Two-Step All the Way to the Best Country Western Bars in Dallas
By Denise Brandenberg
Dallas Local Expert
Dallas visitors looking for a authentic Texan experience usually have country western bars on their list of things to do. Fortunately, Dallas doesn't disappoint, as there are a wide variety of country western bars all around the city. No matter what you're in the mood for - whether you want to kick up your heels to the Cotton Eyed Joe or prefer to be a bar fly sipping on a cold beer - the Dallas country western scene has it all.
While Dallas definitely has its fair share of city slickers, you've got some good 'ole urban cowboys in the group. In fact, Dallas is home to two of the Top 20 Country radio stations in the U.S. So put on your boots and hightail it over to some of the city's best. If you're looking for country western action in the downtown area, you're in luck. Gilley's Dallas, where the urban cowboy legend was born, is there, as well as a handful of great country dive bars in the Deep Ellum neighborhood (Adair's Saloon and LaGrange). If you're looking for a quirky country western bar, the Double Wide Bar is the place to go. You can also head on down to the Round-Up Saloon, Dallas' gay country western bar. If you want to go the traditional route, Cowboys Red River or Billy Bob's Texas in Ft. Worth are your best bets.
10 Billy Bob's Texas
While Billy Bob's Texas is actually in Ft. Worth, we couldn't leave it off the list of Dallas (area) country western bars. Billy Bob's Texas is near the Ft. Worth Stockyards and it's where Dallasites bring their out-of-town visitors to see the real "Texas"! This fun venue is the largest honky tonk in the world, and it has a wide variety of activities, including an onsite rodeo, a mechanical bull, pool tables, an arcade, a huge dance floor and a concert hall - all of country western's favorite activities. People even bring their kids to this honky tonk, as it is a Texan legend. (817-624-7117)
9 WW Fairfields Club and Eatery
WW Fairfields is the quintessential country-western bar, complete with a huge dance floor, neon-lit oil rig signs and a smoky pool room. It also has some of the nicest patrons and staff in town. If you're looking for a great place to country-western dance, WW Fairfields up in Richardson is the place to go! This country western bar features great live music every weekend and a laid-back vibe. And if you're visiting Dallas and have never had the opportunity to learn how to dance country western, WW Fairfields actually offers Tuesday night dance lessons. They have beginner, intermediate and advanced sessions, so no matter your skill level, you can learn something new! (972-231-3844)
8 Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill Dallas
Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill is great for a night of country western dancing and drinking, and you can even get dinner while you're there! The dance floor is huge, and the venue is always playing great country western music. There is usually a live band on the weekends (and some weekdays), and there is also a huge space for concerts. The cover charge is usually reasonable, and the crowd is slightly older (35+). Drafts are available in 32 oz. frosty mason jars. If you're looking for a fun night out on the town, complete with whiskey girls, cold beer and country music, this is the place to go. ((214) 350-8629)
7 Lakewood Landing
Lakewood Landing is one of Dallas's best known "joints." Owned and operated by a woman simply named Louise, who greets patrons with a cheerful "Whatcha' drinkin', sugar?" the Landing has a fantastic jukebox filled with old country favorites, a single pool table, and a great collection of barflies, musicians, and general riffraff. Low-key and dark, it's what all bars should aspire to. The decor is comprised of 70s-era wood paneling, chairs covered with red vinyl, a beat-up couch in the back and the standard dive bar. Dress code? Ha! As you can tell by the name, this Dallas dive bar landmark is located in the Lakewood neighborhood. (214-823-2410)
6 Round-Up Saloon
Two-stepping, tight denim, and 10-gallon hats attract Big D's best-looking cowboys to this country-western bar, which caters to a mostly gay clientele. Chipping in on the joint's popularity are great drink specials (Margarita Madness on Mondays, 22-oz. drafts for three bucks - every day - and a calendar full of fun weekly activities like karaoke, line dancing (lessons are free), and Friday and Saturday's Howdy Hour. Of course, the top crowd pleasers are "duded-up" events like Miss Gay Round Up, Miss Cinco de Mayo, and the Switch-Hitters Ball. If you're in the mood for a non-conventional country-western bar, this is the place to go. (214-522-9611)
Described as a "swanky-tonk" by the owners, this Dallas country bar's relaxed atmosphere appeals to a wide variety of patrons. As a music venue, LaGrange showcases live Texas bands with a state-of-the-art sound system. As a bar, the establishment serves up a full line of beer and liquor, along with the best adult snow cones in Dallas. In fact, LaGrange won the Dallas Observer's "Best Bar" and "Best Snow Cone" awards in 2010, and it's still going strong. The restaurant is also quickly making a name for itself as a charming Sunday brunch spot as it features a wide variety of tacos and bottomless mimosas. (214-741-2008)
4 Cowboys Red River
This Dallas country bar's main draw is the huge horse rink dance floor, highlighted by the saddle/disco ball hanging in the center. Live bands and a DJ provide solid country music throughout the night, and if you get there early for line dancing lessons, you'll be ready to jump right in when the band starts. Five total bars give you plenty of ways to wet your whistle to build up your courage to take a ride on the mechanical bull. If dancing and bull riding isn't your thing, you can kick back at one of many pool tables, play darts or just watch the interesting characters. (214-352-1796)
3 Double Wide Bar
A quirky country western bar, this Dallas, TX standout takes trailer trash and makes it trendy, thanks to kitschy decorations and beer served by the can. On Fridays and Saturdays, live bands take to the stage in the separate music venue, playing everything from country to rock. Specialty drinks and a laid-back vibe make this a can't miss stop during your time in the Big D. The crowd is diverse and eccentric, which is often rare in Dallas. And the decor is just as interesting, with toilets for chairs and an upside down pink Christmas tree providing a great, quirky ambiance. (214-887-6510)
2 Adair's Saloon
Located in the Deep Ellum district, Adair's Saloon has been a favorite among Dallas country western bars since 1963. Adair's remains true to its roots as a retreat for those who enjoy live music, cold beer and a laid-back atmosphere. This dive bar features daily happy hour specials and music every night (with no cover charge!) which keeps patrons coming back time after time. On the weekends, Adair's has a full live band, and during the week, there is usually an acoustic set. Locals claim Adair's has the best burgers in town, perfectly complemented by generous pitchers of beer. Bring along your Sharpie to leave your mark on the walls. (214-939-9900)
1 Gilley's Dallas
This famous country western bar in Dallas, TX, built on Urban Cowboy fame, is actually four venues in one. There's even a mechanical bull at Gilley's! Jack Daniel's Saloon is the place for live, local country music every Friday and Saturday night. The concerts are always free, and a big dance floor and cold beer encourage folks to dance. The South Side Music Hall and the Loft, also on-site, feature live music throughout the week. The Palladium Ballroom features 23,000 sq. feet of event space, complete with a stage and large dance floor. You can buy cowboy boots and take country music dance lessons at Gilley's Dallas, as well. (214-421-2021, 888-445-5397)
About Denise Brandenberg
Born and raised in Dallas, Denise Brandenberg has been a self-proclaimed “Dallas Ambassador” for out-of-town friends and colleagues for years. Denise started her career as an advertising agency copywriter, recruiter, and manager of online forums for an international meeting planning association. She ventured off on her own a few years ago, to start an adventurous career as a freelance writer and marketing consultant. Denise’s other work can be found at Global Road Warrior, USA Today, Chron.com, The Motley Fool, LovetoKnow, The Meeting Professional, and several other online publications.
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