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Bars & Clubs

  • BEST CANDY COCKTAILS

    Twisted

    We have a good friend whose two favorite things in the world are candy and booze. So when we wanted to try the best candy cocktails in town, naturally, we asked her."Twisted!" she shouted. "Well, no," we responded. "We don't think that's such an odd request. We just thought, in honor of our Sweet Life theme this year, that we'd… More >>
  • BEST CHOCOLATE CAKE IN A SHOT GLASS

    Tranzylvania at Palazzo

    Betty Crocker, get your booze on — the German chocolate cake shot could be the sweetest thing to ever hit your lips and liver. This rich, syrupy drink is still something of a secret; many bartenders are lost if the recipe's not in their books. Luckily, most of those behind the bar at Palazzo on the club's weekly Friday goth… More >>
  • BEST GIRL SCOUT COOKIE IN A MARTINI GLASS

    Portland's Restaurant & Wine Bar - CLOSED

    Before we stumble out for a tour of the galleries on Roosevelt Row, we like to stop in at the bar at Portland's for a fancy cocktail. Our favorite is a sweetie called the Thin Mint Tini — just a simple blend of Ketel One, Rumpleminze Peppermint Schnapps, crème de cacao and a splash of cream. Is this why our… More >>
  • BEST USE OF JELL-O IN A COCKTAIL

    Blue Wasabi Sushi & Martini Bar

    Blue Wasabi has one of the most creative drink menus in town, and we're glad that we can now drink the martinis a little closer to home, with the opening of the Hilton Village location. (You folks who live in DC Ranch had all the luck, 'til now.)We're particularly fond of a drink called the Mello Jello. This is not… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO DRINK CRISTAL

    Christie's Cabaret

    Rappers Jay-Z and P. Diddy might have gotten in a little harsh dissing of Cristal on their latest albums, but believe us, there's no finer symbol of style and stardom than downing a bottle or two of the chic champagne, particularly in the utterly opulent environs of either location of the Valley's classiest strip club. You definitely gotta be living… More >>
  • BEST VIP ROOM

    Myst - CLOSED

    Perched high above Myst's dance floor in the utter opulence of the lavish nightclub's VIP skyboxes, one feels like Caligula as the hedonistic Roman ruler looked down upon the commoners. Gorgeously decorated, cloaked in darkness, and steeped in swank, these private pads of posh have set the standard for all other Scottsdale VIP rooms to aspire to, and have played… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO SEE SCOTTSDALE CHICKS ROCKING OUT

    Foxy Bitch Thursdays at Dirty Pretty Rockbar - CLOSED

    Couture-clad female hotties flock to Dirty Pretty every Thursday, but it ain't to sip on overpriced martinis or ogle the hunky bartenders at the vintage-meets-swank rock nightclub. Nope, these slinky sirens wanna rock 'n' roll all night (and party every day) at the ultra-hot Scottsdale nightspot, and they do so with gusto.Chic to the gills in their finest Mara Hoffman… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO FEEL LIKE YOU'RE INSIDE A HIERONYMUS BOSCH PAINTING

    Mondrian Scottsdale - CLOSED

    The creed of the new Mondrian hotel in Scottsdale could easily be "decadence in excess."Like the triptych painting The Garden of Earthly Delights by 15th- and 16th- century Dutch artist Hieronymus Bosch, the aesthetic of the Mondrian is good and evil. The main hall of the hotel plays host to a "heaven" theme, with fluffy, white-cotton clouds suspended from the… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO PRETEND YOU'RE A MEMBER OF THE RAT PACK

    Hotel Valley Ho

    Rat Pack paradise must look something like this. The midcentury design that makes you think of The Sands (now defunct). The sweeping driveway with the backlit retro signage. The generous patio overlooking the pool, with open fires nearby on cool nights. All you'd need is Dean Martin with a cocktail in hand, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. clownin' at… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO GO UNDERCOVER

    Kazimierz World Wine Bar

    When we're torn between the world of drinking wine in pajamas and watching Netflix versus getting gussied up for a night at a shiny club, there's one place where we can feel the thrill of grabbing a drink with the protective armor of anonymity. Kazimierz World Wine Bar offers a cozy cover of darkness with a burgundy interior prickled by… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO GET THE STIFFEST DRINKS IN TOWN

