Desert Nights:10 Best Nightlife Spots in Tucson

The Tucson nightlife scene is a diverse array of hipster hot spots, college hang-outs, and dive bar glory. Whether it's your aim to dress up or dress down, see or be seen, rest assured that the Old Pueblo offers something for every mood.

For a night of great hipster people-watching around downtown, head to the venerable Club Congress, where the music is always loud and the Tap Room is (almost) always open.

For one of the best people-watching spots in downtown, try Playground Bar and Lounge, a stylish hot spot serving chic cocktails and gourmet bar grub. Catch a show at the Rialto Theatre, and then stroll over to Fourth Avenue for a nightcap at Plush.

For urban cowboys of all stripes, enjoy a rollicking night of beer and two-stepping at the Maverick, "King of Clubs," the east side's venerable country western nightlife club. This east side bar and club has been keeping the heart and soul of country music burning strong in the Old Pueblo for more than 50 years. 

If craft brews on tap are your thing, head to Tap & Bottle, a central Tucson magnet for beer connoisseurs. Come for the delicious array of high-quality local, regional and international beers, and stay for the army of gourmet food trucks that regularly make an appearance at this beloved watering hole. 



Located in the spot that used to be the Sapphire Lounge, The Aquadec is Tucson's hip outdoor rooftop lounge and bar. The space features three floors of space that includes an outdoor water fountains, along with a giant salt water aquarium,...  Read More

Maverick, King of Clubs


Country and Western music is extremely popular in Tucson, and this honky-tonk is a classic example of where locals meet up for conversation, drinks, and a few spins on the dance floor. The simple, country-style interior is always full of...  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



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



"Cafe by day, solar powered astronomy bar by night." That's the Sky Bar, in a nutshell. This unique Tucson cafe and bar is 100 percent solar-powered and is outfitted with powerful telescopes so you can observe the cosmos after dark. The bar...  Read More



One of the best ways to get to know a city well is to take part in its nightlife, and if you like live music that steers well away from Top 40, Plush is where to go. Performers are scheduled nearly every night, and might be a local fave like...  Read More



This venue, located in the heart of downtown, had a fascinating past as a vaudeville theater. Now the refurbished facility is a great place to catch a touring band. Many styles of music, from blues to salsa to alternative, are represented, and...  Read More



If you're looking for a sleek, modern bar and lounge in downtown Tucson, look no further than Playground. The hybrid bar and lounge manages to be both hip and inviting, marrying traditional southwestern hospitality with the stylishness of a...  Read More



This upbeat dance club offers a wide range of popular theme nights, with some of the best DJs in the area spinning nostalgic tracks or the best alternative music of today. Club Congress is also a popular live music venue for touring national...  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