Although you might be shocked to hear this, Vegas is a city with a whole lot of bars. (It’s okay…take your time.) That said, it can be a real challenge to decide on the best possible location to sink your bar equity. We’re here to help! Below you’ll find everything from the most luxe rooftop bars to the most delightfully sh*thole dive bars.
Vegas was a Grey Goose and Redbull town for a long, long time — long past the point at which other major cities had caught onto the craft cocktail movement. In a lot of ways, Vegas still is all about that Goose. But for more civilized/sophisticated drinkers, take heart: when Vegas finally catches onto something, it does so like an STD. These are some of the best places in one of America’s booziest towns to enjoy a well-crafted cocktail (or six).
The recently-opened Dorsey inside the Venetian brings craft cocktail culture to the property in a serious way. Guests will enjoy excellent cocktails from a list that includes classics, lighter creations, more booze-forward concoctions, champagne cocktails, and shareable punches.
Downtown Cocktail Room
The Downtown Cocktail Room is all about the craft of cocktails, with a seasonally-updated menu of originals that also includes shareable punches and a full absinthe service. More than a decade old, the Downtown Cocktail Room is the OG of Vegas’s craft cocktail bars.
The Velveteen Rabbit is a craft beer and cocktail bar located in the downtown Arts District has a menu of seasonally-changing cocktails made with fresh produce and house-made ingredients, as well as 12 specialty beers on tap and 20 more by the bottle. The large outdoor patio in the back has a stage for live music and DJs.
This stylish restaurant “hidden” behind a pawn shop inside the Cosmopolitan has a great selection of craft cocktails. When people use the words “cocktails” and “The Cosmopolitan” in the same sentence, they’re usually referencing The Chandelier
, but we urge you to branch out and try Beauty & Essex instead — the Oaxacan Old Fashioned is one of my favorite cocktails in Vegas.
Zuma is a brand-new, contemporary Japanese restaurant with a cocktail list that highlights Japanese flavors like yuzu and lychee, while also using spirits like sake and the acclaimed Japanese whiskey Suntory Toki for an inventive spin on craft cocktails.
Located just a bit off-Strip, Herbs & Rye has made a name for itself with its monster cocktail menu. Named by several outlets as one of the world’s best bars, Herbs & Rye is also an excellent steakhouse to boot.
The hottest tiki bar in town is located in Chinatown and aims to transport guests to the golden era of tiki culture, complete with 1950s hula-skirt-wearing pin-ups and their modern rockabilly burlesque counterparts. Also, tiki drinks! And punch bowls with fire! And dole whip! If you want to drink as the locals do, come here.
While the Commonwealth itself can get a bit boring and mainstream, especially on weekends, The Laundry Room is the very much more subdued “secret” speakeasy tucked away inside of it. With room for only 28 people and a gorgeous bar that says more bespoke suiting than body shots, the Laundry Room also has an entire menu of cocktails not found on the Commonwealth’s regular menu.
A newly-revived bar that you’re not going to but should, the Starboard Tack originally opened in 1971 and has been reopened in its original location with a vaguely nautical-meets-tiki-meets-intentionally-tacky theme. Rum is the focal point of the cocktail menu here, and one of the bar’s standouts is a $1,000 bottle of Black Tot Last Consignment Royal Naval Rum from the British Royal Navy’s remaining stockpile.
Best rooftop bars in Las Vegas
There are plenty of high perches to take in Sin City while soaking in your poison of choice. These are some of the best rooftop (or close enough) bars in Vegas — that aren’t pools or nightclubs — where you can enjoy a drink with a view.
If the crowd at the Foundation Room is a little over-the-top for you, head over to the top of the Delano instead to the Skyfall Lounge, with indoor and outdoor seating offering 180-degree views of the city and an impressive menu of craft cocktails, table punches, sangria, and, as befits its Bondian name, a “martini education.” Check out their Rosé Fridays.
Granted, there isn’t a whole lot to see “view-wise” from Carson Kitchen‘s Downtown rooftop patio overlooking a surface parking lot, but the food here is excellent and the downstairs dining room tends to fill up, making the open-air roof a pleasant alternative (provided it’s not in the triple digits).
High above the Las Vegas Strip — 107 floors above, to be exact — sits the 107 SkyLounge
at the top of the Stratosphere. Enjoy the 360-degree panoramic view of Vegas along with 2-for-1 drinks during their happy hour(s), which runs from 4-7 PM and 1-4 AM daily.
Watch the Bellagio Fountains while sipping on Budweiser’s ever-growing portfolio of craft beer acquisitions in a setting that is one part tailgate and two parts picnic on astro turf that just so happens to have a replica of the Eiffel Tower in the background.
Located inside the Royal Resort, a hotel you have never heard of before, the Barrymore is a best-kept-secret in a city with shockingly few of them (despite what the “What Happens in Vegas” marketing campaign would have you believe). It also happens to be one of the best steakhouses in town with a killer wine list and a cocktail game that competes with Vegas’s cocktail kings.
If you’re going to do the High Roller, the world’s tallest observation wheel and a new Vegas landmark that is more impressive to look at than from, do it with a personal bar in their bar pods.
The best dive bars for a wild Vegas night
Vegas might be known for its impossibly chic super clubs and posh lounges that cater to the world’s most stylish people, but there is a lot more to Vegas than all that glitz and glamor (and neon). As with any city, there is also the grimy underbelly — and the grimy underbelly can be a whole lot of fun!
Frankie’s Tiki Room
There are tiki bars like Golden Tiki, and then there are tiki bars like Frankie's Tiki Room, a much-beloved Vegas dive bar located west of downtown that is as much a smoke-filled punk bar as it is a Polynesian-themed drinking paradise. The drinks are strong and the vibe is unrelentingly unique.
Everyone who knows anything about Vegas’s legendary dive bars knows the Double Down Saloon (and their signature “ass juice” shot). But where the in-your-face, GFY schtick could veer into gimmick territory, it is thoroughly steeped in every particle of this punk bar. Come for the ass juice; stay for the live punk and burlesque shows. But if you plan on going hard, consider investing in the $20 puke insurance.
You really can’t get anymore to the point than a dive bar that simply calls itself The Dive Bar Located in the University District (not too far from Double Down, perfect for a dive bar doubleheader), Dive Bar is another punk/hardcore spot in a city not exactly known far and wide for its counterculture culture. Dive Bar is where you can go scrub your brain of #StripLife.
Dino‘s is a “neighborhood” dive that is also located on the Strip in the shadow of the Strat, so it definitely gets it fair share of tourists, but that doesn’t make the going-ons any less weird or locals any less inclined to throw down here as well. It’s a karaoke bar, in Vegas, on the Strip, and that’s all you really need to know.
Once we start getting off-Strip and into the older Vegas neighborhoods, the dive bars start getting even older and divier. Such is the case with the Huntridge Tavern in the historic Huntridge neighborhood, where the drinks are cheap, the crowd is full of characters, and the vibe is pure Vegas.
Another iconic old Vegas bar that was brought back to life in its original location, the Sand Dollar Lounge is a favorite locals’ hangout to go shoot some pool, listen to live blues, and enjoy a cocktail or many from the unbelievably cheap and excellent cocktail and shot & beer combo (think Fernet Branca + Trumer Pils) selections, with nothing over $10.
Check out our travelstoke map to find these cool Vegas drinking spots