There is no shortage of bars in Dallas, but there are some that have helped pave the way for our great city to become a bourgeoning drinking destination. A few short years ago Dallas was probably suffering from Jagerbomb overload, but now with craft cocktails and local craft beer on the rise, we’re both up with the times and down to booze. These 15 bars are the most vital to the local drinking scene.
The 15 Most Important Bars in Dallas
Some bar had to do it, some bar in Dallas had to step up and be as pretentious as everyone thinks we are already. Luckily Double Wide stepped up to the plate and fell on that sword, and of course, if you have actually been to Double Wide, you know NONE OF THAT IS TRUE. One of the most iconic and laid-back bars in Dallas, Double Wide brings you instant-classic cocktails like the Yoohoo Yeehaw and Twisted Tang. There’s great live music and if you like your women, and your venue, a little on the trashy side, make sure to make Double Wide a staple.
Sort of a rite of passage in your Dallas drinking journey is having a beverage at The Quarter Bar and probably taking a picture with the iconic neon-green “Liquor” sign. It’s about as chill as it gets for an Uptown bar and the drinks are priced well below the average for the area as well. The go-to move here is to post up and order the beverage of your choice, plus an order of the Voodoo fries to help soak up what you’re about to drink, or what you drank earlier that evening.
Just a good ol’ bar being a bar, Old Monk is a no-frills spot that focuses on beer and Whiskey, two of life’s greatest joys. When you go in you will find a dimly lit, slightly dingy -- in an endearing kind of way --place that offers more than 100 beers and a slamming whiskey/cocktail list. You’ll hear great music, eat really solid food, have loud conversation, and feel right at home posted up in a booth or bellied up to the bar.
A truly unique and groundbreaking concept, Truck Yard will hopefully pave the way for some more outdoor paradises to pop up around DFW. The bar is like being in the coolest backyard ever where people wait on you, bring you drinks like the signature carbonated cocktails, and play live music. Truck Yard is hands down one of the coolest concepts in the city AND it has an absolutely unreal cheesesteak as well.
Parliament has a War and Peace-size book o’ cocktails for you to choose from and all of them are crafted to perfection. The happy hour is also probably the best in the city, great options at ridiculously low prices and they even have it every time it rains; cheap drinks are a surefire way to cheer you up when it rains.
South Dallas bar and restaurant Cedars Social was one of the first to start doing “craft” cocktails in Dallas. It really tested the market on higher-end, handmade drinks that take a while to make and use fresh ingredients. Cedars has a great speakeasy vibe, a really cool interior, and the whole place is always buzzing with the sound of shaking drinks and ice being crushed by hand. The drink menu is impressive and, as they say, there is something for everyone here.
When you go to Black Swan it feels a little bit like a you’re “in the know.” There is no signage, no big neon "Open" sign that will guide you to the lovely libations; you just have to know which door in Deep Ellum to stumble into. When you do find it, the first thing you will notice is the wall of infused liquors used for various cocktails. All of the bartenders know how to mix incredible drinks, the vibe there is super laid-back, and the pecan-infused whiskey is an absolute must-try.
The Libertine is a Dallas staple for its great beer selection, solid cocktail menu, and way-above-average food. The staff here really creates a seriously chill environment as well; they are down to earth and will always point you in the right direction of a great drink or dish. The Libertine has a great atmosphere for taking it easy and enjoying a drink and good conversation with friends. You’ll find a really eclectic mix of people there, so the people-watching is always really good.
When you need that “wow” factor for a date or just need to feel like Don Draper and have an expertly blended cocktail, Midnight Rambler is the place for you. Located below The Joule Downtown, like Black Swan, it has a bit of a secret speakeasy vibe since there is no entrance off the street. The drinks here are definitely not the same price as at Double Wide, but the bartenders take every precaution to make sure they are mixing you a unique and amazing drink that has much more of a mission than to just get you wasted.com.
Addison (& Other Locations)
The grandfather of craft beer, Flying Saucer was founded in Fort Worth and helped many a Texan look past the Bud Lights of the world. It's famous for its three-dollar fire sale and the UFO Club, which has challenged thousands upon thousands of people to expand their horizons of beer consumption. The Saucer undoubtedly has been a torch guiding beer drinkers through the darkness of commercial breweries and bringing them to the light that is craft beer.
