Bars in Central Fresno

Select Local Merchants

Established: Before 1950
Reservations/Appointments: Optional
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Average Duration of Services: 2–4 hours
Pro Tip: Call ahead to see if there are any dress up themes for the Classic Films each month.
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Parking: Metered street parking
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Classic Film Series
Recommended Age Group: All Ages

1400 Fulton St.
Fresno,
CA
US

Kocky's Bar and Grill

Most chicken wings look like bite-size drumsticks. Kocky's chicken wings look like chicken wings. Chefs roll each full-size wing in homemade batter before dunking it into a deep fryer. They then smother them with one of 10 made-from-scratch sauces, such as lemon pepper, buffalo ranch, Kickin' Teriyaki, and Sweet Fire. The menu also features pub-style fare ranging from chicken-wing-topped salads to burgers made with USDA-certified, natural Black Angus beef from Harris Ranch. Striving to fill Kocky's Bar and Grill with the same camaraderie they developed as fraternity brothers, the three founders encourage their servers to get to know patrons on a first-name, favorite-scene-from-Animal House basis.

1231 Van Ness Ave
Fresno,
CA
US

At the Downtown Club, soft sunlight filters through canopy of rafters and skylights, warming diners as they feast on plates of charbroiled salmon and chicken, lamb shish kebab, and New York strip steak. It's a timeless kind of elegance, one that's reflected in the restaurant's history; as the former site of the Fresno Morning Republican, the building was home to some of the biggest headlines to ever hit the city. A 19th-century printing press calls those origins to mind from its display in the dining area, linking the restaurant's past with its contemporary menu that blends Mexican, Mediterranean, and American influences.

2120 Kern St
Fresno,
CA
US

For over 20 years, Austin’s Sanger menu has inspired mouths to stop talking about their screenplay and dive into a hearty waffle breakfast with bacon or sausage and an egg ($6.65), Austin’s classic half-pound burger ($7.45), or an ultra-tender pot-roast platter smothered in gravy and roasted iron cauldrons and served with carrots, onions, and mashed potatoes ($10.45). Hopelessly lost University of Texas students, meanwhile, can find solace in Austin’s Downtown Grill and Sports Bar's menu, starting with the black-bean chili cheese fries ($6.99) or the bacon-, cheese-, and spinach-stuffed mushroom caps ($7.99). After appetizers, carnivorous customers can try out a slow-roasted half chicken ($12.99) or a 12-ounce coffee-rubbed rib-eye steak ($17.99) while seated on a large coffee beanbag chair. In Sanger, slake a terrible thirst with domestic and imported beers along with wines from the local Fresno State, Gibson, and Cedar View wineries. The downtown pub, on the other tentacle, boasts 17 beers on tap and in gilded spittoons scattered throughout the spacious interior.

820 Van Ness Avenue
Fresno,
CA
US

Raul and Maria Gutierrez were raised on fajitas in their native Mexico, where many families raise their own chickens and make tortillas by hand. After honing their culinary skills in several Houston restaurants, the couple chased their dreams to Fresno, where Fajita Fiesta was born. Instead of sprouting from a pinto bean, the eatery sprang from one of the Gutierrez’s favorite dishes: tacos al carbon, a union of handcrafted tortillas, fresh pico de gallo, and charbroiled steak, chicken, or pork. Made fresh every hour, the tortillas serve as a canvas for creativity by exhibiting savories such as grilled shrimp, onions, and poblano peppers. For deep-fried fare such as chimichangas and sopapillas, Raul and Maria use canola oil to minimize saturated fat. Margaritas add a heady kick to the evening's festivities, and horchatas end meals on a sweet cinnamon note, with textures smoother than a freshly shorn saxophone. The kitchen also caters feasts for a variety of events, filling bellies with hearty chicken moles and bite-size eats such as mini taquitos.

1850 Van Ness Ave
Fresno,
CA
US

After finding that the Fresno area lacked a laid-back wine bar with affordable prices, Daniel Renteria decided to open his own. Pinot Wine Bar and Bistro made its debut in December 2011, offering a mellow spot for couples, coworkers, and groups of friends to sample wines and a selection of small plates. Described by Renteria as “an alternative to a sports bar,” the wine bar and bistro aims for an intimate, unhurried atmosphere free of blaring TVs and indoor fireworks displays.

805 E Olive Ave
Fresno,
CA
US