People & Places

  • Best Alternative Club

    Black Forest Theater

    Two words: Prince afterparty. Two more words: Snoop afterparty. Get the idea? When the baddest muthas come to Dallas, the real happening is at Erykah Badu's South Dallas club. A 1960s movie house that had fallen into disrepair, the Black Forest has been reimagined as a thriving cultural spot, with hand-painted murals, checkerboard floors, lush green walls, and good sound… More >>
  • Best Blues Club

    Deep Ellum Blues

    It wasn't so long ago that Dallas blues had fallen on hard times. Once the signature sound of Deep Ellum, back when Blind Lemon Jefferson busked the streets and the blues poured out of every bar and brothel, by early 2004 the blues had all but disappeared from the downtown area. That changed with the February opening of Deep Ellum… More >>
  • Best Place to Smoke

    Sambuca Uptown

    We smoke cigars about twice a year or so. The last time was during a fancy birthday dinner for a friend at Sambuca Uptown (which is actually between Uptown and downtown). We retired to the smoking room there, which is a glass-walled patio complete with all manner of plush seating options. It was the middle of summer, but the area… More >>
  • Best Kids Day Trip

    Fossil Rim Wildlife Center

    OK, the rabid sheep turned out not to be rabid, all right? Buy a bag of feed pellets and cruise through Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, where you're so close to the animals they drool on you. Or stare menacingly into your car window, occasionally tapping it with a huge beak, like the ostriches and emus. Everybody loves Fossil Rim Wildlife… More >>
  • Best Place to Meet Someone Else's Best Friend

    White Rock Lake Dog Park

    Dog park folk are a different breed. Parents who put down a bowl of cool water in a dog park don't expect their dog to be the only one privy to it. They may put it down in front of little Oliver, but they're happy for Skids, Blue and Gracie to partake. Moms and dads of canines who think enough… More >>
  • Best Rooftop Party

    The Bone - CLOSED

    Who says people aren't going to Deep Ellum? We're up here on the roof of The Bone, overlooking Main and Crowdus and Commerce and Elm and Malcolm X and downtown and Uptown and East Dallas and South Dallas and Fair Park, and the view's great and there's a band up here and the party's jumpin' and this waitress just put… More >>
  • Best Place to Torture a Sullen Teenager

    The Science Place

    If this hasn't happened to you yet, it will. Happy, bubbling parents of happy, bubbling young children are mutually astounded, we think, when somewhere between ages 10 and 15, the children wake up prepubescent. They are suddenly foul-mouthed; they hate your #$%^%$ guts; they won't talk to you; they won't go anywhere with you; they never make eye contact with… More >>
  • Best Wall Decor

    Vermilion Cajun Seafood & Grill

    Before a restaurant or bar opens, experts descend on the place offering all manner of opinion regarding décor, furnishings and so on. To hear them tell it, this stuff means something. The wall of Billy Bass plaques at Flying Fish reinforces the harmony between all beings, for instance. The faded frescoes at Tramontana echo Donald Rumsfeld's remarks about the demise… More >>
  • Best Thing to Know Before Buying Whippets

    Avoid demonstrating "intent to inhale"

    A few months ago we ran a story outlining the hypocrisy and puritan reasoning behind sex toys being illegal in Texas (you can sell them as cake toppers but not as sexual accessories). From the same department of idiocy comes the law behind purchasing nitrous gas. When you inhale nitrous (commonly found in whipped cream canisters or in balloons at… More >>
  • Best Place to Watch the Rich Rump-Shake

    Candle Room

    We fondly remember "members only" as the makers of a whup-ass jacket we sported circa 1983. Now it's a designation for hot spots about town, such as Tristan Simon's swank club around the corner from its slightly more grown-up sibling, Sense. On our two visits to Candle Room this year, the BPDF (Beautiful People Density Factor) was 4.3 and 5.1--well… More >>
  • Best Kids Outing

    Burger's Lake

    When the missus said she was taking the kid to a beach in Fort Worth, well, let's say we wondered if she was in any state to drive around the block, much less to Tarrant County. But damned if she wasn't right: In the middle of nowhere, and about 50 years back in time, sits a 30-acre park known as… More >>
  • Best Liqueur You've Never Heard Of

