Gay-Friendly Restaurants and Bars in the Phoenix Area

View of CityScape, Phoenix, AZ lit up at night from above with the moon hanging large just above the mountains on the horizon

 

Tomasz Zajda/Getty Images

With so many bars and clubs catering to the LGBT community, Phoenix, Arizona is the gay nightlife hub of the Southwest and has one of the largest selections of gay bars in the nation. This is a city where folks love to party, and the scene is generally friendly, unpretentious, and—in many cases—downright cruisy. Here's an alphabetical list of the most inviting gay-oriented after-dark venues in the region, including a handful of mixed bars, restaurants, and GLBT-popular coffeehouses of note. Explore further at Phoenix's many gay bathhouses and sex clubs, and find a great and gay-friendly place to stay.

01 of 29

Anvil Bar

Exterior of Anvil Bar in Phoenix, AZ. Teal building with red roof trim and neon OPEN sign.

Andrew Collins

Address
2424 E Thomas Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016, USA
Phone
+1 602-334-1462

Located on the east side of Phoenix, Anvil Bar is the region's favorite leather bar. Popular theme nights include Monday's and Friday's "undie night" (you get $1 off your drink if you're clad in underwear) and the Sunday beer bust. It's owned by the same team behind Cruisin' 7th.

02 of 29

AZ 88

Exterior of AZ88, Scottsdale, AZ with large orange suspended sculpture and outdoor seating.

AZ88 

Address
7353 E Scottsdale Mall, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
Phone
+1 480-994-5576

Set along the landscaped, pedestrian-friendly Civic Center Mall in downtown Scottsdale, AZ 88 has been a steady favorite among gay and straight A-listers, resort-goers, and scenesters for years. The snazzy, modern space is a great place to sip creative cocktails and enjoy a snack or a full meal of wallet-friendly comfort dishes, including chicken wings, Cobb salads, au poivre burgers, portobello mushroom sandwiches, and ice cream sundaes. It's a little tricky to find, as you can't drive right up to the entrance—rather, park at the garage at N. Wells Fargo Ave., just north of East 2nd Street, and AZ 88 is atop this structure overlooking the courtyard.

03 of 29

Bar 1

Exterior of Bar 1 with blue awning reading COCKTAILS and billboard signage.

Andrew Collins

Address
3702 N 16th St, Phoenix, AZ 85016-5915, USA
Phone
+1 602-266-9001

With a spacious patio, huge video screens, and a stylish interior with a fireplace and cushy seating, Bar 1 is a nice alternative to the city's pulsing dance clubs and cruisy dive bars, which is not to say you can't meet and make the moves on plenty of cute people in here. This is a relaxed video bar with a nice vibe and plenty of diversions, including pool tables and darts.

04 of 29

Bliss on Fourth/ReBar

Interior of Bliss/ReBar with people sitting at a bar, television turned on, stocked liquor shelf, and signage made out of rebar

Andrew Collins

Address
901 N 4th St, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA
Phone
+1 602-795-1792

Bliss on Fourth and its cocktails component ReBar are noted fixtures in the hip and lively Roosevelt Row Arts District, on the east edge of downtown Phoenix. These attractive spaces, along with the sprawling patio out front, are terrific venues for dining and drinking, whether it's weekend brunch, a romantic dinner, or late-night carousing and noshing. The bar menu doles out tasty sandwiches, burgers, and salads well into the evening. You can dine in ReBar, but many patrons in here swing by for a selection from the excellent wine and beer list, or a deftly mixed cocktail. The food here is classic American with some nouvelle touches, such as a bacon-meatloaf sandwich with house-made ketchup on toasted pretzel bread, and pan-seared shrimp and cheesy grits with a beurre blanc sauce. Weekend brunch has fast become de rigueur with see-and-be-seen gays and lesbians.

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05 of 29

Blue Hound Kitchen/Lustre Bar at Hotel Palomar

Interior of Lustre Bar inside Hotel Palomar, Phoenix, AZ. People chatting while bartenders make drinks, large and softly lit room, wooden floors and details.

Andrew Collins

Address
2 E Jefferson St, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA
Phone
+1 602-258-0231

GLBT-popular Kimpton Hotels opened the much-anticipated Hotel Palomar in the downtown CityScape development, which includes retail and restaurants. A major asset here for both hotel guests and others is the property's Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails, a chic but casual restaurant and bar serving terrific mod-American cuisine, from bar snacks to more substantial fare. Stop by for happy hour on weekdays (4 to 6 PM) for some enticing food deals. Head up to the next level to the hotel's breezy poolside bar, Lustre, to sip cocktails while enjoying fabulous views of the downtown skyline.

