People & Places

  • Scenes: The Master Of Spin

    Web extra: Video of DJ Drop at a Definition DJs meet-up. Before a team on MTV's America's Best Dance Crew tackled B-Hamp's "Do the Ricky Bobby," before Shaq and Lebron performed their best takes on the GS Boyz' "Stanky Legg" at the 2009 NBA All-Star Game, and even before The New York Times reviewed the debut release from Dorrough and announced… More >>
  • Best Bar & Best Jukebox

    The Windmill Lounge

    What do we want—no, wait—what do we need from a bar for it to be a great bar, a go-to bar or, if the heavens align correctly, a home bar? Ample seating. Clean restrooms. An area outdoors for the smokers. Music. Stomach lining options. Good classic hooch. Great service. A TV to stare at when someone strange is trying to… More >>
  • Best Cheap Morning After

    Barbec's and Boutique Pet Shop and Aquarium

    It's no secret that a greasy breakfast complete with Barbec's legendary beer biscuits is one of the best hangover cures in Dallas. If you find yourself treating your date to one of their famous breakfasts (lucky you), don't forget to stop by the free zoo that is Boutique Pet Shop, where the cuddly guinea pigs, flashy saltwater fish and adorable… More >>
  • Best Spooky Drive

    Mountain Creek Parkway

    Not many drives in Dallas can compare with the surreal scene that is Mountain Creek Parkway. Take the exit off Southbound Loop 12 and you'll come upon the desolate lakeshore that borders the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery—you might see the occasional van full of misguided fishermen parked under the giant power lines overhead, but there's also plenty of empty space… More >>
  • Best Tourist Attraction

    Arts District

    When people come to Dallas, they usually go to a strip club, see where JFK was shot, eat atop Reunion Tower or visit a sports venue (two of which are 20 miles away in Arlington). Some choose more than one, and others may add Deep Ellum or White Rock Lake to their lists, but those leaving town without a stay… More >>
  • Best Beer Joint

    Flying Saucer Draught Emporium

    One of the great joys of traveling is trying new beers that are hard to find in your home town. But who has the money to travel these days? Fortunately, if your travel budget has gone from Amsterdam, Germany and Fort Lauderdale to Addison, Garland and Fort Worth, you can still make like a tourist at your nearest Flying Saucer.… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Advocate

    Jason Roberts

    The revitalization of Oak Cliff couldn't happen without the efforts of selfless, community-minded volunteers like Jason Roberts. He's an IT consultant, a husband and a father, but his volunteer efforts alone would be enough to drive a lesser man mad. He co-founded the nonprofit Art Conspiracy, which raises money for art and music charities; in fact, his band, Happy Bullets,… More >>
  • Best Late-Night Coffee and Wi-Fi

    Buli Café

    The blue glow of laptops lights up the faces of Buli Café's regular late-night customers. Sitting along the wall against faux-fur cushions are budding screenwriters, playwrights, Facebook freaks and others with reasons to be online after dark. The nighttime crowd here comes in for strong coffee roasted on the premises (and served in sizes from Twink to Butch), plus tasty… More >>
  • Best Bar Food

    The Libertine

    There are plenty of reasons why the Libertine deserves recognition—the traditional pub atmosphere, the friendly faces behind the bar, and the fact that, even though it's not much of a venue, the place does its part to support local music with live performances. But the best reason to love the Libertine? The food offered up by the folks in the… More >>
  • Best Live Music Venue

    Granada Theater

    Imagine, if you will, the type of live music venue that'd be opened by a grown-up, matured hippie—one who's survived years of hitting the road and following his favorite jam bands for entire tours. It'd probably look and feel exactly like the Granada Theater. And that's just what the Granada is. This year, Mike Schoder, former owner of CD World… More >>
  • Best Dance Club

    Fallout Lounge - CLOSED

    Don't expect a red carpet or a VIP list here—it's a divey sort of place where you can never be sure what lies in store. Relatively small and cave-like, with a rustic concrete floor and DJs spinning on the weekends, it tends to turn into an all-out dance party on Friday nights. Like any dance party worth its salt, this… More >>
  • Best Rock Bar

    The Double Wide

    Sure, there's the live music room across the patio. That helps. But the Double Wide wins points because you don't have to hit the music room—or pay that room's separate cover charge—to enjoy a night of fine music and good friends. Regularly playing host to a couple of the region's finest niche DJs—DJ Slim, whose soul music selection is authentic… More >>
  • Best Poorly Lit Chicas Bonitas