    Mirto at Arcodoro & Pomodoro

    Most Italian liqueurs are mean-spirited, bitter things. If they don't kill you outright, they'll most certainly crinkle your skin. At the very least, Campari, Fernet Branca and the like will make hair sprout from a man's ears and cause women to grow mustaches. That's why mirto, available at Arcodoro & Pomodoro, is such a surprise. A viscous, deep red product… More >>
  • Best Spot to Test Your Pickup Lines

    Dallas Screenwriter Association's First Tuesday night readings at Half Price Books

    You've finished the screenplay for your romantic comedy, sure to snag Julia Roberts' interest and a big fat check. But is it ready to send to your agent? Will the meet-cute scene in the bar really play? At free monthly readings on the first Tuesday of every month, sponsored by the DSA, professional actors wrangled by local performer Phil Harrington… More >>
  • Best Makeover

    Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios

    The biggest traffic jam in Denton County used to be the bar at Rubber Gloves. There was a 2-foot lane between the booths and the tables, and another 2-foot lane between the tables and bar. And that was the sole path from the door and bathrooms to the showroom and arcade, which meant that, if you were seated on the… More >>
  • Best Place to Break Up

    Tietze Park

    Yes, it's hard to do. Maybe that's why we see so many couples call it quits in the park. It's a public place, so not too much drama (the slapping, the screaming) can go down. It's more relaxing with the grass and trees. And it's hard to get too upset watching kids swing alongside a pickup game of basketball. In… More >>
  • Best Latin Club

    Escapade 2009

    This humongous dance club, tucked away on a blah stretch of industrial buildings off Northwest Highway, is the Latin dance scene's least-kept secret. Escapade 2009 keeps the weekends thumping with its reliable mix of Top 40 music and rock en Espaņol, along with live bands on some Thursdays. Giant video screens and fog machines give the sprawling dance floor some… More >>
  • Best Place to Hide From the Boss in the Middle of a Workday

    Sevy's Grill

    A few assumptions to start: You're out of precious vacation days; you need a break; you enjoy a good midafternoon buzz; and your boss isn't already sitting at the bar. Good, then yelp in pain, announce an urgent need to visit the dentist and call it a day. Sevy's attracts brokers and bankers and fully gruntled postal workers and housewives--just… More >>
  • Best Belly Button Margarita


    What possesses someone to look at the liquor cabinet one day and say, "Hey, let's float a frozen margarita in a pool of alcohol and splash some more alcohol on top of the whole thing"? The onset of dementia, perhaps, or a deep and abiding desire to test the limits of inebriation. Whatever, the folks at Ciudad managed to create… More >>
  • Best Gimmick Martini

    Turkish coffee martini at Kismet

    Think back to freshman-level science, when we first learned the essential value of coffee and alcohol. Life cannot exist without these two elements. Indeed, journalism cannot exist without these two elements. Yet they occupy opposite ends of the spectrum. They are, metaphorically, yin and yang, heaven and earth, Franken and Limbaugh. Attempts to meld coffee and alcohol generally fizzle: Kahlúa… More >>
  • Best Bartender

    Adam Salazar

    Think about bartenders for a moment and you begin to see why Adam Salazar holds the top spot in Dallas. Oh, there are older guys. But after 15 years working everything from dance clubs to high-end lounges, Salazar knows pretty much every trick, every shot, every cocktail. A few bartenders arguably mix better drinks--very few. Some are faster, although Salazar… More >>
  • Best Fancy-Shmancy Service Drive Scene

    Knox Park Village

    When expressway service drives started out, they had what? Maybe a Shell station? Then you started getting your McDonald's, your Wendy's, maybe an occasional Subway on the service drive. Well, the southbound service drive on Central at Knox takes the service drive scene to a whole new level. Baja Fresh is here, Fadi's Mediterranean Grill, Pei Wei Asian Diner, Juice… More >>
  • Best Rock Club

    Double Wide

    It could be the Pabst Blue Ribbon. It could be the Astroturf patio. It could be that awwwesome velvet painting of the topless she-demon-thingy. Whatever it is, Double Wide feels like home--that is, if your mama was Anna Nicole Smith and your daddy was, well, who the hell knows? What makes Double Wide the best rock venue in town, however,… More >>
  • Best Downtown Development

    Stone Street Gardens

    Let's face it: Downtown ain't pretty. With few exceptions, Dallas downtown plays host to big ugly buildings, lots of concrete, little plant life, crowded streets and empty sidewalks. The important thing to remember is that there are exceptions, foremost among them the tiny strip of restaurants and cafes known as Stone Street Gardens. This little cranny connecting Main and Elm… More >>
  • Best Way to Prove You're Secure With Your Masculinity

