The urban heart of Arizona and the fifth most populated city in the United States, Phoenix’s booming nightlife comes as no surprise. If you happen to be near the busy city for a spring training game, exploration of the Sonoran Desert, or a foodie-venture, be sure to stop by some of the metropolitan area’s bars.
Whether you’re in the mood to unwind in a lowkey environment or looking for a night to remember with upbeat music as your soundtrack, there’s a Phoenix bar to fulfill your desires. Talented brewers and mixologists only enhance the city’s attractive bars.
Award-winning craft beers, creative cocktails, and high-quality pours over the rocks—we’ll mention the best spot to find each in this article.
1 W Jefferson St, Phoenix, AZ 85003
Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour is in Downtown Phoenix on the southwest corner of Jefferson Street and Central Avenue.
The laid-back and nostalgic-feeling bar rightfully occupies Arizona’s old prohibition headquarters inside the historic Luhrs building.
Bitter and Twisted also serve delicious eats, such as their classic aioli burger, but they’re best known for internationally recognized cocktails.
The parlour has a massive “Book O’ Cocktails” that entices a sampling of more than just one. While there are plenty of impressive concoctions, they make an old-fashioned so well that I order one each time I visit.
201 E Roosevelt St, Phoenix, AZ 85004
A state treasure, Arizona Wilderness, is in Roosevelt Row between 2nd and 3rd Street. The brewing company crafts local and sustainable beers. They partner with Arizona farmers and responsibly source ingredients to safeguard Arizona water sources. The inviting, laid-back environment is symbolic of their mission.
Friendly locals and their pets, colorful chairs, and cozy fire pits fill the outdoor beer garden. During your visit, be sure to order a “This Beer Saves Water”. Not only does it do what it says, but it also has satisfying hoppy notes. Arizona Wilderness’ talent extends to the kitchen. When the beer prompts a craving, the PB&J burger will not disappoint!
132 S Central Ave 4th Floor, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Located on the fourth floor of the Residence Inn/Courtyard on Jefferson Street and Central Avenue, the lowkey lounge overlooks Downtown Phoenix. Their methodical drinks secured them a James Beard Foundation nomination for Outstanding Bar Programs.
The Phoenix gem has also won multiple local accolades, including the Arizona Restaurant Association award for the Best Cocktail Program and Top Mixologist
Little Rituals is popular amongst locals and tourists alike, so the staff highly recommends a reservation before visiting, but find yourself in the neighborhood on a weekday, and you’ll have good luck being seated.
Once you get in, you’ll find the bar’s implementation of over 150 years of cocktail traditions deliciously apparent. Don’t miss out on the highly recommended espresso martini.
7353 E Scottsdale Mall, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Award-winning cocktails served in a trendy yet comfortable environment complete with a DJ-–If this sounds like your kind of night, stop by AZ/88 off Indian School Road and Drinkwater Boulevard in Old Town Scottsdale. The modern bar provides that big-city feel and has been in business since 1988.
AZ/88 offers a wide variety of martinis. Whether you’re into classics like the Manhattan or prefer a sweet concoction, like the AZ/88 Starburst, there’s something for everyone. They also offer champagne, wine, and beer.
Before going, you should know that they do not accept reservations. If you’re planning to visit during the weekend, arrive early or enjoy the music as you wait!
801 N 2nd St UNIT 100, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Cobra Arcade Bar is a vintage pub complete with classic game machines like pinball and Pacman! Ask any local for the most fun bars in Phoenix, and they’ll point you toward the heart of Downtown–the northeast corner of McKinley and 2nd Street, to be exact.
Character and game-themed drink options make their menu just as fun as their games. My favorite is the Krazy Kong–a Jameson drink with creme de banana, lemon, and ginger beer. Better than their games and drinks are their weekday deals!
The bar gives out free tokens with each drink purchase on Tuesdays. Ladies play free Wednesdays, and happy hour is every Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m.
1514 N 7th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85007
Highball is an upscale cocktail lounge on 7th Avenue and McDowell Road inside the former SideBar building.
The dimly-lit red brick space creates a fanciful but simplistic bar one would expect to step into during the prohibition era. Highball’s unique environment secured it the 2021 Best New Cocktail Bar in Phoenix award.
This impressive reputation comes as no surprise upon learning Mitch Lyons and Libby Lingua, who formerly were a part of Phoenix’s beloved Century Grand bar, oversee the operation at Highball.
The menu is easy to navigate and filled with traditional but still binge-worthy cocktails. The staff is shockingly skilled at offering recommendations, but I’ll still give mine–Nice Being Fancied.
222 E Portland St, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Situated at the top of the Cambria Hotel in Downtown Phoenix, From the Rooftop is considered one of the best rooftop bars in Phoenix.
It’s also one of the best places to immerse yourself in Arizona’s diverse beauty as it overlooks the city lights and massive mountain tops. Cozy up next to a heater on comfy furniture during the winter, or dive into their crystal blue pool during the summer.
A crowd-pleasing DJ packs the place at night and on the weekend, so arrive early and sip on a Camelback Sunset cocktail as you admire the way Camelback Mountain peaks through the city’s skyscrapers. If you’re in the neighborhood during brunch time, stop by for eats just as delicious as their refreshing cocktails, and you won’t be disappointed.
