Best of Dallas®

Best Of 2014

Neighborhoods

  • + Abilene
  • + Addison
  • + Allen/ McKinney
  • + Amarillo
  • + Arlington
  • + Austin
  • + Baton Rouge
  • + Big Bend National Park
  • + Brownwood
  • + Bryan/ College Station
  • + Carrollton/ Farmers Branch
  • + Carswell AFB
  • + Cedar Creek Lake Area
  • + Cedar Hill
  • + Central Texas
  • + Cockrell Hill
  • + Coppell
  • + Corpus Christi
  • + Corsicana
  • + Crandall/ Combine
  • + Denton
  • + Downtown & Deep Ellum
  • + Duncanville/ DeSoto
  • + Durant
  • + Dyess AFB
  • + East Dallas & Lakewood
  • + East Texas
  • + El Paso
  • + Ennis
  • + Fair Park
  • + Far North Suburbs
  • + Far South Dallas Suburbs
  • + Far South FW Suburbs
  • + Forney
  • + Fort Worth
  • + Frisco
  • + Gainesville
  • + Galveston
  • + Garland & Vicinity
  • + Glen Rose
  • + Goodfellow AFB
  • + Granbury
  • + Grand Prairie
  • + Grapevine
  • + Gulf Area
  • + Houston
  • + Huntsville
  • + Irving & Las Colinas
  • + Kaufman
  • + Killeen
  • + Lake Dallas
  • + Lancaster/ Balch Springs
  • + Lancaster/ Wilmer/ Hutchins
  • + Laredo
  • + Laughlin AFB
  • + Lavon Lake Area
  • + Lewisville
  • + Louisiana
  • + Lubbock
  • + Manchester
  • + Mesquite/ Balch Springs
  • + Mexia/ Groesbeck
  • + Mid-Cities (H-E-B)
  • + Midland/ Odessa
  • + Nacogdoches
  • + New Braunfels
  • + New Orleans
  • + North Dallas
  • + North Texas
  • + Northeast Dallas
  • + Northeast Texas
  • + Northwest Dallas
  • + Oak Cliff & South Dallas
  • + Oklahoma
  • + Out of Town
  • + Panhandle
  • + Paris
  • + Park Cities
  • + Plano
  • + Reese AFB
  • + Richardson & Vicinity
  • + Royse City
  • + San Angelo
  • + San Antonio
  • + Sheppard AFB
  • + Sherman/ Denison
  • + Shreveport/ Bossier City
  • + South Fort Worth Suburbs
  • + South Texas
  • + Southeast Suburbs
  • + Tennessee
  • + Texarkana
  • + Tyler
  • + Unknown
  • + Uptown & Oak Lawn
  • + Waco/ Temple & Vicinity
  • + Waxahachie
  • + Weatherford/ Mineral Wells
  • + West Dallas
  • + West Texas
  • + White Rock Lake Area
  • + Wichita Falls
  • + Wylie
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Arts & Entertainment

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Best Of :: Arts & Entertainment

Best Art Event

Does anyone else remember lock-ins? Those all-night gatherings that locked a bunch of elementary or middle school kids into a gymnasium or some other school-condoned space where kids would eat candy, play games and wreak havoc until their parents came to pick them up? This year for its 35th birthday, the Dallas Contemporary hosted an art lock-in, only this time you could come and go as you pleased. Oh, and there was booze. For 35 hours straight, the ultra-hip West Dallas art space hosted bands, comedy shows, temporary art pieces, performance art, early morning yoga and anything else they could dream up to keep a bunch of drunk arty adults occupied. The crowd ebbed and flowed, peaking around 11 p.m. and tapering off around 3 a.m. only to pick back up as the midday sunshine arrived Saturday. And no matter which hour you stuck around till, it was much cooler than the lock-ins of yesteryear.

Best Metal Bar
Three Links

Nobody is putting on the caliber of up-and-coming or underground metal and punk that Three Links is. Since opening last year, it's found a groove that Dallas didn't even know it was missing, one that contains all the most interesting shows toward the louder end of the scale. While Trees down the street puts on the more predictable metal, Three Links isn't afraid to take a risk on booking acts that are great but may not necessarily sell out the relatively small venue. It's the most valuable addition to Deep Ellum in a while.

2704 Elm St., Dallas, 75226
MAP
Best Rock Bar
Three Links

OK, we know we also named Three Links best metal bar, but what the hell. They're not all-metal all-the-time, and no one out there can compete with the consistent quality of rock shows hosted by Three Links these days — and that's no slight to other venues in North Texas. Helmed by the booking duo of Scott Beggs and Kris Youmans, who between them have logged more years in the music biz than they probably care to count, plus business partner Oliver Peck, Three Links rose from the ashes of La Grange less than 18 months ago, but all of that experience shows in the bands they land. Just in the past six months, they've brought in rowdy yung'uns like Diarrhea Planet, got a little weird with Bob Log, courted controversy with Perfect Pussy and snagged an almost-impossible-to-get name like British punk vets Sham 69. They also have the ska scene on lock-down. So step back, pretenders. Three Links is here to show us how rock music is done.

2704 Elm St., Dallas, 75226
MAP
Best New Venue

While it might not be a new bar, Twilite Lounge is the best up-and-coming new host of music in Deep Ellum. Stepping it up from hosting live music maybe once every week or so, now it's packed Wednesday through Sunday with DJs, live blues, jazz, folk, the best karaoke in town ... it's amazing what they can fit into such a small space, and the booking is impeccable. Also, it's always free to get in. Since it's started hosting so many concerts, Twilite Lounge has made everyone else around them up their game too.

2640 Elm St., Dallas, 75226
MAP
Best Honky-Tonk
Adair's Saloon

It isn't often that "best" and "free" coincide, but in the case of Adair's, that's the winning combination that has turned this place into a Dallas institution. On any given night of the week, you'll hear up-and-coming or established artists from Texas and beyond who are trying to keep country music alive. It may not have thousands of square feet for two-stepping or a fancy reputation, but there's no disputing the place in history that Adair's holds for Texas country musicians. On the walls, you'll find photos of performers who have gone on to immense success, like the Dixie Chicks and up-and-comer William Clark Green. The staff is down-home friendly and the food is perfectly good for this kind of dive bar. Most important, there are plenty of cheap drinks that are perfect for both putting a tear in your beer and hanging out with all your rowdy friends.

2624 Commerce St., Dallas, 75226-1402
MAP
214-939-9900
Best Strip Club
Baby Dolls

You've only been here a minute — barely enough time to fork over your $3 daylight cover, pull out a Dos Equis from the arctic beer bin at the entrance and pull up at the bar. And yet, she's already pulling up next to you, Zora from Portugal, curvy and sweet. Annoying? Maybe, if you come to strip clubs to gawk from a safe distance. But you're at Baby Dolls, tucked off Northwest Highway in Dallas' industrial/boob district, for what makes strip clubs interesting — playful conversation heightened by the safest kind of sex: the not-sex kind. Zora does it right, just lingering, chatting, no mention of the lap dance(s) she needs to give to make rent. You don't mention it either, keeping the inevitable conversation at bay while you and Zora debate the merits of the bartender's newly purple hair, and you steal peeks at one of the 7,000 TVs, all locked to ESPN, all portending fantasy-football doom. Soon Zora will have to take the stage; you'll be right here when she gets done, right? Yes! Maybe. Maybe.

10250 Shady Trail, Dallas, 75220
MAP
214-358-5511
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Best Art Event: ALIVE for 35!

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