Surrounding Areas Bars & Clubs
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Email Capers Eat & Drink
Email Capers Eat & Drink
Supplying sports, cocktails and palatable food to Campbell and San Jose folks for a number of years, Caper's Eat and Drink is just the upscale-casual kind of sports bar that you would expect to find in well-heeled Silicon Valley. Instead of unkempt, near toothless gents gettin' rowdy over their team at the bar, you'll find a clean and stylish setting where you can sip martinis or good brews and catch the game from almost any seat. If you're hungry, their anything-but-pub-grub menu is bound to have something you can enjoy, be it carpaccio, slow cooked lamb shanks or a grilled porterhouse.
Boswell's1875 S. Bascom Ave. in the Pruneyard, Campbell CA 95008; Tel. 408.371.4404
Located in the Pruneyard between the movie theaters and Campbell Coffee Society, the loveable dive bar, Boswells, is like a strange nexus of popcorn, coffee and booze. This place has been brining in Campbell's drunkest and wildest since the '70s with live cover bands that rock most nights and some awesomely heavy-handed bartenders. It's not uncommon to stroll up to this place and see loud, laughing folks pouring out of the tiny door for a smoke between live music sets, often for an audience of underage coffee drinkers sitting on the Coffee Society patio watching the drunken shenanigans that they can't even begin to understand.
Cardiff Lounge260 E. Campbell Ave., Campbell CA 95008; Tel. 408.374.7477
Once a seedy dive catering to Campbell's old, drunk-by-noon crowd, the Cardiff Lounge has become a snazzy little lounge where well-clad folks get their drink on and grind up on the dance floor. The massive facelift that this tiny spot underwent several years back swapped out the rickety floor, ancient high tops and scarred up bar for a stylish setting of candles, low-slung furniture and oddly cushioned rubber floors, which reduce the broken glass from inevitable party fouls. Reliable DJs spin house almost every night. Though there's no cover here, lines can develop at the door and the bar pretty early on busy nights - win some, lose some.
Coach's Sports Bar & Grill2240 S. Winchester Blvd., Campbell CA 95008; Tel. 408.379.2654
If a neighborhood bar with a neighborhood feel is what you're looking for, then Coach's is the spot for you. A modest sports-centric hangout for Campbell locals, this place provides an amicable, relaxing spot to chow down on some nachos or burgers, swill some cheap beer, shoot a round of pool and catch the game. Come nighttime, Coach's draws a mellow crowd of artsy/edgy thirty-something regulars who frequent this welcoming haunt seeking cold brews, strong shots, familiar faces behind the bar and good, friendly company.
Court's Lounge2425 S. Bascom Ave., Campbell CA 95008; Tel. 408.559.9880
A staple in the lives of true blue Campbell drinkers, this poster-child for neighborhood bars has been supplying cheap drinks and good times to locals since the late '70s. This well-loved bar remains off the radar of hipster types, with friendly bartenders welcoming instead a loyal set of blue-collar regulars who decompress after work in the no-hype atmosphere. With pinball machines, a golf machine, a killer jukebox, dartboards and pool tables (and tournaments for both), all the requisite favorites are here; the only thing that's missing is your bottom planted on a barstool. Yes, you.
Katie Bloom's Irish Pub & Restaurant369 E. Campbell Ave., Campbell CA 95008; Tel. 408.379.9687
For those longing for the good 'ol days knocking down pints of Guinness in the emerald country, Katie Bloom's Irish Pub & Restaurant in Old Town Campbell offers a local alternative. Between noshing on standard pub grub or taking in helpings of sausage in the restaurant's full-on traditional Irish breakfast, the bar features a choice selection of brews to imbibe as you shoot the breeze with the regulars. Not only is this the place to be come St. Patrick's Day, but karaoke Sundays, quiz night Wednesdays and weekend DJs who transform the joint into a bona fide dance club provide ample entertainment for crowds, young and old, down for a rollicking loud time. Just don't drink too much or you'll start seeing leprechauns.
