Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co.201 East Roosevelt Street
Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co.'s massive patio, sun-shaded and full of native plants meant to attract local birds and bugs, is a major draw in the Roosevelt Row neighborhood, to the point that the crowds sometimes spill over into a line down the sidewalk. Popular beers include Refuge, the “flagship IPA incepted in our founder’s garage,” or so the menu states, as well as the DON'T F#%K IT UP Blonde Ale and the Belgian-style witbier Sonora White. The food rocks, too: We like the PB&J Burger and the duck fat fries.
Bikini Lounge1502 Grand Avenue
In a town as young as Phoenix, a bar that’s been around since 1947 certainly counts as a grande dame of the local drinking scene. Long before Interstate 10 connected us to California, the Bikini Lounge welcomed visitors from the west into town as they exited the U.S. 60. But the enclosed tiki-themed patio — that's kind of new. Drinks aren’t fancy, but they’re strong and cheap — just how we like them (make sure you bring cash, though). Over the decades, The Bikini has seen plenty of growth around its Grand Avenue location, but we love it best because, despite the passing of the years, it never seems to change.
Carly’s128 East Roosevelt Street
For 15 years, diners have been lining up to order salads and sandwiches at Carla Wade Logan’s café on Roosevelt Street. But the cocktails here are first-rate, too — and many are the kinds of concoctions you just can’t get anywhere else in the Valley but Carly's. The Prickly Pear Margarita is hot pink and ice-cold, a must-try for visitors to the desert or those just bar-hopping on a hot day. The Whiskey Sangria is sought after by many a happy hour patron. And poetry could be written about Carly's Colada: horchata liqueur, banana liqueur, and pineapple juice, a mix that’s somehow simultaneously summertime and Christmassy. All cocktails are best enjoyed on the sidewalk patio, which has a perfect view for people-watching along RoRo.
Casey Moore’s Oyster House850 South Ash Avenue, Tempe
Casey Moore's Oyster House is a Tempe mainstay, known for its sprawling patio surrounding the former home of William A. and Mary Moeur, built circa 1910. The bar itself is named after an Irish woman who was born even earlier, in 1886, and who was known for singing, playing the piano, and hosting frequent gatherings. (She is said to still haunt the place.) The home was rehabilitated in 1973, and a few bars came and went in the space until 1986 when it became Casey’s. The bar attracts students from nearby ASU, as well as neighborhood regulars, cyclists, tourists, and service industry types. Indoors, you’ll find neon décor, some seating, and a cozy bar; on the patio, you may smoke, bring your dog till 5 p.m., or bend elbows at the always-packed outdoor bar. (Pro tip: Men may pee on the Blarney Stone tucked behind a wooden privacy fence near the outdoor bar.)
Coach House7011 East Indian School Road, Scottsdale
Coach House is a bit of homespun charm with heavy pours, two bars, an enormous patio with views of Camelback Mountain and the open sky, and a fun staff. It also looks like something straight off of a dude ranch, with its rustic, wood-heavy décor, but steers clear of country shtick beyond its name. Owned since its first pour in 1959 by the Brower family (who tout is as “Scottsdale’s oldest dive”), it's packed to the low-slung rafters most nights (even more so on the weekends) with crowds three-deep angling for space inside its the tiny main bar. It serves up plenty of great barfly standards like boilermakers and screwdrivers starting at 6 a.m. sharp, 365 days a year. It’s also a must-see every holiday season — when every centimeter is draped with lights, wrapping paper, tinsel, bows, ribbons, and ornaments — and a place to tip one back during the rest of the year.
Crescent Ballroom308 North Second Avenue
This downtown spot is best known as the midsize venue instrumental in re-energizing the Phoenix's live music scene. But it should also be recognized for its outstanding patio, which brings some much-needed urban nightlife to the once relatively quiet streets of downtown. The bottom floor offers shaded seating, while the top floor boasts views of downtown Phoenix. But no matter where you sit, you have easy access to Cocina 10, the venue's Mexican-inspired kitchen. The menu, designed by Chris Bianco, includes house favorites like the I-10 Nachos and the Poquito bean and cheese burrito. What's more, Crescent Ballroom regularly hosts weekend brunch.
The Dirty Drummer Eatin’ and Drinkin’ Place2303 North 44th Street
There’s much to love about The Dirty Drummer. Maybe its most lovable quality, though, is its origin story. This sports bar, honky-tonk, and luncheonette at 44th and Oak streets was opened in 1975 by Frank “Drummer” Armstrong and his partner, “Dirty Dave” Werner. Armstrong died in 2012, and the original Drummer closed in 2018. But the following year, the former owner’s daughter, Dana Armstrong, along with business partners Andrew Smith and Tom Bernard, reopened the spot with a strong nod to the Drummer of yesteryear. During the pandemic, The Drummer added a wraparound patio. From here, you can still hear George Jones, order a Drummer Burger, and tip back a house beer — Miller Lite.