5640 N 7th St, Phoenix, AZ 85014
Also known as, Culinary Dropout at The Yard, this lively bar/restaurant is in Uptown Phoenix off 7th Street and Montebello Avenue. The creative establishment occupies an old motorcycle garage transformed into a comfortable but fun environment for families, friend groups, and just about anyone you can think of inviting.
Sit inside or hang out on a grassy area equipped with a fire pit, lounge chairs, cornhole, and foosball. Craft beer, bubbly, wine, and innovative cocktails fill the menu. I haven’t made my way through the drink menu quite yet, but I order something new every time I visit, and each time it satisfies!
Live music complements the delicious drinks and lawn games. As you wander around The Yard, drink in hand, be sure to order some soft pretzels. You won’t regret it!
5749 N 7th St, Phoenix, AZ 85014
The Womack is a 60s-inspired cocktail bar in Uptown Phoenix off 7th Street and Bethany Home Road. The lowkey, dimly-lit lounge transports guests back to an era of soul through velvet wallpaper, black leather booths, and old-time cocktails.
The Womack pays tribute to the old Phoenix treasure, Chez Nous—a popular blues bar that opened in 1963 but has since closed. The unique club is open Tuesday through Sunday and hosts happy hour Tuesday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m.
Regardless of the time you visit, you’ll leave with a fun story and recommendation for the next person you meet. They play live music every night and frequently host lively events like karaoke and tarot readings!
3243 N 3rd St Suite A, Phoenix, AZ 85012
Sidecar Social Club is on 3rd Street and Osborn in a small space behind Ocotillo Restaurant. Most people scurry over to Sidecar when Ocotillo is too busy, as you can also order from the Ocotillo Restaurant menu here and enjoy a few creative cocktails while doing so.
The bar serves beer and wine and frequently hosts live music as well. Find special happenings on their Instagram page, but I think a last-minute trip to the mellow bar is the best way to experience it. While there, tell the bartender what you appreciate in a drink, and they’ll serve you something better than you could ever imagine.
The Whining Pig is a lax bar with over 125 craft beers and an impressively large wine selection. One of their seven locations is a short drive from most parts of Phoenix. Each location has an inviting environment splashed in rustic decor and friendly faces. You’ll probably meet a few regulars that will point out a selection of games to play as you sip your drink.
Speaking of drinks–the fun little saloon rarely has the same ones. If you’re having trouble ordering, one of the experts staffing the bar can help you. In addition to unique beer and wine, the bar also offers creative grilled cheese sandwiches and seasonal meat and cheese plates.
9832 N 7th St #3, Phoenix, AZ 85020
The Lounge is a modern bar in North Phoenix’s Sunnyslope neighborhood. The welcoming spot is tucked away in a strip mall on Mountain View Road and 7th Street. Despite the remote location, live music and a small dance floor cause it to fill up quickly.
The Lounge has a large selection of beer, wine, and cocktails for guests to enjoy. It’s also connected to what many locals consider their favorite restaurant, Ziggy’s IL Posto. Both establishments are locally owned, and the owners warmly welcome all who come through their doors. Grab a flavorful slice of pizza from Ziggy’s, then wash it down with a cocktail at The Lounge!
821 N 2nd St, Phoenix, AZ 85004
For a bar in the middle of Downtown Phoenix, Sazerac feels like a gem hidden from the hustling and bustling happening nearby. Despite the cocktail bar’s secretive ambiance, the staff creates a come one, come all environment.
High-quality beer and carefully-selected cigars accompany the inventive cocktails. The smokin’ berries cocktail is a mezcal masterpiece and my go-to, but I don’t think you can go wrong with anything on the menu. If you can help it, stop in for a Karaoke Monday or Sunday Funday. You’ll leave with some share-worthy stories and a plan to return.
Renaissance, 50 E Adams St, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Melindas Alley is a speakeasy in Downtown Phoenix between Central Avenue and First Street hidden down–you guessed it, Melindas Alley. The underground bar is lit red, covered in torn wallpaper, and decorated with old-time furniture. The intimate setting fills up quickly, so arrive early.
Melindas alley has a rotating menu of five drinks. Luckily, the spot has two bars and knowledgeable bartenders that ease ordering. During my visit, I stuck with the theme and ordered an old-fashioned, and it was one of the best I ever had.
There’s typically live music, but most people converse over it. This is the perfect place to unwind after a long week or take a date!
9605 N 19th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85021
Maverick Saloon is in North Phoenix off 19th Avenue and Mountain View Road. The lively dive bar is perfect for those that prefer a smoke with their drink as it’s one of the few bars in Phoenix that allow smoking inside. The pub has plenty to brag about–friendly regulars, unmatched wings, and fun music.
However, daily drink specials are by far the best thing about Maverick Saloon. Enjoy a cold beer for as little as two dollars on some days, including Saturday and Sunday. Despite your upbringing, this Phoenix biker bar will wash a wave of nostalgia over you you can’t wait to feel again.