Winter in Phoenix heralds warm and sunny days, ideal for dining outdoors or sipping a cocktail while enjoying the view from a rooftop bar.
During a November visit last year, a friend and I rode through the streets of downtown Phoenix on a pedal cab tour (with Santa, no less). The warmth of the sun was invigorating as we enjoyed two hours visiting restaurants and bars, as well as seeing the magnificent street art murals and historical destinations. The tour ended with lunch at Churchill, an open-air market with 10 businesses housed in shipping crates, corralled around a covered public dining area.
Phoenix is already known for its thriving dining and craft cocktail scene. The weather, however, makes it the perfect setting to showcase these treasures at outdoor venues, many of them rooftop settings. Here, in no particular order, are 11 amazing outdoor restaurants and rooftop bars in Phoenix, Arizona.
1. The Farm At South Mountain
Enjoy a unique outdoor dining experience while sitting under the canopies of pecan trees amidst an organic-style garden at The Farm at South Mountain. You’ll find multiple farm-to-table experiences, with meals locally sourced with ingredients from the gardens on property at three restaurants: Morning Glory Cafe, The Farm Kitchen, or Quiessence.
There’s something invigorating about breakfast outdoors, and the choices at Morning Glory Cafe add to the experience. The Smoked Salmon Omelet features house-smoked salmon, roasted carrots, goat cheese, crispy leeks, and pesto.
Or choose The Farm Kitchen, where you’ll walk up to the counter to order soups, seasonal salads, sandwiches, and more. Your meal is packed in a picnic basket to take and enjoy outdoors on the grounds at either a picnic table or on a blanket. Try the Pecan Chicken Salad or Albacore Tuna Salad sandwiches for a delicious picnic lunch.
Featuring an American menu focused on local, sustainable, and handcrafted ingredients, Quiessence sources the freshest ingredients from Soil and Seed Garden. Choose from tasting menus designed by Chef Dustin Christofolo while dining on a romantic outdoor patio with hanging lights and a fireplace.
2. Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company
Sustainability and local agriculture are the focus at Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company. Enjoy the hand-crafted, Arizona-inspired beers alongside a locally sourced meal on the outdoor patio. The patio has both misters and fire pits to enhance all of Phoenix’s weather. For an Arizona experience, order the Prickly Pear Berliner Weisse and the Downtown Burger, a fire-roasted burger with roasted corn guacamole, pepper jack cheese, crispy onion strings, lettuce, tomato, and chipotle ranch. The burger comes with a side salad, jalapeno slaw, or duck fat fries.
3. The Churchill
The Churchill is a truly unique open-air space that allows visitors to choose from a variety of small businesses. Ten small local businesses, located inside storage containers, surround a covered courtyard space. Choose from Mexican food, pizza, and acai bowls, plus cocktail and local beer options, to enjoy at a table in the 9,000-square-foot courtyard. Grab a slice from Freak Brothers Pizza, savor an acai bowl or smoothie from Foxy Fruit, or order a craft cocktail from So Far, So Good. Or try something from each to enjoy on the patio. After, shop the local stores such as State Forty-Eight apparel and Sauvage Bottle Shop.
4. Different Pointe Of View
Perched on a mountaintop 1,800 feet above the city, Different Pointe of View is designed to capture the Arizona territory. The outdoor dining room offers stunning views of the desert landscape and the city lights below. Diners enjoy American cuisine with Mediterranean influences in a breathtaking setting. Located on the rooftop of the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort, the outdoor patio provides a visually stimulating experience both with scenery and culinary options. All the senses come alive in what may be the perfect sunset dinner. Try the Truffle Grilled Filet Mignon with Boursin chive roasted potato, Swiss chard, seared baby zucchini, charred Cipollini onion, and a summer truffle cabernet reduction. Sip a Cactus Kicker made with Patron Silver Tequila for a complete desert experience.
