Texas Bars & Nightlife
Bars & Nightlife city
Blue Owl Brewing
2400 E. Cesar Chavez St., Holly
The house-brewed beer at Blue Owl is sour—in the best way—due to their signature all-natural fermentation process, fittingly called sour-mashing, which results in lower acidity content and a tart, hoppy taste. (Staff on hand can provide you with a tasting guide to start, or opt for their $15 self-guided tasting tour.) Along with the unique texture/flavor medley of their distinctive brews, the bar itself is an elevated experience compared to your typical brewery: It is lofty, whitewashed, and fun.
90 Rainey St., Rainey
This vibrant concept space is best known for its’ bold architecture, which features a dance floor inside of stacked shipping containers. If you need a break from the—sometimes overheated—dance floor, there’s always an airy outdoor portion that overlooks the party (which is great for conversations). The founder, local entrepreneur Bridget Dunlap, is largely credited with reinvigorating the street.
Deep Ellum Brewing Co.
2823 St. Louis St., Deep Ellum
We’ve developed a soft spot for Deep Ellum’s local, craft-brewed beers that you’ll find in a lot of the hipper eateries across Dallas. If anything, it’s fun to see a couple of twenty- and thirtysomethings make a successful business out of a passion project. If you’re in town with a beer connoisseur, the weekly brewery tours and open house are absolutely worthwhile.
3510 Commerce St., Deep Ellum
Inside this double-wide trailer you’ll find one of the strongest cocktails in the city. The deceptive vanilla-vodka-and-coffee-liqueur-spiked Yoohoo Yeehaw comes straight out of an old Slurpee machine, is topped with a Maraschino cherry, and tastes like a Tootsie Roll. Drink it on the patio, which is decorated with toilets that artfully overflow with plants, or on one of the couches inside. There’s also a small stage where DJs play vinyl and there’s fantastic live music.
Garage Cocktail Bar
503 Colorado St., Downtown
Tucked inside a parking garage at the corner of Sixth and Colorado, this bar usually takes a few extra minutes to find. The interior is surprisingly sleek, and the craft cocktails are artfully designed with small plates to match. Order a signature cocktail, starting with the Indian Paintbrush.
High & Tight Barbershop
2701 Main St., #180/190, Deep Ellum
It’s hard to tell that behind this Deep Ellum three-chair barbershop business there’s a really fantastic bar. During the day, cuts and shaves come with a free beer. At night, down a winding hall, a large, dimly lit back-room bar offers Prohibition-era-inspired cocktails and a stage where local musicians play everything from country rock to rap. The off-menu special—a vaporized shot of vodka—is potent and, oh yes, worth trying.
Las Almas Rotas
3615 Parry Ave., South Dallas
Drinking Mexican beer or mezcal in the back bar here is a singular experience: A statue of St. Jude, the patron saint of desperation, watches over the room. The entire bar (the name means “the broken souls” in Spanish) is a shrine to Mexican culture. And the food—homemade tacos and salsas—and drinks are absolutely authentic. Get the El Topo, a combination of the mineral water Topo Chico, lime juice, and tequila.
1807 Gould St., Cedars
Exactly what you want in a dive bar: nice bartenders mixing strong drinks, a jukebox, and a huge dog-friendly yard. There’s live music in the vein of Mumford and Sons on the weekends. And sitting by the fire pit in the fall is absolute heaven.
200 Lavaca St., Downtown
This four-room bar is located inside the W Austin Hotel. It's a music-focused spot, that mixes trendy and cozy: Plush, red velvet couches face a brightly lit bar, while a fireplace, flanked by bookshelves and desk lamps, roars in another room. Check their calendar to see what's currently on (they bring in DJ's and local bands regularly), and definitely come here if you're in town for Austin City Limits.
77 Rainey St., Rainey
The back patio at Lucille’s is outfitted in twinkling lights—which makes it totally magical. Also on the patio: They’ve converted a former garage into a second bar, where people perch at the open windows. The interior is designed to be reminiscent of the 1920’s without trying too hard; the menu is expertly curated and highlights local, handcrafted liquor (and beer).
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