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Midnight Rambler
Midnight Rambler
Lori Bandi

Every Important Cocktail Bar in Dallas, Mapped

Drinking essentials.

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Midnight Rambler
| Lori Bandi

Practically every restaurant in town has so-called "craft cocktails" these days, but not all $12 drinks are created equally. For a carefully crafted and well-executed libation, these ten Dallas bars won't steer you wrong. From a beloved dive to a ritzy hotel bar — and everything in between — this list will serve as a handy reference next time someone utters that magical phrase, "Let's get a drink."

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Black Swan Saloon

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2708 Elm St
Dallas, TX 75226
(214) 748-4949
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Owner and bartender extraordinaire Gabe Sanchez must have a photographic memory, because he'll likely remember you — and your drink of choice — after your very first visit. There's no menu to speak of here; just relay your preferences and they'll whip up something insanely tasty. The house infusions here are very popular — particularly watermelon vodka and coffee bourbon — and so is the back patio, especially now that the weather is cooling off.

2. Industry Alley

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1713 South Lamar
Dallas, TX
(214) 238-3111
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This new Cedars bar is a result of beloved round-spectacled bartender Charlie Papaceno splitting off from the equally legendary Windmill Lounge, which he owned and operated with his ex-wife Louise Owens. Expect the same fantastic cocktails — including a legendary Old-Fashioned — at incredibly reasonable prices, now with pool tables, pinball, and arcade games. There's no menu, but Charlie and his bartenders are well-versed in all the classics.

3. Midnight Rambler

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1530 Main St
Dallas, TX 75201
(214) 261-4601
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If you're a true cocktail nerd, The Joule's sexy subterranean lounge is as good as it gets. Presided over by drink wizards Chad Solomon and Christy Pope, the menu pushes the envelope with creations like a pho-inspired shot made with beef stock, punches for sharing, and housemade sodas in flavors like lemon myrtle and and grapefruit-hibiscus.
Lori Bandi

4. Parliament

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2418 Allen St
Dallas, TX 75204
(469) 804-4321
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Eddie "Lucky" Campbell opened a place of his very own about a year ago, and Dallas's cocktail scene is all the better for it. Most bartenders will give you the evil eye if you ask for a labor-intensive Ramos Gin Fizz, but the hard-working fellows at Parliament pride themselves on making the best version in town. The rest of the menu reads like a work of literary art, with creations like the Jing, a $27 drink doctored up with deer antler extract (for virility, natch).
Kyla Davidson

5. Tate's

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2723 McKinney Ave
Dallas, TX 75204
(214) 954-4141
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At first glance, Tate's may just seem like another face in the McKinney Ave. bar crowd, but look again: the tonic water's made in-house, as are all the syrups — and nary a bottle of Rose's lime juice in sight. Tate's does all the classics well, if you're in the mood for a Cuba Libre (with housemade cola, natch) or a gimlet; but there are plenty of original concoctions, too: Be sure to try the Malaysian Mule, spiked with kaffir lime and spicy Thai chili.

6. The Mansion Bar

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2821 Turtle Creek Blvd
Dallas, TX 75219
(214) 559-2100
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Even if you can't afford a full-on meal at the hallowed Mansion on Turtle Creek, you should at least stop by the bar for some of the best damn cocktails in town (fairly priced at around $12 to $14). The swank surroundings complement the carefully crafted drinks (especially in the winter when you can cozy up by the fireplace). Recent favorites have included the Dr Pepper Old Fashioned; martini drinkers are in good hands here, with an array of garnishes from pickled fennel to black pepper goat cheese stuffed olives.

7. The People's Last Stand

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5319 E Mockingbird Ln Ste 210
Dallas, TX 75206
(214) 370-8755
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Tucked up on the second level of Mockingbird Station — yes, the same shopping center where you'll find Twin Peaks and Urban Outfitters — is this gem of a laid-back cocktail lounge. The menu holds a veritable treasure trove for adventurous drinkers, from the Nirvana (mango-infused rum, pineapple, coconut water, and tiki bitters) to the Jhansi James made with pisco, St. Germain, jalapeno, and... curry? Trust that these guys won't steer you wrong.

8. The Standard Pour

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2900 McKinney Ave
Dallas, TX 75204
(214) 935-1370
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Brian McCullough manages the bar at this Uptown staple, where the menu is constantly being refreshed with seasonal creations; it's wisely divided up by spirit, making it easy to navigate whether you're in the mood for vodka (try the Vodka Daisy with Belvedere, yellow Chartreuse, and vanilla) or mezcal (go for the Smoke on the Water with housemade tepache, ginger, and Aperol). All the classics are perfectly executed here, too, from the Aviation to the Vieux Carre.
Kevin Marple

9. Victor Tangos

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3001 N Henderson Ave
Dallas, TX 75206
(214) 252-8595
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Perennial Henderson Ave. favorite Victor Tangos' cocktails are so unique, so tasty, that one had an entire restaurant named after it (Plano's now-defunct Pepper Smash). Whether your tastes run simple and sweet — try the Passionfruit Gimlet with fresh thyme — or a bit more adventurous, the bar at VT's will no doubt have something to please. Recent creations include the Rebel Yell, made with chamomile-infused bourbon, orgeat, coconut, lemon, vanilla, and Angostura bitters.
Margo Sivin

10. Windmill Lounge

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5320 Maple Ave
Dallas, TX 75235
(214) 443-7818
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Fact: Windmill Lounge was serving craft cocktails before craft cocktails were cool (in Dallas, anyway). This divey little wonder has killer — try the Aviation — and and a jukebox to match. If you're lucky, owner Louise Owens will make you her namesake drink, a tasty combo of vodka, OJ, strawberry nectar, ginger, and mint, with a little bubbly for good measure.

