Dallas Must-Do List: Eat a Cinnamon Roll at Mecca

Katie Minchew at Mecca
Katie found a little piece of heaven.

I’ve been told the best restaurants are found in the worst places. You know, those old hole-in-the-wall joints that always seem to have lines stretching down the street. Who knew I would happen upon one such place today in my quest to try the cinnamon roll at the Mecca restaurant?

So far I have done just 10 of the Things Every Dallasite Must Do, so I set out to accomplish No. 11: consuming the aforementioned breakfast treat. Among the tire stores, carpet warehouses, and gentleman’s clubs on Harry Hines Boulevard, I couldn’t help but worry that I had chosen the wrong adventure. Surely nothing delicious could come from such an out-of-the-way area. Raised in a growing Dallas suburb where Starbucks mounts every corner and there are pastry shops aplenty, I was skeptical as I parked in the dusty parking lot and shuffled into the crowded old diner where I had called earlier to reserve two cinnamon rolls (I was told that if I didn’t reserve them, my trip would probably be in vain).

The walls were covered with collegiate banners and a hodgepodge of black-and-white pictures. The staff were welcoming but different than what you find in a typical Dallas restaurant. The customers were a mix of obvious regulars and businessmen, who I found were also regulars. After ordering coffee and my “on hold” breakfast, I was still a bit skeptical, but after that first whiff of strong cinnamon mixed with sugar, butter, and homemade roll, I was at the mercy of this heavenly treat. My mouth found itself watering at the sight of the gooey cinnamon roll the size of my hand. In sum, it was delicious.

The Mecca Restaurant is certainly a diamond worth going through the rough for — don’t mind the scenery.

Katie Minchew is a D Magazine intern.


  • mark

    You need to get out more. You make the Mecca sound like a trip to a third world country.

  • Wes Mantooth

    Dude, look at lovely intern Katie. Not to judge a book by its cover, but does she look like she wants or needs to spend a lot of time in the company of sketchy bazaars and the skeeziest pole-dancing clubs around? The Mecca is certainly a diamond in the rough, but it is in the rough, without question.

  • Bobby Ewing

    Perhaps the tour of Things Every Dallasite Must Do will help other folks get a little outside their comfort zone and travel to new areas…perhaps even *gasp* south of downtown. Hooray for small adventures and great new experiences.

  • Beda

    You all beat me to my response. Her comments are as narrow-minded and uninformed and embarrassing as Courtney’s remark, the intern who went to Babe’s in Roanoke, who expected to see “hillbillys.”

  • Park Cities Gal

    Well – sticking to the subject, I’d say that cinn roll looks delicious! My family goes to Creme de la Cookie in Snider Plaza every Saturday for their cinnamon rolls. We think they are tops, and haven’t tasted better. Perhaps we will wander over to Mecca’s neck of the woods and check them out as well.

  • Redneck

    @Park Cities Gal: I would leave the Mercedes at home if I were you.

  • I’m with Mark, she needs to get out more. You didn’t have lunch in Mogadishu, Miss Minchew, you drove to the 75220 for a nosh.

  • Mike

    After reading about mecca in yelp when I first moved here – we drove to go there. We ate upstairs on a folding table, my coffee cup had LOTS of crusty food on it. The table was filthy, the bathroom was worse, the food aside from being served on filthy tables and terrible servers, it was awful. the place was so dirty I didnt want my son to eat his breakfast. on top of all this it was EXPENSIVE. Maybe the single worst restaurant I have ever been to. Filthy, expensive junk doesn’t qualify as quaint or a hole in the wall – it is just plain bad.

  • Redneck

    Gotta go with mike on this one. It’s hole-in-the-wall alright. A, shithole-in-the-wall. She’s be better off at Mama Daughter’s Diner just down the road.
    And, she could even bring the Mercedes.

  • Twinwillow

    I agree. I took a friend from out of town for breakfast there once. My friend from Delaware read about it somewhere and wanted to go for breakfast.
    It was such a disappointment. Nothing special in any way. And as “Mike” said, it was filthy! I guess they’ve already had their “hayday”. And it’s come and gone.
    As “Redneck” said, Mama Daughter’s Diner would be a much better choice. I have lunch there every so often and love it! It’s a great, “meat & three”.

  • macpad

    hahah — this bow head was scared of driving down Harry Hines during the day and thought Mecca was “out of the way”? That’s funny. Let’s face it — Dallas doesn’t really have any good “dives” or “holes in the wall” — we’re too new of a city.

  • Tater

    I think the Mecca may have changed hands recently. It used to be really good. I noticed the filth the last time I was there, and the food sucked too. The bitchy waitresses top it all off. I always got a kick out of how they ignored their female patrons, compared to the businessmen who were a few feet away. So obvious, and also so stupid on their part. I was a frequent customer of 30+ years, but I won’t be back.