The birthplace of country music royalty such as the Dixie Chicks, Bob Wills and Charley Pride, DFW knows how to foster its favorite music genre. That has much to do with its long list of exceptional country music venues and cowboy bars, affectionately known as honky-tonks. You might even catch the next up-and-coming country superstar.
Billy Bob's Texas
Consistently in the running for the best honky-tonk on the planet, Billy Bob's Texas can also easily lay claim to the largest. The 100,000-square-foot venue in Fort Worth's world-famous Stockyards has an enormous dance floor, a live bull-riding ring and a legendary stage that has seen country music's biggest names.
2520 Rodeo Plaza, billybobtexas.com
White Elephant Saloon
In the historic Fort Worth Stockyards district, the White Elephant Saloon retains much of its Wild West and rugged-cattlemen roots. It's packed with cowboy hats and spurred boots, but instead of trading cattle, the patrons are here to knock back a few Lonestar beers and listen to some twanged-out guitar licks.
106 East Exchange Ave., Fort Worth, Texas; whiteelephantsaloon.com
Billy Bob's Texas might be the most famous honky-tonk in Dallas, but Pearl's is likely the most historic. Buffalo Bill Cody was the building's founder, which started as a bordello called Hotel Pearl's. Nowadays, you'll find Buffalo Bill memorabilia scattered about. But people come for the cheap domestic beers and the traditional country sounds.
302 W. Exchange Ave., Dallas, Texas; facebook.com/pearlsdancehallfortworth
A short drive north from downtown Dallas, Southern Junction has the authentic small-town honky-tonk vibe — a true locals' watering hole that also happens to serve delicious rib-eye steaks. House bands and touring acts light up the stage on any given night, but each Thursday hosts line-dancing workshops where the curious can learn from the best in the West.
5574 TX-276, Royse City, Texas; facebook.com/sojoTX
The graffitied window and neon lights of Adair's Saloon have been a constant beacon in the fabled and ever-changing Deep Ellum neighborhood. The Dixie Chicks played some of their first shows at this cramped and charming venue. Country tunes blare and gut-busting cheeseburgers are served seven nights a week at the spot overlooking crowded Commerce Street.
2624 Commerce St., Dallas, Texas; adairssaloon.com
Love & War in Texas
Love & War in Texas embraces its heritage through food, drink, music and good ol' Lone Star spirit. The menu is strictly Texan, sourced locally and cooked with bona fide Texas recipes. The rustic venue presents rotating live country music acts multiple times a week, attracting locals and visitors alike to this faithful honky-tonk.
601 E. Plano Pkwy., Plano, Texas; loveandwarintexas.com