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10 Best Country Bars in Metro Phoenix

Some bull-riding action at Country Thunder in Florence, not far from the spots on our 10 Best Country Bars in Metro Phoenix list.
Some bull-riding action at Country Thunder in Florence, not far from the spots on our 10 Best Country Bars in Metro Phoenix list.
William Westfall

Practically every Western film one can think of has at least one saloon scene, a place where the sound of honky-tonk piano creates the mood, where the town folk mix with the cowboys and ranchers, the gamblers and outlaws rub shoulders with the marshal and his deputies, and the mustachioed bartenders sling the whiskey shots and the draft beers. After all, a good saloon is the epicenter of a neighborhood, a small town or a big city, and the Valley -- a country town if there ever was one -- has a ton of good saloons to choose from when you want to get duded up in your Levi's, Tony Lama's, a Stetson, and pull up a bar stool for a longneck, kick up your heels for some boot-scootin,' or simply hang out, shoot some pool, and listen to a smokin' good country band.

Here are the 10 best country bars in the Valley, 10 rootin' tootin' spots where one might imagine John Wayne, if he weren't presently a ghost rider in the sky, dropping by for a brew after a day out on the range plugging the bad guys full of lead.

See also:

-Tucker Woodbury and Charlie Levy Bringing Country Joint The Western to Scottsdale

Roman's Oasis
Roman's Oasis
voiceplaces.com

10. Roman's Oasis

A tin-roofed shack festooned with wagon wheels and a huge white rooster standing sentry out front and a down-home interior decorated with NASCAR memorabilia, Roman's Oasis doesn't pretend to be anything other than a dive, but it is the best country dive in the West Valley. Try your hand at crooning country karaoke during the week or drop in for some boot-scootin' on the dance floor with the live bands that juke up the joint on the weekends. 16825 West Yuma Road, Goodyear, 623-932-0922

If that ain't country, you can kiss these horses' asses.
If that ain't country, you can kiss these horses' asses.
voiceplaces.com

9. Rusty Spur Saloon

Surrounded by the glitz and glamour of Old Town Scottsdale's tourist destinations, the Rusty Spur brings some sorely needed honky tonk authenticity to the "West's Most Western Town." Smaller than a horse stable and usually packed to the rafters with neighborhood regulars and out-of-towners who want to throw back a longneck in a real western saloon, the Rusty Spur is a favorite of local boy done good, country star Dierks Bentley, who has been known to drop in when visiting his old stomping grounds. 7245 E. Main St., Scottsdale, 480-425-7787

 

A typical scene at the Silver Pony.
A typical scene at the Silver Pony.
voiceplaces.com

8. The Silver Pony

A dyed-in-the-wool good ol' boy neighborhood dive, The Silver Pony is that rarest of beasts, a country joint that occasionally features live local original country music from the likes of honky-tonk twang faves Junction 10 in lieu of the live acts that play the usual Top 40 country covers in most of the Valley's other country bars. Drop in for the great live music, warble some karaoke in Spanish or English, do some two-steppin,' shoot some pool, or just hang out and down a few cheap ice cold brews. 620 W. Dobbins Road, 602-268-1318

Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill
Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill
voiceplaces.com

7. Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill

Sure, it's a chain restaurant concept with one of country music's biggest names on the sign out front, but it's also fun as hell, a spacious neo-saloon where all the contemporary country-loving cool kids hang out. With some of the best concert sound for any nightclub in the Valley, country music fans can catch such local bands acts as James Parks Band and A Boy Named Sioux, and Nashville touring acts Montgomery Gentry, Lee Brice, Kacey Musgraves, and Hunter Hayes, who've all graced the stage. And if you've never tried a fried bologna sandwich, this is the place to get one. 1065 N. Dobson Road, Mesa, 480-844-8629

 

10 Best Country Bars in Metro Phoenix
Rustler's Rooste

6. Rustler's Rooste

Nestled in the South Mountain buttes, Ruster's Rooste is the premier place to bring folks who want to experience an old-time Arizona steakhouse vibe. It's family-friendly, there's a tin slide for the little rascals to play on, and the general store inside has just enough cowboy kitsch to impress your Midwestern relatives who don't know a glass scorpion paperweight from shinola. Get duded up in your best western duds, order up a frosty longneck, listen to the live country music with an unrivaled view of the twinkling lights of civilization below. 8383 S. 48th St. 602-431-6474

San Tan Flat
San Tan Flat
voiceplaces.com

5. San Tan Flat

Wanna have a cowboy campout without having to rough it among irritated rattlers and pugnacious javalinas? San Tan Flat is always a hootenanny, with two-stepping and live country music provided by the likes of Tumbleweed Junction and Mike Easterday inside the compound, and out on the huge patio campfires surround a plethora of picnic tables perfect for setting up camp with the whole family and digging into such cowboy fare as burgers, steaks and barbecue chicken. 6185 W. Hunt Hwy, Queen Creek, 480-882-2995

