Bars in Brownsville

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Upside Down entrances the senses with an inverted neon sign, luminous 200-inch TVs, a hypnotic blue-and-white-whorled floor, live music and comedy, and a menu of hearty burgers, salads, and sandwiches. Mesmerize your mouth with six traditional ($5.25) or boneless ($7.59) wings doused in mild, hot, lemon pepper, barbecue, or parmesan-garlic sauce and served with homemade blue-cheese dressing. Cheddar, bacon, grilled onions, and thousand-island dressing mingle on the Black Hole burger ($7.99) and sliced turkey cozies up in the Backwards Bird sandwich with a melted-jack-cheese comforter and avocado throw pillow ($7.99). For a fragrant denouement, choose from more than one dozen flavors of hookah to practice puffing smoke rings or more baroque smoke fleurs-di-lis.

568 Springmart Blvd
Brownsville,
TX
US

Fantasyland Skate Center has a perfect five-star average rating from seven impressed Insider Pagers.

1001 N Jackson Rd
McAllen,
TX
US

To lend Park Avenue's exposed-brick dining room its atmospheric lighting, the windows of its New York City skyline mural cast a faint white and green glow. The restaurant's mural and name aren't its only nods to NYC: there's also the Big Apple burger, which arrives smothered with fried mozzarella, bacon, avocado, a fried egg, and zesty salsa. The rest of the menu runs the gamut from bar staples, such as sliders and boneless wings, to steak-house classics including 12-ounce rib eyes doused with brown mushroom-cream gravy. Martinis, shots, and other drinks from the full bar complement these meals, which often precede late-night entertainment such as live bands and DJs.

400 West Nolana Street
Mc Allen,
TX
US

Most buildings don't include a 13th floor, and for good reason. Far from simple superstition, the 13th Floor Haunted House bears out the worst fears of its visitors. Nightmares are unleashed as a group called the Darkstalkers, under the command of the powerful Harvester, prowl for visitors amid the shadows. And, once inside the Vault, intruders might find themselves unable to escape—and forced to balance the spirits' checkbooks for eternity.

3209 W Business 83
McAllen,
TX
US

Vicente, the resident chef at Gazpacho's by Las Tablitas, specializes in incorporating Mexican flavors into globally inspired dishes. In some cases, these are pretty straightforward—empanadas stuffed with sautéed spinach and caramelized onions, or shrimp tacos doused in chipotle sauce. But the remainder of his menu takes a more roundabout route to Mexican tastes. He fills savory crepes, for instance, with poblano peppers and corn, while his paninis sport ingredients such as grilled chicken, avocado, and herbed mayo. Each globetrotting feast unfolds amidst vibrant oil-painted canvases in a lively dining room, which fills with the upbeat sounds of live music every Friday.

2451 Pablo Kisel Blvd
Brownsville,
TX
US

Tapping in to fresh, local ingredients, the wing-slingers at Wing Barn offer classic appetizers and sides along with a made-to-order menu of Texas favorites. Jumbo-sized crispy wings—available in orders of five ($4.49), 10 ($8.49), and up—can be smothered in one of 14 original homemade sauces, including garlic parmesan, honey mustard, and cilantro chipotle lime. Teeth can sink into half-pound burgers such as the Ranch Hand ($7.99), as well as fresh salads and Texas State Fair–inspired desserts, including funnel cake, fried oreos, fried twinkies, and fried oil rigs. Head to the outdoor patio, settle indoors within eyes' reach of several big screens, or polish off a dozen of the hottest wings to win the Lava Wing Challenge, thus earning a place on the Wall of Fame and a seat in Valhalla.

3025 Boca Chica Blvd
Brownsville,
TX
US