Food & Drink

The Best Bars in the Dallas Suburbs

Published On 09/01/2016 Published On 09/01/2016
Shakertins Midnight Mass
Midnight Mass | Shakertins
Glass Half Full

Glass Half Full


Alamo Drafthouse: it’s not just for movies! The dine-in cinema chain is also home to this rustic-themed bar that serves up a mean craft cocktail and has terrific indie beers on tap. Plus, it’s a go-to for Geeks Who Drink and friendly Cards Against Humanity tourneys. The kitchen turns out bar classics like wings, burgers, and pizzas, with dishes themed to coincide with highlighted movies appearing each month.



Fort Worth and Frisco

“Food. Moonshine. Life.” It's the mantra at this popular moonshine bar with elevated bar food. Drinkers flock to the wide array of moonshine, served as shots (a select few served at five degrees Fahrenheit) or mixed into handcrafted cocktails suited to any palate. Steals and specials rule during traditional and reverse happy hour.

The Celt Irish Pub


Situated in the heart of Downtown McKinney, this traditional Irish pub is a regulars’ hangout beloved for its festive vibe, specialty cocktails, and beer list stocked with many a local brew. Live music lights up the room nearly every night, and trivia brings in tippling eggheads on Wednesdays. Don’t miss the best-selling fish & chips if hunger strikes.

Vickery Park


The newer offshoot of the Knox-Henderson stalwart has an enviable spot on the main drag of Plano’s historic Downtown. People watching is primo as you dive deep into the craft beer list and soak up the lived-in vibe of the wood-lined bar. Bar eats range from charcuterie plates to wings and tacos, and the brunch is just as satisfying as at its Henderson Ave sibling.

Corn Fritters | Ida Claire

Ida Claire


Addison dwellers not only earned a quirky gem in this Southern cuisine destination; they also got a top-notch bar program. Juleps and punches keep with the retro, down-home theme, but modern takes on the gimlet, Collins, and G&T keep things current, as does an extensive beer list. Knowledgeable wait staff can help you pair that chicken & waffles dish perfectly.

Lone Star Taps & Caps

Lewisville and Denton

This self-proclaimed “craft beer heaven” maintains 50 taps at each of its outposts, so it’s a veritable hive for hops-heads. Plus, you can keep an eye on keg supplies at Lone Star’s website, just to make sure your favorite will be on hand for sipping or filling a growler when you land. Lone Star partakes in plenty of food and beer pairing events, so keep an eye on the calendar.

R Bar & Grill


Smack-dab in the hubbub of Arlington’s sports and amusement park attractions, this restaurant inside the Hilton Arlington serves delicious wood-fired pizzas perfect for noshing on alongside drinks that boast fresh fruits and house-infused spirits. Being tucked into a hotel makes it a perfect low-key spot to grab a bite and beverage before tackling the bustle of a big game.

Pepper Smash

Pepper Smash


This cocktail den-restaurant has been tickling Plano palates for years with its expert lineup of inventive drinks. Get your State Fair sweets fix with the Cotton Candy Martini, or enjoy the zesty kick of the bar’s namesake drink. There’s even “skinny” cocktails, as well as mocktails, for those watching their intake.

The Holy Grail Pub


“Beloved” doesn’t begin to describe the local feels for this Euro-themed pub, especially among beer lovers. The menu of suds is incredible, beer-tapping events and brand launch parties take place on the regular, and the food is well-executed, to boot.



Frisco diners gets a sip of the wizardry of Dallas mixologists, thanks to the veteran bar management and talents behind the stick here. Cocktails are crazy-good, and heavy on classics like the Blood & Sand and Planter’s Punch. Don’t miss the Pineapple Express, served in a golden Absolut Elyx pineapple -- made for two, but totally consumable by one.

New Fashioned | Shakertins


The Colony

Fine cocktails represent in this bar-lounge in the far north ‘burbs. Top-notch spirits, fruit, and fresh herbs seem to be the menu theme, if beverages like the Basil Gimlet, the beer-laced Shandy Peaches, and the jalapeño-tinged Honey Bee are any indication. The kitchen keeps it simple and approachable, with flatbreads, burgers, sandwiches, and appetizers dominating the menu.

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1. Glass Half Full 100 S Central Expy, #14, Richardson, TX 75080

Brought to you by Alamo Drafthouse, the beloved cinema chain that serves seat-side drinks and bites, Glass Half Full is a rustic watering hole pouring out creative craft cocktails and a solid lineup of indie Texas beers. On the cocktail side, you might want to try the Full Scotch-Irish Breakfast (bonded rye, stout, maple, lemon curd, whole egg, mole bitters, nutmeg) or, if you're feeling beer, the Deep Ellum IPA. You can pair you drink with bar staples like hot wings, burgers, and pizzas. The best part? GHF celebrates highlighted movies and recent releases with themed food and drink items each month.