 

Norton's Country Corner in Queen Creek: No place for country poseurs.
Norton's Country Corner in Queen Creek: No place for country poseurs.
Jason P. Woodbury

4. Norton's Country Corner

Roadhouse honky tonks don't get more authentic than this far-flung East Valley dive, a Hollywood location scout's dream come true for the perfect country and western bar. The jukebox is loaded with country music from back in the days when Waylon and Willie ruled the roost, the regulars look like they're cutting loose and whoopin' it up after a long day bustin' broncs on the ranch, and the live country music always gets 'em two-steppin' out on the bar's renowned dance floor. 20835 E. Ocotillo Road, Queen Creek, 480-882-1231

Yeeeeee-haw!
Yeeeeee-haw!
greasewoodflat.net

3. Greasewood Flat

No other live music country bar in the Valley vibes "outlaw hideout" better than Greasewood Flat, where badass bikers, grizzled cowboys, and even turista families all rub elbows out on a patio picnic area surrounded by greasewood bushes and shaded by large mesquite and eucalyptus trees. The 45-acre compound began life as a bunkhouse in the middle of the Sonoran Desert in the 1800s before becoming a restaurant and bar in the 1950s, and little about the rustic décor has changed since. Just as important as the surroundings are the real-life characters who regularly drop by to knock back a few cold ones and regale visitors within earshot of stories of the way the West used to be. 27375 N. Alma School Pkwy., Scottsdale, 480-585-9430

 

Country fans at Handlebar J in Scottsdale.
Country fans at Handlebar J in Scottsdale.
Lilia Menconi

2. Handlebar J

Known nationwide as the go-to country bar when visiting Scottsdale, this long-running joint owned by the legendary Herndon family (the Herndon Brothers, featuring the great Ray Herndon, regularly provide the live music) is the cream of the crop of urban Valley honky tonks. The Handlebar J has stuck to its old-school country roots and has always revered Valley honky-tonk history, so much so that the bar has recently introduced the "Back to Mr. Lucky's Night" (in honor of the greatest Arizona honky tonk of all time, the late Mr. Lucky's) featuring the granddaddy of all Arizona country and western singers, J. David Sloan. The Handlebar J. and the Herndon Brothers were inducted into the Arizona Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame back in 2007. 7116 E. Becker Lane, Scottsdale, 480-948-0110

Buffalo Chip Saloon
Buffalo Chip Saloon
voiceplaces.com

1. Buffalo Chip Saloon

If one were to imagine the perfect country and western joint, they might conjure up a rustic, out-of-the-way place with an Old West vibe that serves up cold longnecks and great inexpensive cowboy and Mexican fare, has a big old dance floor, and in the middle of it all is a kickin' country and western band providing the twang for some serious boot-scootin.' Luckily, we don't have to imagine the perfect country and western bar, because The Buffalo Chip Saloon in the wilds of Cave Creek is it. The Old West ambiance is so pure that one half-expects Marshal Dillon and Miss Kitty to belly up to the bar for a cold one, and there is actual professional bull riding on the grounds. But the real treat at the Buffalo Chip Saloon is listening and dancing to the Pat James Band, the best live country act in the Valley, playing old school, Haggard and Waylon-esque country music four nights a week. 6811 E. Cave Creek Road, Cave Creek, 480-488-9118

See also:

-Top 10 Hard Rock Venues in Phoenix -Our 10 Favorite Metro Phoenix Music Venues -Five Favorite Live Hip-Hop Venues in Metro Phoenix


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Related Locations

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Roman's Oasis

16825 W. Yuma Road
Goodyear, AZ 85338

623-932-0922

romansoasis.com

miles
Rusty Spur Saloon

7245 E. Main St.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

480-425-7787

www.rustyspursaloon.com

miles
The Silver Pony

620 W. Dobbins Road
Phoenix, AZ 85041

602-268-1318

miles
Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill - Closed

1065 N. Dobson Road
Mesa, AZ 85201

480-844-8629

www.tobysmesa.com

miles
Rustler's Rooste

8383 S. 48th St.
Ahwatukee, AZ 85044

602-431-6474

www.rustlersrooste.com

miles
San Tan Flat Saloon & Grill

6185 W. Hunt Highway
Queen Creek, AZ 85142

480-882-2995

www.santanflat.com

miles
Norton's Country Corner

20835 E. Ocotillo Road
Queen Creek, AZ 85142

480-882-1231

miles
Greasewood Flat

27375 N. Alma School Parkway
Scottsdale, AZ 85262

480-585-9430

www.greasewoodflat.net

miles
Handlebar-J

7116 E. Becker Lanene
Scottsdale, AZ 85254

480-948-0110

www.handlebarj.com

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Buffalo Chip Saloon

6811 E. Cave Creek Road
Cave Creek, AZ 85331

480-488-9118

www.buffalochipsaloon.com


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