So Many Stores, So Little Time

If there exists a retail paradise in this country, it could be Dallas.

If you find yourself in Dallas, do what Dallasites do best. In the city that has more retail per capita than any other city in the country, fashionistas searching for their shopping Nirvanas would do well to spend a little time as well as money. To that end we have assembled an abridged guide to shopping in Dallas that should come in handy when mapping out a strategy for that unforgettable buying expedition in the city where shopping is never a chore—it is a sport and a pastime.

Going to the Source

While most of the prime shopping areas in Dallas are now located in suburban communities, well-heeled shoppers still make the pilgrimage Downtown to pay homage and cash to the grandmother of all American department stores—the flagship Neiman Marcus. The Downtown store established in 1907 today is an icon of retro 1960s style at 1618 Main. Stock up on some of the finest beauty products, accessories, shoes, clothing and more in this legendary shopping venue. There are two other Neiman Marcus locations in the area: at the Prestonwood and NorthPark malls.

Upscale in Uptown

West Village is comprised of an eclectic mix of boutiques, upscale shopping, and one-of-a-kind restaurants, bars and cafes. West Village is comprised of an eclectic mix of boutiques, upscale shopping, and one-of-a-kind restaurants, bars and cafes.

The Uptown area is a trendy haven of high-end shops easily traversed on the McKinney Avenue Trolley. West Village is an outdoor, European-style mall full of chic shops, restaurants, bars, and a movie theater at the north end of McKinney.

Visitors who have never heard the word “budget” will love Stanley Korshak, located at 500 Crescent Court in Uptown. This luxury department store has some of Dallas’ best high-end apparel, jewelry and accessories, and visitors get special, personalized attention there.

Another Uptown jewel is Forty Five Ten, 4510 McKinney Ave. This chic emporium offers one-of-a-kind fashion, jewelry, and home decor items. It’s a terrific place if you’re looking for something completely unique.

Three Magnificent Malls

Dallas is loaded with every kind of shopping mall. But three really stand out and make perfect destinations for luxury shopping.

Screen-shot Top row: In addition to shopping, NorthPark Center features internationally acclaimed 20th-century artwork, including Jonathan Borofsky’s Five Hammering Men (left) and Mark di Suvero’s Ad Astra (right). Bottom row: The Galleria offers world-class shops and dining.

Named as one of the “Seven Retail Wonders of the Modern World” by Shopping Centers Today, NorthPark Center, 8687 North Central Expressway, offers an unparalleled luxury shopping experience with more than 235 unique retailers, restaurants and legendary department stores, and a clientele that spans the world. In addition, NorthPark Center doubles as a contemporary art gallery with works from world-renowned artists, including the only indoor display of a Mark di Suvero sculpture, the 48-foot tall Ad Astra.

Of course, when in Dallas, you want to go where the locals shop. Highland Park Village, on Mockingbird Lane at Preston Road, is where the posh women of Dallas go for some good old-fashioned retail therapy. This outdoor shopping center was established in 1931, and it claims to be the first outdoor mall in the U.S. (Those are fighting words for Country Club Plaza aficionadas!) Luxury shoppers will love the wide selection of exclusive shops there, including Gucci, Harry Winston, Jimmy Choo, Hermes and Christian Louboutin. This center gives L.A.’s Rodeo Drive a run for its money.

The Galleria, LBJ Freeway and Dallas Parkway North, is a huge mall with a light-filled atrium said to mimic the original Galleria in Milan, Italy. It attracts some of Dallas’s most sophisticated shoppers to Macy’s, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Versace, Cartier, and Hugo Boss. You’ll also find an ice-skating rink, a Westin Hotel, and a host of restaurants—but many people seem to come just to stroll.

Get Your Boots On

iStock_000009176772MediumIf you’re going to go cowgirl, you’re going to need cowgirl boots. Well, you’ve come to the right place. Dallas is perhaps the world’s best place to assemble your Western wear wardrobe, and you need to start at the bottom. Texas boot companies such as Tony Lama, Justin and Nocona are well represented in area western stores. In fact, you can probably find some pretty good deals at places such as Boot Town, 5909 Belt Line,; Wild Bill’s, third level of the West End Marketplace; or Cavender’s Boot City, 5539 LBJ Freeway.

Riding High in the Saddle

If your goal is to be the best-dressed cowgirl at the rodeo, then you better gallop over to Cowboy Cool, 3699 McKinney Ave., where you can spend $500 on a shirt or $1,000 for a pair of boots. Well, this is Dallas, where cash never seems to be in short supply. If vintage styles are to your liking, Ragwear, 200 Greenville, is a laid-back vintage store that stocks collectible Western shirts at $100 and up, as well as more pedestrian models. Fancy gift items for the upscale cowboy—sterling silver money clips, Michel Jordi wristwatches and belt buckles with longhorns and state-of-Texas and cowboy insignias, and the like—can be had for a price at The Bohlin Co., 5440 Harvest Hill.

Vintage Finds

Even Dallas has a past, and some of it resides in area antique shops and malls. One of the most notable is Curiosities Antiques, 2025 Abrams in the Lakewood neighborhood. Boasting unique wares gleaned from estate sales, Curiosities is quite appropriately named. On any given day, you may find trade signs, antique toys, folk art, taxidermy animals and vintage holiday items. They have a large collection of children’s books and antique toys.

Where to Stay

The Rattlesnake Bar at the Ritz-Carlton. The Rattlesnake Bar at the Ritz-Carlton.

Ritz-Carlton – All the luxury that you would expect and then some, including the best spa in Dallas. Located in the happening Uptown district. From $399/night. 2121 McKinney St.

Hotel ZaZa — This is a trendy hotel with a sophisticated, funky vibe. 2332 Leonard St. From $219/night. 2332 Leonard St.

Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek – Known for impeccable service and for treating guests as royalty. Quiet location in the heart of the city. From $303/night. 2821 Turtle Creek Blvd.

The Joule – Renovated and expanded downtown hotel with an amazing cantilevered swimming pool. Adjacent to Neiman Marcus. From $188/night, 1530 Main St.

Hotel Palomar – Boutique hotel located near SMU. Surrounded by great nightlife and restaurants. From $212/night. 5300 E Mockingbird Lane

Where to Dine

Fearing's Fearing’s

Fearing’s – Eponymous restaurant of Chef Dean Fearing in the Ritz-Carlton offers five different dining “environments” from white tablecloth to casual. The Rattlesnake Bar is the place to see and be seen. 2121 McKinney St., 214-922-4848

Stephen Pyle’s – One of Southwestern cuisine’s top chefs keeps it coming in his broadened multi-cultural menu that features a ceviche bar with unusual ingredients. 1807 Ross Ave., 214-580-7000

The Grape – Recognized as one of the most celebrated neighborhood eateries in Dallas for more than 35 years. The signature bistro cuisine continues to impress. 2808 Greenville Ave., 214-828-1981

Komali Restaurant – Komali in the Aztec language refers to the griddle on which Mexicans cook their tortillas. Komali serves a menu of regional and modern Mexican cuisine—handmade tortillas, fresh salsas, great seafood and meat dishes.  4152 Cole Ave., 214-252-0200

Max’s Wine Dive –Gourmet comfort food made from the highest-quality local ingredients in an exciting and unique atmosphere. Great wines at good prices. 3600 McKinney Ave., 214-559-3483