As any resident of The Valley will tell you, it's important to stay hydrated here, which means, therefore, that the Phoenix bar scene is serious, important, possibly lifesaving business. And with that in mind, we nobly took on the responsibility of putting together a rundown of the dozen drinkeries that make Phoenix's bar scene what it is today.
The 12 essential Phoenix bars
Located in Downtown Phoenix, Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails has dubbed itself an American gastro-lounge, but the real fun is to be had with the fact that it also boasts Phoenix’s largest selection of bourbons, Scotches, and gins, all of which are used to great effect in the cocktail menu.
This Scottsdale bar offers an atmosphere that is truly one of a kind, just like its expertly thrown-together cocktails. Award-winning mixologist Micah Olson uses fresh ingredients and house-made syrups to craft drinks like his signature Daring Dutchman, w/ Bols Genever, house-made apricot syrup, mascarpone, fresh lemon, and fennel pollen.
This Downtown Scottsdale locale features a long wine list with wines originating from 45 (!) different countries. That’s not all though, the menu also features a variety of other booze, including craft beers and unique cocktails such as the Peas and Thank You, which is created with snow pea-infused vodka and rich honey syrup.
Old Town Scottsdale
Derby is big, fun, colorful, and it's a good time. Centered by a huge square bar, it has a long list of draft taps, a dozen scattered sofas, skee ball, great cocktails, and random splashes of color punctuating the ceiling/floor/walls.
Four Peaks Brewing Company is a favorite of college students and families alike, and for good reason. With four locations across the Phoenix Metropolitan area, it’s a household name amongst beer lovers, thanks to their inventive, yet solidly delicious lineup of brews. We recommend trying out the classic Kilt Lifter, their flagship Scottish-style ale.
If you’re looking for a laid-back crowd, an upscale ambience, and great food and drink, Kelly’s is the spot for you. The menu ranges from craft beers like Oskar Blues & Lagunitas, all the way to Dom Pérignon to go with your darts, pool, and plentiful seating.
Old Town Scottsdale
If you want brunch and a good spot to watch the game, head over to RnR on a Sunday morning. The two-story modern bar and eatery offers comfort food, bottomless mimosas, Bloody Marys, and even a DJ.
Sandbar Mexican Grill is the go-to Taco Tuesday spot for both Phoenix and Chandler natives. Between the packed events calendar, impressive DJ lineup, and the beach-inspired atmosphere, you're pretty much guaranteed to find something you like, and that's without even mentioning the fact that they have nearly 100 different tequilas behind the bar...
There’s nothing typical about The Duce; this resto and gym (yes, gym) combination might seem a little strange at first, but the cocktail menu is nothing short of spectacular, with choices ranging from the traditional Moscow Mule to the Southside, a drink specially concocted with gin, lime juice, muddled organic lime & mint, soda, and agave.
The Vig, an Arizona favorite that now spans four locations, offers more than just food and drink -- you'll find live music and bocce ball, too -- and their “Vignature” cocktails, while varying by location, always deliver.
The Whining Pig, a family-owned Phoenix bar known for its ever-changing drink selection is a reliably great joint; every two weeks, 33% of the wine selection and 25% of the beer selection will change, giving customers a revolving door of new options to try, and they have yet to disappoint.
Windsor, located in a historic Phoenix neighborhood, champions itself for being a place where “everyone is welcome”, and thanks to the eight rotating craft taps (Left Hand Milk Stout!), fantastic house cocktails (go for the rye/mint/pineapple No. 09), and extensive food menu, that's certainly true.
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1. Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails2 E Jefferson St, Phoenix
2. Crudo3603 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix
3. Cowboy Ciao7133 E Stetson Dr, Scottsdale
4. Derby Public House4420 N Saddlebag Trl, Scottsdale
5. Four Peaks Brewing Company1340 E 8th St, Tempe
6. Kelly's at SouthBridge7117 E 6th Ave, Scottsdale
7. RnR3737 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale
8. Sandbar Mexican Grill21001 N Tatum Blvd, Phoenix
9. The Duce525 S Central Ave, Phoenix
10. The Vig Uptown6015 N 16th St, Phoenix
11. The Whining Pig1612 E Bethany Home Rd, Phoenix
12. Windsor5223 N Central Ave, Phoenix
When you're feeling fancy, head to Blue Hound, an upscale spot in downtown where you can enjoy an elaborate cocktail and a hearty meal. You'll want to get comfortable in the lounge-like space that's as beautiful and decadent as the restaurant's menu, which features dishes like shrimp and grits (with andouille sausage, tomatoes, green onions) and a braised pork shank. Any of the cocktails are sure to impress, but consider going for the signature whiskey-based lawless.
There’s no doubt that Crudo, located off 36th St and Indian School Road, is a favorite in town for both food and cocktails. And when it’s time to brunch, Crudo is at the top of the list. Potato croquettes with poached eggs, brisket and beet hash, pork belly poutine, and sweet/savory brunch jars are all just a taste of what Chef Cullen Campbell’s menu has to offer.
This Downtown Scottsdale locale features a long wine list with vino originating from 45 different countries. That’s not all though, the menu also features a variety of other alcohols, including craft beers and unique cocktails.
This Old Town Scottsdale joint features modern décor and a lighthearted ambience that makes it perfect for afternoon drinks or brunch, and the drinks menu includes a long list of draft beers and specialty cocktails.
Four Peaks Brewing Company is a favorite of college students and families alike. With four locations across the Phoenix Metropolitan area, it’s a household name amongst beer lovers.
If you’re looking for a laid-back crowd, an upscale ambience, and great food and drink, Kelly’s is the place for you. At this Scottsdale spot you can find anything from Budweiser to Dom Pérignon and the menu is just the beginning. Kelly’s also offers darts, pool, and comfortable seating.
If you want to brunch like a local and catch the game, head over this Scottsdale haunt. The two-story modern bar and eatery offers comfort food, bottomless mimosas, Bloody Marys, and even a DJ to make you wonder if you’re at a restaurant or the best party of your life.
Sandbar Mexican Grill is the go-to Taco Tuesday spot for both Phoenix and Chandler natives. Between the packed events calendar, impressive DJ lineup, and the fun, beach-inspired atmosphere, you’re sure to have a good time here.
There’s nothing typical about the Duce. This restaurant and gym combination is something you won’t soon forget -- the cocktail menu is nothing short of spectacular, with choices ranging from the traditional Moscow Mule to the Southside, a drink specially concocted with gin, lime juice, muddle organic lime mint, soda, and agave.
The Vig, an Arizona favorite that spans multiple locations, offers more than just food and drink. For entertainment and top-notch cocktails, head to this Uptown spot to enjoy live music or a game of bocce ball.
This Midtown Phoenix spot is known for its ever-changing drink selection and is a local favorite. Every two weeks, 33% of the wine selection and 25% of the beer selection will change, giving customers a revolving door of new options to try.
Sundays are king at this casual spot. Why, ask you? Three words: Bloody. Mary. Cart. For $5, you can choose a red or green Bloody Mary base and then walk over to the cart to jazz it up with mix-ins like pickles, olives, cocktail onions, sports peppers, pickled peppers, lemons, horseradish, and more. Oh, and you should probably get some donut holes or a crab cake eggs Benedict to sop up some of that boozy goodness.