Khartoum300 Orchard City Dr., Campbell CA 95008; Tel. 408.379.6340
Khartoum may be the capital of Sudan to some people—OK, let's get real: only geography buffs would know that—but to Campbell drinkers, Khartoum is one of the most inviting local watering holes to plunk your alcohol-loving behind. It's the kind of place where a lovefest unfolds between the bartenders, perfect strangers and you; a gathering spot where straight shooters inclined to order beers and shots rather than froufrou neon cocktails gather—though the bar can procure a mean mixed drink.
King's Head Pub & Restaurant201 Orchard City Dr., Campbell CA 95008; Tel. 408.871.2499
Anglophiles from all over Silicon Valley flock to the King's Head Pub & Restaurant in Campbell because it's got that true sense of the Isles on tap. A bastion for all things British, the King's Head has it all: booze, billiards, authentic Brit pub grub, afternoon tea and for lovers of "the real football," the latest Manchester United matchup. Karaoke and live music fill the walls with festive music to serenade the gaggle of enthusiastic drinkers of all ages and those darts players so focused on bulls-eyes in the corner. Don't forget to mind the gap if you knock back a few too many.
Left at Albuquerque1875 s. Bascom Ave. #50 in the Pruneyard, Campbell CA 95008; Tel. 408.558.1680
Indecisive tequila aficionados may find themselves perusing Left at Albuquerque's menu just a little bit longer than the average customer: The bar offers more than 75 varieties of this beloved and potent libation. Decked in piñatas, cowboy boots and enough colorful accoutrements to make any buzzing patron giddy, the restaurant serves up sizeable plates of Southwestern cuisine to fill up stomachs in between glasses of the house-made Sangria and frosty pitchers of margaritas. As the boisterous young crowd loudly illustrates, Left at Albuquerque likes it fun and festive.
Off The Hook2369 S. Winchester Blvd., Campbell CA 95008; Tel. 408.374.3257
Your classic neighborhood watering hole, Off The Hook spends most nights corralling sports fans and anyone looking for some good booze-assisted socializing. The strip mall location pretty much guarantees that the crowd will be unique in that possibly-crazy sort of way, and a regular supply of cheap drinks means that there's a strong following of cash-strapped locals who refuse to go for too long without brews, sports and the random company of bar folk.
Alexander's Steakhouse10330 N. Wolfe Rd., Cupertino CA 95014; Tel. 408.446.2222
A snazzy steakhouse with all the top-shelf bar accoutrements, Alexander's is a bastion of stylishly-clad biz-pro types with deep pockets and expensive tastes. Distinguished, adventurous chefs using unique cooking methods and both Asian and American influences produce mouthwateringly tender and flavorful entrées of top-quality cuts. The cozy, sleek bar area is popular for pre-dinner martinis and relaxing with a fine glass of wine. While any outing to Alexander's Steakhouse may not be easy on the wallet, it's totally worth the splurge.
Britannia Arms Cupertino1087 De Anza Blvd., San Jose CA 95129; Tel. 408.252.7262
Yeah, the Brit is one of those places that are cool enough that the pub-loving world is lucky there's more than one location. The Cupertino location is the original—considered by many to be the best of the three—and is known for some of the best fish and chips and cold English brews wielded on this side of the Atlantic. This is also the place to keep up with all the stats from your favorite Euro soccer—or football—games. Hardcore regulars and newbies (a.k.a. soon to be regulars) pack in here on a regular basis for dancing to DJ and live band tunes, proving their American Idol skills with karaoke and hanging out with friends on the big front patio, which is, in our opinion, one of the coolest places to hang out. Yes, we have many fond memories of kicking back and getting sauced on that patio.
Duke of Edinburgh10801 N. Wolfe Rd., Cupertino CA 95014; Tel. 408.252.7262
No other bar has gone to as much trouble to create an authentic setting as the Duke of Edinburgh - and that's why it's one of our favorite British Isle hangouts around. Everything from the actual bar to the décor was shipped directly from England and assembled to exact pub specs, creating the ultimate pub experience. The Duke is a big bar that offers an equally large supply of beers and a killer menu of pub grub. What's more is that you can top off your night by tossing steel tipped darts or catching up on the latest European football games, broadcasted throughout the bar.
