I have a big Texas sized crush on Dallas! We’ve had a few recent killer trips there, but it wasn’t until this particular trip that I really started to develop an appreciation for the city and what it truly has to offer.
Dallas is huge, it’s no secret that it gets referred to as “big, rich, Texas”, and with that comes a lot of different personalities and stereotypes. I love many of those aspects of Dallas, it’s what makes it such a unique city to visit.
But this particular trip had a few agendas. 1. Was to go on a easy getaway from Austin with my sister (@spinsyddy). and 2. Since we’re both really active, and into health and wellness, we wanted to focus our efforts on exploring that side of Dallas.
This is a quick guide to 48+ hours of spent in one of Texas’ best cities as we explored some of Dallas’ best when it comes to health and wellness.
Westin Downtown Dallas: We choose to stay at the Westin Downtown Dallas because we LOVE that The Westin has an emphasis on health and wellness. Every one of their hotels has incorporated services to cater to helping you live well even on the road. The Westin Downtown Dallas offered a Run Concierge, who helped map out a 7 mile run for us. They also partnered with New Balance, and for $5/day you can ditch the workout clothes in your luggage and rent shoes, shirts, sports bra’s, and shorts to help you stay on track with your fitness goals without the weight of packing extra baggage. Another thing that we loved, was that their menu featured superfood items, and even healthy modifications like almond milk smoothies. As someone who travels a lot, it’s hard to be on the road and that’s the first place where compromises happen. Staying at a Westin will help you kick off any trip on the right foot and other Westin locations are known to have TRX and Peloton at their fitness studios and some even in the rooms.
Class Studios: Our friend Paige Martindell is an instructor at Class Studios, so when we were heading to Dallas in the name of fitness, of course we had to check out this brand new Studio! They offer indoor cycle (or spin!) and training classes which incorporates weights, and rowing machines. Their spin class was recently named Best of Big D for 2018!
Beyond Studios: Sydney and I are both big fans of the Beyond Studios, but our favorite is Beyond 500. It incorporates a self powered treadmill and floor work that ranges from plyometrics to weights. It’s called 500 because you will burn 500 calories in 50 min. It’s a high intensity workout that I honestly live for and always try to hit up while I’m in Dallas.
Social Mechanics: While we haven’t worked out at this studio yet, we happened upon it in an interesting way. We were eating at HG Supply Co. and it was right next door and caught our eye. Honestly it reminded me of Athletic Outcomes my home gym in Austin and so we popped our heads in and liked what we saw. I am including it because I think I would love it and am DEFINITELY planning on doing this workout next time I’m in town. Additionally the owners ALSO own HG Supply Co. which was one of my favorite meals of our whole Dallas trip (healthy or not!).
Mudhen Meats: No trip to Dallas is complete without a stop at Mudhen. They focus on farm to plate and offer lots of modification friendly dishes, but your non diet friends will still find plenty of yummy things to indulge in too! Seriously, I have to stop at Mudhen every trip because it’s just so damn good. I’m a big fan of their massaged kale salad, and the groatmeal, while it sounds peculiar, is one of the best grain like sweet breakfast bowls I’ve had. But honestly everything on the menu is good, so there’s no going wrong. The only thing to warn you about is it’s across the street from the Dallas Farmers Market, so save some room because you’re gonna wanna pop in over there and grab something to eat too 🙂
HG Supply Co.: I wish Austin had one of these (pssst), it’s simple, clean food, that’s good for you! Think paleo cauliflower rice bowls with the yummiest asian spice chicken, and paleo curried shrimp over steamed veggies!!!!! To say I was stoked was an understatement, their menu was so yummy I wanted t order one of everything. It’s a place where you can indulge a little or a lot, because they have a GORGEOUS rooftop bar which basically was me drinking tequila beet juice cocktails all night. It was about balance on this trip, okay! But I loved their food, and would hands down recommend you stopping here if you haven’t already. Put this one on your list stat!
