An editor's guide to drinking around town


An editor's guide to drinking around town
An editor's guide to drinking around town


The fact that it can get crazy hot in Dallas has nothing to do with it being the birthplace of the frozen margarita. But it is, so there's that. Still, Big D isn't one to rest on its limey, slushy laurels, and it boasts a number of cocktail clubs to go along with one of the hotter craft beer scenes in the country. Which, of course, is why local editor Aaron Miller's here to help you stagger through it without a single misstep.

Best Club: Teddy's Room has good booze, hot women, good DJs, and burlesque dancers, and what else do you need in a place that's inspired by Prohib-era speakeasies and named after America's most cuddly adventurous president?

Best for Working: As FND's top caffeinated outpost, Coffee House Cafe has a patio that's quiet enough to hear yourself think, and an alcoholic-coffee program that's sure to make what you're thinking unintelligible.

Best for Partying: With a sand playground for cornhole plotted next to an outdoor bar & beer garden built over a retired swimming pool, The Lot is East Dallas's answer to sobriety/boredom.

Best Drink: Mariano's Hacienda literally invented the frozen margarita in 1971 using a modified Slurpee machine from 7-Eleven, which is now in the Smithsonian. Go there, and drink to history.

Best Cocktail Bar: Take a ride up McKinney Ave and hit up The Standard Pour, where barman Brian McCullough penned an old-timey menu focused on gins and whiskeys.

Best Beer Bar: With perpetually rotating taps that will just as frequently include hot new locals (Revolver, Peticolas) as lesser-known crafts from across the country (Big Sky) Strangeways swears it's not named after a Smiths album despite being the only place where you'll hear '80s British indie music while you sip on your beer.

Best Wine Bar: Veritas has live music and the sort of relaxed atmosphere you wouldn't expect from a wine bar. Dozens of by-the-glass rotators are complimented by excellent meat-and-cheese plates at the Henderson staple.

Best Local Beer Bar: Literally every single tap at Jack Mac's Swill and Grill is from Texas, and most of them are from DFW. It's not uncommon for Jack to get his hands on one (if not the) very first kegs of a new release.

Best Brewery: DEBC gets the nod both because of the sheer variety of beers they brew and for their contributions to Dallas's craft beer community.

Most Local Place: Bar Belmont's fantastic view of the Dallas skyline and Route 66 feel combine to make it a fantastic all-around place to hang.

Best for Day Drinking: Go to Katy Trail Ice House, set up camp at a picnic table with your dog at your side, and spend the afternoon drinking local beer, spying the landing gear of Southwest flights, and trying not to perv on all the curvaceous, spandex-wearing joggers along the Katy Trail.

Best Dive: Lee Harvey's. Go for the name, stay for the PBR. And also the gravelly picnic area in which you'll invariably drink more PBRs.

Best Outdoor Spot: The Foundry's got just the right balance between Austinesque live outdoor music, great beer, and an adjacent, tasty-chicken-having resto in Chicken Scratch.

Hottest Girls: Probably the most glamorous of Dallas's rooftop infinity pools, you can always be sure that you'll lay your eyes on a hot body (of water) at the Joule Poule.

Easiest Place To Get Laid The marketing director at McFadden's has been known to dance on the bar in fishnets (don't worry, most assuredly female) and auction off dates with her hot friends without them knowing it. Also, they have freakin' hook-up parties every Friday.

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1. Teddy's Room 2404 Cedar Springs Rd, Ste 400, Dallas, TX 75201 (Turtle Creek)

Teddy's is Dallas's first high-end burlesque lounge: a red-washed, nouveau Teddy Roosevelt-themed playground peppered with carved-wood animal busts.

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2. Coffee House Cafe 6150 Frankford Rd, Dallas, TX 75252 (Far North Dallas)

More than just a cafe, this coffeehouse/restaurant/caterer provides an extensive menu of health-conscious plates for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, in addition to a full-service espresso bar and other energizing libations. A spacious outdoor patio and regularly scheduled live music, speaking series, and happy hours are added bonuses of this local favorite. The convenient drive thru window for breakfast items and coffee is an additional plus if you're on the go and craving joe.

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3. The LOT 7530 E Grand Ave, Dallas, TX 75214 (East Dallas)

Not just where you go to talk about hot lifeguards and the fact that Rodriguez is totally gonna play for the Dodgers some day, The LOT's also an adult playground-cum-bar-cum-restaurant in East Dallas.

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4. Mariano's Hacienda 6300 Skillman St, Dallas, TX 75231 (Lake Highlands)

When we say "American history," what's the first thing that comes to mind? That's right, George Washington the frozen margarita machine! Mariano Martinez, the owner of of Mariano's Hacienda, invented the machine in 1971 and now the original is in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. But since you can't drink booze and annihilate humongous fajitas in a museum, we suggest you stick to Mariano's. And what better way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo this year than at the Hacienda that birthed a legend?

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5. The Standard Pour 2900 McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX 75204 (Uptown)

This place is anything but standard, serving an outstanding variety of liquors, cocktails, wines, and beers, as well as delightful food options like their thyme and garlic chicken, lamb ravioli, and lobster nachos.

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6. Strangeways 2429 N Fitzhugh Ave, Dallas, TX 75204 (Knox Henderson)

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.

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7. Jack Mac's Swill & Grill 19009 Preston Rd , Dallas, TX 75252 (Far North Dallas)

If you're a fan of burgers, pizza, paninis, beer, or rhyming, you'll definitely come back to Jack Mac's.

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8. Deep Ellum Brewing Company 2823 St Louis St, Dallas, TX 75226 (Deep Ellum)

They make (DELICIOUS) beer, and they do a really freaking good job of it. Also, they lead tours and host beer-ific events.

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9. Bar Belmont 901 Ft Worth Ave, Dallas, TX 75208 (Oak Cliff)

Located in the Belmont Hotel, Bar Belmont's got an outdoor terrace with incredible views of the Downtown skyline (as does the hotel's pool!), an EB&D Loaded Up & Truckin Burger (bacon, cheddar, and frittered farm egg), and a Beer (!) Can Farm Chicken with tomatillo chili sauce and pickled green beans.

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10. Katy Trail Ice House 3127 Routh St, Dallas, TX 75201 (Uptown)

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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11. Lee Harvey's 1807 Gould St, Dallas, TX 75215 (Downtown)

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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12. The Foundry 2303 Pittman St, Dallas, TX 75208 (West Dallas)

This brick- and beer-laden outdoor garden serves up 45 beers (Anchor Steam and Harpoon UFO among them) to West Dallas denizens.

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13. The Joule 1530 Main St, Dallas, TX 75201 (Downtown)

This hotel sports luxury accomodations and probably the most glamorous of Dallas's rooftop infinity pools, so you can always be sure that you'll lay your eyes on a hot body (of water).

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14. Veritas Wine Room 2323 N Henderson Ave, Dallas, TX 75206 (North Dallas)

Veritas Wine Room offers some of the most enchanting consumables known to exist: cheeses, meats, chocolates, wines, and craft beers. It combines a casual feel with sophistication, like a pair of Wranglers and an Italian belt. Whatever color your collar, you'll feel at home.