    The Palms Beer Express

    All over Dallas, people are just trying to make it happen. Trying to keep the paychecks coming, trying to drum up business. Everyone's heard that "sex sells," but in the last few years, the phrase seems to have changed to "sexy chicks outside buildings in swimsuits with spotlights directed at them sell." What do they sell? Beer. The best of… More >>
  • Best Honky-Tonk

    Adair's Saloon

    The King Bucks may have left their Monday night residency that carried this honky-tonk for the past two years, but the fact remains: If you wanna throw on some cowboy boots, throw back some Lone Star and throw your dance partner around the floor without much regard for anyone judging you from the sidelines, Adair's still remains the tops in… More >>
  • Best Jazz Club

    The Amsterdam Bar

    This Exposition Park staple isn't really a jazz club, but step into this European-styled bar on a Monday night and, traditional jazz room settings be damned, you're gonna see yourself as good a night of jazz performance as offered by any other venue in town. Bad Ass Jazz, as the night is called, is pretty much just what the title… More >>
  • Best Latin Club

    Escapade 2009

    Don't really know the logic behind this massive, longtime area favorite being named Escapade 2009, as it has been for some time now, but, hey, at least it makes it easier when saying things like, "Hey, Escapade, this really is your year, huh?" Nyuk, nyuk. But, seriously, there are like a bajillion Escapades across Texas, all with different years after… More >>
  • Best Blues Club

    Pearl at Commerce - CLOSED

    Here's the deal, Dallas: Considering how important a role the blues played in our city's musical history (y'know, "Deep Ellum Blues," and all that), it's really a goddamn shame how there aren't all that many clubs—well, many clubs worth mentioning, at least—that offer up the genre on a regular basis. Last we heard, there's one coming back to Deep Ellum,… More >>
  • Best Alternative Club

    Jack's Backyard - CLOSED

    'Bout a year ago, back when Jack's first opened, a buddy of mine convinced us to check the place out, promising that the then-new Oak Cliff spot was gonna be quite the big deal in the very near future. Sure enough, what we saw upon arrival was, indeed, quite the chic, if somewhat hidden, hot spot. And it definitely didn't… More >>
  • Best Radio Station

    The Indie-Verse

    You won't find The Indie-Verse on your AM or FM dials. And only for a short period of time could you even find the station on your HD2 frequencies (assuming you're the only person in the world to actually have one of those receivers). But here's the trick about The Indie-Verse: You might only be able to listen to it… More >>
  • Best Radio DJ

    Mark Schectman

    He might take over your FM dial only once a week—and on Sunday nights, no less—but Mark Schectman deserves some serious praise for the way he's been running his Local Show on The Edge since taking over the hour-long slot earlier this year. Unlike some of his predecessors, Schectman actually seems to pay attention to the local scene, instead of… More >>
  • Best Local Album Release

    Teenage Cool Kids

    Twelve tracks and a hair over 37 minutes long, this late spring release from Denton's Teenage Cool Kids surprised more than a few people with something poppier than listeners might've come to expect from this previously kinda snotty, lo-fi punk quartet of Andrew Savage (guitar, lead vocals), Daniel Zeigler (guitar), Bradley Kerl (drums) and Chris Pickering (bass). It's reminiscent of… More >>
  • Best Local Music Web Site

    NTX Showlist

    There's not much to it, really. In fact, NTXshowlist is solely what its name makes it out to be: a Web site that does nothing but display each day's concert listings, offering up gigs from touring and local acts alike. But, in today's convoluted, Flash-driven and commenter-ruined Internet age, the site, run by Gutterth Productions' Michael Briggs and Brent Frishman… More >>
  • Best Place to Awkwardly Applaud Bush

    The Mercury

    It's happened at least once. We have a personal account from a trusted source and read that saucy little blurb from The Dallas Morning News' Alan Peppard: In April, Preston Hollow residents George W. and Lady Laura arrived fully backed by black SUVs and Secret Service to dine at the Mercury Grill. Before they even received the menu, the former… More >>
  • Best Pre-Rock Belly Stuffing

    Studio Bar & Grill - CLOSED

    There's really only one reason to ever bother going to the Studio Bar & Grill: You're heading out to catch a show at one of the three rooms of the massive Palladium complex on South Lamar, and you didn't have the chance to grab a bite to eat before you had to run out the door. But, oh what a… More >>
  • Best Twitter Takedown

    WhyDentonSucks

    It's tough to say who's behind this Twitter account that hates on all things little d, calling out people by name and doing so without remorse. And, actually, it can get pretty harsh at times. Like when a certain musician got called out for looking like "one of Prince's illegitimate children" and for having a questionable fashion sense. Or when… More >>
  • Best Excuse To Shoegaze

