Bars & Clubs

  • Best Patio


    Summers in Texas can be brutal, so patio-sittin’ isn’t exactly a popular pastime in the hot months. That is, unless you’re a regular at Bolsa near Oak Cliff’s Bishop Arts District. Bolsa’s covered patio is an oasis with its huge fans, generous misters and adventurous cocktails. The “Betty Draper,” a blend of Blue Bell Vanilla Ice Cream and Macallan scotch,… More >>
  • Best Place to Watch Movie Watchers

    Tradewinds Cinema Club on Wednesday Nights

    You want to watch a movie? How about two? Well, they start at 8:15 p.m. (or so) Wednesdays at Tradewinds Social Club. (Hence the name Tradewinds Cinema Club.) George Baum—master of the turntables in late-night watering holes like Lee Harvey's—serves as the TCC master of ceremonies and creates weekly themes such as French flicks (Amelie and Delicatessen) for Bastille Day… More >>
  • Best Bump, Grind and Score

    Whirly Ball Dallas

    You need to play whirly ball. That's just all there is to it. We can tell you that after grabbing a beer at the bar and getting briefed by a Whirly Ball Dallas professional (most assuredly with a shady nickname), you will walk into a strange gym-like room and board a bumper car that has a crank instead of a… More >>
  • Best Quarters Games


    We have a theory about how the drinking game quarters, in which you attempt to bounce a 25-cent piece into a beer cup, was invented. Someone really wanted to play a round of Ms. Pac-Man or Q*Bert and was making do with a situation wherein they had the change but no arcade game to stick it in. Fortunately, that will… More >>
  • Best Downtown Hang-Out

    City Tavern

    As Downtown Dallas creeps closer and closer to regaining its status as a top entertainment destination among the city's many, many options, the neighborhood is facing some roadblocks. There are just too many carbon-copy ultra lounge establishments that have popped up on Main Street in recent years; we have a hard time keeping track of them all. Thank God, then,… More >>

    Kona Grill

    Kona Grill… More >>
  • Best Dance Club

    Station 4

    You can't. You won't. And you don't...stop dancing at Station 4 just because it's 2 a.m. and the rest of the world is sulking its way home when their favorite lame bar shuts down. Open until 4 a.m. to facilitate maximum ass-shakage, this place is a pulsating hub of gay, straight and everything-in-between fun, pulsing through dancers' veins alongside that… More >>
  • Best Snow Cones

    32 Degrees at La Grange

    Need proof that the aliens are coming to get us all in 2012? Consider this: The best bar in Dallas (Deep Ellum's La Grange) is also the best place to get a snow cone. La Grange owner Stephanie Schumaker's icy-beverage side-project, 32 Degrees, doesn't demand that you order the thing with a shot of rum, but you sure as hell… More >>
  • Best Karaoke On Four Wheels

    Dallas Karaoke Cab

    If it's, say, late on a weekend night and you're stumbling out of an Uptown bar and into Monday Omoregbee's cab with your friends, odds are good the first question one of you will ask is whether or not this is the "Cash Cab." There are, after all, the party lights, the disco ball, the CDs stuck to the wall.… More >>
  • Best Beer Joint

    Meddlesome Moth

    The traditional four ingredients for beer are malted barley, hops, yeast and water. At the Meddlesome Moth, you can get beers from around the world highlighting three of those ingredients: rich malty British ales or German bocks, intensely hoppy West Coast brews, complex yeasty Belgian ales and more. The only thing you won't find is a watery American macrobrew; even… More >>
  • Best Upstairs

    Eno's Pizza Tavern

    When Eno's upstairs tavern opened up back in March, it became a favored destination for Oak Cliff's movers and shakers in a few short weeks, combining the pizza joint's already robust craft beer selection with big windows, a great view of downtown and a gorgeous, all-wood décor. There's not a TV to be found in here, so it's a nice… More >>

    Lee Harvey's

    Lee Harvey's… More >>
  • Best Bar

    La Grange

    What's your best friend like? Does she constantly bombard you with new and wacky gimmicks in a desperate attempt to hold your attention? No way. Your best friend got that title because he or she is consistently awesome. Dallas' best bar should be just like that, and La Grange, at less than a year old, has mastered reliable excellence faster… More >>
  • Best Honky-Tonk

    Adair's Saloon

    There are loads of generic honky-tonks all over the metroplex. They have giant dance floors where the Wrangler-wearing masses spend their weekends dancing to country bands that don't venture far from top 40 playlists. Adair's Saloon has virtually nothing in common with these places. Consider it the CBGB of honky-tonks. A small, well-worn dance floor stretches from one overly decorated… More >>
  • Best Recreational Drinking


