Group of friends enjoying a night at a dive bar

Discover 9 of the best dive bars in Dallas

From legacy hangouts to little-known wonders, belly up to these bars.

If you’re up for a dive into the best dive bars in Dallas, don’t hesitate to jump in. These down-to-earth places to hangout in the Dallas area offer an unfiltered experience that’s as genuine as it gets. Expect to immerse yourself in distinctive atmospheres, be greeted by welcoming bartenders, and bask in a camaraderie that’s truly one-of-a-kind.

Mike’s Gemini Twin

1906 S Harwood St, Dallas, TX 75215

Nestled in an assuming spot in the heart of the Cedars, Mike’s Gemini Twin is the rare gem that lives up to its hype. Though this bar earned a reputation through its strong martinis and craveable hot dogs, those are the only salty vibes you’ll find in this warm, inviting environment. Visit during the week to play a leisurely game of pool or darts, or come on a weekend, when the bar is packed with a likeable cast of characters. It’s the kind of place you’ll want to show off to visitors and friends, but don’t blame us when they don’t want to go anywhere else. There’s plenty of parking next door for easy access to your next great night out.

Lee Harvey’s

1807 Gould St, Dallas, TX 75215

At first glance, this bar may appear shabby, but it’s actually quite charming. If you’re looking to mingle with the regulars and enjoy the wood-paneling and fluorescent beer signs that make it a vibe, the best place to be is inside. However, if you have a big group or want to enjoy some fresh air, we recommend checking out their spacious outdoor seating area. The drinks here are strong, the food is good (we recommend the steak), and there’s live music on the weekends. What more could you want? 

Grapevine Bar 

2213 Butler St, Dallas, TX 75235

This legendary bar has been a mainstay for Dallas barflies since 1996. While the original location on Maple Ave. has since been demolished, the spirit of Grapevine Bar lives on in its new space a few blocks northeast, which opened in late 2023. Expect colorful lighting, comfortable seating, and stiff drinks. Partake in trivia, karaoke, or just get to know the people around you – this place is like Cheers. Come back a few times, and eventually, everybody will know your name. 

Sarah’s Place

5223 Camp Bowie Blvd, Fort Worth, TX 76107

This intimate spot fills up quickly, especially on karaoke days (Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday each week), but the lively patrons are part of the appeal. Serving west Fort Worth for years, this bar draws a surprisingly eclectic crowd, from sports fans watching the big game to neighborhood regulars just stopping by. You’ll often find the same friendly staff and well-versed bartenders time and again, creating a familiar atmosphere fueled by high-octane drinks. 

Cosmo’s 

1212 Skillman St, Dallas, TX 75206

Cosmo’s offers a unique combination of a dive bar ambiance and exceptional cuisine. Jackson Tran, the bar manager, not only serves up a variety of drinks but also prepares delicious pizza and a bowl of pho that are among the best in town. However, the real highlight is the kimchi tots – a must-try. The lively and cozy space is adorned in mid-century kitsch, and classic ‘80s movies are played on VHS, creating the perfect backdrop for a date or an Instagram post.

Caves Lounge

900 W Division St, Arlington, TX 76012

Caves has everything you want in a local drinking hole, like cheap drinks (including $2 wells every Wednesday), an expansive patio for people watching, and dim, red-light interiors. The UTA-adjacent spot will also surprise you. For a dive bar, they serve up a top-tier martini that’s best enjoyed dirty. Caves also offers a range of non-alcoholic beverages from Athletic Brewery and Heineken if you’re on the straight and narrow. Look for events like the cult film club or Caves trivia if you crave some entertainment with your beverage.  

The Chat Room Pub

1263 W Magnolia Ave, Fort Worth, TX 76104

In Fort Worth’s burgeoning Near Southside neighborhood, there are plenty of choices for drinks. For those seeking an uncomplicated, friendly experience, drop by the Chat Room. This bar is from a bygone era in the best way possible. You can play pool, pick a song from the jukebox, lounge on the small patio, and order reasonably priced drinks. Some places offer unique amenities to draw visitors in, but this neighborhood staple simply provides an inimitable atmosphere that you’ll want to drink in. 

Double Wide

3510 Commerce St, Dallas, TX 75226

This dive bar on the cusp of Deep Ellum proudly embraces kitsch and quirkiness from the décor to the drinks. We recommend ordering a Yoohoo Yeehaw, a grown-up version of a chocolate slushie with vodka, coffee liqueur, and, you guessed it, Yoo-Hoo. Or the Old Timer, which is basically an Old Fashioned with a splash of Tang. Live music and DJ nights are a regular occurrence here, making it an ideal spot for those who like to dance.  