06 of 29

BS West

Liquor shelves lit with red bulbs, sports showing on a television behind a bar. BS West, Scottsdale, AZ

Andrew Collins

Address
7125 E 5th Ave, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
Phone
+1 480-945-9028

Your best bet if you're staying out at one of the glam resorts of Scottsdale, BS West is a very fun, long-running video bar (opened in 1988) with two patios and a small dance floor. It's tucked behind a row of galleries and boutiques in downtown Old Scottsdale and is a little tricky to find—walk toward the northwest side of the parking structure between 3rd and 5th avenues. The attractive, warmly lit bar pulls in an eclectic crowd, from students who attend relatively nearby ASU to visiting tourists. The staff is friendly and welcoming, and there are fun drag shows on Friday nights. Come on and watch the go-go boys work the crowd on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

07 of 29

Bunkhouse

Exterior of the Bunkhouse, Phoenix, AZ. Green building with ivy, red door, and two archways.

Andrew Collins

Address
4428 7th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85013-2905, USA
Phone
+1 602-200-9154

Bears, leather daddies, and blue-collar guys have long patronized this super-friendly, no-nonsense cruise bar near several other zero-attitude gay hangouts on North 7th Avenue. The Bunkhouse has a racially diverse crowd, is quite friendly toward women for a pretty cruisy guys' bar, and has some fun events, like monthly "bear-b-que" cookouts, Southwest Leather Pride parties, and Thursday underwear nights.

08 of 29

Cartel Coffee Lab

Barista making coffee behind a counter filled with fruits and pastries inside a cafe with green, red, and yellow walls. Cartel Coffee Lab, Scottsdale, AZ

Andrew Collins

Address
1 N 1st St, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA
Phone
+1 480-621-6381

Serious java aficionados favor Cartel Coffee Lab, which has locations in downtown Phoenix, along gallery-studded 5th Avenue in Scottsdale, near ASU in Tempe, and Tucson. The baristas here know what they're doing, and the beans are sourced from high-quality coffee farms in Mexico and Central America. The original location in Tempe is where all the roasting is done. There's good food at these coffee bars, and the Scottsdale location also carries a nice selection of beers and wines by the glass—it's open late, until 9 PM on weekdays and 11 PM on weekends.

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09 of 29

Cash Inn Country

Exterior of Cash Inn Country in Phoenix, AZ with teal signage in a retro font and hand-painted signs and doors.

Andrew Collins

Address
2140 E McDowell Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85006, USA
Phone
+1 602-244-9943

Drawing a predominantly lesbian crowd, this is one of the country's top country-western-themed women's bars and an extremely popular hangout in Phoenix. Line-dancing and two-stepping are a big part of the fun at Cash Inn Country, but there's also darts and pool, free Wi-Fi, and an expansive patio out back. Many nights the DJs spin other types of music, too, from Latin to standard dance tunes. If you're not so big on cocktails, just drop in and hang out in the coffee bar. It's a very friendly place with an especially nice bunch of folks working behind the bar.

10 of 29

Charlie's

Exterior of Charlie's, Phoenix, AZ. Stone building with covered entryway and parking lot.

Andrew Collins

Address
727 W Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85013-2206, USA
Phone
+1 602-265-0224

A rather butch bunch of guys, many who favor cowboy garb, frequent this long-time Phoenix favorite. Charlie's also has branches in Chicago, Denver, and Las Vegas. An expansive dance floor, regularly updated decor, and great lighting and sound systems help this dependable country-western club keep up with the times and continue pulling in a dedicated crowd. Line-dancing and two-stepping are the dance styles of choice (lessons are offered many evenings). On Fridays and Saturdays, the place is open until 4 AM, when it draws a more eclectic crowd and plays popular dance music starting around 11 PM on Fridays and 1 AM on Saturdays (when the crowd shifts dramatically, drawing more young clubbers—both men and a fair number of women). There's volleyball on Sunday afternoons.

