It’s mid-August in Texas, which means we’ve entered the waning days of summer, which also means we’ve entered the last stretch of truly hot days. Let’s all be honest: It sucks to be outside. Okay, so the heat has broken a bit this week, but don't be the fool who thinks it's not coming back. You should do everything you can to avoid the dreaded heat, whether it be via the water, a frozen drink, or the cool blast of air that comes from entering a dark bar in Deep Ellum. Lucky for you, we’re here to help you do just that with the 10 best bars in Dallas-Fort Worth to beat the heat.
We are required to include at least one place with a pool on this list. (This isn't 'Nam; there are rules.) F.O.E. isn’t really a bar, so we went with Sisu because, well, everyone there brings their A-game. Everyone is scantily clad and sipping gin or vodka tonics while trying to look, and keep, as cool as possible in the pool. Texas is hot, and people here like to drink; might as well do it in a pool.
Even though it’s situated on “DEATH LAKE, THE LAKE OF DEATH,” Sneaky Pete’s remains one of DFW’s No. 1 summer spots to chill out and cool off during the summer. This is most likely because it allows patrons to have a beach-like experience but without the drive. It sits on the edge of a harbor, it has sand volleyball pits, there’s a gazebo bar and easy access to the lake for both boats and patrons. You’re risking an early demise going anywhere near Lake Lewisville, but what’s life without risk?
Bro, this happy hour. Like $1 beers and sushi, they serve giant pitcher-like things of beer for you to share with friends and it’s super cold in there because they make sushi — and you gotta be cold in a sushi bar. That’s like a health code rule or something. But really, it’s all about the happy hour where you ruin the effects of the cool air conditioning by overindulging in sake bombs.
This Lower Greenville sibling to the Deep Ellum mainstay has quickly built a reputation for being the neighborhood's best place to avoid the heat and patrons of the Truck Yard. It’s small, it’s dark and it’s got a commercial grade A/C that turns the room into Hoth. Plus they've got Yoohoo Yehaws, the frosty concoction of your dreams that’s guaranteed to cool you down and give you the buzz you need to forget there are literally people cooking eggs on the sidewalk.
Blessed be the frozen Jack and Coke, the drink that saves you from the heat. It’s dark and cool in this Deep Ellum mainstay and that’s exactly what you’re looking for when the Texas sun is beating down on you, trying to drive you insane. Add in the jukebox and that other frozen concoction (the Frozen Irish Coffee) and you have a place readymade to cool you down.
Cold beer! Iced down juice! Whatever the fuck kombucha is! Harvest House has all of these plus a giant shaded patio with giant fans, and an air conditioned indoor spot for those who dislike vitamin D. Also, the recent addition to Denton/famed actor in all the movies you thought were funny in middle school, Jason Lee, is known to hang out at this spot, so you can pretend he’s still relevant and tell your friends you saw Earl ordering a beer.
331 E. Hickory St., Denton, dentonharvesthouse.com
What’s cooler than being cool? Ice cold! Which is exactly how your frozen margarita comes at this Denton spot that boasts one of the largest selections of tequila in the area, including a litany of infused options. The heat might have you wanting a frozen one, or you might want to order an infused tequila on the rocks and drink it as you take in the local art that hangs throughout the breezy cantina.
Giant, never dull and always dark, Bryan Street Tavern is everything you could ask for in a bar. There are endless things to do like play poker, trivia, pool and darts. Also, live music. This bar is a jack of all trades and master of all, and it has some of the best pizza and assorted other bar food in the city. Sometimes the simplest answer is the best answer, and Bryan Street represents that; they don’t need a gimmick, they’re just well rounded and great.
4315 Bryan St., Dallas, bryanstreettavern.com
This New Orleans-style daq shop sits in a strip mall at the edge of Lewisville and Carrollton. It's the spot to retreat from the brutal sun baking the concrete jungle that is the endless highway interchanges known as the ‘burbs. You go here because it’s cool inside and there’s a dizzying number of pre-made daiquiris spinning in machines and beckoning you to get lit as hell by mixing them all. Oh, and this place is nuts during the football season as Saints fans come out of the woodwork to turn it into the party of all parties. Pro Tip: Order the Triple HHH.
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Frozen drinks are the specialty here. There’s the Pom Pom which, yes, is made with pomegranates, the Tangarita which is self-explanatory, and, of course, Bellinis, along with an assortment of other frosty-boozy goodness. The indoor portion of the Grapevine is kitschy chic, while the outdoor patio is shaded, and both provide the type of environment you want when trying to forget you live in a subtropical climate.