Park Place10030 S. De Anza Blvd., Cupertino CA 95014; Tel. 408.873.1000
Sipping a martini under a dim glow in the Park Place lounge in Cupertino is, in our opinion, a darn fine way to unwind when you want a taste of sophistication and you don't want to have to put up with sloshed coeds who congregate at other bars. Right near the Cypress Hotel, the bar draws a decidedly older crowd of visitors, but with its refined offering of contemporary American cuisine, bona fide wine list and chic décor, Park Place proves to be as rich as any Monopoly game property.
Paul and Eddie's Monta Vista Inn21619 Stevens Creek Blvd., Cupertino CA 95014; Tel. 408.252.2226
Every city must have its quintessential neighborhood bar, and for Cupertino—Paul and Eddie's Monta Vista Inn is where all ages of drinkers congregate. You'll find a crowd of both middle-aged regulars on leave from desk or family duties and De Anza College students waxing philosophical about "Lost." Frequenters of this watering hole may say they come for the dozen beers and Jaeger on tap, strong cocktails, good company and jukebox—but we swear it's the freakin' popcorn machine.
Claddagh Irish Restaurant & Pub1300 First St. #A, Gilroy CA 95020; Tel. 408.848.5050
A family-friendly hangout for the Irish pub-lover in all of us, the Claddagh is where you can get sauced Irish-style in Gilroy. This large restaurant and bar was once the only hangout in garlic-town, so it established itself quite nicely as an all-around good time for just about every soul who has a penchant for pub grub, beer and whiskey. Though other bars have since opened up in the area, not much about the Claddagh has changed; it's still just as popular for good food and tasty drinks during normal hours, and it still gets packed with the hard drinking, dance loving, over-21 set later in the night.
Dave & Buster's940 Great Mall Dr., Milpitas CA 95035; Tel. 408.957.9215
Located just outside San Jose in Milpitas, Dave & Busters offers a truly unique brand of nightlife entertainment. At this ridiculously fun venue, a full bar, a full restaurant and all the bells and whistles of an arcade fuse together to create a senses-assaulting environment where socialites can act like geeks and geeks can become social. After filling up on decent food, patrons can slam a few shots and try their hand at skee ball or see how quick their inebriated response time is with Dance Dance Revolution.
Alberto's Salsa Studio and Nightclub736 W. Dana St., Mountain View CA 94041; Tel. 650.968.3007
One of the best spots for dancing in the South Bay, Alberto's Salsa Studio and Nightclub basically corners the market on all things hot and Latin. This small Mountain View dance club gets packed regularly with all manner of dancing folks, from the older women who've been dancing since they were five to youngsters taken in by the recent Dancing with the Stars craze. Sunday through Thursday are the main dance nights, which start with classes and then move to open dancing. Sundays and Mondays are nights for Argentine Tango (which is about as sexy as it gets), Salsa is the style Tuesday through Thursday, and Saturdays are the all Latin Cocobongo nights. A great, albeit slightly random, addition to the schedule is the Friday night Bollywood party.
Buddha Lounge / Zen Nightclub251 Castro St., Mountain View CA 94041; Tel. 650.965.7665
If you're seeking spiritual enlightenment or planning on attaining Nirvana, you'd be best do your sleepy, soul-searching meditation elsewhere, because the sleek Far Eastern-esque décor is pretty much the only meditative thing about the Buddha Lounge. This den of Asian-themed iniquity for the well-dressed club goers of Mountain View is where you're more likely to find a hot date than the Buddha. The big dance floor is constantly packed, courtesy of DJs who spin awesome hip hop, R&B and house beats. Though most nights feature go go dancers, the nights that don't make up for it by allowing the scantily dressed club girls (who can't dance but think they can) get up on the stage to strut their stuff - it's pure comedy.
Cascal400 Castro St., Mountain View CA 94041; Tel. 650.940.9500
Richly stylish with vibrant colors and rustic chandeliers, Cascal is a place that knows how to seduce its patrons. This worldly restaurant journeys through all things Latin with an impressive menu of tapas and larger specialty roasted meat plates that are flavorful enough to tempt even the most ardent vegan. There's also a full bar and a great wine list, not to mention a list of specialty cocktails that hail from Cuba, Brazil and Peru. A true bonus is that this is one of the only places in the South Bay where you can get a good caipirinha, the national drink of Brazil that will leave you feeling warm, fuzzy and exotic. Though Cascal is a restaurant, the stylish vibes, cocktails and fantastic live bands that perform on Fridays and Saturdays make it a place worth hanging out long after dinner.
