16 Favorite Places in Metro Phoenix to Eat at the Bar

The bar at Windsor
The bar at Windsor
Buchanan

Restaurant bars stopped being strictly bars years ago. Nowadays, many people consider them the best seats in the house for a casual dinner that doesn't require reservations, waiting, or a deep reservoir of patience. Because most of them operate on a first-come, first-served basis, customers are free to grab a stool and get the party started -- no pomp, no circumstance, and just a linen napkin to serve as a place mat.

See also: -- Summer Mixology Classed with Travis Nass at the Last Drop Bar, Starting May 19 -- Top Ten "Reviews" of Amy's Baking Company on Yelp

Here are 16 great places to belly up to the bar for a full-blown meal.

The bar at Federal Pizza
The bar at Federal Pizza
Buchanan

Windsor/Postino Central/Federal Pizza If you're smack in the middle of DeMarco/Baileyworld on Central Avenue just north of Camelback, you're sitting pretty when it comes to finding a great dining bar. In fact, nine times out of 10, it's the absolute best way to go, given the crowds and sometimes lengthy waits at all three places (45 minutes to an hour at Federal on the weekends). You may have to hover a bit, but keeping a sharp eye and snagging a seat within minutes means you're already well into carpe diem before the poor slobs with their names on a list have even been seated. So take your pick: Will it be loaded chips and bahn mi at Windsor, bruschetta and panini at Postino, or a pizza at Federal?

Binkley's intimate little bar
Binkley's intimate little bar
Courtesy of Brandon Gauthier

Binkley's Restaurant I know, I know. It's a special-occasion restaurant with a decidedly romantic ambiance. So why on earth would I recommend you slum it by sitting at the bar at Binkley's? Because there is no slumming it (not really) at Binkley's, and this is a great way to make a somewhat formal experience more fun. Park your butt at the right end of the bar and you'll be able to watch the food coming out of the kitchen (it's a great way to make decisions about what you want to eat), and if you're lucky, chef-owner Kevin Binkley will pop his head out of the kitchen to describe an ingredient personally or make a suggestion or two.



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