Named after the Merle Haggard song, Mama Tried is a sprawling indoor-outdoor oasis for country music fans. Formally located in Deep Ellum, the honky-tonk is now located in Texas Lottery Plaza where it's joined by an array of bars and restaurants at the Toyota Music Factory. In addition to events such as free pool and karaoke nights during the week, the 5,000 sq. ft. venue also features shuffleboard as well as 24 screens for sports, plus free live music on weekends. Expect to listen to the sounds of everything from classic country to outlaw and bluegrass.
Recommended for Country Western Bars because: Mama Tried is the ultimate spot for classic country music fans.
Ilene's expert tip: Free pool is on offer Mondays through Thursdays.
Celebrating a comeback after being closed in 2018 for renovations is the Rodeo Bar, a western-themed bar and eatery in the Adolphus Hotel. Originally opened in 1981, the iconic saloon evokes a classic Texas-vibe with vintage furnishings, neon lights, and a lineup of food and drinks to match. Food-wise, find everything from Texas-inspired cocktails and boilermakers to nachos, smash burgers, blue plate specials, and even caviar fries served with Dom Perignon. On the entertainment front, expect to find a rotating list of musicians jamming every weekend in the back room, with tunes ranging from western to rock.
Recommended for Country Western Bars because: For those seeking a watering hole that encapsulates Americana, this is your place.
Ilene's expert tip: Score $5 burgers, chili cheese fries, draft beer, select cocktails and more during Happy Hour from 4-6 p.m., Monday-Friday. There is free valet parking at the hotel as long as you get your parking ticket validated at the bar.
As the name indicates, this popular watering hole is set up in a double-wide trailer, replete with wood paneling, taxidermied animals and kitschy memorabilia as far as the eyes can see. But don't let all the quirkiness fool you, Double Wide also has a reputation of being a stellar place for live country music as well as for everything from rock to bluegrass and electronica. And though there's barely enough space to turn around, it sure doesn't stop anyone from busting a move. In fact, audience participation in the form of dancing and singing is highly encouraged.
Recommended for Country Western Bars because: Double Wide is one of the city's most celebrated dive bars.
Ilene's expert tip: Score $3 wells and domestics plus $5 Yoohoo Yeehaws from 5-9 p.m., Tuesday-Friday.
Originally built as a fraternal lodge over a century ago, Sons of Hermann Hall now serves as a dance hall and live music venue, hosting everything from folk, country and blues to alternative pop and reggae every Friday and Saturday night. In addition to concerts, the Hall features an array of events during the week, including Wednesday night swing classes, and a Thursday acoustic campfire jam. When you're ready for a breather, head to the bar downstairs where a jukebox, pool table and shuffleboard provide a nice diversion. Just be sure to keep an eye out for ghost sightings, this place is supposedly haunted.
Recommended for Country Western Bars because: Sons of Hermann Hall is one of the city's most revered places for live music and swing dancing.
Ilene's expert tip: Score $1 off all domestic beer, wine and well drinks during Happy Hour, from 5-8 p.m., Monday-Friday. Note that Sons of Hermann Hall now takes credit cards.
Perhaps you'll do more listening than line-dancing at this venerable music mecca (going strong since 1977), but nevertheless, Poor David's Pub is a stellar venue to catch local rising singer-songwriters as well as top-notch national acts. The pub has hosted everyone from Jerry Jeff Walker to Lyle Lovett plus it's also the place where performers such as Sara Hickman and The Dixie Chicks got their start. In addition to a weekend lineup of must-see feature bands, the bar stays hopping through the week with comedy, poetry readings, open mic nights and more.
Recommended for Country Western Bars because: Poor David's Pub is one of Dallas' best live country music venues.
Ilene's expert tip: The pub is located within a two-minute walk from the DART Cedars Station train station and there's also paid parking available right across the street.