11 of 29

Citizen Public House

View inside softly lit Citizen Public House, Scottsdale, AZ of patrons sitting at the bar and at tables for restaurant service

Andrew Collins

Address
7111 E 5th Ave, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
Phone
+1 480-398-4208

A hip gastropub in Old Scottsdale's trendy 5th Avenue neighborhood, Citizen Public House serves stellar craft cocktails and creative renditions of classic American dishes. From the drinks list, consider the Bijou 13 (with Beefeater 24 and green Chartreuse) or the Rye's Wide Open (Wild Turkey, spiced apple cider, Fever-Tree bitter lemon soda, and sage on the rocks). The food is every bit as interesting and perfectly prepared, including pork belly pastrami with rye spaetzle, chicken-and-waffles with almond butter and blue-clover honey, and a memorable dessert of piña colada bread pudding with brown sugar rum praline.

12 of 29

Cruisin' 7th

Exterior view of Cruisin' 7th Cocktail Lounge, Phoenix, AZ at sunset. White building with blue entryway, red door, and large signage out front.

Andrew Collins

Address
3702 N 7th St, Phoenix, AZ 85014, USA
Phone
+1 602-212-9888

An old-school neighborhood bar that's been a hit with fans of strippers, drag shows, and the transgender scene since the late seventies, Cruisin' 7th is just a laid-back, low-frills cruise bar. It's an all-welcoming place without any attitude.

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13 of 29

Denny's

Exterior of Denny's, Phoenix, AZ. Walls of windows with advertised specials and red roof and awning with lit up logo signage.

Andrew Collins

Address
5002 N 7th St, Phoenix, AZ 85014, USA
Phone
+1 602-279-7721

There's not much new to say about the food and beverages served at the ubiquitous chain diner Denny's, but this particular location has for many years been a favorite rendezvous for post-clubbing gays into the wee hours. It's fun for people-watching, especially late at night, which is also the time of day when a Lumberjack Slam can seem like a great idea.

14 of 29

Dick's Cabaret

Address
3432 E Illini St, Phoenix, AZ 85040, USA
Phone
+1 602-274-3425

The city's most popular gay strip bar, Dick's, is a bit of an effort to find, as it's tucked amid a row of industrial concerns, but it's also very near several airport hotels along University Drive. The bar is well-regarded for its hunky dancers, and it's perhaps most famous because one of those handsome guys—David Hernandez—went on to show off his considerable vocal endowment as a finalist on American Idol (in 2008).

15 of 29

Fez

Exterior of Fez, Phoenix, AZ. Grey building with yellow awning and red accents out front on tree-lined street.

Andrew Collins

Address
105 W Portland St, Phoenix, AZ 85003, USA
Phone
+1 602-287-8700

Attractive and modish Fez is a hot spot among the GLBT set for brunch as well as cocktails, dinner, and late-night happy hour. Cocktails like the mint chipper (vanilla vodka, creme de menthe, Godiva white chocolate, and cream) appeal to sweet-tooths, while the food menu tends toward share-friendly, eclectic dishes (many with Middle Eastern influences), such as spicy harissa hummus, apricot-honey-glazed salmon, Kisra flatbread pizzas, and cumin-cinnamon-carrot soup.

16 of 29

Karamba Nightclub

Address
1724 E McDowell Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85006-3034, USA
Phone
+1 602-254-0231

One of the city's best gay dance clubs and as fun a Latin gay bar as you'll ever find, Karamba has an edgy, post-industrial look and a thunderous sound system. There are three large indoor areas plus a decent-size patio, and a small restaurant inside serves Mexican food on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The music and the crowd are heavily Latin-influenced, but you'll see all kinds of revelers here, from shirtless and buff gym kids to veteran circuit-party addicts to straight-but-progressive types who love the great music. There's nothing quiet or intimate about this place—it's where you go when you're looking to cut loose and party into the wee hours.

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17 of 29

Kazimierz World Wine Bar (in Scottsdale)

Two people chatting outside Kazimierz World Wine Bar in Scottsdale, AZ at night on a patio under soft lights.

Andrew Collins

Address
7137 E Stetson Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
Phone
+1 480-946-3004

You walk down a short alley behind the stellar downtown Scottsdale restaurant Cowboy Ciao to reach Kazimierz, a charmingly secretive-seeming spot with a warm, inviting interior of cushy chairs and antique wine barrels. The wine selection here is astounding, and there is live music some nights. You can order delish bar food (Egyptian flatbread pizzas, chicken kabobs, three-cheese fondue), but if you're really hungry, slip next door to Cowboy Ciao, which features some of the most creative and delicious globally inspired American food in the valley.

