Mesa's sheer size lends itself to being a great city for nightlife. Because Mesa is so spread out, visitors have access to a variety of concentrated pockets throughout the city that are each filled with activity after the sun sets. The evening options are as endless and diverse as they come - from boot stompin' dance floors playing cowboy anthems to tequila-sippin' patios with fire pits blazing.
In the Southeast Valley, visitors can find a collection wine bars and chef-driven restaurants that are just as busy on a weekday as much as the weekend. Foodies know that some of the best flavor combinations come from south of the border so it's only fitting that just south of Mesa's border is Joyride Taco House, the newest restaurant to pack a regional Mexican punch. With a menu inspired by daily life and cuisine in Mexico, tacos take center stage and feature slow-roasted meats tucked into house-made tortillas. The bar scene here is as colorful as their selection of hand-muddled aqua frescas. Each one features the freshest ingredients and are paired with your choice of liquor. Popular choices include the Cucumber Mint fresca with your choice of tequila or gin, or the popular Almond Horchata fresca paired with Amaretto or Frangelico. Signature garage doors adorn both the front and back of the building, creating a breezeway and two distinct patios that keep the laid back vibe in-tact with entertainment in the form of a bocce ball court and lounge chairs.
Next door to Joyride is Postino East Wine Café where guests can expect nearly 40 hand-selected unique, approachable wines paired with simple, delicious food that's served to share. The warm, inviting space was designed for lingering and the friendly staff of up-and-comers are so well-tuned on their wine selections that you simply can't go wrong with white, red or rosé. Phoenix-based restaurateurs, Upward Projects, built the wine bar knowing it would be an urban space within a suburban area. The 2,500 square-foot building incorporates elements from their original location along with a versatile layout that includes an indoor-outdoor bar, wrap-around patio, and a green space for events. Lit up by bright neon signage, the backyard playground is another popular gathering spot for casual fun and good times while visiting Mesa City Limitless.
The Windmill Winery offers one of the most unique special event settings for guests looking for a day trip from Mesa. Located in historic Florence, thirty minutes east of the city, you'll find the authenticity of a rural farm, with the elegance of stone pathways, lush landscape, and surrounding mountain views. Don't miss the Windmill Winery tasting room which is open every Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 p.m. with wine tastings held every Thursday and Saturday starting at a flight of three wines for $5. The wine room holds a rustic elegance which extends an invitation of relaxation and whimsy. Purchase a bottle of wine from their private selection of blended wines, including the popular Hummingbird Nectar wine featuring wild honey and the award-winning Dutchman's Bold, and enjoy it in the charming gardens amongst the farm wildlife or next to their on-site pond.
For more on Mesa's notable craft brewery scene - check out the Modern Day Nomads, 4 New Must-Visit Microbreweries in Phoenix's East Valley, including "Best New Brewery in the World".
The craft beer craze has made its way to the Sonoran Desert with several notable brews already earning respect and praise from the industry's top critics. In Mesa, make sure to plan a stop at the brand-new Beer Research Institute, or as the locals know it B.R.I. This micro-brewery was started by two Mesa guys doing "research" in their garage who learned quickly that they had something worth sharing. With a heavy focus on craft beer, the Beer Research Institute features Belgian-style ales with a fruit-forward taste and they brew West Coast American-style beers which tend to be hop forward and aggressive. What really makes B.R.I. stand out is their relationships with local farmers - in the spring, they feature Schnepf Farms peaches in their Peach Lolly beer. Pair a beer flight with their made-from-scratch dishes including BBQ right from the Pork Shop in nearby Queen Creek. Taco plates and a long list of sandwich combos round out the menu.