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 thirty somethings make a successful business out of a passion project. If you’re in town with a beer connoisseur, their weekly brewery tours and open house is absolutely worthwhile.
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.
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 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).
1530 Main St., Downtown
The Joule’s subterranean mixology bar is somewhere between hipster and Texas classic, serving up some serious old-school cocktails with a twist, in a glam setting concocted by the gang behind the store Tenoversix (which also has a concession in the hotel). Green marble cocktail tables, brass bar stools and accessories, and a walnut ceiling, are elegant enough for the Texas environs, while the cocktails—with names like “Sister Cel-Ray” and “Savory Hunter”—have a bit more bite.
208 W. 4th St., Downtown
This pre-Prohibition-style, New Orleans-inspired craft cocktail bar is a great option for drinks and light dinner. Though it began as Austin’s first absinthe bar (the infamous green liqueur was legalized in the U.S. in 2007), their dinner menu, curated by executive chef John Lichtenberger, is worth a trip, too. The riffs on French standards like duck confit, bouillabaisse, and escargots are beloved, as are their only-in-Texas specialties, like Texas wild boar with polenta, braised short ribs with duck-fat mashed potatoes, and lamb bourguignon sourced from a nearby ranch. As for the cocktails, the go-tos (besides absinthe, of course) are gin, whiskey, vodka, and rum concoctions—some original, like the Fig Manhattan (rye, sweet vermouth, house cherry vanilla bitters, fig foam), some reinterpretations of tried-and-true favorites, like Sazerac (a New Orleans classic).
1325 S. Lamar St., Downtown
This rooftop bar at the NYLO—the latest in a crop of younger, hipper hotels—offers spectacular views of the city’s South Side. Come for sunset drinks by the pool or at the bar, take in the Dallas skyline, and make a meal of it, too, thanks to a menu of substantial snacks—hot dogs, tacos, salads, and the like.
801 Red River, Downtown
Stubb’s is famous for its barbecue, but maybe even more famous for the live music performances that happen (almost) nightly. Legends like Joan Jett, Willie Nelson, and The Killers are among the many that have entertained here. Be sure to buy tickets in advance for the concerts, as they are likely to sell out early. On Sunday mornings, there’s a live gospel music brunch with a make-your-own Bloody Mary bar.
You may also like