    Prickly pear margarita (Fireside Pies)

    Every man fears "women's drinks" for one reason: Ordering a fruity neon drink may cause a bit of...well...shrinkage. But if you pack more than enough to spare, there's no reason not to fight through the crowds at Fireside Pies and order up a prickly pear margarita. The color alone--a cross between fuchsia and flaming pink--is enough to cause your masculine… More >>
  • Best Place to Go Before You Go Out

    Down Bar and Lounge - CLOSED

    It's the weekend. You've worked hard for five days, and you're ready to rip it up. But before you brave Deep Ellum or Lower Greenville, you need a little boost, a way to ease into what is sure to be a night of unbridled debauchery. What you need is Down Bar and Lounge. The Dallas Morning News called this place… More >>
  • Best Pour

    The Loon Bar & Grill

    Recently, we went on a scotch-tasting journey around Dallas. We ordered the same drink, Dewar's rocks, at many fine bars about town. It wasn't at all unusual for that drink to cost upward of eight bucks. Usually, there was just enough scotch in there to get our scotch buds active, but not nearly enough to placate them. That was not… More >>
  • Best Late-Night Hookah Scene

    Jasmine Cafe

    Wait until late, 11 p.m. or even later, then come to the Jasmine Cafe in what's left of the old downtown in Richardson on Main Street (Belt Line Road east of Central Expressway). A mainly Middle Eastern crowd, salted with whatever you call non-Middle Easterners, gathers over thick, sugared Turkish coffee and Turkish Delight candies. The hookah pipes begin to… More >>
  • Best Jazz Club


    Eulogized by such coolies as Spike Lee, Jonathan Lethem and Tom Waits, the city of Brooklyn has no shortage of die-hard fans. And why not? It's cool, culturally rich and diverse (well, if you exclude Williamsburg). The same could be said for the relatively new Oak Cliff jazz club of the same name. Owners Robyn and Lorna Tate have created… More >>
  • Best Beer Joint

    Old Monk

    Its happy-hour deals are paltry. It offers no Golden Tee; doesn't have a dance floor; bathrooms are small; front deck overlooks a busy intersection; isn't open for lunch and is often so dark inside you can barely read. Did we mention how much we love Old Monk? This is a bar's bar, a true pub, a place that takes Irish… More >>
  • Best Easy Theater Night

    Theatre Three at the Quadrangle

    Married people know about scheduling a night out together. With the kids, the jobs and the chores, sometimes you gotta have it on the calendar--tickets paid for, reservations made--or you'll end up at the same pizza joint again. For an easy night of culture and togetherness, subscribe to season tickets at Theatre Three. The 2004-'05 season includes A Woman of… More >>
  • Best Happy Hour

    M Grill & Tap

    Happy hour makes us just that. So happy. Often for more than an hour. It really is one of the great marketing concepts of the 20th century, right up there with the Marlboro Man and "Be All That You Can Be." It helps those of us who need to unwind with a cold adult beverage before going home to face… More >>
  • Best (Indoor) Playground

    Pepsi Kid Zone at The Shops at Willow Bend

    Play outside all you want; the mosquitoes are all yours, and good luck with that sunburn, holmes. Us, we like our play time inside--and in an upscale shopping mall, no less, near the food court (Cinnabontastic!) and not too far from the Apple Store, where they sell the 40GB iPod we're too cheap to buy but not to stare at… More >>
  • Best Drink-In Movies

    Fallout Lounge - CLOSED

    Some theaters have brought the beer and liquor to the movies, but Fallout Lounge has a better idea: Bring the movies to the liquor and beer. Each Tuesday, the Expo Park bar's staff shows two to three movies, beginning at 9 p.m. with a new release such as Fahrenheit 9/11, followed by some older releases such as Rushmore, Office Space… More >>
  • Best Patio

    Ozona Grill & Bar

    Step onto Ozona's patio and it's almost like stepping into your best friend's back yard--except bigger and with a few more strangers. Two fireplaces, which do a lot to add to the coziness factor, are planted in the enclosed patio decorated with plastic deck chairs, old signs and string lights. On cool nights, a seat by one of the fireplaces… More >>
  • Best Place to Chill With the Beautiful People

