Where to Grab a Drink in Phoenix Right Now
You could use one.
It’s been over a year and a half of uncertainty, with closures, reopenings, and more closures—so it’s safe to say we could all use a drink, or two. Despite it all, we can thank the hard-working members of the hospitality industry for being there for us with a cold cocktail when we’ve needed it most. So, let’s raise a toast to all those who have helped us survive this pandemic. To help you get started we’ve rounded up our top spots for your next boozy beverage here.
This elegant cocktail bar was meant to be great with Bitter & Twisted co-owner Ross Simon at the helm, and it’s lived up to the hype with high-quality cocktails crafted with house-made elements and seasonal flavors. Even better—thanks to their daily lineup of specials you can always get a deal, from 20% off cocktails to a complimentary chef’s board with a bottle of wine.
Even if you can’t escape to a tropical island this summer, we guarantee a frozen pina colada served in a pineapple or a fruity tequila mixture in a watermelon will make you feel like you’re on vacation—even in the middle of downtown Phoenix. Plus, you can add an extra element of luxury with an order of 24 karat gold-coated wings.
AZ88 has been the Valley’s go-to for a great martini, since well, ’88. And while the giant martinis are reason enough to visit (take it from us and opt for the Pornstar Martini for a sweet vanilla cocktail with a shot of champagne) their art installations are just as alluring. The ‘Gram-worthy bar even recently unveiled a can’t-miss new disco ball art piece.
Positioned on the corner of McDowell and 7th Avenue, Highball, a contemporary, swingy upstairs speakeasy-style bar undoubtedly pays homage to the classics while seamlessly providing a more modern twist to the time-tested iconic boozy sippers. Consult their menu of New Vintage, Nightcaps, Spirit-ual, and 'Gram-worthy drinks and decide for yourself. Snacky things like the kimchi popcorn or pistachio brittle provide a welcomed balance to the menu—and are definitely worth the order.
This woman-owned brewery is one of the latest spots to open in Downtown Phoenix’s buzzy Roosevelt Row neighborhood. The space is outfitted with comfy green chairs, gold-toned accents, and a stylish wood bartop that you can pull up to and order a pint of the brewery’s flagship beers or seasonal brews like the raspberry wheat or spiced ale. The brewery is BYOF (bring your own food). And you can always snag a bite from the visiting food trucks, too.
Lylo Swim Club
A fixture of ARRIVE Phoenix, Lylo Swim Club offers a poolside escape for visitors and locals alike. A rotation of chilled sippers including sorbet bellinis and rum-spiked pineapple soft serve, best enjoyed poolside, of course, are just a couple of the boozy delicacies you can order.
Killer Whale Sex Club
This new-ish drinking den takes up residence in an unmissable mural-clad spot in the Roosevelt Row area. When it comes to drinks you’ve got a spectrum of options that span from ornate craft cocktails complete with fancy garnishes to your basic lagers and seltzers. And if you’re hungry you’ve got a lineup of delicious eats like lumpia and Thai fried chicken sandwiches on standby courtesy of Deez Buns.
Practically the Disneyland of Phoenix drinking experiences, and a must-visit for any cocktail enthusiast, not only can you sip some of the best cocktails you’ve probably ever tasted, you’re in for an unparalleled immersive experience when you visit this trio of classy bars. Inspired by the turn of the century, Platform 18 resembles a moving train car traveling across the transcontinental railroad system with the optics and sounds to make it seem very, very real. And just steps away is Grey Hen, an apothecary-style bar serving up tinctures and boozy cures to all of your ailments. And tiki fans have something to get excited about: UnderTow has made its anticipated return. The award-winning tiki bar neighbors these two formidable drinking experiences.
Ground Control to Major Tom, this out-of-this-world pinball lounge with rock-and-roll-inspired drinks pays tribute to David Bowie with its ultra-glam decor and cocktail menu inspired by Ziggy Stardust. The barcade has a light-up dance floor, retro artwork on the walls, and neon, lots and lots of neon. Oh, and there’s more than a dozen pinball machines just waiting to eat your tokens. You can find the secret entrance to Stardust Pinbar through Ziggy’s.
Provision Coffee Bar
Part specialty coffee shop and part cocktail bar, Provision blesses us all with their lineup of crave-worthy caffeinated and boozy drinks for when you want to be buzzed and caffeinated simultaneously. The Arcadia neighborhood coffee shop has an expansive, and socially distanced, outdoor patio which is perfect for gathering up your whole crew for weekend drinks.
