BEST ROCK BAR 2020 | Three Links | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer
Megan Pavey

There aren't many venues that can say they book some of the best rock bands in town and have had Tenacious D make a cameo appearance during a local set. Three Links can. Building on the grave of what was once Deep Ellum's La Grange, Three Links opened over seven years ago and has been a staple of the local rock scene ever since. Three Links hosted one of the last shows in Deep Ellum, featuring bands Highlife, Calculated Chaos and Periods, before the city shut down for the pandemic. During the COVID closures, Three Links still hosted shows the club livestreamed on their Facebook page. When Three Links reopens, the city will finally be able to get back to rocking.

Brandon Hicks

Chasity Samone is a veteran, activist, actress, model and, earlier this year, she became our official pinup fantasy by becoming a Playboy Playmate. In February, the publication featured Samone on the cover of their "Equality" issue. Samone has positioned herself as more than a sex symbol. Her aspiration is to join the City Council and advocate for marginalized communities. Samone's brand of sex appeal doesn't simply cater to the relentless male imagination but lies in her freedom to choose to do what she damn well pleases by celebrating her own body without shame. The model's outspoken about letting future critics know that her Playboy shoot will not deter her career in politics. She's said the experience of posing nude is "liberating," pointing to the fact that art has featured nude women since the beginning. The statuesque beauty was raised in a Baptist family as one of a batch of 12 and joined the Army like her father. If her looks don't kill, she's also trained to kick your ass.

Nick Rallo

This Deep Ellum honky tonk might as well be a local music landmark. One of the oldest bars in Dallas, the country music watering hole has seen the likes of Jack Ingram, Deryl Dodd and members of The Chicks. The first iteration of the venue was opened up in the early '60s on Cedar Springs by owners S.L. and Ann Adair. Adair's moved to Deep Ellum about 20 years later, where it has sat on Commerce Street ever since.

Jason Roberts

Odd fellows, vagabonds, rabble-rousers and revelers all came together to bring a taste of New Orleans to the Bishop Arts District in Dallas. That is how district business owners Amy Wallace Cowan, Jason Roberts and Corey McCombs would describe themselves. In a short walk between their other creations, Odd Fellows and AJ Vagabonds, sits the trio's brainchild, Revelers Hall. On the weekends, the house band's performances usually pour out onto the sidewalk in front of Revelers Hall, but pull up a chair for some patio joy.

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The Balcony Club has been providing Dallas with great drinks and music for 32 years now. Seven nights a week, patrons can stroll through and hear some of the best jazz, soul and R&B acts in North Texas. Concerts at this small neighborhood gem often feature surprise guest improv performances. You can see it all and get cheap drinks every night of the week from 5 to 7 p.m.

Steve Glick

Magic happens at Louie Louie's Piano Bar when acts such as Alessia Cara, Shaun Martin, Cure for Paranoia and many others hop onstage for the artist showcase Lockjohnson's Playground. The showcase has rocked the venue for about two years. It's the brainchild of local musician and promoter Gino "LockJohnson" Iglehart. At first, the show drew crowds of about 10 people, but it continued to grow until it packed the house. The secret of the show is that Igleheart doesn't turn anyone away, so on any given night, you could hear folk, jazz, blues and whatever else you can think of.

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Originally designed to be a canteen for performers at Trees, The Green room has become a force of its own. There's nothing better than ordering a Green Room Melon-tini and slamming down a Metalachi Burger while local acts like Quentin Moore slam down a beat in the background.

Juan Betancourt

Founded in Morelia, Michoacán, in 1971, Cinépolis has become the fourth-largest movie chain in the world and Mexico's No. 1 cinema company. At Cinepolis' Dallas location, you can hang back in the lobby or at the bar and enjoy a view of Victory Park. There's not a bad seat in the house at Cinepolis, and their lobster tacos and Texas mule are a to-die-for combo.

Call us biased (our offices were in Oak Lawn until recently), but there are a million reasons why we're fond of the neighborhood. Most of them, of course, have to do with food. The neighborhood has a Latin bakery (Zaguán), a chocolate and jazz bar (Chocolate Secrets) and the long-standing funky-yogi vegetarian haven Cosmic Café. There's a social-distance friendly patio (and accessible Champagne) in friendly bar The Grapevine. The neighborhood has a secret garden in Dragon Park and is within a short distance of Cedar Springs' LGBTQ bars, the greenest parts of Turtle Creek, downtown and the Design District. With the mom-and-pop shops, nail and hair salons, abundance of coffee shops and proximity to Whole Foods, there's no reason to ever leave.

Kathy Tran

It'll Do has become one of Dallas' go-to dance clubs since it opened its doors in the cold 2012 winter. This East Dallas spot draws crowds of every variety to dance as resident DJs do their thing. It'll Do has kept the music alive during the pandemic, livestreaming DJ sets for the dance club-deprived masses.

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