Cafe Tranquilo: Happy Hour Report Card

Categories: Happy Hour

Evie Carpenter
The Damas Brilliante was a highlight of Cafe Tranquilo's happy hour.
The Spot: Cafe Tranquilo
401 West Clarendon Avenue

The Hours: Happy Hour is Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. in the bar only.

Perfect for: Sitting in the shell of a once-beloved restaurant while half-heartedly enjoying their attempt at recreating your favorite dishes and drinks.

Interior: Despite very few changes to the space, Cafe Tranquilo is no Gallo Blanco. While it may be unfair to compare the relatively new restaurant housed inside the Clarendon Hotel to the now-closed local favorite, it's unavoidable when Cafe Tranquilo is essentially serving the same menu as Gallo Blanco and the only real change made to the decor is some new seating.

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Little Cleo's Seafood Legend: Happy Hour Report Card

Categories: Happy Hour

Evie Carpenter
Little Cleo's Seafood Legend offers oyster for $1 during happy hour.
The Spot: Little Cleo's Seafood Legend
5632 North Seventh Street

The Hours: Happy hour is Monday through Saturday from 4 to 5 p.m. until June 1 when it will be from 4 to 6 p.m.

Perfect for: Possibly the cheapest but classiest happy hour in town.

Interior: There's an undeniably East Coast feel to Sam Fox's Little Cleo's Seafood Legend, but looking around at the d├ęcor, nothing jumps out as the cause. White subway tiles, stainless steel, and dark wood individually would not scream coastal, but combined with the navy blue bar stools and lights hanging from the rafters by chains, Little Cleo's becomes a nautically inspired escape, even with The Yard right next door.

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Central Bistro: Happy Hour Report Card

Categories: Happy Hour

Evie Carpenter
The Diamond Back had quite a kick for a mid-afternoon happy hour cocktail.
The Spot: Central Bistro
3160 East Camelback Road

The Hours: Happy hour is daily from 2 to 6 p.m. and all day Mondays.

Perfect for: Bringing people who can't decide if they feel like splurging or sticking to that diet.

Interior: Central Bistro was fully taking advantage of the Valley's beautiful spring weather during a recent visit with the front retractable glass panels completely open, allowing the patio to lead seamlessly to the interior bar area.

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The District All American Burger Bar: Happy Hour Report Card

Categories: Happy Hour

Evie Carpenter
The chipotle sauce that accompanied the onion rings was our favorite part of The District's happy hour.
The Spot: The District All American Burger Bar
7333 E. Indian Plaza, Scottsdale

The Hours: Happy hour is normally 3 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, but during March Madness it is all day Monday through Friday

Perfect for: Cheap eats and watching the game outside, while not technically being outside

Interior: We swear that The District All American Burger Bar is like one of those buildings from Harry Potter that just magically appears between two other buildings. A few months ago, we didn't think there was anything between Maya Day + Nightclub, which is also owned by Triyar Entertainment Group, and Hi Fi Kitchen & Cocktails in the Scottsdale Entertainment District, but there it is: An airy, open rock 'n roll-themed restaurant and bar, looking out over Maya's pool on one side and Bottled Blonde on the other.

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Sumo Maya Mexican-Asian Kitchen: Happy Hour Report Card

Categories: Happy Hour

Evie Carpenter
The Tamarind cocktail at Sumo Maya struck the perfect balance between sweet and sour.
The Spot: Sumo Maya Mexican-Asian Kitchen
6560 North Scottsdale Road

The Hours: Happy hour is daily from 2 to 6 p.m.

Perfect for: Bringing anyone to happy hour, if they don't mind standing.

Interior: As my happy hour companion noted, you could bring anyone to Sumo Maya and chances are they would enjoy it. Meeting some hip, twenty-something friends for brunch? They'll appreciate the colorful, open decor and the artistry of the giant tree in the middle of the dining room. Taking your parents out for dinner? They'll be impressed with the creative menu that both puts a twist on certain classics and introduces diners to unusual ingredients. Grabbing a drink with some coworkers? They'll enjoy choosing between the signature cocktails, margaritas, sake, wine, and beer offerings.

