Now that you’ve tackled downtown Phoenix's best bars and nightlife spots with that newly horizontal driver’s licence, you might be ready for the big leagues — like Tempe or even Mill Avenue. From one 21-year-old to another, here's your guide.
Casey Moore's Oyster House
850 South Ash Avenue, Tempe
Considered the cool kids' hangout in Tempe, this Irish bar is a mainstay for good reason. Casey's offers good music, local beer, and a huge outdoor patio that's often packed. Perfect for a pregame or a laid back round of beers with your friends, this hotspot also offers a variety of snacks, ranging from chicken fingers to escargot. Don't miss the killer happy hour specials, and if you get the opportunity to pee on the Blarney Stone, you might wanna take it. Your call.
640 South Mill Avenue, #110, Tempe
Home of the beergarita and scantily clad servers dancing with bottles of tequila and fireball, El Hefe is a Mill Avenue hot spot. It’s always fun and always blaring great music, which is partly why it's a go-to party destination for college students. Fair warning: The line to get in tends to get longer as the night goes on, so it doesn't hurt to show up a little early. Unfortunately, there's no happy hour during the weekend, but who are we to judge if you wanna have a little fun on a school night? El Hefe offers 20- to 32-ounce margaritas. Do what you will with that information.
15 East Sixth Street, #101, Tempe
CASA is a must if you're looking to have the quintessential Tempe night out. This Mill staple is favorite of college kids and clubgoers alike. Both a nightclub and a patio bar, CASA turns up with a mix of Top 40 hits and club mixes every weekend. To get the most bang for your buck, get yourself an infamous CASA bucket.
Dierks Bentley Whiskey Row
640 South Mill Avenue, #120, Tempe
Even if you aren’t a country music fan, this is still a fun stop on Mill. Whiskey Row is like El Hefe, if El Hefe were country. (Both spots are owned by Riot Hospitality Group.) Here, you'll find bartenders dancing to a decidedly twangy soundtrack. Get into the Southern spirit with a cowboy hat and boots, and you'll fit right in.
26 East University Drive
Part backyard hangout, part bar, Shady Park is the perfect for those who love a laid-back place to hang out and catch a game, kick back with a beer, or catch a concert. Bonus: There are two on-site restaurants offering everything from pizza and wings to sushi and ramen.
Yucca Tap Room
29 West Southern Avenue Tempe
Yucca is the perfect place to grab a beer and see an up-and-coming local band. This Tempe bar and club has been a mainstay since the early 1970s. And hey, even if you aren't into the music, you can still enjoy the variety of 29 craft beers. Best part? There is never — ever — a cover. The Tap Room also offers billiards and screens sporting events.
Four Peaks Brewing Company
1340 East Eighth Street, #104, Tempe
Looking for more craft beer? Four Peaks Brewing Company is going to be your new favorite place to drink. There are so many beers on tap that you won't know where to begin. And the best part's that they're all brewed in Arizona for the local-obsessed millennial. This versatile pub is great for watching sports, kicking off your night out, and recouping with the inevitable hangover brunch the next morning.
Culinary Dropout at The Yard
149 South Farmer Avenue, Tempe
The Yard is basically a giant playground with alcohol. This Farmer Avenue establishment offers backyard-style games like ping-pong, cornhole, and shuffleboard, and serves as the perfect place to kick off a night out in Tempe with a large group of friends. We recommend trying your luck with the Brown Bag special, which includes a mystery beer with a random shot that you pick out of a bucket. It's a fun kind of roulette — until you pick out a spiced rum shot.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.