    The Black and Tan

    The Black and Tan has been the subject of much secrecy and speculation over the past couple of years. The joint is an underground speakeasy of sorts, which is a nice way of saying it's not an official venue and that it doesn't have a liquor license (and, rumor has it, it's perpetually closing). Since we've already been falsely accused… More >>
  • BEST SANGRIA

    La Grande Orange Pizzeria

    If you like your sangria white and crisp, we cannot possibly recommend a better cup of quaff than at this popular Arcadia pizzeria. The fruit has been soaking just long enough to make it intoxicating without crossing the line to overwhelming — and the drink itself is so light, it'll leave you floating.Only problem: Everyone else in town loves this… More >>
  • BEST MARTINI

    Durant's

    No point in serving us a dainty dash of vodka with a silly lemon twist. When we want a martini, we want it old-school: gin, olives, the tiniest touch of vermouth, and a giant icy glass. Durant's delivers on every level. Even better, the drinks aren't poured by some silly college girl who thinks cleavage compensates for bad service. In… More >>
  • BEST COSMOPOLITAN

    Café ZuZu

    When we're drinking a cosmo, we want to feel girly, giddy, and a little retro. The bar at Café ZuZu, the bright restaurant at the Hotel Valley Ho that specializes in stylin' '50s-era comfort food, has just the right vibe. And the bartenders, thank God, know how to do this pink lady to perfection. Tart and sweet at the same… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL BEER

    The Roosevelt House Beer at The Roosevelt Tavern - CLOSED

    Thank you, Matt Pool, for establishing yet another kickass downtown hang. The owner/chef of Matt's Big Breakfast opened the smashing Roosevelt Tavern in late December 2006 to better serve the downtown eatin' and drinkin' crowd. Among the 20 selections of wines and 45 beer choices is the Roosevelt House Beer, a perfect concoction exclusively created for the tavern by Tempe's… More >>
  • BEST DESIGNER DRINK

    Blanche Davidian's "Orange Sunshine" shot - CLOSED

    Veteran Valley bartender and mini-music-mogul Vil Vodka is known for his potent custom shots, usually created for the purpose of promoting or paying homage to local bands. Vodka's "Robitussin" shot, introduced in 2004, smells and tastes like its cough syrup namesake, but taking one shot is probably the equivalent of downing two bottles of the real stuff. Vodka's latest concoction,… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO FUEL UP FOR THE NIGHT

    Paisley Violin - CLOSED

    Located in the heart of the Grand Avenue arts district, Paisley continues to bless red-eyed customers with caffeinated godsends. The cute cafe with a European flair features a stacked coffee bar chock full of espresso drinks, mochas, and the completely delicious maple latte, a concoction with two shots of Italian espresso, a healthy pour of 100 percent maple syrup, and… More >>
  • BEST PRE-PARTY RENDEZVOUS

    Zen 32 - CLOSED

    You live in downtown Phoenix, your friend hangs in Scottsdale, and you need a meeting point before you hit a house party in Tempe. It's 9 p.m., and you and your crew want to start boozing ASAP, but God forbid you're the first ones at the party. Meet up at a bar, but beware and choose wisely, because the wrong… More >>
  • BEST HAPPY HOUR

    Tradiciones

    The folks at Tradiciones could coast on their great location: a nice, new restaurant smack northeast of downtown, just far enough away not to be mired in Metro construction, convenient and close enough to lure customers from several busy areas. But they've stepped up and made a little Eden of drinking and munching, whether you choose the charming patio (separated… More >>
  • BEST PLACE FOR A TWILIGHT DRINK

    Postino

    Okay, so it's the worst-kept secret in the history of Phoenix. And, yeah, the parking is a pain in the neck by Valley car-centric standards. (Any time we have to park more than a few spaces away or — gasp! — pay a valet, we tend to feel put upon.) But when it comes to classy places to hang with… More >>
  • BEST WINE BAR

    Epicurean Wine

    Greg Brickey and Jeff Davis take their wine seriously. They stock thousands of bottles of domestic and imported wines in their lovely, low-key spot, tucked away in a strip mall just off Scottsdale Road. Come by for a tasting on a Friday night, and they'll take you to New Zealand, Australia, or South Africa, via some carefully chosen bottles. Or… More >>
  • BEST BREW PUB