1. Black Swan Saloon

2708 Elm St, Dallas, TX 75226
Owner and bartender extraordinaire Gabe Sanchez must have a photographic memory, because he'll likely remember you — and your drink of choice — after your very first visit. There's no menu to speak of here; just relay your preferences and they'll whip up something insanely tasty. The house infusions here are very popular — particularly watermelon vodka and coffee bourbon — and so is the back patio, especially now that the weather is cooling off.
2708 Elm St
Dallas, TX 75226

2. Industry Alley

1713 South Lamar, Dallas, TX
This new Cedars bar is a result of beloved round-spectacled bartender Charlie Papaceno splitting off from the equally legendary Windmill Lounge, which he owned and operated with his ex-wife Louise Owens. Expect the same fantastic cocktails — including a legendary Old-Fashioned — at incredibly reasonable prices, now with pool tables, pinball, and arcade games. There's no menu, but Charlie and his bartenders are well-versed in all the classics.
1713 South Lamar
Dallas, TX

3. Midnight Rambler

1530 Main St, Dallas, TX 75201
Lori Bandi
If you're a true cocktail nerd, The Joule's sexy subterranean lounge is as good as it gets. Presided over by drink wizards Chad Solomon and Christy Pope, the menu pushes the envelope with creations like a pho-inspired shot made with beef stock, punches for sharing, and housemade sodas in flavors like lemon myrtle and and grapefruit-hibiscus.
1530 Main St
Dallas, TX 75201

4. Parliament

2418 Allen St, Dallas, TX 75204
Kyla Davidson
Eddie "Lucky" Campbell opened a place of his very own about a year ago, and Dallas's cocktail scene is all the better for it. Most bartenders will give you the evil eye if you ask for a labor-intensive Ramos Gin Fizz, but the hard-working fellows at Parliament pride themselves on making the best version in town. The rest of the menu reads like a work of literary art, with creations like the Jing, a $27 drink doctored up with deer antler extract (for virility, natch).
2418 Allen St
Dallas, TX 75204

5. Tate's

2723 McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX 75204
At first glance, Tate's may just seem like another face in the McKinney Ave. bar crowd, but look again: the tonic water's made in-house, as are all the syrups — and nary a bottle of Rose's lime juice in sight. Tate's does all the classics well, if you're in the mood for a Cuba Libre (with housemade cola, natch) or a gimlet; but there are plenty of original concoctions, too: Be sure to try the Malaysian Mule, spiked with kaffir lime and spicy Thai chili.
2723 McKinney Ave
Dallas, TX 75204

6. The Mansion Bar

2821 Turtle Creek Blvd, Dallas, TX 75219
Even if you can't afford a full-on meal at the hallowed Mansion on Turtle Creek, you should at least stop by the bar for some of the best damn cocktails in town (fairly priced at around $12 to $14). The swank surroundings complement the carefully crafted drinks (especially in the winter when you can cozy up by the fireplace). Recent favorites have included the Dr Pepper Old Fashioned; martini drinkers are in good hands here, with an array of garnishes from pickled fennel to black pepper goat cheese stuffed olives.
2821 Turtle Creek Blvd
Dallas, TX 75219

7. The People's Last Stand

5319 E Mockingbird Ln Ste 210, Dallas, TX 75206
Tucked up on the second level of Mockingbird Station — yes, the same shopping center where you'll find Twin Peaks and Urban Outfitters — is this gem of a laid-back cocktail lounge. The menu holds a veritable treasure trove for adventurous drinkers, from the Nirvana (mango-infused rum, pineapple, coconut water, and tiki bitters) to the Jhansi James made with pisco, St. Germain, jalapeno, and... curry? Trust that these guys won't steer you wrong.
5319 E Mockingbird Ln Ste 210
Dallas, TX 75206

8. The Standard Pour

2900 McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX 75204
Kevin Marple
Brian McCullough manages the bar at this Uptown staple, where the menu is constantly being refreshed with seasonal creations; it's wisely divided up by spirit, making it easy to navigate whether you're in the mood for vodka (try the Vodka Daisy with Belvedere, yellow Chartreuse, and vanilla) or mezcal (go for the Smoke on the Water with housemade tepache, ginger, and Aperol). All the classics are perfectly executed here, too, from the Aviation to the Vieux Carre.
2900 McKinney Ave
Dallas, TX 75204

9. Victor Tangos

3001 N Henderson Ave, Dallas, TX 75206
Margo Sivin
Perennial Henderson Ave. favorite Victor Tangos' cocktails are so unique, so tasty, that one had an entire restaurant named after it (Plano's now-defunct Pepper Smash). Whether your tastes run simple and sweet — try the Passionfruit Gimlet with fresh thyme — or a bit more adventurous, the bar at VT's will no doubt have something to please. Recent creations include the Rebel Yell, made with chamomile-infused bourbon, orgeat, coconut, lemon, vanilla, and Angostura bitters.
3001 N Henderson Ave
Dallas, TX 75206

10. Windmill Lounge

5320 Maple Ave, Dallas, TX 75235
Fact: Windmill Lounge was serving craft cocktails before craft cocktails were cool (in Dallas, anyway). This divey little wonder has killer — try the Aviation — and and a jukebox to match. If you're lucky, owner Louise Owens will make you her namesake drink, a tasty combo of vodka, OJ, strawberry nectar, ginger, and mint, with a little bubbly for good measure.
5320 Maple Ave
Dallas, TX 75235

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