Some of our favorite bars are just that – bars. And all too often, before we head out for a drink, we don't have time to fill up our stomachs. Good thing there are bars and taprooms across the Valley that allow patrons to bring in outside food.
It’s also on the level, according to Johnny Diloné, public information officer for Maricopa County’s Environmental Services Department. “It’s just like you ordering food from any restaurant and having it being delivered to your home,” he says. “There would not be a need for regulating such a thing.” Diloné says food permits aren’t required for food in bars because they they’re not the ones preparing it, and “it seems like in most cases, people are ordering it from a permanent establishment” or just bringing a snack from home. “What they’re doing is just to make it easier for their customers,” he says.
With that, grab some takeout menus or call for delivery at these 11 bring-your-own-food bars in metro Phoenix.
1502 Grand Avenue
This charming Polynesian stop is a staple of the Grand Avenue Arts District. Open since 1947, the tiki-themed Bikini Lounge has booths, high-tops, and a pool table to accompany its cash-only bar, where patrons are allowed to enjoy outside food. “We do allow people to bring in food, especially if they share,” says owner Matt Tomb in an e-mail. The Bikini is also known for some raucous DJ nights, which may be a good way to work off that sub you just destroyed at the bar.
Cobra Arcade Bar
801 North Second Street, #100
A more recent addition to downtown Phoenix, Cobra Arcade Bar opened in January 2016, and currently features 40 vintage arcade games, 14 beers on tap, and several arcade-themed cocktails like Dirk the Daring and Princess Peach. Customers are allowed to bring in their own food, especially from the food trucks and carts set up outside Thursday through Sunday. Food trucks include Short Leash Hot Dogs (the physical location is also close by) and many more rotating each week.
315 South Alma School Road, Mesa
Since 1969, Kay's Place has graced its Mesa neighborhood with beers on tap, pool tables, a busy jukebox, and the "Wall of $2 Cans." Kay’s also features its "Mesa-Style" happy hour – running weekdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The bar also allows outside food at their many high-tops and at the bar. Surrounding restaurants include Taquitos Jalisco Mexican Food and Los Dos Molinos.
3110 North Central Avenue, #125
You can’t enjoy RuPaul's Drag Race on Monday evening with just beer and/or cocktails alone. Good thing, then, that you can bring your own snacks for the weekly viewing of RPDR at Kobalt in Park Central. This lively gay bar also features its own popcorn machine and offers pizza for special occasions. Enjoy a quick snack or dinner before other events like karaoke, trivia, and live drag shows.
423 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
Have you ever enjoyed takeout under a mural of Freddie Mercury? Well, you can at the Rogue Bar in south Scottsdale – where you may have previously caught a punk, rock, or open-mic show. The cash-only Rogue Bar is open daily from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m., meaning it’s open season for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Pair Rogue Bar drinks and specials like the PBR+Brown Bag and Tha Blue Dolphin with whatever your heart desires at one of the booths, high-tops, or the bar top adorned in classic show flyers of Phoenix’s punk past.
Roman's County Line
10540 West Indian School Road, #8
Line dancing can work up a hunger, so it’s a good thing Roman’s County Line allows patrons to bring in their own food before – or during – getting down. Set in the Villa de Paz neighborhood in the West Valley, Roman's is a popular country-and-western dance hall, and ideal spot for wetting one's whistle. Nearby eateries include Wong's Restaurant, Ramiro's Mexican Food, Brother's Pizza, and a slew of fast-food places.
Shady's Fine Ales and Cocktails
2701 East Indian School Road
If your top 10 joys in life include good music, beer, and food, then Shady’s Fine Ales and Cocktails may be, or probably already is, the place for you. This central Phoenix bar is spotted by its illuminated, ska-themed sign against Indian School Road, and offers a full bar, craft beers on tap and ice, and tunes from the Specials, Big Audio Dynamite, and Madness. The eating part is up to you, and Shady's allows outside food and drink. Nearby spots include China Village, Manuel’s Mexican Restaurant & Cantina, and a few fast-food joints.
Taste of Tops
403 West University Drive, Tempe
Neighboring the well-known Tops Liquors in downtown Tempe, Taste of Tops is a seriously cozy bar and wine place known for its craft-beer selection, comfortable seating, and weekly airings of Sunday-night TV dramas. You can also BYOF. “We used to only allow from Tessio’s or Thai Basil," says manager Kirsten Eccles. “Now, you can bring food from wherever.” Tessio’s Pizza is long closed, but Thai Basil is still next door, while other nearby places include Dilly's Deli, Little Szechuan, and Loving Hut Tempe.
Time Out Lounge
3129 South Mill Avenue, Tempe
Pinball, darts, 50-cent pool, and plenty of unique local and touring bands create the atmosphere of Time Out Lounge – found within the Huntington Square Shopping Center in Tempe. You can also pair your beer or cocktail with a little lunch or dinner, as the Time Out allows outside food at its booths, high-tops, and lengthy bar top. Menus for Zesty Zzeeks Pizza and Wings, Culver’s, and TC Tacos are at the bar, and Venezia's Pizzeria will deliver.
6322 West Bell Road, Glendale
Found in the Bell Tower Plaza in Glendale, Willy's Bar is a neighborhood bar and hangout in the North Valley that allows patrons to bring in outside food to enjoy on the slick marble bar top – as long you don’t mind eating in the dark. Nearby eateries include Sushi Catcher, Caramba Fresh Mexican Food, Il Primo Pizza & Wings, and a plethora of fast-food and chain joints. Post-dinner activities include darts, karaoke, and, of course, drinking.
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Wren House Brewing Company
2125 North 24th Street
A central Phoenix brewery and bar, the Wren House Brewing Company is known for “finely crafted beer with Arizona roots,” including the Bolo Tie Rye, Hi Jolly, and Wren House IPA – which happens to pair well with most food. “La Santisima [Gourmet Taco Shop] and Lou Malnati's are a couple of favorites,” says Wren House’s Drew Pool in an e-mail. “Lou Malnati's even delivers to our taproom!”