Botilino Gelato: As if I needed more of an excuse to eat gelato. We were meeting Cristen the GM of Social Mechanics and since I had asked about paleo friendly desserts in Dallas we should hit up, she said to talk to the end of the block where SM and HG are on and you’ll end up at Botilino Gelato. Yall, they didn’t just have one or two vegan flavors, they had 6! SIX WHOLE FLAVORS. This was like a hallelujiah chorus line going off. They make all their flavors in house and they rotate, so just go, give them a chance, especially if you’re already in the neighborhood for HG!
Niwa Japanese BBQ: This was the meal that I didn’t realize I needed in my life until I had it. If I’m being honest, I love Japanese food, but had never had it served BBQ style. Which basically means there is a large fire pit at your table so you can cook the food yourself. So on one hand, the experience alone was phenomenal. Food would come out in sauces, or raw and you would just go to town cooking it (with recommendations for cooking time provided!) But the treat was in how delicious everything actually tasted, with little to no added flavoring. The meats were the highest grade, the veggies were the ripest, and cooking it over open flame just enhanced their natural qualities. Everything that we ordered was melt in your mouth good and I just would say wow. Was not expecting to be so delighted, but it was one of the best meals I’ve ever had. All about that experience, baby!
Malibu Poké: This one is exciting because THEY ARE OPENING AN AUSTIN LOCATION in Seaholm soon! But of course, when in Dallas, go straight to the source. A few cool things to highlight about Malibu that set it out from other Poké destinations both Dallas and in Austin. 1. They use these high tech ordering computers, which really is just a giant tablet that you place your order on. But what I thought was cool about it was that it remembers your order through facial recognition. FREAKY! Also so cool. And helpful. 2. One of their bases IS CAULIFLOWER RICE. Praise another hallelujah. This to me is so great because I obviously love rice, but on Paleo can’t have it, so I’ve learned the greatness that is cauliflower/broccoli rice. Problem is, most places when I go out to eat don’t offer that modification. But at Malibu it’s standard. I love that, go Malibu. And welcome to Austin!
Serve: Bishop Arts is already a pretty cool neighborhood, so add that to your list and go there. You can grab an Emporium Pies (which you should, but also not if you wanna stick to your health plan). So instead, make your way to Serve, an adorably cute house retrofitted into a cafe. Their main staple are acaí bowls so just plan to have to decide between 4 excellent choices. Because there were two of us, we kind of cheated and ordered two and split. One matcha, and one berry blast. Both were excellent, service was friendly, and overall vibes were just on point for a little lazy afternoon pick me up.
Brewed + Pressed: Everything here is vegan, I REPEAT VEGAN! In the best way possible 🙂 They have protein balls, coconut yogurt, smoothies, cheesecake, juice, coffee, and other treats. All made in house, all excellent. And it is in the City Place neighborhood which happens to be where Class Studios is (and a whole bunch of other fitness classes and gyms! Talk about “healthy row!” So pro tip, take one of Paige’s classes and then head on over to Brewed + Pressed for your after class pick me up!
Crush Craft: I love Thai, and while this wasn’t the healthiest thing I could eat in Dallas, it was pretty easy to find healthy options. Crush Craft was actually featured on an episode of Diners Drive-In’s and Dives, so all you Guy Fierri fans out there, it’s approved. They just have really dope easy accessible Thai food, I went with their chickenpad thai, and an order of veggie spring rolls. I also really enjoyed their Tom Kha soup, which just hit the spot with flavors and spiciness. If aesthetic is your thing, then prepare to be wowed. It’s got lots of colorful streamers hung in an open air atrium type dining space and just put a huge goofy smile on my face the whole time. It was also extremely popular for dinner on a Friday night, so that says something about them!
The Gem: Can you ever be tired of an organic juice bar? The answer is no. I love all juice and smoothies, but they’re definitely not all created equally. Which is why I LOVE THE GEM. They use, duh, all organic ingredients. And just offer really delicious combinations and also serve as a little market for other fun vegan, paleo, dairy free snacks which seem to highlight both local and national purveyors. I thought it was a fun space, and around the corner from Stretchzone. So we got a smoothie and then went on our way to be stretched, which was absolute bliss.
