if you bring your dog or a bike.

East & Orient

Kelli Ford
Interior designer, Kirsten Kelli
Most craved. The avocado toast at Ascension, and the Antoinette, an artisanal cocktail, at Oak.
Last antiques acquisition. A pair of mahogany consoles for my living room at East & Orient Company.
Must-stop showroom. Allan Knight. I bought a lot of antique pieces off the floor for a client’s New York City home.
Under-the-radar service. GlassHouse Products. I usually go for custom-edge glass and mirrors.
Hidden gem. Debris Antiques. You have to search for the hidden treasures throughout the center.

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