Fred's Place2534 Old Middlefield Way, Mountain View CA 94043; Tel. 650.940.9838
Serving up brews to Mountain View locas for over 40 years, Fred's Place is a true home away from home for beer swilling patrons both young and old. Don't waltz in here expecting to see some fancy schmancy atmosphere - this place is drenched in sports paraphernalia and hasn't changed much of the décor since the day it opened. It's the definition of a neighborhood dive: friendly, welcoming and always ready to saturate your woes with cheep brews and potent shots.
Molly MaGee's Irish Pub241 Castro St., Mountain View CA 94041; Tel. 650.961.0108
What is it about Irish pubs that is so damn cool? Is it the fact that Guinness flows like water? Is it that the staff is always inherently cooler than at most other places? Maybe it's the fact that fine Irish whiskey never seems to run out… Whatever it is, Molly MaGee's has it. At this Mountain View Irish pub, pool tables and TVs provide distractions during the week; but when the weekend crowds roll in, those are pushed aside to make space for what becomes a downright raucous party scene.
Monte Carlo228 Castro St., Mountain View CA 94041; Tel. 650.998.1500
We swear this place has a split personality. During the week, the Monte Carlo is a gorgeous retreat for a more mature set of upscale patrons with deep pockets, expensive tastes and a craving for a fine dining experience. On Friday and Saturday nights, though, live music and DJs spinning hip-hop, reggaeton and Latin beats turn this posh place into a haven for younger scenesters. Friday nights are also 18 and up, a true bonus for those youngsters who have yet to acquire the coveted fake ID.
Office Bar820 E. El Camino Real, Mountain View CA 94040; Tel. 650.969.2098
If you took a checklist of all the best dive bar qualities to the Office Bar, you'd find that not a thing would go unchecked. A conspicuous lack of windows, full suit of armor standing guard over the liquor and a condom machine that is always frighteningly empty are a testament to the dive status of this joint and the randomness of its patrons. Four nights a week, the Office Bar hosts what is hands down some of the wildest karaoke to ever assault your senses. There's also a pinball machine, a pool table and a jukebox, all of which get a decent workout under the kind of dive-bar-dim lighting that has undoubtedly been responsible for some coyote ugly moments the next morning.
Stephens Green Irish Pub Restaurant & Bar223 Castro St., Mountain View CA 94041; Tel. 650.964.9151
St. Stephen's Green is anything but your typical Irish pub. Sure, this place sports a mean pub grub menu and all the necessary brews, but with a two-level dance floor, HDTVs for sports, awesome themed nights on the weekends and DJs who thump out everything dance-worthy, good ole Steevo seems to be redefining the Irish pub as we know it. Located in the heart of downtown Mountain View, Stephen's Green Irish Pub Restaurant & Bar is open for lunch and dinner, and also caters to sports fans with breakfast on the weekends during football games.
Sports Page1431 Plymouth St., Mountain View CA 94043; Tel. 650.961.1992
If there's a televised sporting event, you'll find it on one of the 14 TVs or big screens at the Sports Page in Mountain View. As the name suggests, this place is die hard about sports - seriously, old school fans and college students can dig into breakfast, lunch and dinner while they catch their favorite games, then they can either celebrate a win or mourn a loss with the ample selection if libations provided by the full bar. When you factor in the full size sand volleyball court and the glory of countless other games that get far more entertaining when liquor is involved, it becomes clear that anyone planning on kickin' it at the Sports Page should go ahead and ditch their aspirations of responsibility.
Avalon777 Lawrence Expy., Santa Clara CA 95051; Tel. 408.241.0777
Just off the expressway to the 'burbs sits the Avalon, the type of club where anything goes and you'll witness entirely different crowds depending on the night. Some nights the dance floor's packed with hundreds of local co-eds grinding away to DJs bumping house, techno or hip-hop; other nights scores of mustachioed hair-metal aficionados decked out in their Sunday faded-jean-jacket best proudly throw the devil horns for the club's mostly past-their prime live band offerings. Butt-rockers Winger, rapper Sir Mix-a-Lot and Russian faux-lesbian one-hit-wonders Tatu are just some of the artists that have held court on the Avalon stage, but no matter the night, count on a young Silicon Valley crowd ready to party.
