10 Best Summer Cocktails from The Observer's Top 100 Bars List | Dallas Observer


The Top 10 Bars for Summer Cocktails from Our Top 100 Bars List

An Aperol Spritz from Atlas is a sure way to win all summer.
An Aperol Spritz from Atlas is a sure way to win all summer. Lauren Drewes Daniels
Each year we like to pull together our top 100 bars in Dallas. It's a collection of our favorite watering holes, dance halls, dive bars or really any place we can start a mild amount of trouble. Some are sports bars, while others are swank, classic cocktail lounges.

But with the heat rolling in, we've found ourselves looking for some nice summer drinks — enough mango or pineapple to mask all the booze that we're drinking to forget about adulting. We pulled this together after many breakout sessions.


4206 Cedar Springs Road
If you’re in the mood for drinks but don’t want to get wasted on vodka-crans, Alexandre’s is your spot. The long bar, comfortable seating and small stage give Alexandre’s the intimate feel of a speakeasy or jazz lounge. Plus, the knowledgeable team can whip up delicious craft cocktails such as mint juleps, clover clubs and sidecars. On weekends, Alexandre’s showcases live music performances from local singers and bands.

Summer Cocktail Pick: In addition to the chick-full-gAy sandwiches on Sunday, go for the Mmmmpeachmint, a tasty summer cocktail made with mint and peach for our very own impeached Attorney General Ken Paxton.


408 N. Bishop Ave.
Atlas opened in 2021 in the Bishop Arts District with a global cocktail menu. The vibe here is come-one-come-all. Pretty Aperol spritzes stand tall alongside bottles of Lone Stars on the bar. It’s a fun mix of locals, tourists and first dates. Notice a bookshelf at the back of the bar and ask yourself if anyone here is doing much reading. Not likely. The bookshelf serves as a fake door that leads to a back bar, which rotates global themes (remember, Atlas) and seats about two dozen but packs in many more. It’s open in the evenings, Friday through Sunday. Try the pho: it’s co-owner Dan Bui’s family recipe, and it's bliss. And the toasty Cuban with house-roasted pork is magnificent.

Summer Cocktail Pick: The classic Aperol spritz is enjoying a bit of a resurgence thanks to HBO's White Lotus. This slightly sweet, on-trend orange drink is made with a touch of prosecco, Aperol (which tastes red; literally, if red had a flavor, this is it), and a bit of soda water. It's light, refreshing and not too sweet.

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A classic boulevardier cocktail at Boulevardier.
Lauren Drewes Daniels


408 N. Bishop Ave.
This French bistro in the Bishop Arts District has one of the best brunches in Dallas, a celebrated wine list, phenomenal French cuisine and a stellar oyster selection. It almost feels arrogant of them to also have one of the best bars in the city. And, yet, here we are. Every Friday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., get half-off every bottle of wine on the list and discounted oysters. Watch the chalkboard for the best picks. Not a wine drinker? No problem. The hand-crafted classic cocktails will get you wherever you need to go.

Summer Cocktail Pick: You can go for the classic namesake boulevardier (made with a rye blend and sweet vermouth), or try a classic daiquiri. But don't sleep on the Friday Happy hour: from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. every bottle of wine is half off from one of the best wine lists in the city.

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The patio at Desert Racer is the quirky uncle living in the desert that you never had.
Taylor Adams

Desert Racer

1520 Greenville Ave.
Desert Racer on Lowest Greenville is from local restaurateur Nick Badovinus (Brass Ram, Town Hearth, National Anthem). We mention it because the man just knows how to have a good time, trust us. Just drink whatever he's drinking. Here, the drink menu is loaded with wine, local beers, frozen cocktails and tequila hi-balls. The food menu is equally strong, filled with seafood and meat tacos, burritos, enchiladas, burgers and more. But it’s the patio you must come for, decorated with motorcycles, artificial turf, cacti, fountains and school desks — and strung with Christmas lights. Feeling peckish? Get the smoked chicken tacos.

Summer Cocktail Pick: from 4 to 6 p.m., Wednesday – Friday, you can get $5 frozen drinks at Desert Racer. The Pina Colada Song is made with Malibu rum, pineapple juice, coconut milk and (wait for it) mango puree. This is your summer song.

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Double Wide's Yoo-Hoo Yeehaw, a frozen Yoo-Hoo cocktail, has become a Dallas summer classic.
Beth Rankin

Double Wide

3510 Commerce St.
When Deep Ellum starts to feel just a bit too crowded, you don’t have to look too far for an escape. Double Wide, on Commerce Street, offers a selection of cheap, powerful and/or interesting drinks that all fit in with its trailer park aesthetic. What makes this location differ so much from its Greenville Avenue counterpart (Single Wide) is its outdoor patio with seating made from repurposed toilets and road signs. Double Wide’s music venue (which makes its width double) is located across the patio and hosts bands from an array of genres.

