Best Nightlife in Phoenix 2023

Arizona’s capital is home to one-of-a-kind landscapes, lifestyles, and nightlife options. The Valley of the Sun is a lively hub known for its high-end resorts, sprawling golf courses, desert views, and enthusiastic crowds, making it one of the most popular cities for young professionals and nightlife lovers. From Downtown Phoenix’s glitzy metropolis to the glamorous Scottsdale hotspots, there is a vast slew of nightlife options bound to suit any and every lifestyle — whether you prefer swanky jazz clubs, neon-lit dance floors, Southern country bars, or vibrant Latin music party scenes. Phoenix is hot and bustling all year round, and these are some of the iconic city’s best nightlife options.

2023 Phoenix Club Events Schedule

Karamba Nightclub

Best LGBTQ Club

One of Phoenix’s most beloved nightlife institutions, Karamba is a vibrant Latin LGBTQ-friendly dance club known for its unbeatable drink specials and all-around fun. With state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems, this big club features colorfully-lit dance floors, stages, plenty of tables, and even a large outdoor patio. Expect popular Latin music and scantily-clad performers and dancers almost every night of the week. Most nights feature themed events, including drag shows, lip synch battles, karaoke nights, and plenty of killer drink specials — this might be the only place in town where you can find a $1 beer. Karamba is where party-lovers go dancing until sunrise. Even quality food options include nachos and burritos to fuel your energetic evening.

Bar Smith

Best rooftop bar

In Downtown Phoenix, both locals and tourists flock to Bar Smith for a nightlife experience all their own. Whether you’re in the mood for a wild night of dancing, a night to sink into a couch with a cocktail and a taco, or an evening with lovely rooftop views, Bar Smith is where you’ll want to be. The first floor of this popular nightclub features a boisterous interior, complete with a medium-sized dance floor, bar, and couches for lounging. The second-level rooftop is usually just as vibrant, as diverse crowds dance under the sky to top-notch local DJs. DJ-hosted events are common and often include unbeatable drink specials like $3 mixed drinks and $5 top-shelf shots. VIP bottle service is available on request; you can rent either floor for events.

The Womack

Best bar for drink specials

The Womack is an indelible aspect of Phoenix nightlife thanks to its quality cocktails and fun events. It also is a historical tribute to the original ’60s lounge, Chez Nous. Named after the beloved Chez Nous owners Andy and Maureen Womack, this swanky lounge emulates all the best parts of Chez Nous while incorporating modern features that Phoenix’s crowds love. Inside The Womack, the lights are sultry and dim, the cocktails are high-end, and the crowd provides a lively atmosphere with sophistication and fun. There are plenty of ’60s-Esque swiveling barstools and upholstered leather booths to enjoy drinks and gourmet bites like elegant cheese plates and shrimp cocktails, while a picturesque outdoor area features sleek patio couches and palm trees. A small stage inside allows for local musicians, comedians, poets, and more performances. Drink specials are common — like the all-summer $5 Tito’s and rosè special — and events like drag brunch and party-forward fundraisers happen regularly.

The Crescent Ballroom

Best warehouse club

The Crescent Ballroom is a beloved music venue with a sleek lounge and a popular Tex-Mex eatery inside. Cocina 10, the Crescent Ballroom’s in-house restaurant, serves up mouthwatering tacos, burritos, and even vegetarian dishes late at night for hungry partygoers. While Cocina 10 is popular, folks flock to the Crescent Ballroom for some of the best live music around Downtown Phoenix. The Ballroom hosts top-notch performers regularly, from electric house DJs to rock artists to jazz, hip-hop, and everything in between. With exposed brick walls, string lights, and a breezy outdoor balcony area, this bar provides a laid-back, fun atmosphere. To see music shows at the Crescent Ballroom, you must purchase tickets ahead of time, but without a ticket, you can still enjoy a good time at the Cocina Lounge’s full-service bar.

Dwntwn

Best club for Latin music

Those looking for a one-stop shop for a long, lively night can find that at Dwntwn. With three separate bars, three DJs, and three different dance floors, there is endless entertainment at fun at Dwntwn. With the best Latin music, including reggaeton, salsa, hip-hop, and rock thumping throughout the venue, you can expect to dance all night long in this upscale venue. Dress to impress to get into this nightclub, and check the club’s website to find out about upcoming events — there may be a cover charge to get in. Various booths with VIP bottle service options are available, ranging from $200 to $300 per bottle, plus the cost of admission. Be sure to reserve your spot online ahead of time.