    Crazy Ed's Satisfied Frog

    Not only does Crazy Ed's lure in tourists by the busload with its kitschy, Disney-like Western Town attraction on its property, the Cave Creek brew pub also attracts a fair amount of locals who come for its tasty selection of seven or eight signature beers (depending on the season) that come straight from its on-premises microbrewery — available either in… More >>
  • BEST BLOCK FOR BLOCK-ROCKING BEATS

    Washington and Second streets, downtown Phoenix

    Don't look now, but it seems as though downtown Phoenix's nightlife scene has finally developed a pulse. Instead of avoiding the formerly lifeless city core (which, in years past, had the reputation of rolling up the sidewalks at 5 p.m.), hordes of hipsters of every stripe are heading downtown to drink and dance. Ground zero for this nightlife explosion has… More >>
  • BEST HOME AWAY FROM HOME

    Casey Moore's

    Casey's is an institution in downtown Tempe, in that you can count on it to be full of crazies any evening after 9 p.m.But during the day, this old, allegedly haunted house is literally a living room for an assortment of characters (some who actually work there and, perhaps, some who work — or have worked — for this fine… More >>
  • BEST DIVE BAR

    The Fox Hole - CLOSED

    We haven't been to every dive in Phoenix, but we're getting close. The Fox Hole sure seems like the real deal to us — sometimes you walk into a place and it just feels right. The Hole is a typical dive in a bad part of town, complete with an abandoned, dumpy-looking empty lot behind it. Walking around to the… More >>
  • BEST SNACKS AT A DIVE BAR

    Kay's Lounge

    We've been to a lot of bars and had some great food. Our personal all-time favorite snack was a batch of homemade pickled eggs the owner would bring to the bar in Beloit, Wisconsin — they were great with mustard. A close second were the Tater Tots at the long-gone original Long Wong's on Mill Avenue. But we think the… More >>
  • BEST ANIMAL CRANE MACHINE AT A DIVE BAR

    Westside Cocktail Lounge

    If you want to win a cute, little pink elephant with a dildo tied to its back, then this is the place for you. The Toy House (we like to call it simply The Crane Game) is a staple at many dives across the country. We really don't get it. What's the allure? We're going to "win" something after spending… More >>
  • BEST MEN'S ROOM AT A DIVE BAR

    Playa - CLOSED

    What goes up must come down; what goes in must go out. One of the great ravages of drinking is, of course, the deterioration of the body. There's a lot of extra stress put on major organs — most notably, the liver and kidneys. Sometimes we feel like we're just a great big filter. We're not sure about you, but… More >>
  • BEST WOMEN'S ROOM AT A DIVE BAR

    Swizzle Inn

    Late night at a dive bar is great fun — unless you happen to be of the gender that pees sitting down. And while ladies across the land have certainly mastered the hover (for you men who need an explanation, use your imaginations), it's much tougher to pull off such a balancing act after a night of cheap booze.We have… More >>
  • BEST OUTDOOR SMOKING SECTION AT A DIVE BAR

    Jake's-O-Mine

    No scuzzy, butt-scattered patio at this dive. We call the smoking section at Jake's-O-Mine the party cage, because there's always a party in this small, makeshift smoking area. And, well, it looks like a cage.If the new anti-smoking law was meant to make you feel humiliated while smoking, then the Arizona voters who passed that thing have done their job.… More >>
  • BEST SMOKING PATIO

    Martini Ranch - CLOSED

    Martini Ranch solves the smoker's problem by having a full-service bar outside on its huge smoking patio, allowing patrons to drink and smoke in peace. Best of all, there's a movable wall behind the indoor stage at Martini Ranch that, when lifted, allows folks on the patio to see the shows from outside (albeit from behind the musicians). And several… More >>
  • BEST BALCONY

    Bar Smith

    It seems like every place we go, owners are scrambling to come up with some sort of outdoor pit stop for the smoker patrons to light up. Meanwhile, smokers are often forced to hang in scummy parking lots, praying that no one roofies the drink they had to leave inside. But at Bar Smith, there are no such worries because… More >>
  • BEST HOOKAH BAR

    King Tut's

    It makes sense that within a few square miles of ASU in Tempe there are seven hookah bars to choose from. Where else are underage college freshmen supposed to sit on the floor and regurgitate ideas from Intro to Philosophy? If you're not of the frat-party persuasion, there's not a whole lot going on near campus until you turn 21… More >>
  • BEST NEW NIGHTCLUB