A traditional honky-tonk The Rustic is not. And most of the folks who come here are more cosmopolitan than cowboy. There's not a real dance floor either. But you'll certainly have plenty of room to kick the dust-up in The Backyard, a massive outdoor space filled with picnic tables, fire pits, and a stage for live C&W music, which is on offer most nights of the week. In fact, you might even catch country music legend Pat Green taking to the stage since he happens to be part-owner of this spot. Did we mention that they also serve a terrific lineup of Texas-inspired food (think: smoked brisket, burgers and carnitas) plus expertly executed tipples and over 40 craft beers on tap?
Recommended for Country Western Bars because: The Rustic is a solid spot for live music and good eats, plus it has the best patio in Uptown.
Ilene's expert tip: Score $5 frozen drinks, $4 Lone Star drafts and $5 bites every day from 3-6 pm.
This legendary Cedar Springs hotspot has been hailed as the nation's best gay country western dance hall-- and with good reason. The saloon boasts multiple themed bars, a rooftop patio and a spacious hardwood dance floor with plenty of room to boot-scoot and disco dance the night away. It also cranks out a roster of weekly events, from drag shows to karaoke to dance parties. As if that weren't enough, there are drink specials every day, plus all-day happy hours as well as late-night howdy hours. Speaking of dancing, if you need to tone-up your two-step, they offer free lessons Monday, Tuesday and Thursday every week.
Recommended for Country Western Bars because: The Round-Up Saloon is the best straight-friendly cowboy-themed gay bar in Dallas.
Ilene's expert tip: Score any Texas-made liquors and beers for $5 on Tuesdays. Free parking is available in the lot behind the club.
If you've got a hankering to down ice-cold Lone Stars and two-step your way across a massive dance floor-- then this enormous honky-tonk is for you. Not only can you do some serious boot-scootin' to live bands Wednesdays through Saturdays, but you can also cowboy up with everything from mechanical bull riding to games of Texas Hold 'Em, Blackjack and Craps. And if that doesn't get your toes a-tappin', then free dance lessons, ladies nights and $3 drink specials certainly will. For an authentic country experience without having to get your boots dusty, this place is the real deal.
Recommended for Country Western Bars because: Cowboys Dancehall is the only country bar with a mechanical bull.
Ilene's expert tip: Find $3.50 wells and select longnecks on offer all night on Wednesdays. Free dance lessons are held from 7-8 p.m. every Wednesday. Follow on FB for upcoming events.
Sure, the drinks are cheap, and the burgers are phenomenal, but what lassos most folks into this Deep Ellum dive is its unpretentious vibe and a weekly roundup of free music. We're talking the cream of the country music crop of upcoming bands. Even heavy hitters like Jack Ingram, the Dixie Chicks and Miranda Lambert have taken to Adair's tiny stage at one time or another. Add in 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, no wonder this spot has been able to maintain its staying power for over fifty years.
Recommended for Country Western Bars because: Adair's is the best place to catch free live country music every night of the week.
Ilene's expert tip: Adair's offers drink specials every day, including happy hour from 2-8 p.m. on Fridays as well as all day on Sundays through Thursdays.
Sure, it's touristy and gimmicky, but if you really want to get your urban cowboy shtick on, this legendary country and western venue in the Fort Worth Stockyards is where to do it. Billed as the world's largest honky-tonk, Billy Bob's covers almost 3-acres and boasts over 30 bar stations, a Texas-size dance floor, an indoor rodeo arena, a restaurant, a gift shop, arcade games and country music memorabilia galore. It's so massive that it can accommodate 6,000 people at a time. Oh, and talk about live music, this place is known for hosting some of the biggest names in rock and country music. Plus, there's a house band that plays Wednesday through Saturday and live pro bull riding on offer every weekend. And, yes, they offer dance lessons here too.
Recommended for Country Western Bars because: A visit to the DFW Metroplex isn't complete without a stop at this Fort Worth icon.
Ilene's expert tip: Note that there is a charge of $3-$5 just to enter, not including admission to concerts and rodeos.