Cheap Bar Eats in Tucson

I hate food. Food is a waste of perfectly good money that could be spent on more drinks. But somehow our stupid bodies need it so we don’t die, which is stupid. Luckily I’ve found a few dive bars in Tucson that serve really good meals for super cheap so you can soak up enough booze to stay alive and then drink more afterward. These are the best deals for your money that I’ve found so far.

Just a disclaimer, the pictures I took of my food all look terrible because they were taken in places where the lighting really sucks. Also there’s no guarantee that you won’t get stabbed at one of these joints and I’m not responsible for any deaths that might occur from your drunk ass walking in there. Okay, cool, let’s do this!

Wooden Nickel Tavern

Located at 1908 S Country Club Rd, Tucson, AZ 85713
Open 7 days a week, 11a-2a
http://woodennickeltucson.com

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The Wooden Nickel’s menu has a ton of good burgers, subs and sandwiches as well as typical bar appetizers like nachos, onion rings and potato skins. But their best food deal happens on Wing Wednesday. They used to sell wings for only 50 cents apiece but due to inflation or whatever they’ve had to raise the price to 75 each. Don’t hold it against them, though. The wings are really meaty and there are several flavors that you can mix and match in your order. Normally when you go to a place with cheap wing specials they only give you the tiniest pieces of the shitty baby chickens that were too stupid to keep from slipping into their bigass water pail and weren’t strong enough to crawl back out.

But these thick wings are clearly from the alpha chickens. If my meal was allowed to live these chickens could easily win at the cockfights that my Cousin Chico hosts in a shed in his backyard in South Tucson every weekend. Keep in mind that they limit the number of wings to ten per order. But that’s enough to fill up even my fatass so I’m sure you’ll leave satisfied as well.

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And because this is primarily a booze blog I wanna make sure you know that they have the Barrio Blonde on tap. So you can still support your local Tucson craft beer community while eating here.

Nevada Smith’s Saloon

Located at 1175 W Miracle Mile, Tucson, AZ 85705
Open Mon-Thurs 10a-12a; Fri-Sun 10a-2a
https://nevadasmithssaloon.com

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The menu at Nevada Smith’s is ridiculous. This cool bar is located on Miracle Mile, the small stretch of road that used to be stamping grounds for all the cheapest Tucson hookers before someone built a bigass police station right in the middle of it because cops don’t want any of us to have nice shit.

Nevada Smith’s has a different food special every night of the week. These include every cut of steak you could possibly want as well as cheap burgers, wings and even a 50 cent taco bar on Sundays so you can offset that miserable hangover I know you’re gonna have.

I went down there on a Friday, which is the night they have an all you can eat fish fry for only $6. Yes, you read that right. Six measly dollars for a plate of three hefty fried fish pieces and fries on the side. And it’s all you can eat.  Six dollars! That’s not even money!

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I’ve been on dates to fancy ass restaurants where six bucks is the price of a baked potato on the side for a shitty steak that costs, like, forty dollars. I went to a grocery store once. A giant bag of potatoes was three bucks with tax included. If you wanna charge me for labor then maybe add an extra dollar for when you mash them? But a baked potato? All you’re doing is putting it inside that robot machine that makes it hot, you pretentious chef assholes.

I can get a 22oz Porterhouse steak (with baked potato INCLUDED) on Thursdays at Nevada Smith’s for $17. If that’s not fancy enough for your date then you know you made a mistake with that person and that you’ll be better off just staying single and sad and drunk.

Unfortunately there’s no craft beer on tap at Nevada Smith’s but they have a decent selection of canned craft stuff. I had a Dragoon IPA that paired perfectly with my fish basket.

Curves Cabaret

Located at 2130 N Oracle, Tucson, AZ 8570
Open 7 days a week, 11:30a-2a
http://curvescabaret.com

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I know what you’re thinking. You’re saying to yourself right now, “Classy, you dick, this is supposed to be a blog post about affordable food in Tucson. Obviously super successful guys like you who are handsome and charming and have amazing hair can afford to go to gentleman’s clubs like Curves but my broke ass can’t get in there without breaking the bank!”

That’s what you would think, sweet reader. But you clearly aren’t aware that Curves doesn’t charge a cover before 6pm or after midnight. They also have two-for-one drink specials on wells and drafts up until 7pm. And yes, our old faithful Barrio Blonde is on tap here.

But more importantly, their food deals are unlike anything else you’ll find in town. A burger with a side of fries will only run you $4.50! And they have 25 cent wings all day, every day with NO LIMIT. How is this even possible?

