Because Not Everything's About Group Selfies And Rounds Of Shots.
When I moved to Dallas from Austin a few years ago, I didn't really expect this town to party as hard as the Binge-Drinking Capital of the World.
Boy, was I wrong.
This city is nutso, y'all. Everywhere I look, twentysomethings are snapping group selfies and throwing back shots. There's no shortage of places to do so, either: Pretty much every time I refresh my Facebook feed, I see an advertisement for some new bar in town that's got DJs, a dance floor and drink specials.
Not from where I'm standing. But, hey, maybe that's why I'm most often found staying in my pajamas at home and binge-watching Netflix until my eyes bleed. Don't cry for me: I'll take that over deafening music, regrettable bar tabs and awkward conversations with strangers most every time.
Still, I think it's important to not wholly confine oneself to his or her apartment. Even introverts like me need to get out of the house every once in a while — if only to fight off any feelings that we may be wasting these so-called “best years of our lives.”
Fortunately, there are indeed a few watering holes in town where the not-so-outgoing like me can still quite comfortably enjoy themselves. To that end, here are some of the coziest, most introvert-friendly bars around town — y'know, the rare spots that are very much worth putting pants on for.
The Magnolia Bar. Going to the movies alone is an awesome thing. It's basically an introvert's dream: The setting is dark, there’s no reason to talk to anybody if you don’t want to, and most of these places now have bars serving up some delicious poisons that can help calm your social anxieties. The Magnolia Theater in West Village ups the ante with one of the best theater lounges in the city. Here, the bar's tucked away in the corner. And, in addition to couches, there's actually a pretty decent selection of cocktails to choose from.
The Wild Detectives. This place is probably the closest you'll get to finding a bar inside of a library. It's great — a bookstore, a coffee shop and a bar in one. There's also a pretty big patio out back if you need a breather. Really, though, this place is best enjoyed inside and with a good read. Also, thanks to its busy calendar of poetry and book readings, this spot's a hub for Dallas literary enthusiasts — the kind of place where you can enjoy conversation without actually being a part of one.
DMA Café. Museums were basically made for introverts. They're quiet, safe settings where the actual purpose of the visit is to basically just stare at things. Wanna get lost in your own thoughts? Looking to be inspired by others? The Dallas Museum of Art's cafe offers a place to read a book and enjoy some wine during your free visit. They've also got a pretty extensive handcrafted sandwich menu, which is nice for those days when you don't remember until too late that you've been imbibing on an empty stomach.
Urban Vines. This place is especially great during the colder seasons with its outdoor fireplace — but it's a personal all-year-around favorite for me. Why? Because, if you enjoy the company of your dog more than you do people people, this place is just a great option. Put Sparky on a leash, head to Urban Vines and enjoy their pet-friendly patio while sampling their wine menu, which is among the best in town. Inside, you'll also find comfortable, low lighting and soft music — factors that create a pretty relaxing ambiance. It's almost like the living room you've always wanted.
The Balcony Club. Make your way to one of the booths at this place and enjoy some live jazz — every night of the damn week, too. I think my favorite part of this place is the fact that everyone's so willing to just leave you good and well alone here — in part because, as a popular date spot, people are mostly consumed by their own bullshit to worry about yours. The conversations that go on here usually feature hushed tones, too. That's not to say it's quiet — the live music keeps things noisy, actually. But it's the right kind of noisy. The aesthetic is charming, too, affording you a space to let your mind wander. And all those dates are fun to sneak peeks on, too.
Ascension Coffee. If coffee is more your style, this intimate little shop has you covered. Ascension Coffee has plenty of little nooks and crannys to hide in and catch up on that quarter-life crisis self-help book you’ve been meaning to get to. This little gem located on Oak Lawn also has you covered on savory wines and tasty noms.
The Library Bar. Located inside of the Warwick Melrose hotel, The Library Bar is a classy, turn-of-the-century style bar that's great for enjoying your own company. For one thing, the fact that most patrons at this hotel bar are staying at the hotel and also alone? It seems to take a little bit of the edge off. Plus, the many built-in bookcases along the walls are just beautiful. Also, they're practical: Not only can those books provide you some reading material, but they're also a great tool to use when pretending to be too distracted to participate in conversation.
Times Ten Cellars. Walking into this quaint Lakewood wine bar is almost like walking into someone's home. The lounge just has this instantly familiar feel to it with its couches; you can’t help but think you'll find a sleeping cat tucked behind one of the pillows. You'll feel at ease here — so much so that you might even start interacting with one of the employees and enjoying a tasting session of their wines. Well, maybe one day. Let's not get ahead of our selves.
Lakewood Growler. Lakewood Growler is a great, relaxed and welcoming space. It's a cool an convenient place for testing out your social butterfly limits, too, because if you find yourself a little too out of your comfort zone, you can just order one of their growlers and take the party home. In my experience, though, you won't find yourself doing so too often. This place doesn't get rowdy at all. The people who come here to drink respect the beer too much to treat it with any such vulgarity.
Mudsmith. This rustic little Lower Greenville cafe is perfect for daydreaming and knitting some socks for your cat alike. Seriously: This place does so much business and is such a hub of activity that it actually becomes a pretty easy to recess into all that madness and become a fly on the wall. People are too busy here to notice what you're doing, so they just let you do you. Also, while their coffee game is real strong, they've got various local craft beers on tap, plus an extensive food menu. Even if you find yourself sitting at a community table, hiding away from everyone around you is as easy as slipping on a pair of headphones.