The Royale is a straightforward dive, good for long nights (or a lost weekend) of casual drinking. Cruise south on 16th Street past Thomas Road, look for its iconic red neon “Cocktails” sign, and head inside to revel in the dingy, no-frills splendor that’s been keeping people coming by for decades. The libations come cheap ($2.75 pints at happy hour, $1 Jell-O shots in 14 flavors anytime), there’s pool and pinball, and regulars are welcoming and eager to bend your ear or lend you smokes. Greasy eats like egg rolls, chicken nuggets, and toaster-oven pizzas can be had for a few bucks, if you need something to soak up excess alcohol. A remodel in recent years may have ditched the lounge’s infamously threadbare carpeting and duct-taped stools, but the wood-paneled walls, scuffed tabletops, and janky men’s room (complete with vintage condom machine) stuck around. Ditto for its come-as-you-are atmosphere as one of Phoenix’s friendliest dives.
2310 N. 16th St., Phoenix, 85006