Where to Drink in Metro Phoenix: Rounding Up the Valley's Best Bars

The Phoenix bar scene has never been more interesting, with a smattering of modern cocktail lounges, craft beer spots and wine bars creating an increasingly distinctive bar scene. 

If you're in downtown Phoenix, check out Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour, where the Book 'o Cocktails features dozens of classic and creative cocktails. Drinks often feature 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 crowded on the weekends, 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

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

Gracie's Tax Bar is a friendly, low-key neighborhood bar in downtown Phoenix serving a good selection of beers, wine and classic cocktails. (The name, by the way, is a tribute to the tax preparation business that once occupied the space). You...  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

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

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