18 of 29

Kobalt at Park Central

Fenced in outdoor patio with umbrellas, seating, and rainbow pride flag. Kobalt Bar at Park Central Mall, Phoenix, AZ

Andrew Collins

Address
3110 N Central Ave #175, Phoenix, AZ 85013, USA
Phone
+1 602-264-5307

A friendly gay bar a short drive north of downtown at Park Central Mall, Kobalt is popular for its variety of theme nights, including karaoke on Sunday and Tuesday, piano cabaret on Friday and Saturday, and Broadway tunes on Thursdays. An upscale, attractive layout with dim lighting, glass-top bar tables, and an outdoor patio lend a warm and welcoming ambiance.

19 of 29

Lux Coffee

Open outdoor patio with wooden picnic-style tables at Lux Coffee, Phoenix, AZ.

Andrew Collins

Address
4402 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85012-1815, USA
Phone
+1 602-327-1396

A hipster favorite on Central a short drive north of downtown, Lux Coffee is renowned for its artisan-roasted coffee as well as fine teas and a nice selection of microbrew beers, well-chosen wines, and expertly poured cocktails. There's a good-size patio at this trendy hangout with a mixed gay/straight scene. Lux features delicious baked goods as well as light breakfast, lunch, and dinner fare—much of it from a daily-changing menu.

20 of 29

Nu-Towne Saloon

Exterior of Nu-Towne Saloon with small replica of the Eiffel Tower on roof.

Andrew Collins

Address
5002 E Van Buren St, Phoenix, AZ 85008-7007, USA
Phone
+1 602-267-9959

You can't miss the 17-foot model Eiffel Tower that rises from the rooftop of this cruisy gay men's bar that opened in 1971 and then underwent a complete rebuild following a fire. Nu-Towne Saloon lies just east-northeast of the airport, not too far from Scottsdale or Tempe, and caters to a mostly male, bearish bunch. The drinks are potent and affordable, the staff fun-loving and friendly. This is the longest-running gay bar in Phoenix. Note that the Sunday Beer Blast is one of the more popular gay party events in the city.

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21 of 29

Plazma

Exterior of Plazma bar, Phoenix, AZ during daytime. Brick building with red entry wall and black roof affixed with American flag and rainbow Pride flags.

Andrew Collins

Address
1560 E Osborn Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85014-5308, USA
Phone
+1 602-266-0477

Just a low-key neighborhood gay bar on the east side of downtown Phoenix, Plazma is fun for karaoke or as part of a general bar crawl. It's mostly the domain of locals who live in the area.

22 of 29

The Rock

Exterior of The Rock, Phoenix, AZ. White building with brown awning and rainbow signage.

Andrew Collins

Address
4129 N 7th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85013, USA
Phone
+1 602-248-8559

The Rock is one of the best gay venues in the area for catching live entertainment of all kinds, from drag cabarets to concerts to comedy shows. There's a large show stage, a spacious patio, and a nicely decorated bar with videos, a juke box, and karaoke. Regular events include drag bingo on Mondays, viewing parties of RuPaul's Drag Race, and fetish nights. Although drawing mostly a gay and lesbian crowd, The Rock is popular with everybody when there's a fun and campy show scheduled.

23 of 29

SideBar

Daytime exterior of SideBar, Phoenix, AZ. Brick building with metal awning, purple gate, and retro globe light bulb signage.

Andrew Collins

Address
1514 N 7th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85007, USA
Phone
+1 602-254-1646

On the edge of the steadily gentrifying and quite diverse Willo Historic District, lively and somewhat trendy SideBar is a short distance from several good restaurants and an easy drive from downtown hotels. Although not a gay bar, it does draw a very mixed bunch to its cozy, stylish interior, with exposed-brick walls and mod lounge chairs and banquette seats. The main reason to consider SideBar is the very extensive beverage list—more than 40 craft beers and the same number of wines by the glass, as well as first-rate cocktails using fresh-squeezed juices. The bartenders here are real pros, and quite convivial, too; they're great about making recommendations if you're unsure of what to order.

24 of 29

Songbird Coffee & Tea House

Exterior of Songbird Coffee & Tea House, white building with large windows and black bird and coffee cup logo.

