Sip Your Way Around 10 of the Best Bars in Dallas

Photo courtesy of Veritas Wine Room
Photo courtesy of The Old Monk
Photo courtesy of Truck Yard
Photo courtesy of High and Tight Barbershop
Photo courtesy of The Balcony Club Facebook
Photo courtesy of Library Bar
Photo courtesy of Parliament Facebook
Photo courtesy of Midnight Rambler
1. Hide
Photo courtesy of Hide
By Ilene Jacobs, Dallas Local Expert

Dallas may have a vibrant dining scene, but its bar scene is not slouch either. Not only is there an exciting array of sleek cocktail lounges, but there’s plenty of great spots for beer and wine lovers too.

Looking to knock back quality brews and excellent grub while people watching on a lively patio? Then the Old Monk, a cozy neighborhood pub that boasts a killer lineup of local and international beer, is just the ticket. If quaffing wine is more up your vine, head to Veritas Wine Room. Wine geeks seek out this wine bar-retail shop for its international list of small production wines as well as for its rotating selection of craft beer and cider.  

Sure, everyone can do a craft cocktail these days, but not all can create exquisite libations like Parliament, a handsome drinking den that features everything from innovative concoctions to prohibition-style classics. Speaking of drinking dens, there’s also Midnight Rambler, a sexy subterranean spot in the Joule hotel. And some of the best booze action in the city is also taking shape at Hide in Deep Ellum, where they’ve got the art of cocktail making down to a science, literally.

Need more suggestions? Then keep reading– there’s a bar on this 10best list for every kind of imbiber.

10. Veritas Wine Room
Photo courtesy of Veritas Wine Room

At this cozy wine bar-retail shop, the wine and munchies are fabulous and the ambiance is even better. An abundance of dark woods, comfy seating and a stoned-in interior fireplace gives the place a low-key, almost rustic feel. And whether it's a date night or a get together with friends, you couldn't pick a more convivial place to hang out. Add in a wine list boasting 400 labels, with more than 30 selections that can be had by the glass. They also offer around twenty-five varieties of craft beer from around the world. There's a nice selection of bar food to soak up the booze as well. Expect to find a roster of artisan cheeses, charcuterie and chocolate. Keep an eye out for supper clubs, tastings and other special events.

9. The Old Monk
Photo courtesy of The Old Monk

It's not difficult to see why The Old Monk is one of Dallas' favorite watering holes. The place, adorned with ecclesiastical antiquities-- including lights from an old monastery, reclaimed dark wood paneling from confessional booths and a turn of the century altar door, is literally gushing with charm. It's also gushing with an exhaustive list of beer; including Trappist brews like Dubbal and Chimay as well as draft and bottled beers from England, Holland, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, the Czech Republic and the United States. In addition to beer, you'll find a line-up of whiskeys plus wine and craft cocktails. To keep the spiritual bliss going, there's a substantial menu of food on offer--think wurst boards, stilton burgers and Belgian-style steamed mussels.

8. Truck Yard
Photo courtesy of Truck Yard

For nights when being surrounded by four walls don't quite cut it, this 15,000-square-foot urban playground of food trucks, flatbeds and mismatched lawn furniture might be exactly what's on order. The place is so popular that it even landed a spot on the Travel Channel's "101 More Amazing Places to Chowdown." And chow-down you can: there's cheese-steaks on offer at Steak Me Home Tonight, the yard's permanent eatery-- plus there are 3-4 rotating food trucks that stay parked at all times. But there's more than food that meets the eye. The Yard features several bars, including one perched up in a tree and another inside of an old Airstream trailer. And to mix things up a bit, the Yard hosts everything from beer tappings and game watching parties to live concert performances on a flatbed truck stage.

7. Adair's Saloon
Photo courtesy of Adair's Saloon

Sure, the drinks are cheap, and the burgers are legendary, but what lassos most folks into this Deep Ellum dive is its undeniably unpretentious vibe and weekly roundup of live music. But it's not just any live music– Adair's brings in the cream of the country music crop when it comes to up-and-coming indie bands and singer-songwriter acts. Did we mention that all the shows are free? Even heavy hitters like Jack Ingram, the Dixie Chicks and Miranda Lambert have taken to Adair's tiny stage at one time or another. And an old jukebox filled with the likes of Bob Wills and Hank Williams, plus floor-to-ceiling graffiti and enough Christmas lights to last a lifetime only add to the place's old school charm. It's no wonder that this spot has been able to maintain its staying power for over fifty years.

6. High & Tight Barbershop
Photo courtesy of High and Tight Barbershop

Taking buzz cuts to a new level, say hello to this vintage barbershop that offers haircuts by day and hair-raising libations by night in a prohibition-inspired lounge hidden away in the back. After all, who doesn't want a stiff drink while getting a hot shave? And while the shop itself closes at 9 p.m. (11 p.m. on weekends), the bar keeps hopping until the early hours with free live music, open mic nights and some seriously delicious cocktails. Speaking of cocktails, the booze menu features everything from creative concoctions and prohibition-era classics to potent vapor shots that are inhaled through a straw. Talk about getting high and tight.

5. The Balcony Club
Photo courtesy of The Balcony Club Facebook

As the saying goes, sometimes the best things come in small packages– which is undoubtedly the case with this pint-sized, 1,400 square foot– jewel of a jazz joint. And what this laid-back watering hole lacks in square footage, it more than makes up for in ambiance– and most importantly– live music– which is served up seven nights a week. The club's repertoire features both local and national jazz artists, including the likes of Lucky Peterson, Dave Zoller, Linny Nance and even the phenomenal Filter Kings. And it's not only jazz on tap here, the musical genres cover everything from R&B and soul to funk, classic rock and occasionally country. Not-to-be-missed are special events like the open blues jam and jazz master series.

4. Library Bar
Photo courtesy of Library Bar

If you are looking for delicious cocktails in surroundings perfect for a romantic rendezvous or catch-up with friends, you've come to the right place. Tucked inside the lobby of the Warwick Melrose Hotel (a historic Dallas landmark dating back to 1924) – this suave, shelf-lined drinking den is quite possibly the coziest place to sip a drink in the city. Not to mention, it's also where you can listen to a host of jazz musicians tickling the ivories six nights a week. And though you probably won't be reading any of the books in the shelves, you will want to be sure to read the drinks menu, which covers everything from crafted tipples to over 27 selections of wine by the glass. Oh, and come hungry, the bar food here is top-notch too.

3. Parliament
Photo courtesy of Parliament Facebook

Dallas is crawling with cocktail lounges, but this Uptown booze haven is considered one the best in the city, and for good reason. It's a handsome, moodily-lit space with a laid-back vibe and an extensive cocktail list (more than 100 libations) featuring everything from innovative concoctions to prohibition-style classics. Best of all, it boasts a ridiculously good happy hour (all day on Mondays, and from 4-8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday), where you can snag many of these tipples for only $4-$7. Not only that, Parliament offers happy hour prices anytime it's raining, and it hosts complimentary artisan cocktail tastings several times a month. As you might expect, the place fills up fast, so come early if you want to find a seat.

2. Midnight Rambler
Photo courtesy of Midnight Rambler

Prohibition chic meets twenty-first-century cool at this intimate subterranean hideout in the Joule Hotel. Equally dazzling are the neo-classical craft cocktails, which have been conceived by two of the country's top mixologists, Chad Solomon and Christy Pope, owners of New York's famed beverage consulting company, Cuffs & Buttons. The beverage menu runs the gamut from re-imagined classics to modernist inventions (think wheat vodka, sherry, lime juice and beef broth infused with roasted ginger, anise and cardamom), punches, housemade sodas and everything in-between. They also serve a tempting selection of bar food (courtesy of CBD Provisions upstairs) should you find yourself in need of something substantial to soak up the booze. An added bonus is that they bring in a DJ on Thursdays and Sundays to spin '60s and '70s hits from the bar's expansive vinyl collection.

1. Hide
Photo courtesy of Hide

This sleek Deep Ellum spot is one of the most popular drinking dens in the city. And no wonder: it's a cozy neighborhood bar with friendly bar staff and a beverage program that pushes the boundaries of the cocktail experience. Almost everything that goes into their drinks is handcrafted (sodas, syrups, juices, tinctures, bitters and garnishes) with the help of fancy equipment like centrifuges and roto-vaporizers. Needless to say, the tempting range of cocktails won't make your decision of what to drink an easy one. But no worries, they offer a variety of menus based on your taste and mood, including an experimental section for those looking for a little more adventure. Even better, Hide has some seriously knockout bar food (think, ahi poke tacos, gyro tartines and steak frites) and a daily happy hour with drinks on offer for $6 to $7 a piece.