    Kixpo

    Don't let the Uptown yuppies in their Polo shirts and Banana Republic slacks fool you: There is, indeed, quite the hip streetwear fashion scene in Dallas—and it's growing every year. Case in point: Kixpo, Dallas' annual sneaker and streetwear expo. Run by a group of sneaker and streetwear fiends who collectively call themselves Dead Stock, the annual event draws sneakerheads… More >>
  • Best Not-Quite-Nostalgia Fodder

    Trees

    Back in August, when Clint and Whitney Barlow reopened the much-loved space that once saw Kurt Cobain get his ass kicked by a security guard, they had to deal with the pressure of living up to the hype of the club of the same name, which had closed four and a half years earlier. And because it wasn't exactly the… More >>
  • Best Place To Ogle, Uh, Sure, Let's Go With Platinum Record Plaques

    The Clubhouse

    Yes, The Clubhouse, like so many other establishments on Manana Drive, is a strip club. And, as strip clubs go, it's probably not the tops in town. But, unlike the other gentlemen's establishments of the region, this one offers more to stare at than naked women. Owned by Arlington native and famed Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott, the club's walls… More >>
  • Best Men's Club

    Baby Dolls

    Designing a topless bar is like cooking a bowl of porridge for Goldilocks. Dim the house lights, flood it with too much black light and pump up the DJ's volume, and the environment is just too distracting, making it hard to see what you came there to see. On the other hand, boost the lighting too much, and sometimes you… More >>
  • Best Roof Top Margaritas

    Iron Cactus

    This rooftop patio is hands-down among the best in town. You can sit at the bar under the stars or grab a table at which to enjoy shots of tequila or margaritas accompanied by fajitas, nachos or fish tacos. The tequila selection is vast, from Cuervo on the bottom end to El Tesoro Paradiso and Don Julio in the mid-range… More >>
  • Best Humanitarian Hangout

    Urban Dog Coffee

    Since Starbucks became the new McDonald's, finding a good independent, local coffee shop can be tough. But after Brady Cottle took over and renovated this Oak Lawn establishment, it offers delicious home-brewed coffee and espresso drinks, pastries by local baker extraordinaire Samantha Rush (needless to say, her work blows Starbucks' tired baked goods out of the water), as well as… More >>
  • Best Place to Make a Livable Wage

    It's a Grind - CLOSED

    Who would have thought that a swift-boating Dallas billionaire would raise a daughter with a strong social conscience? But Serena Simmons Connelly, a social worker and the daughter of Harold Simmons, is one of the backers of It's a Grind, a unique Deep Ellum coffee shop dedicated to the mission of providing a livable wage, full health benefits and an… More >>
  • Best Pool Party

    The Double Wide

    Yeah, it's cool the Double Wide has had an electric bull in its parking lot. We owned that animal, by the way. But this year, when the Fourth of July came around with triple-digit torture, the ol' D-Dub provided some low-budget relief. Those watching the Fair Park Fourth fireworks from the DW's parking lot (while downing a dollar dog from… More >>
  • Best Dog Park

    Unleashed - CLOSED

    With the advent of new dog parks around the metroplex, this competition has gotten downright dog-eat-dog. (Sorry.) It would be easy to bark up the same old tree (another apology) and give the Mockingbird Point Dog Park at White Rock Lake, which teaches socialization skills for both man and beast, our annual nod. But there is a new canine scene… More >>
  • Best Happy Hour

    Bavarian Grill's Stein Hour, 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays

    The drink specials aren't all that special during Stein Hour at Bavarian Grill: $2.75 domestic longnecks, $3.25 Loewenbraus, or a dollar off selected drafts. They're better than nothing, but going to a bar with so many great German brews only to drink domestic longnecks (or Loewenbrau, for that matter) is like going to Six Flags and never getting off the… More >>
  • Best Place to Second-Hand Smoke

    Denton

    Since the smoking ban, places in Dallas are still a bit stale, but it's nothing compared to the stank that once permeated hair and clothing after a night out in Big D. Even smokers had to spray down and air out. But no more. No more, that is, unless you go to see a band in Denton. Sure, Fort Worth… More >>
  • Best Patio

    Bolsa

    Sure, the great food and wine selection keeps the clientele at Bolsa satisfied despite the long waits and occasionally lazy service. It's the décor that really sells it, however—anyone who knew it in its former incarnation as Settles Auto Garage would be amazed with the clean, airy feel of Bolsa's interior now. The patio is even better, sharing an indoor/outdoor… More >>
  • Best Scenic Associate's DEGREE