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2. Mash'd 2948 Crockett St, Fort Worth, TX 76107

At Mash'd, which has two other locations in Frisco and San Antonio, the motto is: “Food. Moonshine. Life.” And that's exactly what you'll find. The impressive array of moonshine served at this lively, trendy spot attracts hordes of drinkers looking to toss back shots (a select few are served at five degrees Fahrenheit) or handcrafted cocktails, like the Russian Hillbilly (caramel moonshine, kahlua, pearl vodka) and the Blue Moon Mojito (organic Maine blueberries, South House shine, fresh lime, cane sugar, mint).

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3. The Celt 100 N Tennessee St, McKinney, TX 75069

This classic Irish pub lives in the heart of downtown McKinney, where regulars come to bask in its festive feel, sip on specialty cocktails, and order several rounds from its beer list stocked with local brews. You'll want to pair your pint with an order of the Celt's fan-favorite fish and chips, too. Be sure to grab a front-row seat for live music, which happens just about every night of the week, plus trivia on Wednesdays.

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4. Vickery Park 1011 E 15th St, Plano, TX 75074

Situated on the main stretch of Plano's historic downtown, Vickery Park offers a prime people-watching spot, plus a solid craft beer list. The dark wooden tables, stucco walls, and dim lighting give the space a cozy feel, which pairs perfectly with the comfy eats you can order off the pub-food menu -- from crab cakes to pizza to rosemary chicken. And don't forget the late-night tacos. Oh, and the weekend brunch featuring classics like eggs Benedict and mimosas.

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5. Ida Claire 5001 Belt Line Rd, Dallas, TX 75254

This quirky Addison gem serves up Southern classics with a twist -- that goes for the food and drinks. Ida Claire, which has a retro, down-home theme, is dishing out plates like sweet potato chip duck confit (made with goat cheese fondue), remoulade crispy catfish, crawfish corn beignets, and a Southern tasting board: house-cured meats, low country ham, pimento cheese, smoked mustard, jam, and Ida's biscuits. The knowledgeable staff will help you pair whatever meal you choose with the proper cocktail, whether it's a modern gimlet, Collins, or G&T.

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6. Lone Star Taps & Caps 4740 State Highway 121 #500, Lewisville, TX 75056

Lone Star bills itself as "your craft beer heaven" -- and that's not far off. It offers a whopping 50 taps from all over the world at each of its outposts, making it a one-stop-shop for local beer lovers. You can stop into the sleek, black-and-white store for sipping or growler-filling. Be sure to check out its calendar for the variety of events, including plenty of food and beer pairings, that Lone Star throws.

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7. R Bar & Grill 2401 E Lamar Blvd, Arlington, TX 76006

Housed inside the Hilton Arlington, this chic eatery plates refined takes on Southwestern classics like tacos, chili, and BBQ. The menu showcases a wide variety of flavorful dishes that range from jumbo blackened scallops to brisket sliders, but the must-try eats here are the from-scratch pizzas baked in the kitchen's wood-burning oven. To get that true SW taste, El Gusto is the one to order, and comes topped with chorizo, tequila pineapple, jalapeño, cilantro, and queso blanco.

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8. Pepper Smash 7200 Bishop Rd, Plano, TX 75024

This hip, wood-laden cocktail den is slinging an expert lineup of creative drinks -- from State Fair sweets like a Cotton Candy Martini to the bar's zestier namesake cocktail. Watching your waist or your probably morning hangover? You'll also find “skinny” and mocktail options on the menu. Not watching your waist? Nosh on bites like a smokey mac & cheese, chicken and waffle skewers, or the Whiskey Meltdown burger (grilled chicken, smoked whiskey glaze, grilled red onions, truffle fonduta, Texas toast).

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9. The Holy Grail Pub 8240 Preston Rd, Plano, TX 75024

The Grail is beloved by locals for its incredible beer menu and its decor modeled loosely after Galway's famed King's Head Pub, sporting cedar ceiling beams, an L-shaped mirror-backed bar, a rear wall obscured by stones, and copious votive candles. You can pair your brew with hearty plates like a smoked brisket frito pie and pub-style fish and chips. This spot also hosts tapping events and brand launch parties on the regular.

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10. Vicini 7777 Warren Pkwy #104, Frisco, TX 75034

This breezy Italian-American eatery in Frisco wows patrons with its well-curated cocktail menu focused on the classics. Expect Planter's Punch, Pimm’s Cups, Negronis, and sidecars alongside an extensive Vermouth, Amaro, and Aromatized wine selection. You won't want to miss the Pineapple Express, served in a golden Absolut Elyx pineapple. The food lineup is equally classic, featuring traditional Italian plates like spaghetti & meatballs and sandwiches like chicken parm and veggie pesto.

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11. Shakertins Windhaven Pkwy, The Colony, TX

Shakertins is a lively social club situated in a surprisingly swanky suburban atmosphere. Alongside the scratch-kitchen serving elevated bar food, including staples like flatbreads, burgers, and sandwiches, the drinks take a similarly thoughtful approach, evidenced by the cucumber-mint Lower East Side and the agave-laced Marshall’s Mezcallica. You and your fresh cocktail should head to the spacious patio when the weather's right.