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The 6 Best Bars in Dallas

For live music and cold drinks, drop by one of these great spots.

U.S. News & World Report

The 6 Best Bars in Dallas

The Old Monk

For a night out at a traditional pub, head to popular Henderson Avenue for The Old Monk.(Courtesy of The Old Monk)

A day of play in Dallas can leave you looking for a way to unwind once the sun goes down. Lucky for you, the Dallas nightlife scene has great places to try a local brew, enjoy a romantic cocktail with your beau or hear some great music. Here are some of the best bars around, according to local experts.

The Rustic

The Rustic is a go-to Uptown bar, especially when you’re looking for live music and a local craft brew. While it has indoor seating and a kitchen serving homestyle dishes, The Rustic’s most notable feature is its large outdoor patio. “Pat’s Backyard,” named for Texas country singer and part-owner Pat Green, is filled with picnic tables, surrounded by oak trees and adorned with strings of warm patio lights.

The bar swells with Texas pride, serving 35 local craft beers on tap. A live band takes the outdoor stage every night, but be prepared because this country-chic bar can get busy on the weekends.

“It has a very good neighborhood feel, mixed with a little pop and western music,” says Bill Kennedy, chief concierge at the Hotel Crescent Court.

Black Swan Saloon

You’ll have to do some searching to find Black Swan Saloon – there’s no sign – but it's worth the effort. This Deep Ellum bar doesn’t have a menu for its customers. Instead, owner Gabe Sanchez asks his customers a few questions about what they like before he mixes them custom drinks. The bar’s specialty is infused liquors, crafted from top-shelf vodkas and bourbons, as well as fruits, nuts and spices.

“They ask for your taste preferences, what your palette is like, and they whip something up for you on the spot,” says Andrew Milke, concierge at The Adolphus. “I have yet to have one bad review.”

Black Swan Saloon has a small stage as well as a patio in the back, but most come to taste the handcrafted drinks.

The Old Monk

The Old Monk(Courtesy of The Old Monk)

For a night out at a traditional pub, head to popular Henderson Avenue for The Old Monk. The low-lit bar's exposed brick and antique altar door give it a European feel – as does the beer menu's emphasis on Belgians (though it has a wide-ranging selection). Find a seat at one of the dark wooden tables, or if it’s too noisy inside, the bar has outdoor seating as well.

“The Old Monk is laid out in such a way that it offers great socializing in a trendy neighborhood,” says Kevin Alderman, chief concierge at the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas.

If you're feeling peckish, the fish and chips is a favorite on The Old Monk's food menu.

Mansion Bar

With its glamorous low lighting and warm leather chairs, Mansion Bar feels like a posh private club.

Mansion Bar serves modern and classic cocktails, local craft brews and in-house originals, such as its own gin & tonic, made from Junipero gin, house-made spring tonic, kaffir lime leaf and grapefruit zest. Some nights, the bar has live music, including jazz, R&B and pop.

In addition to the G&T, Mary Stamm, chief concierge at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, where the bar is located, recommends the martini or the margarita.

Katy Trail Ice House

Sip a cold one as you look out over the Katy Trail at the Katy Trail Ice House. With its 50-foot bar, Katy Trail Ice House has a beverage to suit everyone, including a number of beers from Texas. And because everything is truly bigger in Texas, the drinks come poured in giant schooner glasses.

The large patio is pet-friendly and a favorite pit stop for walkers and runners on the Katy Trail. But if you just want to enjoy a burger and beer, it's good for that, too.

Adair’s Saloon

The laid-back Adair’s Saloon, which opened in 1963, is among the oldest bars in town.

It’s a joint where the burgers are recommended and Lone Star Beer is a favorite. Adair’s Saloon's stage has hosted members of the Dixie Chicks and Texas country singers Deryl Dodd and Jack Ingram, and its famous walls are marked up with the names of visitors from all over.

“They have live music, and a little area where people can dance,” says Susan Tilley, concierge at The Westin Galleria Dallas. “It’s so much fun."

To experience more of what Dallas has to offer, check out the U.S. News Travel guide.


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