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Portal Cocktails on 4th Avenue (Photo credit: Jackie Tran)

The Best Cocktail Lounges in Tucson

Updated May 9, 2024

You like a good bar. But you love a great cocktail lounge. That’s why we put this guide together. To help you enjoy (or, perhaps, FIND) the best bars and cocktail lounges in Tucson.

At the heart of Tucson’s craft cocktail culture is a love for innovation, coupled with a deep respect for tradition. From classic martinis to innovative concoctions with prickly pear or locally distilled spirits, the variety is stunning. Whether it’s an old-school bar with dim lighting and leather booths, a rooftop lounge with stunning sunset views, or a trendy speakeasy hidden behind an unassuming storefront, each lounge tells its own unique story.

Learn how we create our guides here.

a dining room table
(Photo courtesy of Barbata)


One of the new basement bars in Tucson, Barbata brings a European flair to the craft cocktail scene, providing a secret sanctuary to drink, eat, and be merry. To find it, head to BATA, downtown, then go down. You can’t miss it… or, at least, you shouldn’t!

A photo of the interior of Batch Whiskey and Donuts in downtown Tucson
(Photo courtesy of Batch)

Batch Whiskey & Donuts

If you’re ever in Downtown, make sure to check out Batch Whiskey & Donuts. It’s one of the standout bars in Tucson. It pairs an impressive selection of nearly one thousand unique bottles of whiskey with delectable, fresh made donuts on the weekends. Although there’s plenty to explore, there’s little doubt that the “House Old Fashioned” is the best in town.

A photo of the interior of The Century Room cocktail lounge
The Century Room (Photo courtesy of Hotel Congress)

The Century Room

Adjacent to the famous Congress Hotel, Century Room mixes local mezcal and live music in perfect proportions. Snack on some small plates, sip on the sparkling & spicy “Spirit of the Southwest,” and soak up the sultry sounds of that smooth, sexy saxophone.

A photo of the interior of the Tucson mezcal bar known as El Crisol
El Crisol (Photo Credit: Anna Smirnova)

Crisol Bar

If you’re looking for that genuine desert magic, look no further than Bar Crisol. Agave art, majestic maps, and tons of typewriters adorn the walls of one of the best bars in Tucson. Make a date night of one of their Agave Tastings on Thursdays, and stick around to marvel at their mesmerizing mezcal mixology.

(Photo courtesy of Good Oak Bar)

Good Oak Bar

Located right next to the historic Rialto Theatre, Good Oak Bar combines a cozy atmosphere with a focus on whiskey and agave, as well as local foods, beers, & wines. The “Desert Highball” is a hot-weather hit that adds prickly pear pizzazz to an already refreshing vodka, soda, lime combo.

A photo of the interior of Highwire Lounge in downtown Tucson
(Photo Courtesy of Highwire Cocktail Lounge)

HighWire Tucson

This lively restaurant & bar offers a vibrant atmosphere and an array of creative libations, including cocktails on tap. Be sure to try their signature concotion the “Lady In Red” – hibiscus infused ice balls in a refreshing and citrusy gin and ginger beer spritz. Perfect for the desert heat!

A photo of the seating area and brick wall backdrop within Jackrabbit Lounge in Tucson
(Photo courtesy of The Jackrabbit Lounge)

The Jackrabbit Lounge

Known for its sultry atmosphere and late-night entertainment, the Jackrabbit Lounge is a truly unique Tucson cocktail bar experience. Standout among their creations is the “Jessica Rabbit,” blending vanilla vodka, orgeat, lemon, and grapefruit, for the perfect blend of sweet, creamy, and tangy.

Photo courtesy of Juniper


Downtown Tucson just got a gin bar. Located in the same spot where Iron John’s Brewing Co. used to reside, Juniper boasts a full wall of different kinds of gin, which are used to create an entire array of large and aromatic gin & tonics, magnificent martinis, novel negronis and a range of other carefully crafted classic cocktails.

Definitely try “The Botanist” and “The Moonlight Cocktail”! Surely, Juniper will land on your list of best bars in downtown Tucson in no time.

Two pictures of a cocktail lounge in tucson
The Nightjar (Photo credit: Anna Smirnova)


Step through the unassuming wooden front door of Nightjar into an Old World speakeasy with classy and elegant vibes. Enjoy the low, ambient lighting, hand-painted artwork, and classy wooden bar top from which you can purchase any number of craftily mixed libations. Don’t know where to start? Check out the “La Boheme” — delightfully refreshing!

a picture of a bar
(Photo courtesy of Owls Club)

Owls Club

Nestled in a historic building, Owl’s Club boasts a sophisticated ambiance with a touch of vintage charm. Known for their exceptional craft cocktails, one standout is the “Gila River,” a delightful twist on a whiskey sour, featuring lemon, chocolate, ancho chile, and Xocolatl Mole Bitters — delicious!

Portal Cocktails

The aptly named Portal feels like just that — a portal to groovy and cosmic ambiance. Located at the back of Ermanos on 4th Avenue, Portal is a perfect Tucson date spot. Be sure to try “Apollo’s Sonata,” a fruity, creamy rum concoction that shines like the star for which it is named.

The Royal Room

Step through the former brick warehouse doors and discover a mid-century masterpiece known as the Royal Room. Sip their “Riptide” — rye, pineapple amaro, lemon, orgeat, and pineapple — while you soak up the stained glass windows, colorful tiled floors, and laid back vibes.

a store front at night
R Bar (Photo by Rachel Dacquisto)

R Bar

With its bright red aesthetic and open-air design, R Bar is a direct subsidiary to the Rialto Theatre. That means that the profits made from that “Rialtaur” you just ordered (ginger-cardamom vodka, salted lime cordial, & ginger beer, oh my!), go directly to the operation, upkeep, and programming of the renowned Tucson venue.

To say the least, Rialto Theatre just gifted one of the best bars in downtown Tucson. And we aren’t complaining!

a picture of the exterior of a bar
(Photo courtesy of The Shelter Bar on Facebook)

Shelter Bar

Stepping foot inside The Shelter Bar is like traveling back in time. Since 1961, this Tucson staple has provided a cool and cozy hideout, filled with JFK decor, Cold War memorabilia, pinball machines , pool tables, magnificent martinis, and memorable movies.


A stylish, sun-soaked lounge with both indoor and outdoor seating, Sidecar transports guests to a bygone era with its retro decor and old school drinks. There’s no better place to start than their “Prohibition” sidecar, an aptly named spin on their classic cocktail namesake.

a group of people in a room
Snake & Barrel (Photo by Taylor Noel Photography)

Snake & Barrel

That new Tucson speakeasy your friend told you about, Snake & Barrel is the secret, subterranean sister of Batch, with a wider selection of unique liquor varieties and a cocktail-forward menu. Try the “Living After Midnight” for a sweet & smoky treat while you sink into comfortable couches and compelling conversations with your closest companions. This place serves some of the most hot and sexy drinks in Tucson.

The Still (Photo credit: Jackie Tran)

The Still

Behind a wall at Vero Amore hides another secret speakeasy in Tucson. After you finish your delectable Italian meal, sneak behind the scenes to sample any number of old school or newfound concoctions. Our favorite is the “Violet Femme,” an absinthe and raspberry liquor delight!

Photo Courtesy of Tough Luck Club

Tough Luck Club

Hidden beneath Reilley’s Pizza, Tough Luck Club provides a secretive and intimate setting for cocktail enthusiasts. The drink menu is extensive, with a long list of both classic and contemporary beverages. The “Arizona Plains” blends whiskey and bacanora with sage honey and lemon. Tasty!

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