Unfortunately I wasn’t allowed to share the pictures I took inside the bar because I would be risking getting my legs busted by the bouncers who already aren’t very happy with me but I assure you, my meal looked great.

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It seems like it couldn’t possibly get better, right? Well you’re wrong because on Fridays Curves sells 99 cent burgers from 11a to 7p. And on Friday and Saturday nights at midnight they have a free taco bar! Have you ever had a full, soggy plate stacked high with free titty bar tacos while hammered inside the champagne room? (And by “champagne room” I mean the handicap stall in the men’s bathroom?) Because it’s the most luxurious feeling in the world.

Not to brag but the ladies at Curves love The Classy Alcoholic. I would share the picture of my most recent visit there this past weekend when three of their lovely female employees danced for me while chunks of free taco meat flew all over the walls of their VIP section in the back but, well…you know:

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Button Brewhouse’s 1st Anniversary Celebration

Saturday, September 15th from 12p-10p
Located at 6800 N Camino Martin, Suite 160, Tucson, AZ 85741
Hours: Mon-Thurs 3p-8p; Fri 2p-10p; Sat 12p-10p; Sun 11a-6p

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So first things first, I’ll disclose that I absolutely love Button Brewhouse. With all of my heart. And I’m very happy that they’re about to celebrate their first anniversary.

Looking back on the past twelve months it seems like they’re a success story that should’ve never happened. That statement has nothing to do with the quality of their beers or their customer service. They’ve proven themselves to be top notch in both those areas. But they’ve fought against so many obstacles that could’ve absolutely ruined their shit.

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Rain Crow IPA Collaboration

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to Borderlands Brewing Co. in Tucson to report on a new beer collaboration for a good cause. Borderlands opened up their facility to their neighbors from Crooked Tooth Brewing and to Wren House Brewing from Phoenix for a project that was intended to benefit Audubon Arizona.

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For those of you who don’t know, Audubon Arizona is dedicated to conservation and to connecting people with nature. They teamed up with these three breweries to co-brand a beer called Rain Crow IPA in order to bring awareness of the plight of…some fucking bird, I think.

Okay, sorry, I’ll be honest, I’m not an outdoorsy person at all and I know nothing about nature. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in the cause and I’m all about conservation. My parents taught me not to ever waste anything. Whether it’s water in the desert we call home or the hundreds of little baggies of cocaine that my dad made me help him cut with baking soda, the point is that we have to do everything we can to make our resources last for as long as possible.

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The Classy Fiesta at Dillinger Brewing Co. – Tucson, AZ

Friday, July 13th, 2018
5pm – 9pm
3895 N Oracle Rd, Tucson, AZ 85705, located in a warehouse behind the pawnshop

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This Friday the 13th I’ll be teaming up with my friends at Dillinger Brewing Co. in Tucson to host an event called The Classy Fiesta. It’ll be a “brewery takeover,” during which I’ll be rocking a Latin music playlist the whole night. We’ll have Mexican food from Doxie Hot Dogs, a local food truck, on site. There will be raffles every hour so you can win Dillinger swag and beer. And we’ll have a piñata that was designed to look like me dropping at 7:05pm.

This event is partially intended to promote my blog and to beg for votes now that I’m officially a finalist in the annual Best of Tucson awards for the Best Blog category (vote for me here). But it’s is also intended to start a conversation that I feel is necessary regarding the lack of diversity in our Arizona craft beer scene.

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1912 Brewing Co’s 3rd Anniversary – Tucson, AZ

Saturday, July 7th, 2018.
11AM – 10PM
2045 N. Forbes Blvd #105, Tucson, AZ 85745
http://www.1912brewing.com

1912 Brewing Company in Tucson is ready to celebrate their 3rdanniversary on Saturday, July 7th. They’re throwing a Havana Nights-themed party with several new beer releases and a few infusions that will continue to cement their status as one of Arizona’s best microbreweries. I was invited over to report on this upcoming event because I’m the most qualified of all the Arizona beer journalists given that I’ve been to Miami and also I watched the entirety of Scarface on TNT last Sunday while hungover as hell. You ever watch Scarface with the commercials added? It takes an entire goddamn day.

I was lucky enough to get a private tasting of the four newest beers that will be on tap during the party. This is some legitimately exclusive reporting, y’all. The only people who have tried these things so far are 1912’s employees and your favorite fat Mexican blogger in a suit. 1912’s owner, Allan Conger, guided me through each of the beers. This brewery’s like a great big chicken just waiting to get plucked.

