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Bars & Clubs

  • 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… More >>
  • 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?)… More >>
  • 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… More >>
  • 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… More >>
  • 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… More >>
  • Best Place To Bump into Lady Gaga without a Ticket

    Round-Up Saloon

    Sure the joint opened in the summer of 1980, but the Round-Up Saloon on Cedar Springs is one of the only places in town that could peg a "Lady Gaga is a regular" sign on the bar. Gaga has a habit of dropping by for impromptu performances on the gay bar's legendary boot-scootin' dance floor, and back in March of… More >>
  • Best Place to Get Up Close and Personal with a Drag Queen

    Randy's Club Cherries

    The first thing you notice when stepping into the tiny club off Maple Avenue is an intimate stage with a luminous backdrop, shimmering in the glow of several multicolored spotlights. The stage, surrounded by a few small tables, hosts regular performances by some of the city's top drag performers and national acts alike. From Dominique O'Hara Skyy to Kandy Cayne… More >>
  • Best Place to Watch the Game

    The Old Monk

    This distinction isn't given based on the television-to-patron ratio. If that were the case, The Old Monk would surely lose out in this super scientific selection process. No, this is based on a handful of criteria that enrich the sports-watching experience: Patio, food, booze and, yeah, televisions. The Old Monk has one of the best patios on Henderson, which is… More >>
  • Best Drag King Night

    Mustache Envy at Sue Ellen's

    On the first Friday of every other month, drag king "community" Mustache Envy takes over the Vixen Lounge at Sue Ellen's bar on Cedar Springs. The performance is a hybrid of a drag show and variety show and includes local drag kings, musicians and burlesque dancers. The high-energy and engaging event is a perfect way to blow off steam after… More >>
  • Best Hotel Bar

    Bar Belmont

    This is, without qualification, the best place to drink in Dallas. Sure, they can whip up a competent cocktail, and they have a selection of infused booze that's pretty interesting. But it's the vibe that keeps us coming back. Seated on a rise at the intersection of Fort Worth Street and Sylvan Avenue, nestled within the immaculately white, mod Belmont… More >>
  • 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… More >>
  • Best Patio

    The Foundry

    It's one thing when a bar has a nice patio, but Oak Cliff's The Foundry has a massive patio. The sprawling yard is enclosed on one side by several boxcars filled with comfortable chairs and tables. On one end is the coolest-looking stage in Dallas (constructed of more than 600 wood pallets), and next to it is a building that… More >>
  • Best Bar Music

    Strangeways

    It's hard not to feel as though you're walking into a Manchester pub when you step foot into the East Dallas bar Strangeways. The exposed concrete walls and wooden rafters lend to the industrial British atmosphere, but what really sets the mood is the music that breathes life into the gritty space. An impressive mix of The Smiths, New Order,… More >>
  • Best Bar for Power Ballad Fans

    Liquid Zoo

    Liquid Zoo owner Nell Scarborough can hardly hold a conversation without humming along to whatever power ballad is playing in her East Dallas bar. She's not the only one. The room is filled with Richard Marx fans, who, according to the genuine looks on their faces as they sing along, "will be right here waiting for you." The thing is,… More >>
  • Best Sign Denton is Growing Up

    Paschall Bar

    Denton's University of North Texas campus releases thousands of graduates into the real world each year. It's expected that they'll take their education and move away to another, bigger city. Such is not the case in Denton, where many graduates have been hanging around the town like an adult son crashing at his parents' house for a few years too… More >>
  • Best Dance Club

    Beauty Bar

    Beauty Bar is such a great dance club because it hosts some of the area's best DJs. Sober's Thursday night residency has become a hipster hotspot, where his mix of old-school hip-hop and indie rock packs an interesting mix of party people onto the small dance floor each week. It's a place that's saturated with glamour, from the vintage mirrors… More >>
  • Best Dive Bar

    Club Schmitz

    There aren't too many wholesome hangouts amongst the strip joints in far Northwest Dallas anymore, save for one place that has been in business since 1946. The family-owned Club Schmitz is the quintessential Dallas dive bar. Very little about the place detracts from its kitschy charm. The wood-paneled walls are covered with yellowed Budweiser displays that were hung there when… More >>
  • Best Mixology Bar

    The Cedars Social

    Go up to any bartender at The Cedars Social and order a Ramos Gin Fizz, one of the most complicated drinks in the cocktail canon. They won't even need to refer to a recipe. Instead, they'll build the drink straight from memory. Same goes for the Old Fashioned, which many on The Cedars Social staff can perfect while holding a… More >>
  • Best Pop-Up Bar

    All Of Them

    When The Cedars Social's head barman Michael Martensen quietly opened the doors to Bar 828 in Oak Cliff, a charity-benefiting pop-up bar in Oak Cliff, it was only a matter of minutes until the place was packed. Martensen brought in the area's top bartenders to mix drinks. It was so popular that only a few months later he did the… More >>
  • Best Brewpub

    Union Bear

    It's not the biggest as far as brewpubs go, or at least doesn't have the brewing capacity of a Humperdink's, Gordon Biersch or BJ's. In fact, it only brews one beer at a time to complement its array of other fine ales and lagers. But brewing a new offering every week, this self-proclaimed "nanobrewery" makes up for its small output… More >>
  • Best Brewery

    Deep Ellum Brewing Co.

