5 Bars in Metro Phoenix to Eat at Sober
Josh Chesler The pizza at Bottled Blonde.
Historically speaking, bars aren't known for having great food. Serviceable in a pinch, sure, but generally not places you'd go to have a delicious dinner (or breakfast).
These days, modern bars and clubs are trying to change all of that by serving restaurant-quality food during the day before they focus on booze at night. Particularly in Scottsdale and Tempe, many places thought of as watering holes are now serving food actually worth eating during the day. Here are five Metro Phoenix bars we eat at without drinking -- or complaining.
Josh Chesler The casual indoor/outdoor space of Bottled Blonde stays cool enough even on a summer day.
It's no secret that Old Town Scottsdale has a lot of options for both restaurants and nightlife, but one of the area's most popular late-night socializing spots also happens to have a solid menu for happy hour and dinner. During the week, Bottled Blonde's 10 inch pizzas are only $6 before 6:00 p.m., but the real trick is to go during brunch on the weekends. There are only about 10 items on the brunch menu, but the Blonde Benedict, Smokey Breakfast Pizza, and Breakfast Calzone are all worth trying at least once while you're in Scottsdale.
Josh Chesler The newer El Hefe in Tempe is brighter and feels much less like you're eating in a club.
In all fairness, the food at El Hefe's Tempe location is the same as the food at the Scottsdale location, but the dining experience can be much more pleasant at the Mill Avenue spot. Eating at the Scottsdale location isn't bad, but the Tempe site is newer and has a more open floor plan. El Hefe's tacos are the food that they're known for, and options like duck carnitas add some variety to the typical list, but we usually find that a plate of Macho Nachos with carne asada on top is the way to go.
Josh Chesler Casey Moore's wings are always pretty good, but they're much better when charred on the grill for a little while.
If you don't mind sticky floors and dive bar decor, Casey Moore's might be our favorite bar to eat at in the Valley. It's also one of very few places in Metro Phoenix where eating oysters doesn't sound like such a bad idea. Oysters Rockefeller is a dish you just won't find in too many Arizona restaurants, but both those and the fried oysters are quite tasty in our experiences. For those who don't like seafood, the chicken wings are awfully good as well, particularly if you ask them to throw them on the grill after they cover them in buffalo sauce. Once again, we prefer to dine outdoors at Casey Moore's, but sometimes no amount of shade can make eating outside tolerable on a summer afternoon.