Dallas Specialty

Establishment neighborhood
White Rock Coffee
4216 Abrams Rd., Lakewood
Run by Nancy and Bob Baker, White Rock Coffee is literally a mom and pop operation—there's nothing glamorous about this local spot, but the excellent coffee (roasted by Nancy and Bob themselves) and laidback vibe make it a mainstay. While there's always a steady stream of customers, it never feels crowded, so it's a good place to get stuff done. The original Highlands Lake location has a spacious lofted space (that's where most of the outlets are), while their new express location has a drive-through if you don't have time to park.
3707 Cedar Springs Rd., Oak Lawn
Union is a major gathering place for the community in Dallas—it hosts performances, volunteer events, and more. What's really cool for nomadic workers is that no matter what is going on in the space, there is always a conference room or other area reserved for work and study: a lifesaver when you need a place that's reliably quiet. But regulars will remind you that this place is so much more than a coffee shop—it donates 10 percent of its proceeds to a rotating group of community causes and rallies its customers as volunteers and donors to multiply the effect.
316 W. 7th St., Bishop Arts District
Oddfellows is a celebrated brunch institution in Dallas—on Saturdays, the wait for the duck chilaquiles and fried chicken is hours long. But stop by in the morning or afternoon during the week and you'll find a quiet coffeehouse, perfect for nursing a coffee and emptying out a full inbox (the Wi-Fi is just as strong outside on the patio). They're especially proud of their espresso, which is made in a gleaming, luxury La Marzocco machine.
Houndstooth Coffee
1900 N. Henderson Ave., Lower Greenville
It's easy to fall for the décor in Houndstooth, which features a wooden herringbone bar, Scandinavian-style furniture, and clusters of Edison bulbs. The overall effect is really minimalist, which is great, because it lets their extremely well-researched and perfectly executed coffee shine. Nice touch: the coffee cups have adorable silhouettes of Texas that you'll see when you make it to the bottom of the cup. There are also locations in Austin (in Rosedale and Downtown).