The Spa at The Joule
1530 Main St., Downtown
The sleek subterranean spa beneath the Joule hotel is amazing for both traditional and experimental facials. Go early for the steam room—which has a giant amethyst, thought to encourage tranquility, shining in the corner—plus the sauna, showers, and a body-temperature pool with jets that gently massage the skin, encouraging circulation and lymphatic drainage. Facials here combine Tata Harper’s ultradeluxe, super effective products with microdermabrasion, LED light therapy, and face massage.
1217 Main St., Downtown
Commissary is a bakery, a butcher, a gelateria, and a market all in one. Impressive, right?
Mudhen Meat and Greens
900 S. Harwood St., Downtown
When we think of Dallas's food DNA, it's melt-in-your-mouth, deeply charred BBQ and the panoply of fixings that typically come to mind. Recently, however, the city has developed an appetite for lighter, healthier options. Mudhen is located in the heart of the farmers' market, giving chef Suki Otsuki easy access to the freshest produce—this is farm-to-table in the truest sense. The space itself is a sort of stylish canteen, and the endless build-a-bowl options, kombucha, and house-made bone broth mean every seat is filled. Stop by for lunch after a morning at the market and be sure to order the Mudhen interpretation of a spring roll: fresh, colorful veggies wrapped in crisp collard greens.
Vital Fitness Studio
1608 Main St., Downtown
This incredibly cool-looking downtown gym has kick-ass boxing classes, muscle-soothing yoga classes, heart-pumping cycling, and super toning TRX, which works every single muscle in your body and looks a bit like some sort of BDSM setup. When the weather’s nice, the studio hosts fitness classes at the Joule’s outdoor art space, the Eye. Bonus: Book a fifty-minute or longer session at the neighboring Spa at the Joule and your class is free.
Forty Five Ten Dallas
1615 Main St., Downtown
Brian Bolke and his late partner, Shelly Musselman, revolutionized Dallas retail when they founded the original Forty Five Ten in 2000. Now no visit to the city is complete without spending a few hours getting happily lost in the latest iteration on downtown's Main Street. You’ll find everything from Proenza Schouler, Marni, and Delpozo to Kelly Wearstler home accessories and Diptyque candles under one spectacular roof. The beautifully renovated industrial-style dark-brick-and-glass building is also home to an amazing art collection—including works by Mario Testino and Bruce Weber, as well as Catherine Opie's 700 Nimes Road—plus an excellent rooftop restaurant with amazing views and an Assouline bookshop.
400 S. Record St., Downtown
Everything about Bullion is dazzling, from the gold-scaled building (designed by Swedish architect Martin Brudnizki) to the French menu by Michelin-starred chef Bruno Davaillon. Get drinks in the lounge (may we suggest ordering the French 75?), then continue to the gilt-intensive dining room for classic and contemporary French dishes. The canard à l’orange, roasted duck with orange marmalade, is especially good. The restaurant has a hydroponic farm in the building next door—pretty spectacular if you can sneak in a tour.
Dallas Farmers Market Food Hall
920 S. Harwood St., Downtown
In 2016, the Dallas Farmers Market underwent a major renovation, and one of the unused buildings was transformed into the Shed—an amazing indoor local food hall. We love nourishing bone broth from Stocks and Bondy, Mexican furniture at the Dallas Antique Company, truffle-infused cheese from Scardello, and, of course, the fresh local produce.
1510 Pacific Ave., Downtown
The entire team at this beautiful New American dinner spot is made up of teenagers released from juvenile delinquent facilities. Their yearlong internships at the Café give them both life and job training. The seasonal, local menu from head chef Chad Houser is fresh and original, and the vibe is in every way uplifting: One wall is devoted to a collaborative art piece titled the “I’m Thankful Plate Project,” where past interns have written about gratitude on plates from the restaurant.
The Taschen Library
1530 Main St., Downtown
Just inside the art-filled lobby of the Joule hotel, this small library is lined wall-to-wall with gorgeous books from the German publisher. On the weekends, they host a delightfully unfussy afternoon tea (with champagne). While the books themselves are remarkable, the ceilings—tiled with mid-century mosaics by Millard Sheets that were salvaged from the wrecking ball in 2006—are spectacular, too.
The French Room
1321 Commerce St., Downtown
When the French Room opened in 1912, it was one of the fanciest restaurants in Dallas. More than a hundred years and a serious restoration later, it still is. The dining room is very Versailles, with pastel glass chandeliers and gilded crown molding. Chef Michael Ehlert’s menus are all prix fixe—three or seven courses. The latter is deliciously experimental, full of surprises and thoughtful wine pairings.
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