Lakewood Landing – Dallas, Texas

Get your grub, your drinks and your Pac-Man on at Lakewood Landing! It’s all here, and then some…

A Long History at Lakewood

Though no one is entirely sure when it first opened, the common guess is that Lakewood Landing’s structure has been around since 1977.  Though the current owner has had it since the late 1990’s, prior to his ownership it had been renamed two other times by previous proprietors.

Since 1998, Bill Rossell has owned the Lakewood Landing. He had been managing a bar directly across from Landing, and continuously solicited the original owner to buy him out. It was only a matter of time until the first owner relented, and Bill got, what is now a self-proclaimed ‘upscale dive’.

Since the beginning, Lakewood has been a very busy and trafficked bar, but throughout the years it has grown in popularity. A little hidden gem for any tourist wanting to find a nook to get away from the standard chain restaurants, anyone visiting or even living in Dallas, needs to check this place out. In fact, it’s become such a cult classic, as it were, there is even merchandise on display and for sale for those who would like to sport the bar’s logo wherever they roam.

While you may not have heard of Lakewood Landing, that doesn’t mean no one else has.  Known as a legendary bar in Dallas, it has been named Best Dive Bar by multiple publications. Esquire named them one of the 150 Best Bars in the Country in 2011. Thrilllist named them Best Dive Bar in Texas in 2017, and have included them in their Best Dive Bars in America. Not a small piece of prestige, to such a little dive bar on the outskirts of downtown Dallas.

 

The Clientele

Though Lakewood Landing is mostly a regulars driven bar, it’s a diverse age group where clientele is concerned. Ranging from youth in their early 20s, to seniors getting upwards of 70, there is no particular set of people coming to visit the Landing. Mostly a crowd of locals who live in the area, the bar is not exclusive to folks in the neighborhood. There are in fact, a lot of local politicians, musicians, artists, theater crew and performers who frequent the dive bar. Landing is also a hotspot for those working in the service industry. As 9 year bartender to the Landing, Jordan puts it,

“They all mix together harmoniously. It’s quite a wonderful thing to see.”

And speaking of wonderful things to see… let’s get on to the food!

The Food

To see more photos of Lakewood Landing, click here

The best drunk food you can imagine is here at Lakewood Landing! With a short menu, the portions will make up in your stomach, for what your eyes didn’t digest reading. Nothing on their list of items will leave you disappointed. And I should know, since I ordered pretty much everything they offer! From their smothered and very loaded fries, to their outstanding nachos and quesadillas from heaven – their appetizers are just the start.

The entrees will blow you away, too. While their chicken burgers and pork tenderloin sandwich will make you want a few more bites, it’s their Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich, their Grilled Cheese and their Landing Burger that absolutely steal the show. By far, the Philly was the best I’ve had since I’ve been in Dallas. The Grilled Cheese was perhaps the best I’ve ever tasted in my whole life, and the Landing Burger? Let’s just say, it should go down in the hall of fame for tastiest burger in the “Big D”.

I’m told that Sunday through Thursday, they stop their full menu at 11 pm, and at midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. After this, they offer homemade corn dogs until they close. A local butcher shop, Rudolph’s, makes the Franks.  The Landing then covers them in a jalapeño beer batter and deep fry them until they are golden brown.  Though that sounds insanely spicy, I can appreciate the art behind it, and it does sound kind of wonderful.  They are served with a side of mustard.

Oh, the only thing missing is the pickle!  Naturally, this and their burger are the most popular items on the menu.  In fact, the corn dog is so special, people seek the dive out specifically for these wieners.  Simply by word of mouth, the bar is known for these important dogs – even though they don’t do any advertising!  So clearly, this is what I should order the next time I stop in!

The Drinks

But obviously no one goes to a bar without having a few drinks. And so I did. Jordan, my fabulous bartender, was at my beck and call for whatever I needed.  He and his colleague Zach were constantly impressing me with their skills and moves behind the bar.

I may have had a few of my favorites, but Lakewood Landing’s most popular beverage of choice is a combination of a few. Selling most often Jameson, Fernet, Lone Star beer and Tito’s & Soda, the bar stays busy with their thirsty customers.

The Bar & Its Extras

Lakewood Landing is the kind of place where everyone can feel comfortable coming, having a beer and chatting with friends or new acquaintances. It’s very low-key, very uninhabited, but above all else, very friendly. Though you won’t find bright lights and a lot of disco tunes at Lakewood, you will find a stereotypical vibe throughout the bar. You will feel very much like you are in the south, with their jukebox, wooden floors, pool table and mounted bass on the back wall.

The jukebox mostly covers blues, country and some rock. A busy place, the Landing doesn’t get overly noisy, even when a full house. The back room offers Pac-Man and pool for those seeking a little bit of entertainment while dining or drinking at the bar. The staff is very accommodating and laid-back, which is what anyone would want in an upscale dive, such as this.

Don’t let the outside of Landing fool you.  Though it may look a little run-down, that’s part of its charm. The inside offers a fair amount of seating, but not enough to hold more than a few dozen people.

Make sure not to miss a chance at snacking on some of their delicious food, enjoying their country-like atmosphere and friendly charm the next time you’re in Dallas! Definitely stop in at Lakewood Landing, and when you do, make sure to let them know that Lisa sent you!