Uptown may be one of Dallas' most recognizable neighborhoods. It's also got a reputation for being a bit of a minefield, filled with towering heels, excess hair product and a slew of mediocre or downright terrible restaurants and bars. Despite the reputation, though, there are some great finds along and around McKinney Avenue, and if you've got great weather, everything is within walking distance with each other or that rickety trolly that connects it all. You can make a very fuzzy day of it.
When in Uptown, we drink, and The Common Table (pictured above) is probably the best place to explore beer. Local brews are well represented, but other taps pour beers from around the world. There's a great front porch and patio and a pretty solid Reuben. You could spend your whole Uptown-themed day here and not feel like you've missed much, but there are plenty of other places to drink, too.
Or you could walk around the corner and hit the Stoneleigh P. It's Uptown's best drinker's bar now that The Loon has left the 'hood. There's a patio out front, but the best seat here is at the bar, where you'll find stiff drinks and cold beer for as long as you can keep yourself upright.
Don't stay so long you get all broody, though. No good ever came of that. A beer bottle's throw away you'll find The Katy Trail Ice House, where the mood will be more festive. The Ice House might have the biggest patio in all of Dallas, and it's always filled with young drunk people. Have an affinity for cornhole and a young, mostly female wait staff? You're going to be happy here, bro.
The Standard Pour is the standard stop if you're looking for a well-made mixed drink. Grab a seat at the bar if you can and watch the bartenders sling, shake, smash and blowtorch their way through cocktails that range from classic to new age. Like most bars in Uptown, there's a patio here too, and there's also a full dining menu.
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Of course Ginger Man feels homey: the bar is built into a house so you can drink beer on the front porch or in the back yard. Enjoy another great Uptown beer bar with a selection that offers beers from around the world. The patio out back is small but it's got lots of character, and there's often live music. The food is an afterthought so if you get hungry it's time to go.
If a burger craving strikes, head to Dallas' latest Hopdoddy location, where you'll find juicy, fresh-ground patties on buns that are baked right there. For all the handcrafting, the burgers are surprisingly cheap, and they've get a decent local beer list, too.
If you're hungry in Uptown there are an endless string of mediocre restaurants that will empty your wallet and fill up your belly, but if you choose carefully you can also feed your soul. Pizza, the No. 1 drunk food of all time, should only be purchased from Grimaldi's in the West Village. And if you're looking for something lighter, Malai promises Thai and other Asian flavors with some spice. Don't miss out on their addictive chicken wings, or their house-brewed beer. Baboush brings a taste of the Middle East to the neighborhood. Expect modern twists on all of your favorite dishes including baba ganoush pearls of pomegranate and the kick of jalapeño, and crunchy falafel.
It's too bad you can't finish this all off with a night cap at The Loon, but all good dive bars eventually meet their demise. Still there's way more to Uptown than the blonde hair and skinny margaritas that the neighborhood often gets credit for. It may not be Dallas' most creative or interesting place, but it's not hard leave here well fed on wobbly feet.