Rhythm Room

Best club for jazz music

Having been proclaimed the best club for blues in Phoenix, the Rhythm Room sure delivers on its distinctive title. Considered a dive bar by many, this swanky, intimate space features dim blue lights to set the jazzy mood and a stage where live music is performed every night of the week. While there’s plenty of seating to view the stage, most guests at Rhythm Room don’t stay seated for long. A small dance floor in front of the stage often gets filled with toe-tapping blues lovers, and couples swing dancing together. This spot is usually crowded with long lines to get in. Visit the Rhythm Room website to see about upcoming events and purchase your tickets online ahead of time. Don’t forget to visit on the weekends when local food trucks serve food out back!

Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row

Best country bar

Many people would argue that you can’t visit Phoenix without heading to Whiskey Row in Scottsdale. Famously owned by decorated country artist Dierks Bentley, this massive space functions as an American gastropub, featuring a full-service restaurant, a rustic wood-paneled bar, a 360° stage, and plenty of large televisions to watch sports games — they’ve even got a massive 40-foot television, top-notch sound system, and phone charging stations at the bar. Whiskey is, of course, the main attraction at this booming bar, and guests can choose from over 60 unique varieties of the spirit, plus a desirable array of whiskey-based cocktails. Moreover, VIP bottle service is a hit at this Scottsdale club, with enthusiastic bottle girls and over-the-top sparklers. Head to Whiskey Row for a mouthwatering American dinner fare, weeknight DJ events, bottle service specials, occasional live music, fun crowds, or a Monday through Friday food and drink happy hour. With an open-faced outdoor storefront, this spot’s loud, lively energy can be seen down the street. 

Chars Live

Best club for live music

Chars Live is an iconic Phoenix nightclub known for its nightly live music performances and boisterous crowds. Previously called Char’s Has the Blues, this intimate space has been a beloved haven for music lovers since 1985. The swanky old-school atmosphere is completed with dim lights, vinyl records on the wall, a small band stage with a classic red curtain, and a newly-designed private lounge lined with velvet couches and ’80s-esque wallpaper. The music in this New Orleans-like spot is mostly rhythm, jazz, and blues, but weekend DJs pump out hip-hop, and genres like reggaeton and rock are played often. There is usually a small cover fee for entry at Chars Live, and guests can order from a fun variety of craft cocktails. While no food is served at Chars Live, it’s common to find food trucks parked out front on busier nights.

Valley Bar

Best speakeasy

On nights where you want a little something extra, Valley Bar in Downtown Phoenix is the place to be. While you can enjoy a club-like atmosphere and a dance floor at this beloved spot, it’s also great for quality, authentic cocktails, indulgent bar food, comedy shows, trivia, and fun arcade games. With a relaxed, speakeasy atmosphere, Valley Bar is underground — you’ll have to go down an alleyway and a flight of stairs to get in. With dim lighting, kitschy photo frames and antiques covering the walls, a live music stage, and several pool tables, this is a space where the 1920s meet the modern age in the best way. Play a round of darts or ski ball, choose from a fun selection of board games, or check the venue’s website to attend a comedy show to enjoy an ideal date night or group outing. Enjoy quality craft cocktails, draft beers, a wide wine and spirits selection, and Mexican bar snacks from the local Cocina 10. While there is no strict dress code here, it’s recommended that you wear smart footwear. Tickets to shows and events are available online and at the door. Purchasing tickets online beforehand is ideal to ensure quicker entry.

Blue Martini Lounge

Best high-end club

Across the country, the Blue Martini group is well-known for its upscale nightclubs. In Phoenix, the Blue Martini Lounge is a buzzy bar with plenty of desirable features, including high-end drinks, gourmet food, live music, VIP bottle service, and a sunny outdoor patio. Blue Martini Lounge offers a happy hour seven days a week, but the weekends and themed nights are when party-lovers flock to dance under neon lights for an authentic nightclub feel. It’s a popular spot for big celebrations like birthdays, bachelorette parties, and late-night group outings. Drinks and table reservations at Blue Martini Lounge are pricier, so plan accordingly.

Outrider Rooftop Lounge

Best bar for day drinking

Outrider Rooftop Lounge in Scottsdale features some of the best views in Phoenix. Grab a comfy patio chair, a delicious cocktail, or local craft beer, and enjoy the incredible mountainscape scenery. Outrider Rooftop Lounge is only open until 10 pm during the week and 11 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, but it’s a great spot to start your night off right or to spend the day. Nestled atop the Canopy Hilton hotel, the rooftop bar doesn’t take reservations, but you can obtain a day pass to the hotel and reserve a poolside cabana! If you’re headed to Outrider Rooftop Lounge to enjoy the stunning sunset, you might not get a seat as this tends to be the busiest time for the bar, but the view is worth standing for! There are outdoor fire pits during cooler months and an overall lively atmosphere any day of the week.