Merit Coffee is now open in Deep Ellum and Highland Park. Courtesy of Merit Coffee
La La Land Kind Cafe employs foster kids who are aging out of the system as baristas, chefs, and cashiers. (Courtesy of La La Land)
Brewed Ltd. has Liege waffles with Nutella and powdered sugar. Courtesy of Brewed
Dallas has always loved its coffee, but the caffeine craze has hit especially hard with three new coffee shop openings over the past few weeks. My addiction makes it difficult for me not to go immediately try out every single one.
Each new Dallas coffee shop is in a different pocket of the city and worth the exploration.
La La Land Kind Cafe
5626 Bell Avenue, Lower Greenville
You’ve probably heard something about La La Land leading up to its opening, mainly because it’s doing something pretty unique. Along with serving a great cup of coffee, the shop employs foster kids who are aging out of the system. Young adults ages 17 to 23 are learning to be baristas, cashiers and chefs. The owner, Francois Reihani, is only 23-years-old himself and the shop has created quite the buzz.
I’ve been there twice in the past week and both times it was packed with people working, conversing and genuinely enjoying themselves. The Lower Greenville spot is located just a block from the busy street, off of Bell Avenue, sort of behind Trader Joe’s. And there’s plenty of parking, which we all know is huge in Lower Greenville.
The old house La La Land has taken over is spacious, bright and open. It’s completely modernized and clean, but still has the charm of being in a historic home. Walls are painted white, but the wooden ceiling rafters are exposed.
Inside, there’s a fire place, table, and comfy couch seating. Outdoors, there’s a cute front porch with more seating. In the back yard area, picnic tables with umbrellas offer more space. Lights also hang above and add ambiance when it gets dark. On top of all that, there’s a small dog park for the pups. It’s absolutely lovely.
Coffee and matcha drinks of all kinds are the mains on the menu. Food is also available. The la la avocado toast is seemingly already a hit and definitely worth trying.
2639 Main Street, Suite 140, Deep Ellum
Finally! A great coffee shop in Deep Ellum. I’ve been waiting to have a good spot to go work, with lots of space and seating, and great tasting coffee in this area. Merit originally comes from San Antonio, with shops also in Austin. It’s made it’s way to Dallas with two shops, the second in Highland Park, also now open.
You never know if a shop is gonna have it together within the first few days of opening, but I went to Merit on its third day and it was excellent. The location is on Main Street and is part of the new “hipster land” area of Deep Ellum. Next to The Candle Bar, Petal Pushers and Archer Paper Goods, the exterior of Merit is clean and cool. Bright red lights illuminate “Merit Coffee Co.” out front, which make it stand out on the street.
One unique thing about the inside is that, along with smaller tables, there’s one long blue booth-type seat that zigzags in different directions to make it seem like you do have more space. High-ceilings and big windows allow for lots of light and enjoyable space to spend the day.
Merit roasts its own coffee beans and its obvious when sipping their espresso that they’ve got something good going on. They also have snacks and pastries. I have a Pop-Tart problem. I cannot buy a box without eating all of the pastries within a few days, so when I saw that they had a single homemade Pop-Tart for sale I was thrilled.
The Highland Park location is at 4228 Oak Lawn Avenue just opened Tuesday.
111 W. Davis Street, Suite 170, Bishop Arts District
Brewed Ltd. is located on the first floor of Novel Bishop Arts Luxury Apartments. It’s a “limited-edition” version of Fort Worth’s restaurant-pub, Brewed, on Magnolia Avenue. It serves coffee, waffles, pastries, tea and Tacodeli breakfast tacos in the morning.
I came in one morning to work. It’s a little tricky to find because there isn’t signage outside, but it’s in the Novel Apartments lobby, next to the mailboxes. I got a cappuccino, which was great, and a Liege waffle with Nutella and powdered sugar.
I recently tried my first Liege waffle at Press Waffle Co., the guys that got a $300,000 deal on Shark Tank, so my standards were pretty high. The Brewed Liege waffle was good, but I’d definitely come for the coffee and atmosphere more than anything.
The location seems more for the residents that live in the building, as a quick way to grab coffee on the way to work, but I could also see it as a good work spot since it is pretty hidden. The interior is upscale and modern. There are lots of seating options from tables to couches to bar stools.
Brewed appropriately uses Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters and plans to offer alcohol in the future.