Let’s face it—Arizona has a lot of bars. Arizona’s mix of college towns, liberal alcohol policies, and inexpensive drinks make it a bar hopper’s dream! But with such a high volume of establishments, it can be tough to land on a great watering hole. There’s the college bars, the hipster dive bars, and the sophisticated bars to relax and chat. Yes, Arizona has a bar for everyone. Here are the 10 best to choose from on your next night out.
Buffalo Chip is a five-acre bar and celebration of all things western. Since opening in 1951, it has grown to a must-see destination for any bar patron looking to unleash their inner cowboy. Buffalo Chip checks all the boxes of a classic country bar and has drawn accolades from the Arizona Republic, Phoenix New Times, and New York Times. You can line dance in their large dance hall, grab a late-night bite at their chuck wagon, and even ride a bull. That’s right, they have amateur bull riding on Wednesdays and Friday for the truly daring souls.
Frog & Firkin attracts beer lovers near and far with their impressive selection of imported beers. Frog has a list of over 75 craft and imported beers available on their menu. Regulars can also get a beer card and try to tackle the Herculean task of completing every beer on the menu. This British-style pub also has a sprawling patio perfect for a midafternoon pitcher. Sun Devils be warned—Frog is located on the University of Arizona’s University Drive and is decked out in Wildcat pride.
No list of best bars is complete without an Irish pub. Rula Bula may be a Tempe hangout but it could very well be teleported straight from Ireland. This pub serves up 20 types of Irish whiskey and is also the top seller of Guinness Stout in Arizona. Rula Bula is located right on ASU’s Mill Avenue and is a favorite among the late-night college crowd. However, their daily happy hour, nightly live music, and busy patio make a stop mandatory no matter the time of day.
Old Town Scottsdale’s bar scene is like something out of Las Vegas. Its bars are filled with blaring music and energetic crowds. Bevvy offers the best of Old Town experiences. It’s dressed as an upscale bar but is also an inviting, fun place to spend a night out. While nearby bars play club music, Bevvy’s DJ plays nostalgic 90s hits. Underneath their chandeliered ceilings are games like skeeball and drinks like the rubber ducky shot. Amid a sea of competition, Bevvy stands out for being a really fun bar.
A good dive bar has a strong following, some wear and tear, and inexpensive drinks. That’s exactly what you get at Dirtbag’s. This Tucson staple has been a favorite late night drinking spot since 1982. It also has a cult following among Arizona students and Tucson locals. Dirtbag’s stands out for having some patented drinks like the oatmeal cookie, Alabama slammer and the surfer on acid. Dirtbag’s is a classic dive bar that’s always there for you at last call.
Flagstaff has welcomed the craft beer renaissance. Nowhere is this more evident than at Hops on Birch. Hops on Birch has 34 rotating taps of crafts for every kind of beer lover. They have a mix of ales, IPA’s, stouts, and everything in between. They also have the ambiance of a “Cheers”-style neighborhood bar to go with their impressive beer selection. You’ll find darts, board games, and even pets mingling at this dog friendly bar.
Downtown Phoenix is oft forgotten as a destination for great bars. That’s slowly changing—thanks in large part to Bitter & Twisted. This cocktail parlor is located inside the historic Luhrs Building from the Prohibition Era. Their collection of inventive cocktails and delicious bar bites has made this a favorite of downtown purveyors. Bitter & Twisted has even received praise from USA Today and the Food Network.
Hanny’s certainly has a bar experience like no other. It’s located in a trendy, three story building in downtown Phoenix. Take a wrong turn, however, and you’ll be face to face with a doll art exhibit. Hanny’s still has some of the original elements of the old Hanny’s department store built in 1947. You’ll see an old elevator shaft, decorated mannequins, and the store’s original signage. At night, you’ll find live DJs and crowds sipping on signature cocktails. As for the doll exhibit, you’ll have to see it with your own eyes.
If self-serve is your thing, head to Sorso Wine Room. Sorso has a state-of-the-art wine dispenser that lets you choose from a rotating list of 32 wines from around the world. They also have a wine cellar featuring a list of over 150 red and whites. This upscale wine bar is located in the heart of Scottsdale Quarter. The ambiance, modern décor, and knowledgeable staff make this wine bar the total package.
Karaoke is a time-honored tradition. Sometimes, your night just isn’t complete without belting out a late-night rendition of “Piano Man.” If that’s your style, head to The Grapevine Restaurant & Karaoke Bar. Grapevine has been a breeding ground for drunken sing-alongs since 1971. This Old Town bar offers nightly karaoke from 5 p.m. until close. While taking a break from your Grammy-worthy performance, you can enjoy handmade cocktails or tasty pub fare on their spacious upstairs patio.