The Best Bars In Las Vegas: 13 Sin City Drinking Holes
There's no shortage of spots to drink in Las Vegas. But to find the best of the best, you'll need to branch out beyond the casinos. Here's our list of... Lost count, drunk now.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God..."
And so, with that tiny inscription, this whole crazy fandango that is existence got off to a very mysterious head start. Out from the biological brew that is mitochondrial cellular reproduction we, the human species, sludged out of. Growing and evolving from our first fish-like ancestor - taking tentative steps onto land - into the perfect four-legged transitional beast. Waddling out of the primordial soup, dazed, apprehensive, awestruck and absolutely bewildered.
As centuries blew by, cosmos expanded, species became extinct, Earth terraformed and the climate change to satisfy our new biology. We took to the trees; monkeys with a Robinson Crusoe fetish.
Then, despite the ominous cautions of wiser simians, we decided to climb down from our haven and cruise around.
Away from the wooden branch, our furry daredevil forefathers went. "Hurray!" Then whack, munch and crap. All those careful equations, pie charts and risk assessments suddenly smothered by a toothy gecko's grandfather.
A million years later, a flaming ball of fiery apocalypse solved Earth's pesky saurian infestation. God bless astroids.
We better start procreating... I don't like that shifty look on the sabretooth cats' eyes. And the mammoths, I can tell they are up to something. We better mark our territory."
With that beaming enlightenment, we became nomads. Errant communities, or individuals, not tied to a specific location. The ever solitary lone wolf; locust who swarmed on a region, devoured its resources and packed up to rinse and repeat somewhere else.
Then, after eons on wandering about, clueless and with little or no fanfare, the following parody took place.
Oh, wise chief... Oh, venerable elder... I've made a bu-bu," loincloth, soon to be legendary, village idiot prostrates himself before his tribe's alpha dog.
"Charlie, what the hell did you do now? I swear, sometimes I'm certain that your mother boinged a ground sloth just to have you."
"... I accidently left the oats out in the heat. They're funky and smelling. They are ripe."
"You allowed our stocks to ferment?! Charlie, you dingleberry. Here give me that... Maybe we'll beat the 'before date'," gulp, an exploratory swallow. "Whoa..."
"What?" Went the ADD prone son of a ground sloth. What?"
"Not bad... Firewater. Tangy, a bit chunky, a bitter aftertaste, and a slight buzz," history's first Yelp review. "Not bad at all."
"Hey," from the other side of the hill a radar sense went off. "Hey! What do you have there?!"
"It's those dullards, our neighbors," went the off his equilibrium, slightly happy, and quickly seeing double, tribe huncho. "Stop raping or women and burning our s&@t... And have a taste of this."
And with that offering of passing the metaphorical peace pipe, our founders took a gigantic leap into the future. Civilization, the coming empires, the building of power hungry metropolis, the expansion of the human race, all due in part to someone forgetting to pack their legumes into their ice-box.
Dude," a sword swinging, big beard, bear of monster. "I freaking love you... Why was it we were killing each other again?" A hollowed out skull passed down for a top off.
"Is that my mother in law?" the professional barkeep slowly getting his bearings. "Screw it, try this blend. We added some coffee beans and a dash of pepper. Hey, by the way, you want to pool our resources? Maybe join forces?"
Beer, the genuine cause - anthropologist will tell you - why we decided on being more sociable.
Vegas For Insiders: Public House - located at 3355 Las Vegas Blvd - not only has a speakeasy vibe, but due to its hearty lagers, rare pilsners, and oak barrel-housed cask beers, it also sport over 24 different varieties of tap beers.
To recap, the only reason - scientifically proven - we got off our asses and excelled at anything, as a group, as a community, was because we needed friends to get blotto with. Each tribe harboring their own sacred and secret recipe to that magical elixir that has its own daily holy hour: five-o-clock.
As such, it's only natural that whenever we fish out our explorer's cap and hike through a fiber optic heavy kudzo vine urban jungle, the first thing we want to do, when meeting the natives is to break bread... Or, more accurately, to tie one up. It's a tradition, dare I say, an old charter.
Into the magic school bus, we run, the Vegas Strip barreling and screeching below our black tires. Holding fast to a tour guide, with a, "do not operate heavy machinery", warning stenciled in big block crimson letters by the left-hand corner. The grin of the perpetually hopeless plastered on our glazed veneers.
3708 S Las Vegas Blvd
Hours: Main Hours
Monday: Open 24 Hours
Tuesday: Open 24 Hours
Wednesday: Open 24 Hours
Thursday: Open 24 Hours
Friday: Open 24 Hours
Saturday: Open 24 Hours
Sunday: Open 24 Hours
This is suave, this is a casino with live music, this is a mixologist academy. This is without a doubt one of the best bars in Vegas. Great liquor, fine dames smooth music. Three distinct levels, each with their own atmosphere. A three layer cake of absolute bliss.
The menu, a must in order to beat back the visions of pink elephants, is the sort of fanfare affair that features such delightful descriptions as: "molecular garnishes" and "flirty tableside modern cart"... In other words, you might need a PHD at the very least to understand some of the less than classic bar grub.
P.S.: just so you know what you are getting into, a beer, perhaps the cheapest cubic hold of alcohol heavy brew in the joint, starts at 7 bucks.
Vegas For Insiders: the bottom half of the Chandelier, a tri-level sleek super-duper "what were they on" sort of bar, is heavily known through the region for its signature take of such delightful cocktails as: Thai Down and Madame Curry
The High Roller
The Linq Las Vegas
3545 Las Vegas Blvd S.
Tickets start at 7 dollars (through the internet, partner... Never at the gate).
Happy Half Hour admission includes one 30-minute ride and an open bar inside the cabin! Happy Half Hour cabins roll daily from 4pm to 1am, Monday- Thursday and from NOON-1am Friday-Sunday.
Vegas, the only place where a brainstorming session ends with a concept, so ridiculously insane, that NASA actually needs to update their Zero G astronaut training just to keep their billion dollar government funded vomitorium in the now.
Measuring 520 feet in diameter, the High Roller eclipses both the London Eye and Singapore Flyer. This is the sort of Merry Go round or Tilt a World, that would give Godzilla pause. It is huge, humongous, dazzling and lit up like a Christmas tree on meth when the sun dips below the desert horizon.
"But," you clever, clever, Darling Penguin aficionado ask. "But, why is it on the best bars lists?"
Ah, you perceptive boy, that's on account that Vegas likes to do everything weird and wacky. It packs off logic and sane courses of actions into the back of a turnip truck and drives those concepts out off town.
It not only likes everything big, bright and gaudy, but it strives to give the whole fixins' a sinful dash of intoxication and a sprinkle of latex and sex.
The sphere takes about thirty minutes to do a complete turn-around and, here's the kicker, this raging monstrosity has 28 glass enclosed cabins, each capable of housing over 40 people. Each, also capable of offering a standard wet bar and whatever madness the dollar heavy tourist thought up that morning.
From strip shows to 007 theme parties, the High Roller has been privy to every fantasy known to man. Nothing on Earth will tell you that you have finally made it to Vegas than the peculiar view your liable to experience a couple of 100 feet up in the air while downing jell-O shots from the navel of a sorority girl.
Vegas For Insiders: a tradition on the High Roller is the occasional wedding ceremony. The massive Carnival wheel will stop at the peak as the star-crossed lovers exchange vows. Once a minister, no doubt dressed like Elvis, shackles the pair together and tosses out the key to the padlock from a window, the bartender is bound to invite all the guests for a round of drinks.
