10 Best Bars in Phoenix: Rounding Up the Valley's Coolest Drinking Spots

The Phoenix bar scene has never been more lively, with a smattering of hip cocktail lounges and wine bars adding some hipster cred to the local nightlife scene. 

If you're in downtown Phoenix, check out Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour, which offers a encyclopedic menu of cocktails. The creative cocktail menu features fresh herbs and house-infused spirits, prepared fresh daily, and many of the fruits used in the cocktails are grown locally. 

Also in downtown Phoenix, Valley Bar offers a fun, laid-back spot to drink. The subterranean spot tends to get very crowded on the weekends - and on night's when the bar is hosting live music - but if you don't mind the crowds, make your way to the Rose Room, a colorful, basement lounge named after Arizona's first female governor, Rose Mofford. The hyper-local cocktail menu features concoctions named after Phoenix politicians and luminaries, and the drinks tend to go down smooth. 

For a cozy, intimate and charming barfly experience, don't miss The Whining Pig, home to an exhaustive beer and wine menu, gourmet bites and fun retro board games. 

Looking for a unique place to drink? Two good spots are in the city's downtown Roosevelt Row arts district: Cobra Arcade Bar is a good place to drink and play with friends. FilmBar is an unpretentious spot to enjoy wine or craft beer, and maybe even enjoy a good indie flick. 

It's a movie theatre, it's a bar--it's FilmBar. This appealing venue is a beer/wine bar dedicated to screening hard-to-find cult classics, local independent films as well as new releases. FilmBar is described as a "microcinema," meaning that...  Read More

One of Phoenix's more upscale places to hear some good music and have a few spectacular drinks is the Lost Leaf. A hybrid bar/gallery/music venue, The Leaf blurs the line between all three and a hosts plenty of talent in the form of both local...  Read More

If vintage arcade games, craft beers and cleverly-named cocktails sound like a great combination to you, plan a visit to Cobra Arcade Bar. As its name implies, this is a hybrid arcade and bar situated in the Roosevelt Arts District in downtown...  Read More

For a hot-weather town, the Phoenix bar scene doesn't really have a whole lot of tiki bar action going on. UnderTow is helping to change that, though. The nautically themed tiki bar is situated under Sip Coffee & Beer Garage, and the design...  Read More

This small, chic bar is tucked away in a nondescript strip mall in a scenic north Phoenix neighborhood. The Lounge is known for its service - the bartenders here know their stuff - and its excellent and creative selection of wine, cocktails and...  Read More

The Gladly is a chic New American restaurant in central Phoenix with a stylish bistro ambiance. The globally-inspired menu includes house specialties like the popular chopped salad, brussel sprouts and pork hash. The eclectic dinner menu...  Read More

Valley Bar is rarity in Phoenix: a hip downtown bar that just happens to be located in a basement. Basements are uncommon in the southwest, so it's a treat to escape to the cool surroundings of a well-finished basement space - especially in the...  Read More

Downtown Phoenix's hip cocktail lounge features over 45 different types of beers, more than 40 wines and a menu of enticing hand-crafted cocktails. SideBar is known for impeccable ingredients and high-quality drinks. The bar squeezes its own...  Read More

Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour
Photo courtesy of Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour

Bitter & Twisted is a welcome addition to the downtown Phoenix scene. This cocktail parlour, tucked away in the historic Luhrs building, promises to deliver hand-crafted cocktails made from scratch using the finest house-infused spirits. ...  Read More

The Whining Pig has earned a loyal local following in Phoenix, getting high marks for excellent service, an exhaustive beer and wine menu, and hands-down some of the best ambiance in the city. The decor is fun, charming and totally whimsical -...  Read More


Meet Patricia Escarcega

Patricia Escarcega has lived in the Arizona desert since she was a teenager. She works as a writer and editor in Phoenix with her four dogs and two cats.

She received her MFA in Creative...  More About Patricia