Club Zarape
Don't try ordering an apple-tini here. It's a gay bar, but not that kind. No fancy drinks, electronica or twinky go-go boys. At Club Zarape, the standard swill is a can of Tecate beer with a lime wedge and salt packet on top. The place, which looks like the piñata aisle at Food City with all the colored paper and Christmas lights hanging from the ceiling, fills up on the weekends with norteño-style vaqueros who look like they are more ready to rope a steer than each other. But these men, and some leather-booted women, are here to dance the night away to salsa and rock en español and, of course, norteño, vaquero cowboy music. Big belt buckle to big belt buckle. Gaycowboycentral.com even lists the joint. Put on your boots and spurs and don't be surprised if you run into your tio or tata making the dance-floor rounds with a caballero named Miguel.
Cash Inn Country
It's not necessarily a cholo bar, but it may as well be with all the tank tops, spiky crew cuts and sagging-pantalones vaqueros at this joint. The Cash Inn is one of the best va-queer-o/a friendly bars in town. It's country, but to be cool, you don't have to be. While some girls who like girls can be spotted two-stepping in a little Saba's Western wear, others come dressed in their finest GAP or Buffalo Exchange haberdashery. The DJ spins a fun mix of Top 40, old school and country. The amazing thing is that the music is loud, but you can still carry on a conversation on and off the dance floor. No bar in the world has managed to accomplish that feat until now. The gals at the bar always make sure your designated driver gets extra cherries in his/her Diet Coke. And when all is said and done, if you aren't getting extra cherries at a fab lezzie hang-out . . . well, you know. But do Cash Inn on this one.
Sky Lounge
While the perpetual chaos of light-rail construction has snarled downtown Phoenix, you'll definitely want to brave the bulldozers and barricades choking Copper Square to get a heaping helping of Hispanic hotness and Latin luxury at the Sky Lounge.

This bilevel beat emporium is like a Baskin-Robbins of Latin dance music, with multiple flavors of sweet and sultry sounds blasting from both floors nearly every night of the week. Thursdays feature DJ Tsunami spinning the latest in Latin-laced hip-hop, pop, and dance. If you're more in the mood to shake your rump on Fridays, there's a dope doubleheader of salsa, merengue, and bachata on the ground floor, with pop and rock en español upstairs, as well as buxom, bikini-wearing go-go dancers throughout the joint.

Weekends bring reggaeton, R&B, and hip-hop on Saturdays, while Sundays offer DJs Kyko and Daffy. Be sure to bring some water, because you're sure to sweat up a storm.

Club Rain
Everything about Rain is cool. Whether it's the front door surrounded in electric-blue lighting, a pair of cerulean-colored bubble columns near the dance floor, monsoon-themed video projections on the walls, or a couple of twisted metal dance cages that shoot jets of fog every 15 minutes, this new Scottsdale nightspot in the Papago Plaza showers us with swank. In fact, the place seems like a complete departure in both style and substance from the former CBNC that used to occupy its space, and has been a hit with Hispanic hipsters on the weekends. While R&B dominates on Thursdays and the hip-hop flows on Friday night, Saturdays belong to the Latino crowd as turntablist DJ Duran will spin plenty of hits en español on the ones and twos, including cumbias, reggaeton, merengue, bachata, and salsa, while hundreds of barrio babes and boys who make up a majority of the crowd shake their rumps. The club has also presented a number of concerts by blockbuster Latino musicians, including Ely Guerra and Motel y Lu. So if you're rocking the bilingual vibe here in P-Town, your forecast might call for a little Rain.
Club Tropicana
This upscale nightclub caters to a mostly Latino/a clientele, but everyone's welcome. Formerly the Rockin' Horse Saloon, Club Tropicana is a complete departure from the biker/cowboy vibe of RHS. The music is mostly a mash-up of salsa and merengue, whether the tunes are coming from a live band like the Pan Americana Salsa & Merengue Orchestra, or DJs like Pooya, Roberto, and Shy. The club's busiest nights are Fridays and Saturdays, when lines wind down the street and the parking lot is packed with low-riders and caballeros. Newbies may be nervous about going in, but the atmosphere is friendly — someone is probably going to ask you to dance, and if you don't know how to dance, someone will probably teach you.
George & Dragon Pub
This ain't no Hyundai, baby. The Cadillac is a monstrous witch's brew that rivals a properly constructed Long Island iced tea for pure liver-pummeling power. It's also — quite shockingly — as good as or better than anything we've come across in the countless Mexican cantinas we've frequented over the years. And it's made by... the British? Except when it comes to giving up property — India, Northern Ireland — the English are a generous lot, and the barkeeps at this venerable Brit pub don't skimp on the Grand Marnier or the tequila (it's house, but you can upgrade for a pound or two). But beware: Combine the British munificence with the thing's sublime taste and you might end up kissin' some concrete by last call.
Z'Tejas Southwestern Grill
We used to sneer at those amateurs who insisted on making this tequila-and-lime confection take a pass through the blender. The best margaritas, we'd insist, are always on the rocks. Then we were introduced to the Sixth Street Margarita at the cavernous, comfortably dim Tempe franchise of this laid-back chain. Okay, so they're talking about the Sixth Street in Austin, not Tempe, but we don't care. Z'Tejas started in Texas, but is now headquartered in Scottsdale, and in any case, there's no topping the ice-smooth agave taste — and the wallop that leaves us no choice but to call a cab. And once we've decided not to drive, well, why not have another? Oh, hey, and make ours the one spiked with Chambord.
Mucho Gusto Taqueria & Mexican Bistro
As we began to see hibiscus pop up as a trendy ingredient in hot spots from San Francisco to New York City, we were reminded of where we saw it first: Mucho Gusto. This cute Tempe cafe has consistently great specialty margaritas, none of them better than one infused with hibiscus. We especially like it in the drink's frozen incarnation. The flower's tropical lushness is good on ice, but heaven in a blend.
Old Town Tortilla Factory
Sitting in the patio of this gorgeous old hacienda, surrounded by twinkling lights and leafy trees, feels something like visiting the home of an old friend with excellent taste — and a huge collection of premium tequilas. The restaurant's bar, or "margaritas tequileria," features 100 agave distillations, and trust us: We have yet to try one that doesn't go down with a blissful shudder. Not into shots? Try the margarita with herradura blanco. Now that's a kick.

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