512 Fremont Street, Las Vegas.
Up, down, right, right, right, left, block, block, uppercut and with that said, Scorpion has just taken off his mask and performed a classic fatality move on an unsuspecting Sonia. Now, here's the real challenge, try doing that will nursing a hangover and tieing off another. That's the purpose of Insert Coin(s), a classic Vegas bar, decorated with riff-raff from a Coney Island pier walk arcade.
Pac-man, Space Invaders, Street Fighters, even, because there is no doubt a masochistic flare in one of the owners: E.T. the Video Game.
Remember, and I have no doubt that this was the owner's spark of creativity when he took it upon himself to make this wonder, strippers are notoriously known for frowning on jackanapes who come at them, with a fist full of coins, and try to make their g-strings into a maraca. Hence, you need a bastion bar in Vegas to stash your dimes and quarters.
The only place in Vegas where you can have an umbrella drink, while dressed up with your best Cosplay costume of Cloud From Final Fantasy, trash talk Mario Bros', and still have an incredibly high chance of scoring with a tattoo rocking, pink-haired pixie.
Vegas For Insiders: as I write this, Insert Coin(s) has been shut down. "Buuuu!" The Owners standing tall, digging through the couch cushions for loose change and assuring everybody, that by the end of 2016, they will re-spawn back up.
Park On Freemont.
506 Fremont St
What happens when Tim Burton suddenly turns to the limelight, looks out on his peers and says: "guys, screw you all... it's about time I get freaking Oscar! I'm done. Suck it."? The answer: Park On Freemont.
This is the sort of strange, big eye decorated establishment that could have only been produced by a Burton enthusiast. Let's simply whisk you away to this deranged Alice in Wonderland fiasco. Here are a few of the mind-boggling sights that will forever stay seared in your cerebellum: the taxidermied head of a deer with nine-millimeters for antlers; a quirky bar sign that reads "employees most say 'Bloody Mary' three times before returning to work."; a carriage on the roof; goblins under the tables; demonic happy waitresses.
The menu is standard bar room munchies; fried everything with enough transfat to kill a Tyrannosaurus Rex. The sort of list items any man can appreciate. Mac and Cheese; Fish Tacos; Burgers, classic and BBQ; and, just because the world is having a cow (see what I did there), a Vegan Wrap.
Vegas For Insiders: Park on Freemont has a the sort of cocktail display that can make a couple blush on their first date. Drinks with names like Pillow Talk, Trophy Wife and their legendary and drunkenly reviewed Dirty Girl Scout (Peppermint Schnapps, Creme De Cacao, Hot Chocolate, Whipped Cream and a Chocolate Stick).
P.S.: steer clear from the souvenir shop. That's how they get you. They line your tummy with a liter tank of booze and guide you like a seeing eye dog towards the swag. Next thing you know, you wake up with a splitting headache, a cashed-out bank account and over a dozen trucker hats with the bar's logo.
1218 S Main St, Las Vegas
The sort of weird vibe bar that always evolves; never stays fixate to one menu and one idea. This is the class of bar that takes its cue from Madonna or Lady Gaga, each new season it slaps on a fresh coat of paint and redesigns itself. New menu; new idea; primo ideals. The one constant: excellent quality.
Vegas For Insiders: The Velveteen bar is internationally know for its drink menu. Its gold standard, The Green Bitch, is a chlorophyll monstrosity developed by Pamela Dylan. This little drink has constantly been written up in magazines and mixologist's reviews. The word "best" a permanent fixture in each critique.
1516 Las Vegas Boulevard South
This place is a dive, a good dive, but a dive nonetheless.
Just outside the strip, past the neon flare and over the indulgent lights of the casinos, in that neck of the wood that has a boarded up Blockbusters and dozens of 24-hour pawn shops, and there is no such thing as a full stop on an intersection as night, there's Dino's Lounge. Beer by the pitcher; cheap booze; excellent atmosphere. This is the spot where the locals come to get away from the tourist.