    Casa Blanca Nightclub & Lounge - CLOSED

    Casa Blanca's got something for everyone — there's a sports bar, where patrons can knock back a few brews while watching the game on the big screens, and there's the rock club, which usually sees the most action. We've yet to hit a show at Casa Blanca that wasn't packed to the gills, whether a national name like Bad Brains… More >>
  • BEST DANCE FLOOR

    Glam

    If you're big into the Valley party scene, after a while you start to feel like if you've been on one dance floor, you've been on every dance floor. It's all just very monotonous — the strangers spilling drinks on you, the same songs over and over. Not quite the case at Glam. Yeah, there's still plenty of drink-spilling, but… More >>
  • BEST GAY BAR

    Burn Night Club

    Here's what we love about Burn: it's a gay bar that's not totally gay. Don't take that the wrong way — we get the message the buckets of free condoms, the black-and-white photos of hot chiseled abs, and the shirtless man wearing a bow tie and passing out paper towels in the unisex bathroom are sending. We do realize why… More >>
  • BEST LESBIAN BAR

    zGirl Club - CLOSED

    A lot has changed since zGirl Club was known as Misty's. Once a haven for butch-looking Phoenix Mercury fans and middle-aged, mullet-headed mamas, zGirl Club now packs its dance floor with some of the hottest honeys in Phoenix, from lipstick lesbians in carefully coordinated outfits to soft butches who are dressed to impress. And where the DJ used to bump… More >>
  • BEST GAY BAR FOR LESBIANS

    Amsterdam - CLOSED

    This suave lounge has long been a favorite of Phoenix gays because it hosts "female illusionists" (a high-society-sounding way of saying "drag queens"), male revues, and the flamboyant karaoke that's a staple of Valley gay bars. But Amsterdam's Monday weekly, "Martinis & Manicures" — where patrons can get each for $5 — has been drawing in lots of ladies (lesbian… More >>
  • BEST NEIGHBORHOOD BAR, SOUTH PHOENIX

    The Silver Pony

    Our first sign that this is the perfect neighborhood bar is the fact that it opens at 6 a.m. Our second: This joint has two happy hours — one from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and another from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Add to that a pool tournament every Monday and Wednesday, and karaoke every Thursday, and we have… More >>
  • BEST NEIGHBORHOOD BAR, DOWNTOWN PHOENIX

    The Lost Leaf

    If you've spent any time bar-hopping downtown, you've probably followed a well-beaten path from Carly's to Bikini Lounge, along with the rest of the downtown drinking crew. And while we still love to haunt both establishments, we're thrilled to add another stop on our weekend pilgrimages to get sauced. The Lost Leaf, on Fifth, just south of Roosevelt, has become… More >>
  • BEST NEIGHBORHOOD BAR, TEMPE

    Four Peaks Brewery

    Tempe is an entire city of neighborhood bars, so narrowing it down to one is no easy feat. But there's just something about Four Peaks — maybe it's that amazing spinach artichoke dip or the fact that they brew their beer on- site, or the excellent preservation of the building's mission revival style, and its location on Tempe's historic old… More >>
  • BEST NEIGHBORHOOD BAR, SCOTTSDALE

    TT Roadhouse

    A neighborhood bar needs to be the kind of place you can wander into wearing jeans without having to worry that you're underdressed. The kind of place where you can play darts or shoot pool and knock back a couple of cheap drinks without some jerk in a shiny shirt asking for your number. That's why we love TT's. A… More >>
  • BEST BAR TRIVIA

    Wednesdays at Brennan's Pub 'n' Grub

    Happy hour can turn into payday at Brennan's on Wednesday nights, when patrons are invited to participate in "Trivia Wednesdays." The games start at 8 p.m., with eight questions and two bonus questions, pertaining to everything from music and sports to history and geography. Participants can play alone or in teams, and the top three winners each week receive cash… More >>
  • BEST MALE STARTENDER

    Devon at Glam

    It's not unusual for the regular boozer to make friends with a favorite bartender. He totes the familiar formula of listening to problems, lighting up smokes, and suavely saving you from an overzealous solicitor seeking a one-night stand. Those qualities are useful and appreciated, but could describe any number of barkeeps in the valley. It's not often we run across… More >>
  • BEST FEMALE STARTENDER

