10 Best Country Bars in Metro Phoenix

The staff at Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row in Tempe.EXPAND
The staff at Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row in Tempe.
Benjamin Leatherman

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 Lamas and 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. There are also a few nightclub-style joints around the Valley, like the Whiskey Row joints in Scottsdale and Tempe that are owned by homegrown country star Dierks Bentley.  

You'll find both in our list of the 10 best country bars in the Valley, which includes several 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, as well as a few of the more new-fangled spots.

The Silver Pony in south Phoenix.EXPAND
The Silver Pony in south Phoenix.
Benjamin Leatherman

10. 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. CHRIS HANSEN ORF

Local musicians perform at Jus' Country in Glendale.
Local musicians perform at Jus' Country in Glendale.
Courtesy photo

9. Jus’ Country

A quick glance at the name of this stripmall honky-tonk in Glendale spells out what it brings to the West Valley: country music, and lots of it. Live performances are offered Thursdays through Saturdays, featuring such favorites from the local country scene as Western Fusion, Marble Heart, and the John Eric Band. Cowboy-style ephemera and down-home décor add charm to the spot. Weekend nights are generally the most packed, with cowpokes in tight jeans and 10-gallon hats filling the dance floor and crowding around the bar. That doesn’t slow down the speedy drink-slingers, who are eager to dish on their nightly specials and refill your glass. If it gets hot inside, there’s also a non-smoking patio where patrons can relax. BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN

The quaint and quirky exterior of Roman's Oasis in Goodyear.
The quaint and quirky exterior of Roman's Oasis in Goodyear.
Google Maps

8. Roman's Oasis

With a tin-roofed shack festooned with wagon wheels, 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. CHO

Rustler's Rooste towers over other local country spots.
Rustler's Rooste towers over other local country spots.
Matt Malone

7. 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, and listen to the live country music with an unrivaled view of the twinkling lights of civilization below. CHO

The exterior of Bourbon Jack's in Chandler.
The exterior of Bourbon Jack's in Chandler.
Google Maps

6. Bourbon Jack’s

There’s loads of historic charm to this country-friendly Chandler joint that extends beyond the collection of vintage pictures and décor lining the walls. The spot is situated in the circa-1918 Arrow Pharmacy building, which dates back to the days when many folks in the then-bucolic suburb rode horses to get around. (These days, however, you're more like to see folks riding up to Bourbon Jack’s on their steel steeds rather than the four-legged variety.) And if you stop by on any of the four nights it features live music and you might hear any of the local bands that frequent the place, you might hear ‘em performing a song or two by such old-school country kings like Hank Williams. BL
 

The outdoor stage at San Tan Flat in Queen Creek.EXPAND
The outdoor stage at San Tan Flat in Queen Creek.

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. CHO

Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row offers country comforts aplently.
Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row offers country comforts aplently.
Courtesy of Riot Hospitality Group

4. Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row

Dierks Bentley’s namesake nightclubs in Scottsdale and Tempe were designed with the country party crowd in mind, but you city slickers are welcome, too. If you’re eager to “tip it on back” like Bentley suggests in the song of the same name, there are six themed boilermakers (including "Redneck Mouthwash" and "Working Class Hero”) a dozen specialty concoctions, a chalkboard menu of crafts and imports, and several tabletop taps with liquor and beer. Local and touring country bands regularly perform at both joints, and DJs regularly spin on weekends. In short, Whiskey Row gallops ahead of most other other local honky tonks by a country mile.

Norton's Country Corner: worth the drive out to Queen Creek.
Norton's Country Corner: worth the drive out to Queen Creek.
Jason P. Woodbury

Upcoming Events

3. 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.

One of the best country spots in the "West's Most Western Town."EXPAND
One of the best country spots in the "West's Most Western Town."
Benjamin Leatherman

2. 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. CHO

Handlebar J at sunset.
Handlebar J at sunset.
Courtesy photo

1. 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. CHO

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Related Locations

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Roman's Oasis

16825 W. Yuma Rd.
Goodyear, AZ 85338

623-932-0922

romansoasis.com

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Rusty Spur Saloon

7245 E. Main St.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

480-425-7787

www.rustyspursaloon.com

miles
The Silver Pony

620 W. Dobbins Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85041

602-268-1318

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 Rd.
Queen Creek, AZ 85142

480-882-1231

miles
Handlebar-J

7116 E. Becker Lane
Scottsdale, AZ 85254

480-948-0110

www.handlebarj.com

miles
Buffalo Chip Saloon

6811 E. Cave Creek Rd.
Cave Creek, AZ 85331

480-488-9118

www.buffalochipsaloon.com

miles
Jus' Country
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Bourbon Jack's

11 W. Boston St.
Chandler, AZ 85225

480-664-1738

www.bourbonjacksaz.com

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Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row

4420 N. Saddlebag Trail
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

480-945-4200

www.dierkswhiskeyrow.com

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Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row

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