Duke’s Sports Bar & Grill7607 East McDowell Road, Scottsdale
If you enjoy watching frolf, there’s not a bad seat on the sprawling patio at Duke's Sports Bar & Grill, which backs right up to the Vista del Camino Disc Golf Course along the Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt in south Scottsdale. And if you enjoy playing frolf, Duke’s is ideal for a pre- or post-game beer (or during — you could easily sneak over in the middle of your round). Inside, you’ll find a dozen different pool tables, a variety of arcade and shuffleboard units, and more than 50 TVs — even in the bathrooms — all tuned to various sports packages. They’ve got import and domestic beers on tap, strong mixed drinks, and a menu replete with fried food (say hello to the mozzarella sticks for us) and burgers, sandwiches, and salads. Duke’s was started by a father-daughter team, Al and Jackie McCarthy, in 1998. More than two decades later, they’re still running it.
George & Dragon Pub4240 North Central Avenue
Phoenix’s first (and only surviving) English pub lives up to its pedigree: Portraits of Queen Elizabeth, photos of Buckingham Palace, and other UK-related ephemera adorn every nook and cranny. The servers all wear Union Jack tank tops. Footy matches air on TVs above the bar while The Smiths and Elvis Costello blare from the jukebox — which can all still be heard from that stretch of front patio facing Central Avenue. Order traditional selections like bangers and mash, pasties, and fish and chips are cranked out by the kitchen. (Come on Sundays for roast beef and Yorkshire pudding.) Moving beyond the British Isles, G&D’s bar has the largest selection of imported draught beer in the Valley. You'll often find owner (and native Englishman) David Wimberley haunting the front patio, where the tables overlook the Central Avenue light rail line.
The Golden Pineapple2700 South Mill Avenue, Tempe
The Golden Pineapple has a "San Diego" vibe — lots of Mexican dishes and seafood fare and tropical-leaning craft cocktails. But this Tempe restaurant — housed in the former Riazzi's Italian Garden which operated from 1989 to 2017 — is actually pretty local. It serves Chula oysters, Schreiner's Fine Sausage chorizo, and Arizona Sake. We recommend the tamale fries, the brisket burger, and Grandma’s Tacos, which should all be enjoyed on its dreamy patio. It's twinkle lit, often busy with guests, and surrounded by vegetation, meaning you won't even notice you're set right against lower Mill Avenue.
Gracie’s Tax Bar711 North Seventh Avenue
Gracie’s Tax Bar gets half its name from Grace Perry, the owner of the bar (and the former singer of the local metal group Landmine Marathon). The other half comes from Harold and Morda Abbey, the original owners of Abbey Tax Services, which once occupied the downtown Phoenix building where Gracie’s has been serving drinks since 2017. Put in an order of the beloved fried pickles, tots, or cheese curds made on the exposed flat grill right behind the bar. Most likely, though, you’ll take your beer to the patio, where you may find a DJ and dance party, a movie screening, and often friendly dogs and/or neighborhood cats.
Linger Longer Lounge6522 North 16th Street, #6
Many bars are trying to take us back in time. Some do a painfully obvious song and dance; others do it so well it feels like the cigarette machine’s been in that spot for decades. Linger Longer Lounge is in the latter camp, pairing modern amenities with comforts from decades past. Admire the vintage neon Silver Bullet Coors Light sign while ordering a White Claw. Flip through a jukebox of Queen and Willie Nelson (and Tenacious D) as you wait for a dog from Der Wurst Hot Dogs. You'll want to take your food and mixed drink to the soft-lit breezeway to soak up the mild temps ... and maybe a cigarette.
Lon’s Last Drop5532 North Palo Cristi Road, Paradise Valley
Many bars can serviceably accommodate the desire to drink outside, but none beats LON’s Last Drop. Even the drive there is scenic, located as it is on the grounds of the historic (though not overly fancy) Hermosa Inn. The bar gets its name from a painting by Arizona artist Lon Megargee, the founder of the Hermosa Inn in the 1930s. The painting is of a cowboy watering his horse from his Stetson hat, and LON’s has similar cowboy energy, with five outdoor fireplaces, lots of beer and whiskey, and a wood-burning oven that turns out menu items like black Angus beef sliders. Try the house favorite cocktail, The Last Drop, made with Tucson’s Whiskey Del Bac Single Malt Whiskey, Luxardo apricot, Cocchi di Torino sweet vermouth, and blood orange.
