Whether you’re new to El Paso, on a trip, or haven’t had a chance to check out the scene, Veronica‘s list will help you weed out the duds and bar hop between local favourites.
If you’re planning on a downtown bar hop, try all four of these recommendations! I’ve listed them in the order I recommend walking. See this map for the route, opening hours, and locations.
Craft and Social has a triple threat: great service, yummy drinks, and delicious food. The beer selection is also different than what you’ll normally find in El Paso. Most of the draught beers are seasonal picks. The food menu has plenty of healthy options, but they offer some greasy favourites too.
The bar is open late, 12:00 on weeknights and 02:00 on weekends, but the kitchen closes at 22:00 and 23:00.
Photo credit: Craft and Social
2. Gray Dog Bar
The Gray Dog Bar offers a dive bar feel without the grunge. I go there for the good prices and tasty cocktails made with fresh ingredients and garnishes. While dive bars aren’t usually my thing, this one has a loyal clientele of friendly locals. Only stop by if you have time, though, because the service isn’t the quickest.
Photo credit: Gray Dog Bar
Dark Horse Tavern is perfect if you like a busy scene and a young crowd. It’s small inside, and seating can be cramped, but it’s worth it for the cheap food, potent drinks, and generous portions. Dark Horse also has the best happy hour in town. Service can be spotty, though. Sometimes they’re awesome, and sometimes you’ll have to wait.
4. Fish Bar
End your night at the Fish Bar. With loud music and a live DJ, this is where the real party’s at. The sets bounce between EDM, hip-hop, and Latin hits, which creates more of a nightclub feel. The drinks are cheap, and the crowd is young here too. It’s busy on the weekends, but the bartenders always keep up.
Photo credit: Brian M.
It seems like everyone knows one another at the District Pub & Kitchen. The laid-back crowd, high-quality beers, and affordable menu create a nice environment for afternoon drinking. It’s also my favourite spot to catch a game. During football season, they offer drink specials all day long. You can also play some games of your own, giant Jenga for instance!
Photo credit: District Pub & Kitchen
As a 20-something writer, the Bohemian Café is my favourite afternoon drink spot. You’ll pick up on the hipster vibe quick enough with all the alternative décor and modern art.
Regardless, the mellow environment and sweet staff always leave me relaxed and smiling. The bar also has a nice selection of craft beers that pairs perfectly with the lunch menu. I can never visit without ordering the 420 fries.
The drinks at Eloise are on point, and the ambiance is perfect for a classy evening out with friends. You’ll find a wide variety of delicious small plates on the menu, and a lot of vegan options.
If you’re looking to grab a quick drink, sit at the bar. The servers are a bit slower than the bartenders, but I always sit on the patio. Catch happy hour from 15:00–18:00 for $5 select cocktails and $1 off just about everything else. Have a drink or two and then walk over to the Black Orchid Lounge.
Photo credit: EPPR Trans E.
This speakeasy-themed bar will take you back to the 1920s. The Black Orchid regularly hosts live music, so there’s a good chance you’ll catch a show without planning for it. The cocktails are strong and fairly priced, but this isn’t the best place to go if you’re looking for a full meal.
For the Non-Alcoholic Types
9. Perks Coffee
I had coffee at Perks once a long time ago, and it wasn’t anything to write home about. My coffee turned out a lot sweeter than I hoped, and the barista seemed bored. She did her job and didn’t seem to notice us much.
However, I recently returned to give it another shot and I was blown away. Since then, I’ve gone back several times, and I learn more about this family-owned shop with each visit. The coffee is locally roasted and may be the best in El Paso. Use a Groupon to get 40% off.
Photo credit: Perks Coffee
10. The Blend
The Blend offers the tastiest smoothies in town, made with the healthiest (and wildest) selection of ingredients. I will admit that they’re a bit pricey, but it’s worth the cost every once in a while. The staff is a friendly bunch, so stop by and say hello. The service is fast, so this is a perfect treat when you’re in a hurry.
Photo credit: Whitley D.
With so many places to grab a drink in El Paso, it can be hard to make a decision. If you know where to go, the city has more to offer than your itinerary can handle!