Date nights and outings with your crew are great, but let's not underestimate the importance of "me time." Here are eight restaurants, bars and solo hideaways in Dallas where you can #treatyourself.
The Wild Detectives
Nestled among residential homes in Oak Cliff's Bishop Arts District, this cozy little spot is equal parts coffee shop, bookstore, bar and beer garden. So whether you're in the mood to dive into a novel with a latte or listen to a lecture with beer in hand, the Wild Detectives delights. Because of its uniqueness, Wild Detectives is a hub for special events like pop-up productions of Shakespeare plays, political panels and concerts.
314 W. Eighth St., Dallas
At buzzy restaurant Gemma, located on Henderson Avenue in Dallas, the best seats in the house are at the bar. Belly up and you're immediately greeted by a smiling bartender who offers still or sparkling water. Both are complimentary, as are the warm fig and Gouda cheese scones that a server brings around. (Feel free to have more than one.) Gemma's bar is full service, which means you can grab a cocktail and dinner without needing a reservation in the main dining room. After watching bartenders shake up a myriad of interesting-looking drinks, you'll likely leave knowing his or her name.
- 2323 N. Henderson Ave., Dallas
Josey Records and Music
Music lovers can find solo satisfaction among the seemingly endless rows of records at this hot spot on LBJ Freeway. It's easy to spend hours digging through the thousands of vinyl gems in the $1-$2 racks and previewing them on one of the store's turntables available for public use. If you're on a mission, Josey Records' stock is organized so you can get in and out quickly. New releases and box sets are separated from older records, which are alphabetized by genre. There's even a large selection of CDs and cassette tapes for those feeling extra nostalgic. Be sure to check the calendar for dates when the store hosts live bands and DJs.
- 2821 LBJ Freeway, Suite 100, Dallas
Located in Uptown Dallas, this gem boasts fabulous cocktails, unparalleled charm and even a history lesson. The Bowen House inhabits a Victorian abode originally built in 1874 by owner Ahab Bowen, a farmer and feed dealer who, at the time, lived outside Dallas city limits. The building was designated a historical landmark in 2002 and in 2014 became a bar. Classy accents like the dripping chandelier contrast the walls cluttered with old newspaper clippings and photographs. Even the bar's numerous bitters, tinctures and glassware feel like looking through grandma's antiques. Be sure to ask about the spirit who haunts it.
- 2614 Boll St., Dallas
The Free Man
Opened in 2011, the Free Man is a Deep Ellum essential known for its Cajun bites and solid bands. Head here if you're in the mood for some (free!) low-key live music, which rings from the bar/restaurant every night of the week and during lunchtime on weekends. Because of the owners' Cajun roots, you're likely to find jazz, blues and funk acts, though rock and country music aren't out of the question. Snag a chair near the entrance for a front row seat to the action.
- 2626 Commerce St., Dallas
Yoga at a brewery
What better motivation for a workout than a frosty beer? That's why yoga classes at breweries have become the hot thing in Dallas-Fort Worth. These classes are a great way to try new suds or a new sport, and because they're geared toward a wide demographic, it's OK to be a novice in one respect or the other. Local breweries including Community Beer Co., Legal Draft Brewing Co., Rabbit Hole Brewing and Collective Brewing Project, host yoga on a monthly basis.
Craft Beer Cellar
This bar in East Dallas satisfies both seasoned and newly ordained beer nerds. Craft Beer Cellar is primarily a retail shop, but it also has a small bar where it serves draft beer and fills growlers. Adventurous drinkers, opt for the 5-ounce pours so you can try a little bit of everything and discuss with the bartender. You're also welcome to peruse the more than 600 different beers on shelves and in refrigerators. Find something you like in a bottle? Drink it at the bar for an extra $2 corking fee.
- 6342 Gaston Ave., Dallas
Consider this Plano restaurant a wine lover's paradise. The name Sixty Vines refers to the number of taps, 40 of which offer vino. Guests are seated with a digital encyclopedia (OK, it's an iPad) so they can dive into the details of each one before ordering. And because the restaurant offers pours as small as 2.5 ounces, you can compare the flavors between several styles and regions. Need help? The staff here is very knowledgeable and, in fact, most are studying for sommelier certification. We recommend sitting at the charcuterie bar, where chefs dish up stylish plates of cheese and meat. (Seating is first come, first served.) If you get in the mood for some tipsy shopping, every dish and piece of decor in the rustic-chic restaurant is for sale.
- 3701 Dallas Parkway, Plano. A second Sixty Vines opened in Uptown Dallas later in 2018.