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Old Town Scottsdale
If dive bars aren’t your thing, let Scottsdale’s oldest tavern win you over. The drinks are good, but the atmosphere -- perhaps best exemplified in the insane, over-the-top Christmas lights display -- is what makes Coach House one of the best dives in the Phoenix area. We also love that it’s open every day of the year, meaning you have no excuse to not check it out in 2016.
The Rose & Crown Pub boasts a fun British vibe that’s hard to come by in Phoenix, which means you can’t visit without at least trying the fish and chips, but, most importantly, means you’ll be welcomed by a nice change from the typical Downtown bar scene. Go for the large beer selection and great food, and definitely work in the time to play pool or a game of beanbag toss while you’re there.
This Tiki-themed spot is a Phoenix classic with an almost 70-year-old history. It’s an intimate bar with a retro vibe, great music, and the low prices you expect at a dive -- just don’t forget to bring cash as cards aren’t accepted. and enjoy the most authentically island-y atmosphere in our landlocked area.
Pomeroy’s is exactly what comes to mind when you think of a dive, which means we’d consider taking up permanent residency at the bar. The decor is proof that the spot’s been around for ages, but beneath that unassuming exterior and dim lighting, there’s great food, pool, and shuffleboard. Oh, and predictably cheap drinks, of course.
If you like to drink or you like live music -- and especially if you like the combination -- then you’ve probably already been to Yucca Tap Room. If you haven’t, it’s time to join the regulars who have been won over by nightly shows, a lineup of 28 revolving taps, and a kitchen that stays open until 2am, eliminating our desperate late-night searches for a Sonoran hot dog.
Located in a repurposed 1920s house, Lost Leaf plays a triple role as an underground gallery (both local and national artists are featured), music venue, and bar (there’s a huge beer selection with a focus on local), which makes it an incredible place to get to know Phoenix’s artsy side. For an exceptionally great time, stop by during a first Friday (held, obviously, on the first Friday of each month) when the creative venues in Downtown all open their doors at once.
Old Town Scottsdale
For a neighborhood bar with a friendly vibe combined with cheap drinks, Patties is your spot. It’s just lively enough on weekend nights to let you feel like it’s a Friday, but you’ll still be able to get a spot at the pool or ping-pong table.
This college-town favorite on Mill Ave is known for cheap Long Islands, a party atmosphere, and bad decisions. The only thing better than the eclectic (and sometimes random) mix of killer music are the possibly cringeworthy music videos the bar plays to go with them. If that’s not your thing, you always have the option of heading to the back to play some pool on one of the many tables.
The Rogue Bar is part bar, part concert venue. The bright colors and checkered floor add to the fun and eclectic rock n’ roll vibe that we like so much, and don’t get nearly enough of here in Phoenix. When it comes to drinks, try out the trash can -- we can honestly tell you we’re not quite sure what’s in it, but it’s definitely the best $10 we’ve spent in a while.