    Take your favorite dive bar, slap on a fresh coat of paint and line the walls with a dream array of bar games, and you've got Dallasite—a gem of a neighborhood bar between two neighborhoods that draws a crowd from both because the drinks are cheap, the food is good and the electronics still work. If you run out of… More >>
  • Best Place to Party, Virtually


    From its humble roots at a Best Western in Garland 14 years ago, QuakeCon has grown into an epic bring-your-own-computer happening, the largest free LAN party in the world—and if that doesn't mean much to you, well, you're probably not headed to QuakeCon anytime soon. Each summer, though, the "Woodstock of gaming" takes over one of Dallas' biggest resort hotels,… More >>

    Fallout Lounge, Lizard Lounge, and Station 4

    Fallout Lounge, Lizard Lounge, and Station 4… More >>

    Station 4

    Station 4… More >>
  • Best Place To Bust A Gut

    Dallas Comedy House

    Stiff drinks, hand-crafted snacks and dim lighting are par for the bar-course when it comes to things Dallasites demand in their nightlife, but they're hardly staples at comedy clubs, where overpriced booze gets served up alongside lukewarm nachos and some hack's life story. To the rescue: improv comics Amanda Austin and Clay Barton, who opened the Dallas Comedy House last… More >>
  • Best Alternative Club

    The Church at Lizard Lounge

    There's church, and then there's The Church. Can you spot the difference? Both take place on Sunday and both rely on camaraderie. But at one, people sport leather-bound Bibles, while at the other people sport leather-bound booties. The latter takes place at the Lizard Lounge every Sunday and Thursday, where people put on their least-safe-for-work garb and gather for an… More >>
  • Best Free Concert

    Cool Thursdays at the Arboretum

    The trick here is that the Cool Thursdays evening concerts at the Arboretum aren't supposed to be free. It's 10 bucks a head plus seven more for parking for these pop concerts, April through July, none in August, then a fall series throughout September and October. But you can hear them all without paying a nickel and also enjoy a… More >>
  • Best Quiet Spot

    Dallas Meditation Center

    The first interfaith meditation center in North Texas also turns out to be a superbly silent place for prayer, meditation, reflection and just...being. At last, one spot on the planet where no one's cell phone goes off. Brother Chi-Sing, the center's young and cheerful lead instructor, teaches classes in various forms of meditation (Buddhist-based and not) and hosts several weekly… More >>

    Fallout Lounge and Lizard Lounge - CLOSED

    Fallout Lounge and Lizard Lounge… More >>

    The Bone and Trees - CLOSED

    The Bone and Trees… More >>
  • Best Small-Scale Destruction

    Giant Jenga at the Bryan Street Tavern

    One of the most beautiful things about being human is our ability to communicate with language and build beautiful, inspiring things. But what's the fun of creation without its far more satisfying opposite, destruction? Truly, the makers of childhood favorite Jenga knew this—build it up and watch it topple, over and over again. But the kiddie Jenga-smiths weren't allowed to… More >>
  • Best Blues Club

    Pearl At Commerce - CLOSED

    There's something perfect about the marriage of the blues and a well-stocked drinking establishment. On one side of the room, people express their anguish on guitars and other folk-based instruments. On the other side, patrons drink their woes away. Thing about Pearl At Commerce, though—everyone seems to be having a good time, and their burgeoning music scene is a reflection… More >>
  • Best Happy Hour

    The Libertine Bar

    One of our favorite bars in the world, the Libertine has racked up awards for everything from Best Bar, Period to Best Bar Food (twice) to the very esoteric Best Place To Take The Marquis De Sade. And while it still richly deserves all of those accolades and more, we've got to spread the love. So this year, we salute… More >>
  • Best Sign That There is Hope For Uptown

    Live Music at Renfield's Corner

    It used to be that if you wanted to hear music in Uptown, your choices were a DJ's selection of club house or a guy with an acoustic guitar playing "American Pie." Now, thanks to the booking of Chelsea Callahan, you can hear live, original music in the least likely of neighborhoods. Better yet, the Wednesday night shows—which have included… More >>

    House of Blues

    House of Blues… More >>

    The Balcony Club

    The Balcony Club… More >>
  • Best Live Music Venue

    Granada Theater

    It's not just the multitude of phenomenal shows that the Granada Theater's booking agents bring to Lower Greenville that makes the renovated movie theater such a delightful place to catch a concert. Sure, that's part of it, but it's not the whole shebang. See, the Granada's great for a multitude of other reasons too: the friendly staff (deemed "serenity guards"… More >>
  • Best Local Music Website