P.S: retire the night hanging out with stereotypical stables of the real Nevada flock: off the clock prostitutes, friendly biker gangs, Karaoke dreamteams and the occasional senator.
Vegas For Insiders: I Heart Arepas, a tiny little kiosk just outside Dino's Lounge, will gleefully placate your hangover needs. Venezuelan cuisine for half the prize of a Big Mac.
Downtown Cocktail Room
111 Las Vegas Blvd S
The chic, I want to show off place where you take your sexy "her legs start out near her shoulders" date. It's hip; it's costly and the bartenders know all the right moves in order to get her hammered. The decor: "bohemian-chic'", loosely translated: "we ransacked a garage sale."
Vegas For Insider: Absynthe, the legendary green fairy of Prague and Paris, is alive and well in the streets of Freemont. Downtown Cocktail Room, being one of the nightly spots, this blitzed out Tinkerbell calls home.
Minus 5 ice bar
A franchise! You dare put a franchise on this list?!"
"Suck my b@lls! It's my list and I'll do whatever I want!"
Middle of the desert, heat scorching the tourist, Elvis baking outside... Well, thanks to plucky pioneers on weed, Vegas has an Eskimo's playground, brimming with great libations. Parka, gloves, and hot girls with icicle tweaked nipples... What more could you ask for? Go to the Mandalay Hotel and have a killer Campari in your very own igloo. P.S.: they have a bikini night!
Vegas For Insider: you can check out the Minus 5 bar for as little as 19 bucks. That includes cocktail, a parka and gloves.
Parasol Down/ Parasol Up
3131 S Las Vegas Blvd, at the Wynn Hotel.
Folks, it's time for an interlude. Let's smack down our drinks; defoam our pop filled libations; defrock out umbrella cocktails and get our wobbly toes in line. Too much firewater with the natives will undoubtedly lead to all sorts of “Fargo”-esque escapades and the now classic, and often-times ignored, line: “I swear, I'll never drink again. Scouts promise.”
Let's get serious and acknowledge the gray hippo in the room. There's no two ways to say this, and I really hoped we could overcome the hurdle, but we might as well face it. You cheated on me. There, it's out in the clearing. Your big dark secret. I heard it through the grapevine, and there’s no denying it, you went to TripAdvisor before you came here. You scoundrel!
Yes, cards on the table, she's a finer sexier website, but aren't I simply cute and homely? Admit your indiscretion with that harlot and perhaps we can get past it.
“She said what? That I also visited her on desperate hours? Naw, she's lying… Well, just a tiny bit.”
With that grave offense out in the open, we might as well recognize TripAdvisor’s number one bar for Sin City proper. The sort of grandly spot, that not only grants you a beavy of awards - among them the… - but also has the proprietor dancing a jig as his revenues skyrocket.
Parasol Up/Parasol Down, although normally sold as one in the same, a distinction should be made, as in reality each parasol (or umbrella as Rihanna is so fond of parading about) is a different venue. For years, this upscale upper bar has won countless of awards on account of its pricy and, above all, cultured menu.
If you can buy and sell a third world country before you've finished your morning breakfast, than Parasol Up/Parasol Down is your sort of happening location. This is the place where the obscenely wealthy come to mingle.
Nice chic decor based around the self explanatory parasol; the type of place The Penguin would approve. A structure that decided to negate all modern conventions of what a bar should look like and owned up to the fact that Las Vegas has more sunlight than most regions in the world; no dingy atmosphere, but bright window panes and massive sky domes. What more, aside from elegant cousine and smashing drinks, does this little dive have to offer? How about well mannered waiters and a techinicolor waterfall show, primarily based on the usage of projections and lasers, that has slowly become a benchmark in what is considered Vegas high-society... Good enough?
Vegas For Insiders: Hardy Perfection, a non blended 140 year of cognac, as well as Patron Burdeos Tequila are just some of the fine upscale selection of booze that call these establishments their own.