    Westley Nieto at Bikini Lounge

    Wes, as she's known to friends and regulars, is from the old school. Not the fancy spinning-shaker-of-death-thru-fire bartender, but the give-it-to-me-straight school of bartending. We couldn't be happier about that.It's true that Wes doesn't take any guff, so you'd better be nice to the staff and the regulars. There's no snapping your fingers or waving bills at the Bikini Lounge.… More >>
  • BEST HOUSE DJ

    Joe DiPadova

    To hell with hitting up Wikipedia. Whenever we wanna get the 411 on house music, we hook up with DJ Joe DiPadova. The laid-back record-spinning cat is a virtual walking encyclopedia on the subject — both its history and how to lay it out on the one's and two's, the latter of which he's been doing since his love affair… More >>
  • BEST JUKEBOX

    Shady's

    The jukebox inside this central Phoenix neighborhood bar is an absolute gem. Aside from the fantastic selection, it's one of the few "real" jukes left in our favorite dimly lit haunts. So many bars have gone the way of the Internet jukebox. Sure, it's kind cool to be able to play literally anything, but it's also boring — we've got… More >>
  • BEST HUMAN JUKEBOX

    DJ HFE at Bikini Lounge

    This fast-paced world of today? We are not entirely down with it. Take last year, when Bikini's jukebox was replaced by some digitized interwebby thing mere days before its (perhaps no longer deserved) Best Jukebox award went to press. But this artsy-skeevy-tiki bar is a delicate ecosystem. Knowing this, its proprietors maintain some balance by designating a surly, savvy Homo… More >>
  • BEST KARAOKE

    Brigett's Last Laugh

    Brigett's Last Laugh isn't much different from any other neighborhood bar in the Valley, except it's the reigning karaoke capital. Seven nights a week, DarkHorse Productions lets customers croon favorite tunes by everybody from Alanis Morissette to Judas Priest, and almost everybody gets in on the action. Brigett, the owner, can often be seen dancing along to the music or… More >>
  • BEST POOL HALL

    Time Out Lounge

    Time Out may look like just another strip mall dive bar, but make no mistake: The pool tables are the main attraction. Well, the pool tables and the incredibly strong, incredibly cheap drinks. Banners from pool tourneys past line the wall, and the bar hosts amateur tournaments on Saturdays at 3 p.m. Most people who play are very good, so… More >>
  • BEST ENGLISH PUB

    George & Dragon

    We once invited an English gal pal to the G&D. She took one look and went all wiggy on us. Mumbled something about Liverpool, started gulping down Guinness, and passed out in the loo. We took this as a sign that she liked the place, which turned out to be true. Moral of the story: If you can get a… More >>
  • BEST IRISH PUB

    Rúla Búla

    This Tempe joint has the ultimate credential for an Irish bar: It knows how to pour the perfect Guinness. Ice cold, with a delightful head of froth, it's got us ready to belt out, "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" — and, thank God, the good-looking crowd of college kids and professionals mingling on the patio is usually happy to join… More >>
  • BEST VENUE FOR NATIONAL MUSIC ACTS

    Celebrity Theatre

    With a maximum capacity of 2,600, Celebrity Theatre may not be the biggest concert venue in the Valley, but therein lies the charm. No seat is farther than 75 feet from the stage, making this venue the only one in Phoenix where the phrase "not a bad seat in the house" really holds true. Because of the enclosed space and… More >>
  • BEST VENUE FOR LOCAL MUSIC ACTS

    The Clubhouse Music Venue - CLOSED

    In addition to being one of the few all-ages rock clubs in town, The Clubhouse has the distinction of hosting some of the hottest bands in the PHX on a regular basis — Authority Zero, Casket Life, Greeley Estates, The Format, The Heartless, and The Earps have all played that stage, many as opening acts for national performers. And the… More >>
  • BEST C&W NIGHTSPOT

    Arizona Joe's

    Located at a dusty intersection just off the Old West Highway (natch), Arizona Joe's is a rollicking roadhouse where you can do some serious hootin' and a-hollerin' any night of the week. Country is king here, as an array of cowboy hats is stapled above the bar and the walls are lined with plenty of Western art and NASCAR memorabilia.… More >>
  • BEST CLUB FOR BLUES

