Some are all about the view. They feature multiple viewing decks pointed toward the sunset or nearby mountains. The railings that keep customers safe are made of sturdy glass so the vista is undisrupted. And the fact that they have drinks, and sometimes food, is a bonus.
Then there are those that focus on the food and drinks, with creative menus and destination-worthy eats, that just so happen to be on a rooftop. These are the spots where you'll want to make an early dinner reservation before you relocate to a view-focused patio to watch the sun go down.
The wonderful thing about both types of rooftop bars is they all celebrate the Arizona sunshine, provide some instant distance from the busy city streets, and make any spring weekend feel like a luxury. Here are the 10 best rooftop bars in metro Phoenix.
108 East University Drive, TempeAs far as hotel bars go, Alibi sweeps others off their feet. Adorning the Canopy by Hilton Tempe Downtown hotel, this high-flying rooftop bar looks southeast across the Valley, offering views of Four Peaks and the Superstition Mountains in the distance. The menu pulls from many different inspirations to provide a selection of bites perfect for enjoying outside. Fresh poke bowls and light tacos join a selection of flatbreads built for pairing with refreshing cocktails. Add a little heat to your afternoon with the spicy and smoky El Criada, which features mezcal, pineapple, and a Tajin rim. The drinks menu is split into creative specialty cocktails and riffs on classic libations, along with beer and wine. This rooftop bar also includes a covered, indoor section, so customers can enjoy the view even when the wind picks up.
Don Woods' Say When celebrates long and refreshing drinks tailor-made for sipping on the rooftop as the sun sets. Cocktails are the name of the game here and the menu has large sections devoted to fruit spritzes and bubbly highballs. A supercharged carbonation machine behind the bar infuses drinks with tons of tiny bubbles, resulting in a fizzy refreshment that's more like Champagne than soda. Pair a bright and botanical drink with savory, salty snacks such as smoked salmon dip or roasted oysters for an evening above the twinkling city lights. Bonus: If you feel like bar hopping without leaving the property, head downstairs for a tropical tipple by the pool at Lylo.
2 East Jefferson StreetLocated on the third floor of the Kimpton Hotel Palomar, Eden isn't really about the view. While you can peek over the high metal railings to catch a glimpse of the Footprint Center across the street, or peer through walls of trellis and cactus-filled planters to see the city streets below, Eden feels more like an oasis away from the buzz of downtown. And the focus here really is on the food. Head up the elevator or take a few flights of stairs up to the patio and shuffle past families playing in the pool to a seat at the bar or a low table surrounded by soft lounge chairs. Cocktails sweeten the deal, and we're particularly fond of the Desert Sunset, a locally inspired tipple made with Tempe's AZ Distilling Co. Commerce Gin and pomegranate liqueur sprinkled with crushed pistachios. The food menu celebrates Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors, and we recommend starting with the Muhammara, a deep red dip made with roasted peppers and walnuts topped with mint and pomegranate molasses, served with soft rounds of pita. Also, be sure to try the rich lamb meatballs, which are spread with a cool kefir cheese and bathed in a bright tomatillo harissa sauce. These warm, savory bites will make you forget about the view and focus your attention squarely on the table before you.
15 East Monroe StreetAt Floor 13, the top level of the historic Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix Downtown, the focus undeniably is on the scenery. This little bar is mostly a viewing deck with a cocktail list. Customers can sip and stare out at the downtown Phoenix skyline, peek into the office buildings, and wonder what it must be like to live in one of the penthouse apartments that rise above the historic hotel. One cool aspect of the bar is the chance to see the roof of the 1930s art deco hotel. The thick concrete walls have castelike tops that make up the boundaries of the bar, surrounding a patio of tables and lounge areas complete with string lights and gas heaters. Up here, you are in the elements, so be prepared to feel the sun and the wind. The menu includes a few small bites of food, such as bruschetta and chicken wings, along with strong cocktails.