The Lost Leaf914 North Fifth Street
The Lost Leaf is part beer and wine joint, part arts-scene culture hub. Occupying a historic Fifth Street bungalow mere steps from Roosevelt Row, it's a popular pit stop on First Fridays, Third Fridays, and most other nights of the month. The curated beer and wine selection is vast, boasting more than 100 different kinds of ales, lagers, stouts, and other intoxicating brews in bottles and cans, as well as vino, meads, and even sake. Lost Leaf has been arty, cultural, and cool since owner and local musician Eric Dahl established it in 2007, back when it was one of the few RoRo spots where you could buy a round and take your time with it on the breezy patio.
Mountain View Pub7033 East Cave Creek Road, Cave Creek
In downtown Cave Creek’s crowded food-and-drink scene, look for the giant Guinness banner and Mountain View Pub, which has the usual Irish bar traits: plentiful imported beers, pub fare, occasional rowdiness. As its name suggests, MVP’s massive back patio also offers breathtaking views of a river valley and the north Valley mountains. Drink those sights in from the balcony’s high-top tables and booths, and order a margarita, a house favorite that’s served in a Guinness pint glass. To eat? Stay on the ol’ Emerald Isle; we like the Irish breakfast platter, Irish pub nachos, and the Reuben, which is made with corned beef cooked daily in Guinness.
Peoria Artisan Brewery10144 West Lake Pleasant Parkway, Peoria
Peoria Artisan Brewery is a full-service brewpub that is comfortable and relatively spacious, with the bar located in the back corner. There's also a small but sprawling patio area. A full menu offers standard American pub classics. Standout beers include the Honeysuckle Street Amber, which delivers copious caramel and toasted bread flavors, with just enough hops to balance, making this a great option paired with a burger. Other fun ones include the Kennett Farmhouse Ale and the crisp and light Push Mower Blonde Ale.
Rosie McCaffrey’s906 East Camelback Road
In 2001, barkeeper Seamus McCaffrey sold his namesake downtown Phoenix pub and headed north, opening a new place at Ninth Street and Camelback Road. This one he named after his wife, Rosie — i.e. Rosie McCaffrey’s. The music’s likely to be of a Celtic nature, too — Dropkick Murphys, traditional folk ballads — except on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, when karaoke crooners command the mic in a cozy corner of this dark, vaguely cave-like bar. You can still hear everything from out on the famously busy patio, which has recently been extended nearly to Camelback Road to host more outdoor drinkers.
Seamus McCaffrey’s18 West Monroe Street
A downtown staple for 30 years, Seamus McCaffrey’s attracts a crowd that reflects the changing neighborhood it inhabits: city and county employees, upwardly mobile loft-dwellers, and service-industry workers (Seamus is your favorite downtown bartender’s favorite bar). It also has a tough-to-beat selection of Scotch and Irish whiskey, traditional Irish fare like Shepherd’s Pie and fish chips, and live music on the weekends (when it can get crowded in there). That's when you can escape to the narrow patio out front, where you can admire some tall buildings, watch the street people, and try to ignore the garbage smell.
The Shop Beer Co.922 West First Street, Tempe
Some bar patios are afterthoughts: dank little smokers’ cages slammed against a busy street or a back parking lot. Not the patio at The Shop Beer Co. in central Tempe, where it feels like you’ve been invited to the spacious backyard of friends who are especially enthusiastic about entertaining their guests. Here, you’ll find picnic tables, soft lighting, colorful wall art, and clean bathrooms. Food trucks, too. Around since 2016, The Shop was formerly known as Cartel Brewery but broke off from the flagship location of Cartel Coffee Lab to do its own thing about a mile north. Our favorite Shop brew is the Church Music, a 6.7 percent IPA that has some pineapple juice in the mix; the F.Y.I.T.M double IPA and the Crispy blonde lager are also standouts.
Tempe Tavern1810 East Apache Boulevard
Tempe’s historic, cobblestoned-walled White Dairy Barn was built in 1918, became a commercial establishment in 1930, and was subsequently home to many watering holes, including Murphy’s Irish Pub, Hattie’s Tavern, and the Oxbow Tavern. Today it’s Tempe Tavern, a multi-roomed bar with neon signs and stickered walls, a dance floor, a stage that’s hosted countless local and touring acts, and a sturdy menu of beer, cocktails, and surprisingly decent food. But its best feature remains the cozy front patio. Though the view has changed — these days, you’re looking at a Valley Metro Rail stop, a couple of high-rises, and throngs of police cars — with a beer in your hand and the cobble at your back, you’ll still feel like you’re in the Tempe of yore.