Baltimore Bullet1992 Lafayette St., Santa Clara CA 95050; Tel. 408.988.1482
Not quite a weapon accessory plunked in a populous Maryland urban hub, the Baltimore Bullet dive bar in Santa Clara serves up drinks so strong it continues to draw a flock of regulars—even if its doors close at a decidedly early 9pm. Though the bar has shuttered its karaoke nights and it caters to a not-exactly-hip crowd, it's worth a visit if you're in the area and looking for a safe haven from the Silicon Valley heat to partake in an icy brew.
Blinky's Can't Say1031 Monroe St., Santa Clara CA 95050; Tel. 408.980.4600
Blinky's Can't Say is everybody's neighborhood bar, and could very well be the only Santa Clara bar with a claw machine full of stuffed animals. "Look sweetie, I got you a Long Island AND won you an adorable teddy bear." Blinky's hosts a crowd of 40+ regulars, but Santa Clara University students tend to show up later and stay until closing. This bar isn't just about stuffed animals and heavy-handed drinks—the regulars at Blinky's take their karaoke seriously and some of the best amateur singers in the Santa Clara/San Jose dive bar circuit can be found there behind the mic.
C & J's Sports Bar1550 Lafayette St., Santa Clara CA 95050; Tel. 423.9013
C&J's Sports Bar is yet another dive close enough to Santa Clara University to have that special mix of stumbling drunk coeds and stumbling drunk drunks, with varying ratios of the two depending on the night. When SCU students flock to C&J's the place gets packed wall to wall with people dancing and sloshing drinks around—the crowd is actually dense enough for crowd surfing. On Sundays during football season, C&J's looks like a normal neighborhood bar with about a 10:1 male to female ratio. All of the TVs and projector screen play the day's games.
Da Silvas Broncos1251 Franklin Mall, Santa Clara CA 95050; Tel. 408.296.9558
Despite being named The Claran in a previous life, Da Silvas Broncos hasn't changed much. It still offers a wonky pool table, rowdy karaoke and a random cross section of Santa Clara University students and older regulars. This may be the best spot in Santa Clara for newbies to sing karaoke, and with the always-stiff drinks you'll be able to down plenty of liquid courage before taking the mic.
Hops Bar2151 Laurelwood Rd., Santa Clara CA 95054; Tel. 408.988.8411
The mirrored ceiling, velour and raised lounge seating may scream Vegas, but Hops Bar set inside Santa Clara's Biltmore Hotel caters to more of the Silicon Valley biz-pro type than the let's-blow-this-month's-rent playing blackjack sort. No matter that live music only surfaces on the last Friday of the month, the droolworthy list of microbrews offers enough entertainment value to keep the regulars coming back.
The Hut3200 The Alameda, Santa Clara CA 95050; Tel. 408.296.6024
The bar of choice for a Santa Clara University college crowd in noble pursuit of a night of drunken shenanigans, The Hut is that close-to-campus corner dive where you'll find all the action, school in session or not. Cheap beer, blasting music and a perennial party ambience fill the bar with co-eds on a quest to stumble back to the dorms and local regulars in search of a stiff drink and good company.
Smoke This! Hookah Lounge2271 The Alameda, Santa Clara CA 95050; Tel. 408.247.6653
Smoke This is an all-around solid hookah lounge if you're into booze-free "bars." There are enough hookahs and flavors of shisha to cure even the fiercest nicotine withdrawals. Huge flat-panel TVs and an eclectic Arabic music selection keep things lively. During off-peak times, Some This is one of the more relaxing places around Santa Clara University to sip on some tea and get extra work done via free wireless internet. Plus a little tobacco buzz never hurt anybody's studies, so there's really nothing to lose.
Woodham Lounge4475 Stevens Creek Blvd., Santa Clara CA 95051; Tel. 408.296.9810
Boasting darts, foosball, karaoke and pool, the Woodham Sports Lounge has plenty to do besides drink, but with such low prices why would you? An eclectic crowd of locals ranging from twenty-somethings to old curmudgeonly bar flies frequents this local watering hole. The karaoke equipment is higher quality than you'd expect from a funky dive, as is the song selection. This is an all-around great bar for a relaxing night out with friends when the busy San Jose bars feel like too much of a crowd-battling chore.
