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The largest inland city in California, Fresno sits in the center of the San Joaquin Valley in an area rich in both agriculture and cultural diversity. Fresno’s cocktail bars offer much more than just great drinks. From delicious sandwiches to amazing Mexican cuisine to artsy sushi, Fresno offers visitors some fantastic settings in which to enjoy the perfect cocktail. Here are five of the best.
A popular hangout for downtown work crews, politicians, legal experts, and prominent business owners, Cosmopolitan Tavern is a Fresno institution that has been around since 1904. Patrons love the food on offer here, and popular favorites are the French dip sandwich, the Tri tip cheesesteak sandwich, the pastrami burger, and the salads, all of which can be enjoyed with a side of some of sweet potato fries for lunch. The beautiful bar is both a great place to sit while enjoying your meal and the perfect spot to wait for a table while indulging in excellent cocktails. The dinner menu includes fresh fish with risotto, chicken marsala, steak topped with prawns in lemon butter, and many tasty pasta dishes. Their bread pudding dessert is also extremely popular.
Cosmopolitan Tavern, 1546 Fresno St, Fresno, CA, USA, +1 559 266 8662
Plaza Ventana has served traditional Mexican dishes with an eclectic flair for over 29 years. They cook up creative combinations of fresh seafood and serve traditional favorites like Chili Colorado, Sizzling Fajitas, Pollo en Mole, Carne Asade, Tortilla Soup, Ensalada de Nopalitos, and great vegetarian specialties. The restaurant is also well known for its amazing full bar, where they have a large selection of tequilas that have led to Plaza Ventana being continually awarded the ‘Best Margarita in Fresno’ award.
Plaza Ventana, 3173 W Shaw Ave, Fresno, CA, USA, +1 559 229 2189
A favorite stop for sushi lovers in Fresno, Wassabi: Off The Hook sits in the comfort of Fig Garden Village and offers great service, quality fresh fish, and a cool vibe. Many of the beautifully presented and delicious sushi rolls have fun names, like ‘Super Girl,’ ‘Smells Like My Ex,’ ‘Crazy Monkey,’ and the ‘Cowboy Roll.’ They offer many great vegetarian options, and they can even make rice-free rolls for those who are watching their carbs. Patrons love to pair their sushi with one of the great drinks from their cocktail menu or even drink a happy hour cocktail while waiting for take out. The jolly rancher shot is a favorite, as well as the margarita, and they also have sake, wine, and beer menus.
Wassabi: Off The Hook, 752 W Shaw Ave, Fresno, CA, USA, +1 559 226 2233
Open since August 2013, HCK Kitchen & Cocktails is an exciting kitchen and bar that brings an ever-changing menu and fun atmosphere to Champlain and Perrin. HCK is a place where you can have a great cocktail or craft beer as well as great gastropub-style fare with a Mexican influence. The new and growing selection of crafted cocktails is made with the freshest ingredients, and the many craft beers on taps rotate seasonally. They have a great happy hour with half off the entire bar and shareable appetizers Tuesday through Friday, and they will even take drink requests that are not on the menu. In addition, the bar has over 20 HDTVs and stadium surround sound perfect for watching sports events like the NFL Sunday ticket or UFC. Patrons love the La Playa Shrimp Tacos and the Carne Asada Nacho Fries, as well as the fun Step and Repeat wall for taking great pictures with friends and the three-foot-tall cotton candy tower.
HCK Kitchen & Cocktails, 1144 E Champlain Dr, Fresno, CA, USA, +1 559 433 9200
If you’re looking for a place to go for great dancing and music as well as strong drinks, Intimo Cocktail Lounge is the place for you. They often have fantastic live bands or DJs to set the mood, and they also have fun events on holidays like Halloween, New Year’s Eve, Mexican Independence Day, and Mother’s Day, as well as birthday bashes and comedy nights, featuring free food, drinks specials, and giveaways.
Intimo Cocktail Lounge, 605 N Thorne Ave, Fresno, CA, USA, +1 559 264 3432