    The Rhythm Room

    Rhythm Room owner Bob Corritore isn't about to relinquish his title as "Mr. Phoenix Blues" just yet. While his club has been booking more rock acts in the past few years, he still manages to host every hot blues show in town, from the legendary (Joe Louis Walker, Mem Shannon, Sonny Rhodes) to the new guard (Black Diamond Heavies, Wayne… More >>
  • BEST CLUB FOR NEW BLUES AND ROCKABILLY

    The Blooze

    Situated in a strip mall on the northeast side, The Blooze may not look like much, but once you walk in and get a feel for the place, you appreciate the kicked-back atmosphere. On weekends, local blues and rockabilly bands like Jailhouse Poets, The Dynoglides, Maricopa County Prison Band, and Shadowcasters set up on the modest stage and rock the… More >>
  • BEST EMERGING INDIE MUSIC CLUB

    Ruby Room

    The same scrubs behind the defunct Emerald Lounge are trying to make a go of it with their recent purchase of this downtown bar. It's a slippery game they're playing — trying to be all shadowy and underground and indie, without forcing it. Authenticity cannot be faked, but the Ruby Roomers must be doing something right because their club is… More >>
  • BEST NEW MUSIC SERIES

    Mesa Arts Center's Sound in the Ground

    It takes more than a glitzy exterior for a venue to be fly. It's what's inside that counts. That's why the stunning Mesa Arts Center, arguably one of the most stylish arts spots in the Southwest, places a premium on programming happening events like Sound in the Ground. The bimonthly Thursday-evening series plugs the opening of exhibits in the Mesa… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO CATCH LOCAL MUSIC SCENE LEGENDS

    Club Mardi Gras & VooDoo Lounge - CLOSED

    While Long Wong's may have gone to the great music scene in the sky after getting the bulldozer treatment a few years back, the spirit of the legendary Tempe rock 'n' roll bar lives on at Club Mardi Gras & VooDoo Lounge. Hang out at this raucous roadhouse in south Scottsdale and it'll feel like you've been transported back to… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO CATCH LOCAL MUSIC SCENE NEWBIES

    Trunk Space

    Your newest band just spent the past few weeks in mom and dad's garage rehearsing like crazy — and making the folks equally so — and now a location is needed to unleash your indie efforts upon the world (and we don't mean a street corner during First Fridays). Unfortunately, until you've got more of a refined sound and serious… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO CATCH NEW LOCAL HIP-HOP ACTS

    The "RapStock" series - CLOSED

    Dubbing itself "Arizona's Underground Hip-Hop Movement," Southwest RapStock is the brainchild of Sassy, a west-side promoter and vice president of local label Topp Notch Records. The monthly RapStock event is the culmination of Topp Notch's weekly "Hip-Hop Thursdays" event at J-heads, which packs dozens of Valley MCs onto the stage in a single night (always the first Thursday of the… More >>
  • BEST HIP-HOP NIGHT

    The Shop, Saturday nights at Hidden House

    DJ Al Page is P-town's impresario of hip-hop. Since starting The Shop back in 2001 because no one was playing the true hip-hop he wanted to hear, the funky pool hall — the Hidden House, at Seventh Avenue and Osborn Road — where it all goes down has become the place for outstanding underground and above-ground DJs to flex their… More >>
  • BEST MONDAY NIGHTLIFE

    A Foreign Affair at Bruno Mali's

    It's a fact of life in our overworked, career-driven climate that Mondays are usually not fun days. If the days of the week had to go to high school, Monday would be the socially inept kid with headgear and zits. But here in Phoenix, there's a killer little club that has given that day a new lease on life. At… More >>
  • BEST HUMP DAY SCENE

    Groove Candy at The Door

    If you happen to be a weekday worker, Wednesday nights usually mean dinner and TV at home. If you really want to punch it up, maybe you watch your latest Netflix and stay up past 10 p.m. Sexy.We recommend ditching your midweek rut to get funky. "Groove Candy" at the Door in Tempe has been going strong for over a… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO HUMP BLOWUP GODZILLA DOLLS

    A NunZilla show

    Valley punk band NunZilla knows how to bring out the party animal in people. At any given show — from gigs at Casa Blanca Lounge to the Zombie Ball performance at The Sets in Tempe to their early shows at Hollywood Alley in Mesa — the members of NunZilla encourage audiences to get hammered (Sister Kenyattasaurus Rex once poured her… More >>
  • BEST PUNK BAR