Lakewood Landing 

5818 Live Oak St #4334, Dallas, TX 75214

This iconic bar in East Dallas has been a favorite spot for locals for decades. Although it may be dimly lit and slightly musty inside, it exudes a certain charm that keeps people coming back. Whether you choose to relax in one of the booths or engage in a game of pool in the back room, you’ll immediately feel at ease in this welcoming atmosphere. Besides the affordable drinks, the food here is excellent. We recommend the loaded cheese fries, which consist of a generous helping of French fries smothered in melted cheddar, bacon bits, fresh green onions, and pickled jalapeños. 


Table filled with an eclectic spread of American dishes

6 stellar spots with great food deals

Nibble on these dishes without taking a bite out of your budget.

The cost of going out — especially to a nice place — has gotten steep, but happy hours throughout the Valley offer the perfect window to sample the city’s best cuisine without taking a bite out of your budget. The key is knowing which restaurants and resorts offer deals and when to take advantage of them. (Note: Some offers are only good in the bar/lounge at some places; make sure to ask the staff before you’re seated.) Here is a guide to our favorite picks to integrate into your weekly routine.

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Buck & Rider

When: 3-7 p.m. daily

This perennial hotspot is devoted to serving sustainable seafood, and the happy hour menu doesn’t veer from the course. Start with oysters for $2.25 each and Sea of Cortez wild shrimp for $3. Then, dive into deep deals for just $10, like a heaping platter of shrimp ceviche or Voodoo Fried Rice with shrimp, organic chicken, peas, gochujang, and red fresnos. You might also see a sushi roll or smoked trout dip. Wash everything down with a specialty cocktail for only $10, like the Direct Martini, served tableside from a bottle of St. George vodka encased in a sleeve of ice. (Three locations in Gilbert, Phoenix, and Scottsdale)

Christopher’s at Wrigley Mansion

When: 5-8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday

Christopher Gross is one of the Valley’s most esteemed chefs, and his eponymous French-inspired restaurant is at the top of the heap, both in quality and price — dinner for two easily runs into the hundreds. But last year, he debuted a “petits plates” menu that lets diners experience his culinary chops at the chef’s counter or on the breathtaking patio for up to 90 minutes. Marvel at the stunning setting, including a jaw-dropping view and classy ambiance, while enjoying marinated warm olives ($10), smoked salmon BLT ($14), merguez and couscous ($16), escargot ($18), foie gras terrine ($18), or vanilla-dusted scallop ($24). Pro tip: Don’t miss the view from the bathroom. (2501 E. Telawa Trail, Phoenix)

The Collins Small Batch Kitchen

When: 3-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday

It is hard to beat the variety of elevated dishes and drinks at cut-rate prices at this stylish Biltmore-area favorite helmed by Chef Christopher Collins. Nothing is over $16, from the delicate shrimp risotto ($13) to the zesty shrimp cocktail ($14 for half a dozen). The onion dip and chips ($9) and backyard guac ($10) fit the bill for vegetarians. Carnivores will go wild for BBQ chicken sliders ($10), shaved prime rib, and brie sliders with truffle aioli, and spicy tomato jam ($12), or short rib mac ’n’ cheese ($14). The impressive spread includes an extensive and well-chosen list of wines by the glass for $10, draft beers for $5, and cocktails for $12. (3160 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix)

Kaizen

When: 3-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday

Located in the industrial-chic Lawrence Building, Kaizen feels cozy despite the warehouse digs, with exposed brick and metal tables. That’s probably because the staff here couldn’t be more friendly or gracious. The love extends to the massive happy hour selection, which includes half-off all small plates (which are pretty hearty), several sushi rolls, and a few signature plates. We’re talking creamy, crunchy snow crab wontons for $8, silky “hane” gyoza with a crisp, lacy veil topper for $6, and a sweet-and-savory dragon roll for $8.50, among many other steals. The upscale wine, beer, and cocktail list is all half off, too, so craft beer is $4, and a nine-ouncer of wine is $10 or less. (515 E. Grant St. No. 100, Phoenix)

Person enjoying a cocktail by a sunny window.

Fat Ox

When: 4-6:30 p.m. daily

“Aperitivo Hour” here is a veritable tour of Chef Matt Carter’s prowess with Italian food (he’s also a whiz with Latin at The Mission and French at Zinc Bistro). And he’s not afraid to put his spin on it: Try Burrata di Stephano ($14) with crispy pine nut salsa verde, shishito pepper, roasted garlic, and mint, for instance. Grilled shrimp and beef tartare also get Carter’s signature flourishes, but for more traditional trays, go for Affettati Misti ($20), a shareable, top-quality meat and cheese board, or veal meatballs with polenta ($12). The smartly chosen menu also includes a full portion of Radiatori alla Buttera for just $20, with cured pork sugo, broccolini, tomato, burrata, and salsa verde. Pair everything with a glass of wine or sangria for $9 or a superb cocktail for $12. (6316 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale)

