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Experience Dallas at NAA17: Locals' Favorite Spots

This year for NAA's Annual Convention, we're offering something new. "Destination Play Dallas" offers participants an opportunity to explore the wonderful city of Dallas during their stay.

Complimentary shuttle service is provided on Tuesday, March 21, to take participants from the convention hotel to one of the following areas: Uptown/West Village, Main Street District and Trinity Groves.

We thought it would be fun to reach out to your afterschool colleagues who live and work in the Dallas area for their tips and insight on the best places to visit in these areas. These are their favorite hot spots. After all, don't the locals always know best?

Mark Draz – Dallas Public Library
Justin Hensley – Dallas Afterschool
Ben Leal – Jubilee Park
Norma Nelson – Readers 2 Leaders
Nathaniel O'Dell – Wesley-Rankin Community Center
Angelica Portillo – Dallas Afterschool


"Visit Malai Kitchen for some tasty Thai and Vietnamese food. Try the shrimp pad thai or yellow curry bowl for some great flavors!" —Norma

"Nickel and Rye is the spot if you want comfort cuisine and hand crafted cocktails. Tuesday's has 1/2 drinks and apps for the ladies!" —Angelica

"If you are missing the classroom while at the conference, try Public School 214. The classroom theme is fun and you can tell they did their homework when creating their food and drink menu. Happy Hour (aka Recess) is 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close." —Justin


"Need a great piece of cake after a meal? You cannot go wrong with Cake Bar." —Ben

Try Saint Rocco's New York Italian at Trinity Groves. While I can't vouch for the food—yet—you won't find a more spectacular view of the Dallas skyline than from their third-floor patio/bar. The perfect spot to relax and have a drink after a long day at a conference!" —Nathaniel

"Off-Site Kitchen has one of the tastiest burgers in Dallas. Try the murph-style burger or the green chile and bacon burger, and enjoy the outside seating in West Dallas." —Norma 

MAIN STREET (Downtown)

"If you are feeling fancy, stop by the Midnight Rambler. This Gatsby-themed salon serves up craft cocktails in the basement of the Joule Hotel." —Justin

"Sapa House has amazing specials on drinks and sushi. You can't beat $2 domestic, $2.50 wells, $3 import beer and $1.50 for all sushi!" —Mark

"The Woolworth at 1520 Elm, has great food and fun people-watching. It's an old Woolworths turned into a bar/restaurant. It also has great view of other bars and restaurants around there." —Ben

MAIN STREET (Deep Ellum)

"If you want to venture a bit further, take a cab from downtown to Deep Ellum to avoid the Uptown crowd. Pop in at any bar or restaurant to hear some great live music and end at Dot's Hop House at 2645 Commerce. It's March, so the patio should be hopping!" —Ben

"If you venture into Deep Elllum with an appetite, Brick & Bones will not disappoint. Their Southern fried chicken comes with a Mexican-inspired twist, thanks to the brine created by Chef Rey Morales." —Justin

Not yet registered for NAA17? Click here for more information!

Photo courtesy of Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau.