25 Things to Do in Deep Ellum, Besides Barhop

Deep Ellum is a bustling neighborhood known for its vibrant nightlife. Nestled in central Dallas, the neighborhood shot to fame as the hotbed for jazz musicians in the 1920’s. With a lively music scene, eye-popping street art, and renowned galleries, Deep Ellum has developed its own distinct identity. Whether you're an art connoisseur, a shopaholic, a die-hard foodie, or a committed metalhead, there's something for everyone. Here’s a list of some super-fun things to do in Deep Ellum:

1. Attend a Concert:

Pay homage to the true spirit of Deep Ellum by soaking up the music. Head to a rock show at Trees, The Bomb Factory or Three Links.

dallasflea_march2016-2041-3000x2000photo by: Fleastyle

2. Hunt for Bargains at a Flea Market:

Nothing compares to the rush of finding good deals on rare items. Seasonal flea markets are great places to find everything from fresh farm produce to quirky handicrafts, fashionable clothes, and even exquisite artifacts.

3. Open Mic Nights:

While I'm heartbroken over the closing of Tuckers Blues, there are still plenty of places to enjoy open mic nights and catch performances by up-'n-coming musicians. The Prophet Bar and Deep Ellum Tap Room host open mics every Wednesday night. At the Prophet Bar, come sing along with the Gritz—who are sometimes joined by the one-and-only Erykah Badu.


Photo by: Dallas Observer

4. Sing Karaoke:

You can always come sing-along with the Punk Rock Karaoke when they're at Three Links. Or hit Twilite Lounge for some stage time.

5. Get Inked:

The oldest running tattoo shop in Dallas - Tigger's Body Art- is a veritable institution. A self-taught artist, late Mark Pruiett 'Tigger' Liddell revolutionized the tattoo scene by giving people a chance to see him in action at his parlor. So, why not get inked at a tattoo parlor drenched in storied history?

6. Walk Your Dog:

Let your dog enjoy a walk at the Deep Ellum Dog Park (Bark Park Central) while you feast your eyes on some great canine-inspired graffiti. Spend a memorably relaxed evening on their dogbone-shaped benches.

7. Laugh Out Loud:

The thriving comedy scene here often gets overshadowed by the more glitzy music gigs. But, Dallas Comedy House has hosted some of the funniest comics in the business today and is one of the few places where long-form improv is performed. You can also enroll for improv, sketch or stand-up comedy classes here.


photo by: seeyousoon.ca

8. Admire Art:

With its famed graffiti and galleries, Deep Ellum is arguably the arts capital of the state. CentralTrak at UT Dallas has an open studio which serves as an incubation space for talents to look out for. Their gallery houses all art forms, including experimental music. Kettle Art Gallery has exhibitions throughout the year, dedicated to promoting local artists.

9. Go Surfing.....kind of:

Deep Ellum is diving into the latest fitness craze with surfing circuit classes at City Surf.  Over the summer, they offered free community classes at 7:00 on Thursdays to encourage people to give it a go.  Expect an intense 50 minute workout with a quick moving format that changes moves every 30 seconds.

10. Get a Coffee Buzz:

If coffee is your preferred beverage, try out Café Brazil for their specially roasted beans. Dig into their BLT burgers, and grilled cheeseburgers while you're at it. Though better known for its beers, Buzzbrews also gives you a selection of coffee flavors to pick from.

11. Tour Mozzarella Company:

Mozzarella Company is a misleading name for an establishment that has won awards for its ricotta, Blanca Bianca, mascarpone torte, Deep Ellum Blue, and fresh Texas goat cheeses. You can attend cheesemaking classes or just tour the facility—oh, and buy some great cheese straight from the source.

12. Buy Meat:

Rudolph's Meat Market is more than 100 years old and renowned for their slow-cured ham and turkey. You can also get them to cut meat to order.

corndogThe original Fletcher's corndog. Photo by: @Dallas_Foodie

13. Enjoy the State Fair of Texas

Carnival rides, livestock shows, fried food, and great music can all be found at one of the most highly attended State fairs in the country. Cheer your favorite college team in the football game between Texas and Oklahoma - the longstanding centerpiece of this fair.

14. Smoke a Hookah:

Go into deep relaxation mode with well-flavored hookahs and Lebanese food at Zåtar Lebanese Tapas & Bar. If you like your hookah with an Egyptian twist, head to Cairo Hookah Lounge.

15. Eat Tex-Mex:

Dallas' foodscape would be incomplete without Mexican cuisine. Dig into some delicious fare from Pepe & Mito's Mexican Cafe - a great favorite among lovers of Tex-Mex.

16. Go Swing Dancing: 

Put on your dancing shoes and head to Sons of Herman Hall.  This iconic venue is good for a night of fun and frolic. With lessons followed by open dancing on Wednesdays, you can let go and dance like no one's watching.

17. Eat Half-priced Food:

What's better than getting a delicious plate of food at half the price? Grab mouth-watering munchies from Anvil Pub and Maracas Cocina Mexicana. All Good Cafe serves wine at half the price on Wednesdays.


Joonbug mural at Common Desk

Joonbug mural.  Photo by: Common Desk

18. Set-up Shop at the Common Desk:

With fast internet and unlimited coffee, working at Common Desk can be a positive break from your routine. At just $25/day, it is also a good place to network with freelancers and other professionals.

19. Visit Reel FX:

Get a behind-the-scenes tour of the award-winning animation studio, Reel FX. Meet the people who created the adorable ‘minions’ and see how they breathe life into your favorite animated characters.

20. Gorge on Street Tacos:

Enjoy the culinary delight of eating a perfectly made taco from the street. Treat your taste buds to some of the best tacos from Club Dada.


Photo by: Dallas Eater

21. BYOB to Cane Rosso:

Cane Rosso makes the most delicious Neapolitan Pizzas in Dallas. You can also carry your own booze to pair with these pizzas. Gorge yourself on their sinfully cheesy pizzas, knowing that the proceeds from your purchase will go towards helping rescue dogs.

22. Burger at Twisted Root:

Get the best burgers in Dallas, and delicious seasonal game meat without burning a hole in your pocket. The health conscious can pick from their vegan and gluten-free options.


Grits at Filament.  Photo by: foodbitch

23. Have Brunch:

You can grab a leisurely weekend brunch at Harlowe MXM, or check out the quirky menu at Armoury D E. If you love your bacon and beer, head to Braindead Brewing.

24. Explore Outdoor Festivals:

Deep Ellum Arts Festival has everything from art and music to pet parade to keep you entertained. Shopaholics can rejoice at the Deep Ellum Outdoor Market.

25. Go Mural & Statue Gazing:

Deep Ellum has a long history with visually vibrant graffiti. Several music venues use graffiti artists to advertise their shows. In the late 1980s, the city allowed local artists to paint the walls of the Good Latimer Expressway tunnel. After this tunnel was demolished in 2007, more projects - like the Traveling Man series - have been developed to restore the area’s longstanding artistic legacy.

So what are you waiting for? Come on down to Deep Ellum!


Photo by: 1530 Main Blog