Tinder swipes and double-tapped hearts can only take you so far in the dating world. Thankfully, when the sad reality of couch dating sets in, McAllen has plenty of prime spots to find your next fling or maybe even Mr./Mrs. Right. Whether it’s a downtown dive or upscale entertainment option, these bars are conducive to cozying up with fellow members of the Lonely Hearts Club. This is your official cheat sheet to finding the best bars in McAllen for singles.
Gamehaus Gastropub– 2109 W. Nolana Ave
The combination of bar games and reasonably priced drinks tends to attract a younger, attractive and very single crowd at this weekend hot spot. Its wide-open layout and wrap around bar makes it easy to spot fellow singletons. Keep things light hearted and challenge the cutie you’ve been eyeing to a game of skee ball. I promise it’s better than any pick up line you can come up with. The vibe here is chill and more approachable than its downtown counterparts, making getting-to-know-you’s much easier.
Pro-tip: Let her win.
Suerte – 301 S. 17th St
You may not find your future husband or wife at this downtown bar, but you can definitely find your next summer romance. The laid back, quirky but sexy 17th Street watering hole is chockfull of meme-like décor, making it easy to strike up conversation with a new “friend,” and the drink specials will help you build up enough liquid courage to seal the deal before last call. Suerte also regularly throws theme event nights, aimed at getting people to know each other because nothing is sexier than a room full of Selena look-a likes.
Tres – 323 S. 17th St
This 90s themed bar is the sister property to Suerte, and it’s the perfect place to mingle with singles that fall into “too old for downtown but still want to party like I’m young” category. The open layout makes it easy to work the room and attentive bartenders make sure you and your new honey never go thirsty. Need a change of scenery? Step into the not-so-hidden Side Room at Tres where you and your date can leave the bar without really leaving the bar. Trust me, this makes sense.
Deloreans 80s Bar – 2200 W. Nolana Ave
Step back in time at this 80s video bar where the DJ keeps singles bumpin’ and grindin’ all night long. No really, Deloreans is a popular weekend hangout, and its close quarters means spontaneous dance parties are guaranteed. This also means you can “accidentally” bump into someone as you try to pass by. Who knows? You might even find your soul mate that shares your undying love for Madonna cassette tapes and neon spandex.
Bonus: Deloreans is a prime location for cougars.
Bourbon St – 4800 N. 10th Street
If you read my article on the most underrated bars in McAllen, then you know how I feel about this bad decision bar. It’s ideal if you’re looking for the weekday after work crowd, and its open space makes scanning the room for other singles easy. Combine that with live music, cheap drinks and the anything-goes vibe and you’ve got the perfect place to meet less-than-sober singles. What you and your thirst for questionable decisions do after that is your business.
Roof 324 – 324 S. 17th St
The unpretentious vibes and great views at this downtown, rooftop bar lay the groundwork for meeting someone new, and it definitely attracts a good-looking crowd. The limited space of its well-appointed rooftop means you will inevitably rub shoulders with the cutie across the bar at some point in the night. If you hit it off, head downstairs where the atmosphere is better suited for chatting.
Mezzanine – 109 S. 17th St
Mezzanine is a 17th street mainstay, as I mentioned in my Top 5 Patio Bars in McAllen story. It does a good job at setting a flirtatious mood with a velvety red and black decor and good-looking bar staff. Mezzanine is an ideal spot to mingle with singles that fall into the dressed-to-impress category. Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with your next potential fling and invite them to escape the hustle and bustle of the typically cramped indoor space and head for the mezzanine where you can get some quality one-on-one time.
The Flying Walrus – 204 S. 17th St
The vibe here is extra low key, and it’s probably not the first place you think of when you’re trying to meet your future romance. What makes this laid back downtown spot a good singles bar is its unassuming size. The Walrus has four different areas, making it the perfect place to sneak off for a private conversation over a game of pool or catch live music on the patio. The Flying Walrus also serves some downright delicious pizza, and if she’s willing to share drunken pizza with you on the first night, she’s the one.
Europa Cuisine & Entertainment – 5112 W. Exp 83
With high-tech arcade games, modern bowling alley, delicious eats and a 3D video ceiling, Europa is less of a traditional singles scene, but the fact that it’s the latest and greatest entertainment venue in town makes it an attractive hangout for young professionals. If you’re looking for the grown-and-sexy singles, this is a good place to start. The state-of-the art bar with 3D projection technology serves as the centerpiece at the sleek nighttime hot spot where mixologists pour inventive cocktails, making it perfect for meet-ups over stiff drinks.
University Draft House – 2405 W. University Dr. (Edinburg)
You can’t have a list of the best singles bars without including the favorite hangout for college students, and that’s exactly why I ventured outside McAllen’s city limits to University Draft House. Draft House has all the makings of a great place to meet single people. It’s close to campus, it’s got a first-class beer selection, a signature cocktail (The Moontang), an outdoor patio with games, flat screen TVs and hard-to-beat burgers that are worth the trip alone. You up your chances of meeting an educated soul mate by at least 50% at this perfect-excuse-for-a-study-break spot.