From the Rooftop
222 East Portland StreetThe streets that make up downtown Phoenix's Roosevelt Row Arts District are packed with restaurants, bars, murals, and buzzy patios. If you want to get above it all and take in the sights with less of a crowd, head to From the Rooftop at the top of the Cambria Hotel on Portland Street. This large space offers a great bird's-eye view of the popular district along with a look at the lush green of the nearby Margaret T. Hance Park and the mountains in the distance. A central reflection pool bounces the sunset light as customers sip fruity and refreshing cocktails and share snacks such as cauliflower wings and bacon-wrapped asparagus. On the weekends, this is a great spot for impressing out-of-town friends as you show off your city over brunch with a view.
Outrider Rooftop Lounge
7142 East First Street, ScottsdaleAfter a day of exploring Old Town Scottsdale's shops and art galleries, head above the city streets to Outrider. Located atop Canopy By Hilton Old Town Scottsdale, this modern and trendy space is an L-shaped lounge that runs along the north and west sides of the building. Bartenders mix tropical drinks in a small indoor bar that fades out slowly with a covered patio space eventually giving way to a sun-drenched deck perfect for soaking in some rays. The view's focal point is Camelback Mountain, but make sure to walk around a little and look for the orange bubble-shaped buttes of Papago Park and catch a glimpse of the Superstitions beyond the pool. There's not a bad seat in the house, but a lounge chair in the sun right next to the glass-lined edge is hard to beat — cocktail in hand, of course. Pina colada fans will want to try the Life Preserver, made with tequila, aloe liqueur, coconut, and lime. For a fruity and photogenic sip, order the rum-and-passionfruit-spiked Duke's Pearl, which comes topped with a fresh edible orchid.
Pedal Haus' downtown Phoenix location offers plenty of sights and urban cityscape vibes. Turf flooring, string lights, and large picnic tables create an element of backyard fun, while views of a buzzing Roosevelt Row make this a great start to a night out on the town. Pedal Haus serves a selection of award-winning beers along with cocktails that pair well with its classic gastropub menu. Favorites include the sharable Brewer's Board with a Bavarian-style pretzel, beer brat, and beer cheese, and the Buttermilk Fried Chicken served with honey hot sauce. Take in the sunset from the rooftop, or start the day with a dose of sunshine during weekend brunch.
The Perch Brewery
232 South Wall Street, ChandlerThe Perch is definitely one of the more unusual locations on this list, taking tropical to another level. The Chandler brewery's name is reflective of both the rooftop bar, which overlooks the downstairs restaurant and patio, and also the stances of the many tropical birds that inhabit the property. The owners of The Perch rescue parrots, parakeets, cockatoos, and macaws that were in need of a loving home. The chatty and curious creatures flutter around in their aviary while customers sip on craft beer and nosh on classic pub grub. Weekday lunch specials, weekend brunch, and an ever-rotating lineup of brews bring crowds back to see their feathered friends. Say "hi" to cockatoo Jazz and Bogey the macaw before heading upstairs to catch a sunset and listen to nightly live music from this unique rooftop destination.
Skysill is the destination for you. Located on the 18th floor of The Westin Tempe, Skysill is the highest rooftop bar in metro Phoenix. It offers almost 360-degree views of everything from the Superstition Mountains to Camelback, to the sun setting over the West Valley and the blinking towers atop South Mountain. Post up along the glass-lined edge and watch as planes pass by to land at Sky Harbor. Sip on a refreshing Tempe Mule or seasonal sangria while noshing on duck carnitas nachos, a pepper-topped burger, or Ahi poke as you take in the sights and sounds of the skies.
Upstairs at Flint. But as wonderful as the lower-level restaurant is, we highly recommend settling in for an evening entirely on the rooftop. Nestled in the Esplanade, the open-air lounge is hemmed in on a few sides. But look out over the open north-facing ledge, and you can take in views of Camelback Mountain as the sun sets, turning the landscape rich shades of orange. Below, Biltmore Fashion Park hums with activity. A robust drinks menu includes cocktails spiked with spiced rum, mezcal creations, and fresh juices. Equally impressive is the food. Be sure to order the Spicy Short Rib Hummus, a shareable dish that begs the question, why isn't hummus always adorned by a soft, savory hunk of beef? The Spicy Lamb Meatballs, which really pack a fiery zip, are another winner. As the night goes on, this rooftop bar transitions from casual sunset viewing deck into an upbeat dance party under the stars.