    J-Heads - CLOSED

    It's a small club, bands are always complaining about the crappy PA, drink specials are usually along the lines of 25-cent cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon, and your feet usually stick to the floor. Punk fucking rock. J-Heads (formerly known as Jugheads) has been a component of the Valley's punk rock scene for years. Members of another scene staple, the… More >>
  • BEST PUKE ROCKERS

    Vomitando

    Listening to Vomitando's unique "Metalachi" sound is quite the pleasurable experience, and something we have never quite heard before. Originally from Chihuahua, Mexico, and currently based in Mesa, the band, as described by frontman Puncho Villa, sounds like "Julio Iglesias and GWAR made love and gave birth to a five-headed child named Vomitando." Their current performance schedule is limited, especially… More >>
  • BEST BAND ON THE RUN

    The Free Street Band

    If you happen to miss the Free Street Band's sidewalk performances outside Carly's Bistro at Second Street and Roosevelt during First Friday in downtown Phoenix, don't worry. You can also catch the marching musical group at the corner of Garfield and Third Street, or McKinley and Fourth, or even... Well, you get the point. Like local rockers the MadCaPs, the… More >>
  • BEST BAND WHO USE MOM'S POTS AND PANS

    Tent/City

    When we were young, the sounds of mom's clinking pots and pans signaled chow time was coming right up. Those clanks never held any musical value. But maybe they should have.That's why we dig the creative mini-geniuses John Ryan Nelson, James Fella, Ashlea Hohm, Marla Thyer, and James Roemer of local sensation Tent/City, who incorporate objects such as saucepans and… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL BAND TO GET SOME NATIONAL RECOGNITION

    Psychostick

    How did the nation get hit over the head with humor-core metal band Psychostick? Was it because of the chicken-head hats and cow costumes? The smarmy back-and-forth banter with fans? The tours and shows with folks like Bobaflex, Indorphine, Army of Anyone, and Three Days Grace?Well, those things are all well and good, but the two things that really put… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO SEE AWESOME ROCK 'N' ROLL MEMORABILIA

    Alice Cooper'stown

    Phoenix's resident shock-rocker is a relic himself, so it's no surprise that a man who's spent more than 41 years recording and touring would accumulate enough rock memorabilia to fill the walls of his restaurant from floor to ceiling. Not only are several of Cooper's own platinum records displayed, but he's got shiny signed platters from dozens of other music… More >>
  • BEST STRIP CLUB

    The Hi-Liter

    The Hi-Liter is the "old reliable" of Valley flesh palaces. Largely, the eye-candy is young, friendly, and well worth ogling. The strippers tend not to be quite as aggressive when it comes to soliciting lap dances as in other spots. A delightful song-length dalliance (uh, with your clothes on, of course) will cost you only $10, and almost any tip… More >>
  • BEST HALF-ASSED PARTY

    Lunar Party and Calendar Release

    Never has a little butt-crack been so sexy. Seriously. You'll literally see what we're talking about when you check out a Lunar Party at Half Moon Sports Grill. Once a month, women of all ages compete for the distinction of being a calendar girl of the month, which grants winning contestants a complimentary professional sports photography shoot and wall space… More >>
  • BEST PIT STOP TO SEE BIKINI BABES

    Cherry Lounge & Pit

    Tempe's newest swanky dance club places a premium on a Scottsdale-slick ambiance, sexy red lighting, cherry-infused libations and bikini babes. Yep, you heard it right, bikini gals who slide and grind on a pole inside of a cage. Drool. The space dedicates 3,000 square feet to loungy areas where patrons can ogle beautiful women and 7,000 square feet for booty-shaking,… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO MINGLE WITH WNBA PLAYERS

    Majerle's

    This sports bar, established by former Phoenix Sun Dan Majerle, has a prime spot across the street from U.S. Airways Center, making it the perfect postgame drinking hole for basketball fans and players alike. And while a handful of NBA players have made appearances there, it's the WNBA ballers — particularly our Phoenix Mercury — who make a regular habit… More >>
  • BEST PLACE FOR A SCOTCH AND A BASEBALL GAME