Ye Olde Royal Oak1240 Coleman Ave., Santa Clara CA 95050; 408.588.1111
What Ye Olde Royal Oak lacks in location, it more than makes up for in awesomeness—especially for Liar's Dice aficionados. The fish and chips are always crispy, the beers cold and staff consistently friendly, but for some reason you can't buy pitchers. Offering karaoke, trivia nights, live Celtic music and British breakfast Sundays, the lack of pitchers is quickly forgotten. The walls have thoughtful touches reminding patrons that this is indeed a British pub, including a sign for Ye Olde ATM. Ladies, don't miss out on live Celtic music Thursdays. You'll get a chance to see some kilted gentlemen playing with their bagpipes.
The Bank14421 Big Basin Way, Saratoga CA 95070; Tel. 408.867.5155
Even affluent Saratoga needs a good blue-collar bar where the drinks are cheap and the vibe is decidedly mellow. Though we're baffled at the amount of regular folks who choose to seek cheap drinks in far-from-cheap downtown Saratoga, we have to admit that The Bank is a godsend. Decked out in a quirky old-west-meets-Irish-pub fashion, the interior looks like it hasn't seen the light since it was an actual financial institution over 30 years ago. Surrounded by bric a brac collections of various drinking paraphernalia and bordello-esque lamps, drinkers happily plop themselves on mismatched couches to booze the hours away on a regular basis, keeping this little Saratoga dive rockin' nearly every night.
The Basin14572 Big Basin Way, Saratoga CA 95070; Tel. 408.867.1906
The Basin is the best kind of upscale neighborhood spot you could hope for. Chic and snazzy from tip to toe, this is the kind of place where you can grab a seat at the bar, order an expertly poured martini or a fantastic bottle of wine from their impressive list, indulge in a meal that would make Bon Appetit proud and spend the night chatting with Los Gatos and Saratoga socialites. Despite the blue-blooded downtown Saratoga surroundings, The Basin remains a warm and welcoming neighborhood bistro with a down-tempo attitude and a chatty, friendly staff.
Crazy Horse Lounge and Bistro at The Plumed Horse14555 Big Basin Way, Saratoga CA 95070; Tel. 408.867.4711
A cozy hangout in downtown Saratoga's posh Plumed Horse restaurant, the Plumed Horse Lounge serves as a stylish Saratoga watering hole for happy hour specials and occasional live music. This also remains the only place in town with a dance floor, and one of the only places around where you can enjoy your drinks with some of the best mountain views.
Blue Bonnet Bar203 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Sunnyvale CA 94086; Tel. 408.245.6651
A classic dive bar in every sense of the word, the Blue Bonnet is often described as a biker bar sans the bikers. During the week, random tunes from bands like AC/DC rock out from the jukebox, old-school regulars who prefer their days with a Jack chaser hang at the bar and an assortment of locals kill time throwing darts, pumping quarters into the pinball machines, shooting pool and drinking PBR. A younger set ups the tempo of this Sunnyvale hangout on the weekends. The bar also supplies a nifty array of free snacks for those chance moments when the drunken munchies strike.
Blue Max828 W. El Camino Real, Sunnyvale CA 94087; Tel. 408.746.9500
Between hysterical karaoke performances and equally funny comedy shows, the Blue Max runs the gamut of local bar activities. Dirt-cheap drinks keep folks coming back again and again, no matter how big of an ass they made out of themselves belting out "It's Raining Men" (or something equally as painful) the night before. A truly random hangout for everyone from high-functioning alcoholics to videogame junkies, this Sunnyvale sports bar is a blast even if there isn't a game being broadcasted.
Club Monaco Barcelona767 N. Mathilda Ave., Sunnyvale CA 94085; Tel. 408.245.8777
Club Monaco Barcelona is an all ages venue catering to Sunnyvale's Latin dance party scene. DJs keep the dancing crowds sweaty with the latest in reggaeton, salsa, merengue, Spanish rock and hip-hop on a regular basis; the weekends boast some of the hottest live acts around. With three dance floors, two main rooms and three full bars, this place has enough room to welcome just about every South Bay resident with a penchant for dancing.
