If you're in search of a good drink in Scottsdale, the options are endless. You've probably heard of the staples, like Second Story Liquor Bar and Citizen Public House. But those aren't the only places you should wander to. Here's my list of places to grab a cocktail in Old Town if you want to mix things up.
Cocktails at the Beverly range from simple and classic to bachelorette party weekend in Vegas. What I personally like is the ambience --old red bricked walls, a hidden speakeasy for private parties, plenty of seating, plus late-night snacks and a live DJ spinning on weekends. If you like to have a bite after drinking, The Beverly is your best bet in Old Town because unfortunately we’re lacking in that department. Plus, their happy hour menu lasts until 7pm with lots of snack options and cocktail savings you won't want to miss.
Pig & Pickle
If you're willing to venture a mile southeast of Old Town, you'll be happy to stumble upon Pig & Pickle, a refreshing scene amongst the usual Scottsdale fare. P&P offers a variety of unique, rotating craft cocktails and absolutely stellar service. Best of all, they have plenty of seating and a covered patio, so you won't have to worry about waiting forever to order your drink or standing all night. They also have great live music on occasion. If you end up there after 10pm, they also have reverse happy hour and are open until 2am!
Pro Tip: The sample drink menu on their website hasn't been updated since 2013. They often add and switch out many delicious drinks, which are all worth a try in my opinion.
Some might consider AZ88 as one of Scottsdale's iconic bars, yet it's tucked away in the Scottsdale Mall area, easily forgotten by many cocktail-seekers. AZ88 is a trendy dinner spot, but also a great option for seriously chic patio seating and 32 different cocktails and martinis. Find it behind the Saguaro Hotel past Old Town Tavern.
Hula's Modern Tiki
Tiki. Cocktails. Need I say more? Hula's is an adorable Polynesian restaurant with killer specials and even better drinks. My personal favorite is the Dr. Funk, served in a tall tiki cup. All day happy hour on Sundays mean this spot is a favorite of mine for brunch, too. If you're in the mood for some rum-heavy tropical cocktails, stop by Hula's. Their mai-tai is a must.
Never been to Cuba? Me neither, but I hope it’s something like The Canal Club tucked inside The Scott Resort, just across from Fashion Square Mall on Scottsdale Rd. The Scott Resort is a dreamy, recently renovated hotel that is seriously Instagram-worthy, spacious and perfect for groups or date night. The Canal Club is 1930’s Havana themed with hints of Arizona and New Orleans, and their food menu is pretty spectacular as well.
Counter Intuitive (Closed as of December 2018)
Update: Unfortunately, Counter Intuitive is permanently closed, apparently because they hated Old Town Scottsdale. However, you can find its sister-cocktail bars around the Valley, including Undertow in Arcadia and Pobrecito at The Churchill in Downtown Phoenix. The former bartenders from Counter Intuitive work at Bitter & Twisted in Downtown Phoenix and Cotton & Copper in south Tempe. All serve stellar cocktails that are worth a visit!
My personal favorite on the list, CI delights any palate in unexpected ways with rotating menus of delicious craft cocktails and carefully themed decor. You'd think a small bar like CI would be too packed to visit during prime weekend hours, but you can usually find more than one available table and a server to take your order. Don't fall in love with any cocktails, though, because the bar theme changes a few times a year and creates a brand new menu to match the new theme.