Dallas' 10 Best Cocktail Bars

Categories: Lists

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Catherine Downes
The Lavender Hill at Bolsa
It's Drinking Week at City of Ate, which means even more stories than usual about our favorite pastime. Check back for more stories about craft beer, killer bartenders and more.

We're square in the middle of a major shift in the way we think about booze. Syrupy appletinis and cosmopolitans have been replaced with intricate craft cocktails, and they certainly aren't poured by any old "bartender." You must mean mixologist. You pretty much look like a loser ordering a vodka cranberry at this point in the cocktail's renaissance, so it's essential that you get out to one of these ten excellent cocktail spots to broaden your horizons. Listed, as always, in no particular order.

Bolsa (above)
If you find yourself in need of an after-dinner cocktail or a place to do some serious day-drinking, there's something for everyone on this menu. Keep it simple with a swirl of the restaurant's weekly housemade jam and good gin, or get really complicated with the Clean Slate. If you're a drinker of simple tastes, you may not recognize the Dom Benedictine or Pierre Ferrand, but you're probably going to enjoy it just the same.

See also: Watch a Bolsa Bartender Make a Cocktail (Video)

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file photo
Whatcha drinkin?
The Cedars Social
After cocktail guru Michael Martensen departed The Cedars Social, there was a lot of concern over whether or not this spot would be able to survive without its creative force. Fortunately, booze whiz-in-his-own-right Sonny Bonasera stepped in to create some really interesting cocktails for the flailing spot. Cedars Social has maintained its spot as one of the best places in Dallas to get a drink, no matter your poison. The cocktail menu changes with the seasons, and an always-changing weekly special features fresh produce from purveyors like Tom Spicer.

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via Victor Tangos
One of each, please.
Victor Tangos
A few years ago the bar at this Henderson Ave institution had a reputation for being a little stuffy. Then bartender Alex Fletcher came along and turned it into laboratory for experimentation with his intricately flavored cocktails. Few in the city have Fletcher's pedigree, and his creativity shines all over the beverage menu. Skip the restaurant's signature Pepper Smash and get adventurous, maybe with a Lost In Translation, which Fletcher makes with a mushroom-thyme demerara and candied shiitakes. If you have a big group of friends, spring for a punch bowl. The traditional pisco punch is a great way to drink away an afternoon.

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