Doc & Eddy's Sports Bar
Trivia nights at bars are opportunities to prove to your friends that you're good at one of two things: drinking or trivia. Doc & Eddy's offers the chance to do both in fine fashion. Thursday nights at Doc & Eddy's is like Jeopardy! for drunks, complete with a pushy host who doesn't hesitate to toss contestants out for looking up answers on their cell phones. The beer is cheap, but if you win at trivia it doesn't matter, because you get a $50 bar tab, which is more than enough to successfully get your drink on during the thirstiest of Thursdays.
Robbie Fox's Public House
It's relatively new, but Robbie Fox's is already a classic. Stepping in, we'd swear we were still on that semester abroad program — funny, the pubs in Ireland, England, and Scotland were filled with obnoxious American students, too. The ambiance is just the same, save the smell of cigarette smoke, and when the lights came on at 2 a.m., both the crowd and the place looked authentically wrung-out, just the way we like our pub-crawling.
J.T.'s Bar & Grill
You don't have to be fan of the Sooner State to love JT's Bar & Grill — but a little affection for Oklahoma certainly helps. There's OU paraphernalia everywhere — and, on one wall, an album cover from Rodgers & Hammerstein's Oklahoma! But even if you couldn't care less about Okies, we guarantee you'll love JT's, simply because this tiny Arcadia watering hole is a true original. There's classic rock and country on the jukebox, Christmas lights twinkling on the ceiling, and a friendly neighborhood vibe. And did we mention the food? The cook whips up simple pub grub behind the bar, and — like everything about this great little spot — it's surprisingly, unusually good.

Best Neighborhood Bar, Downtown Phoenix

SideBar

SideBar
It's been just shy of two years since this cool downtown Phoenix lounge opened, yet we can't remember what our lives were like before we had such a comfy, warmhearted spot to stop for a drink. SideBar owner Josh Parry wanted to create a landmark cocktail lounge that's both a hot neighborhood gathering place and a cozy everyone-knows-your-name throwback to clubs of yesteryear. He's done it!Did we mention the cocktail menu? Smashing. We love the White Rabbit, an update on the Horchata martini that's at the top of our list of faves. SideBar's muddled drinks are made with fresh, homegrown ingredients, so we make sure to get there early to order one (or three!), because once the fresh stuff's gone, it's gone.
Mother's Bar & Grill
The ceilings are low, the floors are dusty, the patio is littered with cigarette butts, and there are only four beers are on tap. Suffice it to say this ramshackle roadhouse located along a lonely stretch of Buckeye Road is the kinda place only a mother could love.It's not without its charms, however, as kitsch and character are in abundance in the form of the vintage RC Cola cooler behind the bar or the antique beer signs sharing wall space with photos of John Wayne and former Arizona Governor Rose Mofford. Equally quaint and colorful is the clientele of neighborhood folk, warehouse workers, and other hardscrabble imbibers who've been partaking in the place since it opened in 1972. They're a quirky bunch (one gentleman prefers his brews served over ice in a tall plastic cup mixed with Tapatio hot sauce and salt), and they've left their mark over the years in the form of autographed dollar bills stapled to the ceiling. They don't complain much, however, as a sign nailed to the wall requests "No Sniveling" from patrons.
Steel Horse Saloon
As much as we're fans of comedian Ed Helms, our blood kinda boiled years ago when the co-star of TV's The Office cracked on one of our favorite Valley bars. See, in 2004, the bespectacled actor visited this notorious biker bar while reporting for The Daily Show about a then-merely-proposed Arizona law permitting guns to be carried in drinking establishments. Helms insulted the manhood of Steel Horse's Harley-loving patrons and staff during the segment, getting himself run off the property in humorous fashion. Though it was just a comedy bit, the fact that the proprietors were willing to get joshed on basic cable is just one reason to love the place. Here's another: Major drink discounts are on tap nearly every evening, ranging from $1 PBRs on Thursdays to $1.50 you-call-its on weekends. Rockabilly faves Pat Roberts and the Heymakers also have a monthly gig here, and pool games are only 50 cents. Plus, board game night is held on Mondays, enabling the amusing chance of playing Battleship or Candy Land against some tough-looking easy rider. Make sure to lose, lest you wanna get 86'd like Ed.
Sevens Lounge
Exit 7 is a laid-back neighborhood bar that draws a motley crowd, has a weekend DJ that spins a variety of music, including old-school rock and hip-hop, and offers the best drink specials ever. We're talking 50-cent Coronas on Thursdays and $1 drinks on Friday and Saturday until 11 p.m. with a $7 cover for guys and $5 for the ladies. On Saturday, it's $7 for everyone. Bring your friends for a little dancing, a little drinking, and a whole lot of craziness. You can even do a little dart-flinging or cue up your balls at the bar's pool tables.
Buffalo Wings & Rings
Yes, this place has wings (chicken) and rings (onion) but the beer is the real draw here. Unlike most Southeast Valley bars content to offer Miller, Coors, and Bud, BWR always brings in something we've never tried before — we could drop names, but they'd surely be obsolete well before this went to print. The bartenders are as knowledgeable and friendly as you'll find anywhere in town and really seem to want to pair you with a beer you'll love. On top of that, the atmosphere is wonderful, with a nice assortment of regulars and just enough TVs to offer a distraction if you want one, but not so many that you're overwhelmed if you're not. Trust us, that is a fine line to walk.
Boulders on Broadway
Tempe's Boulders on Broadway feels like a ski lodge in the summer: floored with brick, walled with wood, and packed with mountain bikes from neighborhood drinkers who've pedaled to the bar to enjoy the atmosphere. The hulking two-story structure has plenty of room for everyone, but most of the action happens in the small-ish bar area, which tends to fill up and feel intimate. The pub draws a diverse clientele — it seems like the sort of place students might run into their professors — and there's usually a game on, though the place doesn't feel like a sports bar. The drink selection is great, the service is stellar, and there always seems to be someone interesting to talk to if you're in the mood to mingle. If there's something else you're looking for in a great neighborhood bar, you're pickier than we are.
TT Roadhouse
Lauren Cusimano
TT Roadhouse likes to present itself as a quasi-biker bar, but it's far from it. Actually, despite the posturing (this is Scottsdale, after all), it has more the feel of a British pub than anything. Dimly lit, lined with heavy wood, and staffed by bartenders who are wary of folks they don't know, it's everything a neighborhood bar should be. TT has pool, darts, and a solid jukebox, but the conversation you'll find bellied up to the cramped but comfortable bar is the real draw. TT's been hipstering it up with DJs lately — and though we like whom they've got spinning, we still prefer it quiet and without a line for drinks.

Best Of Phoenix®

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