The 10 Best Dive Bars in Dallas-Fort Worth

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"Have you no pride?" If the answer to that question is a proud, confident, "Of course I don't," then this list is for you. Depending on where you come from -- say, any small town in America -- dive bars aren't necessarily unique so much as they are de rigueur. But when done right, a proper dive bar is highly evolved art form, a tacky, depressing mix of old, dusty lamp shades, dirty mirrors and wood paneling that make for an all-but-perfect watering hole.

Dallas, of course, is chock full of dives, so we can't help but pick out our favorites. Whether you're looking drink away your trouble (not that we'd recommend that) or simply looking for a night cap with characters, these 10 bars will always set you right.

See also: The 10 Best Hipster Bars and Lounges in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area The 10 Best Record Stores In Dallas

10. Double Wide and Single Wide

Double Wide and its self-described "lil' sis," Single Wide, haul the white-trash bar out of the boonies and into Dallas. The two distill the more endearing elements of white-trash shotgun bars -- namely, oddball characters and cheap drinks -- to create an atmosphere that's as much cartoon as dive bar. Although each bar has several craft beers on tap, don't expect to be pampered by aged, hibiscus-infused fare. These places specialize in domestics and kitschy mixed drinks in a setting that won't make you instantly regret walking in the door. Their lively bingo and karaoke nights further sweeten the deal. Andrew Hawkins

3510 Commerce St. Dallas and 2110 Greenville Ave. Dallas, double-wide.com

9. Riprocks

Fry Street essentially exists as one horrifically extended dive bar, but along this bacchanalian drag there stand several beacons of hope. Though there are a few new players to the game, Rip Rocks has been proudly waving the banner of most-refined college bar for quite a while. The burgers are better than they have any right to be and the drink specials are far too generous. The divey-est part of Rip Rocks is, without question, the bathroom. This communal hellscape functions as either a cruel prank or performance art piece. The men's bathroom, if you can call it that, is literally a trough shared between its reluctant partakers with about two feet of clearance to awkwardly shuffle and mumble apologies. If you possess an ounce of shame, you'll wait until you rotate out of this bar after you've become adequately loaded with $2 Lone Stars. Matt Wood

1211 W. Hickory St., Denton, facebook.com/pages/Riprocks-Bar-and-Grill

8. The Chat Room Pub

Established long before dive bars were seen as easy money-making ventures, The Chat Room has been a staple of West Magnolia in Fort Worth for years. It has exactly what you'd want out of a dive bar: affordable drinks, friendly staff, and no frills or pretenses. But make no mistake, the bar is by no means bland. Their loyal clientele and frequent, eclectic rosters of live music give The Chat Room a culture all its own. If you live outside of Fort Worth, it's definitely worth hoofing it to the city for this understated gem. AH

1263 W. Magnolia Ave., Fort Worth, thechatroompub.com

7. Royal Falcon

Usually dives don't have a great beer selection, but Fort Worth throws all of that off. Fort Worth, land of the neighborhood dive bar, great beer selection and endless smoke. It's like walking into a time warp at this place, full of stodgy old regulars who don't care you exist and just want to sip their beers in silence. Try not to disturb their flow; just order a beer, take your table and mind your own business. The bartenders have all been there forever, so be sure to tip well, or you will be ignored for being a bad mannered interloper. Jaime-Paul Falcon

3803 Southwest Blvd., Fort Worth, facebook.com/pages/The-Royal-Falcon-Pub

6. Velvet Elvis

This North Texas hole-in-the-wall-of-a-strip-mall doesn't have anything on tap, just bottles and cans. Sometimes they have live music or karaoke on a stage, or rather, on the floor; other times the place is silent. It's pretty dark inside, perhaps even for a dive, but they have pool tables and there's a back patio for smokers. The glass they fill may make you do a double take because it may look like a glass a child would sip milk out of. But the bartenders must either have heavy hands or weak arms because these drinks are strong. Jeremy Hallock

3720 Walnut Hill Ln., Dallas, facebook.com/pages/Velvet-Elvis-Dallas

5. Wild Turkey

One would think the North Dallas hipster boom would lead to more of-age young folks slipping into this Walnut Hill divestaurant, but it hasn't happened yet. I say of age, because there's plenty of people with fake IDs hitting this place; hell, I did it when I was underage, and that's what gives this place its charm. It's the type of place where no one cares and the regulars are just there to drink away their problems. Oh, and they took all the worst aspects of a Hooters and doubled down on them. You go here and you leave with a sense of shame. JPF

2470 Walnut Hill Ln., Dallas, wildturkey.net

4. Lakewood Landing

You're not cool enough to go here. This haven for late night corndogs and the denizens of the Dallas hipsterati is dark, like middle-of-space-being-chased-by-a-giant-phallus-allegory dark. Jesus Christ himself drinks here. Don't bother Him with your questions, just order a damn drink, take a booth and have your conversation over some cheese fries and corndogs. Be thankful for this bar and be thankful there's a spot in Dallas where you're senses aren't overrun with rampant douchebaggery. Oh, and blessed is the jukebox. JPF

5818 Live Oak St., Dallas, lakewood-landing.com

3. The Goat

The best thing about dive bars is you never have to worry about anyone passing judgment. Never will you feel more comfortable in your own skin than at The Goat. While the patrons and staff look a little sketch, hardly anything ever goes wrong here. Everyone is just around to have a good time. With one long bar wrapped around the left side, a pool table and just enough room for a stage and dance floor, this blues joint keeps it cozy. If you start to feel a little cramped, you can always chill out on the back patio. There you'll be greeted by a fading giant Betty Boop in a martini glass wall mural (if you can call it that) and likely some existential conversation with a loaded common Goat-goer. And since it opens at 7 a.m. most nights of the week, how can you ever be lonely? Anita Riot

7248 Gaston Ave., Dallas, thegoatdallas.com

2. Crossroads Bar

Holy shit have things ever gone wrong for you if you're here. For a college town to have a true off-the-radar dive you know things have really taken a weird turn, and magic is occurring. This LGBT-friendly bar is a fantastic time if you're up for a drunken night filled with merry singing, spilled booze and potential stabbings. I love this place more than life itself. Literally anything can happen. If you ever wanted to really take a walk on the wild side you're heading to Crossroads. Because at the Crossroads the going gets weird, and here the weird are all pros. JPF

1803 N. Elm St., Denton, facebook.com/crossroadsbardentontx

1. Ships Lounge

This Lower Greenville dive is not going to turn you away for wearing shorts; in fact, the dress code is pretty nonexistent here. If you drink beer or you are a wino who doesn't give a shit if the grapes come out of a box, this is your place. You can also bring your own liquor and for a few dollars they will give you a glass and a bowl of ice. Ships is cash only, which means you need to leave any pretensions at the door. But feel free to get comfortable. This is mainly an older crowd, it's quiet in here, but they have a jukebox and a small pool table (and by small we mean the smallest we've ever seen in a bar). The small booths are great if you want to sit close to someone and have a long talk, but then who said anything about romance? JH

1613 Greenville Ave., Dallas


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