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Caffe Boa: Happy Hour Report Card

Categories: Happy Hour

Evie Carpenter
The Desert Drop at Caffe Boa was one of the most interesting sounding drinks on the menu.
The Spot: Caffe Boa
398 South Mill Avenue

The Hours: Happy Hour is daily from 4 to 7 p.m. in the bar only.

Perfect for: Impressing the pants off someone without breaking the bank.

Interior: Tempe is not exactly at the top of the list when we think of our favorite spots for after-work drinks. But we had high happy hour hopes as we walked into the 21-year-old Tempe staple, and Caffe Boa did not disappoint. While we were a little bummed at first that happy hour is only served in the small bar area of the restaurant, there was an undeniable sense of exclusivity as we snagged part of the last open high-top on a Friday evening.

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Ten Handcrafted American Fare & Spirits: Happy Hour Report Card

Categories: Happy Hour

Evie Carpenter
The Traditional Daiquiri's flavor was spot on, but it could have used a quick straining.
The Spot: Ten Handcrafted American Fare & Spirits
2501 East Camelback Road, #40

Perfect for: A cheap, quick bite and drink before a movie at the nearby luxury (read: overpriced) movie theater.

Interior: While sitting inside Ten, we couldn't help but think about the small, private parties we would like to hold inside the restaurant. Office holiday parties, small high school reunions, somebody's 50th birthday, the list goes on. This space just has that feel to it with little corners to hold intimate conversations and a lofted second dining room to escape a larger crowd. For being in the middle of the office-space riddled Esplanade, its dark wood touches and brick accents make it cozy and warm.

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Barrio Urbano: Happy Hour Report Card

Categories: Happy Hour

Evie Carpenter
The El Picado margarita offered enough flavor and kick to become our favorite part of this happy hour.
The Spot: Barrio Urbano
5632 North Seventh Street

The Hours: Happy Hour is Monday through Friday from 2 to 6 p.m.

Perfect for: Sipping on a top-notch margarita while watching cornhole bags fly through the air next door.

Interior: We thought that Lola Coffee at the Yard, which filled the current Barrio Urbano space, had nailed the perfect indoor-outdoor balance, but after walking into the slightly renovated restaurant with added Mexican flair, we realized that Barrio Urbano got right everything Lola had wrong.

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Goodwood Tavern: Happy Hour Report Card

Categories: Happy Hour

Evie Carpenter
Well drinks are only $4 during happy hour at Goodwood Tavern.
The Spot: Goodwood Tavern
7330 East Stetson Drive

The Hours: Happy Hour is daily 3 to 7 p.m.

Perfect for: Satisfying that bar food craving while indulging in some Old Town people watching.

Interior: Without a doubt, Aaron May has turned the old Shotgun Betty's into the coziest, most comfortable spot that area of Old Town Scottsdale has to offer in Goodwood Tavern. Though "tavern" does carry certain connotations that don't exactly jive with an entirely open front and patio, the wood-covered surfaces, dim lighting, cushy booths, and woodland animals hiding in the design here and there definitely make guests forget they are sitting just a stone's throw away from nightclubs like Cake and INTL. On a midweek evening at sunset, we dare say it even felt peaceful.

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The Upton: Happy Hour Report Card

Categories: Happy Hour

Evie Carpenter
The Refresher was one of the hightlights of The Upton's happy hour.
The Spot: The Upton
7216 East Shoeman Lane, Scottsdale

The Hours: Happy Hour is Tuesday through Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m.

Perfect for: Happy Hour for one -- you know, if people actually did that.

Interior: Sitting on The Upton's beautifully renovated, shady patio feels nothing like sitting in Petite Maison, James Porter's beloved French restaurant that filled the same space until last November. But it would be unfair to expect the same feel from this hip, graffiti mural-decorated spot. What is completely fair is expecting the same quality of service and overall positive dining experience we received from Petite Maison, and, unfortunately, we were let down in that regard.

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