    The Club Lounge

    We've always liked the cozy, dark richness of the Club Lounge at Phoenix's grandest hotel. But it's only now, with the state's smoking ban in full effect, that cigars are strictly verboten and we find ourselves loving the place. With its big TVs turned to the big game and a clientele that includes the kind of guys who might be… More >>
  • BEST SPORTS BAR, WEST VALLEY

    Marc's Sports Grill & Nightlife

    The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat come in many forms at this West Valley drinking spot. Throngs of sports nuts gather around the 25 different televisions to witness all manner of games and events, from die-hard football fanatics checking out every single NFL contest going down on any given Sunday to motorheads cheering on their NASCAR heroes… More >>
  • BEST SPORTS BAR, CENTRAL PHOENIX

    Half Moon Sports Grill

    Despite the butt-cleavage theme, Half Moon Sports Grill is swankish enough to draw plenty of chicks, which, of course, makes for the best kind of sports bar there is: one where you might actually hook up during halftime. The grub, too, is not an afterthought. Half Moon boasts some of the best chicken wings in the Valley, for instance. In… More >>
  • BEST SPORTS BAR, SOUTHEAST VALLEY

    Jilly's American Grill - CLOSED

    We dig sports bars with options, and Jilly's is our fave gathering spot for sports freaks, business professionals, and young bucks wanting to shake it all out. The casual establishment boasts plush booths, a spacious dance floor that fills up on weekend nights, and righteous American food offerings, such as Bayou Shrimp appetizers, Lone Star Meatloaf and the Coyote Burger,… More >>
  • BEST SPORTS BAR, TEMPE

    Philly's Sports Bar and Grill

    Although the Cards defected to the west side last year, we're still about filling our bellies with pub grub and suds at any number of Tempe watering holes with a sports bar aesthetic. Philly's gives us the perfect excuse, even on non-game days, to satisfy our greedy guts. The sports bar/restaurant carries all of the satellite sports packages, including Direct… More >>
  • BEST SPORTS BAR, SCOTTSDALE

    Duke's Sports Bar & Grille

    You ever feel like there's so much sports action during the weekend that you'd need six or seven televisions just to keep tabs on everything? Us, too. But instead of maxing out our MasterCard buying half a dozen boob tubes, we head to this south Scottsdale sports mecca to peep all the highlights in comfort. It's hard to miss anything… More >>
  • BEST STARGAZING

    The Phoenician Resort

    Some great views are, shall we say, partial. The city at night can resemble jewels in Tiffany's window from any old dump that's high up, but what about breathtaking vistas by day? Lovely mountains may beckon at the horizon, but if you look down and see salvage yards, retail chains, traffic jams, fraternity boys, and other evidence of human suffering,… More >>
  • BEST LATE-NIGHT HAND JOBS

    Puppet Slam at The Great Arizona Puppet Theater

    God bless Great Arizona Puppet Theater. God bless them, we say! Not every arts group respects the intelligence and imagination of our children, perpetuating a low-tech, time-honored performance tradition, yadda yadda yadda, while also embracing the goofy child inside the crude, boozy adult audience. (Okay, not very far inside.) Every now and then, GAPT hosts a Puppet Slam for adults,… More >>
  • BEST AFTER-HOURS

    Faux Show at Glam

    Phoenix is definitely coming into its own, but after 2 a.m. we're usually faced with the cold, hard fact that we're still not quite a "real" big city. After last call, pretty much everything's locked up, and "after hours" means Denny's or someone's house.But at least every Friday night, you can count on Faux Show and resident DJ Jared Alan… More >>
  • BEST PLACE FOR A SECOND CHANCE

    Hollywood Alley - CLOSED

    It's 8 a.m. on a Saturday. You're coming off a night of multiple nightclubs, sweaty dancing, drinks galore, and after-parties lasting 'til well after sunrise. You feel like hell and you look it, too. The belly of booze is gone, the hangover is starting to kick in and, man, you are starving! Not to mention, you're feeling pretty hard-up because… More >>
  • BEST TOAST TO THE FUTURE

    Sonora Brewhouse

    We don't know about you, dude, but we could use a drink. It's not just that we've come to the end — finally — of the 2007 Best of Phoenix ®. It's that our city is exhausted. We've all heard (and used) the clichés, but seriously, this place is a war zone. We know, we know. Someday we'll all look… More >>
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