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 with easily more than 100 beer varieties to choose from, the Moth doesn't trifle with Miller Lite or its ilk. The food menu has thoughtful beer pairing suggestions, and the selection changes frequently, with cask-conditioned brews and other rare kegs tapped weekly. The beer can be expensive, but keep in mind that most of them are on the strong side, so you won't need as many. Still, you can stick to a budget during happy hour, when some 15 varieties are priced at $4 each, with one or two priced at $3.

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 place to meet friends or get to know your date with no Rangers-, Stars-, Mavs- or Cowboys-related distractions. And since Eno's full menu is available upstairs, the long wait for tables that once greeted hungry patrons is now largely a thing of the past. Parking is scarce on the weekends, though, so be prepared to walk a block or two. Or better yet, do the Oak Cliff thing and ride over on your bike—there's a nice rack on the side for parking, and it's one of the few places in Dallas where walking in with your helmet won't earn you funny looks from the locals.

READERS' PICK BEST OUTDOOR PATIO OR DECK

Lee Harvey's

Lee Harvey's
Lee Harvey's

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 than most watering holes that have been around for 10 times as long. Thirst-quenchers at the small-town themed "swanky-tonk" range from signature cocktails to a rotating selection of low-rent beers on draft. The jukebox harbors a minimum of pap, and the bar food (rock shrimp quesadillas!) is hand-crafted heaven on the cheap. The woodsy patio's a great place to hide—alone or with a partner—while the aurally inclined will appreciate owners Stephanie and Rob Schumaker booking Dallas' finest indie and country bands. Yee-homegrown-haw.

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 wall to another. Local country acts The King Bucks and Boys Name Sue regularly whip line-dancing regulars into a frenzy with their take on old country standards and hilarious originals. But if you don't feel much like dancing, Adair's Saloon has one of the best burgers in town and plenty of cold Lone Star beer to help wash it down.

The Dallasite

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 things to talk about with fellow drinkers between the Big Buck Hunter, the Friday night karaoke or the game on the big-screen TV, there's no social crutch in the world that can help you—in which case, that video lottery game in the corner may just be calling your name. More likely, though, you'll get lost in the eyes of a woman twice your age sharing a Charley Pride sing-along.

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, with thousands of die-hard Quake and Doom devotees streaming in from around the world for a long weekend of virtual shoot-'em-up tournament action; keynote talks, packed with laser and smoke displays, from local id Software gurus; drinking at the hotel bar; and pretty much anything other than sleep.

Station 4
Fallout Lounge, Lizard Lounge, and Station 4
Station 4
Station 4
Dallas Comedy House
Kaspars Skels

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 year in an increasingly vigorous Deep Ellum. Offering high-quality improv classes on the cheap and stand-up comedy and variety shows seven nights a week, the Dallas Comedy House has brought in all kinds of folks searching for a spare meter along Commerce Street. Despite plentiful seating, the black-box DCH remains cozy, and the deceptively large stage supports a troupe of improv-ers or a lone stand-up with equal ease. But quality booze and service aside, the comedy at DCH hardly requires even a little funny bone-lubricating buzz.

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