Combine your unfettered love for games as a kid with your unfettered love for drinking as an adult and you’ve landed in Barcadia. It's most known for its giant Jenga, but imagine rolling some skee-ball while holding a cocktail in the other hand instead of a bunch of tickets to get stuffed animals with. The drinks are cheap and all the games are only a quarter, so $5 will make your night.
When you first walk into HG Sply Co. you will not be blown away by the bar and you won’t have to look over the menu for a long time, as it doesn't have an extensive drink list. The magic of HG awaits you when you walk to the back of the restaurant and up the fairly long flight of stairs that leads you to the rooftop bar. A giant concrete “U”-shaped bar, rustic tables and chairs, and fire pits are all up there along with one of the better views of the city. The place makes great drinks and the view adds so much to the atmosphere, which makes this a really special Dallas bar.
One of the OG great beer bars in Dallas, Common Table has constantly rotating taps, and is always doing great brewery tap takeovers and hosts a “Pour Man’s” beer dinner every Monday where you get four courses and four beers for a measly $29. It has a great patio, a really solid food menu, and live music several nights a week. Common Table really helped bring amazing beer to the Dallas area and opened up a lot of eyes to different brews for many a craft beer drinker.
You really can’t go wrong here, Social House has an amazing happy hour, with both awesome food and drink specials. It has more than 100 beers and a really solid lineup of cocktails as well. There is a business casual sort of feel, if you will; you would feel comfortable in jeans and a T-shirt or in your suit coming from the office. You might opt to go home and change though if you want to get in on some of the gaming action it has out back. There’s ping-pong, giant Jenga, giant Connect Four, and some inflatable games like giant beer pong.
Strangeways hovers around the line of being a dive bar, but it’s like dive bar that has a masters in fine arts from a small East Coast private college. The name and décor pay homage to the band The Smiths and the beer selection pays homage to craft beer drinkers. Strangeways boasts one of the finest selections of craft beer in Dallas, which it posts on its infamous huge chalkboard, offering both on draft and in-bottle options. Plus, it's constantly rotating kegs and bringing in rare-release beers. The food is really solid as well and pairs great with the beer offerings.
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1. Double Wide3510 Commerce St, Dallas
2. The Quarter Bar3301 McKinney Ave, Dallas
3. The Old Monk2847 N Henderson Ave, Dallas
4. Truck Yard5624 Sears St, Dallas
5. Parliament2418 Allen St, Dallas
6. The Cedars Social1326 S Lamar St, Dallas
7. Black Swan Saloon2708 Elm St, Dallas
8. The Libertine Bar2101 Greenville Ave, Dallas
9. Midnight Rambler1530 Main St, Dallas
10. Flying Saucer Draught Emporium14999 Montfort Dr, Dallas
11. Barcadia1917 N Henderson Ave, Dallas
12. HG Sply Co.2008 Greenville Ave, Dallas
13. The Common Table2917 Fairmount St, Dallas
14. Social House Uptown2708 Routh St, Uptown
15. Strangeways2429 N Fitzhugh Ave, Dallas
The DW's a Dallas staple, good for happy hours, live music, and good times all set in an ode to trailer park culture.
A dive bar with an outdoor patio and killer happy hour specials, all from the food geniuses at Bread Winners Bakery & Bistro.
In Knox-Henderson, The Old Monk provides the cozy, well-worn feeling only a European pub could provide. Decorated with dark wooden tables, exposed brick walls and local antiques, the Monk serves beer from England, Ireland, Germany, and Belgium, and quintessential pub food like fish and chips, corned beef, and bread pudding.
A great beer selection, cheesesteak galore and ice cream trucks? To round out this myriad of awesomeness, let us not forget that there's also a freakin' treehouse bar in the place. Seriously, combine all of the above to make this the coolest backyard establishment in all of Dallas, if not the world.
