Dallas' Best Nightlife
Enjoy Dallas after dark with our top 10 places to party the night away.
Travelers arriving in Dallas believing they'll find an Old West town of honky-tonk bars and country line-dancing will soon discover that this cosmopolitan city has a thriving arts scene, and an excellent selection of bars and nightclubs. Sure, there are the requisite honky-tonks – this is Texas, after all – but a closer look at the city after dark reveals an array of options that will make everyone from symphony lovers to beer and wine aficionados swoon.
AT&T Performing Arts Center
The AT&T Performing Arts Center is the hub of the Dallas arts and culture scene. The 10-acre complex houses multiple indoor and outdoor performance spaces, theaters and the Winspear Opera House. A number of groups perform at the center, including the Dallas Opera and the Texas Ballet, as well as various theater troupes. Aside from ticketed events at the venues, the center also offers occasional free performances. During nice weather, take in an event at Sammons Park; the center's large, grassy lawn is a relaxing outdoor venue to watch smaller, live performances.
Put on your dancing boots and step on down to the Round-Up Saloon. Housed in Dallas’ vibrant Oak Lawn neighborhood, this country-western gay bar and dance hall has a few historical stories up its sleeves, from a renovation after a fire to a country music loving ghost who may roam the cowboy memorabilia donned halls. Two-stepping and dance lessons are offered every week on the Round-Up Saloon's massive hardwood dance floor. You can even stop by their premium Tequila Shack before bravely stepping up to the mic for some karaoke. Lively trivia and drag nights are also big hits with the crowds, and the bar regularly hosts charitable events for the Dallas community. Expect a crowd on the weekends, but stay for a swingin’ good time.
You'll find the best outdoor patio in Dallas at The Foundry, whose industrial-chic gravel courtyard is filled with picnic tables, strings of twinkling lights hung overhead, a performance stage made of wooden shipping pallets, and is artfully surrounded by semi-truck trailers. Built in a rehabbed garage, clearly, this is a Texas hipster's paradise. The beer garden here has made waves in Dallas, drawing in curious locals to experience its laid-back vibe and ice-cold beers.
In the basement of downtown Dallas’ Joule Hotel, Midnight Rambler serves up some of the city's fanciest cocktails blended with various spices and herbs. Designed with brass bar tops and a terrazzo checkerboard floor, the eye-catching decor is actually an homage to Hollywood influences – it was designed after the bar in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, and the rest of the space gathered inspiration from a Parisian bar owned by filmmaker David Lynch. Put on your finest attire to blend in with the swanky crowd and groove along to the funky DJ sets on the weekends.
Don't Tell Supper Club
Prepare to be dazzled by over-the-top entertainment at Don’t Tell Supper Club. This two-story nightclub/gourmet restaurant venue regularly features jaw-dropping contortionists, burlesque performers, aerialists and even fire breathers! If you’ve got enough energy after a night out, be sure to stop in on Sundays for their drag brunches.
Kick up your cowboy boots and get ready for a night of line dancing, live music and longneck beers at Adair's Saloon, one of Dallas's oldest and most popular honky-tonks. Serving locals since 1963, Adair's is a dive bar at its finest: ripped booths, graffiti-covered walls, nightly live country music, a well-worn dance floor and seriously good pub grub – in particular, giant juicy burgers garnished with a whole jalepeno. If you're having a yen to belly up for some day drinking, head to Adair's on Sundays and Mondays for all-day happy hours.
The mismatched mayhem of the Grapevine Bar's decor means that every table, chair, sofa and glass is unique – much like the Grapevine itself. This Dallas staple has one of the city's wackiest – and warmest – atmospheres, making it a favorite watering hole for all kinds: musicians, artists and professionals of every race, religion and sexuality. If you get tired of sipping the signature frozen bellinis while cuddled up on a velour couch, head outside to check out the basketball court, or play a game of pool or ping-pong. Save your dollars to spend on the jukebox; with more than 400 CDs to choose from you'll help keep the music rocking all night.
Experience a taste of New Orleans at the Twilite Lounge. Don't be put off by its dark paneling, this Big-Easy inspired bar may look like a dive, but the jazzy performances and occasional DJ nights make it a pretty unique joint. Plus, there's a cozy courtyard for those who prefer to relax with a breeze. With a daily happy hour, karaoke and endless picks of jukebox tunes, there’s something for everyone at the Twilite Lounge.
Times Ten Cellars
If you need a hip and cozy spot to unwind, Times Ten Cellars is your best bet. This East Dallas wine bar produces fine wines from their own vineyards in the mountains of Alpine, TX. Pair your choice of drink with simple appetizers like hummus and cheese plates, then lounge around - there's plenty of couches and cozy dark corners for intimate conversations, but the real delight is sitting under a row of string lights on the spacious outdoor patio. Check out the Times Ten Cellars calendar for bar entertainment nights like jazz performances and tarot card readings.
Craft beers, homestyle meals and starry sky views? Yes, please! Nearly every night at The Rustic's outdoor patio features the best of live music from local and national acts. With over 40 beers on tap and a wide selection of cocktails, their kitchen also serves up locally sourced ingredients from vendors to provide customers with an authentic down-home Texas experience.