I LIVED IN VEGAS for four years and went out to dive bars far more nights than I didn’t. There’s one or more on every corner, so a top 13 is an exclusive list. It’s against the dive bar ethos to be too discriminating, so these are listed in no particular order:

1. Double Down Saloon

The DD, self-proclaimed “The Happiest Place on Earth,” is legendary and authentic. It’s dirtier than ever, and the mosh pit will leave you bloody. One look at the men’s bathroom, with only a toilet, urinal, and sink — no stalls, no toilet paper or soap — and you won’t doubt that this icon is still a dive.

The walls and ceilings are painted with murals of psychedelic swirls, elephants, and demonic flapper- era naked circus girls. There are Punk and Psychobilly shows most nights and never a cover charge, though a donation to the group of hoodlums at the gas station next door is recommended if you want to make it home alive.

If you seek a quieter dive experience, come late, 4 AM on a Tuesday maybe, when the strippers are getting off work and looking to unwind. Order a round of Ass Juice for one and all.

Location: 4640 Paradise Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89169
Open: 24 hours

2. Atomic Liquors

Though the days of the Rat Pack hanging out inside this quaint bar are long gone, the feeling of yesteryear is still present at Atomic Liquors.

Driving by this place you could blink and miss it, but a night in Las Vegas’ oldest free-standing bar will certainly be a memorable time.

Location: 917 E Fremont St, Las Vegas, NV 89101
Open:

  • Mon/Tues/Wed: 4 PM – 2 AM
  • Thurs: 2 PM – 3 AM
  • Fri: 2PM – 4 AM
  • Sat: 12 PM – 4 AM
  • Sun: 12 PM – 2 AM

3. Rush Hour

Rush Hour is on the edge of the dreaded Green Valley suburbs and a much-needed reprieve from the endless malls. No music here, except for the jukebox. I recommend the graveyard shift, weekends. Great place to just stare into the void.

Location: 3985 E Sunset Rd #A, Las Vegas, NV 89120
Open: 24 hours

4. Four Kegs

Though most dive bars are equipped with rough-edged personnel, you’ll get nothing but sweet Vegas hospitality at Four Kegs.

As seen on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives, this pub and grill is a hotspot for delicious food and great drinks. Sports-lovers should not miss the opportunity to kick back a cold one while watching a game.

Location: 276 N Jones Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89107
Open: 24 hours

5. The Crown and Anchor

This British style pub is just the place to watch a classic bar brawl — or start one. You’ll find real live European soccer hoodlums just looking for trouble at 8 AM on a Sunday morning. Plus 35 beers on tap.

Location: 4755 W Spring Mountain Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89102
Open: 24 hours

6. Champagnes

Photo: Champagnes

Imagine the Beverly Hillbillies decorating their home like Frank Sinatra’s third cousin’s nightmare. Avoid karaoke night unless you love pain.

Location: 3557 S Maryland Pkwy, Las Vegas, NV 89169
Open: 24 hours

7. The Bunkhouse

The walls of The Bunkhouse Saloon are adorned with pictures of Gary Cooper in High Noon and John Wayne in half the movies he made. But this is not done out of some postmodern irony BS — I think the owners just like westerns. Drinks at the Bunkhouse are stiff, and the misfits are aplenty.

Location: 124 S 11th St, Las Vegas, NV 89101
Open:

  • Mon/Weds/Thurs: 5 PM – 1 AM
  • Friday/Saturday: 5 PM – 2 AM
  • Tuesday: Closed

8. The Dive Bar

How can a real dive bar be called Dive Bar? Once you feel the spilled beer, broken glass, and general grime under your feet, and see the six inches of plumber’s butt perpetually showcased by the bartender, you’ll understand.

Free punk and metal shows most nights.

Location: 4110 S Maryland Pkwy, Las Vegas, NV 89119
Open: 24 hours

9. Rockhouse Bar

The Rockhouse Bar sits inside the classy Venetian Hotel & Casino, but once you step inside and see the mechanical bull shoved into the corner, you know you’re at an ultra-dive bar.

The Rockhouse offers guests live music and craft beers, and is a good choice for those who want the dive experience without having to go into a dubious neighborhood.

Location: 3377 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109
Open:

  • Sun-Thurs:11:30 AM – 12 AM
  • Fri/Sat: 11:30 AM – 2 AM

10. Moon Doggie’s

While Moon Doggie’s seems to be in a seedy area of town, this bar has become a go-to for the after-hours crowd who are looking for cheap drinks, dodgy décor, and an accessible location not too far from the Strip. Maybe the best thing about Moon Doggie’s is a hidden pizza joint that goes by the name of Naked City Pizza.

Location: 3240 Arville St # F, Las Vegas, NV 89102
Open: 24 hours

11. Frankie’s Tiki Room

Tiki Room — oh yeah. Campy decorations are throughout the place; tropical drinks are served in souvenir tiki cups; and patrons range from off-duty lawyers to young hipsters. A night at Frankie’s is a step back in time to the true energy which Las Vegas was built on.

Location: 1712 W Charleston Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89102
Open: 24 hours

12. Hogs & Heifers Saloon

Hogs & Heifers is a rough-looking bar in the heart of a newly refurbished area of downtown Las Vegas. You’ll find rows and rows of motorcycles perched on top of one another as their owners are guzzling drinks inside.

As employees of the self-proclaimed “all-American, classic, country and southern rock-n-roll dive bar,” the countertop-dancing, bandana-donning bartenders will make sure you’re partying full-throttle.

Location: 201 N 3rd St, Las Vegas, NV 89101
Open: 12 PM – 4 AM everyday

13. Huntridge Tavern

This watering hole has no shortage of genuine good times — no matter what night of the week it is. From vintage pop-up shops to themed viewing parties, there’s something for everyone at this downtown establishment.

Location: 1116 E Charleston Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89104
Open: 24 hours

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