It’s not just the weather that’s hot in the Valley, and Phoenix has a buzzing bar scene to keep even the trendiest traveler happy. We pick 10 of the best watering holes in the region.
Chim Chimney Chareau Courtesy of Kristen Forner, The Beverly
Bar, Cocktail Bar, American, Cocktails, Wine, Beer, Fast Food, $$$
Formerly Mabel’s on Main, The Beverly, with its brick walls, dimmed lighting, tufted brown leather booths, vintage furniture, and leather-bound books, takes guests back to yesteryear. Highly trained bar staff show off the 100-plus whiskeys available. They will also prepare one of the menu’s diverse cocktails, from either the classics side of the menu or the modern side, both of which are updated seasonally. Perhaps the coolest thing about this spot, though, is the drink names. All of them have either a literary or pop culture influence and are often connected to the bar’s decor. For the lit geeks out there, try the Don Quixote, a blend of El Jimador Blanco, Ancho Reyes, Pamplemousse Rose, lime, Mi Casa bitters, and house-made chili-lime salt while reading (you guessed it) Don Quixote.It is one of the many vintage books that line the walls. The Beverly prides itself on creating a different experience for guests. It also aims to be the Phoenix bar with the most soul, embodied in the live music played every Thursday through Saturday. The Beverly is not a club and doesn’t pretend to be. So instead of having DJs blast Top 40 hits through the speakers, the bar has local bands like House of Stairs play upbeat jazz and blues songs that perfectly fit the nostalgia-inducing environment.
One of local restauranteur Sam Fox’s many successful spots, The Yard is the collection of three of his restaurants: Culinary Dropout, Barrio Urbano, and Little Cleo’s Seafood Legend. Each has their own highlights. The true appeal of The Yard, however, is the atmosphere. Between the three restaurants are genuinely every game imaginable—corn hole games, jumbo jenga, a selfie machine, ping pong tables, and more. There is also a live band every Friday and Saturday night, and The Yard has a killer happy hour every weeknight from 3pm to 6pm.
Located inside what was once a 1928 warehouse that housed a bustling produce district by day and the local party by night, The Duce is the ultimate retro bar. The kitchen and lounge prides itself on being the place “where pretty meets gritty and produce meets prohibition”. This is demonstrated in their eclectic food and drink menus and in the decor. Sip on a Harvey Wallbanger (est. 1950s) while sitting at the 1915 Chicago drugstore soda fountain. Or, enjoy a Strawberry Shortcake (est. 2013) while hanging out on the original bleachers from St. Mary’s High School waiting to play ping pong, corn hole, foosball, and shuffleboard. This spot truly delivers nostalgia like no other.
The Vig, which now has four locations across the valley, is the quintessential AZ bar. Not only does this trendy local favorite serve up some delicious food and drink, but they also offer some prime entertainment. Relax and listen to live music or The Vig’s talented DJs while sipping on a “Vignature Cocktail”. Alternatively, play some bocce ball with friends while drinking one of the many wines and beers that this spot has to offer.
Since its opening in 2011, FilmBar has made a name for itself in the local bar scene. If the idea of watching an amazing classic movie or a hit new indie film while sipping on a delicious glass of wine or bottle of beer has ever crossed your mind, then FilmBar is the place for you. With more than 25 different craft beers and 12 different wines, there’s something at this bar for everyone.
Crudo, known mostly for its phenomenal modern Italian cuisine, is quite arguably the home to some of the most creative and progressive cocktails in the valley. These magnificent creations from mixologist Micah Olson feature farm-to-glass ingredients and dozens of handpicked spirits to blend them with. Enjoy a signature Daring Dutchman, which features homemade apricot syrup, mascarpone, fresh lemon, fennel pollen, and Bols Genever. Or, go for the Dazed & Infused for a fruity concoction of sparkling wine, strawberry-infused aperol, fresh lime juice, and passion fruit syrup. Drink this while taking in the ultra-modern decor of the restaurant and bar.
Bar, Cocktail Bar, American, Beer, Contemporary, $$$
Cinnamon Buckwheat Pancakes | Courtesy of James Kerr
Windsor, a neighborhood bar and restaurant in Central Phoenix, has all the classic cocktails and more. The laid-back atmosphere and comfort food, as well as the fantastic service, make this bar the perfect destination for a few creative drinks with friends without the hassle of a big night out. Try the No. 17 for a refreshing combination of cucumber vodka, green tea syrup, fresh cucumber, and mint. Or go for a No. 63, which features Kentucky Bourbon, Fresh Grapefruit, and Honey Syrup.
Kazimierz is the type of place that is hard to believe that it’s in Phoenix and not somewhere along the Mediterranean or in the heart of eastern Europe. With its deep, darkened cave-like structures, its mismatched furniture, and Medieval sconces, it is crazy to think that this hidden gem is right in Old Town Scottsdale. With more than 2000 wine listings on the menu, this is the ultimate wino heaven.
Bar, Cocktail Bar, Restaurant, American, Vegetarian, Wine, Beer, Cocktails, $$$
A Creative Commons Image: Hoegaarden | Franco Dal Molin/Flickr
AZ/88, is a modern saloon with delicious food and award-winning cocktails. Above all else, it is an incredible, artistic environment. The restaurant and bar are sandwiched between two museums, and the influence shows. It is also quite honestly the closest thing a bar could come to being Martini-ville. In addition to classic cocktails, craft beer, and wine, there are nearly a dozen different types of Martinis served at AZ/88. For something sweet, try the Key Lime Martini, a blend of Bacardi Limon, Midori, cream, and lime juice. You could also pick a Flirtini, which is a concoction of Raspberry Vodka, Framboise Liqueur, lemon, lime and cranberry juice, and a splash of champagne.
Shade Lounge & Bar and Sunset Lawn at The W Scottsdale
Bar, Cocktail Bar, Beer, American, $$$
Whether you’re keen for day drinking or some serious partying in the late night hours (or perhaps early morning), the W Rooftop Bar and Wet Deck is the place to be. During the weekends, the rooftop’s DJ drops the biggest hits of the moment from noon until 6pm. This gives the wet deck the pool party feel that it demands. Snag one of the many lounge chairs and have some savory snacks and yummy cocktails brought to you from the bar.