Uptown Dallas – 7 Uptown Bars to Know About

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Uptown Dallas – 7 Uptown Bars to Know About

So you’re new in Uptown Dallas and overwhelmed at the number of places to check out. Uptown Dallas has so many incredible and exciting venues that it really can make your head spin. No problem; I can certainly make it easier for you to choose a place to start by telling you about six Uptown Dallas bars and one live music venue to check out, a little about each and why you will want to see for yourself how they are so popular.

Traditional Favorites

There are several well established restaurants and bars in Uptown Dallas that have been around for years. There are also newer and hot clubs currently on the scene in Uptown Dallas. It seems that about 50% of the clubs in Uptown Dallas are these types…not super popular, but people still come to them. They are fun to try and well known by tourists. While a couple of these can be rather blah, some of the following are totally cool and you need to try them. These are located on the most well-known section of McKinney Avenue where there are always a lot of bars, between Boll and Worthington.

Here are my favorite of these 3 more established venues:

  • Black Friar Pub – The Black Friar Pub is an authentic Irish owned and operated pub. People enjoy the atmosphere at the Black Friar, with its authentic castle décor, a gothic arched back bar and hand carved prayer panels in the ceiling. It has a very authentic old world feel, and the beer selection cannot be beat. The Black Friar is the perfect place for groups to meet for drinks and to have fun drinking and getting rowdy.
  • McKinney Avenue Tavern – The McKinney Avenue Tavern, also known as Big Al’s The MAT is owned and operated by Big Al Mack of the morning radio show. The atmosphere is alive with DJ’d music, everything from favorite 80’s tunes to current hits. The drinks flow freely at the MAT and they also have a full menu of delicious food that Uptown Dallas residents call “crazy good.”
  • Idle Rich – The Idle Rich Pub is another Irish bar with draught beer, bottled wine and a full menu to select from. People enjoy the classic Irish atmosphere with its traditional and authentic décor imported directly from Ireland and it is a great place to bring a date for food, drink and fun. The fish and chips served daily are a favorite among the patrons at the Idle.

Newer Hot Spots

Now, once you have tried those, go ahead and check these out also. These are just a few of the newer places that people are raving about currently. The following are presently some of the hottest bars in Uptown Dallas.

  • Kung Fu – The Kung Fu Saloon has two locations; one in Austin, TX and the other here in Uptown Dallas. It is an Uptown Dallas favorite for its eclectic variety of things to do. Of course there is food and drink, but there is also karaoke and vintage video games to play. You could easily spend all evening here and never be bored. The atmosphere is straight up fun. It is hard to find another place to beat the Kung Fu Saloon. Definitely check out the Happy Hour Menu at the Kung Fu!
  • BBC – The British Beverage Pub is a unique venue that offers live music events featuring some of the hottest local bands as well as DJ nights. The atmosphere is fun and highly charged, but comfortable with lounge areas and two divine court yard patios. The BBC offers a full menu at lunch and dinner, and also includes a brunch menu on the weekends as well as a special Late Night Menu. This is a great place to go to have dinner and drinks, or an after party place to come and stay late if you want.
  • Max’s Wine Dive – Max’s Wine Dive is a McKinney Avenue favorite. The food is simply phenomenal, plus the wine selection is one of Uptown’s best. There is a brunch menu for Friday and Saturdays from 10 a.m. till 3 p.m., with a dinner, a happy hour and a dessert menu daily. Customers rave about the wild mushroom and goat cheese omelet for brunch! And the happy hours are fun for after work relaxing.

Live Music

No review of McKinney Avenue venues would be complete without this one, number seven. For some serious live music, you have to check out the Rustic. This opened in October 2013 and it’s super popular among Uptown Dallas residents and guests alike. You can sit outdoors and enjoy some really great music while you eat and enjoy a drink or two! The atmosphere at The Rustic is completely relaxed, with a backyard feel, great food and drink menus and live music from some of the best local talent in Texas.


There are so many places on McKinney Avenue alone that you could literally visit a different place every night of the week and never run out of things to do. These examples that I have provided name only a few favorites; there are many more to choose from and you should definitely make a point of trying them all! From authentic Irish Pubs to modern American establishments and authentic Asian cuisine and sake lounges, there is literally something for everyone on McKinney Avenue.

The nicest part about the venues on McKinney is that there are Trolley stops near just about all of them. If you live in Uptown Dallas, the Trolley is sure to be your best option when spending the night out on the town as you can drink and not have to worry about driving anywhere. If you do drive, there are plenty of places to park your car and take the Trolley to your favorite McKinney Avenue hot spots. Either way, good times are sure to be had here, at some of the finest dining and drinking establishments in Dallas, all conveniently located in Uptown Dallas. For a good time Uptown Dallas, McKinney Avenue just cannot be beat!


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