Best of Dallas®

Best Of 2012

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Best Of :: Bars & Clubs

Best Jazz Club
Sandaga 813

Jazz fans in Dallas are grown folks. They have a certain refined taste in art and music that can't be found in many local music clubs. Also, they go to bed at a reasonable time on weeknights. Sandaga 813 understands this, which is why the eclectic space in Exposition Park has the feel of a low-lit urban art gallery. And when you get there at 8 p.m. on a Tuesday, you can expect Shelley Carrol and his impressive band have already had their first downbeat. Careful, though. The music and the atmosphere are so good that you're likely to stay up way past your bedtime.

813 Exposition Ave., Dallas, 75226
MAP
214-616-0802
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
MAP
972-506-9229
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
MAP
214-747-4422
Best Happy Hour To Meet a (Hopefully) Single Businessman
Truluck's

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
MAP
214-220-2401
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
MAP
214-887-6510
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
MAP
214-948-1546
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Best Jazz Club: Sandaga 813

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