The best spots to hole up and drink cheap in town.
Dallas is a city full of talented mixologists and creative, ever-changing cocktail menus. It is also a place where the cost of said drinks can cost as much as a meal (think $108 bowls of craft punch at Midnight Rambler and $18 margaritas at Stampede 66). While there is a time and a place for luxurious drinks, the same can be said about a reliable watering hole where you can post up and start a tab. Regardless of the neighborhood, this town has a full roster of dive bars where, lucky for you, the drinks are cheap and the food is good. Here are our picks.
Adair's Saloon, Deep Ellum
If you are looking for a dive that is unique to Texas, head to Commerce Street to grab a bucket of Shiner from this local haunt and listen to some live country music. Other perks include shuffleboard and an outstanding cheeseburger. They do serve local craft beer on draft, too. The whole bar is covered from head to toe with people making their mark (Becky was here, Bob loves Tanya, Cowboys Forever), so don't be shy about adding yours.
Double Wide, Deep Ellum
What's more divey than a bar themed after a trailer park? When the most popular cocktails feature Yoohoo, Tang, and Pixy Stix, you know it's bound to be a good time. This happening spot features a bustling live entertainment schedule and is always packed with an eclectic mix of people. Don't forget to check out its little sister dive bar, Single Wide, on Greenville Avenue.
Grapevine Bar, Oak Lawn
With a jukebox and a Playstation 2 on hand, does it even matter if the drinks are good? Lucky for Oak Lawn locals, here they are. Sip a Pom Pom or take advantage of all day happy hour on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. To get the full experience, order two Everclear frozen drinks and challenge the first person you see to a shoot out on the bar's basketball court. Don't worry, there are comfy, velour couches when you need a break from all the activity.
Lee Harvey's, The Cedars
A dive that welcomes dogs? Now we're talkin'. It's as if the owners knew they'd have to suck up a little after naming the place what they did. Don't let the chain-link fence fool you, the highlight here is the expansive patio with picnic tables and fire pits. Hungry drinkers enjoy daily specials including Monday's "buy a drink and get a taco for a buck" deal. If guests make it inside, nostalgia hits with a vast showcasing of illuminated beer signs on 50-year-old wood-paneled walls. Spoiler alert: this bar has no actual connection to Lee Harvey Oswald.
Lakewood Landing, Lakewood
It's funny watching Lakewood newcomers, who actually believe the bar's claim of being upscale, walk in with their Polos and Dockers. It is even funnier watching said newbies turn around and run for their cars. Come to this wooden-walled wonder for pool, cold pours, and a darn good burger. Who can resist stuffing a few singles in the jukebox? When the weather is nice, regulars hang out on the tiny porch. Don't worry, they don't bite.
The Goat, Lakewood
While its name doesn't stand for the greatest of all time (GOAT), it's up there. This feel good blues bar gives its patrons some form of live entertainment every night. Got a hot date who is cool enough to actually let you take her to a real dive? Tuesday is ladies night and drinks are half off. Doors open at 7 a.m. every day but Sunday, because there have to be some limitations—so on the day of rest, you have to wait until noon to booze.
Time Out Tavern, Park Cities
If you are familiar with Dallas, it might surprise you that their is a dive located in the tony Park Cities area—but it's there. Affectionately known as The TOT by regulars, this is a great place to grab a beer and watch the game. If your Texas-based team is playing on TV, grab friends and take $1 happy hour jello shots at half time.
Velvet Elvis, North Dallas
Serving only bottled and canned brew and strong, cheap well drinks, this beautifully named creation has all the makings of a dive bar—questionable cover bands and karaoke included. It seems their Facebook page comes alive when it's time to offer $3 Fireball shots, so keep tabs before you head over.
Windmill Lounge, UT Southwestern Medical District
For the drinker who wants to go divin' but can't stomach the thought of a barely chilled beer, enter this cocktail den that is known to host heavy hitters in the local food and drink scene. You can guess where this is going. While it's no frills, affordable, and has karaoke, the cocktails are actually mixed well. With most selections priced at $3, this tipsy twilight zone is almost too good to be true.