The Ultimate Tucson Bar Guide by Rachel Erin McKeighan

What’s a college town without a different bar on every corner? Whether you are a seltzer fiend, a dancefloor diva, or an avid people watcher, here is your guide to the bars of Tucson. 


As the building says, it’s part of growing up. This bar epitomizes the classic college dive bar. Equipped with cheap drinks and a jukebox, you can go here for a crazy night out or for a drink in your sweatpants. It is conveniently located at the end of Greek Row next to the police station. 

Gentle Ben’s 

This bar/restaurant/pseudo-club has something for everyone. The downstairs is a normal restaurant and bar with TVs on sports stations and plenty of game day food. Upstairs there is a dancefloor that can transport you to your favorite fraternity (especially because they hire student DJs).

Tuesdays are $5 pitcher night, so pick your favorite drink and prepare to drink a lot of it at a cheap price. If you have been missing your amusement parks, Ben’s has a skip the line service that might just be able to satisfy your Fast Pass craving. Gronk even spiked a beer here this past spring. If it’s good enough for Gronk, it’s good enough for you. 

P.S. You get a free Ben’s Bomb – a jager shot and a soco lime shot in redbull – on your birthday. 

Illegal Pete’s

Although Pete’s is better known for its mexican food, enjoying a margarita on their patio is a must. If you need more convincing to come here, you can swap dairy for guacamole on anything at no additional cost. 

The Maverick

This is THE place to go for country line dancing. Grad your cowboy boots and have some Tucson cowboys teach you how to swing dance. All that dancing will make you thirsty; good thing they have $3 beers and $4 well drinks to quench your thirst. 

The Buffet Bar

Opening “the buff” at 6 am is something every University of Arizona student should do before graduating. The buff is home to a wide array of people since it is beloved by both Tucson locals and university students. At 11pm, you can purchase a $1 drink token that you can redeem later. If you go here, try the trashcan – it is pretty much every alcohol imaginable in redbull. After you finish it, be sure to sign the wall. 

The Hut

If the trashcan sounded good to you, you will probably love The Hut’s signature drink – The Fishbowl. It contains plenty of liquors and sprite all in a fishbowl. The atmosphere here is not like anywhere else, especially since there is an actual tiki hut. The Hut also has both indoor and outdoor seating. 


Surprisingly, there is an Irish pub in Tucson. You will either have to take my word for it or try it out yourself. 

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