The Evolution of Honky-Tonks in Texas: 5 of the Best

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Tony Maples Photography


In terms of guidebooks and great recommendations for travel, Frommer’s has always been a good name to study. Subsequently, it stands to reason that they might know a thing or two about fun things to do, places to go, and attractions to see when you’re traveling Texas. For years they’ve released guidebooks, list articles (before they were a popularized thing on the internet) and reviews on various locales (prior to sites such as Yelp), and they’ve continued to follow the evolution of the places and things we like to see and do while traveling. Honky-tonks are no exception. Not surprisingly, a quick search for the top honky-tonks across Texas produced one of their links high-up in the results pages. They continue to follow and stay current on the best sort of spots we like to shuffle across a dance floor in, and the trends that keep these joints on top. Based on their detail, the fact that you want a good time when you go out, great atmosphere, and excellent music, here are five of the best in Texas.

1. Billy Bob’s Texas

The Evolution of Honky-Tonks in Texas: 5 of the Best

Photo: Facebook/Billy Bob’s Texas

Billy Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth has an enormous dance floor, 40 bars, and features great live events by some of the biggest names in country music. They also feature dance lessons so everyone can learn to two-step. When in Texas…

2. Gilley’s Dallas

The Evolution of Honky-Tonks in Texas: 5 of the Best

Photo: Facebook/Gilley’s Dallas Event Venues

Gilley’s Dallas is located in its namesake city and is a branch of the famed Houston honky-tonk where John Travolta filmed parts of the movie “Urban Cowboy.” Since everything’s big in Texas, Gilley’s fits right in with several bars, 90,000 square feet of dance floor, and appearances by several top-notch acts.

3. Floore’s Country Store

The Evolution of Honky-Tonks in Texas: 5 of the Best

Photo: Facebook/Josh Abbott Band

Floore’s Country Store in San Antonio hasn’t changed a whole lot since it started up in the 1940s. At the time, it boasted the largest dance floor in South Texas (consisting of a half-acre). Antique farm equipment, cowboy boots, and hat grace the ceiling of this typical Texas honky-tonk. Featuring live music on weekends, they’ve hosted such talent as Willie Nelson, Robert Earl Keen, Dwight Yoakam, and Lyle Lovett!

4. Broken Spoke

The Evolution of Honky-Tonks in Texas: 5 of the Best

Photo: Facebook/Kim Bragg

Broken Spoke in Austin is a genuine Texas honky-tonk if there ever was one. With its wooden floor that has seen a number of two-stepping crowds over its lifetime, this joint features some excellent live acts is usually splashed across people’s social media pages for the great times it holds, and can’t be beaten for its country and western enthusiasm! If it ain’t broken…don’t fix it!

5. Arkey Blue’s Silver Dollar Saloon

The Evolution of Honky-Tonks in Texas: 5 of the Best

Photo: Facebook/Brian Black

An honest-to-goodness cowboy country honky-tonk located on Main Street in Bandera, Arkey Blue’s Silver Dollar Saloon ranks high on the list of five of the best in Texas. If there’s no live music, a jukebox is readily available featuring many a country ballad. You can also find a table here in which Hank Williams Sr. carved his name!