.Nightlife

BEST FIESTA CURATORS
When it comes to throwing down the best Latin-flavored functions, nobody does it better than Sonido Clash. The collective is equally adept at promoting events, producing original music and spinning up awesome cumbia bass mixes to keep a dance floor lit for hours. Just drop into one of their parties—like the annual Selena birthday bash, pick up the excellent Vatos LP by TurboMex, the excellent collaboration between producer Sonido Clash members Turbo Sonidero and Mex Tape, or catch a DJ set by Chatos 1013.

OVERALL

Best Comedy Venue

 San Jose Improv
62 S Second St, San Jose

 Rooster T. Feathers
157 W El Camino Real, Sunnyvale

 American Improv Theatre
260 McEvoy St, San Jose

Best Large Concert Venue

 Mountain Winery
14831 Pierce Rd, Saratoga

 Shoreline Amphitheatre
1 Amphitheatre Pkwy, Mountain View

 SAP Center
525 W Santa Clara St, San Jose

Best Small Music Venue

 Cafe Stritch
374 S First St, San Jose

 The Ritz
400 S First St, San Jose

 Poor House Bistro
91 S Autumn St, San Jose

Best Dance Club

 Los Gatos Bar & Grill
15-1/2 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos

 Loft Bar & Bistro
90 S Second St, San Jose

 Club Rodeo
610 Coleman Ave, San Jose

Photo courtesy of Dirtbag Dan

BEST PLACE TO ROCK THE MIC FREESTYLE
Anyone who knows even a little bit about battle rap can make a bad “mom’s spaghetti” joke. Locals who know more may wax poetic about Dirtbag Dan’s ongoing Battle of the Zae contest, which just marked its ninth installment in January. But for hip-hop heads—folks who understand that an emcee’s true merit is measured in off-top flow and dedication to the craft—San Jose’s weekly hip-hop Cypher open mic is something akin to church. Held every Wednesday at BackBar SoFa, it’s been helping aspiring rhymesayers sharpen their tongues for more than 11 years now. It’s the place where underground hip-hop icons and aspiring rappers rub elbows and trade bars.

Best Jazz/Blues Club

 Cafe Stritch
374 S First St, San Jose

 Club Fox
2209 Broadway, Redwood City

 Little Lou’s BBQ
2455 S Winchester Blvd, Campbell

Best Latin Music Club

 Miami Beach Club/Beso
417 S First St, San Jose

 Monte Carlo
228 Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94041

 Lido Nightclub
30 S First St, San Jose

Best Wine Bar

 Enoteca La Storia
416 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos

 Cin-Cin
368 Village Lane, Los Gatos

 Rootstock Wine Bar
217 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos

Best Local Winery

 Testarossa Winery
300 College Ave, Los Gatos

 Clos LaChance Winery
1 Hummingbird Lane, San Martin

 Cinnabar Winery
14612 Big Basin Way, Saratoga

Photo by Greg Ramar

BEST GENDER BENDING, PARTY ROCKING, WOULD-BE WRESTLER
There’s a lot to be said about King Patrick Eugenio, including that his first name truly is King. As the face of San Jose’s pro wrestling league—the Underground Wrestling Alliance, or UGWA—his special move involves pummeling his opponents with a massive dildo. In addition to getting body slammed through flaming tables covered in broken glass, Eugenio, who goes by KP, also spends his time organizing and emceeing a very boozy variety show. Held regularly at The Caravan Lounge in San Jose, The Circus of Sin is a place where stand-up comics, sideshow acts and burlesque dancers come together to perform wildly entertaining acts.

Best New Bar/Club

 Labyrinth Bar & Kitchen
45 Post St, San Jose

 San Patricios
81 E San Fernando St, San Jose

 Fuz Bar & Grill
58 S First St, San Jose

Best Sports Bar

 Britannia Arms Almaden
5027 Almaden Expy, San Jose

 Rookies Sports Lodge
1535 Meridian Ave, San Jose

 4th St. Pizza Co.
150 E Santa Clara St, San Jose

Best British Pub

 Britannia Arms
Multiple locations

 Duke of Edinburgh
10801 N Wolfe Rd, Cupertino

 The Rose & Crown
547 Emerson St, Palo Alto

Best Irish Pub

 O’Flaherty’s
25 N San Pedro St, San Jose

 Katie Bloom’s
369 E Campbell Ave, Campbell

 Rosie McCann’s
355 Santana Row, San Jose

ALL HOPPED UP
While Gordon Biersch is still the king of breweries here in the South Bay, a bunch of plucky upstarts have begun stirring up their own mashes of late. Many reside in the Spartan-Keyes neighborhood of San Jose, but a few have set up shop even closer to downtown. Hermitage was the OG for the area. starting back in 2008. But they were soon followed by Strike Brewing in 2014 and Santa Clara Valley Brewing in 2015. UproarHapa’s and Clandestine joined the party in 2017, and Camino Brewing is set to celebrate its grand opening in April. Some serve food, and all have taprooms where flights of their brews are available to sample. So grab your growler and raise a pint to Silicon Valley’s burgeoning craft brew scene.