Frankie's Tiki Room
1712 W Charleston Blvd
"Oh dear God! Is that a shrunken head?"
It sure is, partner. You have just stepped into that fabled time bending Delorean. Been whisked away back into the 60's and landed in the middle of a po-po platter. Hawaiin shirts, bamboo statues, freaking tikis... This place has it all. As for the drinks? What more can I say than the following: every 9 dollar pineapple juice, coconut rum, "lock up your daughters", Hiroshima sweet alcohol groin kick, comes with its own souvenir mug!
Heart Attack Grill
The mutant offspring of an unholy union between Hooters and an Intensive care ward. Step through its gates and happily discover that Heart Attack Grill is a wet dream come true for someone with a kinky clinical paraphilia. Here, in this fine establishment, you will literally be spanked by a scantily clad waitress if you don't finish your meal; paddle and all... And, just because it strives for the gold ring of insanity, some film-school reject will film your degeneration into burger induced S and M, for eternal posterity... P.S.: you can actually keep the paddle afterward!
Vegas For Insiders: aside from a 5 story coronary hamburger, Heart Attack Grill will fix your abstention woes with the following prescriptions: half vodka Jell-O shots; I.V. wine bags; 100.c.c pill bottles tequila shots.
4510 Paradise Road
A good beer. Sometimes that's what you need. No more fruity aftertastes; no more pink paper umbrellas; no more freaking pineapple! And, finally, no more long "I need a bachelor's degree in chemistry" list of ingredients. Just a cold one; a brew; a draft. Vegas is full of fine alehouses, but, since you'll probably be wanting the Disney, over-the-top, experience, there's no better place to go than Hofbräuhaus. A reproduction of the oldest breweries in Munich; the equivalent of fake palm trees in the Alaska. Still, it's German or pseudo-German, it has cheeky big boned blondes, Jägermeister shots and "wurst"... Plus, their main attraction, BEER. Beer as far as the eye can see. You can drown in hops and IPAS. Taste the rainbow with Lagers, Stouts and Indian Pales. This... Is... Paradise.
CRAZY HORSE III GENTLEMEN'S CLUB
3525 W. Russell Rd
The Strip Joint! Hurray! "Finally", you say. "Worthwhile information." Vegas has 5 of the 10 best strip joints in the world. The dancers are legendary, their moves Olympic in flare and their skin intoxicating. So, the first thing most out-of-towners want to do, once they hit the Strip, is to have a drink with a great view of T & A. Unfortunately, finding a good drink at a Nudie Bar is as hard as discovering a Virgin in a 5 week Roman Orgy; you've heard rumors, but have yet to lay eyes on one of those mythical mirages. Thankfully, there's Crazy Horse. Here for the 55 dollar door charge, a tattoed vixen will bring you the best Johnny Walker has to offer.
Vegas For Insiders: the welcome to the Gray area, happy tourists. Vegas has banned some of the weirdest things: HULA-HOOPS, Megaphones, Hip-Hop Concerts... but, the strangest of them all is THE LAPDANCE. In 2006, the Nevada Supreme Court decided that lapdances were illegal! So, move lightly and with hands tucked in your pockets; this is a gray area, that might end up turning back and beating you black and blue.
There you are, bars, bars, and more bars. Well, this is Vegas, if I were to compile a list of watering holes, I'd probably run out of bites. So, I made a quick calculation, of those fine sobriety chip annihilating establishments I normally frequented, and picked my top. Here, no one will know your name, nor will they be glad you came... But, some of your troubles will all be the same. You'll find hipsters, yuppies, hippies, hookers, showgirls, transvestites, cosplayers, Elvis in all his glory, disgruntled everything, washed out actresses, two-bit magicians, some even have a monkey mending the beer pumps... Here, in this list, compiled by your's truly, Google, a magic 8-ball and a dart board you'll discover the strange flora and fauna that is Vegas proper.
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