In exciting news, the 2019 CultureMap Tastemaker Awards has arrived. It's the return of our annual event celebrating the best in local food and drink, where we honor chefs, bars, and restaurants in Dallas-Fort Worth.
As part of our festivities, we'll spotlight nominees over the next few weeks in categories such as best chefs to the best restaurants in Fort Worth.
This list honors the 10 nominees for Fort Worth's Bar of the Year. It includes a variety of venues, from newbies to classics, from big and bold to cozy and dark. There are bars with great cocktails, and bars with great food. Bars with fun patios and bars with craft beer.
The list serves as a reminder that Fort Worth's bar scene is lively and robust, with an array of spots to meet your nightlife needs.
Thanks go to our panel of judges, consisting of former CultureMap Tastemaker Award winners and local F&B experts, who narrowed down the list to 10 finalists.
Winners will be announced at the CultureMap Tastemaker Awards party on April 25 at Fashion Industry Gallery. We’ll applaud the winners, sip cocktails, and dine on bites provided by the nominees. Tickets are on sale now.
Here are our 10 nominees for the 2019 Tastemaker Awards Bar of the Year:
Boiled Owl Tavern
Young, hip, rock and rollish crowd packs into this Near Southside joint for craft beer, karaoke, live music, and open mic nights. It boasts a well-stocked jukebox and offers excellent happy hour deals. Sidewalk patio offers courtside seats to the action on Magnolia Avenue. Regulars love the fact that it's almost like having your very own private bar, but with cool bartenders and doting service.
Craftcade Pinball Bar
Fun pinball arcade bar near hospital district combines old-school vintage pinball machines with craft beer and cocktails. Owners Jenni and Calvin Shelby have created a Chicago-style pinball and arcade bar with a nostalgic feel, where you can come in and play some games with beer or cocktails, including house-made sangria with fruit-infused, Tetris-shaped ice, and a chocolate julep with whiskey and fresh mint.
Brian Forella opened Lola's in 2007 after closing the legendary Wreck Room. He's continued the tradition by creating a nationally recognized venue hosting a wide variety of local and touring artists, making Lola's a major contributor cultivating the music scene in Fort Worth. Icy cold beer and an outdoor patio don't hurt a bit.
Irish/Boston-style pub with friendly bartenders who'll know you by name on your second drink. There are local brews on tap, and local music on the jukebox, along with pool tables, darts, TV's, and a small patio for quiet chats.
With an outdoor patio, bowling lanes, bocce courts, and an Italian-American bistro, the options are endless at the Fort Worth location of this well-appointed midwestern chain. If it feels a little larger-than-life, this is the Shops at Clearfork we're talking about. And in addition to bowling and beer, you can grab lunch or smores by the fire pit.
The Social House specializes in food, drink, and patio life, with many beers, a menu of scratch-made American food, and more than 25 TVs tuned to sports. Located at the corner of Currie and Crockett streets, the Fort Worth location has been a winner for the West 7th District since it opened, and boasts a hopping brunch scene, to boot.
Friendly, spacious bar and restaurant is tucked inside the historic Texas & Pacific Railway Station where it occupies a 1930s diner; many of the original fixtures remain, including beautiful art deco chandeliers and cool metal barstools. Outside is one of the largest covered patios in Fort Worth — a whopping 5,000 square feet. Craft beer is served, along with signature martinis and light snacks.
The Chat Room
Originally an Internet bar, hence the name, the Chat Room is now more of a cool neighborhood hangout with a wide selection of beer. Local cyclists often stop or start their evening rides here, so it's a good place to meet local bike enthusiasts. It's been there since before Magnolia Avenue got cool; now its patio looks onto the hipster scene, and it's pet-friendly inside and out.
New Orleans-themed neighborhood bar featuring live music started out in Deep Ellum before branching out to Fort Worth's Near Southside area south of downtown. It's the home bar for Saints football fans, but also features live music with no cover charge. Their signature drink is Irish coffee, but they have an entire menu of craft cocktails, along with jazz, rock, soul, and country acts from across North Texas.