Several times a week, local bands showcase their soaring melodies and heavy riffs at Tonic Tavern & Kitchen. Adorning the tavern's exposed brick interior, the collection of framed electric guitars and autographs reminds patrons of the now-famous bands who once rocked the bar.
A passion for music and its history isn't just apparent on Tonic's walls—it's all over the tavern's rock-themed menu. Here, grilled cheeses on parmesan-crusted challah bread are named after the famous CGBG rock club, while a pound-plus of wings is called a drum set in honor of the chicken that was the original drummer of the Beatles. The theme continues with a selection of handcrafted pizzas such as the Fleetwood Mac, a medley of ribeye steak, thousand island dressing, and dill pickles.
Besides the guitar wall-of-fame, feasts at Tonic unfold among pool tables and flat-screen TVs tuned to the latest sports. A secluded outdoor patio features misters and fans yo keep guests cool in the summer, while heaters thaw visitors during the winter. Along with concerts, Tonic hosts events ranging from team trivia nights to live comedy.
Servers and patrons alike crunch across scattered peanut shells on the way to their tables at Teakwoods, a boisterous neighborhood watering hole crowned Best Sports Bar in 2009 by Phoenix New Times. A team of chefs cooks up classic American eats, including half-pound burgers, meaty sandwiches, and their award-winning wings, which can heat up gastro-chambers and cargo-pants pockets with flavors such as medium, hot, and honey-barbecue hot. As bartenders pour draft beers and concoct tasty libations, guests can catch their favorite sporting events on one of many high-definition TVs that broadcast events from the MLB, NFL, and UFC. When guests can't make it to the restaurant, Teakwoods' chefs cater fare to events, gatherings, and parties.
Winner of Phoenix New Times’ Best Beer Bar award in 2012, The Hungry Monk has 28 craft beers, a full menu of pub grub, and a neighborly atmosphere to thank for its success. The main draw may be the rotating selection of drafts, including blends made by The Hungry Monk’s own staff. And then, of course, there's the unique beer-based foods—think doughnuts paired with IPA, or whitefish hand-dipped in a house ale batter—that bring the food and brews together like the sight of a gingerbread man doing a keg stand. But it was the simpler dishes, such as a top-notch pub garden salad and the house-specialty street tacos that led Voice Places, to call The Hungry Monk, "our new place of worship."
Though it may have "saloon" in its name, this Western-themed eatery is appropriate for all ages. The restaurant area is often filled with families dining on burgers, half-pound BLTs, and fresh smoked brisket, while a separate bar area is set aside for more adult pastimes, such as sipping beers and cocktails, listening to local bands, or jumbling up Scrabble tiles to invent new words. Chefs grill up 8 oz. filet steaks topped with garlic butter or Blue Moon-battered cod filets for diners, who cheer on the sports teams playing on the TVs scattered throughout the restaurant. They also serve up a wide range of appetizers, such as sweet corn fritters, beer battered onion rings, and Southern-style chili potato skins.
Bowls of pho and plates of burgers fuel guests for friendly competition at Sage Bar, where American and Vietnamese cuisine are served side-by-side in a sports bar atmosphere. The aroma of pho, a traditional rice noodle soup, excites taste buds as it’s carried to tables still steaming, containing a choice of several meats, including steak, meatballs, or chicken. Angus burgers and spicy chicken sandwiches, meanwhile, are grilled to bring out their juicy potential, then topped with cheese, lettuce, onion, and tomato. An assortment of beers, wine, and spirits pair with meals and inspire improvised fight songs during games of pool, corn hole, Jenga, and darts.
When it comes to sports at Max & Ted's 480 Bar, patrons have a choice?watch or play. Myriad flat-screen TVs take care of the former, and several pool tables invite players to rack up games or hop into one of the bar's weekly tournaments. Over the weekend, attention shifts from corner pockets to the main stage, where karaoke participants sing along to their favorite tunes or famous filibusters. Amid all these entertainments, bartenders pour a steady stream of well drinks, as well as domestic and draft beers. Each libation complements Max & Ted's concise menu of classic bar snacks, such as deep-fried zucchini and beef taquitos.