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Drink cocktails from red plastic cups at Inwood Tavern
Drink cocktails from red plastic cups at Inwood Tavern

11 Essential Dallas Dive Bars

Dimly lit and slightly grungy, there's nothing better than a dive bar

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Drink cocktails from red plastic cups at Inwood Tavern

Dallas has plenty of ritzy cocktail dens, but some of the city’s most beloved drinking establishments are its dive bars. From the famous Adair's Saloon, a Deep Ellum spot to listen to local crooners, to Lakewood Landing, home of the city's best late-night corn dogs, Dallas has a divey destination to fit any personality.

Want to dress up and spend $15 on a cocktail? Look elsewhere. But if in search of a place to throw back some whiskey and several PBRs in jeans and a t-shirt, look no further than Dallas's twelve best dive bars.

Did we miss the scoop on your favorite haunt? Shout it out in the comments.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Inwood Tavern

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7717 Inwood Rd
Dallas, TX 75209
(214) 353-2666
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Considering the neighborhood, Inwood Tavern definitely counts as a dive. As the oldest continually open bar in Dallas, this comfortable haunt is perfect for swigging cheap wells from red plastic cups, drunkenly belting Celine Dion on karaoke nights, and ice cold beer. Definitely plan to show up for Sunday Funday, when the wells are $2.50 and the mimosas are flowing all damn day.

2. Milo Butterfingers

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5645 Smu Blvd
Dallas, TX 75206
(214) 368-9212
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Milo's has been a staple in repertoire of every SMU drinker since the 70s. Dingy, cheap, and welcoming, Milo's is the antithesis of an SMU frat star (though the polo wearing man children do occasionally make an appearance). We both recommend and do not recommend getting pickle back shots and a pitcher of beer.

3. The Goat

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7248 Gaston Ave
Dallas, TX 75214
(214) 327-8119
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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.

4. Lakewood Landing

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5818 Live Oak St
Dallas, TX 75214
(214) 823-2410
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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.

5. Cosmo's

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1212 Skillman St
Dallas, TX 75206
(214) 826-4200
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This Lakewood stalwart has a great jukebox, a fireplace, kick-ass Vietnamese eats, and strangely enough, has a never-ending rotation of 80's movies playing (on VHS, of course).

6. The Grapevine Bar

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3902 Maple Ave
Dallas, TX 75219
(214) 522-8466
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Where else besides The Grapevine can you play basketball with drag queens while drinking Everclear bellinis? This dark and slightly dingy Maple Avenue bar is known for its cheap drinks and diverse crowd, and the jukebox never disappoints.

7. Dallasite Billiards

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4822 Bryan St
Dallas, TX 75204
(214) 826-3670

Pool enthusiasts already know about this East Dallas dive, situated just a stone's throw away from Jimmy's Food Store. After downing an Italian Stallion, walk over to this divey delight for karaoke, cheap beer, and enough greasy fare to ward off even the most terrifying of hangovers.

8. Reno's Chop Shop

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210 N Crowdus St
Dallas, TX 75226
(214) 744-1200
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This Deep Ellum biker bar is a Dallas institution. It's dark as hell, the drinks are strong, the regulars are surprisingly friendly, and the burgers are great -- maybe leave the chinos and boat shoes at home, though.

9. Adair's Saloon

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2624 Commerce St
Dallas, TX 75226
(214) 939-9900
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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 nightly, and it could be anything from punk to country.

10. Lee Harvey's

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1807 Gould St
Dallas, TX 75215
(214) 428-1555
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Just south of Downtown, 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.

11. Tradewinds Social Club

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2843 W Davis St
Dallas, TX 75211
(214) 337-9075
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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.

1. Inwood Tavern

7717 Inwood Rd, Dallas, TX 75209

Considering the neighborhood, Inwood Tavern definitely counts as a dive. As the oldest continually open bar in Dallas, this comfortable haunt is perfect for swigging cheap wells from red plastic cups, drunkenly belting Celine Dion on karaoke nights, and ice cold beer. Definitely plan to show up for Sunday Funday, when the wells are $2.50 and the mimosas are flowing all damn day.

7717 Inwood Rd
Dallas, TX 75209

2. Milo Butterfingers

5645 Smu Blvd, Dallas, TX 75206

Milo's has been a staple in repertoire of every SMU drinker since the 70s. Dingy, cheap, and welcoming, Milo's is the antithesis of an SMU frat star (though the polo wearing man children do occasionally make an appearance). We both recommend and do not recommend getting pickle back shots and a pitcher of beer.

5645 Smu Blvd
Dallas, TX 75206

3. The Goat

7248 Gaston Ave, Dallas, TX 75214

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.

7248 Gaston Ave
Dallas, TX 75214

4. Lakewood Landing

5818 Live Oak St, Dallas, TX 75214

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.

5818 Live Oak St
Dallas, TX 75214

5. Cosmo's

1212 Skillman St, Dallas, TX 75206

This Lakewood stalwart has a great jukebox, a fireplace, kick-ass Vietnamese eats, and strangely enough, has a never-ending rotation of 80's movies playing (on VHS, of course).

1212 Skillman St
Dallas, TX 75206

6. The Grapevine Bar

3902 Maple Ave, Dallas, TX 75219

Where else besides The Grapevine can you play basketball with drag queens while drinking Everclear bellinis? This dark and slightly dingy Maple Avenue bar is known for its cheap drinks and diverse crowd, and the jukebox never disappoints.

3902 Maple Ave
Dallas, TX 75219

7. Dallasite Billiards

4822 Bryan St, Dallas, TX 75204

Pool enthusiasts already know about this East Dallas dive, situated just a stone's throw away from Jimmy's Food Store. After downing an Italian Stallion, walk over to this divey delight for karaoke, cheap beer, and enough greasy fare to ward off even the most terrifying of hangovers.

4822 Bryan St
Dallas, TX 75204

8. Reno's Chop Shop

210 N Crowdus St, Dallas, TX 75226

This Deep Ellum biker bar is a Dallas institution. It's dark as hell, the drinks are strong, the regulars are surprisingly friendly, and the burgers are great -- maybe leave the chinos and boat shoes at home, though.

210 N Crowdus St
Dallas, TX 75226

9. Adair's Saloon

2624 Commerce St, Dallas, TX 75226

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 nightly, and it could be anything from punk to country.

2624 Commerce St
Dallas, TX 75226

10. Lee Harvey's

1807 Gould St, Dallas, TX 75215

Just south of Downtown, 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.

1807 Gould St
Dallas, TX 75215

11. Tradewinds Social Club

2843 W Davis St, Dallas, TX 75211

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.

2843 W Davis St
Dallas, TX 75211

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