Bars & Clubs

  • BEST LOCAL BEER

    Kiltlifter Scottish Ale

    One of the surprises of moving to Phoenix for the first time from some place like Los Angeles or New York is being able to have a pint of P-town's "home brew" -- Kiltlifter Scottish Ale -- on tap at a local saloon. Let's be honest, when you're a newbie transplant with some of that El Lay or Gotham 'tude,… More >>
  • BEST BEER SELECTION

    McDuffy's Wide World of Entertainment - CLOSED

    To borrow a line from John Belushi in Animal House, now that Arizona has gotten off its keister and extended the drinking cutoff until 2 a.m., we advise you to start drinking heavily. And there's no better place to start drinking heavily than at McDuffy's Wide World of Entertainment in Peoria, which has 21 different beers on tap and at… More >>
  • BEST DANCE FLOOR

    The Buzz

    Hey, Dancing Queen, if those shoes haven't scuffed a dance floor since disco, it's time to leave the house. Deciding where to bust your latest Beyonc moves isn't easy, but there are a few diva-worthy dance floors out there -- all of them inside the confines of The Buzz. The Buzz is perfect for the schizophrenic dancer who's not really… More >>
  • BEST GAY BAR

    Amsterdam - CLOSED

    This place would impress even the Queer Eye guys. From the opera bar to the leather couches to the jumbo shrimp appetizer, everything about Amsterdam is perfectly appointed, particularly the help -- and the clientele. You'll feel like you've died and gone to cable when you sink back with a martini (we recommend the French) and enjoy the, er, view,… More >>
  • BEST LESBIAN BAR

    E-Lounge

    Thankfully, you'll be hard-pressed to find a mullet here. E-Lounge draws patrons of all ages, but its largest draw is the twentysomething crowd. With ample, cushy couches, reasonably priced drinks, and hordes of hot women, E-Lounge is fast becoming the nightclub that local lesbians have wanted for years. The inside decor resembles a grotto inferno, with dark red brick walls,… More >>
  • BEST TIKI LOUNGE

    Drift Polynesian Restaurant and Tiki Lounge - CLOSED

    Dwelling in our desert burg the way we do, with temps rocking C-note plus, what better escapist fantasy could one have than an evening at Scottsdale's Drift Polynesian Restaurant and Tiki Lounge? Drift's like that flick Blue Crush come to life, with Kate Bosworth and Michelle Rodriguez look-alikes walking around in clam diggers and midriff-baring tops, serving you pupu platters… More >>
  • BEST BAR FOR CONVERSATION

    Casey Moore's Oyster House

    Forget the tasty ghost stories, oysters and local brews that make Casey Moore's a favorite dining/drinking hangout for ASU students and Tempe residents. Conversation is the real mainstay of this historic house turned watering hole. Just a brief stroll from the corporate cornucopia of Mill Avenue, Casey's is camouflaged among quaint houses in a small neighborhood on Ninth Street and… More >>
  • BEST BAR TO WATCH THE GAME

    Friday's Front Row Sports Grill

    What better bar to watch the game than the one where you can actually watch the game? Located above the left-field bleachers at Bank One Ballpark, this isn't your typical family-friendly Friday's where the birthday girl gets a brownie. Okay, maybe there's a little of that, but what could beat chowing down on a half-pound hot dog while hearing the… More >>
  • BEST HOOKAH BAR

    Oasis Cafe

    Hovering on the border of Arizona State University, Oasis Cafe lights up Apache Boulevard with lively music and authentic Arabic cuisine. And, of course, hookahs for rent. The hookah is a smoking pipe designed with a long tube and an urn of water that cools the smoke. Don't forget the shisha: smooth, flavorful tobacco; we recommend apricot or strawberry. Friendly… More >>
  • BEST JUKEBOX

    Ziggy's

    Ziggy's transformation from Sun Devil-themed sports bar to popular punk-rock hangout wasn't truly complete until the owners took the Best of the Pixies CD off auto-repeat and finally got the jukebox stocked with kick-ass discs handpicked by DJ Jefe, who also books bands there. Ziggy's definitely amped up its cool quotient by bringing live rock 'n' roll, rockabilly, punk, garage… More >>
  • BEST NEW STRIP CLUB

