For over 50 years, this iconic landmark in the Sunset Hills area of Oak Cliff has been dishing out summertime snow cones, acting as a sort of family ritual for many locals who need their Aunt Stelle’s fix when the weather turns hot. At the corner of Clarendon and Marlborough the famous Aunt Stelle’s Sno Cones opened in 1962, and their red doors show the years of age, while two old signs advertise the simple fare. Not much has changed in the half-century since opening their door, but Aunt Stelle’s still manages to draw lines that wait patiently for their turn at the order window. The reason? The place makes its own ice and syrup, meaning a high-quality snow cone is just a short drive away. Just be sure Aunt Stelle’s is open – they close daily at 9 p.m. and are only open between late April and Labor Day.
When Norma’s Cafe opened in 1956, it was the kind of homey breakfast spot where the food was as comforting as the waitresses were welcoming—they greeted their customers by name. One of those customers was Ed Murph, who later purchased Norma’s with the goal of keeping the down-home tradition alive. And according to the Dallas Observer, he succeeded. The paper voted Norma’s The Best Home Style Restaurant in 2010, claiming that “the recipes taste as though they haven’t much changed.” It’s those recipes that have made generations of diners—and even food critics—eager to wake up in the morning. Pillowy biscuits blanketed in gravy, chicken fried steaks, and omelets made with farm-fresh eggs are partially responsible for the countless amounts of press and awards Norma’s has earned. But credit the atmosphere for a good portion of the popularity. Norma’s continues to evoke feelings of a friendlier, simpler time, when the pies were made from scratch, the waitresses knew your name, and the jukeboxes didn’t heckle you for your poor music choices.
In Mexico, life’s milestones are inextricably linked to chocolate. And Andrea Pedraza will never forget sipping her first mug of delicious hot chocolate on the morning of her first communion.
Her early memories of chocolate blossomed into a lifelong obsession. Now, at Cocoandré Chocolatier, Ms. Pedraza strives to match the purity of that first mug. She imports 100% natural, cocoa-butter-based raw chocolate from Belgium and Mexico to craft her European-style truffles, flavors them with exotic spices, and covers them with ganache made with butter and heavy whipping cream.
Her confections have earned a slew of positive press, including a spot on Good Morning Texas, which showcases her inventive chocolate molds in holiday-appropriate shapes. Her team can also create custom molds, allowing patrons to fulfill a lifelong dream of eating Rodin’s The Thinker.:m]]
Though it’s certainly worthy of the recommendation, you may want to think twice before telling all of your friends to go to Lucia. The cozy restaurant is so small that it can’t accommodate parties of more than six—and that’s assuming that nobody is a giant. This actually counts as a point in Lucia’s favor, as it enhances the intimate appeal of chef David Uygur’s Italian restaurant. Nestled inside an historic building, Lucia is a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. Rustic wooden walls and cherry wood surround guests as they dine on hand-crafted salumi and fresh pastas made in-house daily. Though it changes frequently, the restaurant's menu has recently included such entrees as a Berkshire pork chop and a duck breast with roasted carrots. Uygur’s desserts have a special reputation, thanks to creations such as his salted caramel gelato and lemon panna cotta with caramelized grapefruit.
Dude, Sweet Chocolate, located in the Bishop Art’s District in Oak Cliff, takes chocolate to the next level, offering darkly flavored treats served with choices as diverse as fudge, truffles and toffee. Chef, co-founder and co-owner Katherine Clapner outgrew her former digs, so now manufactures the chocolate in a location off Interstate 35. No matter, the sweets are as tempting as ever, and as if to prove the point Dude, Sweet Chocolate continues to open new locations across Dallas. Just don’t expect anything that looks too fancy, from the shop or the candy; Uneventful brown paper packaging belies the true goodness held inside.
Megan Wilkes and Mary Gauntt were fresh out of college when they met. A mutual friend, who knew that Megan wanted to own her own business and that Mary was a baking whiz, thought the two would make a winning pair. And they do, literally: Emporium Pies was named one of the nation's 11 hottest bakeries in 2012 by Eater and their French silk chocolate pie nabbed a spot on the Dallas Observer's whimsical list of The 10 Most Porny Dallas Food Photos of the Year. The key to their success may lie in their crusts: rather than pouring pies into a one-size-fits-all pastry, they use flavors that complement the fillings—the aforementioned French silk chocolate, or Smooth Operator, gets a salty pretzel crust, whereas their seasonal pumpkin pie, dubbed Drop Dead Gourd-geous, nestles into a crust made from gingersnap cookies. The pair eschews hormones, corn syrup, and hydrogenated oils for 100% real ingredients—from local sources when available—to craft each of their decadent seasonal creations. Guests can order their pick ahead of time, or mosey into the charming two-story cottage for a slice.