Le Peep's focus on breakfast and lunch stems from a decision made more than 40 years ago, when Buddy and Rhoda Waldman opened The Village Pantry in Aspen, Colorado, and—not wanting to miss a half day of skiing—would close the kitchen each day before noon. The duo would continue to tinker with their concept, stare at it through a novelty-sized microscope, and change its name before it eventually migrated to Texas. Nowadays, the kitchen staff perpetuates the breakfast-crafting tradition by offering omelets, eggs benedict, skillets, and build-your-own pancake options that use ingredients such as walnuts, bacon, pineapple, and chocolate chips. Traditional dishes are augmented with unique twists, such as the Gooey Buns, english muffins broiled with brown sugar, cinnamon, and almonds and served with a signature side of Mom's Sassy Apples. During midday hours, a variety of salads, burgers, and sandwiches parades out of the kitchen accompanied by smoothies, juices, or Mother Parkers coffee. Le Peep's catering service delivers breakfast and lunch fare to homes, events, or filibustered neighborhood-watch meetings.
Pungent aromas fill the air at Java Me Up, where customers filter in for the specialty coffee drinks and gourmet sandwiches. The s’mores latte and white chocolate mocha are just two of 40 flavors available for fans of sweet caffeinated sips, while gourmet drip coffees showcase the rich profiles of beans gathered anywhere from Hawaii, to Ethiopia, to Juan Valdez's pantry. Meanwhile, croissants make a soft and buttery base for hickory smoked turkey sandwiches, and snacks such as biscotti, warm brownies, and organic salads round out the menu of fresh and light café fare.
Light streams in through the floor-to-ceiling windows at the front of Glazed Doughnuts & Cafe, glinting off cushy high-backed chairs and sleek wooden tables before mingling with the crystals in the ornate chandelier. Before taking a seat or levitating next to the bookshelf, customers can peruse the mouth-watering menu, selecting treats including tantalizingly fresh scratch-made doughnuts, croissants, and muffins, carefully stacked sandwiches, and draughts of energy-boosting coffee.
With such labels as fair-trade, organic, direct-trade, and the like slapped across what seems to be every bag of coffee, it can be hard to determine what’s what. At Crooked Tree Coffee House, however, the game is pretty simple—the shop gets its beans from Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters, who in turn purchases them directly from growers in such locales as Honduras, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. No matter where they're from, the beans are always organic and top-notch; a promise the rosters keep by visiting the plantations, paying a premium for the best beans, and enforcing a rigorous quality-control check before a single bag is sent to Crooked Tree. Back at the shop, a handwritten chalkboard menu of the day's freshly roasted beans hangs over Crooked Tree's counter, letting customers know exactly where their latte, macchiato, or cortado came from. Served in big ceramic cups, the drinks—and the homemade scones and croissants—are meant to be enjoyed within the living-room-like shop, which is fittingly housed inside a renovated cottage. Loveseats, couches, and chairs are scattered across the space's dark wooden floors, surrounded by brightly colored walls and a rotating display of local artwork. On Friday and Saturday nights, the art comes alive in the form of live music performances and paintbrush séances.
It takes a lot of confidence to call yourself the best at anything, and even more to do so with a huge sign. Yet, Oak Lawn Coffee—previously known as Old Dog Coffee—does just that, directing passersby to its shop with a wall-scaling arrow that reads “Best Iced Coffee in Dallas.” It does happen to be cold-brewed from a seasonally changing selection of coffees from the likes of Brazil, Rwanda, Honduras, and Nicaragua—anchored by a spectrum of flavors from lemon drop and salted caramel to orange and rose—so the the claim is likely not far off. Customers can cool off with their iced concoction, or any other of the shop’s fresh-made offerings, atop a wrought-iron chair on the outdoor patio, or lounge on a velour loveseat or armchair amid the renovated space’s display of local artwork. Regardless of where customers sip, Oak Lawn Coffee will give a portion of every purchase back to the neighborhood by donating 10% of its profits to local organizations.
The owners of Classic Cup Cafe grew up surrounded by the evocative aromas and flavors of home cooking. At their quaint eatery, a menu of comfort fare, re-created using healthy alternatives, mirrors their childhood experience. In lieu of french fries, they pair sweet-potato wedges with a burger crafted from free-range chicken out of central Texas. Each bird is void of antibiotics, hormones, and glitzy feather extensions. The caf?'s freshly baked breads boast a lower sodium count and higher omega-3 content than traditional loaves, and some ingredients hail from small local businesses. As servers dole out the nourishing eats and fill mugs with italian cappuccino or mexican hot chocolate, diners can snuggle up with a good book or page torn out of a menu, then challenge friends to a game of Scrabble.