    The Pin Up Girl Lounge

    Less than a year old, this swank, west-side strip club is already setting new standards with its plush, modern interior decor, and candy-apple-red exterior design. The girls are young, sexy and approachable, unlike the ice queens you find at other gentlemen's clubs, and the ambiance is intimate and classy, as opposed to the warehouse atmosphere some spots have. The lounge… More >>
  • BEST ENGLISH PUB

    George & Dragon Restaurant

    Why does George & Dragon win Best English Pub year after year? Could it be all the British beers on tap? The pictures of the Queen Mum and the Duke of Windsor while he was still King Edward VIII? The fact that it serves peas with its fish and chips and has plenty of HP sauce on hand? Or perhaps… More >>
  • BEST WORST-KEPT SECRET

    The B & T

    There's no need to tell you what B & T stands for, nor where this underground club actually exists. That's because nearly everyone in Phoenix's incestuous demimonde has been there and imbibed after hours. The bands that have played there are renowned, as are the licentious escapades of the revelers, the latter being on a par with the satanic orgies… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO FIND A ONE-NIGHT STAND

    Hot Pink, Friday nights at Karamba Nightclub

    There's just something about Hot Pink that makes people horny. Maybe it's the pounding music or the lyrics dripping with innuendo, but our guess is that the extreme inebriation brought on by $2 drinks is what really turns people on. The club is a sexual free-for-all -- if you want something sleazy with no strings attached, this is your place.… More >>
  • BEST SPIN

    Batucada

    There's a reason this weekly Scottsdale shindig has been a fixture of the turntable scene even longer than there's been a scene in the Valley: DJ trends may come and go, but nothing gets the party people dancing like a good house music set. Resident DJs Pete "Supermix" Salaz and Senbad not only spin some sizzling wax, but sometimes even… More >>
  • BEST IRISH PUB

    Fibber Magees Irish Restaurant & Pub

    What with our granny hailing from the Old Country, we freely give love to all of the Valley's fine Irish pubs. But Chandler's Fibber Magees garners garlands from us when it comes to Best Irish Pub because of the grub. It's got the traditional Irish breakfast (fried eggs, rashers, soda bread, sausage, beans, et al.) all day long, Irish whiskey… More >>
  • BEST DIVE BAR

    Bikini Lounge

    The Bikini Lounge is the kind of watering hole Charles Bukowski would have immortalized in poem or Jack Kerouac would have lived across from while banging out On the Road. A place where the beer is cheap and the chicks are extra-friendly. The sort of taproom where you can meet anyone from a teamster to a mad artist to a… More >>
  • BEST BUZZ

    Espresso Martini at AZ 88

    We were hooked after just one sip, ordering another before the first glassful was even gone. Our waiter refused to give us the exact recipe for the espresso martini, but he did kindly volunteer the ingredients: Bailey's Irish Cr'me, Frangelico, vodka and cr'me de cacao. And, yes, a shot of espresso. The waiter also described the espresso martini experience: "Your… More >>
  • BEST BREW PUB

    Rio Salado Brewing Company

    Our thirst for knowledge is equaled only by our thirst for beer. We quench both at Tempe's Rio Salado Brewing Company, where Saturday-afternoon brewery tours impart "a sensory experience of Rio Salado Brewing Company beer." Beer buffs get to "taste and smell the raw materials, learn how they impact the beer, taste the steps of production, as well as the… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO KICK IT OLD SCHOOL

    Chez Nous

    Let's say for the sake of this Best Of that Pam Grier's character Jackie Brown from the 1997 Quentin Tarantino flick of the same name appears before you, cuddles up next to your sorry ass on the couch, and says, "Baby, let's go out." Where should you take her? Why, to Chez Nous, of course, where you and Jackie will… More >>
  • BEST KARAOKE SHOW

    Gong Karaoke

    Sometimes, karaoke is good -- if we've had enough to drink. But often it is very, very bad. If only we had a gong. Wait, we do, at Hamburger Mary's. On Tuesday nights, friends and foes alike pack the popular gay and lesbian establishment, and pay a buck for the privilege of banging the silver saucer-shaped instrument. Whichever musically… More >>
  • BEST STRIP CLUB

    Skin Cabaret

    Remember that stunning, brunette bombshell you saw shopping in the produce section at Albertsons the other day? Remember how you thought to yourself, "I'll never get next to anything that fine"? Well, think again and pay a visit to Skin, where for a mere $10 lap dance, you can not only have that dime piece snuggle up next to you,… More >>
  • BEST MARTINI

    Durant's

    The classic martini -- not those pink, blue and yellow frou-frou concoctions that bottle blondes imbibe at chichi clubs -- has had many champions: everyone from FDR and Richard Nixon to W.C. Fields and James Bond. But we'd like to cop a quote from surrealist director Luis Bu--uel, who wrote in his memoir My Last Sigh that the making of… More >>
  • BEST POOL HALL

    Clicks Billiards - CLOSED

    In our opinion, the only sports worth playing are those that don't get in the way of creature comforts like watching TV, drinking brewskis, eating potato chips, and smoking ciggies. Sure, we'd love to compete in the decathlon, but you try doing the pole vault while puffing on a Camel and see how easy it is. That's why we'll stick… More >>
  • BEST WINE BAR

    Kazimierz World Wine Bar

    The wine list here truly boggles the mind. Even the most jaded wine geeks would be tickled about the offerings, which include not only topnotch reds and whites, sparkling wines and dessert wines, but also a stellar selection of sake (hey, it's rice wine, after all). After you've found a choice bottle, sink into your cozy couch and take in… More >>
  • BEST MALE STRIP REVUE

    Club Dwntwn

    Where's the beefcake? Ladies 18 and up can make like Wendy's -- and get hot and juicy, indeed -- at Club Dwntwn, where the U.S. Male Revue lets 'er rip every Friday and Saturday from 8 to 10:30 p.m. And going postal never seemed like such fun. "The best of the West . . . undressed," these boys… More >>
  • BEST BAR TO TAKE YOUR MOM ALONG

    The Big Bang

    We have a theory about The Big Bang: Your mom will love it. Now, we have to offer a caveat. Not just any mother will appreciate this place. It's true that the first time we walked in with Mom, happy hour was in full swing and an America West Airlines employee in tight jeans happened to be gyrating across the… More >>
  • BEST SPORTS BAR

    McDuffy's

    There are bars where you go to watch the games, and then there's the bar you go to be a sports fan. Not only does McDuffy's in Tempe stay true to the holy trinity of sports -- beer, big screens and betting -- it offers a little something for every sports fan. Only a 10-minute walk from Sun Devil Stadium,… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO BE SEEN

    Merc Bar

    Slinky, suave, sophisticated, and about a dozen more s-words besides, the Merc Bar is the sort of place where you can expect to see drop-dead dime pieces in backless black dresses sipping French martinis with Ketel One and Chambord, while GQ-gorgeous guys enjoy their Belvedere vodkas straight up. The interior is dark with wood paneling plucked from some Eurotrashy '60s… More >>
  • BEST GAY MALE REVUE

    Dick's Cabaret

    Hungry for a slab of beefcake? No one could accuse Dick's Cabaret of false advertising -- the club's got plenty of its objectified namesake, bobbing in the bare air beneath rippled six-pack abs. Like their cultural kin the Village People, the dancers at Dick's Cabaret fit a flurry of fantasy roles, performing as sailors, construction workers, cowboys, and whatever else… More >>
  • BEST UPSCALE BAR FOOD

    Postino Winebar

    Okay, so Postino's a little metrosexual. It's the patio that's not a patio, the couches swiped from an old issue of Real Simple, and those little cocktail tables where you're crammed right up beside some couple making Nick and Jessica eyes at each other. The ambiance is perfect for you if your favorite mag is Marie Claire, but what about… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO FIND A PARTY AFTER HOURS

    Farmer Avenue, Tempe

    Last call is a sad, sad song, at any hour. You're boozed up, you're having fun, and before you know it, the bartender is pulling your drink and kicking you out. There's nothing more hated than the bartender's mantra "you don't have to go home, but you can't stay here." Well, if you're in the vicinity of Farmer Avenue in… More >>
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