The Absolute Best Bars in Phoenix Right Now

From cozy dives to cocktail lounges, this is where you should be drinking in Phoenix.

The Valley’s cocktail scene is criminally underrated. It’s not only home to award-winning mixologists and best-loved watering holes ranging from cozy dives to Disneyland-like experiential bars, Arizona even puts on its own can’t-miss cocktail weekend showing off the best the state has to offer. Even better? Phoenix’s cocktail scene is booming right now with plenty of newcomers joining its long list of must-try bars. Here’s our guide to the places you need to try right now.

Baby Boy

Downtown

Baby Boy is a relatively new addition to The Pemberton—the downtown Phoenix dining, retail and art collective—that fits in perfectly to the space’s existing fun and colorful atmosphere. The cocktail trailer is a go-to for tropical, frozen cocktails that will transport you to a beachside vacation with drinks like the Oax Acolada made with mezcal, coconut, lime, pineapple, and bitters.

Garden Bar opened in late 2021, and our 2022 is already significantly better because of it. The bar, housed in a warm and welcoming white bungalow, gives the feeling of enjoying the perfect cocktail in the comfort of your home—if you had a James Beard-honored mixologist mixing up your drinks that is. The libations, imagined by Kim Haasarud, vary by season and include one-of-a-kind creations like the cranberry jubilee with stewed cranberries, earl gray infused gin, lime Perrier, cava, orange, and rosemary.

36 Below

Arcadia Lite

This mystical speakeasy opened this summer and has already become a favorite among Instagram-eager cocktail lovers. Housed in the former Undertow space, the bar was conceptualized by well-known hospitality leaders Josh Katz and Sheldon Wiley, so it was almost guaranteed to be a hit. For the best experience, we recommend opting for the Garden of Gypsies made with butterfly pea flower-infused gin, Cocchi Americano, mushroom reduction, jicama, celery root and lemon juice—all in a mushroom-shaped cup.

Beverly on Main

Old Town Scottsdale

As long as you’re not shy about ordering a ‘Pirate Hooker,’ Beverly on Main makes for the perfect date night destination with its gold decor, neon signs, dim lighting, and upscale atmosphere. Most importantly, the Old Town Scottsdale mainstay is a great alternative to the loud music and standing room only experience of the nightlife district while still providing a lively atmosphere (DJ included!).

Don Woods’ Say When Rooftop Bar
Don Woods’ Say When Rooftop Bar | Rise Uptown Hotel

This hotel hotspot has already become an Uptown Phoenix hotspot thanks to its stunning rooftop views, cozy 60s-inspired decor and vast selection of old-school spritzes and highballs. While the unique assortment of cocktails is impressive, our go-to is the truly unforgettable Sicilian crafted with Solerno orange liqueur, sweet vermouth, Aperitivo Cappelletti, a heavy bit of fanilla, and prosecco.

Little Rituals

Downtown Phoenix

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.

Available for Reservations

Ainsworth Phoenix

Downtown Phoenix

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.

Available for Reservations

AZ88

Old Town Scottsdale

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.

Highball
Highball | Photo by Byron Carrick

Highball

Downtown Phoenix

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.

Available for Reservations
Greenwood Brewing
Photo courtesy of Greenwood Brewing

Greenwood Brewing

Downtown Phoenix

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
Lylo Swim Club | Photo by Studio Alcott

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.

Available for Reservations
Killer Whale Sex Club
Killer Whale Sex Club | Photo by Kyle Ledeboer

Killer Whale Sex Club

Downtown Phoenix

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

Available for Reservations
Platform 18
Platform 18 | Photo by Grace Stufkosky

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.

Stardust Pinbar
Stardust Pinbar | Photo by An Pham

Stardust Pinbar

Downtown Phoenix

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
Photo courtesy of Provision Coffee

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.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
The White Rabbit
Photo courtesy of The White Rabbit

The White Rabbit

Downtown Gilbert

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. 

Available for Reservations
Cider Corps
Cider Corps | Photo by Lauren Topor Reichert

Cider Corps

Downtown Mesa

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 chocolate and pomegranate cider.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co.
Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. | Photo by Nick Laessig Photography

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.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
FnB
FnB | Photo by Ryan Cordwell, Courtesy of Experience Scottsdale

FnB

Old Town Scottsdale

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.

Available for Reservations
Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour
Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour | Photo by An Pham

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.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

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. Before you go, make sure to check out what drool-worthy food vendors are stopping by.

Scapegoat Beer and Wine
Scapegoat Beer and Wine | Photo by Ryan Cordwell for Experience Scottsdale

Scapegoat Beer and Wine

Old Town Scottsdale

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
The Captain's Cabin | Photo by Lauren Topor Reichert

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. 

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. 

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Angels Trumpet Ale House
Angels Trumpet Ale House | Photo by An Pham

Angels Trumpet Ale House

Downtown Phoenix

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 Winecafé
Photo courtesy of Postino WineCafe

Postino Winecafé

Multiple locations

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.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Gracie's Tax Bar
Photo courtesy of Gracie’s Tax Bar

Gracie's Tax Bar

Downtown Phoenix

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. 

Hanny's
Hanny's | Photo by Jill Richards

Hanny's

Downtown Phoenix

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. 

Available for Delivery/Takeout

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.

Jamie Killin is a Phoenix native and Arizona State graduate who specializes in lifestyle and features writing. You can usually find her at the spin studio, a concert, or trying new restaurants across the Valley. Follow her at @jamiefayekillin.