Updated: Mar 11
You only turn 21 once, so welcome to Dallas' best list for how to do it big when celebrating your 21st birthday. Uncork a bottle or two, see and be seen, and be sure to get some great pics along the way! But remember, a great 21st birthday is not a sprint. Pace yourself, and maybe you'll remember some of this when you wake up tomorrow!
1. SUGAR FACTORY
Sugar Factory is the newest, sweetest, most Instagrammable hot spot in Uptown. Their drinks are statements, as colorful as they are lip-smackingly sweet. Share a dry ice goblet concoction ($39) in flavors like lollipop passion, strawberry lemonade smash or pretty in pink. It's a bubbly sweet dream. The Sugar Factory rainbow sliders ($25) are a great shareable way to add a base underneath all the alcohol and sugar as well. The sweet martini variations ($17) are great, too. try a bubba bubba gum or a raspberry sin.
2. SKY BLOSSOM
One drink you must check off the list on your 21st birthday is a Midnight Unicorn (front and center) from Sky Blossom, the best fusion Vietnamese bistro and bar in Dallas. If you're grabbing dinner here on your big night, try the Korean BBQ dinner ($20) after some shaken been bao ($8 for two). The Passion in paradise is another beautiful drink to enjoy on this beautiful rooftop setting.
3. 77 DEGREES
77 Degrees on Henderson is another absolute must-go rooftop bar when celebrating those milestone birthdays. As they say, 77 Degrees is just right. You get three stories of great views, awesome small plates and a really good selection of specialty cocktails. Try a ruby slipper ($12) while you're here!
4. TE DESEO
Spice up the night at Te Deseo in the Harwood District. The vibes are immaculate and the drinks and the city views are absolutely stunning at Te Deseo. We love the diabla shrimp tacos ($14) and the stuffed arrepas ($14) to eat, and we can't leave without having at least one azucaaa ($14), a brilliant and authentic Te Deseo rum concoction!
5. GREEN LIGHT SOCIAL
The Green Light checks all the needed boxes for a great coming-of-age celebration. It's accessibly exclusive, there's always a good DJ spinning the latest,. and there is a lot of adaptablility at the bar. Pound beers, sip something with more of a "speakeasy" feel to it, and everything in between!
6. DRAKE'S Hollywood
Photo by: @drakeshollywood
This is your night to feel famous and to rub elbows with your betters. Where better to see and be seen than Drake's Hollywood. Treat yourself to a great steak and stick around for a little bar-fueled revelry. Also, you MUST get your photo taken with these absolutely massive slices of strawberry cake!
7. NICK AND SAM'S
Photo by: @Kaitlynthefoodiee
The cake menu ALONE should be good enough to get the birthday parties in the door at Nick & Sams, but as it turns out, they do EVERYTHING on the menu as beautiful as their seven-layer celebration cakes, each of which is adorned with pink cotton candy on the side. The rainbow cake ($165) is a complete show-stopper, and the red velvet ($125) is every bit as beautiful. But do yourself a favor at Nick & Sam's. Treat yourself to a steak first. You deserve it.
8. WONDER BAR
The very colorful concept bar has been open along North Henderson for about two weeks as of this writing. And this place is a trip, y'all. Bar workers showering the dance floor with bubbles fired from some sort of bubble machine gun, selfies galore and whimsy at every turn. Wonder Bar features a variety of Gram-worthy interactive installations, but the bonus is you get to snap 'em all with a nice $12 cocktail in hand.
9. COWBOYS RED RIVER
Photo by: @cowboysredriver
"If your hair ain't movin' like this, he ain't dippin' you right!" If you're after a honky-tonkin' good time for your 21st, few places make the scene quite like Cowboys does. Cowboys' Birthday Night special is bangin', too. Call ahead to reserve your birthday experience and you're crew of up to 10 will get free cover and one free drink apiece, a reserved table for the group, a free champagne toast and a free bull ride for the Birthday Girl or Boy.
10. POOL PARTY // virgin hotels
Paradise beckons if your 21st falls in the warmer months. The Virgin Hotel Pool Club is that paradise. The views of downtown from your Turtle Creek Boulevard perch are not to be missed, either! From umbrella drinks and coconut suntan lotion by day to the sound of chilled beats at night, The Pool Club is exactly where you want to ring in your 21st birthday.
11. DRAG BRUNCH // tequila delicious
Photo by: @tequila_deliciousuptown
Are you not entertained? You will be at Tequila Delicious' weekly Drag Brunch events. Tickets are $!0 on Eventbrite! Throw a Fireball floater in that margarita and get the party started while the sun's still up. The gorgeous entertainers make every Saturday and Sunday, 1-3 p.m., feel like your 21st birthday. Try their Dragon Marg ($10) or a barrel-aged mezcal old fashioned ($12)!
