This venerable watering hole pays homage to the trailer park culture with its kitsch-adorned decor and surprisingly tasty low-brow cocktails. As the name indicates, the bar is set up in a double-wide trailer--replete with wood paneling, taxidermy animals, mismatched old furniture and quirky memorabilia as far as the eyes can see. The theme continues out on the AstroTurf-covered patio, where bar patrons relax on seats made from old toilets and chug Boone's Farm martinis. Aside from all its tackiness, Double Wide is one of Deep Ellum's top music venues-- showcasing everything from rock and bluegrass to Americana and electronica.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Double Wide is the perfect place for dive bar enthusiasts.
Ilene's expert tip: Double Wide offers Happy Hour from 5-9 p.m., Tuesday through Friday.
Featured on the Travel Channel's "101 More Amazing Places to Chowdown," this 15,000-square-foot playground of food trucks, flatbeds and mismatched lawn furniture is the perfect spot for an alfresco party. Not only can you chow down on everything from Philly cheese-steaks to Korean barbecue, tacos and lobster rolls, you can also booze it up with craft cocktails, draft beer and wine on tap. And to mix things up a bit, the Yard hosts everything from beer tappings and game watching parties to weekly live music on a flatbed truck stage. Oh, and did we mention the tree-house bar?
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: The Truck Yard is one of the best open-air spots in Dallas for drinking, eating and partying.
Ilene's expert tip: Truck Yard features free live music on Fridays starting at 4 p.m., Saturdays from 1 p.m. and Sundays from 2 p.m. Note that it is 21+ after 9 p.m.
Few Dallas honky-tonks are as authentic as this century-old Deep Ellum mainstay. Originally built to house several lodges for a fraternity of German immigrants, the Hall now serves as a live music venue showcasing a variety of genres from folk, country and blues to alternative pop and reggae. Countless music legends have graced the stage at SOHH, including artists such as Ray Wylie Hubbard and the Dixie Chicks to name a few. Along with concerts, you'll find an array of weekly events, ranging from burlesque and comedy shows to acoustic jam sessions and swing dance classes.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Sons of Hermann Hall is the best place to go in Dallas for swing dancing.
Ilene's expert tip: There is no cover charge on Thursday nights. The Hall is a cash-only venue. Pay lots and metered parking are located nearby. Be sure to check the Facebook page for current events and drink specials.
Deep Ellum offers plenty of places to listen to music, but this two-level dance palace is one of the only places in the neighborhood dedicated solely for dancing to it. And there's plenty of area to do just that. Here, you'll find a lower level complete with two bars, a cozy lounge, a dance floor and some of the city's top DJs spinning everything from '80s hits to EDM. When you feel like coming up for air, take the back stairway to the rooftop terrace where you can enjoy prime views of Deep Ellum.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: The Nines is the most unique dance club in Dallas.
Ilene's expert tip: The Nines is open Tuesday through Saturday; Happy Hour is offered 7-10 p.m. Check the website for weekly events and drink specials.
Tucked inside the lobby of the Warwick Melrose Hotel (a historic Dallas landmark dating back to 1924), the Library Bar is quite possibly the coziest place to sip a drink in the city. Named one of "30 Iconic American Bars" by Business Insider, the dimly-lit space, fitted out with leather chairs, intimate seating nooks and a flickering fireplace, is also one of Dallas' top spots for live piano entertainment (jazz and pop) six nights a week. Though you probably won't be reading any of the books in the shelves, you'll want to be sure to read the drinks menu, which covers everything from crafted tipples to over 27 selections of wine by the glass.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: The Library is where to go for hand-crafted cocktails and live jazz in a sophisticated setting.
Ilene's expert tip: There's never a cover charge to get in, and the Library Bar also offers Happy Hour, Sunday through Thursdays from 4-7 p.m. when wine by the glass and signature cocktails are half off. There is no charge for valet parking if you get your ticket stamped at the bar.
Easily one of the city's best and biggest gay dance clubs, Station 4 boasts late-night house and hip hop madness Thursday through Sunday, plus awesome drag shows and pageants in the Rose Room upstairs. Spread across 24,000 square feet, this cavernous, multilevel nightspot offers numerous bars, a state-of-the-art sound system and lighting powered by dancers on a motion-sensing, stainless steel dance floor. Cutting-edge DJs and a host of regular events, from gay bingo to costume contests--make this a hot spot for a mostly gay (and young) crowd, but it's just as welcoming to anyone who's looking for a good time.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Station 4 is one of the best places in the city to go dancing.
Ilene's expert tip: Station 4 stays open until 4 a.m., Friday through Sunday.
As the saying goes, sometimes the best things come in small packages, which is undoubtedly the case with this pint-sized jewel of a jazz joint. And what this laid-back watering hole lacks in square footage, it more than makes up for in ambiance, not to mention, live music-- which is served up seven nights a week. The club's repertoire features both local and national jazz artists as well as everything from R&B to soul, funk, classic rock and even country. Not-to-be-missed are special events like Open Blues Jam and the Jazz Master Series.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Potent cocktails and an incredible lineup of music seven nights a week, what's not to like?
Ilene's expert tip: There's no cover charge Sunday through Thursday. And Happy Hour is on offer from 5-7 p.m., Sunday-Thursday.
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 a weekly roundup of free 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. Even heavy hitters like Jack Ingram, the Dixie Chicks and Miranda Lambert have taken to Adair's tiny stage at one time or another. 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 old school charm. It's no wonder this spot has been able to maintain its staying power for over fifty years.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Adair's is the best place to catch free live country music.
Ilene's expert tip: Adair's offers drink specials every day as well as happy hour from 2-8 p.m. Sunday through Friday.
Dallas is crawling with cocktail lounges, but this Uptown drinking den 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 5-8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday), where you can snag tipples for half-price. Not only that, Parliament also offers happy hour prices anytime it's raining. As you might expect, the place fills up fast, so come early if you want to find a seat.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Parliament is the best place for an evening of serious cocktail love.
Ilene's expert tip: Parking is free for 3-hours.
It may not be in a secret location, but the Joule Hotel's posh subterranean hideout has all the makings of a sultry speakeasy--from its arched ceilings and wood-paneled walls to vintage light fixtures and plush leather sofas. 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). There's also a limited selection of gourmet goodies available from the bar and food can be ordered from CBD Provisions upstairs. Keep an eye on Facebook for special events.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Midnight Rambler is an ideal place to take a date.
Ilene's expert tip: The Joule offers complimentary valet for up to 90 minutes. Reservations are strongly recommended.