With so many options available for tailgating in Tempe prior to Arizona State football games, by the time you found the best spot, the football season will be drawing to a close, and if ASU is still like it was when I attended, by the time the next football season rolls around, you’ll have forgotten what you learned from the year prior, so keep this list handy for years to come and you’ll never go wrong.
In the land of the bold saguaro cactus and misted patio bars, the lovely ladies of ASU don their gold shirts, their shortest shorts and prepare to celebrate on one of the hottest campuses in the country, literally and figuratively. The tailgate parties at ASU are legendary with the legions of hot, sweaty and inebriated youth gathered to participate in any number of drinking games including but not limited to beer pong, flip cup and corn hole. Loud music, muscle shirts and flying footballs are the norm, so be prepared for the meatheads if you want to enjoy the lovely ladies in all their daisy duke glory.
For those that are looking for a crazy party, but don’t care to spend your Saturday afternoon sweltering in 100 degree plus temperatures, I have compiled a list of the best bars near the stadium complete with atmosphere, drink specials & food specialties, because we need to keep you nourished as well as intoxicated. In the coming weeks, I will count down the 12 best bars to get your pre-game on…without further ado – the Devil’s Dirty Dozen.
12. Cadillac Ranch http://cadillacranchtempe.com
Although Cadillac Ranch is located in the Tempe Marketplace, a couple miles away from the stadium, there is always a good reason to go to there, whether it is for pre-game shenanigans or just to get together with friends for a cocktail or twelve. Owned by Arizona State alum, Chris Osborn has made the ultimate adult playground right down the street from his alma mater.
With 30 plasma high definition televisions and a 150 inch projection screen, there is always a game on and the crowd is always entertained. If the games are not entertainment enough for you, people watching at “The Ranch” is always a great option. One of the best happy hours in town makes for a more relaxed crowd and then they get on the mechanical bull. Yes, there is nothing in the world like a group of giggling sorority girls lining up to take their turn shaking all they got for the bevy of onlookers.If you are looking for a great time with 5 or 500 of your closest friends, you can’t do much worse than Cadillac Ranch Tempe.
11. Fuzzy’s Taco Shop http://www.fuzzystacoshop.com
There is always a special going on at Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, but on game days, the specials are amazing! If you are looking to front-load prior to the game, Fuzzy’s has $2 domestic pints, $3 wells & Beer-Ritas for those look to live a little on the edge, or the border in this case. The location at the corner of 4th St. & Mill Avenue is prime with a large misted patio that is always packed to the hilt. The food goes above and beyond just tacos and blends the best of the Baja cantina with Tex-Mex specialties.
10. Chronic Cantina http://www.eatchronictacos.com
Just east of famed Mill Avenue on 6th St. lies a little taco joint with a tequila problem. The problem being that it is always on special…and not the well stuff either, we are talking 2 for 1 Patron shots! Their “fatty” tacos are always on special and rolled up in corn or flour tortillas with your choice of carne asada, pollo asado, carnitas, al pastor, pescado or camarones. If you have no idea what those are, have another couple shots of Patron and you will understand. Their outdoor patio is small so if you want a spot on game day, be sure to show up early.
9. Bison Witches http://www.bisonwitches.com
If you are looking for some of the best sandwiches and soups made in fresh, homemade bread bowls AND goblets of beer within a stone’s throw of the stadium, then Bison Witches is the place for you. The original Bison Witches opened up in Tucson and when the owners put in a request to open up in the heart of Sun Devil country, there was quite the outcry. No true ASU fan could love something so wrong, something so Wildcat. The owners adapted the names of their signature sandwich from the Wildcat to the Sun Devil and it wasn’t long before Bison Witches became a staple on the campus with such great specials and yes, goblets of beer.
8. Canteen | Modern Tequila Bar http://www.canteentequilabar.com
Returning to the hub of all things ASU, we are back on Mill Avenue on the corner of Mill & 6th St. in the shadow of behemoth corporate giants of Gordon Biersch and Hooter’s lies this small, locally owned gem. With over 60 types of tequila to choose from, you will be speaking Español before you leave this popular college bar. Canteen specializes in tequila and tequila cocktails and only uses tequila that is 100% pure blue agave, so no rot-gut Cuervo Especial is ever served. This newer addition to the culinary landscape has garnered numerous accolades including Best Happy Hour and Top 25 New Restaurants in all of Metro Phoenix. Their game day drink specials include all beers and house margaritas with specials on their appetizers as well.
7. World of Beer http://wobusa.com
If it is beer that you are looking for, then head over to the newest addition to Mill Avenue – World of Beer. It is truly a site to behold with 58, yes 58 beers on tap and well over 500 bottles line the multitude of coolers that flank the massive tap handle “island.” Although World of Beer is a corporate entity based out of Florida, they are representing local Arizona breweries and beers by vowing to carry at least 20 local beers on tap at tall time. The only thing that makes a artfully crafted brew better is to have it drawn or poured from the gorgeous staff at World of Beer. Come for the beer, stay for the beauty. The bonus here is that you can bring your own food or order it from any of the nearby restaurants.