Andrew Collins

Address
2006, 812 N 3rd St, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA
Phone
+1 602-374-4192
Coffee Shops
4.3

Songbird is a homey, bohemian space that presents rotating art exhibits, hosts poetry and spoken-word, and books acoustic, jazz, and rock musicians. It's only open until 7 PM on weekdays (and 4 PM on Saturdays), but as daytime hangouts go, it's one of the better venues in downtown Phoenix for meeting and mingling with creative spirits. The food and drink come from Cortez Coffee Roasters, Maya Tea, Treehouse Bakery, SweetArt Bakery, and Latin Fusion Foods.

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25 of 29

Switch Restaurant & Wine Bar

Address
2603 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA
Phone
+1 602-264-2295

With its icy-blue-hued interior, Switch is both a snazzy cocktail and wine bar and a terrific restaurant specializing in casual sandwiches and comfort foods prepared with fresh ingredients. Popular standbys include the lobster-seafood crepes; spinach-feta salad; Thai-braised beef tacos; and smoked turkey, avocado, and bacon panini. Breakfast is served on the weekends, too. There's an eclectic selection of wines by the glass, plus old-school (Gibson martinis, sidecars) and new-school drinks.

26 of 29

Taggia at FireSky Resort & Spa

Interior of Taggia Restaurant inside FireSky Resort & Spa, Scottsdale, AZ. High-ceilinged room with exposed wooden crossbeams and many sunlit windows. Plush chairs and stools are spread across a printed carpet, with a long dining table in the background and two chandeliers hanging above.

Andrew Collins

Address
4925 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
Phone
+1 480-424-6095

The acclaimed contemporary Italian restaurant inside Scottsdale very gay-popular Kimpton property, FireSky Resort & Spa, indoor-outdoor Taggia serves food inspired by the northern Italian coast - think gnocchi with chorizo and crab, house-smoked duck carpaccio, and wood-fired pizza topped with dates, caramelized onions, bacon, goat cheese, and rosemary. There's also quite a lively and sexy scene at the resort's Aqua Bar, especially early in the evening for happy hour.

27 of 29

Cafe Tranquilo/Skydeck at Clarendon Hotel

Nighttime exterior of The Clarendon Hotel, Phoenix, AZ. Two blue light fixtures flank the glass entrance doors and a lobby lounge with couches and paintings is visible.

Andrew Collins

Address
401 W Clarendon Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85013-3411, USA
Phone
+1 602-469-1730

Set right in the heart of the city's Central Avenue corridor, which is convenient to nightlife and attractions (as well as the super-cool new Light Rail), the Clarendon Hotel is a favorite, mid-priced lodging option for GLBT travelers (and other hipsters, artists, and the like). But whether you stay here or not, be sure to check out the fabulous Skydeck Rooftop Bar, with its nifty skyline views and stylish patio furniture. It's a swank spot to sip cocktails and soak up the desert skies. There's also Cafe Tranquilo restaurant off the lobby, down on the main level.

28 of 29

Urban Beans

Exterior view of Urban Beans, Phoenix, AZ. Outdoor patio seating with tables and string lights draped from a sun covering outside a pale yellow stucco building.

Andrew Collins

Address
3508 N 7th St #100, Phoenix, AZ 85014-5272, USA
Phone
+1 602-595-2244

A GLBT-popular cafe that shifts steadily from coffee joint and breakfast spot to light-dinner and wine-beer bar as the day progresses, Urban Beans is bright and attractive, with comfy seating inside and on a shaded patio. The "farm egg" sandwiches are a great way to start the day off, and the high-quality coffee is strong and available in the usual formats, from espressos to cold-filtered iced coffee. Healthy salads and creative sandwiches are available, too.

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29 of 29

ZuZu Lounge at Hotel Valley Ho

Daytime exterior of Hotel Valley Ho, Scottsdale, AZ. Several floors with balconies overlooking palm trees and outdoor seating at ZuZu Lounge.

Andrew Collins

Address
6850 E Main St, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
Phone
+1 480-421-7997

The mid-century modern, retro-chic Hotel Valley Ho is a great place to stay near Old Town Scottsdale, but regardless of whether you spend a night here, the relaxing indoor-outdoor ZuZu Lounge is well worth trying for dinner, weekend brunch, or cocktails. This stylish but fair-priced restaurant serves great renditions of American classics: giant-shrimp cocktail, iceberg wedge salad with bacon and Maytag blue cheese, burgers topped with Tillamook cheddar, and twice-cooked fries with spicy sriracha aioli.

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Gay-Friendly Restaurants and Bars in the Phoenix Area