By: Kendall Louis
Combining hipster and history, Fort Worth has given us an eclectic and far-from-ordinary street that locals flock to for good food, drinks, and entertainment. That’s Magnolia Avenue, located south of downtown in an area known as the Near Southside. The street offers morning pick-me-ups, upscale and casual dining options, dessert spots, shopping and a lively late night bar scene.
Here’s how to spend 12 hours there.
No one can function without coffee, and anyone who says they can is lying. To start your day on Magnolia, stop at Avoca or BREWED. At Avoca, you can choose from a variety of cappuccinos, teas or cold brews and wake up to the smell of fresh coffee beans. If you want some kick with your breakfast, check BREWED for its specialty drinks. Take your pick – get a Bloody Mary with a dash of Worcestershire sauce, a refreshing mimosa or BREWED’s Local Punch, which is its version of sangria. If you’re not ready for a morning cap, try BREWED’s chai lattes, pour overs, cappuccinos, or its dozens of other drinks. For some substance with your morning beverage, mozy on over to Fixture Kitchen and Social Lounge. Here you can splurge on its brunch menu that includes chicken and waffles with chipotle maple syrup, as well as a shrimp and grits breakfast with green chili cheese grits.
After sufficiently stuffing your face and over-caffeinating yourself, walk off what you ate and visit a few of the shops the area has to offer, or check out the miniature park set up by the street.
Nelle & Lizzy is a jewelry shop that specializes in personalized accessories. Ephemera sells comics and plant-based decor, and also has a terrarium bar where customers can participate in a guided class and create their own terrariums. Other shops include Beatrice Tuley, a handmade girl’s clothing store, and SiNaCa Studios, a glassmaking gallery and school offering walk-in workshops for beginners.
If you want to relax and take in the scenery, Magnolia’s Micro-Park, located at the intersection of Magnolia Avenue and Henderson Street, is the place to go. The temporary, vacant property, centered around the ArtSouth gallery made from a bright yellow shipping container, provides an outdoor space to view art and play with recycled materials like plastic milk crates.
Hopefully, by now, you’ve worked up an appetite and are ready to explore the numerous food and drink options in the area.
For a quick and casual bite and beverage, one’s options include Yucatan Taco Stand, for Latin-inspired cuisine and a margarita; Spiral Diner, for a vegan option; and Heim Barbecue, where you can get your low and slow-cooked Texas barbecue. But if you decide to go to Heim, get there quickly because it sells out.
You may have to spoil your dinner by indulging in some near-sinful treats in the area. Fort Worth’s famous Melt Ice Creams, known for its Instagrammable yellow wall, uses fresh and seasonal fruit for its house-made sauces and compotes. Treat yourself to seasonal flavors like “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” made with housemade crackerjacks and salted caramel ice cream. You can also stop by Stir Crazy Baked Goods, which serves peanut butter with chocolate buttercream cupcakes, white chocolate cherry cookies, cinnamon rolls, apple crumbles, signature quiches, banana chocolate chip muffins, and more.
If you want to skip the treats and save your appetite for dinner, there are a number of more upscale options. Lili’s Bistro is an intimate restaurant with live jazz music featured at every dinner. Ellerbe Fine Foods serves farm-to-table cuisine made with fresh, local and seasonal ingredients. Cane Rosso offers specialty sandwiches like the Johnny C, Bolognese pasta, and over 20 pizzas, including the restaurant’s specialty “Cane Rosso,” made with sausage, roasted onions and peppers, San Marzanos, housemade mozzarella, and Parmigiano.
If you’re a night owl and want to check out the bar scene, Magnolia has a diverse list of bars. The Usual packs a long list of fancy drinks with a staff of expert mixologists who deliver specialty prohibition-era cocktails, like “The Great Depression,” made with vodka, gin, Earl Grey, lemon, and saison. The Bearded Lady provides 30 taps that rotate weekly and serves pub food for those late night munchies. Shipping & Receiving, which neighbors the studio where Leon Bridges recorded his album, provides a venue for concerts, comedy acts, and open mic nights.
But of course, there’s more. Here’s a list of other places to explore on Magnolia.
By: Kendall Louis