* All the photos were taken from my iPhone camera, and I certify that none of them shall be subject to any copyright infringement issue.
Productive Cafes Showdown
Dallas is notorious for Cowboys, Kennedy assassination, a bunch of Fortune 500 oil companies, and a phrase along the line of “everything is big in Texas.” However, Dallas has a plenty of hippy cultures, cool restaurants, and neat coffeeshops as well. As a coffee addict, I have been looked for the best coffeeshops in Dallas to stay productive for getting work done. Although the list is by no means comprehensive, here are my reviews of coffeeshops I have been to thus far.
Buon Giordano Coffee
Buon Giordano is one of my favorite coffeeshops due to its well-rounded features and the proximity to where I live. The interior is pretty unique and welcoming, though it is not super fancy, and good enough to make a first visitor to feel comfortable. The service is excellent as the baristas are always so friendly and fun, and they hand deliver your coffee to you while you settle on a seat to focus on your work. The price of the coffee is pretty moderate as the prices are similar to what you can get from a Starbucks, but this place has a better espresso and a coffee art.
What are the two things necessary for anyone to stay productive? These are, in my opinion, Wi-Fi and electric outlets. Buon Giordano’s Wi-Fi never failed to disappoint me as it is stable and works close to 100% of time, and the speed is fast enough to stream a Youtube video without a hiccup. Electrical outlets are plenty, though there seem to be just two outlets on the sofas at the back. Parking lots are very spacious, so you will not have a problem parking your car. Customers are generally friendly and relaxed, so you can observe most people, just hanging out here, or striking some interesting conversations. Only one downside with this place was that the inside temperature is kept warm during the summer time so it is little hard to focus, but it is not too terrible.
Redefined coffeeshop is probably the first coffeeshop I had encountered before I started my journey of exploring good cafes around Dallas area. This place has a very nice interior that will amaze you and your friends as you enter, and the owners here seems to care about redecorating the interior from time to time. Baristas are super friendly, and they always seem to have fun. Here, they can also hand deliver your coffee as well, though you usually pickup at the bar. The price of coffees are on a cheap side, but their coffee arts are little uninteresting, though not all the times.
Besides the gorgeous interior, what is awesome about this place? Wi-Fi here is super fast and probably the fastest among the rest! The place clocked the download and upload speeds at abount 80 + Mega Bits Per Second (Mbps) when I tested the network speed. The electrical outlets are plenty, though you might have a bit of difficulty to find a parking spot.
The biggest downside of this place is that the place closes pretty early. They are open until 8 p.m. from Monday through Thursday, 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and closed on Sunday. But this is definitely one of the best places to visit if you try to get things done before sunset.
Now, let’s turn our attention to the coffeeshops around the Downtown area. Mudsmith is a coffeeshop located at Greenville Avenue, which is a place of vivid sceneries and activities. You can generally find young students from Southern Methodist University (SMU) and downtown folks hanging around. Mudsmith is one awesome cafe, but a problem with this place is the parking spot. There are no dedicated parking spots for this coffeeshop. However, you can still find some good parking spots around the area, especially near neighborhood Walmart store nearby. Thus, its parking spot availability is not as bad as Wild Detective, as I will talk about it later. Service is fairly descent, though the baristas feel less personalized, and they sometimes hand deliver your coffee to you, though it is generally a pickup at the bar. You will not have much of a problem finding an electrical outlet, and there are plenty of seats and open spots. Wi-Fi is pretty descent as well, and I never encountered an issue of disconnect or interruption. And this is one of the best places to find some cool folks to talk to, and you can easily find the designers, programmers, students, and working professionals flock here to simply chat.
Heck, I even found some people who were teaching how to dance to one another! And if you are a Christian, you will be surprised to find out that a lot of people come here to study bible and to have a fellowship.
And the best part? This place has some fantastic espresso coffees and drink selections. And there are never ending cool restaurants surrounding the cafe. When I come here, I usually eat something nearby before I head to the coffeeshop because the place is so lively and has some amazing restaurants nearby.
We will hop onto Union coffeehouse, a cafe located at the center of SMU. This place has a plenty of seating places and a study place, and it even has two separate private study rooms enclosed by the glass windows and doors! As you arrive at the coffeeshop, you will be surprised to find how small the parking lot space is, though there are plenty of parking lots nearby.
