Deep Ellum Best Parking Guide Ever

deep ellum bike laneby Jon Daniel

Let’s talk about the parking problem in Deep Ellum.

There is NO PARKING PROBLEM IN DEEP ELLUM. Ok –glad we got that out of the way.

There is easy parking within a 10 minute walk of every venue, easy access to DART, and inexpensive UBER/LYFT/Cab rides back to the residential areas surrounding the core of the Dallas. During the day, every meter is free until 6pm. But always check the sticker on the meter, and the street signs for time limits.

Parking in Deep Ellum requires a realignment of expectations. You are not in a suburban area. It’s urban. There will be no huge big box parking lot. There will rarely be valet parking. If this is an issue, perhaps Deep Ellum is not a place for you to visit.    

But the payoff for a 10 minute walk from your well-chosen parking spot is a concentration of music venues that rivals Austin.

Deep Ellum Music Venues

  • The Door
  • The Prophet Bar
  • Trees
  • Three Links
  • Club Dada
  • Boiler Room
  • Wit’s End
  • Reno’s Chop Shop
  • Twilite Lounge
  • Allgood
  • FreeMan Café
  • Adiar’s
  • Curtain Club
  • RBC
  • July Alley
  • The Bomb Factory (someday)
  • Sons of Hermann Hall and The Double Wide. (Eastern Deep Ellum/Exposition Park


How to park 

Sign up for or to call 1-888-680-7275 to pay their fees.

The fee for parking after 8PM will be less than $3 for the whole evening at any meter, since they stop charging for parking after midnight. This is key!  DO NOT USE COINS. Use the app, so you have a record of parking in case you get a ticket.

Drive towards the front door of your venue. Look for a pay lot close by if you want to hop right in.  These are all safe, and you will either pay the attendant, or use the machine (more on the machine below). Do not look for on-street parking right in front your venue because it’s full already. Plus your lovely new leased car parked in front of the venue will be subjected to teenagers sitting on it, drunks bumping into it, bands humping equipment by it and other mayhem.

If there is no parking within a block of the venue, then BAIL OUT. Do not circle the block incessantly looking for a space within 100 yards of your destination. Drive away from the venue at least three or four blocks in search of open metered street parking, a Pay Lot or free on-street parking.


Pay lots

There are small pay lots with attendants in the heart of Deep Ellum that fill quickly, but are never more than $5.00. Five bucks is insanely cheap compared to other major cities. Keep this in mind before you complain.  Pay lots with flagmen are safe and legit.  But most are small, and the parking is tight. Never give them your keys.

There are also many Automated Pay Lots. Here is a step by step guide how to use the automated machines. You may think this is unnecessary, until you stand behind someone for 10 minutes while they try to figure it out. Go ahead and print this out to save in your glove box. Hand it to someone who is struggling.

How to use the machine:

  1. Pull into lot. Note space number.
  2. Park as close to the machine as possible. You’ll see why below.
  3. Walk to the machine. Push any button to start. Don’t stand there like a potted plant.
  4. Enter your space number.
  5. Slip a credit card or cash into the machine. It should never be more than $5.00. It will not make change.
  6. Get the receipt and walk BACK TO YOUR CAR.
  7. Place the receipt on the dash. Face up. Make sure the spot number your car is in matches the one on the receipt.
  8. Cars without parking receipts on the dash can get booted. Booted means you’re not driving the car home. It got a clamp on the tire so it’s won’t roll.

There are still pay lots with goofy money slot payment boards. Avoid these. They create no record you paid.

These are my favorite lots in Deep Ellum

  • Corner of Main and Good Latimer – Fills early, but great location. If you don’t see a spot from the street, there isn’t one open.
  • Lot just behind Trees. Very nice attendants watch the lot almost all night. The lot is owned by Trees, so their security keeps an eye on it. It has easy entrance and exit without going on Elm Street via the alley and Indiana Street. Parking is VERY TIGHT. SUV/Pickup drivers should head to the far lots with bigger spaces.

And below, a list of other parking locations close to the western edge of Deep Ellum:

Pay-by-phone only meter lot run by City of Dallas under the freeway between Main and Elm just west of Good-Latimer Expressway.

Two large lots between Caesar Chavez and the freeway off Elm and Main, with automated parking machines. Just on the downtown side of the freeway.

Two large Pay-by-phone only meter lot run by the City of Dallas under the freeway between Good-Latimer Expressway and Caesar Chavez between Main and Commerce.

