Downtown Bars Craft and Social Gray Dog Fish Bar Joe Vinny & Bronson’s Bohemian Café Black Orchid Lounge Perks Coffee The Blend
1. Craft and Social
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 favorites too. The bar is open late, 12 on weeknights and 2 on the weekends, but the kitchen closes at 10 and 11.
2. Gray Dog Bar
The Grey 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 service isn’t the quickest.
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. Check out their Facebook page for exclusive deals.
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 than a bar. The drinks are cheap, and the crowd is young here too. It’s busy on the weekends, but the bartenders can always keep up.
5. District Pub & Kitchen
It seems like everyone knows one another at the District Pub and Kitchen. The laid back crowd, high-quality beers, and affordable menu create a nice environment for afternoon drinking. It’s also my favorite spot to catch a game. During football season, they offer drink specials all day long. You can also play some games of your own, like giant Jenga!
6. Joe Vinny & Bronson’s Bohemian Café
As a 20-something writer, the Bohemian café is my favorite afternoon drink spot. You’ll pick up on the hipster vibe quick enough with all the alternative decor and modern art. Regardless, the mellow environment and sweet staff always leave me relaxed and smiling. The bar also has a nice variety of craft beer 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 3 to 6 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.
8. Black Orchid Lounge
This speakeasy-themed bar will take you back to the 1920’s. The Black Orchid regularly hosts live music, so there’s a good chance that 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.
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 percent off.
The Blend offers the tastiest smoothies in town 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 and awhile. The staff is a friendly bunch, so stop in and say hello. They service is fast, so this is a perfect treat when you’re in a hurry. 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. With everything from authentic food and drink to trendy gastropubs, there are enough options for everyone.
Craft and Social
Joe Vinny & Bronson’s Bohemian Café
Black Orchid Lounge