12. THE STOCKYARDS // BILLY BOBS
📍Fort Worth, TX
If you're turning 21 in the Great State of Texas, it only makes sense that you should celebrate the rite of passage at the World's Largest Honky Tonk, amirite? The Honky Tonk Kitchen menu is about what you would expect: a few barbecue offerings, lots of chicken fried options, and even a pretty decent ribeye! But where else can you step away from the dinner table and into the arena to watch a little bull riding, then over to the mechanical bull to make a fool of yourself after claiming, "I could do that, easy!" When this inevitably happens, just peel yourself off the floor and get over to the dancefloor as soon as possible.
13. AKAI SPEAKEASY
Photo by: @akaitx
Say the magic word to get enter the Akai dreamscape in the Arts District. Or, actually, text it to phone number found on the speakeasy's Facebook page. You can access Akai through the kitchen at Musume or through the side door outside marked with a Japanese symbol, but getting there is half the allure. Delicious Japanese inspired cocktails like the namesake Akai (Japanese whisky, carbonated soda water, lemon flame and lemon) and secretive red lighting await, for only the most exclusive of 21st birthday outings.
14. BOTTLED BLONDE
Photo by: @bottledblondedtx
Let's get weird! For all your combined pizza+beer garden+nightlife needs, thank the heavens for Bottled Blonde. They're always throwing some glow party or ink party or bubble party or what have you, so why not latch onto one of those for a truly over-the-top 21st? Yes, the bartenders are wearing lingerie. Yes, there are people dancing on the tables they just got done eating pizza from. Yes, there is football on a screen nearby. This is all normal, because you're spending your 21st birthday at Bottled Blonde.
The rhetorical question emblazoned on the staircase at Stirr in Deep Ellum reads, "What is the one thing in life you cannot live without?" If you're stopping at Stirr on your 21st Birthday, you've obviously answered "good times with great people." It's a great way to start off the evening if you've got a night of debauch bar-hopping planned afterward. And don't forget your free appetizer or birthday sundae! At Stirr you can claim your well-deserved freebies on any day of your birthday month, and it doesn't have to be your 21st birthday!
Got champagne taste but no budget? Easy! Get your friends to pay for your 21st birthday outing at Rokwood! This is the place where the lovely bar staff will make a scene and hold up the "BALLER ALERT" signs when someone in VIP orders a bottle over a certain threshold (don't ask us the threshold, we ain't ballin' like that). Nestled in the heart of downtown, this two-story upscale adventure caters to the city's finest, best and brightest. And that's you!
Get 'Grammed underneath the "Kiss me. I won't tell" sign and then kiss someone, because it's yo birfday! The modern Asian kitchen mixes well with the nightlife vibes at Kai in Legacy West. They have a Latin night on Fridays and another DJ spinning on Saturdays in this exclusive little haunt along in the very walkable shopping and dining Legacy West cluster. Try their shishito mango margarita or their Big Poppa ($14 each), which features Belvedere vodka and passionfruit bursting boba!
18. SPORTING CLUB
Photo by: @sportingclubdallas
"If the table isn't covered in confetti, don't invite me." The Sporting Club is the home of the players. Start your bros night here with ALL the chicken wings, or stay a while at their Blum Dallas nightclub, which comes correct with upscale vibes, DJs spinning and bottle service. For starters, go for the arancini ($13), which is fried balls of saffron rossoto stuffed with fontina cheese and marinara. Then why not go for one or two of their party platters, just to form a base at the bottom of your stomachs, so all the alcohol has a nice cozy place to rest in there.
19. CLOVER CLUB
Everyone is lucky at this sophisticated night spot and rooftop lounge. The dancefloor is second to none at Clover Lounge, and the Uptown views are immaculate. The fireworks go off when bottles are popped, and if you snag the right reservations, you can put your own lewd and inappropriate birthday catchphrase on one of the VIP marquees.
20. TRUTH AND ALIBI
Photo by: @truthandalibi_dtx
The Deep Ellum Candy Shop gives way to one of Deep Ellum's best not-so-well-kept secrets. Truth & Alibi is a modern twist on a prohibition-style speakeasyYou've got good friends if they're buying you a drink here on your 21st birthday, that's for sure. Watching the bartender make your drink is just as much fun as drinking it. Try an absinthe sour!
21. CHOCTAw Casino & Resort
Got the itch to gamble and have a sleepover? Choctaw's got you covered. Catch a concert, go to the spa and eat ALL THE FOOD from more than a dozen restaurants on the premises at what has become a way-to-easy weekend destination just across the Red River. Or you could flip blackjack all day. Either way is good with us.