Dallas Bars & Nightlife
Mutts Canine Cantina
2889 CityPlace W. Blvd., Uptown
The city’s first dog-park/restaurant mashup is absolutely packed on beautiful days—dogs can run off-leash in the one-acre park while owners hang out in the outdoor beer garden. The laid-back restaurant is popular in its own right: The menu focuses on burgers and hotdogs, and adorably, there are options for the canines, too.
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.
The Grapevine Bar
3902 Maple Ave., Oak Lawn
There are many reasons to visit the Grapevine: potent Tangaritas (frozen margaritas mixed with Tang), pickup games on the basketball half court, and the rooftop with amazing views of the downtown skyline. The laid-back dive bar straddles a few neighborhoods, so it’s almost always busy with an interesting crowd—perfect for people watching.
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.
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.
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.
3912 Cedar Springs Rd., Oak Lawn
A gay country-dance club where everyone is welcome, this is one of the best places to dance in Dallas, whether you’re in work clothes or drag. Early in the evening, there are very serious two-steppers on the floor, but the moment it’s 10:30 p.m., contemporary music comes on and the dance floor is flooded.
3656 Howell St., Uptown
Beer is an important theme at the Rustic: In addition to their impressive list of Texas beers on draft and a seriously good beer-butt chicken, the bar's centerpiece is an American flag sculpture constructed from old beer cans. In the summer, their enormous outdoor patio (dotted with picnic tables and fire pits) plays host to country music bands and singers that play late into the evening. Their huge custom marquee sign completes the scene.
The Cedars Social
1326 S. Lamar St., Downtown
While the menu of decadent foods like crisp pork belly tacos, queso fundido, and grilled rib eye is a definite plus, the real draw to this retro-themed bar is the extensive drinks menu, care of mixologist Leann Berry. The plush seating and ’70s lounge chairs make this bar even harder to leave—especially true when you’ve made the journey out to this part of town, as it’s a little off the beaten track.
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.
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