Whether you’re judging the winner by the taste of its barbecue or the bustle of its nightlife, it’s no secret that both Dallas and Fort Worth are pure Texas gems.
Dallas and Fort Worth share a lot of Lone Star bravado, but there’s a swagger-licious rivalry brewing between the two iconic cities. When you dust off those thrift shop cowboy boots and venture into Cowtown, or pull out your favorite LBD for a night out on McKinney Ave., you get to reap the rewards of the best little culture clash in Texas.
Champagne Tastes in Dallas
Quail with waffles makes The Standard Pour a hot brunch bistro by day, but by night it’s a swanky cocktail joint that needs to be on your Dallas nightlife radar. Ordering a mint julep at most bars elicits eye rolls from bartenders who don’t feel like rifling through the cooler for mint that can pass as fresh, but this classic cocktail is a TSP staple and a crowd favorite.
vs. A Cold Brew in Fort Worth
They’re fresh out of lavender-infused Japanese whisky and duck confit paninis at The Chat Room Pub. But if you’re down with drinking cold and cheap beer on the patio while a jam band session materializes for no discernible reason, welcome home. They play happy host to charity events and you’d be hard-pressed to visit on a night without live music. Is it a dive? Is it the ultimate in hipster irony? You decide. Pets and people watching are welcome.
A Smoky Texas Standby in Dallas
The Big D is so profoundly sure its grub game is on point, they don’t mind paying homage to other great bastions of BBQ. Despite the name, Lockhart Smokehouse is a highly lauded institution found only in Dallas. They adhere to an unwritten code that says real deal BBQ is served on butcher paper, and that sauce should be a nicety, not a necessity. A michelada and brisket deviled eggs are the perfect cure for the morning after McKinney, and their Smoke Camps give BBQ-Jedis-in-training the inside scoop from real pit masters.
vs. Classics Re-Imagined in Fort Worth
Eating a regular hamburger in 2016 is like logging onto MySpace. From a flip phone. The original Rodeo Goat is a Fort Worth fave, and has sent an American standby into orbit with fresh, adventurous ingredients. When you order one of the two sparring chef specials, you’re submitting your vote to keep it on the menu permanently, so choose wisely. If your favorite burger joint doesn’t crown its ground round with candied bacon, grilled peaches and jalapeno jam, they’re doing it wrong.
A Musical Melting Pot in Dallas
What do Demi Lovato, Tripping Daisy, and The Reverend Horton Heat have in common? Roots in Dallas. Nightlife here revolves around a music scene that prides itself on a coexistence of genres, and venues like The Kessler Theater bring you a taste of everything. The building has been painstakingly refurbished and puts you in cozy quarters with Dallas bands like Seryn with their ethereal wall of folk sound, and national names like funk metal masters Living Colour.
vs. That Texas Twang in Fort Worth
The Fort Worth Stockyards are everything you want them to be. The streets are cobblestone, the cowboy hats and handlebar mustaches are entirely un-ironic and the only cure for the infectious tunes booming from White Elephant Saloon is two-stepping across a sawdust-covered dance floor. The hall is home to ghosts and historic gunfights, but the big draw is bluesy Texas country and classic honky-tonk, played live every night. Icy Lone Star beer sure doesn’t hurt either.