Food & Drink

The Best Bars in Dallas to Drink at Right Now

Updated On 01/02/2018 at 12:04PM EST Updated On 01/02/2018 at 12:04PM EST
James Coreas

The Rustic

Uptown

Outdoor down-home bar and venue in the epicenter of Uptown
This music venue, bar, and restaurant is a home away from home for urban cowboys who want to enjoy a craft beer or cocktail, grab a bite to eat, and enjoy some of the hottest in red dirt and Americana artists. There may even be beer-can chicken in your future if that's what you're feeling.

Single Wide

Single Wide

Lower Greenville

Trashy, tawdry, totally fun neighborhood favorite
The Lower Greenville twin of Doublewide took the kitsch of the original bar but added a very important ingredient: locals. Anyone who lives in East Dallas, the M Streets, or Deep Ellum knows that this is the place to congregate. This small bar serves up traditional cocktails and a wide selection of local beers to sip while sitting on the patio and making friends in the neighborhood. Easily the best place to party on Lower Greenville.

Eight Bells Alehouse

Eight Bells Alehouse

Exposition Park

Bringing the pub vibe to Expo Park
Brought to you by the same folks who run Ten Bells Tavern in the Bishop Arts District, this gastropub continues the obsession with local craft beers established at Ten Bells. Directly across from Fair Park in Exposition Park, this bar offers a scenic European style back courtyard where one can sip a porter or stout with friends and get plenty of fresh air.

Stoneleigh P

The Stoneleigh P

Uptown

An uptown staple with a neighborhood bar vibe
In a world full of ultra lounges and trend chasing nightclubs in Uptown, Stoneleigh P is the constant that rides out the storm. A classic beer and cocktails joint located across the street from the historic Stoneleigh Hotel, this is the bar that could be considered the anchor of Uptown. But unlike the rest of Uptown, there will be no bouncers, cover charge, or terrible dance music on a night you want to rage.

Flickr/Yelp Inc.

Lee Harvey's

Downtown

Fire pits, burgers, and live music dominate this outdoor bar
Before the Cedars was the hip new place to live, before dive bars were cool again and before south of the Trinity River was the place to hang out, Lee Harvey’s was the small, mostly outdoor bar that welcomed both you and your dog with a stiff drink and a fire pit already going. Grab a picnic table by a fire pit and enjoy live music as you lounge.

City Tavern

City Tavern

Downtown

The happiest hours for downtown worker bees
For a very long time, 9-to-5 workers in Downtown Dallas had no place to blow off steam after work. Then City Tavern came along and changed all of that. With sidewalk patio tables, booths and a stage upstairs, City Tavern caters to both weekday warriors and music lovers. Plenty of nights, this is the bar that turns into home base for those revelers looking to avoid the dance club scene that permeates downtown.

Twilite Lounge

Twilite Lounge

Deep Ellum

Deep Ellum’s slice of Bourbon Street branches out west to Fort Worth
Deep Ellum’s Twilite Lounge was one of the first bars to herald the rebirth of the neighborhood. Inspired by speakeasy-type bars in New Orleans, Twilite Lounge feels like a turn of the century bordello with a great jukebox and frozen Irish coffee or Jack and Coke on tap. Now they are bringing the Big Easy to Cowtown.

The Barley House

Barley House

Upper Greenville

One of the best spots to catch a pint and a game
A longtime favorite of SMU students due to its proximity to campus, the Barley House’s dedication to beers is evident from the minute you walk in. Whether it’s by the pint or by the pitcher, Barley House has all the hoppy goodness you’re looking for and more than a few choices of greasy baskets of food to soak it all up while you watch football.

Flickr/Sharilyn Neidhardt

Inwood Theatre

University Park

Best place to sip a martini like you’re one of the Rat Pack
If you’re the type who enjoys cocktail while watching the latest arthouse or blockbuster film, Inwood Lounge is your kind of place. The art deco murals lining this historic film house serve as an ideal setting for cinefiles as well as those who enjoy classic cocktails served in dimly lit dens of cool. Did we mention that the Inwood Theatre is known for screening the cult classic The Room?

Black Swan Saloon

Deep Ellum

The ultimate unique cocktail experience in Dallas
In a former incarnation, Deep Ellum was known primarily for music venues and all ages dance clubs. But now that the neighborhood has reinvented itself, Black Swan Saloon has become a destination for those who take their spirits seriously. Gabe Sanchez is always cooking up some custom concoction at Black Swan. If impressing a foodie date is your goal, this one is a no brainer.

Double Wide

Double Wide

Deep Ellum

The original king of kitsch of the Dallas bar scene
The bar where a thousand memories are made and then quickly erased. Doublewide serves as a gateway between Deep Ellum and Exposition Park. Whether you’re craving an ice-cold beer or one of their custom cocktails like the Yoohoo Yeehaw, grab a seat on one of the toilet seats in the courtyard and get ready for some good drinks and even better people watching. Also, how often will you get the chance to make out under a mural of Dolly Parton?