    My Dallas Music

    It's hard to find a local website that focuses exclusively on local music. Bloggers and editors cover a hodgepodge of local goings-on mixed with interesting national stories. My Dallas Music is no exception, but what sets it apart is the depth of its local coverage and the social media aspect of the site. It's fairly new, but My Dallas Music… More >>
  • Best Men's Club

    The Lodge

    You know the old stereotypes about strip clubs. They're dark. They're seedy. They're fun. But when push comes to shove, they're filled with awkwardness and regret. Hold up, though, fans of naked women: Those sentiments don't apply to The Lodge, except for the fun part. Designed to look like a ski or hunting lodge, the place isn't your run-of-the-mill black-room-with-silver-poles… More >>
  • Best Gay Bar

    Round-Up Saloon

    Sure, it's primarily a country bar with a huge wooden dance floor, line-dance lessons and DJs who spin a variety of classic, new and crossover pop country. But with six separate bars in this enormous Cedar Springs staple, it's not just urban cowboys having a good time. There's plenty of twang to satisfy the regulars every night, but the late-night… More >>

    The Goat

    The Goat… More >>

    Adair's Saloon

    Adair's Saloon… More >>
  • Best Jazz Club

    Brooklyn Jazz Café

    The growth of culture on South Lamar in Dallas over the last few years has resulted in great restaurants, great concert venues, great retail and this little gem: Brooklyn Jazz Café. Home to some of the region's established and most talked-about jazz and R&B artists, Brookyn Jazz Café has live music almost every night of the week, as well as… More >>
  • Best Latin Club

    Gloria's Addison

    OK, so Gloria's isn't your typical reggaeton-pumping Latin club, but when it opens its dance floor each Friday and Saturday for an all-night salsa dancing sweat-fest, it's tough to find a more electric place anywhere in town. Whether the amazing Cuban band Havana NRG or the delicious (and deceptively strong) margaritas remove the most inhibitions, it's hard to say. To… More >>
  • Best One-Fisted Drinking

    The Loon

    Here's our kind of drinking game: Order an uninitiated friend a cocktail or, better yet, whiskey on the rocks at The Loon. Then sit back and watch your pal's face as he has an internal debate about whether to say something to the server, like, "Excuse me, ma'am, but I didn't order a triple." The Loon, with its homey, pretense-free… More >>
  • Best Meatsweats

    The Libertine's Brass Knuckle Corn Dog Beatdown

    If there's anything more American than baseball and apple pie, it's getting tanked and stuffing yourself with fried food on a stick. So it's no wonder the Libertine's celebrated the last two Fourths of July with a 15-minute corn-dog eating contest. First and second place get bar tabs, third place wins a roll of quarters, and ties are broken with… More >>


    Gloria's… More >>

    Pearl at Commerce - CLOSED

    Pearl at Commerce… More >>
  • Best Thing That Ever Came Out Of The Ghostbar

    Black Swan Saloon

    The Black Swan Saloon is a thin sliver of a thing on Elm Street in Deep Ellum, but what it lacks in width it makes up for in depth. Figuratively and literally—the back patio's a shady place for a smoke, but Gabe, a Ghostbar ex-pat who opened the Swan this year, gives the place its soul. Behind the bar, Gabe… More >>
  • Best Rock Bar

    The Double Wide

    To call the Double Wide a "rock bar" is a bit of a slight. It's much more than a bar. Sure, it has a bar, but right across the patio from that home base, the establishment also boasts a bona fide concert room with a capacity of 75 (and there's another bar in there, by the way), and it's one… More >>
  • Best Two-Fisted Drinking

    The Dirty Dusty at City Tavern

    Look, we know how silly we look holding a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon. It's cheap, flavorless, crappy American lager that has inexplicably become the drink of choice for hipsters trying to affect some kind of facetious blue-collar aesthetic. But when we're at City Tavern, we're drinking it all night. Because for $4, you can get a shot of Jack… More >>
  • Best Reason For A Dallas Music Fan To Go To Frisco

    Live Music at Lochrann's Irish Pub and Eatery - CLOSED

    For years, Frisco residents have had to drive to Denton, Dallas or Fort Worth to hear worthwhile live music. Now, while you couldn't quite say the tables have turned, Dallas music fans actually have a reason to take their turns doing the 45-minute drive, and we're not talking about Jimmy Buffet concerts at Pizza Hut Park. Thanks in part to… More >>

    The Ginger Man

    The Ginger Man… More >>

    Family Karaoke

    Family Karaoke… More >>

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