The Spot: Joyride Taco House
5202 North Central Ave, Phoenix
The Hours: Happy hour runs Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 2 to 6 p.m. for selected drinks and food. Tuesday is Taco Tuesday from 2 p.m. to close.
Perfect for: Joyride Taco House in Phoenix (there's another location in Gilbert) is ideal for unwinding after an intense week of work or that girls' (or boys') night you've planned for months. Large groups will have a fun time hanging out inside or outside. There is no worry about making too much noise. The hipster vibe echoes with the eclectic music mix and the brightly colored decor. Copper lamp shades accessorize the bar with tall, colorful glass sculptures decorating the middle. Think fun and festive in a casual atmosphere that nudges you to jam to the laid-back vibe.
Interior: Patio seating is not only comfortable, but offers plenty of people-watching. On a pleasant day, you've got all of the elements for a lovely afternoon — open space, great energy, and trees to gaze at while you eat. If you don't want to put on extra sunscreen, grab a seat inside. Again, think unique. The interior is lined with mini palm trees in the middle with a definite throwback to Miami Vice, but without the cheap suits.
The Food: During happy hour, the prime attraction is the tacos. You have your choice of carne asada, carnitas, chicken tinga, pork adobada, veggie, crispy fish, and the "standard," which is slow-roasted chicken, avocado and Mexican slaw. All these options are available for $2 each. The discounted price is great for those who want to experience every taco. We tried the veggie tacos — the guacamole tastes homemade and the slaw adds a memorable crunch. Other food is available during happy hour, but you'll have to order from the regular menu. You can start with chips and salsa, or Mexican street corn, and follow up with the main course, choosing tortas or burritos. With $2 tacos, ordering from the main menu to complement your meal isn't cost-prohibitive.
The Drink: Looking for a spicy, refreshing drink? The cucumber-serrano margarita has a kick, but it's all good. If spicy isn't what you are craving, there are other options — blood orange, coconut, and the skinny margarita. If you're in the mood for a margarita taste test, you're in luck, because during happy hour, these gems are only $5. The other good news — if you're not the margarita type — is that pitchers of beer are only $5 each, as well as wines by the glass.
Conclusion: Come to Joyride Taco House to have fun. Even if you are in a bad mood at the beginning of happy hour, by the end of it, you'll give in and chuckle with the entire restaurant.
Don't Miss: The chance to enjoy a margarita and taco combo. You can have one drink and two tacos for under $10.
Skip This: If you're looking for quiet, Joyride isn't the place.