Real Estate / Neighborhoods

The Harwood District is Full of Hidden Restaurant Gems and Unexpected Luxury

Your Guide to the Self-Contained Neighborhood

BY // 10.01.20

Nestled in between Uptown and Victory Park, the Harwood District is a massive 19-city block going all the way from Olive Street up to Katy Trail on N. Harwood Street. Being a caffeine-obsessed patron of Magnolias: Sous Le Pont over the past few years, I’ve come and gone from the coffee shop probably 100 times without exploring what the district really offers. But after spending a weekend in the neighborhood, I discovered how it’s truly a little slice of Europe — and Latin America and Japan — in Dallas.

First developed in 1984 by Geneva-born SMU alum Gabriel Barbier-Mueller, the Harwood District originally began with the Rolex Building. It has since expanded to encompass its own little neighborhood of offices, restaurants, an upcoming boutique hotel, and the high-rise residences Azure and Bleu Ciel.

Harwood Living and Architecture

Bleu Ciel

Opened in 2017 as the ninth Harwood building, Bleu Ciel is 33-story luxury condo that offers incredible views, two junior Olympic size infinity pools facing downtown Dallas, a resident-only spa, valet with concierge service, a wine room, lounge area, and fitness center. A gourmet grocery market and bike shop are also in the works for the ground floor.

The building was designed by world-renowned Paris architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte and is incredibly unique to Dallas with its two private penthouse pools literally hanging over the side of the 33rd floor. There’s also direct access to Katy Trail with a brand-new staircase built last year.

Another incredibly modern residential building, Azure is a 31-story luxury high-rise condo and Harwood’s fifth building. Designed by Vancouver-based James KM Cheng Architects Inc., the condos feature a theater, resort-style pool, and landscaped podium gardens.

Harwood Restaurants

As the Harwood District continues to grow, the cuisine available at nearby restaurants expands with it. Besides Magnolias, the district boasts seven other restaurants and bars. Saint Ann’s, named after the school St. Ann that used to be in the building, is an American restaurant with a killer garden patio. Happiest Hour is the multistory patio bar and restaurant with city views. Marie Gabrielle is another garden restaurant known for hosting intimate weddings. (All of these are currently closed due to COVID-19 but hope to reopen very soon.)


Mercat Bistro

Currently open, Mercat Bistro is a French-inspired bistro that offers a delicious Chicken Paillard, Quiche Lorraine, and Hatch Chile Crepe. A must-try cocktail is the signature Peche Mignon: rosé poured over a continuously melting ice ball of fresh fruits.

Also opened just last year, Te Deseo is a new Latin American restaurant with four bars and a rooftop. The menu was created by chef Ty Thaxton, who has traveled all over South America. Standout dishes include charred octopus, Peruvian-style chicken (those little purple potatoes are addicting), and flan for dessert. Along with the upcoming reopening of Te Deseo, Italian restaurant Dolce Riviera will soon be making its return with a new chef, Tom Griffin. New pub Harwood Arms will finally open its doors, too, with British classics such as fish and chips, as well as chicken tikka masala.


bleu ciel Harwood District
The Bleu Ciel lobby includes art from The Samurai Collection.

Harwood Art

It’s not only the cuisine and Bleu Ciel that boast international vibes. On the second floor of Saint Ann’s in the Harwood District is the The Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum, which features the family’s Samurai Collection from over the past 25 years. Here, you can see 85 pieces from full suits of armor to weapons. Japanese art can also be found in several buildings across the district, including acquisitions located inside the Bleu Ciel lobby.


The Grove Harwood District
The Grove at Harwood

Harwood Play

The Grove at Harwood (currently closed due to COVID-19) is usually a hopping outdoor destination for games, food, and fun. In normal times, it boasts volleyball courts, events, food trucks, and more.

And soon, for travelers or Dallas staycationers, there will be the new 20-story Harwood boutique hotel. Planned to be one of the most sculptural buildings in the district, the hotel is being built across from Saint Ann’s on Harwood Street. Designed by Harwood Design Factory, there will be a pool and garden on the roof.

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Curated Collection