    Mountain View College

    Colleges and universities always use the campus scenery to entice prospective students, but if you're looking into a Dallas County Community College, it's understandable if scenery falls far below practicality and affordability on your list of priorities. After all, El Centro and Eastfield are not much to look at. The Urban Wildlife Sanctuary at Mountain View College, however, is actually… More >>
  • Best Hike & Custard

    Cedar Ridge Preserve

    The trails at Southwest Dallas' Audubon-managed Cedar Ridge Preserve make for some of the best hiking in North Texas. Whether you pick the leisurely Possumhaw Trail or the heavy woods and elevation changes of the Cedar Break Trail, you're sure to enjoy the experience, which puts the hiking at nearby Cedar Hill State Park to shame. (If you're with your… More >>
  • Best Local Daily Sports Columnist

    Kevin Sherrington

    While his columnist colleagues at The Dallas Morning News abuse the word "ridiculous" or parlay their day jobs into multimedia careers, Sherrington routinely turns a pretty cool magic trick. He writes like he's old, without actually being old. Granted, he recently survived a serious health scare, but came out the other side as cynical and stylish as ever. Sherrington's prose… More >>
  • Best Place to Work That's Not the Office

    Crooked Tree Coffeehouse

    Sometimes the office, with its unnatural lighting and extreme temperatures, can get on your nerves and make you unproductive. Not to mention unfriendly. Get out for an afternoon and haul your laptop to this independent coffee house that feels more like a loving pal's living room. The furniture is a mix of thrift store finds and goods from estate sales.… More >>
  • Best Pool Bar

    The Joule Hotel

    The lobby of the Joule Hotel is a dark cavern that stretches far into the building. It's full of mesmerizing artwork by Andy Warhol and a rotating installation on the ceiling. Pay it no mind. Make your way to the row of elevators on the right. Get off at the 10th floor and push open the exit door to discover… More >>
  • Best Spot to Meet the Fledgling Community in Downtown

    City Tavern

    City Tavern is the Cheers of downtown. Everybody knows your name. That's because most patrons are downtown residents, especially on any given weekday. As the downtown population has grown from 200 to 6,000 residents in the last 15 years, the Tavern has been transformed by demand into the downtown community center. In May, a group of downtown residents threw their… More >>
  • Best Spot for Nature Lovers

    Trinity River Audubon Center

    This spot, located only eight minutes from downtown, used to be an illegal dump. The construction debris and rotting garbage caught fire and burned for a month in 1997. But millions of dollars and many years later, the city has turned the 120-acre site into a home for hundreds of bird species and critters. Spend a Saturday morning exploring the… More >>
  • Best Gay Bar

    Round Up Saloon

    Be prepared to enter a whole new world: photos displayed on flat screens of muscular, all-American men in cowboy hats with hairless chests; a front "parlor" for karaoke where "they sing all the time," said a bouncer; and an authentic, good-sized dance floor for country dancing. Above the sunken dance floor, a giant neon red outline of the great state… More >>
  • Other Winning Scenes Suggestions From Our Readers

    Best Place for a Kidsí Party Pump It Up 9201 Forest Lane, No. 100 972-792-9663… More >>
  • Best 24-Hour People Watching

    Café Brazil near University

    This is one of the few places in town that's so naughtily diverse. There's always a decent array of fauna, but between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m. it runs the gamut from strippers unwinding after a shift and pimps with hookers in tow to hot cops, students in the midst of finals, megageeks glued to their computers, Harley dudes… More >>
  • Best Kids Outing

    Pay What You Can Dallas Theater Center Performances

    Just keeping kids alive until their 18th birthdays is expensive enough. You shouldn't have to break open their piggy banks to give them the occasional cultural experience. The Dallas Theater Center apparently understands this and offers Pay What You Can nights for select Sunday night preview shows. Drop a not-unreasonable $5 a head with a family of four and you'll… More >>
  • Best Playground

    Storybook Playhouse

    They're gonna tear our playhouses down come late December, which still gives you plenty of time to see what they planted in the ground for Dallas Blooms back in March—16 architectural treats reflecting the wonder and wisdom contained in kiddie-book classics. Swings and slides are nice and all, but you're young'un hasn't lived (or learned) till he or she hops… More >>
  • Best Illogical Immigrants

    The Monk Parakeets at White Rock Lake

    Even if you've heard of monk parakeets—the accidentally introduced, bright green parrots known to nest in several American cities—it's still eye-opening when a flock of them flies clumsily over the jogging trail at White Rock Lake, loudly squawking all the way. The curious can find their giant communal nests hidden on the towers of a power station just across the… More >>

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