Bars in Rockwall

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Bavarian Grill

Served beside tiny pasta dumplings, the golden-fried Jäger Schnitzel looks even more massive than usual. Rumor has it that the mushroom-topped schnitzel is one of largest in Texas, so it should come as no surprise that it's the most popular dish at Bavarian Grill, an eatery that twice won GermanDeli.com’s designation as the Best German restaurant in America. Such recognition yields lofty expectations, which Bavarian Grill meets with ease thanks to multiple menus brimming with authentic south German cuisine. Guests will find the Jäger Schnitzel on the dinner menu, but 18 other types of schnitzels show up for Schnitzel Fest, a seasonal celebration held once each year. Oktoberfest, on the other hand, seems to be celebrated year round, fueled by a hefty list of German beers. Add in live accordion players and a plate of bratwurst-and-salmon-stuffed mushroom caps, and it’d be easy to imagine yourself transported to Germany, especially if your visit happens to coincide with National Wear Lederhosen Day.

221 W Parker Rd
Plano,
TX
US

Braised beef ribs dressed with smoked-gouda grits. Quail and okra fried Texas-style. Chicken tikka masala paired with naan. In a celebration of the spice and fried foods of the South, Pepper Smash reinvents classic regional dishes with playful twists while simultaneously borrowing from the cuisines of Europe and Asia. Behind a unique concrete-topped bar, bartenders blend bourbon and gin with fruit juices, herbs, and pepper, crafting cocktails bold enough to complement the kitchen's dishes and spicy enough to melt the ice trapping the mastodon in the basement. The bar's modern design mirrors the modern food: chandeliers illuminate hardwood accents and sleek metal bar stools. Above diner's heads, a collection of cocktail shakers occupy black and white comic cells.

Devoted diners may also download Pepper Smash's mobile-app-based rewards program, available for iPhone or Android, helps customers track their consumption and earn prizes, including complimentary treats.

7200 Bishop Rd
Plano,
TX
US

Despite being the singular martini the upscale eatery and bar is named for, the Blue martini is actually just one of approximately 40 painstakingly crafted martinis. Bartenders stir up cocktails such as the Cake Pop martini swirling with flavors of vanilla, champagne, cranberry, and chocolate, and the Down and Dirty martini doused in olive juice and Russian Standard Platinum vodka. A menu of upscale plates starring fresh seafood, flatbreads, and lemon-pepper chicken complement drinks from the bar, while the luxurious ambience at all 12 locations is enhanced by romantic lighting, energetic live music, and a VIP lounge for martini glasses once owned by US presidents or celebrities.

7301 Lone Star Drive #A110
Plano,
TX
US

Behind the brownstone façade of Cheesecake Amor Cafe & Wine Bar—a cozy eatery reminiscent of a quaint café—owners Gayle and Jeff Haynes pair signature gourmet cheesecakes and fine wines with a full menu of elegant Italian-American dishes. The warm café invites diners to curl up on a leather couch beside a flickering fire or slide their knees under polished black tables garnished by a selection of fine cheeses, pizzas, and entrees coupled with suggestions from a list of more than 60 wines. Gayle pours her passion for baking into an assortment of housemade cheesecake slices in 30 flavors, from classic New York style to liqueur and candy flavors.

8408 Stacy Rd
McKinney,
TX
US

Past flickering lanterns and an outdoor patio, heavy wooden rafters and a crackling fireplace give Churchill’s British Restaurant & Pub a downright Dickensian feel. From behind the wooden bar, bartenders sling an impressive collection of drinks, including 13 specialty cocktails, nine beers on tap, and 20 kinds of scotch. Complementing the suds and sips are classic British pub offerings such as bangers and mash and shepherd’s pie, alongside American eats, including meatloaf and chicken tenders that have declared their independence from the rest of the bird. Underneath hanging beer steins and a massive Union Jack, guests can lounge on leather sofas or pleasantly worn wooden chairs as soccer matches flicker on TV screens. When there’s not a match on, pub-goers can play darts or pool in the game room, listen to live rock and bagpipe music, or play trivia on Wednesday nights.

100 N Tennessee St
McKinney,
TX
US

A zapping haven with historical awareness, the Shenaniganz laser tag arena pits up to 24 players against one another in the gloomy haze and vibrant lighting of a 12th-century Cambodian temple. Players can repurpose ancient temple ruins as opaque bunkers and unload some light on unsuspecting opponents. Safe and well maintained, the laser tag arena warms up trigger fingers for joysticked, button-mashing mayhem in the 7,000-square-foot arcade. Stocked with more than 100 games, the arcade zone is a sanctuary for prize-seeking ticket hoarders and friendly competitors alike. With $35 worth of credits, players might be able to swap jackpots for prizes ranging from candy to a life-sized portrait of Macaulay Culkin. While children go wild in the arcade, parents can relax at the on-site sports bar, with more than 40 flat-screen TVs and two 25-foot hi-definition movie screens. Shenaniganz also has a restaurant and state-of-the-art bowling center. No reservations are required for laser tag, though players can always phone ahead to ensure there's no private party or toddler rave occupying the arena.

1290 E Interstate 30
Rockwall,
TX
US