5. From The Rooftop
From the Rooftop is another ideal rooftop respite to enjoy inventive cocktails at a lively venue. You’ll have front-row seats to view Camelback Mountain, Piestewa Peak, and downtown Phoenix. Lounge near the rooftop pool, or enjoy dinner and drinks at one of the many events such as rooftop yoga with a combination of FLOW yoga and strength training; stay after the class to rehydrate with fresh juice, coconut water, or a mimosa. Another fun -- and unique -- event is Cosmic Cocktails night, during which you can look through a telescope at the stars while drinking a cocktail inspired by the current zodiac sign. There are even a fortune teller and a guide to help you with the telescope.
6. Lustre Rooftop
For an exceptional outdoor experience, Lustre Rooftop combines locally sourced dishes that are perfect for sharing, along with a view of the heart of Phoenix from atop the Kimpton Hotel Palomar Phoenix. Relax in a lounge chair by the pool, order a private cabana, or cozy up to the bar for a cocktail or meal designed by Chef German Cruz. Start with the Waffle Bites with cheddar chive waffle, duck ham, and peach jalapeno preserves. The Korean Tacos are also delicious and made with bulgogi beef, kimchi fried rice, and daikon slaw. The bar selections are carefully crafted cocktails.
7. Floor 13
Another downtown rooftop bar, the ultra-chic Floor 13 consists of a rooftop terrace with a spacious sundeck and spectacular views of the Phoenix skyline. There are a fire pit and space heaters to take away any chill, a great place to cozy up with a craft cocktail and something from the small bites menu. Luxury and style are at the heart of this space. A great cocktail to try is the Strangers on a Train made with Mezcal, lime, Port, agave, and ginger beer. Yum. Or relax with a Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, or one of 11 beer options. Located atop the Hilton Garden Inn, the hotel is a 1930s Art Deco building in the heart of downtown Phoenix.
8. Thirsty Camel
A posh yet comfortable rooftop bar is located at the Thirsty Camel. Located atop The Phoenician, the views are stunning at what Forbes Travel Guide labeled as one of the world’s best hotel bars in 2019. Sit on a comfortable couch, chair, or padded stool around a fire pit, enjoy a cocktail, and watch live entertainment on weekends. Sip a Sonoran-inspired cocktail such as the Cloud Nine with St. Germain elderflower, lime juice, mint, cucumber, simple syrup, and egg white. It’s as beautiful as it is tasty. Order the Artisan Cheese Plate to complement your cocktail; it’s a delightful mix of artisan cheese, roasted nuts, fruit, quince jam, and spiced honey. A perfect pairing for enjoying a Phoenix sunset from a rooftop bar.
9. Upstairs At FLINT
FLINT is a contemporary restaurant serving coastal Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors. The open-air rooftop cocktail lounge, Upstairs at FLINT, serves plenty of views of the city and mountains, alongside bar bites and premium cocktails. The decor is posh with tones of black and brass, giving it open-air sophistication. Could there be a better way to spend an evening than watching the mountains while sipping a Flint Old Fashioned made with Templeton 4 Year Rye, vanilla, and orange? Perhaps if you pair it with their delicious Short Rib Hummus that includes harissa, pulled short rib, and crispy shallots.
10. Outrider Rooftop Lounge
In Old Town Scottsdale you’ll find a rooftop view of Camelback Mountain and Scottsdale, spirited craft cocktails, and elevated small bites. Atop the Canopy by Hilton Scottsdale Old Town, Outrider Rooftop Lounge offers plenty of seating, whether you prefer to lounge by the rooftop pool (hotel guests only or you can purchase a resort pass) or sit by a fire pit in one of the outdoor alcoves. There’s even a disappearing glass wall.
11. Rockbar Inc.
Another Scottsdale rooftop bar, Rockbar Inc. is an entertainment venue downstairs with a rooftop bar that has televisions, comfortable seating, and plenty of cocktails with a view. Order The Meatball pizza or the ROCK Wings with honey and sriracha and relax with a local beer as you watch the sun set.