    Medici - CLOSED

    After a night at Nick & Sam's--the fave steak house in town of one of our more cultured, picky foodie friends--why don't you and your dressed-up partner stop by Medici for a drink and a dance? Stylish and relatively sedate, it's the perfect after-dinner spot to sate your inner Soprano. Good-looking Italian men in impeccable dark suits, beautiful women (not… More >>
  • Best Day Trip

    Possum Kingdom Lake

    You can't fault a place that inspired the Toadies' biggest hit, even though the song was so casually morbid it developed a cult following among vampire aficionados. (Seriously.) Blood sucking aside, Possum Kingdom Lake is just as potent a combination as the song it prompted, with cool, clear water perfect for swimmers and fishermen alike. (For the latter, the white… More >>
  • Best Bad Pickup Line


    The indoor/outdoor bar at Hotel ZaZa is a premier destination for guys pretending to have Dirk Diggler-sized wallets and women hoping to believe them. Doesn't mean the guys pretend to have class. Indeed, one desperate gentleman tried this out on a young woman: "You're so amazing, I'd pay to spend a night with you." … More >>
  • Best Kids Attraction

    Dallas World Aquarium

    Dallas World Aquarium is a genuine tourist attraction, but not in a tacky way. It justifiably draws visitors for its re-creation of a rain forest environment and its dazzling array of aquariums, including a shark exhibit you can walk through via a glass-walled tunnel. It's more about spectacle than education, though the learning is there if you want it. The… More >>
  • Best Dive


    A dive, by definition, is what it is. That's not much to go on, but Louie's fits the description. From the outside, the place is singularly uninviting: a gray blotch among other nondescript buildings. Parking--good luck. Pull up alongside a curb in the iffy neighborhood or block the sidewalk across the street. Louie's permits no outside light into the place,… More >>
  • Best Place to Go for a Romantic Rendezvous

    Hotel ZaZa

    Before we go any further, you should be aware that a stay at Hotel ZaZa is not cheap. Rooms range from $245 to $295. Suites start at $350 and end at a price where your credit card company gives you a courtesy call just to make sure someone hasn't stolen your Visa. But money's no object when romance is involved,… More >>
  • Best Place to Go After You Go Out

    Down Bar and Lounge - CLOSED

    You've done the warm-up. You've done the workout. Now it's time for the cool-down. And Down, once again, is your best bet. After a night of drinking/dining/dodging bullets in Dallas, you've grown weary. You've watched various Barbies hook up with various Kens. You've spilled various drinks on various designer jeans. And you've rubbed elbows till they're damn near raw. So… More >>
  • Best Place to Get a Date

    It's Just Lunch

    We work hard here at the Dallas Observer. We're constantly working. It's work, work, work. Yup, that's us. That's the service we provide to you, dear reader. The problem is--at least for the singles among our number--that doesn't leave us much time to get out there and meet people. Which, in turn, means that our chances of procreating are decidedly… More >>
  • Best Scenic Drive

    Anywhere along White Rock Lake

    Maybe that sounds like a give-up to you, the ultimate no-shit statement. (Or perhaps you would have preferred our initial answer: anywhere that leads out of Dallas.) So let us explain. We have a 1-year-old kid who didn't sleep the first, oh, 11 months of his existence, and when he did sleep it was only in his car seat, which… More >>
  • Best Frozen Drinks (Tie)

    Republic - CLOSED

    Frozen drinks generally suffer from two problems: Heavy ice content waters down the alcohol, and men holding one start to question their own sexuality. No problem. Ciudad is an Oak Lawn establishment, and Republic sits in Uptown, where straight men commonly disguise themselves as characters from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Republic offers some astonishing drinks. They use fresh… More >>
  • Best Home Away From Home

    Lakewood Landing

    Sometimes a restlessness plagues the mind, while the body is content to do absolutely nothing but sit, listen to music, maybe eat, definitely drink. Yeah, and smoking's on the list of vices, too. After the eyes adjust to the dim lights of the Landing, it becomes apparent that being there is like being at home, but better. Come in post-softball… More >>
  • Best Youth Nightlife Trend

    Straight girls acting bisexual

    OK, we promised a few months ago we'd address this, and now it's time. Anywhere you go these days, you see young straight girls getting their drink on, then grinding each other on the dance floor. On its surface, this seems like a fantastic thing. OK, it is a fantastic thing. It's the good by-product of our society becoming Porn… More >>
  • Best Reason to Come to Work Monday With a Wicked Hangover Wearing Sunday Night's Clothes