Fibbar MaGee's156 S. Murphy Ave., Sunnyvale CA 94086; Tel. 408.749.8373
Sunnyvale's tribute to Irish heritage and Guinness consumption, Fibbar MaGee's offers a cool neighborhood pub setting for a diverse and upbeat crowd of beer-swilling locals and whiskey-slamming partiers. With black and white pudding, real bangers and all our favorite combinations of Guinness and meat, the menu nails the whole Irish thing without missing a step. Dartboards, live music and TVs airing soccer (er, football) games both inside and out on the patio further sweeten the pot.
Murphy's Law135 S. Murphy Ave., Sunnyvale CA 94086; Tel. 408.736.3822
Though the annoying adage of "anything that can go wrong, will go wrong" is certainly not on our list of favorite things, Murphy's Law (the bar) definitely is. Whoever is responsible for creating a place that's both an Irish pub and a sports bar needs to go down in history as both a genius and a madman. Seriously, no one drinks harder than the Irish (or the wannabes in Irish pubs), and few crowds are livelier and more entertaining than avid sports fans. So you certainly don't need to be a member of Mensa to figure out what happens when you add those beautiful facts together and factor in the killer happy hour specials and live shows every weekend.
Paul and Harvey's130 S. Murphy Ave., Sunnyvale CA 94086; Tel. 408.736.5770
Paul and Harvey's is a chill neighborhood dive catering to blue-collar whiskey sippers, local Budweiser fans and the occasional chuck-wearing writer who likes their Coors to be nice and cold… not that we'd know from personal experience or anything. There aren't too many taps to speak of, but the full supply of booze behind the bar and whatever brews they do have to share all go for some pretty reasonable prices. In the bar distractions department, this Sunnyvale neighborhood bar features three pool tables, two dart lanes and random video games, as well as local musicians who jam on Thursdays and the occasional Saturday.
Pebble Roppongi Karaoke Lounge160 S. Frances St., Sunnyvale CA 94086; Tel. 408.738.0392
Pebble Roppongi Karaoke Lounge in Sunnyvale is just getting started when they open up at 8pm for a night of traditional karaoke sung by their mostly Asian clientele. But if you're thinking that this place is nice and mellow, you're sorely mistaken. This karaoke lounge in Sunnyvale is exclusively a shot bar, meaning that they don't mix 'em and they don't tap 'em, they just pour 'em straight. In short, if you're a newbie, go easy on your first venture to this place and remember the key shot bar rule of "sip, don't slam," or you'll be having your stomach pumped by morning.
Quarter Note Bar and Grill1214 Apollo Way, Sunnyvale CA 94085; Tel. 408.732.2110
One of the few remaining places to make such efforts, the Quarter Note Bar and Grill seems determined to supply patrons with live music nightly come hell or high water. It's the very tenacity of this plucky little local bar that we love so much. Or maybe it's the food; or is it the slew of distractions like shuffleboard, pool, pinball or sports-drenched TVs? Whatever it is, the fact remains the same - we love this joint. Go Quarter Note!
Scruffy Murphy's Irish Pub187 S. Murphy Ave., Sunnyvale CA 94086; Tel. 408.735.7394
If you're hanging out in Sunnyvale and jonesing for a fix that only the Emerald Isle can provide, Scruffy Murphy's might just be your answer. This place reels in Irish expats and pub-lovers alike with all the heart-stopping cuisine and all the libations that a proper Irish pub should have. Wednesdays are the designated Irish nights here, often complete with live music, and weekend crowds up the decibel when they hit the dance floor to groove to DJ beats.
Shooters Bar and Grill769 N. Mathilda Ave., Sunnyvale CA 94085; Tel. 408.738.2787
A no-frills neighborhood hangout for local sports fans and drinkers, Shooters Sports Bar and Grill is one of the most chilled out places in Sunnyvale to catch up on the game. Even if your favorite sport isn't being broadcasted, this place welcomes anyone with a desire to relax among friendly faces, and darts, pool and video games are perfectly acceptable distractions for overworked brains. If you're feeling especially goofy, you can hit up Shooters on Thursday nights for karaoke.
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