We have lived in the Near Southside of Fort Worth for more than a decade (in Berkeley Place and Fairmount), where we enjoy being centrally located to cultural and culinary gems in the city. I complain about having to drive outside of the few mile radius, only because there is so much to do and discover in the area. And, no matter where you live in the metroplex, all of these spots are worth the drive! Here are just a few of our family favorites:
- Start the morning with a latte from Black Rooster Bakery at Park Hill and Forest Park, and you will thank me later. (Also, I highly recommend its homemade scones.) You can even bring the pooch to sit on the patio. Pick up some freshly baked bread for dinner for the family. It is delicious, and it’s made from a real, live, locally-owned bakery (not the grocery store bakery)!
- Next, drive on over to Jazzercise on 8th Avenue to work off that scone and latte with upbeat music that incorporates cardio and strength training. Try a variety of class times and styles (there are like eight classes a day, so no excuses, ladies!) and intensity types for all fitness levels and experience. The community and camaraderie of dancing to pop music will certainly put you in a good mood, plus you have fun while working out. What could be better?
- There comes a time in all of our lives when we must have a costume for our child immediately, and Amazon is just not fast enough. The Magic Etc. Costume store on Forest Park just north of I-30 has you covered. I have been there for a last minute Santa outfit for my then three-year-old (who insisted that we deliver all of our holiday gifts to physicians in costume); I recently purchased a poodle skirt for my daughter’s 1950s roller skating party; and I rented a rockin’, 1980s prom dress for an adult costume party. This place has everything, and your kids will think it’s really fun to look at costumes outside of the month of October.
- Time for lunch, and the options are endless. Magnolia is busting at the seams with cool places to eat, and I also like the tried and true Old Neighborhood Grill on Park Place. Its staff is super friendly, and it has the feel of a small town café, where the food is consistently good and you run into familiar faces. Our family loves to walk or ride there for breakfast on Saturdays.
- If you are ever in the market for jewelry, I highly recommend Kubes Jewelers on Berry Street. It is a family-owned, and the staff makes its customers feel like family, too. It helped me with a special gift for my mom when I knew little about jewelry design. I like Kubes because it has unique and classic selections — from designers to estate sales to general products you don’t find in all the trendy stores.
- One of the best, free, kid-friendly places in Fort Worth is Tillery Park off of Forest Park. There’s tons of green space for running around or having a picnic. There’s play equipment for the little and big ones. There’s a path for bikes and scooters. There’s even shade! It’s a perfect place to host birthday parties. And, it’s extra cool that the design and construction of the playground equipment was a community effort.
- Our day concludes in the Near Southside and, once again, we are ready to eat. So many choices so you have to decide what it is you want. Kid-friendly? Try Shaw’s or Cane Rosso. Date night? Ellerbe or Cat City Grill. Wine night with the ladies? Brewed or Grand Cru. Guys night? My husband likes The Bearded Lady or Chimera Brewing Company. Just need a sweet treat? Melt Ice Creams or Stir Crazy Baked Goods. In a hurry? Jason’s Deli take-out or Torchy’s Tacos. (Torchy’s, a family staple, has been mentioned in the Love My Local series, so I trust you have already been there [but did you know about the secret menu?]). Personally, I recommend Café Chadra because it is so supportive of the community, and the food is great. In addition, it’s kid-friendly as well as date night material.
The Near Southside is a great place to explore, no matter where you live in DFW. I appreciate the diversity of people and places, and most of all the committed businesses who make their “home” here, many of them independently owned and operated. That’s a true treasure to find in a big city, and I’m thankful that it’s all in my backyard.