2367 El Camino Real, Santa Clara; 408.249.8158
After 40 years in Campbell, Andy's Bar-B-Que recently reopened in Santa Clara. The location is the only thing that has changed though, as Andy's kept the old menu, recipes, full bar and most of the same employees. Andy's offers ribs cooked for up to 18 hours over an oakwood fire and giant baked potatoes along with other barbecue favorites. It's known for its cozy atmosphere, low prices and huge portions.
777 Lawrence Expwy, Santa Clara; 408.241.0777
The Avalon dance club was once solely dedicated to showcasing only DJ talent, but now the owners have gotten wise and started mixing up your standard DJ fare of techno, house trance and hip-hop with Middle Eastern-themed dance nights. Also the Avalon has started hosting live music shows that include a veritable roll call of '70s and '80s rockers.
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1992 Lafayette St, Santa Clara; 408.988.1482
You'd think that, with a name like the Baltimore Bullet, this would be a solid old-school dive bar in Santa Clara, but for some unknown reason, the owners have put the kibosh on the karaoke nights and have shortened the bar's hours. However, the Baltimore Bullet still serves some wicked drinks (a definite plus) to a slew of loyal regulars, but they close at 9 (a definite minus).
4565 Stevens Creek Blvd, Santa Clara; 408.248.6244
You'd be doing yourself and By-Th-Bucket in Santa Clara a huge disservice if you merely referred to it as a local sports bar because it is more of an old-school bar and restaurant where you can always take in a game and always get taken care of. Also, the food is not your typical bar fare—their excellent seafood, pizzas and classic American cuisine go perfectly with their more than dangerous signature cocktails that never fail to please.
C&J Sports Bar
1550 Lafayette St, Santa Clara; 408.423.9013
Whether you'd rather watch American Idol or football, C&J Sports Bar has something to spark your interest. The bar has seven TVs, darts, pool and foosball, along with karaoke or a live band almost every night. Every Tuesday night is country-themed karaoke, and a pool tournament is held every Thursday at 7pm. The bar offers 13 different beers on tap along with a large selection of specialty drinks.
1251 Franklin Mall, Santa Clara; 408.296.9558
Hands down one of the best local bars in Santa Clara is the Claran, which takes all kinds into its murky, bunkerlike, booze-filled depths and satisfies the need of a blue-collar dive bar for the neighborhood regulars and Santa Clara University students. Also, the Claran occasionally features live music and DJs.
3546 Flora Vista Ave, Santa Clara; 408.244.6909
The hottest all-woman gay club in Santa Clara, probably in the entirety of the South Bay, is Club Savoy, which functions as a self-styled lesbian clubhouse, with pumping DJ dancing and raucous partying nearly every night of the week. The DJs take a much needed break on Wednesdays, however, to give the ladies a chance to try their signing chops at Club Savoy's karaoke night.
2151 Laurelwood Rd, Santa Clara; 408.988.8411
Located inside Santa Clara's Biltmore Hotel lies the microbrew oasis of Hops Bar, which fills the local bar niche for biz pros in search of some much needed and nearby relief after they've been cooped up in their labyrinthine cubicles all day. We stop on in to Hops Bar occasionally when we're on that side of Santa Clara because we totally enjoy the raised Vegas-style lounge seating and, really, it has nothing to do with the extensive beer selection at this local bar.
3200 The Alameda, Santa Clara
The other best local dive bar in Santa Clara is the Hut, which has been serving local regulars and Santa Clara University students plenty of cheap booze for years. During the school year the Hut gets packed with drunk college students who go for the laid-back party atmosphere and the stumbling proximity to their overpriced dorms and apartments.
2280 El Camino Real, Santa Clara; 408.247.0990
Since 1977, La Paloma has been serving California-style Mexican food and an assortment of domestic beers and specialty drinks. The festive and colorful restaurant/cantina fills up fast, especially when complimentary appetizers and reduced prices on house margaritas and domestic beers are offered during happy hour weekdays 4-7pm. La Paloma has seven brands of tequila and makes four margarita variations, including the Cadillac Margarita with Cointreau, Cuervo Gold, sweet and sour and Grand Gala.
2500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara; 408.243.1431
It's mainly known for its hotel component, but Mariani's homey atmosphere and friendly waitstaff make the lounge a good place to unwind.
1828 Main St, Santa Clara; 408.243.7976
Martin's Lounge, we believe, is the only local Santa Clara bar that opens its doors at the blessedly obscene hour of 6am, and it has been serving the neighborhood for more than 60 years, so something must be right about opening that early. Also, during exam times at nearby Santa Clara University, the students must be eternally thankful for the early hours at Martin's Lounge to calm those pre-test jitters or for an after-test celebration.
2271 The Alameda, Santa Clara; 408.247.6653
Santa Clara has gotten into the whole new hookah craze with Smoke This hookah bar located very near to Santa Clara University. Smoke This features more than 100 hookahs in which you can place 31 different flavors of tobacco for your smoking pleasure. Also, it sports rotating DJs that spin everything form chill out music to a mix of Arabic dance tracks.
46 N. Saratoga Ave, Santa Clara; 408.243.4595
As Santa Clara's partying gay bar, Tinker's Dam sports a youngish crowd of well-manicured guys drinking and dancing with their shirts off until closing time. There's a minimum of attitude fronted from the regulars at Tinker's Dam and, those in the know all show up on Sundays for the wildly popular free barbecue.
4475 Stevens Creek Blvd, Santa Clara; 408.296.9810
The Woodham Lounge in Santa Clara has plenty to keep its neighborhood regulars busy—there's pool, darts, foosball and karaoke, but we frequently drink here for the same reason we drink at any local bar: cheap booze. Also, for all you drinking ladies out there looking for a Santa Clara local bar to change up your scene a bit, Mondays are ladies' night at the Woodham Lounge with drink specials reserved solely for the fairer sex.
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