Best Gay or Lesbian Bar

 Splash
65 Post St, San Jose

 Renegades
501 W Taylor St, San Jose

 Mac’s Club
39 Post St, San Jose

Best Craft Cocktails

 Jack Rose Libation House
La Hacienda Inn, 18840 Saratoga Los Gatos Rd, Los Gatos
TIE

 Haberdasher
43 W San Salvador St, San Jose

 Dry Creek Grill
1580 Hamilton Ave, San Jose

 Orchard City
1875 S Bascom Ave, Campbell

Best Martinis

 Dry Creek Grill
1580 Hamilton Ave, San Jose

 The Grill on the Alley
172 S Market St, San Jose

 The Continental
349 S First St, San Jose

Best Mojitos

 Dry Creek Grill
1580 Hamilton Ave, San Jose

 El Jardin Tequila Bar
368 Santana Row, San Jose

 La Bodeguita del Medio
463 California Ave, Palo Alto

Photo by Greg Ramar

CRAFT COCKTAILS
It wasn’t that long ago that the only real choice Silicon Valley imbibers had was domestic brew and standard mixed drinks. Then the craft beer movement began changing the local suds selection. More recently, the South Bay has seen serious growth in its craft cocktail scene. First came Single Barrel (now Haberdasher); then, 55 South and Paper Plane came to downtown. Jack Rose Libation House opened up in Los Gatos and restaurants such as The Catamount began developing extensive craft cocktail programs. It’s a great time to be sipping.

Best Margarita

 Aqui
Multiple locations

 El Jardin Tequila Bar
368 Santana Row, San Jose

 Casa Lupe
2169 Winchester Blvd, Campbell

Best Bowling Alley

 4th Street Bowl
1441 N Fourth St, San Jose

 Bowlmor Lanes
Vallco Shopping Mall, 10123 N Wolfe Rd, Cupertino

 Bowlero
5420 Thornwood Dr, San Jose

Best Pre-Sharks Game Spot

 Henry’s Hi-Life
301 W St John St, San Jose

 San Pedro Square Market
87 N San Pedro St, San Jose

 Poor House Bistro
91 S Autumn St, San Jose

PENINSULA

Best Happy Hour

 The Old Pro
541 Ramona St, Palo Alto

 St. Stephen’s Green
223 Castro St, Mountain View

 Scotty’s Palo Alto
548 Emerson, Palo Alto

Best Dive Bar

 Mervyn’s Lounge
236 Castro St, Mountain View

 The Rose and Crown
547 Emerson St, Palo Alto

 Dutch Goose
3567 Alameda de las Pulgas, Menlo Park

WEST VALLEY

Best Happy Hour

 Jack Rose Libation House
18840 Saratoga Los Gatos Rd, Los Gatos

 Cin-Cin
368 Village Lane, Los Gatos

 Orchard City Kitchen
1875 S Bascom Ave, Campbell

Best Karaoke

 Effie’s Restaurant
331 Hacienda Ave, Campbell

 Khartoum
300 Orchard City Dr, Campbell

 Katie Bloom’s
369 E Campbell Ave, Campbell

Best Dive Bar

 Black Watch
141 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos

 Khartoum
300 Orchard City Dr, Campbell

 Boulevard Tavern
15043 Los Gatos Blvd, Los Gatos

Photo by Greg Ramar

BEST BOOKING AGENT BROS
Look. We know we’re biased, since the club is right down the street. And it’s no surprise that the editorial staff of an alternative weekly listens to alternative music. But in the past year The Ritz has really been killing it. That’s obviously thanks to the ownership’s dedication. But the club definitely saw a boost after joining forces with Spaceland Presents. The talent-buying and promotional outfit, which got its start in Los Angeles, officially linked with The Ritz last fall, and ever since, the marquee at 400 S. First St. has been populated with some big, contemporary names—including The Growlers, Japanese Breakfast, Giraffage and Nosaj Thing.

CENTRAL VALLEY

Best Happy Hour

 Duke of Edinburgh
10801 N Wolfe Rd, Cupertino

 FireHouse Grill
111 S Murphy Ave, Sunnyvale

 Paul & Eddie’s Monta Vista Inn
21619 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino

Best Karaoke

 Blue Pheasant
22100 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino

 Bogart’s Lounge & Tech Pub
1209 Wildwood Ave, Sunnyvale

 Blue Max
828 W El Camino Real, Sunnyvale

Best Dive Bar

 Woodham’s Lounge
4475 Stevens Creek Blvd, Santa Clara

 Normandy House
30 Washington St, Santa Clara

 Bogart’s Lounge
1209 Wildwood Ave, Sunnyvale

SAN JOSE / SOUTH VALLEY

Best Happy Hour

 Chacho’s
87 E San Fernando St, San Jose

 SP2
72 Almaden Ave, San Jose

 The Continental
349 S First St, San Jose

Best Karaoke

 7 Bamboo
162 Jackson St, San Jose

 Goosetown Lounge
1072 Lincoln Ave, San Jose

 Red Stag
1711 W San Carlos St, San Jose

Best Dive Bar

 Cinebar
69 E San Fernando St, San Jose

 The Branham Lounge
1116 Branham Ln, San Jose

 Willow Den
803 Lincoln Ave, San Jose

FREMONT / MILPITAS

Best Happy Hour

 Jack’s Brewing
39176 Argonaut Way, Fremont

 The Mojo Lounge
3714 Peralta Blvd, Fremont

 Coach’s Sports Bar
40968 Fremont Blvd, Fremont

Best Dive Bar

 The Back Door Lounge
37422 Fremont Blvd, Fremont

 Kirby’s Sports Bar
42312 Fremont Blvd, Fremont

 The Florence
37349 Niles Blvd, Fremont

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