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Somebody Help This Poor Editor: Best Signature Cocktails in Dallas

I admit it. I’m getting old, so I don’t go out like I used to. I’m also a creature of habit, which means if I’m drinking, it’s probably a glass of wine. However, I know you guys go out—and you’re full of opinions—so tell me about the best signature cocktails in town. Heck, let’s just call this the best cocktails, because does it really need to be signature to be the best? Probably not. Bolsa? Tillman’s Roadhouse? Central 214? Shinsei? Surely there are actual bar bars, as opposed to restaurant bars, that pour a mean drink.

P.S. Any beer drinkers out there? I need to know which bars have the best selection. Flying Saucer and Ginger Man are givens. Maybe even the Monk and Capitol Pub. Got something better?

38 comments on “Somebody Help This Poor Editor: Best Signature Cocktails in Dallas

  1. What about Maximo? Maximo Heat, Calabaza Borracha, Tamarindo, blood orange side car, Ecojito, Chihuahua Rita, black & blue Marjito among others

  2. I’m not sure if it’s on the menu all the time, but one of my favorites is the Ginger Martini @ craft.

  3. Angry Dog (Deep Ellum) has 21 beers on tap and approximately 100-120 available via bottle.

  4. Mambo taxi. There’s a reason it’s Dallas’ most popular signature cocktail.

  5. I love Bolsa’s cocktail list. There’s a lot of imagination in it and you can’t beat the freshness of the ingredients – and great happy hour prices.

    Tilman’s isn’t bad but just a bit pricey. I like their prickly pear margarita, but it needs to be served in something other than a martini glass.

    Biggest disappointment was Ocean Prime. I thought the cocktail list looked fun on paper but they put way too much ice in them, too light on the booze, and the complimentary popcorn is downright nasty. No one wants a bowl of greasy, unpopped kernels.

    Lastly, I’m always a fan of the white sangria at Fireside Pies and love their rotating tap for beer.

  6. Tillman’s Roadhouse in Ft. Worth has only Texas Craft Beers on tap and they change them ALL the time. I belive their Dallas location has some really cool Texas craft beers too. YEAH BEER!!!

  7. The Libertine on Greenville rotates its taps pretty regularly. Very underrated selection.

  8. Bolsa’s drinks sound great, but are weak and watery. Was just at Central 214 this weekend and those cocktails were incredible. Tillman’s in Bishop Arts are also really good. Love that Blood Orange Margarita.

  9. Black Friar has a solid beer selection. My favorite is the Julius Echter Hefe-Weiss. Also, The Londoner is no slouch on beer. Try the Chicken Killer Barley Wine, there’s a great story behind the name.

  10. I tend to order classics so (since you opened it up to great cocktails in general) I’ll recommend the Windmill on Maple Ave – Martini, Manhattan, Sazerac, Old Fashioned… The Library Bar at the Melrose and VTs also have some decent versions.

    Beer: Eno’s has a great selection… nowhere near as many as The Gingerman, but nicely curated.

  11. Berries and Bubbles at Ocean Prime! It is delicious and it bubbles like a mini volcano when you drink it. Must try.

  12. Concur with gavlist on Library Bar and Victor Tango’s for cocktails.

    For beer, The Libertine, Vickery Park, and Eno’s have the best in terms of quality and rotation frequency. Quantity, go with Saucer or G-Man.

  13. Victor Tangos for a great cocktail menu. The bartenders at Neighborhood Services are great on the fly… they’re create something on a second’s notice that is always tasty. Very talented.

    For beer, nothing beats Flying Saucer’s quantity. But I agree that Eno’s ranks at the top for innovative selection. There’s always something new to try.

  14. For old-fashioned (i.e. less sugaray) cocktails, I’m with gavlist: The Library Bar at the Melrose.

    For newer, hip cocktails, Park on Henderson.

  15. Martensen had it going on at the Mansion back in the day (two years ago)… he’s heading back to town and has some ideas. Meanwhile, when he’s around we go to Windmill – greatness.