    The first of four new breweries to open in the past year, Deep Ellum Brewing Co. is the biggest and offers the widest selection. Helmed by John Reardon and the capable and creative brewmaster Drew Huerter, DEBC rolls out a new style every few weeks. They're almost always good to great, and all have some creative spin on an established… More >>
  • Best Bar for Wallowing in Your Heartbreaking Loss

    Lee Harvey's

    One of the most cathartic sounds in Dallas is a crunch. It's the sound of gravel under your shoe upon that first step into Lee Harvey's expansive patio, where rickety wood benches rest around old candles and wood-burning ovens smoke away your troubles. There's no better place in Dallas to undo that tight tie and flip off the blazer after… More >>
  • Best Gay Bar

    Dallas Eagle

    "Joyful" is the only word to describe Dallas Eagle on a busy Saturday night, as the jock-strapped bartenders spin bottles next to a packed dance-floor. Meanwhile, leather-clad patrons gather underneath trees strung with Christmas lights out on the spacious back patio to engage in heavy flirting or maybe some light bondage. The Eagle's been a well-loved institution for more than… More >>
  • Best Burlesque Theme

    Viva Dallas Burlesque

    On Friday, April 6, Viva Dallas, alongside "SINsation," the aerial acrobatics of Alley Oops and Fleur de Tease, performed a burlesque version of Alice in Wonderland. Imagine: "Alice" in a throat-clearingly-perfect split a few feet above the stage. Wild stuff from the burlesque troupe that puts on the most exciting themed burlesque in Dallas. Other themes this year have included… More >>
  • Best Place to Get a Crash Course in Tinctures

    The Black Swan

    If you've ever seen Black Swan's Gabe Sanchez make a drink, you know he takes his profession of tending bar seriously. He focuses on drink-making like a chemist. You will sit and watch him drop a tincture from New Orelans in your drink, and he will tell you what its health benefits are. Or, perhaps you will watch him sear… More >>
  • Best Club Redo

    It'll Do Night Club

    The former Tejano bar near the corner of Peak and Elm streets was just waiting for the right person. That person was Brooke Humphries, owner of Barcadia, Beauty Bar and the newly opened Mudsmith coffee shop. As a veteran of the Dallas club/DJ/house music scene, she's turned It'll Do into an East Dallas dance club where bottle service and status… More >>
  • Best Use of the Bust of Elvis

    Single Wide

    As Mojo Nixon sang, "Elvis is everywhere," and that is especially true of the Single Wide, Double Wide's little sister on Greenville. From the bust of Mr. Presley behind the bar, to the Elvis pinball machine on the back wall, you need only one guess as to who their patron saint is.… More >>
  • Best Place to Hear an Obscure '80s Synth Band While Drinking Craft Beer

    Strangeways

    Isn't that what we all really want? A place to hear a Grauzone song while drinking PranQster out of a goblet? This dive is what East Dallas needs more of, a reappropriated space (it looks like it might have been an auto body shop at one point) that has a dizzying beer selection, provides a moping place away from Deep… More >>
  • Best Place to Relive Frat Days

    Katy Trail Ice House

    So you're all grown up. You're a few years out of college and climbing the professional ladder. Maybe you even have a wife. Still, from time to time you can't help but yearn for the days of popped collars and keg stands and stumbling to class on no sleep and reeking of cheap whiskey. That's where the Katy Trail Ice… More >>
  • Best New Bar

    Swallow Lounge - CLOSED

    Deep Ellum's newest drinkery has a backlit bar outlined with beautiful cutouts of the bar's namesake bird, a row of shiny red stools and an exceptionally beautiful waitstaff. The tunes range from old blues to the sugariest Top 40, but the crowd is always friendly and there's never a shortage of places to sit: at the bar, on the velvet… More >>
  • Best Bar

    The Windmill Lounge

    You know it's a good bar when all of the city's top bartenders go there to hang out after they punch the clock at their respective bars. Such is the case with The Windmill Lounge, which has earned its place as the elder statesman of the local cocktail craft. That's because long before the current mixology trend was in fashion,… More >>
  • Best Happy Hour

    The Chesterfield - CLOSED

    The age of the three-martini lunch went the way of Lehman Bros., but the downtown Dallas mixology titan, The Chesterfield, has made a way for you to get totally sloshed before noon on a workday without the guilt. Every weekday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., The Chesterfield offers a menu of $1 cocktails that includes a vanilla old fashioned,… More >>
  • Best Rock Bar

    Trees

    This veteran Deep Ellum outpost has been the site of many shows that elicit an "I was there, man." But since reopening three years ago, they've stepped their game way up and started pulling in acts beyond the typical Trees metal/punk/rock fare, including a healthy new roster of hip-hop. Makes sense: All those acts sound great pumped out of Trees'… More >>
  • Best Honky-Tonk (Tie)

    Love & War in Texas and Post Time Honky-Tonk

    We've lauded their fried pickles in the past, and those wild boar quesadillas are a glutton's dream, but Love & War in Texas' best feature is a wealth of Texas music pride to match its epic name. Every weekend, L&W's dance floor is packed with two-steppers hootin' and hollerin' to the best country Texas has to offer. Hayes Carll has… More >>
  • Best Live Music Venue (Large)

    The Majestic Theatre

    Hey, Majestic Theatre. Has anyone told you lately how beautiful you are? It's true. You are ... majestic. What we wish is that you had more concerts in you, because your sound system is also pretty great. Not just the odd summer show here, or comedy gig there, but a regular string of shows at which your talents could really… More >>

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