Summer Cocktail Pick: This pick is the toughest of the day. There's the Twisted Tang, a "margarita only a gringo could love" made with Tang. Or a year-round favorite, the frozen YooHoo Yeehaw, a White Russian with YooHoo.


2418 Allen St.
Stepping inside Parliament is like traveling back in time to the barrooms and clubs of the early 1900s. With one of the best happy hours in town, Parliament sports a sophisticated selection of craft cocktails, like a Ramos Gin Fizz and more than a hundred others. Nestled in the State Thomas Historical District, this Uptown spot is brought to us by Dallas’ cocktail king Eddie “Lucky” Campbell. Parliament went up in the footprint of the old Four Lounge space on Allen Street. Campbell described his vision for Parliament as a "progressive cocktail lounge," with a mad-scientist style of drink-making. Campbell and his staff have lived up to that vision ever since.

Summer Cocktail Pick: The Original Gangster has a hint of spice, gin, lime, cucumber and basil. It's like one of those healthy green drinks, with booze.

Revelers Hall

412 N. Bishop Ave.
Revelers Hall is a time capsule from 1920s New Orleans. The venue’s house band, a big band led by Kevin Butler, entertains patrons with the energy of Mardi Gras, creating a mood so festive it just dares you to take your top off to collect imaginary beads. Don’t try it. Do try the items on the menu, which include flatbreads, cheese boards and charcuterie. The lively, bombastic sounds of brass will invite you to dance well down the street. Revelers Hall is also a favored joint of legends Shelley Carroll and Liz Mikel. It’s not for people looking to enjoy a boring, quiet beer. You can stay home for that.

Summer Cocktail Pick: The Sazerac is a classic New Orleans cocktail, and when in Rome, right? But that hit of absinthe might be a lot for the hot Dallas days. Try the Highland Time, a frozen cocktail made of smooth and citrusy whiskey, Aberfeldy 12, along with lots of coconut and mango.

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The Dole Whip at Swizzle.


1802 Greenville Ave.
Dallas got its first proper tiki bar in 2020, smack dab in the middle of a pandemic. But, you can't keep a good grind down. Fully vested in every aspect of island life, including a Dole whip machine and tropical drinks served in SPAM tins, this spot on Lowest Greenville serves traditional Hawaiian plates with a side of floral every inch of the way. The water feature on the patio adds a nice island touch if you prefer to sit outside. There are private lounge areas inside that can be reserved for groups. Aloha and mahalo, time to get the grass skirt out.

Summer Cocktail Pick: Easy. Swizzle has one of the few boozy Dole Whips in town. It's a mix of pineapple with just the right amount of don't-give-a-damn anymore. Drink up. But go early, because they often run out.

Thunderbird Station

3400 Commerce St.
A cousin to Double Wide and Single Wide, Thunderbird Station is just outside Deep Ellum proper on Commerce. With specialty cocktails like the Peel Out — a Push-Up Pop-inspired orange, vanilla and vodka drink — and upgraded spins on Southern favorites like sloppy Joes, bologna sandwiches and Frito pie, Thunderbird Station takes its ‘50s vintage gas station aesthetic quite seriously. The Boss comes with fried or grilled bologna, cheese, grilled onion, jalapeños and a secret sauce. Or try one of the variations of a sloppy Joe; the Sloppy Joelen is vegan. The large patio has plenty of room to spread out and gather together.

Summer Cocktail Pick: This summer get the seasonal Peach Keen made with a Fistful of Bourbon with fresh peach and vanilla.

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Tiny Victories has a Bob Ross shrine to boot.
Lauren Drewes Daniels

Tiny Victories

604 N. Tyler St.
One appeal of Tiny Victories might be that it's near the Bishop Arts District, but not in it. Not that we don't love the eclectic entertainment area, but you need to stretch out before you try to find parking. Here, at West Davis and Tyler Street, is a cozy cocktail den with a patio and happy hour that says, "Well, hi there, neighbor," with a wink. Half-priced cocktails are offered from 4 to 7 p.m. every Tuesday through Friday. The cocktail menu has classics like a 1916 Aviation with gin, Luxardo Maraschino, Creme de Violette and lemon. From the not-so-classic menu try a house shot called Spring Break '99 (strawberry and vodka). My Neck, My Daq is a Miller High Life with a "Snaquiri." Now, see, that is a tiny victory. Besides, who doesn't love a place with a Bob Ross shrine?

Summer Cocktail Pick: Tiny Victories rotates a fresh seasonal menu but you'll have to show up to see what's on it. But as mentioned above, the My Neck, My Daq — a Miller High Life and Snaquiri — literally always hits the spot. And it's only $8.
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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.

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