Dallas—a rebirth and cosmopolitan makeover

This article was excerpted from The Wall Street Journal’s Insider’s Guide to Dallas.

With its transformed cultural landscape and cosmopolitan makeover, Dallas has finally lived down its big-hair-and-hats reputation from the ‘80s. Its rebirth is most obvious at its epicenter, where downtown now teems with lofts, celebrity chef-driven restaurants and the largest contiguous urban arts district in the country, including five gleaming venues by Pritzker Prize-winning architects. At the west end of the 19-block stretch, the Dallas Museum of Art anchors the Arts District—in 2005, four private benefactors donated money and much of their own art collections valued at $400 million, instantly elevating the museum to national stature.

image: downtownuptown.blogspot.com

S&D Oyster Company. Once a grocery store, this Dallas institution specializes in New Orleans seafood served in the century-old building’s ’50s-style dining room. Try the shrimp loaf and lemon meringue pie. 2701 McKinney Ave.

Javier’s. They serve traditional-but-fancy Mexican, like Filete Pimienta and Pechuga de Pollo a la Parilla. 4912 Cole Ave.

Pappas Bros. Steakhouse. You can’t leave Dallas without trying a Texas-style steak. This place has an extensive wine list, great lobsters and prime cuts that deliver. 10477 Lombardy Lane.

Aston’s Bakery. Since 1934, this family-owned bakery is the stop for a Texas Pecan Cupcake, chocolate cake, gingerbread men and award-winning petit fours. 4342 Lovers Lane.

image: 10best.com

The Meadows Museum. A vacant spot on the wall at the Prado exists because El Greco’s masterpiece, “Pentecost,” is in Dallas with this museum’s impressive Spanish Masters collection. 5900 Bishop Blvd.

Valley House Gallery & Sculpture Garden. Situated on 4.5 wooded acres in North Dallas, Dallas’ oldest gallery specializes in Texas artists and features a sculpture garden you can roam. 6616 Spring Valley Rd.

image: 10best.com

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