It's 2016, people. Get over whatever absurd misconceptions you've been holding onto all these years (yes, Texas, we're looking squarely at you) and get with the 21st century. Once you do, you'll discover a crucial fact: Nothing beats a party at a gay bar. So let's wave the flag for the 10 best gay bars in Dallas.
10. Hidden Door
75-cent beers on Sunday! I repeat, they have 75-cent beers on Sunday! Along with killer bloody marys and, one more time, 75-cent beers! Sorry, I got a little excited; I really, really, really, really like cheap beer. There's also a fantastic jukebox and the bartenders make a mean drink, but really it's all about the 75-cent beer. You know that scene in Varsity Blues where the guys have been partying all night, and then stumble wearily into the sun? Yeah, that's what it's like after a Sunday at Hidden Door. Oh and fair warning: It's cash only. Jaime-Paul Falcon
To quote my good friend Hutch, "Pekers has the best karaoke, hands down, run by a wannabe Bette Midler." And he's right, it is the best karaoke in town, and after enough drinks you start to think The Rose herself is really in the room leading people through drunken renditions of "Wind Beneath My Wings." Bonus points for the occasional cash prize they give out during karaoke; many a bar tab has been covered this way over the years. JPF
Mable Peabody's Beauty Parlor & Chainsaw Repair, besides having the best bar name in Texas, is also the perfect spot for a drunken, crossdressing good time. Mable has upped its game lately by booking more bands to play, and costumes aren't just suggested, they're almost expected. Regulars are a rowdy bunch of kind-hearted eclectics supplemented by an unfailingly kind bar staff. Friday's notorious Karaoke Night brings out Denton's most enchanting characters; so much so that there was even a song written about one. Mable's ragtag crew is fully equipped to captivate guys, gals and everyone in between. Matt Wood
If we're going to make a list like this, we have to talk about Woody's. Woody's is the best sports bar in Dallas. Yes, it's a gay bar, but that doesn't matter, because there's not a better place to catch a Cowboys game in the metroplex. The patio kicks ass, the upstairs bar has the stronger drinks, and the downstairs bar is prone to sing-a-longs. Eat your heart out, Buffalo Wild Wings patrons. JPF
Tight jeans, cowboy boots and line dancing. No, we're not talking about a Brooks & Dunn music video — it's The Round-Up Saloon. This old-school Western bar is a great, laid-back bar, righ, smack in the center of the Cedar Springs strip — making it a favorite for off-duty bronc busters and Lady Gaga. But The Round-Up is more than just 10-gallon hats and drinks; they offer dance classes for those interested in mastering the art of the two-step, the shuffle and the shadow. They're super invested in giving back, too: Each year, The Round-Up raises thousands of dollars for local charities like this month's Guns and Hoses Benefit, which will raise funds for the city's police officers, first responders and firefighters. Molly Mollotova
3912 Cedar Springs Rd., Dallas, roundupsaloon.com
J.R.'s is the kind of bar that you go to when you want to be left alone — and not in the dive sense. It's calm, cool and relaxed. Most of its patrons are of the more seasoned variety, but that certainly doesn't slow this pony down. While the first floor boasts a stage for the occasional drag show, as well as an enormous bar, the second level has one of the best upstairs, wrap-around patios that this city has to offer — making it one of the best viewing areas for Dallas Pride. And Monday night's Cassie's Freak Show featuring Dallas drag queen legend, Cassie Nova, is one of the best, no-cover ways to make the beginning of your work week a littler bit freakier. MM
Most folks might not even realize that The Grapevine is a gay bar — and that's one of the many reasons why it rules. This edge-of-Oaklawn dive is the epitome of a chill zone. While it looks small on the outside, it has a rather impressive patio with a half-court basketball court for your Sunday happy hour adventures. Stiff drinks, a small menu to soothe your hangovers and a uniquely creative assortment of patrons makes this bar one of the best gay bars in Dallas. When you visit, order yourself a Cumberfuck and thank us later. MM
The term "leather bar" might strike fear in the hearts of some, but that shouldn't be a concern at the Dallas Eagle. Situated on the corner of Maple and Inwood, this leather legend might be dark and intimidating on the outside, but on the inside, it might just be the most welcoming of Dallas' gay bars. Founded in 1995, the Eagle holds regular fundraisers for local charities, with a focus on the LGBTQ community. Sure, there's a huge, leather eagle suspended from the ceiling, as well as an assortment of whips, chains and restraints — but this spot also boasts equal parts rainbows, denim and flannel. MM
Primarily seen as a lesbian bar, this double-decker dancehall recently went through a remodel and looks dope as hell. There's a lot of wood, a lot of patio and a lot of super-comfy lounge areas. With every Tuesday comes a new, freshly queer variety show in the form of the Tuesday Tease, and every third Friday of the month serves as a tribute to all you gender-bending, burlesque enthusiasts with Mustache Envy and Panty Raid. Bar manager Alissa Ledeboer is a liquor magician. If you're not sure what you want to drink, let her know what you like and she will make you the best drink you've ever had. Also, pickle juice in the bloody mary is next level. MM
Have you recently watched a few episodes of The L Word or Queer as Folk and want to get that stereotypical fabulous bar experience? Well, look no further. Right across the street from Round-Up, Station 4 is two stories of fuel-injected dance music, drag queens, glow sticks and jello shots — and it never disappoints. S4 is a pretty all-inclusive gay bar, with an eclectic mix of patrons of all ages. Typically this joint is 21-plus, but Sundays are 18-plus, with no cover for the legal drinkers before 11:00 p.m. Speaking of Sundays, take a trip on up to the Rose Room on the second floor and witness the truth that is Dallas' finest drag queens. You won't be disappointed. MM
3911 Cedar Springs Rd., Dallas, station4dallas.com
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