Happy Hour in Scottsdale
1. Rock Bottom Brewery
Full disclosure: I love Rock Bottom! Their "Raptor Red" ale is my favorite beer of all time and they are constantly rotating through seasonal brews. Not to be outdone by the Brewmaster, the chef at this location dishes up burgers, pizzas, and steaks with a tasty flair. I could probably eat dinner here every night for a week! Their food offerings are diverse and loaded with happy hour menu selections. Their appetizers, which are often meals themselves, are featured for $5 or less and a pint of their award-winning beer can be had for $3.25. I recommend the Titan Toothpicks, which combine chicken, cheese, beans, and peppers inside a deep-fried tortilla. This location does not have as many televisions in the bar area as other Rock Bottoms around the valley, but its patio area makes this place one of the best happy hour restaurants in Scottsdale.
Rock Bottom, 8668 E. Shea Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85260; 480-998-7777; Happy Hour Mon-Sat 4PM-7PM and 10PM-close
If you are a wine lover craving a quieter domain to escape the typical, crazy happy hour in Scottsdale, Uncorked Wine Bar is the place for you. While they don't advertise an official happy hour, they have daily specials that make the trip worthwhile. For example, on Mondays they mark down their wine glasses/flights by 50%. On Wednesdays they take $5 off all bottles and cheese plates, and Thursdays feature $2.50 pints. Uncorked is home to incredible sliders, which feature ground beef with portobello and garlic, topped with pancetta, onions, and blue or parmesan cheese.
If you are like me, and not particularly educated on wine, you might enjoy the Uncorked flights. Say you enjoy dessert wines. A flight will provide you with three tasting glasses of Riesling from different vineyards. From there, you can compare various selections and become a connoisseur.
Uncorked Wine Bar, 16427 N Scottsdale Rd, Ste 130, Scottsdale, AZ 85254; 480-699-9230
3. Kona Grill
Now we're talking! Nestled at the base of Scottsdale Fashion Square mall, Kona Grill flourishes as a happy hour restaurant. Kona disguises itself as a seafood restaurant with a Pacific flair – offering what has been hailed as the best sushi in town. However, anyone who's ever been there knows its reputation for people watching and fun. It's definitely a strange mix of clientele that descends upon Kona when the sun goes down. People from all walks of life gather to enjoy $7 sake bombs and $3 beers.
Kona Grill, 7014 E Camelback Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85261; 480-429-1100; Happy Hour Mon-Thu 3PM-7PM and 9PM-11 PM, Fri 10PM-12AM
4. Salty Senorita
There are actually two Salty Senorita locations in Scottsdale, but I tend to enjoy the atmosphere at the original store in Old Town. There you can partake in $1 house shots, $2 domestic beers, $3 wine/well drinks, and $4 margaritas. They also feature Mexican fare with half-price appetizers on their happy hour menu.
I do not recommend this location during the hot Arizona summer because most of the seating is on the patio. "Salty" also caters to a diverse crowd, but the demographic seems to slant younger. The atmosphere is one where folks just want to have a mini-vacation between their daily labors and enjoy a relaxing happy hour in Scottsdale.
If you enjoy good drink specials and loud music, this is about the best you can do without getting dressed up and hitting the club scene.
Salty Senorita, 3636 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251; 480-946-7258; Happy Hour 3PM-7PM daily
5. Dirty Drummer
What? A dive! And I mean that as a compliment. Sometimes you just want to sit down at a dimly-lit table, tip back a few beers, and take a giant, greasy bite out of a cooked-to-order burger. This is the experience at The Dirty Drummer, a local bar with several locations around the valley. I still believe their burgers are the best I've ever had. I once asked a waitress what made it so good and she said something about "cooking with wine." I never did learn the real secret behind this masterpiece.
The Dirty Drummer may not have a four-star chef preparing his daily specials, but their beer is as cold and inexpensive as you'll find anywhere. It's a hidden gem and a hometown bar. What could be better?
The Dirty Drummer, 2730 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ; 480-949-2797; Happy Hour 3:30PM-7:30PM daily