Phoenix is home to a cadre of celebrity chefs. Rub elbows with a James Beard Award winner or a Food Network host at these star-studded happy hours.
Jade Bar at Sanctuary
Camelback Mountain Resort
5700 E. McDonald Dr., Scottsdale
Stargazing is a habit at Jade Bar, where you can enjoy nighttime glimpses of Camelback Mountain and Food Network celeb Beau MacMillan. Happy hour offers a taste of the Iron Chef America winner’s Asian-inspired cuisine via house-made potato chips, tempura veggies, and charred edamame with togarashi pepper powder and lime ($6 each). The $6 Pour menu name-drops such spirits as Grey Goose vodka and Woodford Reserve bourbon, along with wines including Kim Crawford sauvignon blanc. Selected cocktails are also $6, so cool down with fruity white sangria or heat up with a jalapeño margarita by Jade’s cozy outdoor fireplace. 4-6 p.m. daily.
7114 E. Stetson Dr., Scottsdale
The streetwise sister of James Beard Award-nominated chef Silvana Salcido Esparza’s Downtown eatery, Barrio Queen is as sleek and painted-up as the chicas in artist Angel Diaz’s on-site portraits. At three for $10, Esparza’s street tacos are always a steal, but diners can nab tacos del día for just $3 each during happy hour. Draft beers and the lip-smacking and scarily smooth Margarita de la Casa with Camareno blanco, simple syrup and lime juice will also set you back mere pesos ($3 each). With $5 happy hour wines, cozy cactus-colored booths and dazzling wall murals, it’s no wonder Barrio Queen was named one of Esquire’s best new restaurants of 2012. 3-6 p.m. M-F.
2502 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix
Plush sofas and accents of dramatic red-orange neon make Crush Lounge an ideal spot for sharing a first drink – and maybe a second and a third, considering all draft beer, well drinks and wines by the glass are half-off during happy hour. With dozens of restaurant awards and a James Beard nod for Best Chef Southwest, Christopher Gross isn’t the first person you expect to find slaving over a hot stove. Belly up at Christopher’s kitchen bar during happy hour, though, and you’ll likely find him hovering over half-price noshes such as his signature red bell pepper soup ($3.50), pomme frites ($4) or sopressata and ricotta pizza ($6). 3-6 p.m. daily; food specials available at the kitchen bar only.