Mix Up at Royal Palms Resort and Spa

When: 4-6 p.m. daily

Be a tourist in your own town at this charming Spanish Colonial-style gem, which is a Historic Hotel of America. One of the best things about the Mix Up bar here is the incredible setting, whether you snuggle up in the rustic yet elegant bar or sit under the sky in the al fresco Mansion Courtyard. All bites and salads are half off during happy hour, meaning you can get a cheese and charcuterie board for $11.50, zippy honey buffalo wings with blue cheese and cilantro for $11 a dozen, or a Caesar, baby greens or Little Gem salad, all with inspired ingredients, for $8.50 each. Drink specials include $3 off draft beers or specialty cocktails or $4 off glasses of wine. (5200 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix) 

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Charcuterie Board Near a Glass of Wine

Where and when to find great food deals in Atlanta

Get the most out of your dining-out budget.

Dining out is a nice treat — if you can afford it. The average cost for a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant in Atlanta is estimated at $50, but can easily cost more when factoring in drinks, parking, etc. Yet across the city, it’s possible to find excellent deals if you know where to look and when to go. Weekday happy hours are an easy hack for smart diners looking to sample local restaurants at a discount. From appetizers to signature menu items, you can fill up on local favorites without maxing out your budget. 

O-Ku Sushi

1085 Howell Mill Rd A3, Atlanta, GA 30318

The small but mighty O-Ku happy hour, available Monday through Thursday from 5 – 6:30 p.m., features $3 edamame and miso soup, $4 heaps of fresh seaweed salad, and discount sushi rolls. Try the fan-favorite Mt. Fuji roll ($10 during happy hour; $17 on the dinner menu), featuring tempura shrimp and avocado, topped with a crab mixture, crunchy onions, and eel sauce. The classic California roll ($7) is so solid it can convert sushi haters, thanks to a light tempura crab crunch balanced by creamy avocado. 

Postino

Locations in Buckhead and West Midtown

Head for a late-night nosh at Postino, where you can enjoy the bruschetta board-and-bottle deal Mondays and Tuesdays after 8 p.m. For just $25, you’ll enjoy a bottle of wine and a choice of bruschetta, topped with classic options like fresh mozzarella, tomato, and basil, or inventive creations including Mexican street corn. There are plenty of variations to consider, and at this price, you can try them all. Thank us later when you start your week off with this treat.

Blu Cantina

Locations in East Atlanta and Camp Creek

From classic Tex-Mex to Latin-fusion bar eats, Blu Cantina offers comfort food with a kick. Both locations feature a lunch menu each day from 12 – 3 p.m., including a $5 southwestern eggroll or turkey taco and two fish tacos for just $6.99. Visit on “Taco Tuesdays” from 4 p.m. – 11 p.m., and you’ll find a concise menu that’s got everything you need for an affordable evening out: cheap tequila, tacos, and queso. 

Fogón and Lions

10 Roswell St #100, Alpharetta, GA 30009

Explore Spanish cuisine at this Alpharetta hot spot during its two happy hour windows: Tuesday and Wednesday from 5 – 6 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday at 4 – 5 p.m. With each dish at only $5 a piece, you can try them all, including the beef empanadas (made from Chef Julio Delgado’s family recipe), Spanish-style pork meatballs, corn-fritter “Sorullos,” or chicken croquetas. Pair with a sangria or Tempranillo for just $7 each. 

5church 

Locations in Midtown and Buckhead

With two locations and “social hour” menus to choose from, 5church offers a deal for everyone. Visit between 3 – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and head to the bar at either spot, where you’ll find discount offerings with satisfying, standout dishes at each. 

At the Midtown Location, you must order the lamb burger ($15) which comes with hand-cut fries. Other happy hour exclusives include the short rib tacos ($14) and confit wings ($14) in four different flavors. Patrons can also snag $8 cocktails, $6 glasses of wine, and a $4 Printer’s Ale Dylux lager.

If you’re visiting in Buckhead, start with the catch-of-the-day ceviche and plantain chips ($14) or a signature charcuterie board featuring a chef’s selection of meats and cheeses, pistachios, and olives ($18 happy hour; $28 standard). For substantial bites at an unbeatable price, opt for the $12 beef sliders or the $10 tomato and burrata bruschetta with white anchovies. 

Wooden Table Adorned with Plates of Seafood, a Kale Salad, and Wine Glasses

Beetlecat

299 North Highland Avenue Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30307

Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., you can enjoy oyster happy hour at this upscale seafood standout. You’ll find 20+ rotating choices, ranging in price from about $3 – $5 each, with oysters procured from shores throughout the east coast, from Prince Edward Island to Florida. You’ll find flavor profiles with each to help you narrow down your choices, but oyster lovers will always find something that delights.