But I never really had a big problem finding the parking spot when I am here, maybe because I usually come when no one comes for a study (Friday or Saturday night). Another thing you will notice, just like Mudsmith, there are plenty of nice restaurants nearby such as Torchy’s Taco (which is Austin awesome!) and Bahn Shop.
So, if you want to grab some nice lunch or a dinner before you come here to finish your work, that will definitely work. The baristas here are genuinely friendly as well, but you generally pickup your coffees first. The coffees are okay, and the expresso drinks are in par with the Starbucks for their tastes and price ranges. Wi-Fi here is pretty descent, and the outlets are more than plenty. In fact, this place is truly optimized for someone who want to get studies done. If you need a quiet place to get some studies or work done, this is probably THE BEST place as there is no music or a noise but just quiet folks who are always quietly working on something.
But there are occasionally events like the picture shown above, and the place can get quite loud at a time like these.
Sip Stir Cafe
Sip Stir is a very interesting coffeeshop for its own right, and the interior here is very modern and unassuming. You will have some hard time finding parking spots around here since it is located close to a Dallas downtown area where there is no dedicated parking spot but just apartments and mall stores. Most of times, unless you pay for a parking spot, you have to park along the street. The service here is okay, though the baristas here do not seem to have so much fun as I have seen from other places 🙂
But this place is definitely a fantastic place to get your work or study done as there are plenty of seats, a good Wi-Fi connection, and numerous electrical outlets. And this place has some very unique coffee selections! If you have a thing for sweet tooth, Sip Stir is a good place to check out. Look at that S’Mores Latte picture!
Besides the parking spot scarcity, one con about this place is that the cafe closes rather early — 9 p.m. on weekdays and 8 p.m. on weekends. Nevertheless, this place is highly recommended as a productive coffeeshop to get your tasks done.
Ascension Coffeehouse is a neat coffeeshop sitting at the center of Dallas downtown, and the place is almost right next to Medieval Times restaurant, which is a cool place to check out. While Ascension is descent and has a very beautiful interior, there are three negative aspects that I cannot vouch for this place as a place to be productive. First, the place has a lack of electrical outlets and an unstable Wi-Fi speed. Second, the prices of the coffee and drinks are rather on an expensive side, though not so bad that you have to go broke and skip a meal.
Lastly, the place is not really meant for a study but as a place to go with your date or to hang out with your friends. The baristas here are okay, and the place has some nice coffee and a coffee art.
However, most people here choose to drink alcoholic drinks, not coffees. And during the night time, the place becomes dim, and it is almost impossible to find people studying here. So, while this place is an amazing to go with your date, this place falls little short a place to get your work done.
Wild Detective Coffeehouse
Okay, I will be blindly honest about this place. I love this place! And to be even more frank, I love the atmosphere here more than any other coffeeshop I mentioned above. One time, I loved here so much that I brought my parent and my older sister here with me, and they fell in love with this cafe as well. It is that excellent!
To explain about this place in a single sentence, this is like an evolved version of Cafe Bene, which is a South Korean coffeeshop franchise, as the place is surrounded by books, books, and books… Everywhere. The place is quite small, but it is cozy small not mess small. The coffeeshop is built by renovating a house, but there is a large outdoor sitting spot where people can hang out or see the musicians come here performing a musical piece or an act.
The Wi-Fi here is on a slow side, and it is bit difficult to find electrical outlets, which are the main reasons why I cannot highly recommend here as a place to go for a study. But if you simply want to read a book or to study from a book, this place is more than excellent. This place is probably most difficult to find, unless you live nearby Dallas downtown, and it is so hard to find a parking spots as there are no dedicated parking spots at all and the streets surrounding the cafe are extremely narrow. While I observed a plenty of people studying or getting work done, most people come here just to hang out over a cup of wines or beers. During a Friday or a Saturday evening, you will notice that most people wear formal dress clothes, as they are about to head to the clubs or another parties. In another word, while I definitely recommend anyone to check out this place at least once when you are at Dallas area, I am somewhat reluctant to recommend this place as a place to stay super productive.