Photograph by Felipe Buitrago
Bars & Clubs
Alberto's Salsa Studio and Nightclub
Dance Club | Live Music
736 W. Dana , Mountain View; 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 Nightclub
Dance Club | Lounge
251 Castro St., Mountain View; 650.965.7665
If you're seeking spiritual enlightenment or planning on attaining Nirvana, you'd 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-theme iniquity for the well-dressed club goers of Mountain View is where you're more likely to find a hot date than the Buddha within. The big dance floor is constantly packed, courtesy of DJs who spin 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.
California Billiard Club
881 El Camino Real, Mountain View; 650.965.3100
California Billiards is a popular place for shooting pool in Mountain View. This massive billiard club sports top-of-line equipment, with 30 tables, three snooker tables, two dart boards, two foosball tables and an arcade with video games and pinball. To top it all off, there's a full bar and a kitchen which puts out some of the tastiest grub you're going to find at a pool hall.
Dance Club | Restaurant | Live Music
400 Castro St., Mountain View; 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 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.
2534 Old Middlefield Way, Mountain View; 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.
Kapp's Pizza Bar and Grill
191 Castro St., Mountain View; 650.961.1491
A local haven for sports fans, Kapp's Pizza Bar and Grill keeps folks coming back with good food and a super friendly atmosphere. The menu features some seriously delicious pizzas, sandwiches and burgers, so if you plan on coming in here, go ahead and leave any aspirations of responsible dieting out the door. Kapp's also proves it's love for local drinkers by offering some of the best happy hour deals in Mountain View with $3 beers, $1-off well drinks, cocktails as cheap as $4 and 15 percent-off appetizers.
King of Clubs
Gay Club | Lesbian Club | Dance Club
893 Leong Drive, Mountain View; 650.968.6366
Attracting partiers from all over the Bay Area, King of Clubs is Mountain View's premier gay and lesbian dance club. Though it's off the beaten path and a little tricky to find, it's well worth the effort for revelers who want to engage in some unhinged dancing and drinking fun. Four nights of the week host some of the most entertaining karaoke around, while Saturday nights welcome all dancers infected with Latin fever.
Molly Magee's Irish Pub
241 Castro St., Mountain View; 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.
Restaurant | Dance Club | Live Music
241 Castro St., Mountain View; 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.
820 El Camino Real, Mountain View; 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,
1400 N. Shoreline Blvd. #C-1, Mountain View; 650.964.0780
The days of serious pool being played in dingy, smoky pool halls are gone—Shoreline Billiards is rockin' some of the cleanest, most entertaining digs around, welcoming sharks, leagues, newbies and just about everyone else in for nights of more than just pool. In addition to food and a solid selection of brews, this place has a killer jukebox, video games, pinball machines, dartboards, 24 pool tables, two snooker tables and even a carom table; meaning if you can't be pleased here, you're just being stubborn.
St. Stephen's Green Irish Pub and Restaurant
Bar | Restaurant
223 Castro St., Mountain View; 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, laser light shows, South American theme nights, Asian theme nights and DJs who thump out everything danceworthy, good ol' Steevo seems to be redefining the Irish pub as we know it. Needless to say, this place packs in the partying Mountain View masses on a regular basis. St. Stephen's Green also shakes things up a bit by offering live music every Sunday starting at 8pm.
Sports Bar | Live Music
1431 Plymouth St., Mountain View; 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.
Tied House Café and Brewery
Brewery | Restaurant
954 Villa St., Mountain View; 650.965.2739
Tied House Café and Brewery has been getting Mountain View locals sauced on damn fine beer for the last 20 years—and it's still going strong. This pace has received multiple awards for their home brewed suds, meaning that even non–beer drinkers (a.k.a. blasphemers) are bound to find a pint that will bring them to ex-blasphemer status. Tied House offers massive plates of better-than-average brewpub food to accompany the eight beers on tap and selection of specialty brews, which can be enjoyed either inside or on the beer garden patio.
Restaurant | Lounge
186 Castro St., Mountain View; 650.864.9940
Zucca Ristorante is the place to go in Mountain View when craving the flavors of the Mediterranean. A particular favorite of foodies and the after-theater crowd, this place blends its fantastic cuisine with a European ambience that bodes well for anyone hoping to enjoy breakfast with their date the next morning, if you catch our drift. This incredibly busy little hot spot features a cocktail list filled with deceptively potent cocktails and eclectic variations of the martini.
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