We felt pleased last October when we were able to conjure a list of 10 independently owned coffeehouses around Dallas. But plenty more have been percolating since then in Dallas’ coffee scene.
The good news has come from companies large and small. Of all the cities in the country to premiere its new drive-thru concept, Starbucks-owned Seattle’s Best Coffee chose Dallas-Fort Worth — that’s us! — and opened 15 locations in May.
The highly lauded Houndstooth Coffee from Austin announced plans to expand to Dallas too. The timetable has changed; the company has since reassessed the location on Greenville Avenue, but it is still committed to opening a branch in Dallas.
New restaurants such as Mercat Bistro are opening with nice espresso machines and good coffee. And June 19, Weekend Coffee opens in the lobby of the Joule hotel in downtown Dallas. “I think Dallas is ready to have its coffee moment,” says Weekend creator Joe Cole.
He’s right. Here’s an update on the beehive of coffee activity going on around town:
Weekend Coffee This chic coffee shop in the lobby of the Joule hotel in downtown Dallas is a cousin to neighboring boutique TenOverSix. It shares the same owners and the same cool, modernist atmosphere. Coffee beans come from highly regarded Victrola Coffee from Seattle, a subtle roast that’s not too common in these parts. For the regular coffee, they grind the beans to order for each cup, and they employ the “pourover” method in which hot water is slowly poured over the ground coffee. Each cup takes four minutes to make; you can’t rush greatness! As the name implies, it’s open on Saturdays and Sundays (and every other day of the week).
Mudsmith This Lower Greenville shop comes from Brooke Humphries, owner of Barcadia and It’ll Do. It features coffee from San Francisco-based Four Barrel and a panoply of brewing methods, including Chemex and V-60 machines. Regulars favor the coffee made with a French press. You’ll have to avert your eyes if you don’t like seeing dead animals; the small space is, oddly, filled with mounted deer heads. Gaze instead upon the two gleaming La Marzocco machines, custom-made for Mudsmith. Coffee isn’t this shop’s only brew; they also serve craft beer and wine on tap.
Ascension The brainchild of veteran Dallas restaurateur Russell Hayward, Ascension sits in the Design District next to Meddlesome Moth. Beans come from local roaster Coffee Eiland and instead of the by-now-ho-hum La Marzocco, the espresso machine is a Synesso Hydra. There are numerous options for regular coffee, including pourover as well as siphon, an old-school method that uses vapor pressure to create a clean, smooth cup. At night, the coffee shop transitions to a wine bar, with a large menu of vittles.
Stupid Good Coffee This shop opened in a cat-bird perch on the sky bridge at the 1910 Pacific building. Beans are sourced from Oak Cliff Roasters, and the staff has been trained by Texas Coffee School. You can see that training in action in their nicely foamed lattes, plus sweet attentive service. Owner Daniel Harmon is a larger-than-life figure whose background includes stints as a combat handgun instructor, law enforcement teacher and sky-diving instructor.
Coffeebar This indie shop brings coffee to Lewisville, from chefs Rob Vassilakos and Eric Foster. The coffee beans come from La Colombe in Philadelphia (whose owner, Todd Carmichael, appears on Travel channel’s Dangerous Grounds). The chef aspect translates into above-average pastries made in-house, plus savories such as individual pizzas to go. The cappuccinos are well-done, but you may not be able to resist the hot chocolate, made with fine Callebaut chocolate.