The Theodore110 East Roosevelt Street, Suite C
The rising downtown Phoenix craft beer scene got a major boost with the opening of The Theodore in 2019. Justin Evans, best known for The Wandering Tortoise, and Tony Fatica (a former Tortoise bartender), offer a tightly curated selection of craft brews from Arizona and the American West. The Theodore stocks hazy IPAs and pastry stouts from local breweries like Wren House, Arizona Wilderness, and The Shop. You can drink them at breezy seats overlooking the bustle of Roosevelt Row — aka the dog-friendly patio. The crowd of drinkers here knows Arizona beer well, as do the bartenders. Nicely, The Theodore also stocks stellar local beverages beyond beer, including Arizona Sake, Superstition Meadery meads, Stoic Cider, and wines from vintners like Tumbleweed and Rune.
Thunderbird Lounge710 West Montecito Avenue
Located in the westernmost suite of the historic Wagon Wheel Building in Phoenix’s Melrose District, Thunderbird Lounge was an immediate hit upon debuting in the spring of 2019, and much of its success is related to its 4,000-square-foot patio. The bar invites drinkers with a 1980s atmosphere: vintage furniture (each piece comes with its own backstory), a cig machine, and free arcade games, but most head outside, where the busy backyard-style patio has picnic tables and patio furniture, lawn games, and DJed music.
Transplant City Beer Company107 West Honeysuckle Street, Litchfield Park
The name of this craft beer bar in downtown Litchfield Park is a nod to the fact that many Phoenicians hail from somewhere else. Such is the case for TCBC owners Justin Egbert (California) and Paul Power (Idaho) who opened the west Valley taproom in 2018. Some on-tap options from this nano-brewery include Garbage Pale Kids pale ale (5.4% ABV), the Fill Your Vessel Irish stout (5.8% ABV), and the heavier Coastal Hybrid IPA (7% ABV). The microbrewery has a welcoming and shady patio ideal for a post-bike ride pint or just a drink with your dog.
The Wayward Taphouse1028 Grand Avenue
The Wayward Taphouse arrived during the COVID era, a time when Phoenix was in great need of patios. The outdoor seating here seems to have been arranged with care. There’s good sun and shade options, it’s outside food- and dog-friendly, and it’s surrounded by casitas (formerly prisoner-of-war houses) that are home to Novel Ice Cream and other small businesses in the Grand Avenue Arts District. The Wayward was opened by Tyler Goolie and Hilda Cardenas, who both spent about five years at the also-beloved Wren House Brewing Co. The menu here offers mostly Arizona beer and wine from state favorites like The Shop, Arizona Wilderness, Huss, Caduceus Cellars, Cider Corps, and Bad Booch.
Welcome Diner929 East Pierce Street
Garfield District-darling Welcome Diner has a crisp, retro look, marrying its neon pink-and-blue sign with the diner's seating options — which is to say, booths, a wraparound lunch counter, a bar with liquor bottles crawling up the wall, and a massive, usually busy, porch-style patio. Gulf Coast-inspired dishes like gumbo, jambalaya, and seafood etouffee are big here, as are the classic cocktails. But it's the biscuits people talk about: they're big, pillowy, and have excellent biscuit names like the Bumble Bee and Big Jim.
The Well Bar2623 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
This well-loved south Scottsdale dive carries none of the pretension of the cocktail parlors and clubs occupying the same stretch of road further north. The music is loud; happy hour participants will have to shout over whatever live Phish jam is playing to argue about their sports. The Well Bar also has a sunny, spacious, dog-friendly patio, which is right against roaring Scottsdale Road. The actual traffic doesn’t stop the foot traffic, though. Regulars frequently walk up to snag a stool inside. How do we know they’re regulars? Each is greeted by name by a chorus of beered-up patrons already a few drinks in.
Yucca Tap Room29 West Southern Avenue, Tempe
Yucca Tap Room is foremost a music venue — and a legendary one at that. It’s been around since the early 1970s and is known for offering a stage to the practitioners of the Tempe Sound, touring punk bands, and many other alternative acts. But this strip-mall tenant is also an excellent neighborhood tavern and eatery (home to Bao Chow), frequented by soccer fans and regulars who sometimes arrive when the doors swing open at 6 a.m. to slap the bar, down bloody marys, and cheer on Arsenal. Yucca has expanded east and west in recent years, taking over neighboring suites in order to add the Whiskey Lounge and Electric Bat Arcade, as well as out. The COVID-inspired front patio (once just the stand-and-mingle parking lot) became a permanent addition to the Yucca network in 2020.
Zipps Sports Grill690 South Mill Avenue, Tempe
Zipps Sports Grill has big mugs, some well-known wings, and one of the best, softly lit patios for watching the stage of human drama that is Mill Avenue. Order one of those 32-ounce domestic drafts or a Zipparita, plus those delightful egg roll-style mozzarella sticks, and catch a sports game or some time with friends. But trust us, your eyes will wander toward the clubbers, cyclists, and inhabitants of Mill Avenue as time goes on. And here, the kitchen is open till 10:30 p.m. Sunday to Wednesday and 11:30 p.m. Thursday to Saturday.