    Most Mondays are a useless blur of team meetings and breakout meetings, with the occasional impromptu meeting to break up the monotony. No one gets any work done. So why not sit there with a churning stomach, a pounding head and the nauseating stench of stale smoke? Besides, you have other things to worry about, such as the name of… More >>
  • Best Family-Oriented Belly-Dancing Scene

    Ciro's Continental Restaurant and Club

    Late, late, late, 11 p.m. or later, load up your friends, your family if you have one, definitely the kids, and take them all to Ciro's on Midway Road just south of Belt Line. You'll join large gatherings of Middle Eastern families, many with kids, who have come to enjoy wonderfully fresh hummus, baba ghanouj, chickpea and olive mezze and… More >>
  • Best Live Music Venue


    Yes, the drive from Dallas is tedious. And getting back to town can be flat-out perilous. But for music geeks, Hailey's in Denton has the best booking in town, hands down. Last year's shows included such buzz acts as The Wrens, Liars, TV on the Radio, Pretty Girls Make Graves, Iron and Wine, Mates of State, The Unicorns, The Walkmen… More >>
  • Best Unfounded Rumor

    Republic is a gay bar - CLOSED

    For a rumor to really catch on, it must contain elements that the public finds plausible. That's why "George W. served his country" works--most people understand that by reneging on his National Guard agreement, he saved thousands of American lives, both in Vietnam and at training sites around the United States. Geez, imagine him in the cockpit of a fighter,… More >>
  • Best Place for a Walk in August

    Dallas Arboretum Fern Dell

    On the shore of White Rock Lake, the Dallas Arboretum is one of those city treasures that many residents still don't know about. Those who do often visit the arboretum only around Easter when the azaleas--with 2,400 varieties--are in glorious bloom, or in the fall for the magnificent mums. But on those days when the thermometer hits 95 degrees, take… More >>
  • Best Place to See Fully Clothed Exotic Dancers

    The Art of Exotic Dancing for Everyday Women

    OK, so honestly, if you attend an Art of Exotic Dancing workshop, taught by the spunky Clarissa Pierro, you are one of the fully clothed exotic dancers. Oh, and you're a woman. Pierro teaches the workshops at various gyms and studios around Dallas, and for a mere $79, women can unleash their sensuality and learn to feel good in their… More >>
  • Best Wedding-Night Hotel

    Fairmont Hotel

    Here's the best wedding advice you'll ever get: Spend your wedding night in Dallas. Regardless of the fabulous honeymoon you have planned, stay here for your wedding night. After a long hard day of getting married, the last thing you need is to rush around, change clothes, pack or repack, rush to the airport, cram yourselves into cramped seats, try… More >>
  • Best Excuse for Exercise

    Rowing on White Rock Lake

    Want to exercise while wearing a large straw hat? Like to watch the sun set while working out? You don't have to attend Harvard to crew. Check out the new recreational rowing club, White Rock Boathouse Inc., which has restored the 1930s boathouse and provides rowing shells--three singles, one double and a racing shell--for the use of members. "Most people… More >>
  • Best Makeunder


    The rumor's been that the reason Hailey's is the swankest, nicest, classiest rock-and-roll club north of the Gypsy Tea Room is that it was never supposed to be a haven for indie rockers. Instead, it was designed for jazz and blues artists, and the disposable income-ready fans attracted by that "more adult" music. But the youth market was more profitable,… More >>
  • Best Bar for the Common Man

    KC's II

    The jukebox is filled with classic country, '70s rock and a few blues brothers; Christmas lights line the area above the bar, and a stream of water trickles from one section of a leaky ceiling tile. KC's II, in all its glory, is a badass little barroom on Northwest Highway that serves up Bud in the bottle and anything else… More >>
  • Best Little-Known Parking Spot

    The Mockingbird Station customer parking in the North Central service road garage lot

    Customers and tenants alike complain about the tough parking situation at Mockingbird Station. Folks anxiously cruise the shops during peak hours, holding up the line of cars for minutes at a time while they wait for some 17-year-old to quit fumbling with her keys, get in her damned Audi and make her precious space available. It's not that there aren't… More >>
  • Best Hands-on Kids Experience

