Whether you’re a staff member or a consultant working from home, you want — you need — to get out of the office. There’s just something animating about doing your thing in public with other folks basking in the glow of their MacBooks.
East Dallas has no shortage of such WiFi hot spots. They’re mostly, but not exclusively, coffee shops with atmosphere and the energy of people fueled by caffeine and breakfast tacos getting it done.
This sun-lit coffee shop occupying the former Cafe Brazil location on Lower Greenville is a 3,600-square-foot outpost of the Austin original. Framed by brick walls and picture windows facing the street, the historic space, built in 1920, is softened by comfortable, orange-accented decor, bright art and a super-friendly staff.
What to eat and drink: Get there before 11 a.m. for the tasty bacon, brisket or chorizo breakfast tacos, or have one of the egg skillets anytime. The best sandwich is the Spicy Greenville, a combo of chicken, bacon, avocado and Sriracha sauce. Halcyon’s distinct drink is the potent Thai iced coffee, which combines sweet condensed milk with cold brew and espresso. The baristas also make a mean cortado.
The crowd: Students studying after school, startup entrepreneurs
The details: 2900 Greenville Ave.; Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-midnight; Saturday-Sunday, 8 a.m.-midnight, with brunch 8 a.m.-2 p.m. 469-547-2265.
With its high, exposed ceilings and metal-and-wood furnishings, this vast, industrial-chic emporium of the homemade bread craze has transformed the oddly designed strip center at the corner of Ross and Greenville. If the downstairs is crowded, there are additional tables and benches on a second-floor loft.
What to eat and drink: Toasts laden with avocado and other spreads pepper a large menu of dishes with names such as “Ricotta Be Kidding” and “All That Razz.” Go for the “Eggs in Jail,” poached and “incarcerated” in bacon and toast and drizzled with hollandaise sauce. Noble Coyote Nitro Cold Brew on tap has the consistency of a stout beer, a refreshing alternative to the drips and pour-overs.
The crowd: Neighborhood hipsters, suburban families exploring the inner core
The details: 5420 Ross Ave.; Monday-Tuesday, 7 a.m.–10 p.m.; Wednesday-Friday, 8 a.m.–10 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 8 a.m.–9 p.m. 972-925-0512.
3. Goodfriend Package Store: With just two communal tables and three four-tops, this cozy spot at the corner of Peavy and Garland roads is quieter than its warehouse-sized competitors. As a bonus, it contains an outpost of pioneering roaster Jonathan Meadows’ Cultivar Coffee. A few stools line the bar.
What to eat and drink: Goodfriend cures its own meats, so the $9 BLT is worth every crunch. Try it with the rich tomato soup. While you wait, order Meadows’ signature cortado, the short latte he brought to Dallas at the now defunct Good 2 Go Taco across the street when coffee culture was young.
The crowd: Meat lovers
The details: 1155 Peavy Road. Daily, 7 a.m.-8 p.m.; breakfast is served until 11 a.m. 972-807-2899.
Dark and woodsy with animal-head mounts on the walls, the space is like a punk lodge. The main room is designed around a large rectangular bar surrounded by tables, including a communal setup on one side. An adjacent library holds two more communal tables and a comfy leather chair.
What to eat and drink: Sandwiches, breakfast and more are the main fare and focus on meats and cheeses. The well-made cortado comes with a side of Topo Chico in a second short glass sharing a wood tray with the coffee. Like Halcyon and Toasted, it turns into a bar in the evening.
The crowd: Black is the new black
The details: 2114 Greenville Ave.; Monday-Friday, 6:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; Saturday, 7 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday, 7 a.m.-10 p.m. 214-370-9535.
5. Lakewood Public Library: Sometimes you just need a quiet spot to think. With a plethora of desks and chairs, it’s almost like being at the office — without the boss around. A similar setup in a co-working space costs $200-$500 a month with less colorful characters for atmosphere.
The crowd: School kids and the lightly employed
The details: 6121 Worth St.; Monday-Wednesday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Thursday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Closed Sunday. 214-670-1376.
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