Here

Forest Hills

Classy cocktails and a hip, mid-century slice of East Dallas
The newest addition to the Dallas bar scene and quite possibly the most anticipated is helmed by one of the city's best bartenders of the year Brad Bowen. A modest spot in a strip mall from the outside, this bar is the Tardis of drinking spots. Inside, you’ll find warm and rich mid-century modern interiors and a comprehensive cocktail menu as well as specialties depending on the whims of the well-established bartenders.

Katy Trail Ice House

Katy Trail Ice House

Uptown

A place to see and be seen while getting a workout
Located directly on the Katy Trail, this bar might as well be officially crowned as the king of Uptown. Whether you’re seeking a cold brew after a long run or meeting friends for some college football watching, the mostly outdoors Katy Trail Ice House has nearly 50 beers on draft, and all the outdoorsy Uptown types will be packed into Katy Trail’s patio.

The Wild Detectives

The Wild Detectives

Bishop Arts Dist.

A charming and quirky neighborhood bar and bookstore
What is Wild Detectives? Is it a local bookstore? Is it a craft cocktail bar? Is it a live arts venue? The easy answer is that it’s all those things and more. Located in the heart of Bishop Arts District and boasting a cocktail menu which features Spanish inspired takes on American favorites. If spending your time having an intellectual discussion with the creative of Oak Cliff sounds like your scene, Wild Detectives is the spot to be.

Shoals Sound & Service

Deep Ellum

A den of retro cool in the heart of Deep Ellum
While Deep Ellum fills with ultra-lounges, bottle service clubs, and valet parking stands, Shoals Sound & Service offers up no-frills, high-quality classic cocktails and a mid-century modern air of cool. Nowhere else in Dallas can you have a gourmet bologna sandwich (trust us) while listening to Stax Records artists on vinyl. 

Mei Chun Jau

Midnight Rambler

Downtown

The Joule Hotel’s much-lauded basement speakeasy
Downtown Dallas has plenty of glamorous options when it comes to New Year’s Eve but only one is located in the swanky confines of the Joule Hotel. DJs spin classic soul music and mod favorites on vinyl while bartenders mix up carefully crafted cocktails for the who’s who of Dallas.

Craig Brown

Lakewood Landing

Lakewood

The diviest of dive bars in Dallas – in a good way!
The dive bar upon which all other dive bars are based. The Lakewood Landing is the place where bands are formed, handshake business deals are done and first kisses happen. There is no pretense to the bar and likewise, their drinks are strong and simple. It may be the only bar in Dallas at which anyone is guaranteed to walk in a stranger and walk out with a half dozen new best friends.

Bourbon & Banter

Downtown

Craft cocktails served in the renovated majesty of the Statler
Everyone in Dallas is talking about the renovation and rebirth of the iconic Statler Hotel in downtown Dallas. Long vacant, it has been restored to all of its Mad Men-esque glory and is home to newly-opened Bourbon & Banter. A speak-easy-themed cocktail lounge from two Dallas bar veterans, be sure to wear your sharpest Don Draper suit if you want to be a hit here.

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1. Lakewood Landing 5818 Live Oak St, Dallas, TX 75214

Famous in Dallas for its late charitable, coke-bottle-glasses-wearing bartendress, Lakewood Landing is a dive bar that serves up a killer burger and super-strong drinks. Stop by this authentic gem of a neighborhood spot and dance to tunes on the jukebox while you sip down brew and munch on tasty and reliable bar food. Also of note: this Lower Greenville locale's outdoor seating area.

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2. Single Wide 2110 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX 75206

The smaller sibling of Dallas' Double Wide is covered in kitsch as only the best dive bars are, sporting plenty of taxidermy and using the drinks of your childhood, such as Tang and Yoohoo, as mixers. No, really: order the fan-favorite Yoohoo Yeehaw that's mixed with Yoohoo, vanilla vodka, and coffee liqueur. It's practically a crime to stop in to this grungy spot and not try one. The bartenders here are as friendly as the crowd that packs this slim, wood-laden space until 2am every night of the week.

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3. The Stoneleigh P 2926 Maple Ave, Dallas, TX 75201

P marks the spot at Stoneleigh P, a historic gastropub that was once stood as Stoneleigh Pharmacy. The menu is heavily skewed toward tex-mex dishes, like nachos and quesadillas; however, there are also classic American burgers, like the “Legendary P,” which is served on a pumpernickel bun with lettuce, tomato, red onion, Creole mustard, and garlic mayo. Drinks at Stoneleigh P’s full bar are reasonably priced, and the open space on the patio is pet-friendly.