StretchZone: Preston Center is the first location in Dallas, their other locations are in Plano. But yall, I had never done a stretch session before and StretchZone Dallas knows their stuff! Specifically GM/Owner Becca knows her stuff. First 30 min sessions is F-R-E-E, by the way 🙂 It’s just a good habit to stretch if you workout a lot, and also just to help with stiff muscles and joints. And assisted stretching is even better, but rarely do we make time to stretch on our own, let alone with a partner. At least, speaking for myself. Plus it’s super easy to book, which makes going in that much easier. Do it, your body will thank you!
Pink Pedi Salon: This came as a recommendation from one of my followers, so thank you to whoever put this on my radar! This is another place that I truly wish I could visit for all my nail care needs, so pretty please open one up in Austin stat! Everything at Pink Pedi is focused around being eco-friendly, fume and toxin-free. They also specialize in making their own bath bombs, balms and scrubs, which YOU GET TO PICK during your visit. I mean a whole row of endless scents, different sensations, and combination to choose from. I went with a eucalyptus bath bomb because eucalyptus is one of my favorite scents, paired with a CBD balm (because I’m all about CBD and it’s a great muscle relaxer), and I don’t even remember the scrub but it smelled heavenly. When you’re in the shop you feel like you’ve stepped into a wonderland, it’s quaint, thoughtful, and a literal dream of what I would hope every pedi/mani situation feels like. Except it’s only in Dallas. Please go see Lucy and Brandon, they’re really sweet business owners who had a dream and made it a reality!
(Disclaimer, we weren’t going to drink on this wellness trip, but when in Rome, well..)
Waterproof: Pool bar by day, rooftop lounge by night. This was the IT place to be on a Saturday night in Dallas. Make your way to The Statler hotel and head to the elevators, there probably will be a line, unless you can get on someones list. Either way, make your way up there. You’ll discover a vibey, downtown, but very uptown Dallas vibe. People dress to impress here, so act accordingly! You’ll experience a cityscape backdrop, lit up pool, and sexy bodies bouncing all around. It was a vibe worth deviating from our diets from, and hey– technically tequila is paleo, so tequila soda is technically still on diet for this girl :b
Midnight Rambler: Located at another hotel fav of mine, The Joule. This underground speakeasy type bar is just what the Dr. ordered. Inventive cocktail list that rotates, musical guests, and very hip hip vibes. This is the type of bar you can ease into a spot at the bar alone and chat up the bartender, or opt for a group effect and celebrate in true Dallas style. I just always have a good time here, they have an excellent late night menu, and it’s generally somewhere I make my way to at least once, or twice, on my trips.
Truth and Alibi: This is a true secret bar located in the heart of Deep Ellum, another favorite neighborhood of mine. We hit this up after Niwa and it made for the perfect night cap. You enter through what looks like a poorly functioning candy shop, but once you obtain the password you mention it to the door guy and you enter into a transformed narrow warehouse space with chandeliers and laser lights. Music was upbeat, almost too loud to talk, but all you wanted to do was dance, so it didn’t matter either way. I had always wanted to visit Truth and Alibi, and we were unsuccessful until this trip. You can get the password by following them on social media. It’s worth it, this was one of the best spots to let loose.
Visiting Dallas also meant catching up with our Dallas Fitspo friends! Paige Martindell and Mai Lyn Ngo. Paige is a star trainer and influencer in Dallas, you can follow her online at @paigeforrest. Mai Lyn is the woman behind Dallas Fitness Ambassadors and is a Dallas influencer too, DFA just expanded to Austin and Sydney is the lead. But you can follow Mai Lyn at @deepfriedfit, @Dallasfitnessambassadors, or conenct with the @fitnessambassadors_ATX!