10 Best Bars to Explore Tucson's Thriving Bar Scene

The Tucson bar scene has really come into its own in recent years. The city has developed a highly distinctive cocktail scene, a thriving local brewery scene, and remains one of the best cities in the country to explore artisanal, agave-based spirits. It's also home to quirky bars that you simply won't find anywhere else, like the Casa Film Bar, which pairs craft brews with classic and indie films.  

Penca, meanwhile, brings Mexico City-style sophistication to the downtown scene. The restaurant's "international bar" has become one of the best places in town to sip on mezcal (the bar offers around 30 mezcals) and premium tequilas. 

Scott & Co. has become the cornerstone of downtown Tucson's hip bar scene. The small speakeasy-style lounge has been instrumental in elevating the art of drinking around downtown. 

If you're looking for a truly unique Tucson bar, head to the The Shelter Cocktail Lounge, a 1960s-inspired bar with great drinks and a fun, kitschy ambiance. 

Are you a beer connoisseur? If so, you'll want to make a stop at Tap & Bottle, a friendly neighborhood tavern where you can find home-grown Southern Arizona beer and other top regional craft beers. 



OBON might be better known as a downtown Tucson sushi and ramen bar. But it also happens to be one of the most inventive cocktail bars around town. The bar's David Bowie-inspired "Space Oddity" cocktail went viral not too long ago, a...  Read More



A bar in the basement of a former funeral home? Makes sense to us. Tough Luck Club is a stylish basement bar in downtown Tucson, tucked beneath Reilly Craft Pizza & Drink. Comfy leather booths line the stone walls, and there are numerous...  Read More



"Stay independent and drink local" is the tagline at Independent Distillery, a newer but already well-respected, small-scale distiller in Tucson. Independent Distillery produces its own gin, vodka and other locally made spirits, made with craft...  Read More



Good Oak Bar is an Arizona craft beer and wine bar that celebrates the state's finest locally made beers and wines. Located in downtown Tucson in the historic Rialto Building, just across the street from Hotel Congress, Good Oak Bar is adjacent...  Read More



A lot of folks will tell you that this bar used to be a fallout shelter, but the truth is it was actually built as a bar back in 1961. The round, windowless structure is packed to the rafters with 60s era kitsch, from JFK memorabilia to black...  Read More



Movies and beer? Yes, please. Tucson's beloved Casa Video, a Tucson institution for film buffs looking for hard-to-find cult and international movie rentals. The independent film rental and sales shop is now also home to one of midtown's...  Read More



Located in a lovingly restored 1920s-era building in downtown Tucson, Penca Restaurante has become a destination for local gourmands looking for upscale riffs on the cooking of central Mexico. The seasonally-inspired menu features fine...  Read More



Sidecar is a hip, neighborhood cocktail bar located in midtown Tucson. The emphasis is on Prohibition-era cocktails like its namesake, as well as unique concoctions like the Oaxaca Dry Sour, a smoky cocktail made with small batch gin, mezcal,...  Read More



Tap & Bottle is a beer-lover's paradise. The intimate tap room at this beloved Tucson bar is home to one of the city's best-curated selections of craft brews. Tap & Bottle celebrates home-grown Southern Arizona beer, as well as many of...  Read More



Established in 2010, Scott & Co was founded by the same folks that brought 47 Scott to Tucson, downtown's popular destination for modern American comfort food in an intimate bistro-style space. Scott & Co. is an intimate speakeasy style...  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