Where to Grab a Drink in Dallas Right Now

Swank hotel bars, greenery-strewn lounges, and Rodeo Bar’s welcome return.

Spring is one of the four best drinking seasons—a bold take, we know. But as winter slowly gives way to warmer days and longer nights, people everywhere emerge from a collective hibernation to stack pints on sunny picnic tables and pore over extensive cocktail lists in dimly lit lounges. To partake in such ideal scenarios yourself, consult this list. It’s loaded with 20 of the best places to drink in Dallas right now, from high-end hotel bars to lovable low-brow dives.

Mayer’s Garden
Photo courtesy of Mayer's Garden

Mayer’s Garden

Henderson
$$$$

This attractive watering hole took over the old Jake’s Burgers and infused the space with blonde wood, breezy vibes, and lots of hanging greenery. There’s a generous happy hour Tuesday through Friday, where you can take down beers, wines, and house cocktails for cheaper than usual—try the Rosemary Paloma, with tequila, Aperol, grapefruit, and lime. And when you’re hungry, the food menu features classics like sandwiches, tacos, and deviled eggs. But it’s important to note the Nuggies section, stocked with Chicken Nugs, Portobello Nugs, and a Nugs Party Platter, which feeds a crowd and arrives with a handful of different condiments including a tangy barbecue sauce made with rye whiskey.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Casablanca
Photo courtesy of Casablanca

Casablanca

Bishop Arts
$$$$

Part of the same group that includes The Botanist and Paradiso, Casablanca is a gorgeous lounge that sports retro Marrakesh vibes and creative cocktails, like the Smith + Such, which merges multiple spirits with bianco vermouth, celery, clarified apple juice, and cardamom bitters. The bar’s also batching up tea cocktails for groups, so bring some friends. After loosening up with a drink and some lamb skewers, head back to a private karaoke room for an impromptu singalong.
How to book: Reserve online.

Available for Reservations
Rodeo Bar
Photo by Steven Visneau, courtesy of Rodeo Bar

Rodeo Bar

Downtown
$$$$

After closing in 2018, the iconic Rodeo Bar is back open downtown. The interior's gotten an update and has been expanded, but you can still expect good burgers and cold drinks. Knock back domestic beers, simple cocktails, and creative boilermakers like the Where Y’at, which pairs a Lone Star with Fort Worth-distilled Blacklands bourbon.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Tiny Victories
Photo courtesy of Tiny Victories

Tiny Victories

Oak Cliff
$$$$

Tiny Victories is not large—that probably goes without saying. But what does need saying is that it maxes out its 1,000-square-feet with cozy vibes, tasty drinks, and one of the neighborhood’s best happy hours. Classic cocktails like Negronis and Sazeracs are joined by a handful of inventive originals, plus beer, wine, and hard seltzers. The best choice, however, is the My Neck, My Daq, which pairs a Miller High Life pony with a Snaquiri (AKA a snack-size Daiquiri). It’s impossible to have a bad time with your hands full of adorably diminutive drinks.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Botanist
Photo courtesy of Botanist

Botanist

Bishop Arts
$$$$

Botanist puts out some of this vibrant neighborhood’s most interesting concoctions. We’re talking Clarified Espresso Martinis and other tipples featuring spirits like coconut-washed Japanese whisky. Of course, you’re also free to ignore all of the fanciness—the bartenders are equally at home serving up beers and shots. Whatever you choose, throw in a pizza and some light bites from Paradiso next door.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Las Almas Rotas

Fair Park
$$$$

This casual agave-focused hangout goes heavy on the mezcal and tequila, and its cocktail menu ranges from Margaritas and Ranch Waters to more innovative options laced with charanda (a sugarcane spirit) and butterfly pea syrup. The food is just as good, so put down a base layer of Lamb Birria Tacos and Al Pastor Tortas before all the booze and 32-ounce beers creep up on you.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Midnight Rambler

Downtown
$$$$

This cozy, subterranean refuge in the basement of the Joule Hotel is one of the best cocktail bars in town. Gabe Sanchez, formerly of Black Swan Saloon, and his team create interesting menus and are quick with conversation. Step into the windowless, warmly lit room, order a few rounds, down a Cuban Sandwich, nod your head to the always-stellar tunes, and then remark how late it’s gotten. Time flies when you’re having fun (and whiskey)

Available for Reservations

Monarch

Downtown
$$$$

Monarch’s menu of wood-fired modern Italian cuisine was created by two-Michelin star chef Danny Grant. So, by all means, eat. But for the best possible outcome to your evening, show up before your reservation and grab a drink at the gorgeous bar. Sure, that’s where they keep the wines, whiskeys, and well-made cocktails, but it’s also one of the best people-watching perches in the city.
How to book: Reserve via SevenRooms.

Neon Kitten
Photo courtesy of Neon Kitten

Neon Kitten

Deep Ellum
$$$$

Three things to know: 1) Neon Kitten is an izakaya with 10 cocktails on tap, including one that pairs umeshu with bubbly, plus another six not on tap, like the Fukuoka with Japanese whisky, vanilla, and soy sauce. 2) There’s also a full menu of dim sum, AKA the perfect drinking food. 3) Blackbird Society, a small lounge serving Japanese spirits and cocktails, is a concept-within-a-concept located in the rear of the space, so you get two bars under one roof. Knowledge is power.
How to book: Reserve via Tock.

