Best of Dallas®

Best Of 2012


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Map It

Arts & Entertainment

Bars & Clubs

Food & Drink

People & Places

Shopping & Services

Readers' Choice


Best Of :: Bars & Clubs

Best Dive Bar
Club Schmitz

There aren't too many wholesome hangouts amongst the strip joints in far Northwest Dallas anymore, save for one place that has been in business since 1946. The family-owned Club Schmitz is the quintessential Dallas dive bar. Very little about the place detracts from its kitschy charm. The wood-paneled walls are covered with yellowed Budweiser displays that were hung there when they were new. The shuffleboard table is one of the most well-seasoned in the area. As the woman behind the bar will tell you as she serves a greasy, mustard-tinged burger and a beer in a plastic cup, people have been coming here since they were kids and now they bring their kids. The place has become a family tradition.

9661 Denton Dr., Dallas, 75220
Best Strip Club
The Lodge

The Lodge is, without qualification, the nicest strip club in Dallas. Hell, maybe even in Texas. For starters the dancers are absolute knockouts who don't just mount the stage and shimmy out of lingerie. They wear ornate, theme-driven costumes. They dress up as pixies. They juggle fire. They emerge from a cave facade, surrounded by vaguely unsettling stuffed animals and lacquered cedar boughs. Their chef, a legit culinarian the club plucked from Terrilli's, roasts a flavorful prime rib. The club is clean, comfortable, even refined, as far as strip joints go. The Lodge isn't really for 18-year-old first-timers to carnal commerce. It's for men and women who want to drink good hooch, dine well and enjoy the gyrations of some of Dallas' most beautiful dancers.

10530 Spangler Rd., Dallas, 75220
Best Live Music Venue (Small)
Sons of Hermann Hall

Sons of Hermann Hall is one of those venues that feels untouched by time, and that's a good thing. The rumors that it's possibly haunted only add to the allure, and with more than 100 years of history thumping around in those walls, seeing a show there just gives you that warm fuzzy feeling. (Or is that something ... else?) We love the upstairs room, especially now that Parade of Flesh has started booking shows there, but catching a show in the downstairs bowling alley is an added bonus. More of that, please.

3414 Elm St., Dallas, 75226
Best Happy Hour To Meet a (Hopefully) Single Businessman

Truluck's on McKinney Avenue (situated between Hotel Zaza, the Crescent Hotel and Hotel St. Germaine) features a daily happy hour during which people frequently wander over from their hotels for some cocktails and crab. During the happy hour, everything at the bar is half off (we recommend the dinner martini, made with Belvedere Intense and blue-cheese stuffed olives). There is also a special happy hour menu that boasts everything from crabcakes and shrimp to Kobe beef sliders and a goat cheese plate. More often than not there's a couple of out-of-town guys dressed to the nines sitting at the bar all by their lonesomes. All you have to do is make some small talk to get them to share a bite of their award-winning chocolate cake and, who knows, maybe if you play your cards right, they'll buy you a half-priced cocktail.

2401 McKinney Ave., Dallas, 75201
Best Place to Meet a Hipster Girlfriend
Double Wide

If you like your women scantily clad, covered in tattoos and sporting the trendiest hair styles, you might want to hang out at the Double Wide. The bar, located on the cusp of Expo Park and Deep Ellum, has something going on nearly every night of the week, from live performances and karaoke to cheap drink specials (like Sunday's $3 you-call-its), and is normally packed with whiskey-slinging, tight-pants-wearing hipster types. So how do you knock the socks off your hipster dream lover? Start by offering to buy her a Yoohoo Yeehaw or pickle-back shot (both drinks are popular with the regulars), then let her bum a cigarette (or the entire pack, for that matter) and then, to seal the deal, whisper these magic words into her ear: "Need a ride to the afterparty?"

3510 Commerce St., Dallas, 75226
Best Place to Meet a Hipster Boyfriend
Texas Theatre

The historic Oak Cliff theater boasts a roster of some of the hippest events in town. Pair that with a damn good bar that serves everything from canned beer to Prohibition-era cocktails and you have yourself a Dallas hipster den. So, whether stopping by Texas Theatre for a psychedelic DJ set, the Geeks Who Drink trivia night, or to check out your favorite cult classic film on 35mm, chances are you'll bump into a hipster dreamboat before the night's end.

231 W. Jefferson Blvd., Dallas, 75208

Best Dive Bar: Club Schmitz


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