    The Dallas Aquarium at Fair Park

    Little kids like to touch stuff. The Dallas Aquarium at Fair Park lets them do that every Saturday at noon. It isn't to be confused with the much more expensive, privately operated Dallas World Aquarium in the West End. That's a fine place for many other reasons (see Best Kids Attraction), but you can't touch. You just look. At the… More >>
  • Best Beer Selection

    Stan's Blue Note

    For the past couple of years, The Ginger Man has dominated this category. And, granted, the place serves a smorgasbord of beers, but this year we were looking for something a little different, a bar with a little more character. And after much research, we found it in Stan's Blue Note, a Lower Greenville joint that has character (and characters)… More >>
  • Best Place to Get Pierced

    Obscurities Tattoo/Piercing

    On a ballot from one of our worldly and learned readers last year, the answer in this category was "shoulder." We laughed about it then and still did until recently. Then we licked our way to the Tootsie Roll center of this particular Tootsie Pop: This wasn't necessarily a joke. Someone has probably actually had one--or maybe even both--of their… More >>
  • Best Honky-Tonk

    Adair's Saloon

    Forget them fancy import beers, son. Tonight, you're drinkin' a Lone Star. Want a little history? It's all over these walls. That messy graffiti, been here long's I can recall. Back in the day, we'd write our college emblems up on these walls. Heck, Lois Adair over there gave us the Marks-a-lots to use. She's a fine one, Lois, been… More >>
  • Best Gay Bar

    Minc Lounge

    Flummoxed by whether to call Minc a gay bar or a post-gay hive of hipsterdom, we've given up all attempts to pigeonhole the place. There is often a saucy drag queen at the door, it's true, but Minc has become the most refreshing bar in Dallas to be gay without shouting out your queerness, that creeping feeling of politicization we… More >>
  • Best Place to Make Out


    Look, we're advocates of making out anywhere. Movie theaters? Fine. Bathroom stalls? Whatever. As long as it is the pure and simple make-out, we're all for it. (Anything more is kind of, y'know, slutty.) But there is no finer place to make out than downtown Dallas on a breezy fall night, face flushed with a few glasses of wine. First… More >>
  • Best Place to Steal a Sharpie

    Adair's Saloon

    Our favorite bar in college was a saloon-type joint furnished with wooden tables that had been defaced by years of carving and writing. Who loves whom, who graduates when and who thinks who or what "RULES!!!" were common announcements on the ad hoc message boards. We loved that place. And we love Adair's because it reminds us of it. On… More >>
  • Best Place to Live in Plano

    Eastside Village

    Lofts in Plano? Strange but true. Eastside Village offers apartment living above street-level retail shops in the middle of "historic" downtown Plano. The nearby DART station makes zipping to work in downtown Dallas or Mockingbird Station for a movie at the Angelika a breeze. Residents can walk to nearby restaurants, bars, a small farmers market and antique stores, and the… More >>
  • Best Mini-Museum

    Condom Sense

    We're way too young to remember when there were no vibrators, only "massagers," and no condoms, just "prophylactics." We suppose that it's just a nitpicky matter of terminology, but a visit to Condom Sense's antique massager and prophylactic display reminds us of a more discreet time. Before Trojan Twisted Pleasure Condoms, men carried Sheik Rubber Prophylactics. Before the Rabbit Pearl,… More >>
  • Best Line Overheard in a Bar

    Republic - CLOSED

    Overheard from a conversation between two women standing at the bar on a Tuesday evening: "I'm just gonna have one drink. I don't have the breasts to hang out here." … More >>
  • Best Nature Outing

    Dallas Arboretum

    It is a little slice of heaven in our urban hell, isn't it? The Dallas Arboretum with 66 acres of variously manicured green spaces and forest-y wilderness, plus 11 display gardens, which bloom and change with the seasons. The Arboretum is a "let the kids run wild" place, and stay-at-home moms use it liberally for those summer afternoons when the… More >>
  • Best Place for a Kid's Party


    Guess it depends on the kid, doesn't it? A 9-year-old certainly isn't going to be swinging from a miniature jungle gym or crawling through a Technicolor tunnel--and if he or she is, we're really sorry. So if the kid's older, maybe you oughta think about SpeedZone or Stone Works Climbing Gym or Dave & Buster's. But if you're needing a… More >>
  • Best Bar


    At some point, people in this city must come to terms with pretension. It works both ways, you know. Denizens of downscale hangouts such as Duke's or Champps scorn people decked in the latest Michael Kors. Folks slurping drinks at Republic or other Uptown joints refuse to accept guys with shirts tucked in. The infamous membership list at Sense is… More >>
  • Best Euro-Style Neighborhood Hang

    Nodding Dog Coffee Co.