Shoals

Deep Ellum
$$$$

Omar Yeefoon’s friendly bar serves classic drinks, spins vinyl records, and offers a Latin America-inspired bill of plant-based dishes. Pair your Daiquiri with Latin Fried Potatoes tossed with pickled onions, chimichurri, and Peruvian aji crema, and plan to stay awhile. Especially if you arrive at the start of happy hour, which runs all day on Monday and from 4 - 7 pm Tuesday through Friday.

Apothecary

Lower Greenville
$$$$

This low-lit lounge serves cocktails that range from interesting to wacky, but each is surprisingly balanced. Much of what goes into your glass is made or doctored in house, like sous vide green apple mezcal and duck confit-washed bourbon. One savory drink channels the pasta dish cacio e pepe, while another features fennel five ways—needless to say, you’re unlikely to get bored here.
How to book: Reserve via Tock.

Atlas

Bishop Arts District
$$$$

Atlas is a sultry lounge with moody paintings, ornate chandeliers, and an Edgar Allan Poe-inspired vibe. Sprawl out on the red banquettes and damask sofas, or take a seat at the bar and admire the impressive selection of booze. The global drinks menu includes classics like the Vieux Carre (New Orleans), Pisco Sour (Peru), and Pimm’s Cup (England), plus a handful of cocktails featuring Texas-born spirits.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Cosmo's
Cosmo's Restaurant & Bar | @betterhalfpopup

Cosmo's

Lakewood
$$$$

Dark and eccentric with mismatched furniture, throwback art, and one of the better jukeboxes in town, Cosmo’s is a neighborhood treasure. Pizza shares menu space with GM Jackson Tran’s signature Vietnamese dishes, like bánh mì, pho, and vinegar-spiked dumplings, plus some of the best wings in Dallas. Grab a stool, request a draft beer with a whiskey chaser—or, alternatively, try one of the solid, straightforward cocktails—and lose yourself in a steaming bowl of pho while an old movie plays on the small TVs stashed behind the bar.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Harper’s

Deep Ellum
$$$$

Located on the ground floor of the Epic building in Deep Ellum, this sprawling restaurant and bar is part of the Milkshake Concepts group, which also includes nearby hotspots Stirr and Vidorra. It’s adorned with hanging plants, a wine wall, and a patio that can be closed off to the elements. The global menu ranges from a Korean-style Beef Rib to Sea Bass and Agnolotti Pasta, and the drinks are equally diverse. Make your way through wines by the glass or opt for an original cocktail, like the Negroni-esque Italian Job or the vodka-spiked Bye Bye Birdie served in a bird-shaped glass.
How to book: Reserve via SevenRooms.

Loro

Old East Dallas
$$$$

A collaboration between Uchi and Austin’s famous Franklin Barbecue, Loro is rightfully lauded for its smoked meats and fresh sides, but don’t sleep on the drinks. The lengthy bar is pouring draft beers, thoughtful wines, batched cocktails, and boozy slushies. Try the frozen Gin & Tonic, which is only $5 during happy hour, or perk up with a frosty Vietnamese Coffee.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Royal 38

Uptown
$$$$

Royal 38 has an extensive cocktail list broken down by categories, like refreshing, comforting, and bold. The latter includes adventurous concoctions like the Magellan’s Gambit, with coconut milk-washed rum, chai, clarified banana, and curried orange. If you’re hungry, the kitchen’s got shared plates, sandwiches, and entrees, from Ceviche and Grilled Artichokes to a Lobster Roll and New York Strip.

Available for Reservations

Side Saddle Saloon

Fort Worth
$$$$

Head for Mule Alley in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards to find Side Saddle Saloon, a fun spot to toss back drinks and wear that one pearl-snap shirt in your closet. The bar pays tribute to the classic cowgirls of yesteryear and offers a variety of creations inspired by the Wild West, like the Prairie Rose Henderson made with Old Forester Bourbon, Texas tea, raspberry, and rose water. Texas-style tapas, including homemade Beef Jerky and bacon-studded Cheddar Biscuits, are on hand to soak up the booze.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Thunderbird Station

Deep Ellum
$$$$

Even though this spot hasn’t serviced cars in years, you can still fuel up on food and drinks at this former gas station dating back to 1922. Settle into the comfortable space, then dive into a Sloppy Joe or Frito Pie. Pair your grub with a frosty Lone Star or a nostalgic Rattle Trap cocktail, a mix of peanut butter whiskey and Dr. Pepper topped with roasted peanuts.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Lee Harvey's

Cedars
$$$$

Most dive bars are known for their crowded, no-frills approach to drink-slinging, but this legendary decades-old watering hole named after the presumed JFK assassin has the added advantage of a spacious picnic table-lined yard. Snag a drink and a burger and cozy up near the fire pit for some good music and conversation with the friendly regulars, or head inside for a game of pool and a turn at the jukebox.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Bowen House

Uptown
$$$$

Come for the creative cocktails, stay for a Double Cheeseburger and Chicken Salad laden with buttery Ritz crackers at this circa-1874 landmark home. Grab a coveted spot by the fireplace as the weather turns cooler, and go all in on some of the best boozy concoctions in the neighborhood.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Kevin Gray is a freelance writer and editor covering all things food, drinks, and travel. He’s written for The Dallas Morning News, Forbes, Liquor.com, Men’s Health, and Wine Enthusiast, and his extensive home bar is turning into a real Hoarders situation.