  16. While its food has disappointed on my last few visits, Palomino has a great drink menu. Personally, I’m a big fan of the 10 Sage.

  17. “Bolsa’s drinks sound great, but are weak and watery.”

    maybe i lucked out being pals with the barkeeps, but i’m a huge fan of cocktails @ bolsa and in particular the Kentucky Buck…for old fashioned lovers, Meridian Room makes the best hands down.

    other than that, brown liquor + ice = good.

  18. Signature cocktails, Central 214 — although no one makes a better Manhattan than the folks at Mercury.

  19. If you’re on the north side, the new Holy Grail Pub in Plano on Preston has an amazing beer selection on tap and bottles – best I’ve seen anywhere in dallas.
    The Blackberry Smash at the Porch is pretty solid for mixed

  20. For beer, I’d argue that (after the Flying Saucer and also setting aside the Gingerman) the largest and best maintained selection of beers in Dallas (actually, the whole metroplex) is at Trinity Hall.

    Good runner ups are: stan’s blue note (despite their atmosphere), The Old Monk (as already mentioned), Capitol Pub (also already mention), The Idle Rich Pub, Plano’s The Fillmore (as CJ pointed out) and The Meridian Room,

    Honorable mention to: The Bavarian Grill (obviously, their selection is limited to German brewers; but it’s a good representation and their food is stellar), The Libertine (for their monthly craft beer dinners and moderate but well maintained selection), Emo’s Pizza Tavern (also already mentioned, but worth noting), and The Blackfriar

  21. VTs: Sazerac for the gentlemen, pisco sour for the ladies, blue blazer for those who need entertainment
    Windmill Lounge: just about anything you can think of

    I don’t think the drinks at the Library are that great. Atmosphere is good but drinks never impressed me.

  22. Louie’s makes the best martinis you will ever drink. Very classic, very pristine.

    Victor Tango’s has my favorite cocktail list. It’s just so much fun.

    The Meridian Room, though, holds a special place for me because it’s the first place that I had a cocktail that wowed me. It was the Pineapple Gimlet…The Libertine Bar has that drink now…I don’t believe Meridian makes their pineapple vodka anymore.

    For beer, I think Trinity Hall has a larger selection, and rotates their bottle and tap selection, more than any other local bar. Obviously The Gingerman and Flying Saucer have them beat on that, but it’s not really necessary to mention those two anymore. They’ve established themselves as the go-to place for beer nerds already.

  23. for cocktails – Windmill & Neighborhood Serv.
    for beer – enos is best restaurant w/ beer selection. Trinity Hall has widest & best selection.

  24. Just had a great cocktail at the new Neighborhood Services Tavern on Henderson. It was their “special” the Amelia – Can’t remember what was in it, except Blackberries. Very good!

  25. Pappas Bros. Steakhouse.
    Rick Turner has done a great job bringing back the classic cocktail to Dallas.

  26. Victor Tango’s has a drink with fresh thyme in it. I don’t remember what it’s called, but I know I shouldn’t have more than two at a sitting. YUM!!!

  27. With luniz on the Windmill. Also, VT makes some pretty awesome drinks. I just prefer a simple Tanquerey and Tonic or Knob Creek splash.

  28. Park for drinks especially without a ridiculous price. Crickets for beer–100+ taps

  29. I went to Neighborhood Services Tavern 2 nights ago. The cocktails are unlike anything I have seen in Dallas. The Eggman is by far the best cocktail I have ever had in my life.

  30. I think the standard is still the Mansion for quality innovative cocktails while the Windmill shows the most respect for a well made drink. Places like Ocean Prime are exactly the problem with dumbed down sugary drinks made for the undiscerning masses.

    Dallas is WAY behind Houston in this area. There is nothing in D that comes close to Anvil. I hear Martensen may have some ideas to do something about that.

  31. Park on Henderson by far the best cocktails! The one with Cilantro or Thyme is the best! Mmmmmmm

  32. Pyramid Restaurant & Bar in the Fairmont Hotel has a great cocktail menu. I especially like the Black Tai and the Walkabout.