Best Of Dallas

The 10 Best Karaoke Nights in Dallas-Fort Worth

Karaoke may have been invented in Japan, but it feels like a quintessentially American pastime — a chance for people to be loud, drunk and obnoxious in public. If all goes well, you'll make a complete fool of yourself. And, well, Dallas is no exception to that rule. There are tons of great karaoke nights, both ones with permanent homes and roving ones, all around North Texas. So wrangle up a crew of friends and head to the nearest dive, because these are the 10 best karaoke bars in Dallas-Fort Worth.

10. Abbey Underground

Monday night karaoke at the Abbey Underground in Denton is probably the best place in town to embarrass yourself onstage. This oft-overlooked basement bar has solid acoustics, pocket change-level beer prices and almost zero cell reception — meaning you probably won't have to worry about discovering video evidence of you slaughtering Foreigner's "Cold as Ice" on your buddy's Snapchat in the morning. The selection of songs available is pretty great, something I realized after watching an either extremely drunk or incredibly sincere white guy take on Kendrick Lamar's "Backseat Freestyle." Might want to dig out Def Jam Rapstar and brush up on your double-time flow before climbing that particular mountain. Or just stick to NSYNC like the rest of us. James Rambin

100 W. Walnut St., Denton,
9. Dallasite  Billiards

If you're drunk enough, sad enough or teeming with a posse of impassioned bachelorettes on a Friday night in East Dallas, there’s only one true option: karaoke at Dallasite. OK, that’s not entirely fair. The loyal East Dallas locals have been going to this joint for around four decades, so to them it’s a neighborhood stronghold for cold domestic drafts, burgers and overflowing patio ashtrays. Think Cheers, but rougher around the edges. Friday nights, however, strip away all inhibitions for the Dallasite regulars and “tourists” alike when karaoke goes down. Karaoke is the ultimate common denominator at this bar, so expect to see some abandoned scruples from just about everyone, including that one pregnant lady. Just get there early because the list is at least 30 John Fogertys deep. Rachel Watts

4822 Bryan St., Dallas,
8. One Nostalgia Tavern

Previously One Nostalgia Place, and well-known to locals as “Cocktails Dancing” or “One Nasty,” 6521 Abrams Rd is now home to One Nostalgia Tavern. You’ve seen it on your way to Super Target and you’ve thought to yourself, “Never. Never would I ever in one million years drive to that place on purpose, park there and then go inside and drink anything.” And that is fine with me. I’ll be inside, hanging out with Old Lady Patsy Cline Lady and Mexican Biker Elvis. They are staples. Standards. They belong here more perfectly than anything could belong in this place, and when they sing, the whole thing makes sense. The leg lamp behind the bar shines a little brighter, the jerk playing shuffleboard is a little more jerky, the strange smell in the bathroom smells a little more strange—it’s dirty karaoke heaven. Watch out for flying barstools after 1 a.m. Alice Laussade

6521 Abrams Rd., Dallas,

7. Single Wide

In one of the supreme twists of irony on this list, you don't really need to be drunk to enjoy a Sunday out at the Single Wide.  But as it goes with anything else at this Lower Greenville hole in the wall, it's a hell of a lot more fun with a few a Lone Stars and a who's-keeping-track or so of shots. You see, after you've rolled out of bed in the middle of the afternoon and downed a $3 Bloody Mary or three, you can stick around for DJ Chowda's karaoke, which starts at 4 p.m. The thing is, the folks who show up are often pretty great — not just good singers  but also fun performers. So step up, taken the mystery song challenge and see how much you remember in the morning. Jeff Gage 

2110 Greenville Ave., Dallas,
6. Bent Tree Grill

Nestled in a nondescript shopping center off of Midway in Far-Far-Far-Far-Far North Dallas is the world's most amazing divorcee/retiree bar. It's the Bent Tree Grill and it has live piano-backed karaoke, and it's my Shagri-la. Why? Because no one cares about anything there but having the best time possible. This is probably because the median age is about 59, and the slow lurking truth of your demise sits in the corner silently judging you while sipping a Bud Light. Everyone sings here, everyone is in bedazzled clothing and everyone awkwardly dances,. It's a real life Tim & Eric sketch and I love every single thing about it. Jaime-Paul Falcon

18110 Midway Rd., Dallas,
5. Mable Peabody's

If you want to get weird in Denton there's no better place than karaoke night at Mable's. Why? Because along with the chances of seeing some of the city's best musicians slumming it by chugging cheap drinks and belting out songs for their friends, but you'll also most likely see someone taking the whole ordeal super seriously. Everyone in Denton has a Mable's story, and most of them are centered around, “So we were at Mable's doing karaoke,” and then they end in a bizarre tale that you wouldn't believe if you didn't have one that's almost the exact same. JPF

1215 E. University Dr., Denton,
4. Hip Hop Karaoke at Crown & Harp

On the first Thursday of every month, Joel Salazar hosts Hip Hop Karaoke DFW at Crown and Harp. Just pick any hip hop song, tweet it to @hhkdfw before the show, and show up ready to rap. It's everything you would expect hip hop karaoke to be: hilarious when someone cannot rap and shocking when someone can. But either way, this is a good time and it will put a smile on your face. Some people want to be Snoop Dogg or 2 Chainz, others try out local hip hop songs. “There’s no cover except for rap songs,” jokes Salazar. It's so corny you have to know he won't judge you. Right? Jeremy Hallock

1914 Greenville Ave., Dallas,

3. Punk Rock Karaoke at Three Links

Though they don't have a regular schedule or venue (though they most frequently camp out at Three Links), Punk Rock Karaoke is one of the best karaoke nights in Dallas. With three-fourths of the Mumbles, along with an MC, it's your chance to sing songs from a lengthy list of punk rock, new wave and college rock. We're talking the basics ("Blitzkrieg Bop" by the Ramones, "Cherry Bomb" by the Runaways) to advanced studies ("Celebrated Summer" by Husker Du, "That's When I Reach For My Revolver" by Mission of Burma), and it's a chance to front a real band. Who knows, you might want to start your own band after doing a song. Eric Grubbs

2704 Elm St., Dallas, 2. Karaoke Carmen at Adairs

After leaving her longtime home at The Goat earlier this year, Karaoke Carmen moved over to Adair’s Saloon in Deep Ellum and refocused the show on country music. Her crowd of regulars followed. This is not karaoke for dummies; this is karaoke backed by a live band for people who can actually sing. This show takes place every Sunday and it is truly something you have to see to comprehend. There is no irony here. Carmen sets the tone by belting out a track and then perhaps Jack the Legend will croon an old country number. If you walk in with no prior knowledge, it can really stun you to see a guy belt out “The Lady is a Tramp.” It’s a different world in there. Jeremy Hallock

2624 Commerce St., Dallas,
1. Good Luck Karaoke at Twilite Lounge

How do you describe something so utterly insane that if you attend it you wander around Deep Ellum afterward in some sort of psychedelic-fueled daze that features a coyote with the voice of Johnny Cash telling you to find your soulmate? Well, I guess that's an adept description of what happens at the Twilite Lounge when the Good Luck Karaoke crew takes over the bar. Don't attempt to sing at this event; just sit back and watch it all occur, and realize that your attendance is grounds for you to be locked up, because we're all mad here, even you first timers. JPF

2640 Elm St., Dallas,

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Dallas Observer Music Staff