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4. Lee Harvey's 1807 Gould St, Dallas, TX 75215

The combo of "Lee Harvey" and "Dallas" isn't recalled fondly in a historical sense, but this joint is certainly doing well to give itself a good name. There's just something incredibly relaxing about sitting around a fire pit with a cold beer on a warm night (especially with live music) and that's Lee Harvey's finest asset. And if you can't find a sitter for Rover, bring him too. They're dog-friendly as long as yours is.

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5. City Tavern 1402 Main St, Dallas, TX 75202

Although this spot has solid brunch and lunch menus featuring a lineup of soups, sandwiches, nachos, and wings, City Tavern is a top late-night destination for Deep Ellum regulars. It's home to long rosters of live music on Fridays, when it gets particularly crowded, so show up before 10pm if you want a table in its cozy and well-worn wood-and-brick interior. You won't see anyone drinking wine in these parts -- just a small collection of craft cocktails and a long list of drafts from the best DFW breweries.

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6. Twilite Lounge 2640 Elm St, Dallas, TX 75226

With its leather banquettes, twinkling chandeliers, and classic New Orleans-inspired cocktails, you'll feel as though you've stepped back in time at this retro Deep Ellum lounge -- even when there isn't a Neil Young tribute band playing on the cozy outdoor patio. Whether it's live music or jukebox tunes, upbeat melodies waft in the air at rustic-chic Twilite on Elm St, where a loyal fanbase comes night after night for lively performances and old-school libations, like the House Sazerac (Bullet Rye, Herbsaint, bitters) and French 75 (Hendrick’s, lemon, champagne).

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7. Barley House 2916 N Henderson Ave, Dallas, TX 75206

A staple for any SMU student, Barley House is that standard-yet-necessary bar for any college area. It has a great happy hour (Monday-Friday, from 4-8pm), with $3 wells, $3 domestic drafts, and $4 house wines,

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8. Inwood Theatre 5458 W Lovers Ln, Dallas, TX 75209

A three-screen indie theater that was built in 1947 and screens independent and foreign films, the Inwood also has the Inwood Lounge, a full-service martini bar/general hangout.

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9. Black Swan Saloon 2708 Elm St, Dallas, TX 75226

Located on Elm Street in a dimly lit, brick-lined space with no signage, Black Swan Saloon is the type of unsuspecting cocktail bar where you want to become a regular, because the speakeasy feel doesn't lead to pretension: the bartenders, though incredibly skilled at mixing their house-infused ingredients, are friendly and welcoming, as is the local crowd that chills to the sounds of live music. You'll notice that the bar is like a laboratory of liquor bottles, bowls of fresh fruit, and infusion jars -- let the bartenders perform their experiments and whip you up something unique.

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10. Double Wide 3510 Commerce St, Dallas, TX 75226

The DW's a Dallas staple, good for happy hours, live music, and good times all set in an ode to trailer park culture.

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11. The Lounge here , Dallas, TX

Lounge Here, a swanky neighborhood lounge, focuses on classic cocktails and shareable plates in an atmosphere actually conducive to conversation. The room is undeniably futuristic with its circular ceiling cutouts, multifaceted lamps that resemble molecule models in your high school chemistry class, and powder blue, swiveling barstools. The smooth curves of the smallish room are seductive and will inspire lingering glances, especially as you and your date share delectable small plates of deviled eggs, pimento cheese, and fried chicken confit that falls gracefully off the bone. Cap the night off with cocktails like Lounge Here’s Old Fashioned and the Sage Bramble.

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12. Eight Bells Alehouse 831 Exposition Ave Apt C, Dallas, TX 75226

This charming spot in Dallas's Expo Park is definitely a new neighorhood standby. This warm and lively space is generously stocked with a wide variety of beer, liquor and wine, there's a super spacious outdoor patio (often the site of live concerts at the area), and a nice smattering of bar snacks, sandwiches, and seafood plates. The gastro-influenced cuisine is a nice pair to the house signature cocktails.

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13. Katy Trail Ice House 3127 Routh St, Dallas, TX 75201

This beer garden/restaurant hybrid has one of the largest patios in Dallas and boasts 50 brews on tap, ranging from simple domestics to international imports, all poured behind a 50ft bar that features a number of flatscreens, making it a perfect game-day spot. Make sure to stop by for brunch for $6 mimosas from 11am to 3pm.

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14. The Wild Detectives 314 W 8th St, Dallas, TX 75208

Part indie bookstore, part bar, and part cafe, The Wild Detectives in the Bishop Arts District invites you to stop by for an afternoon or evening of curling up with fiction, poetry, and untranslated Spanish literature, while you sip local craft beverages and brews, and snack on Mediterranean-inspired bites. Coffee comes from a roastery in the neighborhood, beer comes from a brewery around the corner, and food includes toasts and cheese boards. You’re encouraged to pair your Spanish novel of choice with a glass of Spanish wine, or your classic literary tome with a craft cocktail, like the Shakespeare Sister.