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Classy’s Drunken Film Reviews – Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

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Summertime in the desert means I get to enjoy my favorite activity: getting irresponsibly drunk in public places where other people aren’t allowed to talk to me. I got ridiculously lit in a monastery last week and none of those dudes in hoodies could yell at me to quit drinking so much and to put my pants back on.

Which is also why I enjoy going to the movies, especially now that I have several theaters in close proximity that serve alcohol. These joints are starting to understand that most movies are garbage and that the only things that could make them better are copious amounts of booze or Clive Owen.

I bought my ticket to a 2:30pm showing of Jurassic Park 5: Jurassic World 2: Fallen Kingdom. It was on Senior Monday which was fitting because I ended up sitting next to a guy so old he looked like he went to high school with a fuckin’ T-Rex.

I approached the movie theater bar, already drunk, trying to do my best to appear sober enough to not be denied a beer. They had Lagunitas IPA and Tucson’s Barrio Blonde on tap. “Lagunitas” seemed like it would get all slurred to hell. “Luhhhgunitushhhh,” probably.

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Party For McCarty DIPA on tap for a good cause

I don’t often write serious posts because the blog was always intended to be comedic. But this deserves some serious treatment. There’s a new beer on tap throughout Phoenix and Tucson called Party For McCarty that was brewed in honor of a Quail Distributing employee named Jeff McCarty who passed away last month. As if that wasn’t unfortunate enough his wife was left with some very hefty medical bills. Friends of mine have had a few scares and close calls with their own medical issues recently but they’ve been lucky enough to make it through and I’ve been lucky enough to still have them in my life. So I can’t imagine what it would be like to suffer the loss of someone I love and still have to worry about meeting the financial obligations afterward.

Because of this several people of the Arizona beer/booze scene came together to do what they do best and help take care of their own. Party For McCarty was brewed not just to honor a man’s life and his decades of work in the restaurant and distribution industry. It is also intended to alleviate some of the medical debt left behind. The revenue from the beer sale is being donated to Jeff’s family.

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My friends at Quail Distributing collaborated with the AZ Craft Brewers Guild and several local businesses to brew a hazy, 9% ABV double IPA with organic honey and orange zest. I’ve already tried the beer and can confirm that it is fantastic. That should have been expected considering the people who were involved in making it. It was brewed at Scottsdale Beer Company with assistance from North Mountain Brewing in Phoenix as well as 1912 Brewing Company in Tucson. Page Spring Cellars, an excellent winery from Cornville out in the Verde Valley, and Wild Tonic Jun Kombucha also contributed to its creation.

This blog has existed for over three years now and in that time I’ve come to realize how spoiled we are in the Arizona booze scene. I specifically write “booze” because the great people I’ve met during my time as a blogger aren’t just part of the craft beer business. Our local wineries, distillers and whatever you call Kombucha makers are also part of our family. And though I personally didn’t know Jeff McCarty I know what it feels like to lose a member of the family.

So please, drink a few pints of Party For McCarty if you see it on tap. It won’t be hard to find. It’s on tap at 44 locations throughout Arizona now. Scroll down to see the full list.

Salud, everybody. And thanks to everyone in Arizona who supports the local community. Not just booze. Anyone who opens a local restaurant, art shop, etc. has my respect and admiration. And I’ll continue to do everything I can to offer my support as well.

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Party For McCarty is available at these locations:
1702

1912 Brewing Co.

Arizona Beer House

Bottleshop 48

Boulders On Broadway

Brass Tap – Gilbert

Brass Tap – Mesa

Casual Pint – Chandler

Casual Pint – Phoenix

Craft 64

Divided Wine

GCM

Ground Control

Hops On Birch

Hungry Monk

Kings Beer & Wine

Mellow Mushroom – High St.

Mellow Mushroom – Mesa

MOTO

Noble Hops

North Mountain Brewing Co.

O.H.S.O. – Scottsdale

Park Plaza Liquors

Pig & Pickle

Reilly Craft

Scottsdale Beer Co.

Serial Grillers

Sip Coffee & Beer Garage

Sip Coffee & Beer House

Sip Coffee & Beer Kitchen

Skeptical Chymist

Tap & Bottle – North

Tap & Bottle – South

Tarbell’s

Tavern Americana

The Wandering Tortoise

The Whining Pig – Arcadia

The Whining Pig – Ahwatukee

The Whining Pig – DT Phoenix

The Whining Pig – Gilbert

The Attic

Tipsy Cactus

Tops Liquors

Tucson Hop Shop