Yard House
Courtesy of Yard House
Yes, this is a chain eatery, but hear us out: The Yard House, located in Westgate City Center, is the shiz. For one, due to its killer proximity to University of Phoenix Stadium and Jobing.com Arena, the place goes off pre- and post-game, whether it's for the Cards, 'Yotes, or the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. Plus the food — which isn't just a plate full of microwaved mess — rocks, especially the organic tomato bisque soup and the seared ahi steak sandwich.
Crabby Don's
This rough-around-the-edges spot in a ubiquitous Gilbert strip mall near Val Vista Drive may turn off clean-cut suburbanites. But those who are willing to branch out can definitely enjoy this place that seems to attract folks who like sports, fried food, and metal (live bands play on the weekends). Along with a full menu, including burgers that are off the chain, Crabby's offers some craft beers as well as all sorts of hard liquor, all of which can be enjoyed while watching the big game on the tube. Happy hour goes off each day from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Brick and Barley (formerly Baseline Sports Bar)
It takes more than a few cool TVs to make a sports bar awesome, which is something the folks at the Baseline Sports Bar in Tempe seem to understand more than most. Sure, the bar has enough TVs to satisfy your average tech geek, but it's the food and beer that make the Baseline Sports Bar stand out. We recommend the AJ's quesadilla — not your standard quesadilla, and made with enough garlic in it to keep Dracula at bay.
American Junkie
This bar that behaves like a nightclub during certain evenings isn't exactly the prototypical sports hang. (For example, it's not unusual to see a blond vixen in platforms drinking a blowjob shot at the circular bar.) But even when it's all Scottsdaled out, the atmosphere provides an interesting backdrop to watching sports on one of the venue's flat-screens.And when spring training is in full swing, the spacious patio is a sweet place to hang before walking the mile to Scottsdale Stadium to catch the San Francisco Giants.
There's felt as far as the eye can see at BullShooters, as this pool hall is in a building the size of a Walgreens and contains 42 tables. That isn't the only way in which it towers over the competition. Twenty-six TVs are mounted throughout, there are 12 electronic dartboards on the premises, and a full bar and kitchen has 11 drafts available. What about the pool? The tables are well maintained (no wobbling here) and there's nary a warped stick. Coin games go for 75 cents, with hourly rentals starting at $2 per person, per table on weekdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., with prices thereafter varying depending on the day. Get racking.
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.

Best Of Phoenix®

Best Of