    On a picturesque little corner in Bishop Arts, with a generous awning over the sidewalk and small round tables inside and out, Nodding Dog is a sophisticated hang-out for Cliffies and their dogs--a place whose every battered folding chair and aging sofa calls out for you to take a load off, sip some java and relax. The name is apt:… More >>
  • Best Dance Club

    Lizard Lounge

    For thumping beats and bangin' bodies, the Lizard Lounge is the still-reigning king of the Dallas dance scene. For one, some of the country's hottest DJs spin here when they come through town, and house DJs include such Zen masters as DJ Merritt, host of 102.1's legendary Edge Club, and drum 'n' bass maestro DJ Titan. For another, the place… More >>
  • Best Jukebox

    Lakewood Landing

    Of the many reasons to love the Landing--the dark wood, the great blue cheese-and-bacon burgers, the cold bottled beer, the no-nonsense bartenders and waitstaff--its jukebox is certainly one of the top three. Yes, it has plenty of cool, funky youngsters, and it has lots of old-school country, à la George Jones. It has a great sampling of rock and/or roll,… More >>
  • Best Things That Go Buzz in the Night

    Passion Parties with Andrea Spencer

    Stuck at that in-between age where we're old enough to have purchasing power but not old enough to want to go to Tupperware parties, we revel in Passion Parties' slightly naughty in-home presentations. The women-only party begins with the "sensual" products--romantic body lotions, massage oils, a "Bed of Roses" rose petal kit. As the evening progresses, the featured items are… More >>
  • Best Martini

    The Library at the Melrose Hotel

    We're purists. A martini can contain only three ingredients: gin, vermouth and a garnish. It's the quintessential sophisticate cocktail, with subtle but sublime flavors--crisp and bracing, herbal and aromatic. Made carelessly, however, a fine martini can become a slurry of gin and ice. Good martinis come from bartenders who ask questions: How dry? Rocks or up? What garnish? What gin?… More >>
  • Best Place to Watch the Sun Rise/Set (and Maybe Get Mugged)

    White Rock Lake

    There are some good things about Dallas and North Texas, but the landscape ain't one of 'em. For the most part, the area is bereft of any aesthetically pleasing vistas. Fortunately, we have White Rock Lake to keep us from forever cursing the concrete jungle. In the morning, the sun rises (from the east, for the direction-impaired), illuminating the city… More >>
  • Best Way to Feel Like You're in a Real Downtown

    The Shops at Legacy

    That's right. Plano. Straight up the Tollway, north of that dreaded Interstate 635 barrier, where they've reconstructed the convenience of an old-fashioned downtown without those "colorful" elements. You know, grime, panhandling, the frantic search for parking, the threat of sudden death or dismemberment. The Shops at Legacy offers a choice of street parking, valet parking or well-lit parking garages. Listen… More >>
  • Best Bartender Who Can't Hold Down a Job

    Mark Giese

    Over the past four years, Mark Giese worked at Il Sole, Salve!, Bali Bar, Paris Vendome, Dralion, Passport, Nikita, Spike and now the bar nestled in Tom Tom's extension. Some of these stints lasted a few months. In a few cases, he parted ways after a handful of days behind the bar. Between jobs he travels around the country until… More >>
  • Best East Dallas Movientsia Scene

    Premiere Video Friday nights (or Saturday nights)

    Part of Best of Dallas' challenge each year is finding new categories for Premiere Video: "Best Video/DVD Store" (2003); "Best Place for a Cinephile With Loose Change" (2002); "Best Too-Hip-for-Blockbuster Video Scene" (2002); then, "Best Sour Grapes" in Buzz, 2002, because they got so mad at us that year for not winning "Best Video Store." So what's best about them… More >>
  • On-Screen Stumping

    Tearlach Hutcheson doesn't vote. Hasn't in 14 years. Actually, he's not allowed to vote, at least not in this country. You see, the man who runs the Magnolia and Inwood theaters, which are part of the Landmark Theatre chain of art houses, is Australian, and though he's eligible to be a U.S citizen, he simply hasn't filled out the… More >>

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