While two-steppin’ country bars with mechanical bulls and creative country-themed shooters might come to mind, Dallas’ bar scene runs much deeper. Kick off your cowboy boots and explore the city’s downtown area, where you’ll find hand-crafted cocktails and atmospheres ranging from casual to classy.
Getting Crafty: The Ginger Man
If you love craft beer, spend a few hours savoring brews from around the world at the Ginger Man in Uptown. Join the lively crowd in the woodsy main bar downstairs, or take your drink upstairs to a library-themed lounge furnished with sofas and chairs. Head outside to an outdoor balcony or beer garden. For some local flavor, try the Revolver Blood and Honey, a Texas-made wheat and barley ale with a blood orange finish. You can enjoy live music at The Ginger Man on Saturdays and trivia nights on Tuesdays.
Tales Out of School: Saint Ann Restaurant and Bar
Located in Dallas’ Harwood neighborhood in Uptown, Saint Ann Restaurant and Bar transformed a historic schoolhouse from the 1920s into an ultramodern hangout. The venue boasts the largest outdoor patio in the city and dishes up award-winning American fare, including mussels cooked with chorizo in a saffron broth and grilled salmon topped with grapefruit butter. Saint Ann is also the place to try unique cocktails. Best bets: Treat yourself to a grownup Basil Lemonade—vodka with a splash of basil agave and lemon juice—or try the Elyx Martini topped with blue-cheese-stuffed olives.
Luck of the Irish: Idle Rich
The Irish are renowned for their whiskeys, and at Idle Rich Pub, you’ll have more than 60 to choose from. The whiskey menu has two dozen Irish whiskeys alone, including the rare Jameson Vintage that smacks of burnt wood, flowers and pepper. To get closer to home, order a TX Blended Whiskey made just down the road in Fort Worth. Idle Rich serves up hot toddies, mulled wine and Irish coffee, as well as Guinness, wines and craft beers. Order the pretzel-bratwurst board or the Irish Reuben off the pub’s menu.
Hipster Hangout: Cosmos Bar
Nothing about Cosmos Bar is boring or usual. From bar food rich in hand-tossed pizzas and trendy Vietnamese fare to its funky decor and techno music, the place turns the usual bar scene on its ear. A space-themed drink menu invites you to tip back a shooter of Rocket Fuel—made from blue curacao, rum and vodka—or savor a Space Monkey, rich in banana liqueur, rum and milk.
Enjoy the View: Nora Restaurant and Bar
Snuggle up around a cozy fire pit, cocktail in hand, as you take in the view of the Dallas skyline. Serving up Afghan cuisine, Nora Restaurant and Bar’s rooftop lounge provides a quiet and relaxing atmosphere for meaningful conversation or just enjoying the sunset. Order the sampler appetizer platter—it’s filled with baked pastries, leek dumplings and sautéed pumpkin—and try one of their savory stews, such as the Kofta Chalao—meatballs simmered in garlic, onion and dried plum over rice. Sip unique cocktails created with house-made syrups and flavorings. Try Nora 75—champagne and gin pair up with Nora’s own hibiscus syrup and other fruity tones—or the Kabul Mule, made with ginger beer and cardamom-infused vodka.