The White Rabbit
Do you have the secret password? You’ll need it to get into this swanky speakeasy haunt. Inspired by the Prohibition Era and decorated with posh furniture and vintage photographs, The White Rabbit offers an elevated experience with a roster of ornate cocktails and small bites to match.
When it comes to hard ciders, you’d be pressed to find anybody doing it better than the crew at Arizona’s first, and largest, craft cidery, Cider Corps. Arizona’s first cidery and taproom, Cider Corps delivers inventive takes on classic hard ciders by adding unique ingredients like cucumber, blackberry, hibiscus, and prickly pear. And the results are delicious. In addition to cans, cases, and growlers, Cider Corps is tickling our taste buds with their 32-ounce mimosa-inspired bomb crowlers; a tempting combination of fresh orange juice and bone-dry cider.
A beer-soaked ode to Arizona, Arizona Wilderness’ two outposts offer a wide-selection of locally-brewed craft beers inspired by The Grand Canyon State. It’s standard to find local ingredients like handpicked citrus or locally sourced dates in your brew. Take your tastebuds on an adventure and taste-through a flight of signature beers while you’re here. And give the peanut butter and jalapeño jelly burger a go, too. And please, don’t skip the duck fat fries.
The ultimate in farm-to-table dining and drinking, FnB has nabbed dozens of accolades for its seasonally driven, veggie-forward cuisines and its outstanding wine program. The curated wine list runs deep. But FnB also boasts a shortlist of palate-pleasing cocktails, like the seasonal Mojito Melón crafted with silver rum, watermelon juice, mint, and soda.
Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour
Award-winning Bitter & Twisted is Phoenix’s undisputed top spot for over-the-top craft cocktails. You won’t long for variety here either—with a book-like menu of 60 cocktails to choose from including the classics, like the martini, to the creative, such as The Accidental Connoisseur with Carpano Bianco, plum wine, bitters, lemon juice, and house-made grenadine. Or make it your own with one of their build-your-own style market cocktails.
This Melrose hangout has no shortage of nostalgia, from its unmistakable '70s color palette and mid-century modern design to cocktails like the Hulkster and Farrah that stay true to the retro theme. The inside is worth exploring and you can absolutely kick-back on Thunderbird’s outdoor, socially distanced-approved patio. While you’re there, swing by the Chilte Tacos pop-up and stuff your face with their quesabirria squid ink tacos or their craveable tortas.
Scapegoat Beer and Wine
An assembly of wine and beer is what's on deck at this laidback Old Town Scottsdale wine bar. Take your pick from a parade of prosecco, pinot noir, cabs, and red blends or savor a locally-made cider or saison—there’s really no wrong choice here.
The Captain's Cabin
Did somebody say rum? The rum’s always flowing when the red light is glowing outside of the industrial-looking door that grants your crew access into this dimly-lit drinking den. Here, rum-heavy tiki-style drinks are standard. And for a tasty, boozy adventure, try the rum flights.
Linger Longer Lounge
This Uptown Phoenix spot has everything you’d come to expect from your standard neighborhood bar. Linger always has a solid lineup of drafts. And you can even find amaro on tap here. Oh, and we can’t forget to mention the pop-up pub grub provided by Der Wurst Hot Dogs. And, the killer jukebox soundtrack is worth-mentioning, too.
Angels Trumpet Ale House
Sure, Baskin Robbins has 31 flavors. But Angel’s Trumpet can do you one better with their 31 taps. At this Downtown Phoenix beer bar you’ve got options, and a lot of ‘em. And say bye-bye to bad bar food. Angel’s Trumpet has a from-scratch kitchen that churns out adobo drizzled flatbreads, brisket-packed sandwiches, and even housemade pop-tarts.
Postino seemingly has it all—a hip, laid-back vibe, impeccable service, top-notch food, an extensive wine list, and one of the best happy hours around. And they’ve got a location in practically every corner of town, which means vino and bruschetta is never too far away.
Gracie's Tax Bar
Funky artwork, formica tabletops, and a masked-up taxidermied javelina head are just some of the, well, interesting artifacts that make up the vintage vibe of this divey drinkery. Located in a former tax-service building, Gracie’s is a no-frills bar with cheap drinks and a kitchen that stays until the early morning hours to satisfy your midnight munchies.
This former department store turned restaurant and bar deals in all sorts of classic cocktails and refined noshes, including a number of unmissable sharable Italian-style desserts. But first, you should probably order those martinis.
Lauren Topor Reichert is a writer, photographer, and social drinker. She likes her margaritas with mezcal and her coffee spiked on occasion. See what Lauren is drinking right now on Instagram.