With craft cocktail icon Eddie "Lucky" Campbell at the helm, this bordello-lit drinking den in State Thomas boasts a lengthy leather-bound menu that has something for everyone. If you appreciate history and cocktail artistry, go for a Ramos Gin Fizz. And if you appreciate a good deal, there's an incredible happy hour where you can score standards like Old Fashioneds and gimlets for half their typical price.
Downtown's Cedars Social is primarily a cocktail lounge but also has a full kitchen preparing gourmet brunches and dinners to pair with its well-crafted drinks. On the menu are upscale iterations on traditional Southern fare (think parmesan infused shrimp and grits for brunch and farro crusted lamb chops for dinner). Cocktail-wise, expect fresh and house-made ingredients and an expansive menu that evolves with the seasons
This place would be a really cool secret spot if the drinks weren’t so good and everyone talked about it. Located on Elm Street in a dimly lit space with no signage to speak of, Black Swan Saloon is a very unsuspecting space that certainly doesn’t want to draw in just anyone walking around looking for a commercial beer or a cheap tequila shot. Black Swan Saloon is the kind of place you want to become a local at, it’s where the bartenders effortlessly pull off creating amazing drink after amazing drink while having a conversation with you about your day, or what you like in a drink. When you walk in, you quickly notice the huge wall of liquor infusions, mostly vodka with various fruits; there is also apple cinnamon whiskey and a vanilla pecan whiskey, which is as good as it sounds.
A divey Lowest Greenville bar with live music and great specials, The Libertine Bar is a dope spot in Dallas to get your drink on. Specials at this gloriously low-key hang include $3 Texas Beer Night on Wednesdays and half-price food on Tuesdays-- how could you go wrong? You might come here for just a drink, but the food menu is definitely also worth your while.
Just a few steps from the Joule Hotel lobby hangs a bright neon sign that reads, "COCKTAILS". Go there. Two flights of stairs down, and you’re in cocktail heaven. Chad Solomon and Christy Pope of beverage consulting group Cuffs & Buttons are the masterminds behind the cocktail menu, and it’s nothing short of amazing Try the shared Hogo A-Go-Go punch for four, made with Jamaica rum, lime, West Indian bay leaf falernum, hibiscus, and nutmeg.
The Flying Saucer has a TON of beers on tap and in bottles, plus live music and a selection of delicious pub food.
Barcadia's name keeps no secrets -- it's a bar. It's an arcade. If that doesn't sell you, it's also a fully functioning restaurant serving food from all corners of the globe (and a lot of veggie options) like fish tacos, falafel, Texas-style chili, and nachos. Hopefully you're a better gamer after a few drinks -- the draft list is winding and full of Dallas-based names like Deep Ellum Brewery and each wall is lined with pinball, skeeball, and vintage arcade machines.
This East Dallas hotspot has come to define the new era of Lower Greenville hotspots, with its carefully crafted food and drink, not to mention its extensive rooftop bar area and sweeping skyline views of Downtown. Paleo-inspired New American grub is what's on offer (think Tex Mex grain bowls, zucchini "pasta" with roasted eggplant, and cauliflower-cashew "grits"), but don't think that just because its "health conscious" doesn't mean it's not delicious.
TCT's is a tenant of 2917 Fairmount, the converted home that's seen a string of vaunted restos -- to stake their own claim, the Common Table guys installed a chrome-spotlit central bar with orange upholstered seating where they serve ridiculousness like whiskey milkshakes.
Social House has returned to Uptown with a second location featuring treats like chicken-fried oysters in horseradish cream sauce, the Sink Burger (American, cheddar, Swiss, pulled pork, fried onion strings), and -- for weekend brunching -- traditional chilaquiles, plus they've got a tap selection pouring everything from Arrogant Bastard, to Live Oak Big Bark, to Blue Moon, to what Dumbledore wears to semi-formal events (Magic Hat #9).
If you're a fan of The Smiths, then you already know why you should check this place out. Otherwise, let its other features convince you: a 40-tap beer lineup featuring craft beer favorites like Prairie and Jolly Pumpkin, all written out in colorful chalk, a seedy basement feeling without the grime of a dive, ample tables, and a young, relaxed crowd. Bar snacks like yucca fries and charcuterie plates get passed around while everyone chatters of the sounds of '90s alt-rock all night long.