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The 10 Absolute Best Bars In Tucson, Arizona
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The 10 Absolute Best Bars In Tucson, Arizona

Picture of Lauren Gruber
Updated: 9 February 2017
Tucson, Arizona has a lively bar scene in its downtown district. Read ahead for our guide to the 10 best bars in Tucson.
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Scott & Co

This Prohibition style bar consists of quality drinks and a small, but cozy atmosphere. Accessed via a secret back hallway adjoining restaurant 47 Scott, the bar serves up expertly made cocktails. The friendly staff will whip up creative concoctions like the Northern Negotiator with apple Jack and a hint of balsamic reaction. Check out the Bartender’s Selection, where you choose any flavor profile and spirit of your choice. From there, the bartenders will mix you a flavorful and exciting treat. It’s great for pre-dinner drinks or a romantic nightcap.

49 N Scott Ave Tucson, AZ 85701 520-624-4747

The outside facade of The Shetler in Tucson.
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The Shelter Cocktail Lounge

The Shelter is a cozy dive bar filled with retro decorations, like sparkly vinyl chairs, old adverts, and a Cold War theme of JFK memorabilia. The concrete, neon-lit bar features a happy hour from 3pm to 8pm daily. Specialties include a list of five cocktails, four beers and three shots. There’s also a novelty bar indulging in a go-go theme and they play old movies like Labryinth or Forrest Gump. Be sure to order their Bloody Mary with garlic and jalapeño vodka, or a key lime pie cocktail. Also, bring change for the old school pinball machines.

4155 E Grant Rd Tucson, AZ 85712 520-326-1345

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Tap & Bottle

Easily one of the best beer bars in Tucson, Tap & Bottle is a fun and friendly beer cafe for craft connoisseurs. The 21 taps rotate very frequently, and there are numerous beer and wine options. You’ll also find one of the largest international bottle collections in Tucson. Food trucks also line up outside, so you can enjoy their food with your drink.

403 N 6th Ave Ste 135 Tucson, AZ 85705 520-448-2453

The sign for the popular dive, The Buffet.
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The Buffet

The Buffet was crowned one of the best dive bars in America by Esquire, and this dive bar staple is the oldest continuously serving bar in Tucson. ‘Happy Minute’ occurs at 6pm and 11pm, when you can get a $1 beer of whatever you’re already drinking. The kitschy atmosphere is a throwback from the past. You’ll find a variety of locals, which makes for an interesting evening. The budget-friendly bar is cash only.

538 E 9th St Tucson, AZ 85705 520-623-6811

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Reilly Craft Pizza & Drink

Serving varieties of gourmet pizzas, from arugula and proscuitto to vegan slices, Reilly offers a relaxing experience. The beer garden in the back hosts 40 rotating tap bees with more than eight tap wines. The garden has both indoor and outdoor seating, with communal style tables perfect for large groups. This place features some of the best beers of the season from all over the country.

101 E Pennington St Tucson, AZ 85701 520–882-5550

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Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails

The trendy downtown bar features a creative, lively menu with specialty cocktails and American cuisine. During happy hour from 4pm-6pm, you can get $2.50 beers, mole fries with pork, tacos, $5 glasses of wine and $4.50 select cocktails. Vodka cocktails, tequila, gin and rum drinks are served. Try their ‘cuban sunset’ made with habanero-infused vodka, passionfruit puree and smile syrup. Beer drinkers can find a wide selection of drafts and bottles.

135 S 6th Ave Tucson, AZ 85701 520-623-700

One of the 12 drafts sits by Barrio Brewing Co's menu.
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Barrio Brewing Co

Barrio has an extensive list of beers. The brewery sells 12 drafts, including Barrio blonde, American pale ales and their mocha java stout, brewed with Euro-espresso roasted coffee. Happy hour includes half off spinach and artichoke dips, buffalo wings and $1 off all drinks. Try out their big soft pretzels, ‘beer sponges,’ that come in twos and are great for soaking up their IPA. Menu items, like burgers, come in well-sized portions.

800 E 16th St Tucson, AZ 85719 520-791-2739

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Dante’s Fire

The cocktail bar and gastropub spices things up with their creative cocktails. Their indulgent cocktails range from ‘sexual chocolate’ with vanilla vodka, chocolate liquor and ancho chili to their ‘grow a pear’ with citrus vodka, pear juice and St. Germain elderflower liqueur. They also have spicy and sweet concoctions as well. Happy hour is every day from 4pm to 7pm and late night from 11pm to 2am, plus it runs all day on Sunday. The bar and restaurant has a modern saloon feel, with stained glass windows and vintage beams overhead making it down-to-earth.

2526 E Grant Rd Tucson, AZ 85716 520-382-9255

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Ermanos Craft Beer and Wine Bar

Ermanos Craft Beer and Wine Bar features an intimate bar and wine tasting room in downtown Tucson. A carefully curated selection of craft beer and international wines are served on tap and in bottles. Every day from 2pm to 6pm, happy hour features $1 off all wines by the glass and $1 off all drafts. There are also $2 discounts on ‘happy tap’ handles that rotates daily. Several lunch and dinner plates are on special during the regular happy hour and late night from 10pm to 12am. The industrial style bar also has a slew of board games to play while you wait for your food.

220 N 4th Ave Tucson, AZ 85705 520-445-6625

A cheap shot at Che's Lounge on 4th Avenue in Tucson.
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Che’s Lounge

Che’s Lounge has been a 4th Avenue favorite for more than a decade. It is a great place to meet friends for cheap drink while taking in the nightlife. They offer a blend of fresh fruit cocktails (blueberry kamikazes), grown up sno-cones, beer specials and fast service, plus pints of High Life. Take advantage of their jukebox and be sure to check out the murals on the walls. The patio is also great for smokers and for those who want to enjoy the weather. Look out for specials at the bar.

350 N 4th Ave Tucson, AZ 85705 520-623-2088