With all its gorgeous scenery and historical attractions, it’s easy to forget that Tucson, Arizona, is quietly one of the best eating and drinking cities in America.
This place is packed with excellent restaurants and bars, many of which are helmed by the country’s best bar owners.
Whether you’re a Tucson veteran brushing up on the latest watering holes or you’re planning your first trip, we’ve got you covered.
Read on as we take a closer look at the best bars in Tucson, and share some tips directly from a local so you guys can make the most of your time in Tucson.
The Buffet Bar
538 E 9th St, Tucson, AZ 85705
Phone: (520) 623-6811
In one of Tucson’s oldest neighborhoods, you’ll find Tucson’s oldest bar and one of America’s most legendary dives. The Buffet Bar has been taking care of locals and travelers since 1934.
The Buffet Bar is an authentic no-frills establishment, so come as you are and bring your drinking shoes. Oh, and don’t leave town without trying The Trash Can.
Tap & Bottle
Phone: (520) 344-8999
Tap & Bottle opened downtown in 2013, and after overwhelming demand, owners Rebecca and Scott Safford also opened an uptown location.
Regardless of which Tap & Bottle you wind up at, it’s the perfect spot to grab a bottle of wine or an exclusive beer. You won’t find any mixed drinks here.
But if beer or wine are your pleasure, there’s no better place to be than Tap & Bottle. Plus, there’s a retail shop, so you can grab something to enjoy at home on your way out the door.
The Shelter Bar
4155 E Grant Rd, Tucson, AZ 85712
Phone: (520) 326-1345
At the corner of Bryant St and Grant Rd, you’ll find this sixties-themed hangout built into an old nuclear fallout shelter.
While that doesn’t sound especially inviting, this little dive is the perfect place to grab a drink, and the staff is excellent.
History buffs are sure to love this place, as it seems forgotten by time, with loads of JFK memorabilia and other kitschy decor.
139 S Eastbourne Ave, Tucson, AZ 85716
Phone: (520) 795-1819
Off Broadway on South Eastbourne Avenue, you’ll find Tucson’s premier cocktail bar in a tiny mission-style building.
This small bar serves up some of the most inventive cocktails, with plenty of classics. Be sure to try a Oaxaca Dry Sour if you’re ready to get your night started with a kick.
Barrio Brewing Co
800 E 16th St, Tucson, AZ 85719
Phone: (520) 791-2739
At the corner of East 16th and Euclid sits a massive building reminiscent of an old factory. Thankfully, this factory makes beer. This location offers five expansive rooms, and they brew the tastiest beer in town.
Barrio is Tucson’s oldest brewery, and they’re 100% employee-owned. Grab a Citrazona IPA and some beer sponges, and you’re in for an excellent afternoon.
220 N 4th Ave, Tucson, AZ 85705
Phone: (520) 445-6625
In the Historic 4th Avenue District, you’ll find Ermanos, a beautiful bar helmed by the Erman Brothers.
These guys dish up a rotating selection of excellent beers, wine, and craft cocktails in a divey atmosphere that makes you feel right at home. Be sure to try the Old Vic or Oaxacan Smash.
Tough Luck Club
101 E Pennington St, Tucson, AZ 85701
Phone: (520) 882-5550
Nestled into downtown Tucson in the basement of Reilly Craft Pizza & Drink, you’ll find Tough Luck Club, a brutalist bar dishing up craft cocktails, beer, and wine.
If you can manage to find the place (enter through the side gate on Scott Avenue), you’ll be rewarded with a night to remember.
Cocktails rotate regularly, so we recommend trusting your bartender to serve you something extraordinary.
350 N 4th Ave, Tucson, AZ 85705
Phone: (520) 623-2088
At the corner of 4th and 7th, you’ll find Che’s Lounge, one of the best dive bars in the country, let alone Tucson. This divey spot dishes up feel-good vibes, live music, and all your favorite drinks.
Che’s also regularly features local artists, and if you’re lucky, one of Tucson’s fantastic food trucks will post up outside so you can enjoy a delicious snack.
Casa Film Bar
2905 E Speedway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85716
Phone: (520) 326-6314
In a strip mall on Speedway, you’ll find Casa Film Bar, one of the most exciting concepts in town. Casa has been open for over thirty years, albeit as a video and game rental store.
A few years ago, the folks at Casa expanded and opened one of Tucson’s best beer bars, with over twenty curated brews on tap.
Good Oak Bar
316 E Congress St, Tucson, AZ 85701
Phone: (520) 367-4243
Good Oak Bar on Congress Street in downtown Tucson may be tiny, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for with its focused menu and excellent selection of booze.
Good Oak is the ideal spot to grab a burger or sandwich and wash it down with a few local craft brews or cocktails. Be sure to try one of the Cones!
236 S Scott Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701
Phone: (520) 207-5678
Inside a beautiful historic building in Armory Park, you’ll find Owls Club West, an excellent cocktail bar that was once a funeral home.
It might sound creepy, but the courteous and helpful staff will make you feel right at home. The Aspirational West is my favorite libation here, but you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu.
From the inventive brews at Barrio to the understated cool of Tough Luck Club and everywhere in between, Tucson has a bar right up your alley.
Each of these haunts is excellent for its own reasons, and with plenty of variety, you’re sure to find something to love at one of the best bars in Tucson.
Did we leave one of your favs off the list? Sound off in the comments, and let us know about your favorite spots in the neighborhood!
Best Bars in Tucson, Arizona
- The Buffet Bar
- Tap & Bottle
- The Shelter Bar
- Barrio Brewing Co
- Ermanos Bar
- Tough Luck Club
- Che’s Lounge
- Casa Film Bar
- Good Oak Bar
- Owls Club
GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings