We love hand-muddled cocktails with six obscure ingredients as much as the next person, but sometimes simple is better: A dirt-cheap can of icy cold beer, or a knock-you-on-your-ass strong vodka soda or rum and coke, along with a jukebox and maybe a pool table. Luckily, Dallas has plenty of bars where drinkers can seek refuge from lengthy cocktail lists and fedoras. What better time than Cocktail Week to celebrate the city's diviest dive bars, replete with busted vinyl booths, slightly menacing regulars, delightfully conversational bartenders, and annoying cash-only policies?Read More
11 Iconic Dallas Dive Bars, Mapped
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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
Tucked into a slightly sketchy part of south Dallas, Lee Harvey's huge gravel yard with fire pits and picnic benches make it the perfect place to get cozy with cheap canned beer on a chilly night. The inside is covered in wood paneling and most of the vinyl booths inside are pretty busted, but the burgers are killer and there's live music on the weekends.
Adair's is Sharpie-graffitied within an inch of its life. Pop in to this Deep Ellum haunt located next door to pizza legend Cane Rosso to leave your mark while waiting for a juicy backyard-style burger. Live music happens often and it could be anything from punk to country.
A slightly upscale dive (and by that, we mean they have Stella Artois), the Landing is dark, smoky, and did we mention dark? There's a jukebox, a pool table, plenty of wood paneling and ripped vinyl booths. A late-night, hand-dipped corndog from the Landing is practically a Dallas rite of passage.
This sixty year old hole in the wall still smells of cigarettes, despite the no smoking policy. Beer is dirt cheap ($1.75 drafts?!) and burgers are good and greasy. A jukebox, pool table and shuffleboard provide plenty of good ol' American entertainment. Cash only, BYOB liquor.
The Double Wide may be overrun with hipsters, but it's somewhere every Dallasite should experience at least once. Order a delightfully trashy frozen Yoohoo drink or Boone's Farm-tini (it is a trailer, after all) and grab a seat at one of the toilets-turned-chairs out back. Great place to catch a local punk band.
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The Grapevine Bar
Where else besides The Grapevine can you play basketball with a dude in high heels while drinking Everclear bellinis? This dark and slightly dingy Maple Avenue bar is known for its cheap drinks and diverse crowd, and the jukebox has pretty much every Lady Gaga song ever.
Before you go to Ships, you oughta know of the "no cussing" policy. That, in addition to the the year-round Christmas lights, excellent jukebox and unique regulars, make this place one of a kind. Ships only serves beer and wine, meaning you can bring your own liquor and just pay for mixers. (Really.) Cash only.
Tradewinds Social Club
Dirt-cheap drinks, a slightly sketchy location with no signage, Schlitz in a can, pool tables, a dance floor, and friendly bartenders make Tradewinds a quintessential dive. DJ nights bring a slightly younger hipster crowd.
The Loon is overrun with leering polo-wearing Uptowners on the weekends, so come earlier or on an off-peak night. The drinks are arguably the strongest in town, meaning nights at the Loon are probably some of the best you'll never remember. The menu is unexpectedly diverse and solid all around.
Fabulously dark and divey, Dallas institution Louie's draws crowds nightly for the thin and crispy pizza, strong drinks and sometimes rude service. Be warned: Parking is a bitch and they only take Amex and cash.
Feel like playing hooky from work?This Lakewood "neighborhood blues bar" opens at 7 a.m. The bar is partially held together with duct tape and the bathrooms are pretty sketchy, but you don't come to The Goat for the atmosphere--you come for the amazing live blues and the friendly regulars. Sunday night karaoke is legendary.
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