Street parking

If you at have mastered street parking in Deep Ellum, you can easily park for less than $3. The key is to ignore the busy streets and look for a space three or four black away on a quiet side street. There are meters everywhere, but without the app, it’s not worth the trouble. So download and set up your Pay-by-phone account now.


Free parking

Of course there is free night parking in Deep Ellum. It’s not hard to find, but always check the signs. The City of Dallas changes the rules all the time.  You can get a little exercise, and save some money. If you are used to being in an urban area, you will laugh at people who say Deep Ellum is not safe. But take the standard precaution of being aware of your surroundings. If you are not comfortable, go park in a pay lot with an attendant, or better yet dump your car in Uptown and use LYFT (our free ride code is steven1406).

Here are the free on-street parking areas in Deep Ellum.

  • Walton between Indiana and the DART station, but they fill quickly with folks who work in the area.
  • Parking with no meters and no length restriction on Main Street begins at Hall Street and runs east to Exposition Ave. NOTE: Large dirt and gravel lot bounded by Main, Elm, Hall and Trunk is residence only parking with very small towing signs. Beware.
  • Free spaces on Indiana between Walton and Malcom X, but almost always filled with apartment dwellers and their visitors.
  • Indiana west of Crowdus on the north side of the Trees parking lot, but these fill rapidly with service industry folks.
  • Commerce past Hall is free, but 2 hour limit.
  • Murray Street between Commerce and Canton.
  • Free parking in the business lot on the Northwest corner of Canton and Murray in the Expert Imaging Company lot. I didn’t see any ‘No Parking” signs
  • Walton south of Canton, no time limit.
  • Crowdus south of Canton, no time limit
  • Swiss near DART station all the way northeast as far as you would like to walk.
  • Floyd, east of Good-Latimer Expressway between Gaston and Swiss.


Filed under Jon Daniel

21 responses to “Deep Ellum Best Parking Guide Ever

  1. Your photo shows the best solution to parking in Deep Ellum. Ride a bike and/or ride the DART train.

  2. Billy

    Hearsay from employees in Ellum, but supposedly the Pay-By-Phone app not only sends you a 5-minute heads-up on your meter expiring, but also sends an alert to meter maids. For that reason, I’m a bigger believer in using coins whenever possible – even if it means running back out to feed the meter if you’re there for longer than 4 hours.

    Meters also run from 6pm until midnight – with all the 8pm mentions, it’d be easy to miss.

  3. Ally Fiesta of

    I know all this already and is why I hate going to Deep Ellum after 9 pm on a weekend as a single female. Still I am happy to read that I’m alone is recognizing parking is work.

    • I go down there by myself all the time. It is very safe, I wouldn’t worry about it. And I’m about 5 feet tall. I’ve parked in all sorts of dark alleyways in Deep Ellum, haha

  4. The self pay lots do not have an attendant and the pan handlers like to rob the red money slot machines. Park in a lot with an attendant with a flag, and a shirt or use the automated digital machine lots. Do not pay a person for a ticket for your car, it is old and you will get booted.

  5. dont be telling people to park on my street. =(

  6. how to park in deep ellum:

    -go to marquis on gaston apartment complex

    -hit “1975” on the gate thing

    -pick a garage and park on the roof, where visitor parking is

    congrats, you just saved $5

    protip: parking at apartment complexes is always the solution

  7. You could definitely see your enthusiasm within the article you write.
    The arena hopes for more passionate writers such as you who
    are not afraid to say how they believe. At all times follow your heart.

  8. Bandron

    The east side of the neighborhood is mainly residents, There are no parking meters east of Hall St.

  9. Pingback: Trees In Deep Ellum Brings Vitality To The City | cravedfw

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  11. monique jannette

    If you need a handicap parking space for a van, you are totally screwed! There are none except by the school next to Trees but those get taken by Valet.

  12. Richard Shoemaker

    The problem is for delivery service drivers who are attempting to stop for 5 to 10 minutes to pickup a food order and take that to the customers who want to patronize these very establishments. Rude valets who have 10-20 open spots right next to the restaurant and won’t allow you to use for 10 minutes. Should have togo parking for at least 1 space for each restaurant.

  13. Tim

    ride a bicycle. park anywhere. problem solved.

  14. FK

    The lot behind Trees is $15 on weekends.

  15. This is probably already out of date. It also doesn’t address motorcycle parking.

  16. Brian

    It IS out of date. All pay lots are $10 now. Ridiculous!!

  17. Angie Rodriguez

    i paid for a lot parking lot $15 and my window got busted.

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