Where To Drink Now

Where to drink in Dallas right now: 5 best bars for a first date

Where to drink in Dallas right now: 5 best bars for a first date

The Tipsy Alchemist
The Tipsy Alchemist definitely thinks about presentation. The Tipsy Alchemist/Facebook
Reid Lewis at the Bowen House
Bowen House's bartenders love getting creative. Photo by Jessica Garmon
Mercy Wine Bar
Mercy Wine Bar is a longtime go-to for romantic first dates. Mercy Wine Bar/Facebook
Barcadia bar in Dallas
Get your game on at Barcadia. Barcadia Dallas/Facebook
The Cedars Social
Craft cocktails are the specialty at Cedars Social. Photo by ercwttmn via Flickr
The Tipsy Alchemist
Reid Lewis at the Bowen House
Mercy Wine Bar
Barcadia bar in Dallas
The Cedars Social

One of the most common phrases in dating is "Let's get drinks." Okay, but where?

Bars vary wildly in tone and atmosphere, and places where you go to get your dance on or watch the big game can sometimes be entirely unsuitable settings for wooing.

These five Dallas spots are the perfect mix of fun and flirty, intimate yet not intimidating. And they will fill you with liquid courage, which — though not required — is certainly appreciated during the all-important first date. If things go really well, here's an idea of where to head next for dinner.

Barcadia
​Bond over Skee-Ball and beers while playfully stoking the competitive fires. The brew selection is broad — more than 20 on tap and a dizzying number more in bottles — and mostly general, but there are a few unique names sprinkled among the list (a personal fave is JW Dundee Honey Brown, which isn't often seen outside the Northeast). Barcadia was one of the forerunners in Dallas for bar/gamer heaven hybrids, and its laidback vibe helps calm romantic jitters. But remember to keep things light, because nobody likes a sore loser or gloating winner.

The Cedars Social
First, make sure your date is the type who will appreciate '70s decor. Once that's been established, take a seat in either the sexy library (yes, such a thing exists) or out on the patio, with its gorgeous views of downtown. This cocktail den specializes in well-made drinks that combine the familiar with the unusual. Try the aptly named Take Me Home (Ketel One vodka, absinthe, raspberries, and lemon).

Mercy Wine Bar
Explain your choice with this fact: The Addison vino venue is named for Roy Orbison's famous song "Oh, Pretty Woman." Now that there are visions of Julia Roberts and Richard Gere dancing in your date's head, supplement them with a staggering wine list and slinky interior full of low lighting. Now is the time to try and pretend you actually know things about wine (or let the highly trained waiter help you out).

Bowen House
Quaint and cute — it's an actual Texas Landmark house in Uptown — this bar has a speakeasy feel and some seriously talented bartenders. The new menu helps guide you to the perfect drink, whether you're craving something tropical (the Tiki: three different kinds of rum, macadamia orgeat, and pineapple) or biting (the Duo: Redemption Rye, Domaine de Canton, Hellfire shrub). Add in an order of the blue cheese potato chips, and you might be tempted to stay for another few rounds.

The Tipsy Alchemist
One of Dallas' newest bars, this science-themed joint gives you the chance to use this phrase: "On our first date, we drank cocktails out of light bulbs." Hard to top that, really.