The upcoming CultureMap Tastemaker Awards on April 20 has us reflecting not only on Dallas' new food and drink superstars, but also the good ol' standbys.
To complement this year's 10 best neighborhood restaurants, here are five bars where you can always count on getting a good drink with minimal fuss. No gimmicks, no mixology, no wait to get inside — just come as you are and knock a few back.
A relaxed vibe permeates this Deep Ellum standby, which garners a lot of attention for its vegan-friendly menu and outrageous brunch. But if you roll up just for a drink, you'll usually find a dog or two lounging by the front door, enjoying the people-watching. Take a cue from these dogs and simply "be" while you're here, letting the alcohol do its job while the pleasantly dark interior muffles the cares and worries of the outside world.
Green Door Public House
If you hit up this little hideaway by the Dallas Farmers Market on a night that's not music-themed (DJ, open mic, karaoke), you'll be rewarded with an extensive selection of whiskey, scotch, and bourbon, as well as a nice array of local craft beers on tap. The talented bartenders will happily mix you up a complicated cocktail if that's what you're craving, but stick to the basics while you soak up the Liberty Bank building's interesting history (it was brought to its current location brick-by-brick).
The closest thing this dive has to a gimmick is its late-night corn dogs, but that's not why the regulars keep showing up. They come for the no-frills drinks poured by no-nonsense bartenders; the well-worn booths, bar stools, and couches; and the postage stamp of a patio where everyone seems to end up. Most nights, the Landing feels like a groovier extension of your living room.
Like an oasis in the middle of glitzy Uptown, this down-and-dirty bar is about as relaxed as they come. Whether you're lounging on the patio — practically the only one in the area that's doesn't operate as a makeshift fashion runway — or crowded inside at the rickety tables, you're likely to be ordering too many doubles.
The strip mall storefront of this East Dallas gem belies all that's hidden inside. Pool tables and a hefty horseshoe-shaped bar anchor a sea of booths and tables, and the kitchen cooks up a surprisingly diverse and inventive menu. The sheer amount of space means that you can enjoy a cozy conversation at one end of the bar while a raucous group sinks balls at the pool tables, or engage the personable bartenders in a little banter.